Climate change and climate science have been key issues in the last ten years. Why? Because the Earth is slowly heating up, and only we, as a global community, can stop it. Together, we can prevent the global temperature rise from exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius—with knowledge about what is happening, we can affect change. People are more motivated now than ever to understand what exactly is going on with the climate and how we can fix it.

Ooligan Press is thrilled to announce our newest nonfiction title, From Knowledge to Power: Your Handbook for Climate Science and Advocacy by debut author Dr. John Perona, set to launch in October 2021. From Knowledge to Power is a climate advocate’s handbook that addresses climate change from multiple angles. Using his PhD in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale and his LLM in Environmental and Natural Resources Law from the Northwestern School of Law at Lewis & Clark College, Perona breaks down what exactly is happening from a scientific perspective, a political perspective, and a social perspective in clear prose; moreover, he teaches the reader how to become an advocate, using this knowledge to help the reader understand the issue from multiple perspectives in order to be the best citizen advocate possible.

Using foundation-based knowledge, Perona takes the reader through the entire field of climate change, touching on fundamentals, far-reaching impacts, and how to take action. Breaking down complex topics such as the Green New Deal and the fossil fuel machine, Perona uses science-based solutions in order to make even the most complicated topics clear.

From Knowledge to Power is an essential handbook for anyone interested in climate change. A thorough and concise manual, From Knowledge to Power is the complete guide to understand the data, history, and impacts of climate change. Most importantly, this book offers a message of optimism, empowering the reader to become a climate advocate through realistic, actionable ideas that can help inspire the reader to see a future where things have changed for the better.

As the project manager, my team and I have been working on the basics of marketing and social media strategies while the book begins its journey through the publishing production cycle. Julie, the previous project manager, helped do the developmental edit and really saw the big picture of what the book was about. Julie writes, “The mission of this book is to present a reliable and well-rounded picture of the climate crisis through science education, while including the implications of that science for the near and far future, in order to motivate readers to action via political and personal advocacy. The book will be thorough, yet approachable. It may be read from start to finish by enthusiasts, but will likely be a resource or guide for many readers.”

It has been so exciting to see this book change and grow. Keep your eye out for the visuals in this book—I’m sure they will be as well-designed as they are important.

As Wendell Berry said, “The Earth is what we all have in common.” In October 2021, grab a copy of From Knowledge to Power and learn how you can help our shared home.

Ooligan Press Statement

Ooligan Press stands in solidarity with the entire PSU community in calling for justice and accountability in the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many more. Black lives matter.

We commit to doing our own work to better our practices as a publisher to amplify BIPOC voices in a systematic and accountable way. To that end, we commit to acquiring at least 25 percent of our titles from Own Voices writers each year. We will begin this work immediately, knowing that publishing books is a long arc with powerful results.

For the time being, Ooligan Press social media platforms will be used to share BIPOC voices, resources, books, authors, and direct calls to action. We commit to using our platform in this way beyond the current moment, and to amplifying Own Voices wherever possible.

50 Hikes Photo Contest: Win a Wearable Sleeping Bag from Poler!

Planning a hike or two this spring? Turn your hiking photos into a chance to win an excellent prize!

Ooligan Press is holding a photo contest to spread the word about our new book, 50 Hikes in the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests. After hitting the trail, share your beautiful hiking photos with us for a chance to win a Napsack wearable sleeping bag from Poler. Can’t decide which hike to go on? Pick up a copy of 50 Hikes online or at a bookstore near you. See the rules below to find out how to enter.


  • Must upload a photo from a hike in an Oregon forest
  • Use this hashtag: #50hikesphotos
  • Tag @ooliganpress
  • Limit one entry per person per day
  • Entries accepted only on Instagram

Contest lasts from Friday, May 18 through Sunday, June 3.

The *winner, chosen at random, will be announced on Monday, June 4.

*Winner must be in the United States

Submit to Read at the Oregon Writers of Color Spring Showcase

Literary Arts and the graduate program in Book Publishing at Portland State University seek submissions from writers of color for the Oregon Writers of Color Spring Showcase.

On Thursday, May 24, Literary Arts and Ooligan Press (part of Portland State’s graduate program in Book Publishing) will host the Oregon Writers of Color Spring Showcase, emceed by Reema Zaman, the 2018 winner of the Writer of Color Fellowship from Literary Arts. This event will feature many of Oregon’s most talented, diverse writers and is designed to connect these artists with the publishers seeking to hear their voices. This is the second installment of this series, which is intended to evolve beyond an annual event and promote a larger, more holistic conversation and tangible results for diversity in book publishing.

Publishers are often the link between writers and readers, and with both sides advocating for more diversity in books, publishing professionals have an enduring responsibility to sustain conversations and catalyze action toward intersectional representation and inclusion. Years of unequal representation in literature will take time to change, but Literary Arts and Ooligan Press vow to accelerate the transformation by helping to dismantle white bias and privilege in the culture of publishing by amplifying, spotlighting, and celebrating the undeniable talent of diverse voices.

Submissions from writers of color in Oregon will be accepted April 6–22. The submission should be no longer than a page and can be a work of poetry, fiction, literary nonfiction, drama, or young readers literature. If selected, we will ask you to read your work at the showcase. With an hour of readings followed by an hour for mingling, talking, and connecting with local publishing industry professionals, it is set to be an entertaining and enriching night for all attendees.

This event will be held on May 24, 2018, at 7:00 p.m. in the Literary Arts space in downtown Portland (925 SW Washington Street). If you are interested in participating in this event, please email your one-page submission to Lisa Hein at by April 22.

An Intimate Evening with Meagan Macvie

We took a second to catch up with author Meagan Macvie before the launch of The Ocean in My Ears (November 7), asking some questions about books, goats, and life growing up in Alaska.

First, I’ve got to get the most burning question out of the way: what can you tell me about your goats?

I have two Dwarf Nigerian goats—a girl named Beth and her stinky brother Lucky. I take them out almost every day for walks in the field behind my house. They munch blackberry bushes and fiddle ferns while I think about the world. My goat-inspired ponderings often end up in my writing.

Meagan and her goats. “I look crazy in this photo, but it’s also kind of hilarious.”

Besides totally owning #goatstagram, got any weird hobbies?

Hm. Weird hobbies. I like taking pictures of fungi. Like a lot. I go on walks in the woods and see all these crazy ‘shrooms. Wild mushrooms are strange and mysterious to me. There are so many different kinds and colors, and they’re very photogenic.

The Ocean in My Ears opens with an epigraph from Margaret Atwood’s “Circe/Mud Poems.” Without spoilers, why is this epigraph so important for this book? Why should we read Atwood with relevance today—and, if we’ve never read her before, what should we start with?

There are many ways into Atwood because she’s wildly interesting. She’s a big thinker and prolific writer who’s written in all genres. As a young person, I started with her poetry for so many reasons. I was a teen girl becoming uncomfortable with the roles being foisted upon me as an almost-woman, and Atwood’s Circe/Mud Poems explored these cultural expectations in ways that sharpened my own thinking. I badly needed an ally at that time in my life, and there weren’t many to be found in Soldotna, Alaska. As a feminist thinker, Atwood’s work is as relevant today as it ever was. I also loved The Edible Woman and, of course, The Handmaid’s Tale.

What were some of your favorite fictional heroines growing up? How about more recent ones?

I was pretty geeked out on sci-fi and fantasy in my younger days. Wonder Woman, the Bionic Woman, and Morgaine from Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon come to mind. I wanted to be beautiful and strong, clever and mysterious. Even then, I wanted to fight evil in the world, especially evil that was confusing. Not the obvious “bad guys” in Disney films, but the slick conspirators who pretended to be good. The early Christian patriarchs threatening the matriarchal Celtic culture. The doddering old man who puts his hand up your shirt when no one’s looking. That last one may be a real-life experience, but my battle felt no different, the odds no less impossible, than those facing my fictional heroines. I still admire strong women who face impossible odds. Although I did love the new Wonder Woman movie, now my heroines tend to be real women fighting for justice in today’s world. Beautiful, strong, clever, and mysterious women like former First Lady Michelle Obama, writer Roxane Gay, and US Senator Patty Murray.

What was the book scene like in small town Alaska in the 90s?

I went to a Christian school through seventh grade. There was no library in my school. We read from the Bible, Christian textbooks, and ancient Encyclopedia Britannicas. My mom also had a mail order subscription for kids books. Disney, Dr. Seuss, and Little Golden books would arrive in our mailbox once a month. I don’t remember an actual bookstore in town, but at the drugstore I bought Nancy Drew hardbacks as a kid and later mostly popular sci-fi and fantasy paperbacks. My mom had stacks of romance novels that I would sneak and read in the bathroom. That pretty much sums up my young reading life. I did attend a public high school, where I read novels that focused on social, political, and cultural critique—1984, Brave New World, Animal Farm, Looking Backward, The Jungle. There was no shortage of fear-based thinking in my life at the time. I also had to read some Shakespeare, Of Mice and Men, and bits of Greek mythology in school, but I didn’t encounter a ton of literary fiction until college. As an English major, I was expected to read everything from John Milton to Toni Morrison. That was a steep learning curve for me—I had to quickly step up my library, reading, and critical thinking skills.

If you were to be tattooed with one literary quote, which one would you choose? And what font?

Oh, that’s a good one. Maybe just “without guilt” from the Atwood epigraph in the book, because guilt has sucked so much of my energy—wasted energy—over the years and kept me from doing things I wanted or needed to do. It’s made me hate myself. Guilt is an empty glass.

In terms of font, I have very particular font tastes. I like a traditional serif font with round “i” dots and round periods. Garamond is a traditional font I like, but this Alice Google font is pretty lovely.

The Ocean in My Ears is heavily rooted in nostalgia for the 90s. Did you listen to anything in particular to get you into that mindset while writing? What 90s band would you recommend for teens today?

I listened to a lot of Journey while I was writing Joaquin and Meri scenes. Though I wouldn’t call Journey a 90s band, I listened to them a lot back then, and their songs—especially their ballads—were popular at dances. The Brett character was clearly informed by Def Leppard. Depending on my mood while writing Meri, I’d maybe pull up some old Madonna or British bands I used to love, like Pet Shop Boys or Tears for Fears or OMD.

(Listen to Meagan’s The Ocean in My Ears–inspired playlists to really get in the mood.)

What’s one interesting thing about growing up in Alaska that readers won’t find in The Ocean in My Ears?

Once in real life I fed carrots to a moose from my back door. That is not in the book.

Kirkus Reviews categorized The Ocean in My Ears as historical fiction. How does that make you feel?

Old, of course.

Rapid Fire

What was your very first job?

Babysitting. I hated it.

Go-to order at Dairy Queen?

Chocolate Dilly Bar.

Last book you read & loved?

Thi Bui’s graphic memoir The Best We Could Do.

Three things you can’t live without?

Hummus and salami on a pita (I count that as one thing), my green puffy coat, and my phone that is also a computer and a gps and a thermometer and camera and a data base and a recorder and a million other gadgets in one.

Pick a gif to describe your feelings about the upcoming publication of The Ocean in My Ears.

Like that one gif of Sam and Dean where Dean’s all “I’m totally fine” and then makes a whacked out face and the caption reads INTERNALLY SCREAMING.

Meagan’s The Ocean in My Ears is about Meri Miller, a girl growing up and facing challenges of leaving her small-town life in rural Alaska for college in the 1990s. Read it November 7, 2017.

Holiday Break

Hello all,

The holidays are here! Ooligan students and staff alike are taking a breather before winter term begins in January. Our blog will be quiet for a few weeks, and new posts will begin on January 4. Everyone here at Ooligan Press wishes you all a very happy holiday season.

Until next year,

Ooligan Press

In Defense of Independent Publishing Houses

By the time I was nineteen and a sophomore at the University of Arizona, I was disillusioned with everything in general, but reading and writing in particular. I was applying to business school and, among other things, ignoring the voice in the back of my head that was telling me that if I couldn’t get an A in Intro to Financial Accounting, I probably shouldn’t be choosing it as my major. I also ignored that English was my strongest subject, rationalizing to myself that an English degree was about as valuable as a Blockbuster card.

The next semester I took Intro to Fiction, half as an elective and half as a way to save my GPA after taking Macroeconomics. A few assignments in, I received an email from my instructor with the title of a book that he thought I might like. It was a collection of short stories by a woman who had recently graduated from a top MFA program and was published by a small independent press located somewhere in the Midwest. I must have read it in a day. I was impressed, thrown even, by the quality of the writing. I had never read anything like it before. It was nothing like the dry classics we read back in AP Lit in highschool or the surface-level, but highly marketable, books that flashed in magazines and filled the shelves of big-box stores. There were no rules here, really—just the ones the author had established for herself. And though I had no idea what those rules were, I knew that she had followed them absolutely. Whoever published this book was not just trying to sell books, they were effectuating art. I still credit a lot to this book. It was a catalyst that, combined with a number of other factors, sent me back onto the English trajectory.

Five years later, I was stuck again. I had a degree and had spent a year using it as an HR manager for one of the big-box stores that I had previously vilified. And I had spent two more years pouring IPAs and stirring old fashioneds. I had a bedroom filled with old issues of McSweeney’s that I found and bought in secondhand bookstores—I needed to be saved again.

My salvation happened in two waves. First, with Marty McConnell’s article “Frida Kahlo to Marty McConnell” in the twenty-third issue of Salt Hill. Then with Kat Moore’s article “Winter” in the adventure issue of New South; it couldn’t have been more than a thousand words. I bought issues of everything Moore had ever published. I applied to Portland State’s master’s in book publishing program.

Independent publishing changed the way I read, the way I write, and the way I find new things to read. It’s opened me up to new art, music, and ideas. It’s one of those crafts that people pour a lot of time and heart into, without much in return. And for that I am grateful.

Unique Contact Lists

Hello all,

Over the last few weeks the team has been working away on developing a contact list of media and places that we could collaborate with to promote the project. While we at Ooligan do have a general list of people and places we contact for each title, every project has a unique theme and feel that requires some thinking out of the box.

In the case of Mastersounds, we have to look beyond the print and online media for nonfiction titles and more into where the readers spend their time. We have added jazz clubs, famous hotels, festivals, musicians, and more to our contact list and it is still growing.

We also use this list to promote other important events in the jazz community. Most recently, the Portland State University Jazz Series has kicked off and Chad McCullough (trumpet) will be performing live in Lincoln Hall, RM 47, from 5-7 pm. Stop by to hear some great music!

Work continues on developing a city tour and I will update everyone on where the team is with that next time.

Sledgehammer Writing Contest

On Saturday, July 26, the 2014 Sledgehammer Writing Contest kicks off its seventh year of writing hijinks. Intended to help writers break through their writer’s block and to celebrate the act of writing, the thirty-six hour writing contest features both team and solo competitions, four different writing prompts, to say nothing of the scavenger hunts—both online and through the streets of Portland. From the Sledgehammer press release:

This treasure adventure not only supplies writers with prompts to include in their stories, but it also puts writers in touch with contest sponsors. Working individually or in teams, the writers craft a short story using these found clues within 36 hours. Stories are due by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, July 27. Then they’re judged by a team of professionals, including this year’s celebrity judge, Ariel Gore, author of The End of Eve and All the Pretty People: Tales of Carob, Shame, and Barbie-Envy. […] Sledgehammer stories are judged in six categories—Team, Individual, Youth, Readers’ Choice, Judge’s Choice and Out-of-Towners—and winning writers amass prize packages collectively worth thousands, including a golden sledgehammer trophy.

The contest is the brainchild of Ali McCart, Ooligan alum and founder of Indigo Editing, an independent editing, design, and publication management firm based out of Portland, OR.

Ooligan Press has been a proud sponsor of the Sledgehammer Writing Contest for the past seven years. Good luck, Sledgehammer Writers!

The Pilgrimage Begins

This summer, there’s exciting news for all of us here at Ooligan: we recently acquired a fantastic memoir by Allison Green that deals with youth, growth, travel, sexuality, literature, and trout.

The story hinges on a roadtrip Allison took through Idaho to retrace (roughly) the route taken by Richard Brautigan, his wife, and his daughter that he describes in his 1967 novel Trout Fishing in America. As Allison and her partner, Arline, drive east toward the Sawtooth Mountains, her story expands outward and backward, exploring her own past and family history as well as Brautigan’s life and the women—largely silent in his works—who occupied it. Allison’s story is about looking at the past with the knowledge of the present. It is about reconciling the desire to worship our heroes and the need to admit their imperfections. It’s a reflection on the urge that we, the living, feel to find real evidence of the people that have made us who we are—the ancestors we barely knew, the writers who changed the way we thought—and the sort of holiness that we assign the places they visited, the objects they touched.

Although we’ve only been working on this manuscript for a short time, I have to admit that I am completely in love with it. I hope that you will be, too.