WriteWords Press is a small, independent grassroots literary publisher in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. With a small line of Bay Area authors, WriteWords press is dedicated to giving a publishing platform to a few self-determined voices. Including services for printing, marketing and networking, WriteWords Press is the independent author’s dream realized. Self-empowerment through literary art!
W.W.P. is currently not open to author submissions, but please contact us if you are interested, and we will let you know when spots open up.
WriteWords Press was started on January 19, 2007 in Martinez, CA when I walked into a small old brick one-story office in Martinez, CA to register it at the County Clerk Recorder’s office.
The quaint town of Martinez lies on the water’s edge where the Sacramento River meets the San Francisco Bay. There were many birds in the wetlands near where I parked my car that gray day. A few gulls followed screeching as I walked the two blocks down Main Street to the County Building.
That January day there was a new moon in the sign of Capricorn, signifying the goat who climbs mountains. This appealed to me. I had the planets of Mercury (mind) and Mars (energy) in the sign of Capricorn at the time of my birth. And I was going to need that mountain goat energy.
Ahead of me in line at the Contra Costa County Clerk’s Office were two couples applying for marriage licenses. One couple was young with both sets of parents as witnesses, the other way past middle-age, a lot like myself, though I was a single woman. We stood in a straggling line that ended at a glass-windowed linoleum countertop on the other side of which a harried clerk with touseled hair sat with a bowed head over her computer.
After years of indecision about starting my own publishing business, I felt focused, clear-headed and resolute. Why was I taking on this Olympian task of launching WriteWords Press? Simply put, I was ready. Finally.
In fact, I had become a master of writing without realizing it.I’ve always loved literature, especially novels, and read vociferously. Since I was seven and read The Boxcar Children, I have been addicted to good stories.I had studied the great works of English and American literature as an undergraduate and graduate English major. I revered the art of fiction writing as a way of seeing beyond ourselves, into the meaning of our lives.
Besides, I was sick and tired of hoping I’d write the perfect query letter to the understanding agent with a penchant for underdogs. I was sick and tired of mailing out novel manuscripts with the accompanying SASE (for Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope). I was sick and tired of receiving those endemic rejection letters, no matter whether they were hand-written, typed or xeroxed forms. Some were complimentary, others inordinately critical. A few recipients included lengthy apologies or their own autobiographies.
Now I was finished with all that. No more did I want to spend my time frightened of the big brown stuffed return envelope with my returned manuscript that sooner or later would appear in my mailbox. No more did I want to spend my time praying for the agent who would recognize my work and take me on despite the overwhelming odds. The truth is I HAD that agent decades ago, a famous agent from New York City. But she backed off when no publisher took me up.
But neither the stars, my planets in Capricorn, my literary hard knocks or my weariness would have gotten me into that line I was standing in ready to announce WriteWords Press and my novels to the world. No, I owed my courage to more than myself.
A lot of it had to do with my children, especially my oldest son who complained loudly in no uncertain terms, “I don’t want to have an failed novelist as a mother!” I couldn’t let him down! I deserved to give Chris a better image of his mother than that.
Then there was an educational program I had begun a year before. In a last ditch attempt to regroup at age 60, I did this to come to terms with myself as a writer. But an amazing thing happened. The terms I assigned to myself disappeared. Instead I was coached to strike out into uncharted (and up till now unacceptable to me) territory. But was it really unknown to me? From my years as a technical writer, I knew well the nuts and bolts of writing, editing and putting a book together. No matter what content I was writing about, I thrilled with each contract as the writing took shape and clarity on my watch.
Yes, I was ready to become a small press publisher. Why not take a leap into a new land, a world of action, and birth a small press? I would not wait any longer for someone else to take me by the hand. I would make it happen myself.
Yes, that was a gray day on the Straits of Carquinez four years ago when I stood in line.
But I like gray days–Margaret C. Murray