University Press of Kentucky Launches New Imprint to Discover Creative Black Writers

The University Press of Kentucky has announced a new publishing imprint, Screen Door Press.

The new entity is dedicated to discovering unique, exceptional, and varied voices within Black literary traditions. The imprint will celebrate the very best in fiction — short stories, novellas, and novels — across a broad range of categories. The goal of Screen Door Press is to publish thought-provoking books that feature relatable characters, strong narratives, and beautiful language to champion diverse views from throughout the Black diaspora.

Each year, up to two submissions will be selected for publication. Submissions will go through the University Press of Kentucky’s normal publication process, including peer review, editorial board approval, copy editing, production, and marketing.

The new imprint will be edited by award-winning and critically acclaimed author Crystal Wilkinson, Bush-Holbrook Endowed Professor at the University of Kentucky. Professor Wilkinson is the author of The Birds of Opulence (University of Kentucky Press, 2016), winner of the Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence.

“In the past few years more books have been published by people of color but there is still a significant gap in the industry and so many talented Black authors get missed in the big machine of publishing,” said Professor Wilkinson. “It is often the case that all Black writing (even if it is written well) is not valued by mainstream publishers. It is my hope that this imprint is able to make a significant impact on helping bridge that gap for Black writers.”

A native of Hamilton, Ohio, Wilkinson grew up on her grandparents’ farm in Indian Creek, Kentucky. She is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, where she majored in journalism. Wilkinson holds a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from Spaulding University in Louisville, Kentucky.

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