The Opposite of Fossilization

We’re going to take the energy and enthusiasm from AWP 2017 and put it to good use. We are thankful for the people who stopped by, picked up a bookmark or a flyer (or both!), and promised to stay in touch.

This is US staying in touch. We will be better about updating this.

Thank you first to Jacquelyn Bengfort (@jacib on Twitter), who provided the blackout/redacted poem for our bookmarks – the first objet d’art created by BMP with the help of our friends at Morrell Printing in Lafayette, Colorado (shop local!).

So what is we’re about? What kind of writing does Barnacle Mountain Press want to publish? Where do they (we) fit in the larger literary and publishing worlds?

Someone asked “What ground to you want to occupy?”

Let us remind our friends and readers that BMP might have been raised in the mountains, but we were born at sea. We therefore have no land to occupy. Our ground is shifting seabed and rising peaks.

Barnacle Mountain aims to provide a home and platform for “emerging veteran writers.”




Let’s break this down.

“Veteran.” Perhaps the simplest of the three words to define. If someone served in the military of their country (or someone else’s), then they are eligible. We won’t ask for a DD-214 (or its equivalent) but take you at your word that you served. We do not and will not discriminate based on branch of service, service history or deployment status, type of discharge, age, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religious beliefs (or lack thereof), physical or mental ability, linguistic familiarity, or any other chosen or adopted identities.

“Emerging.” This word calls to mind creatures crawling out of primordial seas and onto land; this may be close to what we seek. We celebrate and learn from those veterans who have found success in the writing world – Phil Klay, Kevin Powers, Kayla Williams, and many others. Their work should be read, and often, and by someone who knows how. As writers we only improve by finding out where in the lineage we exist (for even if we strike out on our own literary paths, we do so in relation to the trails they’ve blazed). If you have a book deal, congratulations. If you have an agent, keep up the good work. But if you’ve had a few things published here and there (online or otherwise), or are shopping a manuscript, or want to pitch an idea, then maybe BMP can help you.

“Writers.” Writing. Perhaps the toughest to define, but let us try. Or maybe first, what we’re not looking for. Not the next Tom Clancy. (What does that even mean?) Not American Sniper or Lone Survivor. Something closer to One Bullet Away than Strategy and Tactics, Volume 2. We are more interested in the anti-memoir than the memoir. (Ask us and we’ll split our heads open, together, coming to a definition of that.) Poetry, which doesn’t “have to” rhyme. (It doesn’t “have to” do anything except be new.) Fiction, stories that surprise us. Essays, interviews, novels, collections of verbs and nouns and maybe adjectives (and we hold no prejudice against adverbs).

We will put out more detailed calls for submissions. We will target solicitations to writers we think have dangerous work that needs to be shared. We may put out themed collections, or have contests. We will keep you posted. Guidance will be forthcoming.

We will help you find a home for your writing – if not us, then we’ll figure out who. If your work doesn’t quite fit our goals, we’ll ask around. If it doesn’t fit to print, we’ll try it out online. And if we make money at this, then you will share in our rewards.

Emerging veteran writers.

There are fossilized remains of barnacles in the highest mountains. They emerged once, too. But we are looking for living barnacles and we will make our own mountains.


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