Small Press Points

Poets and Writers - - Trends -

July 13 holds

spe­cial im­por­tance for writer and pub­lisher Le­land Cheuk. Not only is it the day that, in 2014, he found out his life had been saved by a suc­cess­ful bone mar­row trans­plant from a stranger, but it’s also the day that his first novel, The Mis­ad­ven­tures of Sul­liver Pong, was picked up by the Chicago Cen­ter for Lit­er­a­ture and Pho­tog­ra­phy. Two years later, on the same day, Thought Cat­a­log sent him an of­fer for his first story col­lec­tion, Let­ters From Di­nosaurs. So when Cheuk de­cided to start his own small press in 2016, he didn’t hes­i­tate to name it 7.13 Books ( Pub­lish­ing four to five fic­tion ti­tles a year from de­but writ­ers, the press seeks to of­fer “a pub­lish­ing experience that’s re­spect­ful to and even rev­er­ent of first-time au­thors.” Cheuk wants the press, which is lo­cated in New York City, to avoid the pit­falls of both tra­di­tional pub­lish­ing houses— which he de­scribes as elit­ist and at risk of pub­lish­ing the same kinds of books—and in­die presses, which he ad­mits are of­ten un­der­staffed and un­re­spon­sive. Cheuk replies to each sub­mis­sion within four to eight weeks and of­fers brief con­struc­tive feed­back even for those he re­jects. The writ­ing—not a writer’s pedi­gree—mat­ters to him most. In July, 7.13 Books will pub­lish Wil­lie Davis’s Night­wolf, about a seven­teen-year-old dropout whose brother has gone miss­ing, and in the fall the press will re­lease Jenn Stroud Ross­mann’s The Place You’re Sup­posed to Laugh, about a work­ing-class fam­ily in Cal­i­for­nia’s Sil­i­con Val­ley. Cheuk says both nov­els have wit and hu­mor, not­ing that his own taste leans to­ward lit­er­ary come­dies. Sub­mis­sions of story col­lec­tions and nov­els are open un­til Novem­ber 1 via Sub­mit­table.

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