Sunday, March 13, 2016

Changing of the Guard

From the Editor's Desk, Eileen Wiedbrauk, World Weaver Press

Last month, I announced that I was stepping down as Editor-in-Chief of World Weaver Press, the speculative fiction small press I founded in 2012, to be succeeded by Sarena Ulibarri.

I am thrilled with what I've accomplished as Editor-in-Chief and by how far we've come in just under four years. My time as co-founder of the press has been fantastic, primarily because I've had the chance to work with such great authors crafting intensely interesting novels. I think that every reader of speculative fiction should pick up a World Weaver Press title, not because I published them, but because they are such damn engaging stories crafted by truly artful storytellers, each working in her own idiom.

I'm happy to be handing off the creative direction -- both for continuing the series we've started and to seek out new ones -- to someone who shares our vision and passion for speculative fiction and who can continue to drive World Weaver Press forward.

In her welcome post last week, Sarena Ulibarri writes:

Ever since I became aware of World Weaver Press in 2013, I’ve known it was a special corner of the publishing world, brimming with talent. The gorgeous covers and professional presentation of these books made it clear the publisher truly cared about them, and the colorful, creative, and passionate stories between those gorgeous covers always exceeded my expectations. Each World Weaver Press book is a gem, and I am grateful Eileen Wiedbrauk was able to shine each of them up and put them on display.

I joined the World Weaver Press team as an Assistant Editor in late 2014, shortly after I had finished my MFA program and attended the 6-week Clarion Writers’ Workshop. For a few months after Clarion, I felt like I was in a constant freefall. World Weaver Press gave me a place to land — a place where all my skills and passions mattered. I’m a writer too, of course, but editing, whether at the developmental level or the copy editing stage, is deeply satisfying work for me. I have learned so much about great storytelling from Eileen and from the other World Weaver Press editors and anthologists.

Over the last couple of months, I’ve had the opportunity to interact with the World Weaver Press/Red Moon Romance authors and editors at a deeper level while we prepared for this transition, and let me tell you: these are amazing people. The stories we've published and will soon publish are stories that take you far from the mundane and weave bright and interesting new worlds. Our editors are fiercely in love with the projects they’ve chosen to work on, and that love comes through in every step of the publication process. ​
In a twist that may only appeal to me, I have to mention the absolutely adorable new graphic she's chosen for her "From the Editor's Desk" posts. It still features a cup of coffee, but it now has a tiny potted cactus -- appropriate as the press's management is now moving from the Midwest to Southwest. The original "From the Editor's Desk" graphic (above) was a shot of my actual desk at the creation of WWP. A lovely IKEA feature that has since been retired after extensive, shape-changing use. The pictured moleskine notebooks, Lamy pen, and coffee mug are still very much a part of my life, however.

But isn't that the crux of life? That we are more like shape-changing IKEA desks than quality fountain pens? That the course of use changes our shape, and shape changes our intent, and eventually, our use.

It was a fascinating journey, my time as Editor-in-Chief. Some of that time was indeed spent editing, but as any editor or small business owner knows, your primary job is project management regardless of the title you hold. I'm grateful for the experience. I'm met some great people. Grown through tackling the challenges. And I'm ready to face the next chapter of my life with great vigor and determination.

One thing I'm doing in the immediate present (as opposed to the near-future present, which is totally a thing -- I swear), is freelance book design. I am available on a for-hire basis to individuals and small presses to design cover art, format ebooks, and design interior paperback layouts. Information here.

Remember how I said an editor's job is a "project manager"? Well, at a small press that's only a few year's old, it's also book formatter and cover designer. I am responsible for crafting all of the books for WWP from early 2012 to the end of 2015. The move to doing this on a for-hire basis is a natural one for me. I'll even be continuing to do the occasional cover project or other project for WWP.

Later this spring (is it spring yet? I'm ready to be done with snow) I will be rolling out pre-designed book covers for purchase. I'll post another announcement when that happens. I'm really looking forward to the gallery of all the pretty covers!

Highly Recommended