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Oregon Literary Fellowship Recipient: Ooligan Press

We’re excited to be featuring the 2016 Oregon Literary Fellowship recipients on our blog this spring! The applications for 2017 fellowships are due Friday, June 24, 2016 and you can read the guidelines and download an application by clicking here.

2016 Oregon Literary Fellowship Recipient

Ooligan Press



Mission Statement

Ooligan Press is a general trade publisher with national distribution rooted in the rich literary tradition of the Pacific Northwest. A region widely recognized for its unique and innovative sensibilities, this small corner of America is one of the most diverse in the United States, comprising urban centers, small towns, and wilderness areas. Its residents range from ranchers, loggers, and small business owners to scientists, inventors, and corporate executives. From this wealth of culture, Ooligan Press aspires to discover works that reflect the values and attitudes that inspire so many to call the Northwest their home.

Founded in 2001, Ooligan is a teaching press dedicated to the art and craft of publishing. Affiliated with Portland State University, the press is staffed by students pursuing master’s degrees in an apprenticeship program under the guidance of a core faculty of publishing professionals.

Q&A with Literary Arts (Thanks to Abbey Gaterud, Publisher!)

1. What are your sources of inspiration?

We are thrilled that this particular project, Rhythm in the Rain, was chosen as the project to be supported by the OLF. This book celebrates the history of the Pacific Northwest’s jazz scene and its connection to this particular place we call home. As an Oregon publisher, this book feels analogous in a lot of ways to what we do and stand for: bringing light to unheard stories, promoting the arts in our region, and working with our community partners to drive the development of storytelling forward. So the fact that this fellowship supports this book is pretty sweet to us.

What projects are you currently working on? 

Our latest book—Memories Flow in Our Veins: 40 Years of Women’s Writing from CALYX—is a collaborative project with CALYX Press out of Corvallis celebrating their 40th year of publishing. It’s an awesome collection of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction that revisits some of the most prevalent themes in CALYX’s long history.

Coming in October we have a debut collection of short stories from Kait Heacock, Siblings and Other Disappointments. Megan Kruse (Call Me Home) says, “Heacock’s stories feel like tiny homecomings,” and Kevin Sampsell (This is Between Us) thinks “this book is one hearty hello to an impressive new storyteller.” 

Next February will see the third book in Ruth Tenzer Feldman’s young adult series. Seven Stitches, which tells the story of Meryem Zarfati and her struggle to recover, deal with her grief, and rebuild her neighborhood after the Big One—the Cascadia subduction zone earthquake. This will conclude the series that started with the Oregon Book Award-winning Blue Thread.

April and May of 2017 will bring two books that celebrate the rivers of our region: a debut novel about riverboat communities on the Columbia by Tualatin writer Brian Friesen and the 25th anniversary edition of the Oregon classic, Ricochet River by Robin Cody, which will include new supplementary content and teacher’s resources.

We are prepping for Write to Publish 2017, which will be held February 4, 2017. This annual conference seeks to demystify the publishing process for emerging writers. Each year, Write to Publish provides writers’ workshops, panels, vendors, and speeches hosted by authors and industry professionals, as well as raffles and writing contests with exciting prizes. These events offer emerging writers information about the state of the publishing industry and advise them on how to navigate it successfully.

And finally, we just acquired a new young adult novel from Washington writer Meagan Macvie. We’re just getting started on this one, but it’s a story of growing up and growing out of your hometown and the pressures of figuring out who you’re supposed to be as a young woman with big ideas.

A busy slate, but we’re completely thrilled with the new voices and stories we can bring to Oregon readers. We’re so happy that the Oregon Literary Fellowship can help us bring these books into the world.

OLF Judge’s Comments

The Ghosts Who Travel with Me: A Literary Pilgrimage through Brautigan’s America, by Allison Green, is a memoir that fits nicely within the broader category of creative nonfiction. Richard Brautigan and his travels recounted in his beautifully titled book Trout Fishing in America serve mostly as a pretext for Allison Green to write in a very engaging manner about her life in general and more specifically about her partnership with fellow traveler and closest friend Arline. Traveling with these two is a real pleasure for the reader, thanks to the intimate and amusing narrative voice of Allison Green.

—Peter Stitt

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