Celebrating 10 Years of “Publishing with a Purpose”

As 2016 draws to a close, and the start of the new year approaches, we at PenUltimate Press are celebrating ten years of “publishing with a purpose.” We know that the successes we’ve experienced during these past years would not have been possible without our loyal supporters. Because of you, PenUltimate Press continues to exceed its goals to publish works of compelling literary interest penned by our area’s most creative writers. Allow me to share a few of the highlights of our history:

  • January 2006 Penultimate Press, Inc. founded. The press opens with two publications: Notes from Paris (Sullivan, W.) and Breast Cancer: One Illness, Two Women, Four Seasons (Havard, M. E. and Openlander, M.).
  • April 2007 PenUltimate Press receives tax-exempt status and soon after receives its first Missouri Arts Council grant toward publication of Evoking Tang: An Anthology of Classical Chinese Poetry (Qiu Xiaolong).
  • June 2008 Evoking Tang named a finalist for the Independent Book Publishers Association Ben Franklin Award.
  • November 2008 Are We Feeling Better Yet? Women Speak about Health Care in America (McKee, C. and Stiebel, A.) releases with an endorsement from then-Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sibelius.
  • March 2009 Are We Feeling Better Yet? coeditor Colleen McKee provides testimony for the National Institutes of Health.
  • April 2010 Meet Me: Writers in St. Louis (Rankovic, C.) publishes. The book is chosen as a 2011 finalist for the Missouri Center for the Book President’s Award and later wins the Cerise Press (international online journal) Nonfiction Book of the Year Award.
  • August 2010 PenUltimate contracts with the distribution arm of the University of Chicago Press for book distribution. PenUltimate launches the Missouri Lives Series— designed to explore the rich cultural heritage and diverse familial experiences of Missourians—with the release of The Voice of Water: Reflections on a Rural Life (Jamieson, T.).
  • September 2010 God’s Acres (Gerard, D.), the second work in the Missouri Lives Series, is published.
  • April 2011 God’s Acres wins 2011 Oklahoma Center for the Book Award.
  • November 2011 Publication of the third work in the Missouri Lives Series, Up from Canaan: The African American Journey from Mound Bayou to St. Louis( Hamilton, T.). Later tops local bestseller list.
  • March 2012 PenUltimate Press’s director founds the Saint Louis Literary Consortium.
  • February 2013 Morada al Sur (Arturo, A., Shapiro, R., translator) publishes with an endorsement from Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
  • June 2014 Publication of Living True: Lesbian Women Share Stories of Faith (O’Gorman, M. and Perkins, A.). Later tops local bestseller list.
  • October 2014 Release of Both Wings Flappin’, Still Not Flyin’ (Ibur, J.). PenUltimate Press, as a member of the Saint Louis Literary Consortium, sponsors Lit in the Lou, the areawide St. Louis literary festival, and honors William Gass with the first annual Tradition of Literary Excellence Award.
  • June 2015 Ernst & Tillie (Neitzel, R.), the fourth work in the Missouri Lives Series, publishes. PenUltimate Press, as a member of the Saint Louis Literary Consortium, sponsors Lit in the Lou and honors poet Jayne O. Wayne with the Tradition of Literary Excellence Award.
  • The year 2016 has been a particularly exciting one, and 2017 promises to continue that trend. New works on the horizon include a collection of letters titledLetters, Unsent (Yara Zgheib) and two volumes of poetry—Sing it like a God: American Poems (Jabari Asim) and The Little Mrs./Misses (Jane Ellen Ibur). Read more about these titles here. From Lit in the Lou to Pride Fest, our authors continue to be a presence, sharing their prose and poetry with diverse audiences at schools, signings, conferences, and festivals across the state of Missouri and beyond its borders.
PenUltimate Press has been fortunate during its years of operation to receive the generous support of several private donors and of the Missouri Arts Council, whose funding must be matched. As grant support for the literary arts continues to be strained by competing demands, finding the funds to meet our operational needs is no small feat. Yet we feel confident that we can count on you to help us continue to provide new audiences with fine writing by emerging authors. Please join us in celebrating our success with a donation: help us move forward and continue to grow in 2017.

Hoping to hear from you soon, we thank you in advance.

Winnie Sullivan, Executive Director
PenUltimate Press, Inc.

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