My Experience With Small Press

Alban Lake is changing its name and website this year. It’s going to be Hiraeth SFF publishing and the new website is here. Mind that it’s still under construction but I cannot wait for the submission guidelines to open fully. It is going to be amazing.

I published my first two long works with Alban Lake and many short stories, with even poetry thrown into the mix. It was and is a wonderful experience. Traditional publishing is great; small press, however, helps with building relationships with your editors and writing well. I’m definitely looking for an agent but also appreciating my publications.

The Beginning

I started sending a handful of short stories to Sam Dot Publishing, where the Alban Lake editors ran magazines for kids and adults alike. Tyree, the editor, sent my favorite rejection letter to date. I giggled and saved it in my email. It’s still there, and Tyree has since accepted more stories.

Then in college on a whim, I sent several poems that I had written during freshman year. An editor named Terrie responded; we’re good friends now. She accepted one of them, and sent a check with a contributor’s copy. The other was in limbo for a while. After that, I started submitting to Alban Lake regularly.

Alban Lake and Sam’s Dot Publishing focused on speculative fiction. They had magazines about science fiction adventures for kids, fantasy poetry for adults, and more. In addition, Tyree the main editor published novellas, novels and short story collections. He still will do so at a different place.

Terrie read a short story that I sent and had revised several times; she convinced me that it would do better as a novella. I wrote the draft in about seven days and sent it to her. That became my first published long work, Carousel.

Small Press Benefits

One huge benefit of small press publishing is that the editors love your story, and they will work to make it the best one possible. In some cases, they will even scout for talent and reach out to people to find their potential. Terrie didn’t have to scout me out, but she did. She believed in me. I’m glad that she still does.

Also, you will see your book come out in a rapidly fast amount of time. It can take more than a year for a traditional book to come out. Mine also came out in a year but the schedule was consistent; any delays were due to me doing revisions on deadline. Tyree and Terrie were upfront about their expectations and the changes they wanted to see. That led to some pretty decent books.

I still send materials to Tyree and see if he likes them. Some have been published with Hiraeth now, and others he asks for changes. Terrie has since become my mentor and she is guiding my writer’s career. She is a wonderful editor to have.

It’s going to be different this year seeing Hiraeth instead of Alban Lake. I welcome the changes, and what will be coming.



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