Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Namelos Guest Authors

As my blog followers know, I sometimes have guest authors post about their publishing journeys. When I got an e-mail asking if I'd like to hear about the experiences of five new namelos authors, I jumped on the chance. Here's the overview they put together on their publisher:

Namelos was founded in 2009 by Stephen Roxburgh. One of the foremost editors in children’s publishing (in his early career at Farrar, Straus & Giroux, he edited Roald Dahl, Madeleine L’Engle, and other great writers), Roxburgh left FSG to run his own Front Street Books. After building a stellar list there as well, with books that won many major awards in children’s literature, including nine National Book Award nominations, he left conventional publishing to start namelos, which he called an opening move in a new age of publishing.

Namelos uses current technology to the fullest for every phase of book production. The staff and authors communicate via e-mail and phone; books are printed on demand as hardcovers, paperbacks, and are also available in several e-formats; sales and publicity are predominately handled online. With this approach to making books, no offices or warehouses are necessary. The staff and authors work together with a sense of shared responsibility and reward.

The namelos model is not without controversy. It has come under fire from the Authors Guild, and it has been mistaken for vanity publishing (especially because it also offers critiquing services). But Roxburgh made adjustments in order to meet the criticism and has steadily gained industry-wide acceptance. Most recently the company was sanctioned by SCBWI, which has finally added it to their approved list of publishers, and namelos books are reviewed by all the top journals (Horn Book, School Library Journal, Booklist, Publishers Weekly, etc.) and considered for all the big awards.

Books published by namelos have received starred reviews in major publications and have made Kirkus Reviews’ best-of-the-year list. In 2010 a namelos title was an ALA’s Batchelder Award Honor Book for an outstanding children’s book translated into English. Three namelos titles were selected by Bank Street College for their Best Children’s Books of the Year, 2012 edition. Chicago Public Schools, Pennsylvania School Library Association, and Kansas NEA Reading Circle have included books from namelos on their most recent best books lists.

While Stephen Roxburgh sometimes describes his company as being on the “lunatic fringe,” it’s possible that namelos is actually on the “cutting edge” of publishing.

For the next six Wednesdays, five namelos authors will be guests here on “Write Like a Pro.”

 Alina Klein studied biology at Utah State University. Her first publications were science articles for young children and a picture book, Martimus at Midnight, published by the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Currently, she is an assistant regional advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Alina lives in Indiana with her husband and two sons. Rape Girl is her first novel.

Carol Fisher Saller is the author of Eddie's War, about an Illinois farm boy during WWII, and writes for the Lingua Franca blog at the Chronicle of Higher Education. At the University of Chicago Press she copyedits book manuscripts and is an editor of the Chicago Manual of Style. 

Nancy Bo Flood is a counselor, teacher, and parent. She has conducted workshops on child abuse, learning disabilities, play therapy, and creative writing. Ms. Flood has lived in Malawi, Hawaii, Japan, and Saipan, where her first novel, Warriors in theCrossfire, is set. She lives on the Navajo Nation reservation, near Flagstaff, Arizona.

Shannon Wiersbitzky wrote her first book in elementary school. Unfortunately she illustrated it too. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons. The Summer of Hammers and Angels, about a young girl who learns the power of love and community, is her first novel.

Sheila Kelly Welch writes for children of all ages. Her story, “The Holding-On Night,” based on her mother’s recollections of the 1918 pandemic, was published in Cricket and won the International Reading Association’s Short Story Award. Waiting to Forget was inspired by her children who were adopted at school age.

Stop by next Wednesday for a conversation between the authors. Then they'll each post individually during the following weeks. (I'll continue with craft posts on Fridays.)


  1. Holy catfish, what a line-up! Looking forward to all this!

  2. I'll be reading each Wednesday. These authors sound knowledgeable and loaded with super stories.

  3. I loved EDDIE'S WAR, (historical novel in verse), and WAITING TO FORGET is heartbreaking! I haven't read the other books yet, but they're on my list!

  4. Hi!

    I'm stopping by to thank Chris for featuring some of us namelos authors. We appreciate the chance to let people know about us and our books. Thanks to Chris and all of you who've read this introduction. I hope you'll visit this informative blog regularly.