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News & Press: IBPA Member News

Portland-Based Independent Press Launches a National Community-Building Writers’ Movement

Monday, January 23, 2017   (0 Comments)
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(Portland, OR - January 23, 2017) -- IBPA member Forest Avenue Press ( will launch the Main Street Writers Movement on Feb. 9. The movement encourages writers to engage in their local literary communities, amplify underrepresented voices, and support their neighborhood bookstores and small presses.

Laura Stanfill

“Forest Avenue began as a grassroots initiative in 2012 to create more opportunities for Oregon writers,” said Laura Stanfill, publisher and founder. “Although we went national two years later, we have continued to celebrate, promote, and mentor local authors and publishers. The Main Street Writers Movement takes our community-building mission to the national level, allowing us to activate and connect hubs of writerly goodness to increase readership and strengthen the literary ecosystem.”

The movement launches at the annual Association of Writers and Writing Programs annual conference, slated for Feb. 9-11, in Washington, D.C., where Forest Avenue will share a booth with Shade Mountain Press, a feminist press based in Albany, New York. Forest Avenue will give away a thousand notebooks created in partnership with Portland’s Scout Books and featuring a pledge for writers to sign, an action-item list, and quotes about why such a movement is necessary in these times.

“We are urging writers to leave their houses and to genuinely connect with other working writers in their communities,” Stanfill said. “Launching this movement in person, at a well-known writing conference, feels really organic to our mission.”

Publishers, editors, booksellers, and agents are lending their voices to the Main Street Writers Movement, including Jennifer Chen Tran, associate agent at Fuse Literary, who said, “Every writer needs a community to call their own. An inclusive world that supports first-time authors and mid-listers, underrepresented voices, and diversity in every incarnation. As competitive as the publishing world can be, we write because we ultimately want to connect, to find the humanity in each other, to build each other up. A movement like Main Street is a sorely needed initiative to sustain community among the challenging literary landscape, to give attention to what enriches our daily lives, to lift each other up as artists and human beings celebrating life.”

To join the movement, writers can print and sign the pledge (available starting on Feb. 9), sign up for the Main Street newsletter at, and share their own community stories with the hashtag #mainstreetwriters.

This pledge is embargoed until Feb. 9, when it will be available at and can be reprinted with the following credit line: Forest Avenue Press of Portland, Oregon, is the home of the Main Street Writers Movement. Learn more at

Contact Laura Stanfill at

About Forest Avenue Press

Forest Avenue Press, founded in 2012 in Portland, Oregon, publishes page-turning literary fiction. Our titles are infused with a fresh, complex, sometimes nutty, and often-wondrous approach to storytelling.

Forest Avenue is the home of the Main Street Writers Movement. (Parades welcome.) As a publishing house, we empower authors with transparency, organize an intense number of book-related events, encourage our readers to shop at indie bookstores, and applaud the successes of other authors and independent presses.

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