Content Tagged ‘meg reid’

The Future of Publishing: Meg Reid of Hub City Press

In our newest series, The Future of Publishing, we’re excited to reintroduce alumni of UNCW’s publishing program, including former Ecotone and Lookout staffers, who have gone on to careers in the industry. To help celebrate the launch of Lookout’s redesigned website, we begin with a profile of Hub City’s Meg Reid.


Reid designed the cover to Trespass: Ecotone Essayists Beyond the Boundaries of Place, Identity, and Feminism

Lookout Books is more than a haven for books that matter; it’s a teaching press under the auspices of the Publishing Laboratory at UNCW, making it also a haven for apprentice editors and publishers. The imprint and its sister magazine, Ecotone, offer students hands-on opportunities to gain experience in editing, marketing, publicity, design, and everything in between. Meg Reid, Director of Hub City Press in Spartanburg, South Carolina, was among the first class of students to support the work of the newly founded imprint.

The Lookout publishing practicum, taught by publisher Emily Smith, “completely prepared her for working for a small press,” Reid says, “which involves balancing a lot of plates and wearing a lot of hats.” While working for the press, she drafted grants, planned author readings and book tours, and wrote design briefs for artists.

“I always liked that we were called on to talk about the books in public often. I learned how to summarize a book, while communicating its important themes and resonances—a skill I use often now, pitching reps and booksellers,” Reid notes.

As part of her graduate work in writing and publishing, Reid enrolled in the Lookout practicum class multiple semesters and helped publish three titles: Edith Pearlman’s Binocular Vision, Steve Almond’s God Bless America, and John Rybicki’s When All the World Is Old. She found it exhilarating to help build the imprint. “Edith’s book was a strike of lightning—we were brand new and suddenly in a national spotlight. I still regularly gift people Binocular Vision—to my mind, it’s the gold standard of short story collections.”

As director of Hub City Press, where she has worked since 2013, Reid now publishes between five to seven books a year in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. She oversees the publishing program and helps realize Hub City’s mission to find and advocate for extraordinary voices from the American south.

“Though our mission is more geographically specific, we share Lookout’s commitment to finding and nurturing underrepresented voices—voices that might not otherwise be heard,” Reid says, “and like Lookout, through robust marketing and publicity efforts, enter them into the larger literary dialogue. By offering these voices a national platform, we’re able to transform and expand the national perception of the American South in literature and beyond.”

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Seven Questions for Hub City

Next stop on our virtual road trip: Hub City Bookshop in Spartanburg, SC. Unique among the stores we visited, this store is also home to a thriving independent press and literary arts organization. Founded in 1995 by a trio of writers who wanted to preserve a sense of place in their rapidly changing Southern city, the Hub City Writers Project hosts workshops and a summer writers conference, contributing to the vibrant literary scene in Spartanburg.

The award-winning Hub City Press publishes high-quality works with an emphasis on the Southern experience. Celebrating their twentieth anniversary this year, they’ve included more than five hundred writers in sixty-six books, aided in renovating several historic buildings, and provided residencies and scholarships to emerging writers. The bookstore itself is the result of a renovation of the eighty-three-year-old Masonic Temple in Spartanburg’s blooming downtown.

Lookout’s publisher, Emily Louise Smith, was the organization’s inaugural writer-in-residence in 2006, and its deputy director, Meg Reid, was one of Lookout’s first, faithful staff members. All to say, we’re big fans of this organization and the terrific work they do.

We spoke with the charming Anne Waters, bookshop manager, to learn what all the hubbub’s about.

 

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The Hub City crew, including founders John Lane and Betsy Teter (front and center) and Meg Reid, Anne Waters, Michel Stone, and Rachel Richardson

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