UPM presents "How to Parse a Press"

During University Press Week (November 11-17, 2012) Walter Biggins and Steve Yates with University Press of Mississippi will give a presentation they call “How to Parse a Press.” Both Biggins and Yates are university press publishing professionals and published fiction writers. 

Both Biggins and Yates tend to look at presses with these bifocal views, writer and publisher, often at the same time. They not only understand how university presses operate, but also understand how to sift market possibilities and detect acquisitions needs and trends. 

They will use these talents to aid scholars on  the following dates (check back for times and campus locations):
  • November 12, 11 AM Mississippi State University, Mitchell Memorial Library, 4th Floor of the Templeton Music Museum
  • November 13, University of Mississippi (Oxford)
  • November 14, Jackson State University (Jackson)
In these sessions, they will help faculty discover ways to discern which university press might be right for a particular manuscript. 

How do you tell what a publisher wants? What topics are certain publishers good at publishing? How does a press reveal its core competencies and structure? What characteristics can show the prospecting scholar with a manuscript what a university press is like? What it does well? What it might not do well? At three of University Press of Mississippi’s eight supporting institutions, Biggins and Yates will present resources and strategies available to scholars to sleuth this out. 

They delivered the first of what will be eight presentations at University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg in October. Later in the spring of 2013, Biggins and Yates will help scholars at all of UPM’s supporting institutions when they visit Alcorn State University, Delta State University, Mississippi University for Women, and MississipValley State University. 

UPM regularly visits the campuses of its eight supporting state universities to offer faculty publishing advice and expertise. Previous visits to campuses can be viewed here.

Biggins is a book editor at UPM, acquiring 25-30 books annually in the fields of African American studies, popular culture studies, American literary and cultural studies, and Caribbean studies. His essays and fiction have been published in Salon, Bookslut, PopMatters, Jackson Free Press, The Baseball Chronicle, and Valley Voices: A Literary Review

Yates is assistant director/marketing director of UPM. He has been with the press in Jackson since 1998, and was previously assistant marketing manager at University of Arkansas Press. He is the winner of the Juniper Prize in fiction and his collection, Some Kinds of Love: Stories will be published by University of Massachusetts Press in April 2013. His stories have appeared in TriQuarterly, Southwest Review, Missouri Review, and many other places.