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Forest Avenue Press

You might think that Southwest Portland is an unlikely locale for a literary press. But Laura Stanfill, Hillsdale resident and publisher of Forest Avenue Press, will tell you to think again. by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Laura Stanfill

A former copy editor for The Connection, Stanfill is a journalist-turned-writer-turned-publisher (though she definitely still writes).

With the publishing industry in New York increasingly consolidated and inaccessible, she said, “I thought, ‘Why are we waiting on New York? We should print Oregon writers, and print them locally.’”

Featuring several Southwest Portland writers and copy-edited by Annie Denning Hille of Ashcreek, Stanfill compiled a collection of 42 essays and interviews in the anthology “Brave on the Page: Oregon Writers on Craft and the Creative Life,” published in October 2012.

Having purchased the ISBN for that title in a package of 10, Stanfill had her work cut out for her, and started scoping out what the next book in the Forest Avenue Press catalogue might be.

At a birthday party for her former writing teacher Stevan Allred, she got her answer. The guest of honor was writing a linked short story collection about the fictional Oregon town of Renata, similar in many ways to his home, Estacada.

With the release of Allred’s book, “A Simplified Map of the Real World,” Forest Avenue Press has had new momentum, and Stanfill is looking forward to releasing two new novels in 2014:

•“The Gods of Second Chances,” Dan Berne's debut novel about an Alaskan fisherman raising his granddaughter, will be released in March.

•“Skin Drag,” a debut novel by poet Kate Gray, about bullying in an East Coast boarding school in September.

In the interval between novel releases, Forest Avenue Press will also publish a yet-to-be-titled Oregon short story anthology edited by Liz Prato of Multnomah Village, slated for release in May — Short Story Month.

“The anthology that netted 167 submissions from around the state, including tiny communities I had never heard of,” Stanfill said. “We're looking at this as a spectacular opportunity to grow our Forest Avenue community in the state.”

But Stanfill said Southwest continues to hold a special place in her heart; she was first introduced to Allred by a member of her writer’s group that met at Annie Bloom’s Books in Multnomah Village.

“I trace back my whole sense of community around Steve's writing,” she said, “but it all started at Annie Bloom’s Books.”

If you go

Stevan Allred will be reading from “A Simplified Map of the Real World,” the second and latest title released by Forest Avenue Press publisher and Hillsdale resident Laura Stanfill, at Annie Bloom’s Books in Multnomah Village, 7834 SW Capitol Highway, on Oct. 14 at 7 p.m.