University of Mississippi

Brown Bag Lecture – University Press of Mississippi

March 20, 2013 @ 7:00 am – 8:00 am
Barnard Observatory Lecture Hall
Center for the Study of Southern Culture(662)915-5993E-mail

University Press of Mississippi offers publishing guidance in “How to Parse a Press”

On Wednesday, March 20, 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. In these sessions, they will help faculty and authors 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? Biggins and Yates will present resources and strategies available to scholars to sleuth this out.

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 at

Biggins is a book editor at University Press of Mississippi, 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 University Press of Mississippi. 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.