Community Member Q&A: Kallisto Gaia Press

“Be true to your craft but share your vision and your work with your tribe. Community will give you an anchor.”

-Tony Burnett

Kallisto Gaia Press is a nonprofit literary organization and publisher focused on supporting writers at all stages of their careers. They don’t shy away from experimental or unusual approaches to literature, and their goal is to promote finely crafted writing with an expressive and meaningful voice.

In addition to supporting and promoting authors, Kallisto Gaia Press is a proud Community Member of the Writers’ League of Texas. Read the interview below with founder (and WLT Board President) Tony Burnett to find out more.

Scribe: Tell us a little about why you founded Kallisto Gaia Press, the meaning of its name, and its mission.

Tony Burnett: Formed in 2013, Kallisto Gaia Press was originally intended as a hub for emerging writers of any age to find a venue for publication. In late 2016, with several other scribes and literary enthusiasts, we incorporated as a nonprofit and modified our mission statement. We seek to publish and promote writers from underserved communities alongside established voices while insuring that our authors are compensated for their art.

The name, Kallisto Gaia, originates in Greek mythology. Kallisto, loosely translated, means “most beautiful” and Gaia means “earth.” Of course, as in most myths, there’s a lot more to the story and it’s a nail-biter. On our website (www.kallistogaiapress.org) there is enough info about the origin to send you down that rabbit hole.

Scribe: What is the Ocotillo Review?

TB: The Ocotillo Review (TOR) is a literary journal in print format that publishes in summer and winter. Our desire is to give voice to an international sampling of journalists, storytellers, and poets from viewpoints that reflect diversity of culture and open lines of communication. Oh, and did I mention we pay? Details can be found on our website.

Scribe: How can writers submit to the Ocotillo Review?

TB: We take all submissions through Submittable. We charge a $3 reading fee that we split with the Submittable website. That allows us to receive an unlimited number of submissions and the software enables our all volunteer staff to manage the submissions effectively. It also helps pay the writers we publish. Submissions for TOR are open August 15th through October 31st and January 15th through March 31st. Guidelines are listed on our website and occasionally change.

Scribe: What is the Texas Poetry Calendar?

TB: Betty Davis and Lianne Mercer founded the Texas Poetry Calendar in 1999 as a planner/calendar/journal containing poetry from Texas-based poets and poems with Texas as their subject. It has featured work from Texas Poet Laureates and other award-winning poets along with emerging poets from many backgrounds. To my knowledge we will be the third publishing company to produce the TPC. We were fortunate enough to be chosen by Dos Gatos Press to continue this iconic Texas tradition. We are grateful to have Cindy Huyser agree to edit the first edition under our imprint as she has edited six of the previous ten Calendars. Submissions of Texas related poetry for the 2019 calendar will open December 1st 2017 and close February 10th 2018. Watch our website for further details.

Scribe: As a writer yourself, what is one piece of advice you’d give to aspiring writers?

TB: Be true to your craft but share your vision and your work with your tribe. Community will give you an anchor.

Scribe: What’s important to you about supporting the Writers’ League of Texas and being a community member?

TB: The word “community” says it all. I work with a number of writer-focused organizations and I can say from experience that not only is the WLT one of the premier writing organizations in America, it also serves statewide as an umbrella organization. The WLT works with other writer groups, universities, schools, and libraries to maximize the impact of its members’ focus, be it on craft, community, or the business aspect of our chosen art form.

Scribe: Here at the Writers’ League, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one Texas-related book that has come out within the past year that you couldn’t put down?

TB: That’s a tough one. This last year has been a banner year for Texas’ writers. One book I remember reading in one sitting is Owen Egerton’s new novel, Hollow. After reading it I took a short nap and started back at the beginning to grasp how he’d pulled it off. I’ve followed his career for years and each book seems to eclipse the previous masterpiece. I’m a fan.

Thanks, Tony!

Click here to visit Kallisto Gaia Press’s website.

Are you a business or organization interested in getting involved?

Community Membership is a great way to connect with the Writers’ League’s membership base and share news and information about writing-related services and events. For more information on Community Membership click here or call our office at (512) 499-8914.

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