BSP Announces our Flagship Authors

Here’s our “official” press release:

Blank Slate Press Announces Flagship Authors
Anene Tressler-Hauschultz and Fred Venturini Selected by Editorial Review Board

ST LOUIS, Missouri, July 6, 2010—After an open application process and three-month search for authors in the greater Saint Louis area, Blank Slate Press is pleased to announce Anene Tressler-Hauschultz and Fred Venturini as its flagship authors. Founded in February by three  St. Louis residents with experience with writing and publishing, Kristina Blank Makansi, Jason Makansi, and Jamey Stegmaier, the Blank Slate Press’ goal is to “discover, nurture, publish, and promote” new voices from among the many talented writers in our area. The selection process was aided by an Editorial Review Board comprised of nine diverse area readers

Ms. Tressler-Hauschultz’s novel is a character-driven work focusing on a St. Louis priest and hospital counselor whose already beleaguered life begins to unravel after he is tapped to minister to a small South American circus bequeathed to an order of aging nuns in St. Louis. Ms. Tressler-Hauschultz, is an award-winning fiction and poetry writer whose work has appeared in Best of Writers at Work anthology, The Distillery, Treasure House, Currents, River Blossom and Word Wright’s. While at UMSL, she won the English Department’s  annual prizes for fiction and for poetry and she has studied with Richard Bausch at Johns Hopkins, Nicholas Delbanco at Breadloaf, Claire Messud at Sewanee, Lorrie Moore at Vermont Studio Center, and Robert Olmstead at Rappahannnock. She also attended two workshops at the University of Iowa’s summer program and spent a month at Wellspring House in Massachusetts.  Most recently, she has taken two semester-long poetry classes with David Clewell, poet laureate of Missouri. She holds undergraduate degrees in Communications and Nursing from Saint Louis University, Masters Degrees from Washington University and the University of Missouri, St. Louis, and she teaches scriptwriting and media writing as an adjunct professor in the School of Communications at Webster University.

Mr.  Venturini’s novel examines the dark side of human nature as it follows a bright but outcast young man who, after he discovers he can regrow limbs and organs, becomes the star of The Samaritan,  a television reality show on which injured or dying patients literally win a piece of him. Mr. Venturini, received a B.S. in English from MacMurray College in 2002, and an MFA from Lindenwood University in 2009. He has 19 short stories published or due to be published. From tightly woven horror and unmitigated creepiness, to literary fiction, Fred’s gift for pacing and clarity—and for getting under your skin—is beyond powerful. Best-selling novelist Chuck Palahniuk called “Gasoline,” one of Mr. Venturini’s short stories, “solid gold fantastic.” Fatally Yours, a book review blog, called his story “Detail,” included in Death Panel, a collection of short stories published by Comet Press, “My absolute favorite of the collection …. Precise and perfect, this short story had me by the short hairs,” while another reviewer described it as “where CSI meets Car and Driver.”

“Although Anene and Fred were the clear choices of everyone on the Editorial Review Board, we were delighted at both the number and quality of the author applications we received,” said Kristina Blank Makansi, Blank Slate Press’ CEO. “Now, we are excited to work with both Anene and Fred and to promote and showcase two of the talented writers from our region.”

About Blank Slate Press

Blank Slate Press is a newly formed literary arts incubator and publishing company focusing exclusively on discovering, nurturing, publishing and promoting authors from the greater Saint Louis region. Blank Slate Press acts as a partner to its selected authors and works with them to build the author’s brand, adhere to milestones to complete their work, and create and implement an innovative, customized marketing plan for the author and his/her work. Blank Slate Press brings the latest technologies and social networking ideas to bear on the writing, publishing, delivery and promotion of literary works, and seeks to apply a venture capitalist sensibility to publishing. For more information on how to help Blank Slate Press support area writers, please visit, http://blankslatepress.com.

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