Blair is a new, nonprofit press combining the lists of Carolina Wren Press and John F. Blair, Publisher.
We strive to publish quality writing, focusing on authors and subjects historically neglected by mainstream publishers, including women, people of color, authors with disabilities, and LGBT authors. True to our roots in North Carolina, we look to the many voices of the South—and beyond—as sources of work and inspiration.
The new Blair organization combines the strengths of its predecessors. Like John F. Blair, we offer new and backlist books about culture, history, travel, and food in the Southeastern US and beyond. Strengthened by this backlist, Blair also continues to expand the mission of Carolina Wren Press, publishing additional literary fiction titles of both national and regional interest, with a focus on new and diverse voices.
Carolina Wren Press
Judy Hogan founded Carolina Wren Press in 1976. Throughout its history, the Press has published authors not only from North Carolina and the South at large, but from all over the country, with works of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction for adults.
Poet Andrea Selch directed the Press from 2003 until 2015, strengthening CWP’s national reputation through its poetry series with titles that include L. Lamar Wilson’s Sacrilegion and Evie Shockley’s a half-red sea. Selch also established the Bakwin Award for Writing by a Woman.
In 2013, Robin Miura joined Selch as Co-director of the Press and served as Director from 2015-2017. Miura, an independent editor who has previously worked at Press 53 and Oxford University Press, came to the Carolina Wren to strengthen its fiction list. Together with Board Member Lynn York, she established the Lee Smith Novel Prize, awarded biannually to a work of Southern fiction.
JOHN F. BLAIR, PUBLISHER
In 1954, John F. Blair published his first book, Whispering Pines, by John Henry Boner. This volume of poetry by a native of Salem, North Carolina, was first published by Brentano Brothers in 1883.
Long out of print, Whispering Pines became the first in a long line of poetry books that Blair published—not for commercial success, but for the pure love of the poetic word.
Along with poetry books came more commercially successful titles about coastal North Carolina, including the perennial best-selling Judge Charles Whedbee books of folklore. Through the years, literary gems that sold minimal copies were published alongside popular cookbooks and travel guides. Since that first book, John F. Blair, Publisher, has published several hundred other titles.
After Blair's death in 1986, his family decided to continue his legacy. Carolyn Sakowski, President, and Blair family member Margaret Couch led the enterprise for several decades, publishing award-winning fiction and nonfiction, continuing the mission of providing amazing books to North Carolinians, Southerners, and increasingly, the entire United States.
THE NEW BLAIR
In January 1, 2018, Sakowski and Couch retired and sold the titles of John F. Blair to the nonprofit Carolina Wren Press. In light of the legacy and reputation of John F. Blair, the new press took on the name Blair.
Who We ARE
Lynn York, Publisher
Lynn York is the author of two novels: The Piano Teacher (Plume, 2004) and The Sweet Life (Plume, 2007), a Booksense Notable Book. She holds a BA in English from Duke and an MBA/MA from University of TX Austin. She began her career as a college textbook rep for Prentice Hall in Texas and worked in telecommunications and satellite television industries in Washington, DC, before returning to her native North Carolina where she writes, teaches, and consults for a family business. She has worked with Carolina Wren Press since 2013, and, with Robin Miura, founded the Lee Smith Novel Prize. She has taught workshops at Duke’s Osher Institute, NC State University, High Point University, and elsewhere. She has served on the Board of Directors of the NC Arts Council, the NC Art Society, and Carolina Wren Press.
Robin Miura, Senior Editor & Assoc. Publisher
Robin Miura has worked in publishing for 17 years, first as a production editor for Oxford University Press and later as an editor for Press 53 (where she edited a novel and memoir series) as a freelance editor, proofreader, publishing consultant, and writing coach for publishing companies and individual authors. She has worked with all types of books, but her passion is literary fiction and creative nonfiction. Her freelance clients have included Algonquin Books, Oxford University Press, Duke University Press, River’s Edge Media, and University of North Carolina Press. She is also a founding editor of the online magazine South Writ Large.