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Jennifer Baum, Publisher and Founder, Scribe Publishing Company

My literary career began as a bookseller at a B Dalton bookstore inside a mall in the 90s. It was a great time to be alive, a time when people (not me) were publishing ‘zines in their basements.

In college, I was able to volunteer a few hours a week at Western’s literary magazine, Third Coast, where I helped tame the poetry slush pile. It was a great honor, and my only time spent with a physical slush pile. I also honed my love of linguistics and rhetoric while working at Western Michigan University’s Writing Center, where I learned everything I could about working with writers.

My plan was to pursue a publishing graduate program somewhere out east, but after graduation, I fell into a rewarding business communications career. After ten years, I left full-time work in favor of freelance opportunities, and thus had the time, mental space, experience and money (just enough of each to be dangerous) to begin working on a small press of my own.

Throughout my career I’ve worked with talented writers, many who had been rejected over and over by the large houses. I wanted to help make their voices heard, and I felt I could identify the ones who deserved the chance to be heard. We launched in the Fall of 2012 with two debut books, and one of them won a book of the year award from Foreword Reviews’ IndieFab awards. It felt like I was doing something right. I enjoy bringing content into book form, and the awards my books have won compelled me to keep going. Today, half of our titles have won one or more national or regional awards.

I like being outside in all seasons, buying ridiculous things at REI, being on the water, being in the woods, visiting urban areas, national parks, traveling, listening to music, cooking, yoga, weight training, bicycling, hiking, paddle boarding, foreign languages, linguistics and rhetoric.