Flying Ketchup Press, Kansas City, MO, celebrates its four-year anniversary and two new imprints with a launch party, book fair, & fundraiser for local kids. Visitors can buy books from local authors, participate in a silent art auction, tour the iWerx art gallery, taste treats from Rosa’s Pastry, and also donate copies to The Urban Scholastic Center, a nonprofit ministry for Wyandotte and Kansas City, Kansas Kids, with an afterschool and literacy program that gives out over 13000 books a year to students. https://www.theusc.org/
Date September 10, from 1 to 4 p.m.
Publisher Websites: www.flyingketchuppress.com
Location: Jan Jensen Artists & Galleries at iWerx, 1520 Clay Street, in North Kansas City, Missouri 64116
Danielle, D. Williams & LeAnne Litka, Picture books
Kevin Callahan and Polly McCann, Memoir
Melinda Cordell, Fantasy & Non-Fiction
Beth Gulley & Poet T.L. Sanders, Poetry
Celebrated Book Releases:
A Sheltering Place: Musings of an Iowa Farm Boy by Kevin Callahan, Flying Ketchup Press
Pray Like a Woman by Polly McCann, Light Shine Books
Hitch a Ride on the Color Express by Danielle D. Williams, Flying Ketchup Kids
What’s That Sound? By LeAnne Litka, Flying Ketchup Kids
Tiny Fish: Meditations on Freedom, Beth Gulley, Pinch of Salt Press
Poet t.l.sanders, "knew: The Poetic Screenplay," Flying Ketchup Press
The five imprints at Flying Ketchup Press:
Flying Ketchup Kids
Light Shine Books
Salt & Fig Books/ Pinch of Salt Press
Coyote Point Press
Flying Ketchup Press is a trademarked small press located in Kansas City, Missouri. The company was founded by managing editor, Polly Alice McCann, a Kansas City visual artist and author. Now with five imprints under its belt, the publisher will be throwing a group Author’s Book Party and launch on Saturday, September 10, from 1 to 4 p.m.
Flying Ketchup Press ® was founded in 2018 to champion new and diverse voices in short fiction and poetry. We publish and produce books, ebooks, anthologies, podcasts, radio, lit magazines, and contemporary media. Our dream: to share worlds of wonder and delight, to tell your story. www.flyingketchuppress.com. They are a family-owned and operated business in Kansas City, MO, founded in 2018 by two tough Midwestern women and single moms, Polly Alice McCann & Dr. Alice Hixson, that come from a long line of publishers, editors, book dealers, and storytellers.
Several of Flying Ketchup’s published authors will be in attendance at the anniversary celebration for book signings & readings of their latest works published by the company: Kēvin Callahan, LeAnne Litka, Danielle D. Williams, Poet t.l. sanders, and poet, Beth Gulley.
The newest release: Kēvin Callahan’s memoir A SHELTERING PLACE, September 1st, is a collection of short stories as memoir by Kansas City painter, sculptor, and poet, Kēvin Callahan. The memoir is written in a tribute to his boyhood in southern Iowa. Inspired by his original reoccurring column in his hometown paper, Callahan weaves in the recipe for a daily life richly observed with wit, wisdom, and original sketches. The narratives share longing and heartache, wrestling mats and hunting escapades, first kisses, and 1970s rock and roll. This is the true heartland: making ends meet, celebrating each other–an American Artist’s life well-lived.
Flying Ketchup Kids is expanding and growing with a new managing Editor and Audio Book Producer, Nina Bricko, to emphasize diverse voices, folk heritage, and character-driven stories. Read more
Danielle D. William’s picture book came out earlier this year. Hitch A Ride On The Color Express will celebrate its audiobook launch at the festivities. It was published under the Flying Ketchup for Kids Imprint. It is a story about a little boy named Chuck. In his room, he imagines his art becomes a train to The Colorful Places. “He discovers that colors are something more than what he originally thought and that your imagination can take you anywhere,” said Williams.
In 2021 Danielle D. Williams and the managing editor teamed up to help a local nonprofit share stories with kids. The Foster Grandparent Program connects low-income volunteers age 55 and over with opportunities to provide one-on-one mentoring, nurturing, and support to children with exceptional needs or who are at an academic, social or financial disadvantage. They volunteer in early education centers, schools, and hospitals in a caring and consistent way. Part of AmeriCorps Seniors, foremost caring adult role models committed to seeing young people thrive and succeed, took two workshops with McCann and together wrote a picture book to share with Kansas City kids that contained their best childhood memories along with their messages for kids on dealing with trauma. The resulting book illustrated by Williams became Apple, the Cat. A story about a fat city cat and his Kansas City family who survive a house fire and must live on their aunt’s farm over the summer. After the shut down, Foster Grandparents were able to return to classrooms and read the book they created together to students.
LeAnne Litka’s concept book helps young students who struggle with learning to read. What’s that Sound? was the first of Flying Ketchup Press’s picture books, and will be releasing its hardback this month. The book’s inception came from a place in her heart and because of her art-hand printed paper cutouts. Over and above, an ABC book, "What's That Sound?" teaches the letters in the order of the most common sounds with the same strategic visual concepts used by literacy specialists in the field.
“Standing in classrooms watching students, I was in awe of all the little things that needed to fall into place for a child to become a reader. I noticed where some of the disconnects were happening with kids like my son with dyslexia.… One day, on a long car ride, the first lines of the book came to me in a song, as if they were downloaded to my brain. I stopped the car, wrote them down, and started on the book the next day,” said Litka. Thus the seeds were planted for the creation of the book....Reading, when you get it, it's like eating ice cream." Litka says she can't wait to share that with more classrooms this fall. This time instead of standing at the back of the classroom as a para, she's excited to visit as an author.
What is the vision for starting a Midwest publishing company during the closing of so many publishers and world crises and change? When the company launched in 2018, McCann turned her warehouse art studio into the Ketchup office. When rent doubled during the COVID19 shutdown, her team split back into home office spaces. Like many creatives, the staff has many jobs between them as graphic designers, parents, artists, poets, writers, professors, and many other side gigs, but they haven’t given up writing, editing, and connecting regional writers because they believe that storytelling changes both writers and readers, uniting diverse audiences. “Being a writer from Kansas City means we come from a long line of ornery people who weld words: Kansas City is said to be the birthplace of the tall tale. People here will tell you their whole life story, and then they will be your friend for life. We wanted to take that attitude out to the publishing world. People like Hemmingway (who once worked at the Kansas City Star) and Mark Twain, an author who was great at getting in trouble for humor that went over people’s heads, began their writing careers in this area. Walt Disney had his famous experience with talking to a mouse in an alley on 31st street; he found inspiration for his comeback moment right here in Kansas City.”
Kansas City’s culture of great storytellers led to their idea: to help new and diverse voices in short story and poetry books. We decided a small press could bring the two worlds together quickly, and we decided to go old school—back to the day when a short story was a little longer, a bit more developed. It gets you noticed. Stories have a way of sticking with you, sometimes over a lifetime, in a way that other genres don’t. So we set out to look for the next Hemmingway, the next Washington Irving, the next Isaac Asimov, the next Ray Bradbury, the next Zora Neal Hurston, the next Flannery O’Connor, the next Shirley Jackson, and more. We basically shook off an old idea and refilled it with a 21st-century mindset because knew it was just the right size for us.” Our dream is to share worlds of wonder and delight through diverse voices that inspire more creativity, encourages artistic communities, and keep great work from getting ‘lost’ in a drawer. Ketchup stands for helping writers catch up. We want artists to unbottle their creativity by finding an audience!
McCann created a special picture book and folk tale to celebrate and share the energy behind the motto at Flying Ketchup Press: to help writers catch up. She believes that creativity needs an audience to thrive and sometimes a new recipe for a new audience. In her Kansas City picture book TOMIE Q. BARBEQUE, McCann shares a new take on the traditional Midwest folktale. Tomie Q., an old-time ketchup peddler, who is looking for the recipe for true love then accidentally invents...Barbeque sauce! She collaborated on the project with Mary Anne Hendrix, a watercolorist from Dodge City, Kansas, who studied fashion design at Kansas State University. Hendrix teaches elementary art and lives on her family farm with a variety of horses, cows, and calico cats. The book releases later this month, and early advanced reader copies will be available at the launch!
It’s been a busy year for McCann, like Callahan, also penned a memoir that will be launched at the celebration. Pray Like A Woman, released August 6, under the new imprint Light Shine Books. Tiger Mother meets The Power of A Praying Wife, one ordinary woman’s life journey through prayer and faith. McCann tells stories from her real life, like working with migrant workers, standing in bread-lines and visiting hippie nuns; her journey from budding college student to pastor’s wife, from single mother to small businesswoman, from writer to speaker, believing in God for both small and big miracles of the heart.
Publishing and prayer run deep in Polly’s family. Polly’s father, Stan Hixson, worked for a Christian publishing company in MN in the 70s before becoming a distributor known as Light Shine Books. The company closed briefly in the early 90s, only to become Great Ideas at themustard.com, one of the first online stores in an internet mall. When she turned forty, McCann saw the local bookstores closing and felt a crisis of faith. “I remembered my father and grandfather running Light Shine Books. They were so happy to host book parties and taco nights. They hauled around boxes of books, set up book racks, and talked to the store managers. They drove faith-based books to area grocery stores all over the Midwest, like Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri. They had fun and felt like they were making a difference. I missed some of those simpler times. So, I honored their memory by writing a book like they would have sold–a story of my faith journey. I wanted to share my unique ecumenical point of view because I’ve been everywhere. I am surprised by the really warm reception the book has received.” says Polly
History of the Press: In August of 2018, Flying Ketchup Press opened its doors for its first calls for writers. “We chose two themes: Tales from the Goldilocks Zone and Tales from the Dream Zone. First, we wanted to see a change in our local writing community. Writers we knew seemed to be giving up on their writing without resources for connecting with other writers and especially for outlets for publishing. As with any creative field, if there isn’t enough opportunity to share your creativity with your community, it dries up. Meanwhile, the readers we met were also dying–for want of a good story. We quench that need this Halloween, TALES FROM THE DEEP, illustrated by local legend and muralist Alex Eickhoff @eyecoughart. This winter, their long-awaited anthology will be released. NIGHT FOREST: FOLK ART & STORIES featuring poets Gary Beaumier & Katharyn Howd Machan and Parisian artist Elke Trittle will come out with over 70 authors and artists. New contests open in September on Submittable: “Is your story full of surprises, twists, mysterious creatures, technological wonder, and new things we've never thought of? Then welcome home to Flying Ketchup Press. Submit today!” stated McCann.
Come out and join the celebration and meet some of Kansas City’s best new writers and artists!
Polly Alice McCann
FEATURED PICTURE BOOKS
HITCH A RIDE ON THE COLOR EXPRESS–written and illustrated by Danielle D. Williams. Meet Chuck, a creative but messy boy, Chuck is stuck inside on a rainy day. In his room, he imagines his art becomes a train to The Colorful Places. With his friends Lion, Hippo, and Giraffe, he finds that colors are something more than he thought possible and that imagination can take you anywhere. More than a concept book of colors, this adventure book created by classroom art teacher Danielle D. Williams for young children exploring the concept of color. DANIELLE D. WILLIAMS has a BFA in Animation from Massachusetts College of Art & Design. She has also taught art as a Continuing Education Instructor for the Kansas City Art Institute, and private schools in Massachusetts and Kansas. In 2016, Danielle completed her Master’s in Teaching and Learning; now, she's an author-illustrator who writes books, for the very young, with an emphasis on kinetic learning and imagination. She wants to help young people know art and imagination are both fun and healing skills for life.
WHAT'S THAT SOUND? Written and illustrated by LeAnne Bauman Litka. Over and above, an ABC book, "What's That Sound?" teaches the letters in the order of the most common sounds with the same strategic visual concepts used by literacy specialists in the field. Using artfully hand-cut illustrations, author-illustrator LeAnne Bauman Litka playfully engages young readers in a fun and engaging new experience as they are rewarded by the increased self-confidence from a foundational understanding of their new letter friends.LeAnne BAUMAN LITKA: Kansas illustrator and author with a passion for literacy and art. She creates cut-paper illustrations from handmade monoprints with creative color patterns. Maker of llama t-shirts, fairy doors, and other creative endeavors, her favorite thing is her morning studio time. LeAnne studied art and design at Kansas State University before beginning her own studio practice. She uses her art and writing both for personal enjoyment, and to create whimsical, one-of-a-kind, resources for students, parents, and teachers. A mother of four grown kids, she lives in the Kansas City area with her family and her Siberian husky. Look out for more books and ideas in her series of fun and inspiring resources. Find out more at LeAnneLitka.com
TOMIE Q. BARBEQUE-written by POLLY MCCANN and illustrated by MARY HENDRIX This new take on the traditional Midwest folktale shares the journey of Tomie Q., an old-time ketchup peddler, who is looking for the recipe for true love then accidentally invents...Barbeque sauce! Tomie delivers ketchup from every trading post from Blue Bill to Crazy Cow until he meets Anna Suzanna and must find a new taste to win her heart. Tomie meets many friends on the frontier and the old-time pioneer friends like cowboys, a spice woman, and a preacher and his whole congregation, but no one has just the right recipe until they discover they must band together to create something new! Finding a new recipe is an adventure you won't forget. MARY ANNE HENDRIX is a watercolorist from Dodge City, Kansas. She studied fashion design at Kansas State University. Throughout her art career, she has worked in many different mediums. She teaches elementary art and loves to travel to the SouthWest for its warm vistas. She lives on her family farm with a variety of horses, cows, and calico cats. And when they hold still, she paints them in her favorite color--cadmium yellow. Find out more about her creative work at http://www.hendrixstudiosnow.com. Polly Alice MCCANN writes and illustrates children’s books. She thinks stories are all about exploring our imaginations, creating new places, new worlds, and new friends. She has a secret love for hearts and an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Hamline University. She is always planning the next adventure to share with whoever will come along. She lives in Kansas City, MO, by a creek with a bridge. Check out her other books at PollyMcCann.com
APPLE THE CAT-illustrated by DANIELLE D. WILLIAMS and written by POLLY ALICE MCCANN. Apple is a very grumpy cat who likes everything to stay the same in his comfortable life in the city, but when he and his family lose their house to a fire, Apple must go with Lulu, CeCe, and Zuri to visit Grandma O. at Summertime Farm. This book was created through a story writing program with RECONCILIATION SERVICES. Over a dozen grandparents participated in three writing workshops to create a picture book to read to kids in Kansas City. The participants agreed that their heroes were their parents and those who spoke into their lives. They shared stories of travel, and stories of loss, of new pets, love and family, and all kinds of adventures. What kinds of stories and books resonated with students the most? True ones. And they explored what they wanted to pass on: honoring family and faith, finding challenging careers, and overcoming hardship. The compilation of those workshops and characters built by these amazing storytellers became this book! The FOSTER GRANDPARENT PROGRAM connects low-income volunteers age 55 and over with opportunities to provide one-on-one mentoring, nurturing, and support to children with exceptional needs or who are at an academic, social or financial disadvantage. They volunteer in early education centers, schools, and hospitals in a caring and consistent way. The Foster Grandparent Program is part of AmeriCorps Seniors, which enables seniors across America to use their time and talents to give back to their communities. The RS Foster Grandparents Program serves Jackson County in Kansas City, Missouri. Whether helping with school readiness, emotional support, tutoring, or offering other physical and educational support, RS Foster Grandparents are first and foremost caring adult role models committed to seeing young people thrive and succeed.
FEATURED MEMOIR/ SHORT STORIES and our August 2022 releases
A SHELTERING PLACE is a memoir by Kēvin Callahan, award-winning painter, designer, photographer, and poet, in tribute to his boyhood in southern Iowa. Inspired by his original reoccurring column in his hometown paper, Callahan weaves in the recipe for a daily life richly observed with wit, wisdom, and original sketches. The narratives share longing and heartache; wrestling mats and hunting escapades; first kisses and 1970s rock and roll. This is the true heartland: making ends meet, celebrating each other–an American Artist’s life well-lived. Callahan writes: “…that little boy growing up and running free on the Iowa prairies still lives inside me.Kēvin CALLAHAN, author, artist, traveler has a BFA from Drake University and studied art at both the Chicago and San Francisco Art Institutes. Callahan is an “accidental poet," the author of many published short stories and a novel. His award-winning artwork hangs in collections throughout the United States and in Canada, Europe, and Israel. His distinctive modern portraits and figures are shown worldwide, including a line of handcrafted wood items at prairieprimitive.net. He maintains a studio and gallery, the Elegant Line, in Parkville, Missouri, where he resides with his wife, Karen. His two grown sons are both accomplished artists. You can find more of Kēvin's artwork at http://kevin-Callahan.artistwebsites.com
PRAY LIKE A WOMAN-Devoid of "Christianese" or hard-to-get religious concepts, McCann shares fresh insight through twelve easy-to-remember prayers like "basket prayer," "patchwork prayer," and "flag prayer." Blended with stories from her real life: working with migrant workers, standing in bread lines, visiting hippie nuns, Polly Alice shares her journey from budding college student to Pastor's wife; from single mother to small businesswoman; from writer to speaker; believing in God for both small and big miracles of the heart. Artist, POLLY ALICE MCCANN, has served in every capacity at your local church except lawn care and Pastor (and well, she has never baptized anyone.) Just when her hope seemed the most shattered, Polly was blown away by the story of Tabitha–an artist who came back to life. With the images of Tabitha's grieving friends holding up her creations fresh in Polly's mind, she set out to explore the idea of healing through prayer. First through small textile collages, then large oil paintings, and finally sixty-six letters to friends. Twelve of those meditations became this memoir, "Pray Like a Woman."
Beth Gulley’s poetry inspires tiny spasms of delight when we imagine the daily gleaning of words and insight from a life of observation, humor, and love of what is fair and right. In this collection, the long-time writing professor and poet draws inspiration from time spent fishing with her now-grown children. This tiny chapbook of meditations on the lone swimmer both real and mythical often casts a light on the freedom of independence. On the one hand, these poems can be read quite literally. On the other hand, "Little Fish" reminds readers of our strength to rise up. The poems are paired with full-color paintings by poet, Polly Alice McCann.
Beth Gulley is a Kansas poet and professor at Johnson County Community College. Her full-length poetry collections areDragon Eggs, The Sticky Note Alphabet, and The Love of Ornamental Fish. She recently published chapbooks, $!*# HoleCountries: A Find and Replace Meditation, and Since Corona Ruined Our Trip to the Library. Her poems also appear in the Bards Against Hunger Anthology, From Everywhere a Little: A Migration Anthology, and the Thorny Locust. Amember of the Kansas Authors Club, the Riverfront Reading Committee, she also serves on the Writers Place board. She's a long-time volunteer at My Father's House Community Services. When she is not writing, teaching, or volunteering, she tries to get lost in the woods as much as possible. For more about Beth, follow her blog athttps://timeeasesallthings.wordpress.com/.
kNew is a lyrical screenplay at the heart of open mic. Like jazz, T.L. Sanders' poetry is his affinity for sound. “Intense, gripping . . . a one-two punch . . . written in fire and delivered with thunder," writes reviewer Kelly Luck. These debut poems present Dr. James Dean, a quiet family man who goes back to Kansas City to mourn the death of a father he hardly knew. The Blue Room holds just another stage where anyone can spit some lyrics. But this night, a new vision awakes when a community grieves a prodigal father. Something new emerges in the hearts of those willing to speak their truth . . . and just who takes the stage might surprise you.
“Knew” is a hybrid lyrical screenplay in the heart of open mic night at the famous Blue Room in Kansas City's Jazz District. These poems are part of a story T.L. Sanders weaves around Dr. J. Dean, a quiet family man who leaves his job at Penn State to fly to Kansas City to mourn the death of a father he hardly knew. There, in the old neighborhood where his father Terry Dean performed, The Blue Room holds just another stage where anyone can spit some lyrics. But this night, a new vision awakes when a community grieves a prodigal father. Something new emerges in the hearts of those willing to speak their truth . . . and just who takes the stage might surprise you. What characterizes T.L. Sanders' spoken word poetry is his affinity for sound. He choreographs sound the way an artist chooses color. What we have here is an artist willing to let words tell their own tale, to rise up from the ashes and to weave characters you rarely meet on the blank page. However, you'll recognize these people-- people you’ve met in your neighborhood or in the reflection of your mirror.
Flying Ketchup Press ® is a traditional trademarked press. We champion new and diverse voices in short fiction and poetry. Our dream is to share worlds of wonder and delight.
Flying Ketchup Kids: Our mission is to produce children's books with a brilliant new spin on learning and reading, a fantastical twist on story, and characters who light up our imaginations. From concept books to folk traditions, we want to connect diverse voices to young audiences in all media, including audio, print, digital, and braille books. Managing Editor, Nina Bricko.
Light Shine Books is the new inspiration imprint of Flying Ketchup Press, inviting readers into creative, courageous moments of daily meditation and faith. Light Shine exists to share diverse contemporary expressions of spirituality through thoughtful, engaging books and media. Submissions through Submittable.com throughout the year. Managing Editor, Polly McCann
Salt & Fig Books & Pinch of Salt Press publish folksy, narrative, free verse that is down-to-earth and strangely satisfying. We specialize in yearly anthology and hybrid art and poetry collections featuring local and regional authors! Poetry editor Beth Gulley
Coyote Point Press is the literary imprint of Flying Ketchup Press, publishing short story collections of the highest caliber. We believe in fiction that pushes the boundaries of genres and spans emotional landscapes, taking readers behind the masks and under the skin of our evocative, complicated and frail humanity. New managing editor, JoAnneh Nagler
Ketchupedia is an outreach of Flying Ketchup Press ® a grassroots network to connect the Kansas City & regional writers community through weekly blogs, a writer's word of the day podcast, a FB networking group, a live poetry radio show, poet-in-residences, open mics, classes, and events. These tools allow regional artists to explore motivation, creative goals, and advocacy. Our editorial mentorships create an exponential poet-tree effect. Making room for poetry as a space for personal narrative that empowers, heals, and unites diverse audiences.
Upcoming Anthologies: New contests open September 2022
Tales from the Deep, Short Fiction illustrated by Alex Eickhoff, Holloween 2022
Night Forest, Folk Poetry and Story featuring poets Gary Baumier and Katharyn Howd Machan and artist Elke Trittle, Winter 2022
Sprouts Meditations: Artists, Poets & Writers, Feb 2023
Universe in a Bottle: Tales from Time, Space & Robot Dogs Winter 2023
Flying Ketchup Press ® founded in 2018 to champion new and diverse voices in short fiction and poetry. Home | Flying Ketchup Press
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