Hazel Grace Press came about in the summer of 2020, when Rachel Rogers finally stopped dreaming and started doing.
The name? Hazel Grace Press. Chosen. The ambition to launch a publishing company? Set. The single-minded goal of bridging the chasms between times, places, experiences, and even each other, with nothing but stories? Scribbled into being at a coffee shop. That one conversation that really started it all? It happened. A few weeks later, in a very unassuming way…
“HEY!” Rachel texted a friend. “How would you feel about maybe publishing our paintbrush story? With illustrations? As a book? It might need revisions. I don’t even remember.”
(Spoiler: The story did not need “revisions.” It needed a complete rewrite, and an intense copyedit.)
The reply was immediate: “HEY! ANSWER! YES!”
As Hazel Grace Press keeps turning pages into the future, we’ve heard a resounding “YES!” more than once since then. And we’re convinced it will continue to be a beautiful adventure for a long time to come. We hope you’ll join us on the journey.
Wisdom. Inspiration. Grace. Nourishment.
Hazel (n.) — A small tree which traditionally symbolizes wisdom and inspiration. It bears the nourishing hazelnut, and its bark and leaves contain abundant healing properties.
Grace (n.) — Kindness, extended regardless of merit. A salve that covers wounds, a patching clay that fills in wherever there is brokenness. A manner of doing or saying things that makes them acceptable, suitable, or pleasant.
Our Take on Social Media
We decided early on that social media wasn’t the way to go for Hazel Grace Press. The typical chaos of social media wasn’t something we wanted to battle.
Instead, we built a straightforward set of ways to keep up on news and contact us:
A blog updated once a month.
A newsletter sent out once every two weeks.
An email address for you to contact us anytime.
Our hope is that this will be a quieter, calmer way for you to stay in-the-know. To read more about why we said no to social media, click here.
Hazel Grace Press rapidly outgrew its beginning as the one-woman undertaking of Rachel Rogers, Editor-in-Chief. Within the first 6 months, Buddy Lieberman joined the team as Editorial Assistant, and Kara Bazley became the fabulous illustrator of our debut project, The Broken Paintbrush.
A whole community of eager supporters sprung up around the Hazel Grace vision, too: invaluably helpful and encouraging critique readers, talented logo artist Mariposa Aristeo, and too many others to name here. Hazel Grace Press would not be possible without each one of them, and we are grateful.
Rachel sometimes thinks she began breathing stories before she ever noticed air, but she’s still an unlikely candidate for founder of a publishing house. She doesn’t have a graduate degree in English, and she’s never even been to New York. Instead, she has an English degree from a local community college, and she was raised on her family’s entrepreneurship.
She learned a secret very early: Find the right story, and it’ll forever be your light in dark corners, your soft place to land, your reminder that you aren’t alone. That’s why Rachel founded Hazel Grace Press in 2020—to find and share those stories, and the artists and wordsmiths who create them, with the readers who need them most.
Rachel is a published fiction and nonfiction writer whose work has been featured in a niche market magazine and a literary journal. With training in creative storytelling and corporate storytelling, her experience with writing, editing, and advising writers includes both technical and academic documents, as well as creative works. She has also worked in administrative roles, developing processes and providing behind-the-scenes logistical support, and as a storytelling advisor, helping to develop the vibe and voice of the brand.
Buddy was born in Southern California, moved down from the mountains, and settled into the Piney Woods of East Texas. He resides there as a martial arts kinesthetics teacher and system developer who writes on the side–both fiction and non-fiction.
Ever since he was a boy, Buddy’s dream has been to meet the world with laughter that shakes fear, and courage that stands beside sadness. Such stories he writes, hoping that others will join him in his cause—or, at least get the chance to laugh in the face of fear, just once, too.
If you find Buddy reading, it could be anything from from Greek myth to Russian literature to American period fiction, with a nice sprinkling of Frank Herbert, Orson Scott Card, N.D. Wilson, and J.R.R. Tolkien.
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