Soft Skull Press
Soft Skull Press is an independent
Independent business
In business, an independent business as a term of distinction generally refers to privately owned companies . Independent businesses most commonly take the form of sole-proprietorships...

 publisher founded by Sander Hicks
Sander Hicks
Sander Hicks is the founder of Soft Skull Press, and Vox Pop Inc. Raised in the DC area, he is the son of Norman Hicks, a progressive economist and anti-poverty specialist, who is retired from the . Raised Catholic, Sander attended Bishop Ireton High School, where he graduated with honors...

 in 1992, and run by Richard Eoin Nash from 2001 to 2009. In 2007, Nash sold Soft Skull to Counterpoint LLC
Counterpoint LLC
Counterpoint LLC is a publishing company distributed by Perseus Books Group launched in 2007. It was formed from the consolidation of three presses: Perseus' Counterpoint Press, Avalon Publishing Group's Shoemaker & Hoard and the independent Soft Skull Press. The company publishes books under the...

, where it continues to function as a division of the press. It is distributed by Publisher's Group West (PGW).

In December 2005, Richard Eoin Nash, on behalf of Soft Skull Press, was the recipient of the Miriam Bass Award for Creativity in Independent Publishing.

The press is currently located on 1919 Fifth Street in Berkeley
Berkeley, California
Berkeley is a city on the east shore of the San Francisco Bay in Northern California, United States. Its neighbors to the south are the cities of Oakland and Emeryville. To the north is the city of Albany and the unincorporated community of Kensington...

, CA. Laura Mazer is Executive Editor.


Soft Skull Press has published fiction and non-fiction for almost twenty years. Below is a partial list of authors published by Soft Skull Press.
  • Mark Ames
    Mark Ames
    Mark Ames is a writer known for his work as a Moscow-based expatriate American journalist and editor. He is the founding editor of the satirical biweekly the eXile in Moscow, to which he regularly contributed before he returned to America...

  • Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz
    Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz
    Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz is an American poet and writer. Recently, she was awarded a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for Poetry.-Life:...

  • Jennifer Barbee
  • Paul Berman
    Paul Berman
    Paul Berman is an American writer. His articles have been published in numerous periodicals, such as: The New Republic, The New York Times Book Review and Slate...

  • Sanjiv Bhattacharya
    Sanjiv Bhattacharya
    Sanjiv Bhattacharya is a British journalist, based in the USA. He was born in London and graduated from The University of Cambridge where he studied philosophy....

  • Lisa Carver
  • Alex Cohen
    Alex Cohen
    Alex Cohen is an American radio journalist currently working for KPCC in Pasadena, California as a host and reporter. Prior to KPCC, she was a host and reporter for NPR's daily news program, Day to Day. Cohen has also reported for American Public Media's financial news program Marketplace and...

  • Dennis Cooper
    Dennis Cooper
    Dennis Cooper is an American novelist, poet, critic, editor and performance artist.-Career:Cooper grew up the son of a wealthy businessman in Arcadia, California. His first forays into literature came early, focusing on imitations of Rimbaud, Verlaine, de Sade, and Baudelaire...

  • Mike Doughty
    Mike Doughty
    Mike Doughty is an American indie and alternative rock singer-songwriter. He led the band Soul Coughing in the 1990s, and in the 2000s, became a solo artist...

  • Mike Edison
    Mike Edison
    Mike Edison is a New York-based writer, editor, musician, and spoken word artist. He was the publisher of marijuana counterculture magazine High Times, and was later named editor-in-chief of Screw, the self-proclaimed "World's Greatest Newspaper." In his memoir I Have Fun Everywhere I Go, Edison...

  • Michelle Embree
    Michelle Embree
    Michelle Embree is an American novelist and dramatist originally from St. Louis, Missouri.A High School drop-out, she worked a series of low-wage jobs while earning her GED. Embree then attended McKendree College in Lebanon, Illinois, graduating in 2000 with a B.A...

  • Maggie Estep
    Maggie Estep
    Maggie Estep is an American poet and writer. She has published six books and released two spoken word albums: Love is a Dog From Hell and No More Mr. Nice Girl.Estep was born in 1963 in Summit, New Jersey...

  • Seth Fried
  • Brian Gage
    Brian Gage
    Brian Gage is an American author of satire, fairy tales, and fiction. He was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio.-Bibliography:*Snark, Inc...

  • Daphne Gottleib
  • James Hatfield
    James Hatfield
    James Howard Hatfield was an American author.- Fortunate Son and controversy :Hatfield was the author of Fortunate Son, a book which alleges that George W...

  • Sander Hicks
    Sander Hicks
    Sander Hicks is the founder of Soft Skull Press, and Vox Pop Inc. Raised in the DC area, he is the son of Norman Hicks, a progressive economist and anti-poverty specialist, who is retired from the . Raised Catholic, Sander attended Bishop Ireton High School, where he graduated with honors...

  • Peter Brown Hoffmeister
  • Jobie Hughes
    Jobie Hughes
    Jobie Hughes is an American writer and the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of I Am Number Four and The Power of Six, which were collaborations with writer James Frey. Both of the novels, published by HarperCollins under pseudonym Pittacus Lore, reached #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers...

  • K.Thor Jensen
  • Michael Muhammad Knight
    Michael Muhammad Knight
    Michael Muhammad Knight is an American Muslim novelist, journalist, and performance artist. His writings are popular among American Muslim youth...

  • Nick Mamatas
    Nick Mamatas
    Nick Mamatas is an American horror, science fiction and fantasy author and editor for the Haikasoru line of translated Japanese science fiction novels for Viz Media...

  • Douglas A. Martin
    Douglas A. Martin
    Douglas A. Martin is a poet, a novelist and a short story writer.-Biography:He was raised in Warner Robins, Georgia and moved to New York City in 1998...

  • Martin Millar
    Martin Millar
    Martin Millar is a critically acclaimed Scottish writer from Glasgow, now resident in London. He also writes the Thraxas series of fantasy novels under the pseudonym Martin Scott....

  • Lydia Millet
    Lydia Millet
    Lydia Millet is an American novelist. Her third novel, My Happy Life, won the 2003 PEN-USA Award for Fiction. Her fifth novel, Oh Pure and Radiant Heart was short-listed for the 2007 Arthur C. Clarke Award...

  • Daniel Nester
    Daniel Nester
    Daniel Murlin Nester , known as Daniel Nester, is a writer, editor, and poet.-Biography:...

  • Genesis P-Orridge
    Genesis P-Orridge
    Genesis Breyer P-Orridge is an English singer-songwriter, musician, writer and artist. P-Orridge's early confrontational performance work in COUM Transmissions in the late 1960s and early 1970s along with the industrial band Throbbing Gristle, which dealt with subjects such as prostitution,...

  • Wanda Phipps
    Wanda Phipps
    Wanda Phipps is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. She was born in Washington, D.C. and studied theater and English literature at Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City, acting at American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, CA and poetry at Naropa Institute in Boulder,...

  • Nate Powell
    Nate Powell
    Nate Powell is a graphic novelist, publisher, and musician. He owns DIY punk record label Harlan Records, has performed in several punk bands , and occasionally performed hip hop as Featherweight MC...

  • Robert Rosen
  • Matthue Roth
  • Douglas Rushkoff
    Douglas Rushkoff
    Douglas Rushkoff is an American media theorist, writer, columnist, lecturer, graphic novelist and documentarian. He is best known for his association with the early cyberpunk culture, and his advocacy of open source solutions to social problems.Rushkoff is most frequently regarded as a media...

  • Jack Sargeant
    Jack Sargeant
    Jack Sargeant is a writer specialising in cult film, underground film, and independent film, as well as subcultures, true crime, and other aspects of the unusual. In addition he is a film programmer and an academic...

  • Amanda Stern
    Amanda Stern
    Amanda Stern is the author of the critically acclaimed novel The Long Haul and founder, curator and host of the well-respected and popular The Happy Ending Music and Reading Series, for which she is best known...

  • Matt Stewart
    Matt Stewart
    Matt Stewart is an American football linebacker and long snapper who is currently a free agent. He was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth round of the 2001 NFL Draft...

  • Timothy Taylor
    Timothy Taylor
    Timothy Taylor or Tim Taylor may refer to:* Timothy Taylor , British archaeologist* Timothy Taylor , British art dealer* Timothy Taylor , American economist and academic professor...

  • Lynne Tillman
    Lynne Tillman
    Lynne Tillman is a novelist, short story writer, and cultural critic. She is currently Professor/Writer-in-Residence in the Department of English at the University at Albany and is the author of five novels, three collections of short stories, one collection of essays, and two other nonfiction...

  • Seth Tobocman
    Seth Tobocman
    Seth Tobocman is a radical comic book artist who has been living in Manhattan's Lower East Side since 1978. Tobocman is best known for his creation of the political comic book World War 3 Illustrated, which he started in 1979 with fellow artist Peter Kuper...

  • Ken Dolan-Del Vecchio
  • Rebecca Walker
    Rebecca Walker
    Rebecca Walker is an American writer. She has been named by Time Magazine as one of the 50 future leaders of America.-Early life:...

  • Heth and Jed Weinstein
    Heth and Jed
    Heth and Jed is a New York City-based indie rock duo, composed of brothers Heth and Jed Weinstein, born in Los Angeles.Together they have recorded two albums, written a memoir, and presently make a living busking on and under the streets of New York...

  • Jillian Weise
  • William Upski Wimsatt
    William Upski Wimsatt
    William Wimsatt, also known as Billy or Upski is a social entrepreneur, author, political organizer, and former graffiti artist...

  • Tim Wise
    Tim Wise
    Timothy Jacob Wise is an American anti-racist activist and writer. Since 1995 he has lectured at over 600 college campuses across the US...


In 2007, Michael McColly's The After-Death Room won the 2007 Lambda Literary Award for Spirituality. The same year, the Matthew Sharpe's Jameston was nominated for a 2007 Quill Award
Quill Awards
The Quill Award was an American literary award that ran for three years in 2005-07. It was a "consumer-driven award created to inspire reading while promoting literacy." The Quills Foundation, the organization behind the Quill Award, was supported by a number of notable media corporations,...

 for Fiction (but lost for Cormac McCarthy
Cormac McCarthy
Cormac McCarthy is an American novelist and playwright. He has written ten novels, spanning the Southern Gothic, Western, and modernist genres. He received the Pulitzer Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction for The Road...

's The Road
The Road
The Road is a 2006 novel by the American author Cormac McCarthy.The Road may also refer to:* The Road , a 2001 Kazakhstani film* The Road , a 2009 film adaptation of the McCarthy novel...

), Lydia Millet's Oh Pure and Radiant Heart was shortlisted for the Arthur C Clarke Award for Science Fiction writing and Alain Mabanckou's African Psycho was on the 2007 Believer Book Award
Believer Book Award
Believer Book Award is an American literary award presented yearly by The Believer magazine to novels and story collections the magazine's editors thought were the "strongest and most under-appreciated" of the year. A shortlist and longlist are announced, along with reader's favorites, then a final...


In 2004, Soft Skull Press won the 2004 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender/GenderQueer with Charlie Anders' book Choir Boy. Several other Soft Skull book were nomated for 2004 Lambda Literary Awards, including That's Revolting!: Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation ("Anthologies/Nonfiction"), The Haunted Hillbilly ("Gay Men's Fiction"), Skels ("Lesbian Fiction"), Juicy Mother ("Humor"), Manstealing for Fat Girls ("Debut Lesbian Fiction") and Deliver Me from Nowhere ("Transgender/GenderQueer"), among others.

The press received a rave cover review in The New York Times for HOS, HOOKERS, CALL GIRLS AND RENT BOYS, and had its first ever showing at the Pulitzers with finalists in fiction (Lydia Millet) and drama (Rajiv Joseph).

External links

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