Great Gift Ideas for Writers

They say that if you want to succeed as a professional writer, you need to read. It sounds like simple advice, but it’s true. Specifically, you need to read what is fresh and new, as well as what will give you an idea about the history of the style you are developing and working in. For writers who don’t always embody the traditionally cultivated image of a writer in American publishing, it can be hard to find role model writers.

Historically, disabled writers, mentally ill writers, and even writers of color have found themselves erased from mainstream publishing. Luckily, there are a number of independent venues that have always served to help elevate diverse books. Traditionally, these include important presses like Grove, as well as daring university presses like the one out of Duke.

In today’s electronic landscape, both writers and readers are clamoring for diverse books, and a new generation of writers is growing up demanding stories about people like them, by people like them. That’s why Autonomous Press and Neuroqueer Books have expanded our search for diverse writers. If you’re looking for a gift for a reader who wants to see both diversity and depth of storytelling, you need to check out the package discount on our Spoon Knife series. Between the two volumes, over 60 writers with a diverse range of backgrounds tell stories of neurological divergence and queerness.

There are also deep discounts on The Puzzlebox Collective’s Shaping Clay series, following the exploits of an autistic transgender girl as she comes to terms with the need to keep her identity hidden from everyone around her.

Lovers of poetry will find Barking Sycamores a treat, and you can easily tip them off to the free reading on the blog before surprising readers with the collections, available now on the Autonomous Press site. Of course, Christmas isn’t the only time readers need new books, so it might be worthwhile to add yourself to our mailing list today. Mailing list subscribers get access to great discounts not available elsewhere, including 20 percent off new release coupons, bundle clearance deals, and more.

Order soon! You’ll want to get your order to our store by 12/14 to make sure we can get you books by the holidays.

AutPress Just Made Your Gift Giving Easier. You’re Welcome.

Chances are, you’ve got a bibliophile or two (or perhaps 15) on your gift list. Thankfully, AutPress has rolled out four new gift bundles for the book lovers in your life. (Or, you know, you could gift them to yourself.) Just in time for your gift-giving (or book hoarding) needs, we’ve put together these bundles and discount deals, each available in both paperback and ebook format. These themed collections were crafted so you can easily select the perfect one for your intended recipients in mind.


First, we’d like to introduce our Autistic Activist Bundle. As one of our gift bundles containing some of the press’ most groundbreaking releases, it features three books that are great introductory texts for anyone seeking to understand the realities of Autistic people. The ABCs of Autism Acceptance by Sparrow R. Jones is an excellent guide, discussing and expanding on topics that change the ways in which autism is perceived. Also included is Typed Words Loud Voices, one of our debut books featuring work by a coalition of writers who type to communicate. Finally, The Real Experts is one of our top sellers, containing insider wisdom on autism written by Autistic adults.


Next among our bundles and discount deals is Shaping Clay: The Elementary Trilogy. This gift bundle contains three works in the Shaping Clay series: Nothing is Right, the Lambda Literary Finalist title Defiant, and the epic Imaginary Friends. If you have yet to read Clay Dillon’s saga, you’ll want to start with this collection of books. And with the next book in the series Gaslight Village soon on the horizon, you’ll want to grab this bundle now to catch up on the story. By the way: if you want to support Gaslight Village and read it as a serial subscriber, visit Michael’s Patreon.


Poetry lovers will want to snag our NeuroQueer Poetry Bundle, which contains all three of our poetry releases this year at a substantial discount. This gift bundle includes Adrift in a Sea of M&Ms, the Summer 2016 collection released by Michigan spoken-word artist and activist Fable the Poet. Also in this collection is The US Book by Michael Scott Monje, Jr., which provides the backstory for both Clay Dillon’s and Lynn Vargas’ universes. Finally, Barking Sycamores: Year One pulls together the poetry, short fiction and artwork published in Barking Sycamores’ first year of publication.


Explore new worlds in which neuroqueer voices are centered with the NeuroQueer Horizons bundle. Before our NeuroQueer Horizons chapbook series launches, you’ll want to immerse yourself in this collection of neuroqueer fiction, memoir, and poetry. Included in this gift bundle are the first Spoon Knife anthology, the science fiction thriller Mirror Project, and Monje’s Imaginary Friends, a surreal exploration of Clay Dillon’s childhood from the Shaping Clay series.

We’re proud to offer these bundles and discount deals as both paperbacks and ebooks. Whether you’re seeking to treat yourself or you want to put smiles on the faces of your book-loving friend, you don’t want to pass up these generously discounted collections containing our landmark releases, engaging fiction works, and pioneering poetry. Happy gifting!

Presales, Overstock and Changes at the Company

Hi everybody! Michael here, but I’m no longer your loyal leader of the NeuroQueer Books imprint. Nope. I got the thing up and running, but I’ve been saving a seat for my good friend and longtime editor (through Barking Sycamores, the journal that takes most of my work), N.I. Nicholson. My last act before moving behind the scenes to supervise our labor assignments and workflow on book production is going to be a good one, though: I’m giving you a sale, some pre-sales, and a song. First, the song, which celebrates everything I got into publishing to do:


AutPress Direct Overstock Sale

We do a lot of events and because of that, we wind up sending a lot of books out to make sure we have inventory. Over time, the extras make their way back to the press store from our partners, and as a result, we can accidentally wind up overstocked. When that happens, we need to recoup our storage space and make sure our books make it out into the world, and we’re doing that with an overstock sale. From now until St. Patrick’s Day (just because), we’re offering 40% off on two of our titles: Corbett OToole’s Fading Scars: My Queer Disability History and Michael Scott Monje, Jr.’s Defiant.

Fading Scars, on display for saleFading Scarsif you have not encountered it yet, is a gripping, close-up autoethnography covering several important events in the history of disability rights, civil rights in the U.S., and disabled communities. It takes a close look at the way they have been constructed, the way research in disability studies impacts communities, and the way communities work to impact research that affects their lives. It is an important read for anyone who seeks to understand how the current landscape of the disability rights and disability justice movements came to be.

Defiant is part of my Shaping Clay series, alongside Nothing is Right and the soon-to-be Defiant Front Coverreleased Imaginary Friends. In it, we join Clay Dillon shortly after he finally receives his autism diagnosis–at the age of thirty. As he seeks to navigate a professional life that finds his labor marginalized and devalued and a personal life thrown into turmoil by the collision between disability and a lack of access to basic medical services, Clay’s body begins to remember other divergences, and to force them into the foreground of his personal development. On top of its careful examination of the ways that adjunctification and workplace access impact disabled populations in the United States, the novel also takes an unflinching look at the violence that transgender individuals perpetuate against themselves when they attempt to deny their own nature.

Pre-Orders for New Releases

On top of our inventory reduction sale, we are also offering presales with instant ebook delivery for our U.S. customers. Like with our other titles, international customers are welcome to purchase the ebooks as long as they have a valid payment method, but we can not ship abroad. This March, our new releases include two anthologies edited by our new NeuroQueer Books coordinating editor N.I. Nicholson, as well as my (Michael’s) newest novel, Imaginary Friends.

Barking Sycamores Year One front cover, featuring all 4 issue coversBarking Sycamores published its first issue in the spring of 2014 and from the beginning, it dedicated itself to providing a medium for neurodivergent voices in literature and art. In partnership with Autonomous Press’s NeuroQueer Books, the journal proudly presents its Year One anthology. Collected in this volume are its first four issues, first published online in 2014 and 2015.

FEATURING WORK BY: Sarah Akin, Mikey Allcock, Samm Almester, Amy Barlow Liberatore, Matthew Brown, Cathy Carlisi, Ellie Castellanos, Tasha Chemel, Deanna Christian, Robin Como, Allen Davis, Melissa DeHart, Heather Dorn, fayola, Leila Fortier, Kimberly Gerry Tucker, Jessica Goody, Elizabeth J. (Ibby) Grace, Michael Lee Johnson, Duane L. Herrmann, Madison Kallisti, Jillian Koopman, Thomas Krampf, Craig Kurtz, Savannah Logsdon-Breakstone, Chris McLean, Laura Merleau, David Mitchell, Michael Scott Monje Jr., N.I. Nicholson, A.J. Odasso, Emily Paige Ballou, Thomas Park, C.F. Roberty, Miss Roberts, Maranda Russell, Barbara Ruth, Giorgia Sage, Phillip Sroka, Lucas Scheelk, A.D. Stone, Bethany Tap, Jonathan Travelstead, Candy Waters, Angela Weddle, Christopher Wood-Robbins

Imaginary Friends cover featuring an armored helmet lying on its side and a lego skylineIn Imaginary Friends“The strange and terrible saga of Clay Dillon begins with the books Nothing Is Right and Imaginary Friends,and also includes Defiant (which takes place when Clay is 30 years old). The whole saga should be required reading for anyone who works in any capacity with the sort of young people who are often described asgifted, disturbed, troubled, oppositional, defiant, or exceptional…

In a way, Clay himself is an “imaginary friend” to the adults in his life, insofar as when they look at him they don’t see him but instead see an imaginary child, a product of their own misconceptions and projections who has no resemblance (except in the external physical sense) to the real Clay Dillon. Every adult in his life is consistently one hundred percent wrong, all of the time, about Clay’s motivations, needs, feelings, thoughts, and perceptions… They can imagine neither the extent and nature of his difficulties, nor the complexity and sophistication of his thinking.

In this respect, Imaginary Friends constitutes a warning to any adults – especially those in “helping” professions – who are so arrogant as to presume that they can truly understand the realities of their young charges.” – Nick Walker, from the Afterward to the book

Spoon Knife Cover Final art by Selene DePackhLast but definitely not least,  The Spoon Knife Anthology collects the work of over 25 authors, including Autonomous Press partners, disability studies scholars, established prose and poetry artists, and emerging storytellers from a variety of backgrounds. Together, these writers deliver a series of meditations on compliance and consent that are simultaneously intimate and alienating.

“This jewel of a collection had me crying, laughing in parts, and becoming outraged. I hope that everyone in the care-taking communities of medicine and mental health reads these rare and wonderful first hand accounts for their own education.”

– Judy Grahn, author of A Simple Revolution, Another Mother Tongue, and Love Belongs to Those Who Do the Feeling

We hope you enjoy them! And I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with some announcements about our June books! You can check out the pre-orders and the whole back catalogue at!

Michael Scott Monje, Jr.

Production Coordinator, Autonomous Press

Welcome to the AutPress Holiday Extravaganza!

Hi there everyone, Michael here. I’ve been talking to Corbett, and she thinks that we need to do something to help people who are just discovering us through The Real Experts, to give them a little extra incentive to check out the rest of our store offerings. After putting our heads together with the other partners, we have set up a few deals for you. These sets and bundle packs will only be available at these prices until December 13th, and they will be fulfilled in time for delivery on or before December 24th.

Each pack also comes with our complimentary ebooks for the books you purchase, and the ebook-only sets are available too. Just remember that our downloads are .zip archives, so you need to open them up to extract the ebooks in the format your device uses.

If you’ve been waiting to check out what our press has to offer, or if you’re looking to see more from an AutPress author you like, here are your chances. We’ve got three specials for you:

  • Recommended Reads from Autistic Activists is a 2-pack that includes both Typed Words, Loud Voices and The Real Experts: Readings for Parents of Autistic Children. It shouldn’t be too surprising that you’ll find a lot of overlap in the writers between the two, and both feature outlooks and discussions from a variety of autistic standpoints. You can check out ordering options for that one here.
  • Serial Fiction by Michael Scott Monje, Jr. is a complete set of every individual book Michael has put out so far, at a deep discount that you won’t find in other venues. These selections include Nothing is Right, Defiant, Mirror Project, and A Waking Narrative. If you’ve seen Michael in Barking Sycamores, Neuroqueer, our anthologies, or if you follow Imaginary Friends on the Shaping Clay blog, here’s your chance to get caught up on what came before. You can grab the bundle at this link.
  • AutPress Holiday Press Pack features all four releases from our first year together: Fading Scars; Defiant; Typed Words, Loud Voices; and The Real Experts: Readings for Parents of Autistic Children. Ordering information is here.

Happy holidays from AutPress!