Restructuring Nat 1

Okay, people, prepare yourselves because this is going to be a doozy—big changes are happening to your favorite black sheep of a micro-publishing house! Since we were established in 2022, we’ve grown exponentially with authors and artists represented in 44 of the United States and in 25 countries worldwide (look, we even provided a map!)—

accepted authors across the US and world

Needless to say, with all this excitement, we’ve had our fair share of growing pains, experiments, and generally throwing a plethora of ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks. We’re a bunch of creatives, you can’t really blame us. In any case, we’d decided to step back and re-evaluate the last two years, take note of what worked, what didn’t work, and generally Gibbs-slap ourselves (Ahem,  Brandan) for getting a bit too over-enthusiastic with new projects. This newsletter is the culmination of several months of exciting and difficult decisions to restructure the company to continue growing and be the best it can be for its contributors and audience.

And when we say “restructure,” we mean it—

In Maine, NAT 1, LLC has officially been converted into Nat 1 Publishing, a literary non-profit corporation, and we are in the process of applying to the US Federal government to be a full-fledged 501c3 organization! Our mission is:

…to focus of publishing literary fiction, fantasy, science fiction, and humorous literature that aims to provide an outlet where both established and emerging authors—particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds—can be represented. We strive to cultivate a diverse and inclusive literary landscape, providing a platform for imaginative storytelling that reflects the rich tapestry of human experience. Through our publications, we seek to inspire curiosity, foster creativity, and promote inclusivity within the speculative fiction community, ultimately contributing to a more diverse and vibrant literary landscape.

extracted from the Nat 1 Publishing Bylaws

While we have always prioritized providing an outlet for underrepresented authors over profit, we’ve realized it’s much more than just a goal—it’s a purpose. And now it’s in words and the company’s very structure is organized around them.

Now for the changes coming with the restructuring and past performance evaluations.

At the administrative level, the Board of Directors remains the same, consisting of Brandan Roberts, Michaela Butler, and Dahlia Thomas; however, we have four new non-voting members who are set to be full directors by this time next year: Jason Willard, Kathleen Locke, Cal Tripp, and Jennifer Weigel.  Because we are now a non-profit aiming for 501c3 status, you will be able to find our meeting notes where you’ve always been able to see the bylaws—on our website’s Transparency Page. The Bylaws have also been updated, with the non-profit version replacing the LLC’s. At the same time, we have updated our author contracts to reflect not only the changed legal status of the House but also to be more author-friendly in its language. Instead of getting into a lengthy discussion, it’ll probably be easy to check them out for yourself. Those, too, will be available on our transparency page sooner than later.

For existing and prospective authors, along with the new contracts, we have determined to eliminate mandatory submission fees on Submittable for anthologies and magazines for the best of the community. While we kept the first ten days of the month free, we’ve figured out that while it does deter the submission of AI-generated stories and poetry, it prevents some amazing works from getting to us from people with limited computer access. We would rather deal with sorting through bots and AI than keep a writer from getting their work to us.

Now for the projects themselves, which include the most significant changes stemming from this restructuring—both the good and bad. So, let’s rip the band-aid right off and start with the difficult decisions.

After evaluating the performance of certain projects, we decided to cancel Audience Askew’s second Skewies Awards Anthology, making last year’s contest a one-and-done. To maintain our standard of quality without causing burnout amongst our staff, the publication dates for the books remaining on our roster have been updated to extend into the year 2026 (as compared to 2025 that they were before), which will limit new releases from thirteen to eight Audience Askew chapbooks per year and generally only one Nat 1 title being released per month. To adhere to these goals, we were forced to cancel roughly a dozen upcoming novellas and series that either do not mesh well with the company’s updated mission or have proven to not be as successful as we hoped. Amongst those canceled were five upcoming anthologies, including Nat 1: Critical Failures and Nat 1: BBEG, which had already begun accumulating submissions.  The number of yearly anthologies has also been reduced.

With all that said, we can move forward to the positive changes. First and foremost, to compensate for the reduction of anthologies being released each year, Nat 1 Publishing will be launching a new magazine in 2025: Gaslamp Pulp!

Gaslamp Pulp banner

Gaslamp Pulp (abbreviated as GLPZ) will be starting as a biannual publication, with its first issue dropping in February 2025 and the second in August. This project will be accepting submissions year-long, and the issues will be rotating between Fantasy and Science Fiction with the occasional special edition (the first one in conception stage? Florida Man. Enough said.) Unlike Nat 1 and Audience Askew Literary Journal,  GLPZ will be 100% YA friendly, meaning it can be enjoyed by anybody in high school and up! Submissions are now open and you can learn more about this exciting new endeavor at its website, www.gaslamp-pulp.com

Finally, we will be putting more emphasis on Faewalk, our shared literary universe. What do we mean by this? Expect more books and anthologies to be canon for that horribly cliched land of tropes and bad jokes. More time and effort will also be dedicated to beefing up the Faewalk Wikipedia (if you’d like to volunteer to be a Loremaster over there, contact us!), and the Faewalk pen and paper RPG will be making its debut early next year. As more authors write in the world, it’s becoming a vivid, living place, so be sure to check out the Faewalk books—if you haven’t already, you can download the first anthology for FREE by clicking here!

And that concludes this incredibly long announcement. Hopefully. If you have any questions, feel free to respond to this newsletter or drop by the Nat 1 Discord and ask away! Oh, and remember to join the Nat 1 Patreon—even Free members will get the most up-to-date news, announcements, and cover reveals, while paid membership gets you access to exclusive stories, art, and previews.

We hope to see you there!