The History of Muddy Puddle Press
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Val Dumond Publications began back in 1983 with the publication of Steilacoom’s Church, a 100-year history of Oberlin Congregational Church. The following year, the book, SHEIT – Writing Nonsexist Language, was published. In 1985, VDP published From the Beginning: History of the Tacoma/Pierce County Bar Association, co-written with Patrick Steele. Next, the press published Steele’s An Airport For Tacoma.
Through the 1990s, Val was busy with her grammar and language books: Grammar For Grownups, published by HarperCollins, Elements of Nonsexist Usage, (Prentice Hall), and the coffee table book, Doin’ The Puyallup, written for the Western Washington Fair Association to celebrate 100 years of Fair history. She also edited and helped put into print several books for other authors.
Val printed a limited edition of a celebration book, How We Fought World War II At William T. Sherman Elementary School, on the occasion of her 70th birthday. This book, slightly fictionalized, recounted grade school years spent in Milwaukee where she experienced a child’s view of wartime living. She re-issued the book in 2016 and offered it to the public.
Muddy Puddle Press was begun in 1999 as an imprint of
Val Dumond Publications, when 32 writers of the Lakewood Writers Roundtable published an anthology of their work. They went through the entire process of writing, editing, selecting works, choosing a cover and a book design, selecting a printer, and developing a marketing plan. The project, launched on the 100th anniversary of Ernest Hemingway’s birth, was entitled, The Sun Never Rises – A Rainthology (2000). A brainstorming session created “Muddy Puddle Press” for the imprint, acknowledging the damp heritage of the Northwest. They later turned over the imprint to Val.
A couple years later, the group published a second anthology. This time the title, Dream Makers, was chosen, with a sub-title, Stories That Won’t Put You To Sleep (2003). The writers turned over the Muddy Puddle Press to Val when she finished her first novel, Mush On and Smile – Klondike Kate, Queen of the Yukon, co-authored with Babe Lehrer. The book was published by Muddy Puddle in 2002 and re-issued in 2012 as Sugar, Spice, and Stone.
When Prentice Hall returned the rights to Elements of Nonsexist Usage, after nearly ten years of sales, Val began work on a revision that includes all manner of biased language. Just Words – The Us and Them Thing was published early in 2005 by Muddy Puddle Press and is enjoying success in academic markets with the teachers of language, and lexicographers.
Val published her latest grammar book, AMERICAN-ENGLISH—The Official Guide in 2016. Written especially for authors, this book focuses on writing style, offering writers choices of grammar “rules” (where to put the commas and quotation marks, as well as how to identify the various parts of speech—the basics of good writing). She encouraging writers to create their own Style Manuals. This is a gotta-have resource book for anyone who writers or intends to write.
Now Val has turned to having fun with words in her 2017 One-Sentence Stories: An Anthology of Stories Told in a Single Sentence—playing with words and writing them in outlandish or unusual ways, such as telling a story with a single sentence—as long as you want to make it. Teachers swoon at the thought of run-on sentences, but Val believes they’re relaxing to write and fun to read. So why not? She found 43 writers who agree with her and submitted their one-sentence stories for the first of what may be many such anthologies. Stay tuned.
For more information about ALL the books that
published by Muddy Puddle Press,