Literate Yourself! at Press 53 About Press 53
Press 53 was founded in October 2005 by Kevin Morgan Watson and quickly began earning a reputation as a quality publishing house of short fiction and poetry collections. We are located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, at 560 N. Trade Street, Suite 103.


Here is a brief overview of what we publish:

Short Story Collections: We publish up to five short fiction collections each year, including the winner of our Press 53 Award for Short Fiction (Opens September 1 each year). The remaining four collections come to us by way of author previously published by Press 53, from recommendations by editors and publishers of literary magazines and journals, and from actively reading journals and magazines ourselves and then requesting manuscripts from authors whose stories connect with us. We also keep a close eye on authors whose stories appear in our online quarterly, Prime Number Magazine and their contest, the Prime Number Magazine Awards (formerly the Press 53 Open Awards). Several colleges and universities use our short fiction collections in their classrooms, including the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, School of Filmmaking, whose students adapt short fiction for short-film projects. 

Poetry: We publish up to to eight poetry collections each year, including one collection by the winner of our Press 53 Award for Poetry (opens April 1 each year), with the remaining collections coming to us by way of Tom Lombardo, editor of our Tom Lombardo Poetry Selections, and Pamela Uschuk and William Pitt Root, editors of our Silver Concho Poetry Series. These editors work the same as professional scouts, reading journals and magazines, while also getting out and meeting poets at readings, conferences and festivals, to find the collections they select for their respective series.

Press 53 Carolina Classics:  Our first Carolina Classics edition was The Land Breakers, by John Ehle, which was published by Harper & Row in 1964. It was a best seller in the US and Europe, and somehow ended up out of print. One of our missions at Press 53 is to find great out-of-print books by North Carolina writers that we feel should never be out of print. If you know of such a book, please let us know and we will consider adding it to our Press 53 Carolina Classics imprint if the rights are available.

Prime Number Magazine: In July 2010, Press 53 launched Prime Number Magazine, a free online quarterly publication of distinctive poetry and short fiction, edited by Kevin Morgan Watson (Editor-in-Chief), featuring guest editors each quarter.  

The 53-Word Story Contest: Each month, Prime Number Magazine offers a free writing contest that is designed for fun and reward. On the first day of each month we offer a writing prompt. Writers are challenged to deliver a 53-word story based on the prompt by the end of the month. Stories must be 53 words: no more, no less. Stories are gathered and then sent to our guest judge, who picks a winner. The winning story is announced on the seventh day of the following month and is published in Prime Number Magazine. The winning author also receives a book by that month's guest judge.

Download our free 53-Word Story app for your Android smart phone or access the app from you computer. Let the app count the words for you.


We hope you will support Press 53 and our authors by sampling our books and telling your friends about us. If you have questions, you can always contact me via the email link below.

Kindest regards,

Kevin Morgan Watson, Publisher
Click here to email Kevin
Press 53 . PO Box 30314, Winston-Salem, NC 27130-0314

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