The name Devil’s Party Press might scare some, but the name of the Milton publishing company was inspired by famed poet John Milton, who was once accused of being in the Devil’s party because he could write so well.
David Yurkovich and Dianne Pearce are the creative forces behind the company, which they started in 2017. They believe it’s their mission to cultivate the creative arts in Milton.
“Not quite a year after we moved here, we decided to start a workshop so we could work on our writing. It just so happened that the writers were older. The youngest writer was in her early 40s. I was thinking about how difficult it is through traditional publishing when they’re older,” says Pearce.
Pearce says a lot of grants and programs cater to younger writers, so the duo wanted to help promote people their own age.
courtesy of David Yurkovich
To get published by Devil’s Party Press, authors must be 40 years of age or older and must write fiction, poetry, memoirs or creative nonfiction. Devil’s Party Press has published writers from all over the world including local writer Judith Speizer Crandell, author of “The Woman Puzzle.”
“Judith is a magical realist. It’s cool because it bends reality a little bit. It’s not like sci-fi or fantasy; it deals more with the main character’s inner thoughts,” says Pearce.
Pearce and Yurkovich just recently published “Charlotte,” by Stan Charnofsky, who is a professor of psychology at California State University.
“Years ago, when we were in Los Angeles, I was in a writing workshop there that taught me how to run a writing workshop that’s not in school,” says Pearce. “The writing workshop consisted of three guys in their 70s and me. One of those guys was Stan Charnofsky. He had been working on several mystery novels throughout the workshop when I was there. When we started up the publishing company back here, I wanted to publish one of his novels. His mystery novel is an Agatha Christie-esque novel. It’s along the lines of Miss Marple—an older woman who solves crime accidentally.”
Pearce says that she has cried, laughed and has been stunned by the different forms of creative writing that authors have submitted. She says a lot of famous writers never got their break until they were older.
“Writing is a lonely pursuit and even having a little success can encourage them to continue writing. We want to help those writers develop and have that success.”