History of the Press

Mindprints Literary Press has enjoyed three chapters in its rich history.  Founded in the early 1990s at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, California, it was created to publish Mindprints—collections of staff writing for students enrolled in the LAP, or Learning Assistance Program.

In the late 1990s, a greatly expanded publication hit the national literary landscape as Mindprints, A Literary Journal. Published annually and featuring short fiction, memoir, poetry, and art by adults with disabilities, it became an instant sensation. Over the next decade, the journal won two consecutive awards from Writer’s Digest as one of “the thirty best publications for beginning writers.” The Journal was in continuous publication through 2008 with seven annual issues.

In 2017, Mindprints Literary Press is being developed to publish works of eclectic and personal stories including memoir, personal essay, and narrative fiction.


Jessica Bell

Jessica Bell

Cover Designer Jessica Bell is the publisher of Vine Leaves Press and a book cover designer, as well as being an award-winning author and writing and publishing coach. In addition to her novels and poetry collections, and her best-selling Writing in a Nutshell series, she has published a variety of works online and in literary journals, including Writer’s Digest. Jess is a freelance editor and writer for English Language Teaching publishers worldwide such as MacMillan Education and Education First, the coordinator of the Writing Day Workshops, which take place throughout the United States on a regular basis, and the founder and coordinator of “Self-Publishing Masterclass.” A performer as well, Jess is a voice-over actor and in October 2016, she became the new lead singer of the well-known dream-pop group, Keep Shelly in Athens.

Paul Alan Fahey

Paul Alan Fahey is the editor of Equality: What Do You Think About When You Think of Equality? He is also the author of the 2016 Rainbow Award-winning writing reference, The Short and Long of It: Expand, Adapt, and Publish Your Short Fiction, the Lovers and Liars gay wartime romance series, and the 2013 Rainbow Award-winning anthology, The Other Man: 21 Writers Speak Candidly About Sex, Love, Infidelity, & Moving On. For eight years, Paul was editor-in-chief of Mindprints, A Literary Journal, an award-winning forum for writers and artists with disabilities. Paul lives on the California Central Coast with his husband, Robert Franks, and a gaggle of shelties.

Jean Laidig

Print & E-Book Layout Artist and Proofreader Jean Laidig learned her craft as a senior proofreader for typesetting companies whose clients, before the days of desktop publishing, included such respected and long-established firms as Oxford University Press, Prentice-Hall, and Random House. Now a member of the publishing teams at Haven Books, Bellekeep Books, and Starwerks Editorial, Jean provides services to independent publishers and independently-publishing authors, including those of content and copy editing, proofreading, text design, typesetting, pagemaking, and e-book creation.

Mara Purl

Mara Purl is a co-founder of Haven Books, Bellekeep Books, and Mindprints Literary Press. She serves on the Board of Author U, and on the Advisory Board of IngramSpark. She is the former president of Colorado Independent Publishers Association, and previously served on the boards of the California Literary Arts Society and Women Writing the West. In addition to her primary work as the best-selling author of the Milford-Haven Novels, Mara is a writing coach and publishing consultant, as well as being a writers’ conferences presenter and keynote speaker for women’s organizations. She is a member of the Authors Guild, Denver Women’s Press Club, the Writers Guild West, and Women Writing the West. Mara is also a noted performer on stage, television and audio books.

Victoria Zackheim

Victoria Zackheim

Editor Victoria Zackheim wrote the novel The Bone Weaver and created/edited six anthologies: The Other Woman, He Said What?, For Keeps, The Face in the Mirror, Exit Laughing, and Faith. Based on her first anthology, her play The Other Woman had a nationwide simultaneous reading at twenty-two venues in 2015 and is available for fundraisers in the US and the UK, for women’s/family shelters. Her screenplays Maidstone and Rozzy (based on the Caroline Leavitt novel) are in development; her stage play Entangled has been developed at Z Space in San Francisco. She wrote the documentary film Where Birds Never Sang: The Story of Ravensbrück and Sachsenhausen Concentration Camps (PBS). Victoria teaches Personal Essay in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, and conducts writing workshops in the US, Mexico, Canada, and Europe.