The Brautigan Library Of Unpublished Manuscripts

The Brautigan Library | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books
The Brautigan Library. Photo by Joe Mabel via Atlas Obscura

Azure Fire Publishing is dedicated to promoting literacy and helping authors publish and promote their youth-friendly fantasy and science fiction books. We even offer free publication to the winners of our writing challenges. But what about those poor souls who never do manage to get published?

The Brautigan Library

If you’re an as yet unpublished writer, fret not, for there’s now a place where your work will be fully appreciated: the Brautigan Library. This is a unique library which only includes unpublished manuscripts. As Atlas Obscura reports, both the library’s inspiration and name came from the 1971 novel, “The Abortion: A Historical Romance,” a 1966 book by Richard Brautigan, in which the protagonist works at a library of unpublished manuscripts. In the novel, no one is allowed to visit the library and read the unpublished works. But in the library it inspired, that’s the whole point.

The Brautigan Library currently houses more than 300 physical manuscripts, all unpublished, in Vancouver, Washington. The library originally opened in Burlington, Vermont, in 1990, with founder Todd Lockwood taking submissions from whomever wanted to be part of it. In 2010, it was moved to Vancouver, about two hours from Tacoma, where Brautigan was born.

A Digital Future for Unpublished Manuscripts

Librarian and Brautigan scholar John Barber is now expanding the collection digitally. Anyone can submit their unpublished work to the library, as long as it is in English — and remains unpublished. Books are classified by way of the Mayonnaise System, named in tribute to Brautigan’s love of the word “mayonnaise.”

Readers are not allowed to take the manuscripts out of the library but may stay and read them until closing. The library even hosts National Unpublished Writers’ Day annually in January, around the time of Brautigan’s birthday.

Since you’re here…

…we have a small favor to ask. More people are interested in youth literacy and youth-friendly works than ever but revenues across the media are falling. Unlike many organizations, we don’t accept advertisements. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. Our work of promoting literacy and helping authors publish and promote their youth-friendly fantasy and science fiction books takes a lot of time, money, and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe it matters – and because we’re passionate about youth literacy.

If everyone who shares that passion helps to support it, our future would be much more secure.

About the author

Nicholas Rossis

Nicholas is editor-in-chief at Azure Fire Publishing. He lives to write and does so from his cottage on the edge of a magical forest in Athens, Greece. When not composing epic fantasies or short sci-fi stories, he chats with fans and colleagues, writes blog posts, and enjoys the antics of two silly cats and his baby daughter, all of whom claim his lap as home. His books have won numerous awards, including the Gelett Burgess Children's Book Award.

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