|Founder||Emilie Buchwald and R.W. Scholes|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Distribution||Publishers Group West|
Milkweed Editions is an independent, non-profit publishing company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Milkweed's goal is to make a positive impact on society through the transformative art of literature. Milkweed is sometimes called the largest independent, non-profit literary publisher in the United States. It publishes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and children's books.
Milkweed was co-founded in 1979 by Emilie Buchwald and R.W. Scholes. Buchwald initially started Milkweed as a journal called The Milkweed Chronicle as a venue for local writers and artists in Minneapolis. By the mid-1980s the project evolved into Milkweed Editions and gradually grew into a nationally known independent publishing company.
Milkweed combined forces with Minnesota Center for Book Arts and the Loft Literary Center to purchase an old warehouse in downtown Minneapolis to house each organization. They named the warehouse the Open Book. Ruminator, an independent bookstore, also called Open Book home until 2003 when it closed the Open Book store. Open Book has been fondly referred to as a "literary incubator."
In 1993, Milkweed initiated a program for young readers to reach out to elementary school children and encourage reading habits. The program provides books, teachings guides, and writing activities.
Buchwald retired in 2003 and H. Emerson Blake was hired as editor-in-chief to work alongside managing editor Hilary Reeves. Blake stepped down in June 2005 for personal reasons and was succeeded by former Harcourt editor Daniel Slager. Slager was named Publisher and CEO in 2007.
Milkweed publishes between 15-20 books each year. It is estimated that there are currently more than one million Milkweed books in circulation.
The Milkweed Prize Milkweed Editions periodically awards two prizes for fiction writing: the Milkweed National Fiction Prize and the Milkweed Prize for Children’s Literature. The prizes are awarded for the best general fiction and for the best fiction for middle-grade readers, ages 8 to 13, by a writer not previously published by Milkweed.
Milkweed National Fiction Prize
Milkweed seeks manuscripts of high literary quality that embody humane values and contribute to cultural understanding for the National Fiction Prize
- 2010 Orion You Came and You Took All My Marbles by Kira Henehan
- 2008 Driftless by David Rhodes
- 2007 The Farther Shore by Matthew Eck
- 2006 Visigoth by Gary Amdahl
- 2005 Crossing Bully Creek by Margaret Erhart
- 2004 Ordinary Wolves by Seth Kantner
- 2002 Roofwalker by Susan Power
- 2001 Hell's Bottom, Colorado by Laura Pritchett
- 1999 Falling Dark by Tim Tharp
- 1998 Tivolem by Victor Rangel-Ribeiro
- 1997 The Tree of Red Stars by Tessa Bridal
- 1996 The Empress of One by Faith Sullivan
- 1995 Confidence of the Heart by David Schweidel
- 1993 Montana 1948 by Larry Watson
- 1992 Larabi's Ox by Tony Ardizzone
- 1990 Aquaboogie by Susan Straight
- 1989 Blue Taxis by Eileen Drew
- 1988 Ganado Red by Susan Lowell
Milkweed Prize for Children’s Literature
The goal of the Prize for Children's Literature is to encourage both writers of children’s literature and writers of books for adults to turn their attention to creating books for this discriminating and important group of readers. At this age, readers are ready for well-written books that range widely in subject matter, from fantasy, to fiction grounded in history, to books about everyday life.
- 2010 The Hole in the Wall by Lisa Rowe Fraustino
- 2008 Discovering Pig Magic by Julie Crabtree
- 2007 The Linden Tree by Ellie Mathews
- 2005 Trudy by Jessica Lee Anderson
- 2004 Perfect by Natasha Friend
- 2001 Parents Wanted by George Harrar
- 2000 The $66 Summer by John Armistead
- 1999 The Ocean Within by V. M. Caldwell
- 1998 The Dog with Golden Eyes by Frances Wilbur
- 1996 Behind the Bedroom Wall by Laura E. Williams
- 1995 The Summer of the Bonepile Monster by Aileen Kilgore Henderson
- 1994 A Bride for Anna's Papa by Isabel R. Marvin
- Chamberlain, Lisa (April 30, 2008). "With Books as a Catalyst, Minneapolis Neighborhood Revives". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2008-04-30.
- Milkweed Editions Homepage
- Milkweed Lures Harcourt Editor by Claire Kirch, Publishers Weekly, September 16, 2005
- The Mighty Pen by Wood Turner, November 1, 2001
- Minnesota: land of long-lasting small presses by Marianne Combs, Minnesota Public Radio October 8, 2004
- New Leaders for Literary Nonprofits by Kevin Larimer at Poets&Writers, Inc.
- Poets.Org Profile of Milkweed
- Young Audiences of Minnesota Programs