Soft Skull Press

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Soft Skull Press
Parent company Counterpoint LLC
Founded 1992
Founder Sander Hicks
Country of origin United States
Headquarters location Berkeley, California
Distribution Publishers Group West
Key people Charlie Winton, CEO
Jack Shoemaker, Vice President
Nonfiction topics Alternative culture, LGBTQ literature
Imprints Red Rattle Books
Official website

Soft Skull Press is an independent book publisher founded by Sander Hicks in 1992, and run by Richard Eoin Nash from 2001 to 2009, and Denise Oswald from 2009 to 2010.[1] In 2007, Nash sold Soft Skull to Counterpoint LLC, who closed Soft Skull's New York operation in 2010.[2] Soft Skull continues to function as an imprint of Counterpoint in Berkeley, California. It is distributed to the book trade by Publishers Group West.



In 2004, Soft Skull won the 2004 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender/GenderQueer with Charlie Anders' book Choir Boy. Several other Soft Skull book were nominated for 2004 Lambdas, including That's Revolting!: Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation ("Anthologies/Nonfiction"), The Haunted Hillbilly ("Gay Men's Fiction"), Skels ("Lesbian Fiction"), Juicy Mother ("Humor"), Manstealing for Fat Girls ("Debut Lesbian Fiction") and Deliver Me from Nowhere ("Transgender/GenderQueer"), among others.[3]

In 2005, publisher Nash was the recipient of the Miriam Bass Award for Creativity in Independent Publishing.[4]

In 2007, Michael McColly's The After-Death Room won the 2007 Lambda Award for Spirituality.[5] The same year, Matthew Sharpe's Jameston was nominated for a 2007 Quill Award for Fiction (losing to Cormac McCarthy's The Road),[5] Lydia Millet's Oh Pure and Radiant Heart was shortlisted for the Arthur C Clarke Award for Science Fiction writing[6] and Alain Mabanckou's African Psycho was on the 2007 Believer Book Award shortlist.[7]

During Denise Oswald's tenure as editorial director, Hos, Hookers, Call Girls and Rent Boys received a cover review in The New York Times, and the imprint had its first showing at the Pulitzer Prize, with finalists in fiction (Lydia Millet) and drama (Rajiv Joseph).


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ 2004 Lambda Literary Awards
  4. ^ AAP Press Center
  5. ^ a b Soft Skull Press Release about 2007 Awards
  6. ^ Arthur C Clarke Awards 2007 Shortlist Announced

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