Devoted to Diversity: Running Wild Press and RIZE Champion Writing By People of Color

Since the dawn of time, humans have been telling stories. As a matter of fact, stories bring people together as it allows us to share wisdom and knowledge. For as long as we’ve been able to communicate, storytelling has been embedded with our identity. Stories encapsulate our hopes, dreams, fears, and goals. However, when stories only come from one source, they don’t truly represent everyone reading. This is where Running Wild Press enters the narrative, an independent publishing company with a vested interest in quality creative writing that is unconventional. 

Founded by Lisa Diane Kastner, Running Wild Press was built upon the idea of providing a publication venue to showcase diverse stories that do not fit neatly in a box. Working in the media and entertainment industry, Lisa knew all too well that many authors don’t get the opportunity to have their stories published. “In today’s world, there are amazingly talented authors with fantastic stories that may never see the light of day because they don’t fit into traditional structures as defined by larger publishers,” she shared. With her husband’s encouragement, she started her own press, which is now called Running Wild Press.

In its fifth year, the publishing company has made great strides under Lisa’s management as the executive editor. In 2019, they produced eleven books and two of which were selected by Kirkus Reviews as Indie Books of the Year. These books were Frontal Matter: Glue Gone Wild by Suzanne Samples and Dark Corners by Reuben “Tihi” Hayslett. The former is a moving memoir about the author’s battle with terminal brain cancer at 36. The latter is a series of critical essays and narratives that touch upon issues such as racism, LGBTQ, and the human condition. Moreover, this year, they have been named again by Kirkus Reviews because of Terence Hawkin’s literary piece, “Turing’s Graveyard.”

In an interview, Lisa carefully expounded the goal of the organization: “The book marketplace is growing and expanding because publishers like Running Wild Press are wisely filling a void. We target stories that the public craves by lesser pursued authors. Those stories that aren’t perceived to be safe to publish.”

Running Wild is extending the same opportunity specifically to people of color who have a knack for creative writing with RIZE. From the very start, she knew there was a prevalent lack of diversity in publishing. This rising publication was then made to fill that gap and give opportunities to aspiring writers. Next year, the company is set to publish three genre novels written by people of color. 

Her achievements and expertise gained her the reputation of being an empowered female entrepreneur. In line with this, she recently got nominated for the Forbes’ Inaugural “Next 1000,” which features diverse entrepreneurs who redefined business amid the pandemic.

Running Wild Press has been at the forefront of opening conversations about diversity and giving voices to minorities. If you want to check out their works, make sure to check out their official website.


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