Cornerstone Press student staff members unbox one of the books they published. The press is marking 40 years with a gala event in April. (Courtesy UWSP)

UWSP publishing house celebrates 40 years

By Patrick Lynn

STEVENS POINT — Cornerstone Press, a publishing house at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point run by undergraduate students, will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a gala event next month.

The free event, open to alumni, students, and community members, will take place from 6:30-9 p.m. Friday, April 5, in the Alumni Room of the Dreyfus University Center, 1015 Reserve St., Stevens Point. Past directors, press alumni (including those now working in publishing), past authors, and university administrators will share remarks.

Cornerstone Press books will be available for sale, and food and a cash bar will be provided.

Registration is available at www.uwsp.edu/event/cornerstone-press-40th-anniversary-gala/.

Since its establishment in 1984 as part of the Department of English curriculum, Cornerstone Press has produced more than 100 titles in various genres, including short fiction and poetry collections, which have received awards and brought authors national and international recognition. It was the first of its kind within the Universities of Wisconsin, with support from the School of Humanities and Global Studies and the College of Letters and Science.

In addition to publishing books, Cornerstone Press provides students with hands-on writing, editing, design, sales, and marketing experience, preparing them for careers in publishing and beyond.

“Cornerstone Press receives manuscripts from coast to coast,” said Ross Tangedal, associate professor of English and director and publisher of Cornerstone Press. “We do what we can to put out the best books possible, and we are proud of that. But my experiences with the students are number one.

“I’m most proud of the students who work with me and learn,” he said. “They build skills, such as how to collaborate with others. They learn how to work with authors from all different backgrounds and experiences. They do the work of editing, meeting deadlines, dealing with the variables that come up. It’s real work experience.”

The press began as one Editing and Publishing course during the fall semester, in which students would publish a fiction book from a regional author. It currently runs with publishing-related courses every fall, spring, and summer, continuously publishing books of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry by authors from around the world.