Bywater Books represents the coming of age of lesbian fiction. We’re committed to bringing the best of contemporary lesbian writing to a discerning readership. Our editorial team is dedicated to finding and developing outstanding voices who deliver stories you won’t want to put down. That’s why we sponsor the annual Bywater Prize for Fiction. We love good books, just like you do.
Salem West is the publisher of Bywater Books. She brings a strong background in business management, and longstanding engagement with the LGBT community. Previously, she was the voice of The Rainbow Reader, a highly successful review blog that combined original essays with insightful analysis of all genres of LGBT literature. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of Lambda Literary, is active in the lesbian literary community, and is a sought-after facilitator for groups, panels, and events focusing on feminist and lesbian literature. West and her wife, Bywater author Ann McMan, collaborated on the novel Hoosier Daddy, which was a Lambda Literary Award Finalist in 2014.
Kelly Smith is the editor-in-chief of Bywater Books, a role that marks the culmination of many years in the book business. In 1992, she co-founded A Woman’s Prerogative, a lesbian bookstore in Detroit. Seven years later, she founded Bella Books and worked there for four years. In 2004, Kelly helped create Bywater Books, and it marks her continuing commitment to excellence in every area of the publishing business. A hands-on editor, she enjoys working personally with each aspect of the process, from the author’s original manuscript to the printer’s final product.
Marianne K. Martin
Director of Operations
Marianne K. Martin is one of the best-selling lesbian romance authors in the history of the genre, and her books have gained a wide international readership. She is the author of ten novels. Her highly successful novels include the Lambda Literary Award finalists Tangled Roots, Under the Witness Tree, Mirrors, and For Now, For Always. In 2012, she was honored with the Trailblazer Award from the Golden Crown Literary Society, and in 2013 she was inducted into the Saints & Sinners Hall of Fame. Marianne is one of the founding partners of Bywater Books. Her responsibilities include managing general operations, as well as the Bywater Prize for Fiction, and working with new Bywater authors.
Director of Creative Services
Ann McMan is the Director of Creative Services for Bywater Books. McMan is an award-winning author with more than thirty-five years of professional experience in graphic design, marketing, and brand identity. Her design work has received national and international recognition. In recent years, she has become one of the most sought after brand developers and cover designers in LGBT publishing, and is a two-time winner of the Tee Corinne Award for Outstanding Cover Design. Her first book with Bywater Books, Backcast, was awarded the Silver Medal in the North-East Region of the Independent Publisher Book Awards.
Director of Social Media
Rachel Spangler is the Social Media Director for Bywater Books, and the award-winning author of ten lesbian romance novels. Both of Rachel’s jobs offer her a chance to explore the power of love and the intricacies of relationship building. She enjoys using the power of the social media to connect with fellow readers and writers across a wide array of distances and differences. Rachel believes fostering the relationships that bind our communities together is one of the most important things we can do to keep our communities strong. Rachel is also the author of the widely popular Wonder Boi Writes blog, where she is on a never-ending quest for new and better ways build a bigger table for the lesbian literary community. She lives with her wife and son in Western New York.
Caroline Curtis is a freelance editor of both fiction and nonfiction. A degree in Classics has given her an insight into the technical and creative structure of Western languages. These skills, honed over many years, have helped numerous authors successfully complete their manuscripts, many of them winning awards in both America and the United Kingdom. A fluent reader of both Spanish and French, she also works on European co-editions. Her work encompasses a range of subjects, including military history, music, food and wine. A long-term Londoner, she has recently moved east.
Editor and Proofreader
Nancy Squires is an experienced copy editor and proofreader who has been working with authors for years to bring their stories to life. She is also a creative writer, and knows firsthand the struggle of finding one’s voice and bringing it to the page. Nancy’s experience includes a decade of proofreading and copy editing for Bywater Books and other small presses; proofreading for corporate and marketing clients; self-publishing a collection of personal essays, The Cottage: Portrait of a Place; nearly a decade of blogging; and research and writing for legal and business clients. She lives with her partner and two cats in Michigan, loves music, hiking and kayaking, and above all, a good book.
Editor and Proofreader
Elizabeth Andersen is an experienced copy editor and proofreader who has been working with writers for more than 40 years to bring their words to the world. In a past life, she served as an editor for columnists such as William F. Buckley; James J. Kilpatrick; Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Prize winner; and A.M. Rosenthal, former executive editor of The New York Times. She also edited nationally syndicated comic strips, including Garfield and For Better or For Worse. Elizabeth hosts the Sandra Moran Radio Book Club on The Tenth Voice, Kansas City’s LGBT public affairs radio show on KKFI 90.1 FM. She holds an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Missouri, Columbia. Until she moves to the mountains, she is happy in the Kansas City area with her adult sons, three cats, and a rabbit.