Christian Fiction Online Magazine
Maggie Woychik

Chila “Maggie” Woychik works with a marvelous team at Port Yonder Press, including Steph, Liz, Suzanne, Naomi, Lorna, Tony, Holly, Linda and Lisa. She is an award-winning, multipublished magazine author with many dozens of articles in print. She has appeared in War Cry, Young Salvationist, Wesleyan Advocate, Woman’s Touch, Christian Women Today, and numerous others. Her first sustained release is a book of devotional essays titled I Run to the Hills: Reflections on the Christian Journey. She currently edits and publishes at the Port ( in the middle of an Iowa cornfield. Well, not quite, but close. Her next book will be a writing memoir.

Upon Following Bonnie’s Link

Port Yonder PressWhen Bonnie asked me to introduce Port Yonder to CFOM, I got excited. What’s more fun than sharing a fascinating slice of life with others? In my case I can show you how good I really have it. Of course, I’ve also had to endure (emphasis added for effect) not so good things, like a four-year bout with post-trauma stress after being hit by a drunk driver, a husband’s illness, several interstate moves in five years. . . . But I always come back to now. And now is good.

After receiving Bonnie’s invitation to write this month’s article, I went to the CFOM link, to the “Publisher’s Choice” column, and read with enough interest, a touch of jealousy, and a growing feeling of camaraderie Cat Hoort’s nonresolution-challenge-thingie. And after reading it, I came to the conclusion that she is definitely my long-lost, didn’t-know-I-had-but-wished-I-did daughter. I kid you not. The only real difference between us is this: My take on life revolves around not just dares and rules avoidance, but also generally ends up somewhere in the vicinity of Gary Larson (and my suspicion is that Cat may have an apartment nearby . . .).

And if you’re reading this, chances are you live on the Far Side, too, at least most days. Maybe it’s the business: the writing, publishing, editing—you know, those uncorkable geysers spouting from the side of the brain most responsible for creativity. I like to think that. Or, conversely, maybe we choose this business because being a chapter removed from the center, we naturally fit there, in the books, bound somewhat by those necessarily constricting covers (though we do get to choose the covers, mind you). We find asylum and sanctuary in an index before and an ending ahead: We tread on loosely defined pages, pen our own storylines, color its characters, and have at least a light hand in slanting the last scene. Scope within the scroll. Bent within the bounds.

Back to Cat. Though some cling to conventionality, I find a measure of comfort in variety. For instance, a few months ago I did a Google search on female comic book heroines, downloaded a dozen or so photos (do you know how hard it is to find a decently clad comic book heroine?), and now post them at random on my Facebook profile. I’ve done the same with classic book covers: Casablanca, African Queen, Wuthering Heights. I happened to have had Wuthering Heights up when I read Cat’s piece. Another confirmation?

All that said, I’m here to introduce you to the publishing house of Port Yonder Press. Does Cat have even a little bit to do with

that? Nope. But now you see what we’re up against: Far Side. Female heroines. Chapters askew. Italicized words. In short, we’re a new small publisher (in Iowa, no less) excited about publishing manuscripts we love—books we can settle in with and really enjoy, preferably with a cup of tea (my one concession to normalcy).

We will never:

1) Do it for the money
2) Grab the big name over the great book
3) Overprice our books or make it all about the money (see #1)
4) Go into debt (we print using books-on-demand, the wave of the future—pun intended; we truly believe in the necessity for green publishing)
5) Sign an author without their knowing who we are and what we’re about (our site is full of over-explanation; read it . . . all of it)
6) Get too big for our britches (small suits us)

We hope to:

1) Crank out several great books a year (current cached authors include Terry Burns, Max Elliot Anderson, Robin Jansen Shope, Liz Rhodebeck, Eddie Jones, Janalyn Voigt and Thomas Phillips with several others under consideration).

2) Prepare our associate editors (in training) to outgrow us and make some real money.

3) Find Holly the recognition she deserves at a big house (but only after we’re through with her).

4) Eventually find another kindred spirit who will work with me full time for a small snag of the profits (virtually nil at this point), someone who’s as crazy as I am (as evidenced by my absolute love for this labor-intensive, pittance-paying, soul-sapping job), and someone who will do so out of a sheer love for literature.

(What? No plans to visit the White House or write a biography of Stephen King? In a word, no.)

Oh, and in the midst of this amazing venture, I’d like to get a few books of my own out there, books I hope will fall into our #1 category under “hope tos.”

Cat, the first autographed copy goes to you, and Bonnie, you get the second.