Truman State University Press was established in 1986 to publish peer-reviewed research and literature for the scholarly community and the reading public, originally focusing on sixteenth-century European history. Over the years, the Press became known for its high-quality titles, topics, and authors in our Early Modern Studies series, a premier venue for interdisciplinary studies in the Renaissance and Reformation era. The Press publishes important works on the American Midwest and selected topics in American history/American studies, including the Truman Legacy Series. TSUP’s literature publications include poetry in the New Odyssey Series, a Contemporary Nonfiction Series, and a literary journal, Chariton Review. Since 1997, the Press has sponsored the T. S. Eliot Prize, an annual award for the best collection of poetry in English named in honor of native Missourian T. S. Eliot. The Notable Missourians series for young readers and a series on Education and the Liberal Arts were launched in 2014. The Young Voices of Missouri project, begun in 2016 as a special issue of Chariton Review, publishes the work of high school students in Missouri.
In 2017, in light of significant challenges for public higher education institutions in Missouri, including continuing cuts to core appropriations, Truman State University began the process of phasing out TSUP operations. Recognizing the significant disruption that other, more abrupt, university press shutdowns have caused to authors and readers alike, TSUP staff worked closely with University administration to create a plan for a gradual shutdown process that would respect the rights and needs of our authors and customers, and would allow time to assist authors in making other arrangements for their books.
Our first actions were to help authors find other publishers to take over projects that were under contract but not yet in process, move the Early Modern Studies series to Penn State University Press (effective Jan. 2018), and discontinue new publications in the areas of American Midwest and contemporary nonfiction. Our last new titles in American Midwest and contemporary nonfiction came out in 2017, as well as the last books in our Notable Missourians series for young readers. In 2018, we published the last winner of the T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry, and the last issue of Chariton Review (a combined 2019 issue) is due out in early 2020.
Throughout this process, TSUP has retained a part-time skeleton staff and has continued to distribute active titles while working on reverting rights to authors, starting with older or less-active titles and working forward. As we notify authors that their title is going out of print and rights are reverting to them, we are also working with them to dispose of remaining stock and offering our assistance to make other, appropriate arrangements for their work. Our last titles will go out of print at the end of 2020 and authors will receive their final royalty reports and payments in early 2021.
We recognize that our approach to a shutdown may seem confusing, with a timeline that may look indecisive, but we hope that our authors, customers, and others will understand that our plan is based on a desire to keep our authors’ titles available as long as possible and to allow us time to provide assistance to authors during the shutdown process. If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.