press release

COW EYE PRESS WILL PROTEST DISQUALIFICATION OF ITS TITLE FROM DIMWIDDLE PRIZE

Cheyenne, WY (February 20, 2016) — Cow Eye Press, an alternative publishing house specializing in literary fiction with a focus on cows and cattle, has announced its intent to submit a legal protest on behalf of a title disqualified from consideration by the Dimwiddle Foundation's annual Prize for First Fiction.

The novel, Cow Country by Adrian Jones Pearson, was originally awarded fourth place in the prestigious competition but was later declared ineligible after a review of the novel's application. The award had originally come with a cash award that was also rescinded.

According to Cow Eye Press editor Natalie Zeldner, no official statement has been given regarding the decision. Zeldner says that despite repeated attempts to contact the Dimwiddle Foundation, no representative from the family estate has offered an explanation as to why Cow Country was subsequently disqualified.

"We've tried repeatedly to inquire what the issue was. But they haven't even bothered to respond to our telegraph cables. This lack of transparency is bizarre and does not reflect well on the organizational professionalism or literary citizenship of the Dimwiddle Foundation or its patriarch."

Zeldner says that while she appreciates the various contributions that the Dimwiddle Estate has made to Cow Eye Junction, and to literature as a whole, she feels that she must protest the decision on moral grounds.

“This is not simply about the seven dollars and fifty cents. Or the inexplicable prestige that is associated with literary prizes. Or the dubious validation that they provide. It's not even about the increased sales that inevitably result as the general reading public, conditioned to upholding these arbitrary exhortations as a meaningful reflection of literary value, dutifully falls in line. No, at the end of the day this is about justice.”

Zeldner says that she has already contacted a reputable attorney and that if her demands to reinstate the novel are not met, she is prepared to move forward with a class-action lawsuit on behalf of independent publishers. "Let's be honest, they wouldn't pull this shit with Farrar, Straus and Giroux. So why are they doing it to a title from Cow Eye Press? The mainstream publishers have this gangrenous monopoly on all the literary prizes due to their size and influence. They can get the prominent reviews in the larger publications, and the stamp of approval that comes with that lays the foundation for the prizes. The whole system is corrupt, and I certainly get that. But if the Dimwiddles think I'm going to just back off and let them continue to ignore the merits of alternative fiction brought to the world by small presses like ours, then they are sorely mistaken."

"I'm coming for you, motherfuckers, and I'm coming hard.”

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CONTACT: Natalie Zeldner, Editor, Cow Eye Press editors@coweyepress.com

ABOUT COW EYE PRESS: Cow Eye Press is a new publishing house specializing in literary fiction with an intercultural focus. Its readers enjoy works that challenge the mind and enrich the soul by exploring the boundaries of culture and society. For more information, visit the Cow Eye Press website at www.coweyepress.com.

ABOUT THE DIMWIDDLE FOUNDATION: The Dimwiddle Family Foundation (DFF) is a private foundation that supports local organizations building healthy, productive and empathetic youth. We find local and scalable solutions to Cow Eye Junction’s most pressing challenges, with a focus on: Cutting-Edge Instructional Design and Water Management Solutions, Late Twentieth-Century Construction Projects, and Innovative Approaches to Institutional Assessment. For more information, visit www.dimwiddlefoundation.wordpress.com.