Tell Me How It Was Press Release

February 13, 2015

Robert James Russell or Jeff Pfaller
MG Press
(248) 756-5715

Scarlett Middle School Re-Imagines History in Tell Me How It Was

The eighth grade students of Scarlett Middle School in Ann Arbor, Michigan, will be able to call themselves published authors on March 21, 2015, when their collection of short stories, Tell Me How It Was: An Anthology of Imagined Michigan Histories, is released by Midwestern Gothic’s MG Press and 826michigan.

As part of their study of the historical fiction genre in English class, the students worked through a series of workshops with guidance from their teachers, Sal Barrientes and Ellen Daniel, and editorial staff from MG Press and volunteers from 826michigan.

Students chose a particular day during the recent past—from 1999 to 2012—to use as the setting for an original story. They used prompts, historical events, and details to build a realistic narrative set in Michigan during those years. The stories cover a broad range, from exploring transformative memories around 9/11 and the loss of relatives to the shared experiences of youth, snow days, and sports heroes.

The book will be released as part of the Voices of the Middle West literature festival, hosted by the University of Michigan and Midwestern Gothic. The students will receive copies of their published work as part of a day featuring other prominent Midwestern authors and publishers, with acclaimed writer Stuart Dybek delivering the keynote for the festival. Voices of the Middle West will be held on March 21, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m at East Quad on the University of Michigan campus. Details about the event can be found here:

About Tell Me How It Was: An Anthology of Imagined Michigan Histories

Paperback 5” x 8”
ISBN: 978-0-9882013-6-1
Languages: English
Page count: 120
Genre: Historical Fiction
Formats: Print, PDF, ePub, .mobi

To request a print, PDF, mobi or ePub advance review copy, email

Where to Buy
List price: $12 Print / $4.99 eBook
Release Date: March 21, 2015

Ingram, Amazon, Lulu, iBooks, Kindle Books, Nook Books.

About MG Press
MG Press is a micro-press devoted to publishing a small number of titles each year. An extension of the literary journal Midwestern Gothic, MG Press retains the same core values: shining a spotlight on Midwest authors by focusing on works that showcase all aspects of life—good, bad, or ugly. The authors and books chosen exemplify these traits; they are representatives of the Midwest, and aim to celebrate what makes the Midwest such a unique place, highlighting our mythologies, stories, and culture that the world may be missing out on.

MG Press is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

About the MG Press Founders
Jeff Pfaller is a co-founder and fiction editor for Midwestern Gothic, a quarterly literary journal focused on celebrating Midwestern writing and authors. His short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Jupiter, North Chicago Review, and Fiction on the Web.

Robert James Russell is the author of two upcoming books: the collection Don’t Ask Me to Spell It Out (WhiskeyPaper Press, 2015) and the novel Mesilla (Dock Street Press, 2015). His first novel, Sea of Trees, was published in 2012. He was recently awarded a University Musical Society Residency for the 2014-2015 season. You can find him online at

About 826michigan
826michigan is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Our services are structured around the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success. With this in mind, we provide after-school tutoring, evening workshops, in-school residencies, help for English language learners, and assistance with student publications. All our programs are challenging and enjoyable, and ultimately strengthen each student’s power to express ideas effectively, creatively, confidently, and in his or her individual voice. Scarlett Middle School is part of Ann Arbor Public Schools and has a diverse student population of over 500 sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students. 826michigan has offered a wide range of its programs at Scarlett, including a 2012-2013 in-school residency that resulted in All I Could Do Was Look Up: Anatomy of a Middle School.

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To request a print, PDF, mobi or ePub advance review copy, email

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