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Author: Natalia Castells-Esquivel

Instagrammers-in-Residence: Alban Fischer

Alban Fischer is the founding editor of Trnsfr and Trnsfr Books. He has designed over 150 books for more than thirty independent publishers, including Curbside Splendor, YesYes Books, Tiny Hardcore Press, Bellevue Literary Press, and 826CHI. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Unlikely Stories, Untoward, and Vinyl, and his first full-length collection, Fake Moon, is currently in search of a publisher. He lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. You can find him online at...

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Instagrammers-in-Residence: Jarod Roselló

Jarod Roselló is a Cuban-American teacher, cartoonist, and writer, born and raised in Miami, Florida. He is the author of the graphic novel The Well-Dressed Bear Will (Never) Be Found and the webcomic Those Bears. He teaches fiction and comics in the creative writing program at University of South Florida and is the founder of Bien Vestido Press, a small press dedicated to publishing comics and zines by Latina/o artists and...

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Instagrammers-in-Residence: Spencer Printing

Spencer Printing, founded in 1910, is a small commercial printing company in Northeast PA. We specialize in high quality, quick turnaround projects for small businesses. Several years ago we began to promote our short run book printing capabilities, and it has quickly become our fastest growing (and most favorite) market. We love printing books because of the intimate relationship we develop with our publishing clients. We were already a heavily service oriented business, and printing short runs of books for small publishers has been a perfect fit for us in terms of technology/expertise as well as our customer minded...

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Instagrammers-in-Residence: StoryDrop

StoryDrop is a country-wide storytelling collaboration started in Atlanta by Sarah Friday and Natalia Castells-Esquivel. Here’s how it works: A StoryDrop book is released with only one written page. Then, a picture of the book is posted on social media (Instagram and Twitter) using #StoryDrop. In the vein of a scavenger hunt, someone tries to figure out where the book is. Once they find the book, they read the previous page(s) and continue the story on the next page. Lather, rinse, and repeat. Eventually, an entire story is created by one city. The spirit of collaboration and fun at...

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Instagrammers-in-Residence: Housing Works

Housing Works Bookstore Cafe is one of downtown New York’s most vital cultural institutions, presenting an eclectic mix of events — from readings and concerts to comedy nights and storytelling competitions – featuring many of today’s most exciting artists. The bookstore is staffed almost entirely by volunteers and 100 percent of its profits go to Housing Works, Inc., which provides housing, healthcare, job training, and advocacy for New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS. As an independent cultural center, it offers patrons a unique opportunity to join the fight against AIDS and homelessness simply by buying or donating books; eating at...

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Instagrammers-in-Residence: Submittable

Submittable is a cloud-based submissions management platform used by organizations to accept and manage manuscripts, music, films, art, and applications. We’re based in Missoula, Montana, and were founded in 2009 by musician John Brownell, writer Michael FitzGerald, and filmmaker Bruce Tribbensee. We post calls for submission daily on and, and we send out a weekly list of hand-picked calls in our Submishmash Weekly newsletter ( We’re also working on Submishmash, an API of all contemporary art, literature, music and film in the Universe. Check it out–it’s in beta, but it’s already online at...

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Instagrammers-in-Residence: Mark Baumer

The Real Pants Instagram account has featured and will continue to feature a diverse group of writers, publishing houses, and writing affiliates, but it will never again see a Mark Baumer. One of the things that makes the writing community so interesting is that the people that populate it are as unique and compelling as the characters they create. We loved having Mark take over for the week. He definitely brought a new style and humor to the @actualpants account. Thanks, Mark! Mark Baumer lives in Providence Rhode Island. He works in a library. In 2010, he walked across...

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Instagrammers-in-Residence: Karly Hussey

The @actualpants Instagram is taking a life of its own. While each contributor receives very limited guidelines and suggestions, they are ultimately free to take the project wherever they wish. Karly Hussey, who took over the account two weeks ago, made it her own in the most visually-stunning way. Her photography matches her writing  – her style and voice are equally conversational and insightful, and sometimes, in her words, eerie. Here is a look at her week in New York City: Karly is writer from Atlanta, Georgia. She has had a publication in Underground; she was also a part...

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Instagrammers-in-Residence: LitMore

The literature community in Atlanta is quickly growing. While there are plenty of resources for writers, coming across LitMore made me realize that there is definitely more that Atlanta can do. In Baltimore, LitMore has created real life, physical spaces for writers to create work and connections. Lucky for us, the brilliant minds behind LitMore took over the @actualpants Instagram last week. Take a look. LitMore recognizes writing is a lonely business. While solitude is necessary to the creative process, writers also need each other’s company for fellowship, support, and knowledge-sharing. Online writing communities and courses are wonderful but...

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Instagrammers-in-Residence: Poets & Writers

The @actualpants Instagram account has been doing great thanks to the wonderful, mind-blowing, and talented people and organizations that have decided to participate in it. I was already on cloud 82739—I didn’t think I could feel happier about it. Well, imagine my joy when Poets & Writers agreed to take over for a week. I’m talking Happiness Level: Tacos and Unicorns. Poets & Writers has been an integral part of the literary community for decades, and it was such an honor to be able to look into their day-to-day. I’ll let their pictures do the rest of the talking....

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Instagrammers-in-Residence: Coffee House Press

It’s not every day that we get to look into the life of one of the premier nonprofit publishers in the country. Lucky for us, Coffee House Press took over the @actualpants Instagram last week. They started off with a gorgeous #flatlay of some of their books and ended with a strong final thought: Literature is not the same as publishing. I couldn’t agree more. Here’s a look at all of their posts from the past week. Coffee House Press began as a small letterpress operation in 1972 and has grown into an internationally renowned nonprofit publisher of literary...

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Instagrammers-in-Residence: tNY.Press

If you look  at tNY.Press’ “About” below, you’ll understand that they’re sexy. It’s true. The sexy is all over their book covers, posters, and pretty much everything they publish. Well we wanted some of that magic, too. Which is why we got them to post for us this past week. They most definitely did not disappoint. Check it out: tNY.Press (formerly theNewerYork) is an experimental literary publisher, shrugging off traditional forms of fiction in favor of the new. We publish a pocket-sized, full color, meticulously designed lit mag called Shrug mag three times a year (Subscribe here). We post stories and...

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Instagrammers-in-Residence: The Wren’s Nest

It’s easy to fall in love with The Wren’s Nest. After eight years in Atlanta, I finally toured the house and its fairytale grounds and was instantly appalled that it took me so long to visit. It’s a gorgeous place. More than that, though, The Wren’s Nest is an invaluable resource to the community—their writing programs for kids are exactly what I wish I’d had around when growing up. Naturally, we had to include them in the @actualpants Instagram campaign. Here’s a look at their week. The Wren’s Nest is the oldest house museum in Atlanta.  It is the...

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Instagrammers-in-Residence: Woodland Pattern

Hi y’all! This past week, the @actualpants Instagram star host was the non-profit Woodland Pattern from Milwaukee. One look at their collection of books and they had me planning a trip to Wisconsin—they’re doing pretty cool things over there! Here’s a look at their week: Founded as a non-profit organization in Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Riverwest neighborhood by Anne Kingsbury and Karl Gartung in 1979, Woodland Pattern is dedicated to the discovery, cultivation and presentation of contemporary literature and the arts. The center houses over 25,000 small press titles of poetry, chapbooks, fine print materials, broadsides and multicultural literature. We also...

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Instagrammers-in-Residence: Quinn Foster

A couple of weeks ago, I sat on a bridge in Middle-of-nowhere, Georgia, with Quinn Foster. After chatting with them about their current project, a thesis in the form of a web graphic narrative, it was decided that they had to be included in our Instagram campaign. This past week, they showed us everything from their inspiration, to their cat (because of course), and left us all with some invaluable writing advice: “Put down the pen, push away the keyboard. Stretch those wrists. Have a cup of tea. Love yourself, first. The writing will follow.” Cheers to that. Quinn...

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Instagrammers-in-Residence: APRIL

Every year, the Authors, Publishers and Readers of Independent Literature Festival hosts some of the best (and most original!) readings and events in the literary world. This year, they celebrated their fourth year and gave us an inside look as our fourth Instagrammers-in-Residence on @actualpants! Kinda perfect, don’t you think? Here’s what we got to see: Founded in 2011, APRIL (Authors, Publishers and Readers of Independent Literature) is an annual festival of literature that occurs for one week every March. The organization has hosted more than 100 readers since the first festival. APRIL’s staff members compare the organization to...

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Instagrammers-in-Residence: Sommer Browning

We’ve had an illustrator and a library take over our Instagram (@actualpants) before, and loved every second of it. This past week, though, was the first time we had an author participate. We managed to get Sommer Browning to lend us some of her time and she showed us everything from tamales to dirty mouses, from green (gold and white!) juices to her new book, The Circle Book. Take a look! Sommer Browning writes poems, draws comics and tells jokes. She is the author of Backup Singers and Either Way I’m Celebrating, two poetry collections from Birds, LLC. Her...

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Instagrammers-in-Residence: Mellow Pages Library

This week, we were lucky enough to get a peek inside Mellow Pages Library in Brooklyn for our Instagrammers-in-Residence campaign. (We’ll be featuring a new person, publication, or organization from the literary community from all over the world each week.) If ya’ haven’t already, go follow @actualpants! Mellow Pages Library is an independent, small-press library in Brooklyn, NY run off of donations and community. We have a lot of books you have never heard of, some you have, and one car seat. Wednesday through Sunday we are open noon-7 (exact timing dependent on the opening librarian’s last night, i.e. how...

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Instagrammers-in-Residence: Jordi Castells

Hi all! As announced last week, we have launched our new Instagrammers-in-Residence campaign (@actualpants). Every week, we’ll be featuring a new person, publication, or organization from the literary community, from all over the world. This past week we featured illustrator Jordi Castells: Jordi Castells was born in Mexico City in 1982 and has since moved over 15 times throughout San Antonio TX, Miami FL, Pachuca, and Atlanta GA. He began drawing as soon as he could pick up a pencil, started a rock band at 16, studied film at 19, illustrated a world-wide published novel at 22, majored in Graphic...

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