Dennis Stovall: Publisher, Writer, Literary Activist, Fulbright scholar

Some of the books published by Ooligan Press at Portland State University

“As publishers, we’ve stopped thinking of the book as a book, and instead
thinking of it as the vessel that contains the story. . . and the vessel can take many forms.”


Portland, OR

Run time:



Publisher; nonfiction writer



The Dalles, Oregon

Youthful influence:

Books. Lots of books. And a family that read.

Influential Book:

The Wizard of Oz by

L. Frank Baum

Literary Habit:

Firebrand, activist, supporter of writers.

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Because of that experience and success, ten years ago Dennis was asked to design and manage a Master-degree level publishing curriculum at Portland State University. The resulting program has a working, trade publishing house run by students as the laboratory. This and its high level of collaboration between faculty and students have made this program unique in the world and a remarkable success, and resulted in Dennis being awarded a Fulbright scholarship in 2011 to help expand this concept in other nations.

Dennis tells his history growing up in a family of labor organizers in rural Oregon, and early in his life falling in love with the printed word and the power of words. From his experiences he then shares how he sees communications and storytelling changing, and where they are going in our future given the new technologies.

The Northwest is noted for its many writers and love of books. And for years, many would agree that at the center of our literary region have been two people, Dennis and Linny Stovall. Both are publishers, writers, editors, avid readers, and as Dennis explains, “literary activists.” Founders of Blue Heron Publishing, they pioneered programs that helped shape and empower writers throughout the Western U.S., and assisted many to sharpen their skills and find opportunities.


Fulbright Specialist Program, 2011

Best of Small Press Excellence in Publishing, 1997

Willamette Writers Humanitarian Award, 1999

Numerous other awards for book design, and excellence in writing and publishing.

Publishing Companies:

Ooligan Press (student lab), 2001 - 2011

Blue Heron Publishing (1985-2001)

Media Weavers (1983 - 1993)


Writers NW Handbook (1989 - 1993)
Classroom Publishing: A Practical Guide to Enhancing Student Literacy (1992)
Editor of more books than can be listed here.

Pacific NW Writers Association
Oregon Writers Colony
Northwest Association of Book Publishers
Oregon Publishers Industry Alliance
Literary Arts, Inc.

Ooligan press Stovall interview
publisher interview: Dennis Stovall
Dennis Stovall, literary activist, interview