Samantha Ladwig and her partner Thom Nienow are in the process of buying the Writers' Workshoppe & Imprint Books in Port Townsend, Wash., which is currently owned by author Anna Quinn (The Night Child) and her husband Peter Quinn.
The 1,600-sq.-ft. store is also known for holding writing workshops, and Ladwig first became associated with the store last year when she started teaching essay/memoir/novel workshops. In November, she added bookseller to her resume.
Ladwig has been ordering books for the store the last couple of months in preparation for taking over the shop on October 1. “It's been a fulfilling challenge to figure out that balance of what will sell vs. what we hope people will pick up,” Ladwig said.
Ladwig’s aim is to stock a diverse range of titles and to support emerging writers. “There's so much talent coming out of the book world today and with that also are new, necessary narratives and perspectives,” Ladwig said. “We'll also be stocking some of the classics that have shaped our own reading interests, contemporary authors we'll follow anywhere like Lauren Groff, Emily St. John Mandel, and Jesmyn Ward, and books that our community are excited about. Personally, I'm drawn to books released by Seal Press, Coffee House Press and Two Dollar Radio. Those are some of the presses I'll be paying attention to, on top of the bigger presses.”
Writers' Workshoppe & Imprint Books carries about 5,000 titles, including a children's section where Ladwig plans to add more middle grade and young adult sections. Another objective is to include more opportunities for younger writers/readers in terms of workshops and readings, Ladwig said.
Ladwig and Nienow are both in their late 20s and owning the Writers' Workshoppe & Imprint Books will be their first time running a store. Four days after taking over Writers’ Workshoppe the two will take on another first—they are getting married.