Torrey House has come a long way since 2010, when Kirsten Johanna Allen and Mark Bailey cofounded it in Torrey, Utah, as a print-on-demand publisher with three novels to its name. The press, which has since moved to Salt Lake City, currently has four full-time employees and two part-timers, and now publishes between one and six books each season, most spotlighting environmental themes and all of interest to the American West.

Two years ago, as part of a major restructuring of the press, Allen promoted development director Will Neville-Rehbehn to serve with her as copublisher and coexecutive director. This allows, Neville-Rehbehn explained, “both copublishers the chance to go as deep as we can with authors and to have more time with acquisitions, as well as to do right by all the nonprofit things we do outside of being a publisher.” (Torrey House has been a literary nonprofit organization since 2015.)

That 2022 restructuring, which included a commitment to diversifying its list, may have a lot to do with why Torrey House has become more visible on a national level, all while experiencing a spike in sales. Two of its four fall 2023 releases—True West: Myth and Mending on the Far Side of America by Betsy Gaines Quammen, a compilation of interviews with residents of western and southwestern states about the myths and realities of life in the American West; and The Missing Morningstar by Stacie Shannon Denetsosie, a collection of short fiction with Indigenous characters and themes—have been leading the pack of Torrey House’s four fall 2023 releases in terms of sales and attention. The press has high hopes that these upward trends will continue with the release of Playing with Wildfire by Laura Pritchett—billed as “cli fi” about the impact of a wildfire upon a community—which received among the highest number of advance orders of any Torrey House fiction release before its publication earlier this month.

Neville Rehbehn maintains that True West, especially, “epitomizes everything that Torrey House has been doing well, but taking that to the next level in terms of creative nonfiction.” Noting that Quammen holds a Master’s degree in environmental studies and a Ph.D in history, Neville-Rehbehn describes True West as a compilation of “stories of the people and the land of the West, bringing the West into conversation with the rest of the country, and with the world.” The book has been picking up momentum since its October release, with Torrey House reporting that sales peaked in January. Quammen’s regional author tour has been extended through spring and expanded into a national tour, with stops planned for Boston, New York City, and Washington, D.C.

As for The Missing Morningstar, Neville-Rehbehn regards its reception as a “break-through” for the press. Not since Charles Quimby’s 2013 bestseller, Monument Road, has Torrey House published fiction that has been so well received both within the region and beyond, he said. “We’re experiencing something similar to Monument Road; Stacie really is exploding,” he continued, noting that the book is already one of the press’s all-time fiction topsellers despite hitting shelves only six months ago. “But with Missing Morningstar, it’s more grassroots support, rather than attention that put us on a rocket ship,” he added, referring to the selection of Monument Road as an ABA Indies Next and Book Expo Indies Introduce title in 2013.

Academics are increasingly assigning specific stories or even adopting Denetsosie's entire collection for use in English literature and writing courses, Neville-Rehbehn said. He added that Denetsosie is “making guest appearances with many of those classes, most of them virtual.”

Along with Quammen—and David Gessner, author of another Torrey House 2023 release, A Traveler's Guide to the End of the World: Tales of Fire, Wind, and Water—Denetsosie has been invited to appear at the Tucson Festival of Books in March. She will also be one of the headliners at an event kicking off the Northern Arizona Book Festival in April, where she will read alongside Natalie Diaz, Chelsea T. Hicks, and Deborah Taffa.

As an integral part of its commitment to publishing more emerging voices who belong to diverse communities—such as Denetsosie, who is a citizen of the Navajo Nation—Torrey House has hired bookseller Alexis Powell of the King's English Bookshop in Salt Lake City as an editor. “We put our values into action, and brought in a young Black woman as an editor, who will handle acquisitions and editing,” Neville-Rehbehn said. “Having her expertise in the room has been extraordinarily valuable.”

This ongoing commitment to diversity is further exemplified in the press’s most recent acquisition: a collaboration with the nonprofit NDN Girls Book Club to publish an anthology “celebrating Indigenous writers of marginalized genders.” The untitled anthology, edited by Kinsale Drake, Darcie Little Badger, and Denetsosie, is scheduled for release in late 2025.