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A Big Gay Market Event Report!

A photograph of a table set up under a pop-up tent. A banner hangs behind the table and reads "Duck Prints Press. We Print Diversity." and it has pictures of a brown duck and a white duck. In the foreground is a table laden with merchandise and books. Visible items include enamel pins of animals, stickers of ducks, paw prints, and a lemon, mugs with ducks, a teacup, a book entitled "Commit to the Kick," and two baskets. Two people sit behind the table, one mostly hidden, the other smiling at the camera.

Yesterday, Duck Prints Press owner Claire, author Catherine, and Claire’s mom attended A Big Gay Market in Washington Park in Albany! The weather was honestly dismal, and the event organizers ultimately ended the market after only one of the scheduled 4 hours. We stuck it out as long as we could and stayed for about half the planned time, and I’m glad we did! The few shoppers who came by were lovely, and we had a really good day. Honestly, despite the cold and wet, we have no complaints, and we’re already looking forward to the next time A Big Gay Market will be held, in April of 2024. (Though hopefully they’ll find an indoor venue next time!)

A few shout-outs to people we met!

Fashion A-Fare Boutique: they had some awesome, fun merch – I especially loved the Barbie movie inspired earrings and the d6 earrings (I want to get a pair for my wife!).

Art.with.a.Waddle: super cute art and penguins. How can one possibly go wrong??? Bonus, the owner Zoë was dressed up as Tony Tony Chopper (vendors were encouraged to wear Halloween costumes).

Adirondack Crystalry and The Artful Woods: these two cool folks were sharing a cozy-looking booth! I especially noticed the Crystalry’s cool wands and the wood-cut earring rainbows with dangling crystals at The Artful Woods.

Fawnduu: she had me at “lesbian cowboys.”

Bonus, I ran into Calivarn from Eclectic Arts again! At Fandom Fest, they were across the path and just to the right of my booth…and yesterday…they were across the path and just to the right of my booth! It’s nice to go to local events and start meeting the same people multiple times. <3 I’d hoped to run into the lovely folks from Pastel Prince, too, but the weather was so bad that I didn’t get to explore the whole market before it closed, so I only got to pass by maybe a quarter of the vendors.

My only purchase for the day was these two cuties:

A photograph of two crocheted dolls. One is a caterpillar with segments in pastel blue, white, and pastel pink, in the distinct shades of the trans pride flag. The other is a bee.

I picked out the bee for my son, and the trans-flag caterpillar for my daughter. Unfortunately, I foolishly didn’t catch the name of the creators! I’m so frustrated with myself, it means I can’t shout about how lovely they were (and one of them was dressed as a mushroom and it was a.dor.a.ble). So, if you are or know the creators of these precious stuffies that my kids love, please tell me so I can sing their praises by name!!! (They might have been Honey Strands Crochet? I’m looking through the vendor list and trying to figure it out.)

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who came out, and whether you came or not, we hope to see you at A Big Gay Market next time!

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Upcoming Event: A Big Gay Market

This coming Sunday, October 29th, Duck Prints Press will be vending at A Big Gay Market in Albany, New York. This outdoor, open-air market is in Washington Park right downtown, runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and features over 100 vendors. Vendor registration fees benefit Unirondack Queer Youth Advocacy Retreat.

About the Market: A Big Gay Market is a designated safe and affirmative space for LGBTQI+ individuals, especially for those in our community that have intersecting marginalized identities, to join together in queer and trans joy for a cause. This market aims to benefit Camp Unirondack’s Queer Youth Advocacy Retreat.

About Camp Unirondack: Founded in 1951 by the Universalists, Unirondack is a radically inclusive Camp and Conference Center located on Niiohehsà:ne (Beaver Lake) in the forever wild forests of the Western Adirondack Mountains on Haudenosaunee Land. Unirondack is a community that is shaped and re-shaped each summer by its staff members, campers, and volunteers. We offer some things in common with other summer camps: a beautiful lakeside setting, a wide range of daily activities, family-style meals, and the chance to spend time away in the woods. But what truly makes us unique is the energy, caring and creativity of the people who call Unirondack home.

About Us: Duck Prints Press LLC is an independent publisher based in New York State. Our founding vision is to work with fancreators to publish their original work. We are particularly dedicated to working with queer authors and artists to publish stories featuring characters from across the LGBTQIA+ spectrum.

We’re really excited to be part of an event that so closely aligns with our goals and interests as a Press, and we hope we’ll be able to see some of you there!

In addition to the donation of the vending fee paid, Duck Prints Press will be donating 10% of our net proceeds from sales at the Market to Camp Unirondack. For those unable to attend in person, we encourage you to shop in our store on October 29th, 2023. All purchases made that day, we’ll donate 10% of the net proceeds to Unirondack, just as we would if you bought from us in person at the market.

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Duck Prints Press Summer 2023 Con Wrap!

We’ve now vended at our first two cons, and we wanted to take a few minutes to blog about it!

I (press owner Claire Houck/unforth) attended Fandom Fest in Schenectady, NY, and Albacon in Clifton Park, NY, and vended on behalf of the Press. Authors Nova Mason, Shea Sullivan, Catherine E. Green, and Tris Lawrence helped me out with manning the booth, handling transactions, participating in our first DPP panel, and more, so huge THANKS to them. (Also to Prof. Robert Heverly from Albany Law School, for contributing his expertise on copyright law to our Fandom Fest panel). I wrote about our Fandom Fest panel here, and about our events at Albacon here and here.

To be honest, we really had no idea how things would go, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that we far exceeded our expectations. Going into this, I’ll own I was very afraid – would people be interested in our Press? Would we make money? Or would we be that sad, lonely table that everyone walks quickly by? But things couldn’t have gone better – they went so well we’re already looking at more events to attend in the future.

From a fiscal standpoint, we made almost double what I anticipated and completely made up the expense of buying the supplies and equipment necessary for us to vend at these events and going forward. From a panel perspective, our events were nicely attended. From a “growing the business” standpoint, we added many names to our mailing lists and gained social media platforms. And, from a networking standpoint, we had a fantastic time and met a lot of awesome people – and that’s primarily what this post is about!

You already know about us; we’re here to shout-out some other folks we’re now very happy to know!

The amazing Syrren and I bonded instantly over our shared love of the men of Mo Xiang Tong Xiu books and Stardew Valley romance options. I miiiight have ended up with some merch (though the Genshin Impact ones are gifts for a friend).

According to the Fandom Fest organizers, it was 100% a coincidence that we ended up next to Duck and Cover, but we couldn’t have had a cooler or more appropriate neighbor. A con attendee felt it was so on-brand for Duck Prints Press that they actually bought us this one-of-a-kind hand-painted James Bond duckie! We also talked with Duck and Cover about maybe offering some of their custom ducks as campaign add-ons in the future, so be on the lookout…

The owner of The Cogitation Zone, Lisa, is a long-time friend of Tris Lawrence, who commissioned us this custom Duck Prints Press business card holder that’ll be accompanying us to all our future cons! Lisa also had made a large number of adorable creatures, and I miiiight have traded a copy of one of our anthologies for an axolotl. Because. Axolotl.

The Consol Collection, sadly, has no website that I can find, but they had a lot of things such as this adorable Totoro sticker I got for my kids. And when the owner of Eclectic Arts approached me in an absolutely fabulous Hawaiian shirt featuring Pride-flag-colored twenty-sided dice, I instantly agreed to a sticker trade. On the right, jiadoesart had many lovely things, and I picked out some stickers for my Ghibli-loving kids.

Some Other Neat Folks We Met:

Pastel Prince Shop: lots of gorgeous queer art and merch; I’m hoping to get one of their asexual pride bracelets in the future (it got sold before I could grab it, sadly).

Bear and Bird Boutique: a local business that was vending at Fandom Fest, too, they have a lot of amazing bits and baubles, both fandom-related and original. We’ve bought everything from the Hilda graphic novel to a dragon puzzle at their store.

Picnocline: the only reason I didn’t buy things from Picnocline’s shop is that there were so many cute things that I literally couldn’t pick.

It’s Getting Dicey: dice, one of my true weaknesses! They have metal pride-flag dice sets, and lots of queer dice trays. I wish I could get them all…

Two-Penny Nerdlesque: a local burlesque troupe; they were very enthusiastic about And Seek (Not) to Alter Me and our queerifying of Much Ado About Nothing, and delighted told me about their own very queer versions of Shakespeare and other plays – I’m definitely going to have to check them out in the future.

(There are others too, but I didn’t grab everyone’s information, and I think this is plenty for one post. 😀 )

If any of you all are seeing this post, it was an absolute delight to meet you, and please don’t be a stranger!

Going forward, we’re looking forward to participating in more events and making more connections with other creators, especially other queer creators! Just today, we’ve applied to vend at A Big Gay Market, taking place in Washington Park in Albany on October 29th, 2023. We’ve also got a tentative schedule for 2024, and we’ll post more about where you’ll be able to find us as the dates grow closer and we find out if the juried shows have accepted our applications. We’re going to do our best to continue the success we’ve enjoyed at our first two conventions by pursuing vending as a way to meet potential readers and customers, grow relationships with other queer creators, and get the Duck Prints Press names out there for the benefit of all the authors, artists, and others we work with!

Got a con in New York State or Massachusetts that you love and think we should try to attend in 2024? Let us know in the comments or by dropping us an e-mail at!

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Albacon Panels Now Available!

Did you see me talking on social media about the panels we’d be participating in at Albacon and think “oh wow, I wish I could hear that, but I’m not able to attend the con so I guess there’s no hope”? Well, there IS hope – all FIFTY Albacon panels and readings are now available online for anyone who registers to attend the con as a hybrid attendee – and you can still register as a hybrid attendee, for only $15, for the next month (you can register, and watch, until October 11th).

I personally participated in two panels and did one reading – Starting a Small Press, a reading from my story in Add Magic to Taste, and Crowdfunding for Print.

We had great discussions at all three – Starting a Small Press also feature Bianca D’arc, Ian Randal Strock (owner of Fantastic Books), and Inanna Arthen (panel moderator, owner of By Light Unseen Media). We had a great chat with a lot of specifics and details related to owning and operating small presses. Crowdfunding for Print included me, Bianca, and Ian again, with Tris Lawrence (whose work with Duck Prints Press can be found here) and Alex Shvartsman contributing their expertise as well.

And, if you register, you can access all the other awesome panels and readings as well, including those featuring the guests of honor Walter Hunt and Linda Addison, the special guests Allen Steele and Dan Kimmel, and all the other con panelists!

You can register HERE if you want to check out all the awesome!

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Con this Weekend: Albacon in Clifton Park, New York!

I’ll be at Albacon in Clifton Park, NY, this entire weekend! Even better, Albacon is a FULLY HYBRID convention, so even if you can’t get to Clifton Park, you don’t have to miss out on the awesome panels and cool guests!

The entire schedule is here, if you’re curious, but I know you’re really here to know what yours truly will be up to, so here’s my schedule.

Friday, 9/8, 5 PM (yes, this is in less than 4 hours, no I’m definitely not nervous even slightly why would you think that?): Starting a Small Press panel with me, Inanna Arthen, Ian Randal Strock, and Bianca D’Arc

Saturday, 9/9, 10 AM: Reading! I will be reading from my story Knishes and Noshes, published in our anthology Add Magic to Taste.

Sunday, 9/10, 10:30 AM: Crowdfunding for Print panel with Bianca D’Arc, Alex Shvartsman, Ian Randal Strock, and Tris Lawrence (it’ll be nice to panel with a friend!)

We’ll also be vending on vendor’s row, and I’m hoping to get our virtual vending set up too, though no promises there (you can always just check out our shop!)

Tris Lawrence will be there too, helping out with vending and participating in several other panels and doing a reading, so don’t miss her things either. 😀

Some come on out to Clifton Park or join us hybrid if these are topics that interest you, and I hope to see some of y’all there!

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Next Weekend: Duck Prints Press at Fandom Fest!

Proctors logo

Fandom Fest 2023 – the largest con aimed at fantasy enthusiasts in Upstate New York – is taking place next weekend, Saturday, August 26th, and Sunday, August 27th, at Proctor’s Theater in downtown Schenectady, New York!

As fate would have it, where is Duck Prints Press based? Why, in Schenectady, New York! So of course, we’ll be there – vending at a convention for the FIRST TIME EVER! We’ve been hard at work gathering all our merch, organizing the print books left over from our past campaigns, getting supplies so we can easily get set up (we own a hand truck now!), and PREPARING FOR OUR PANEL!

Yes, we’re hosting a PANEL! Featuring yours truly (I’m unforth, aka Nina Waters, aka Claire Houck – last one’s my actual name 😀 ), authors Shea Sullivan, Catherine E. Green, Tris Lawrence, and Willa Blythe, and Albany Law School professor Rob Heverly! Our author Nova Mason will also be putting in a cameo at our booth, handling sales while the rest of us are en-paneled.

Fans show their love of their fandoms in many ways, and one of the most common is by writing fanfiction! Among fanauthors, it's common to dream of a future in publication. How can fanauthors make that dream a reality? That's the topic of this panel! Hi, we're Duck Prints Press, an indie press based right here in Schenectady, and we're fans who work with other fans to publish their original work (ofic). There are many considerations when looking to make the transition from fanauthor to ofic author, and we'll be looking at many of those considerations and answering your questions. We'll discuss several common paths people follow when they seek to get published, "barcode scrubbing" and other fanfiction-specific publication concerns, copyright concerns and contract pitfalls, what our Press does, and more! Bring your curiosity, your favorite blorbos, and your questions—we look forward to seeing you there! 

So, if you’re gonna be at Fandom Fest (it’s not too late to get advance tickets!), make sure you come say hi! We’d be thrilled to meet ya!

(and, while I know we’ll be your main inducement for attending, might I mention that Alan Tudyk, Summer Glau, and a bunch of other celebrities will be there? and a bunch of gaming? and of course a cosplay contest? it’s gonna be lots of fun, y’all…)

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Celebrate the End of May by Meeting Us!!

The US is celebrating Memorial Day this weekend, and all around the northern hemisphere, we’re enjoying the warming weather and the end of a lovely May!

And what better way to enjoy the end of the month than getting your book on?

For only the second time ever, people involved with Duck Prints Press – the independent press founded by fandom folks to publish the original work of fancreators, with an emphasis on works featuring LGBTQIA+ characters – will be attending cons and book events to (officially and unofficially) share more information about the Press!

Interested in learning more by meeting folks involved with the Press? Well, if you’re going to either of these events this weekend, you can!

The Hay Festival, Hay-on-Wye, Wales, UK

Rachael L. Young, Press staff editor, will be attending The Hay Festival today, tomorrow, and Sunday! We have no official presence at the Festival, but you’ll know Rachael by her awesome Press swag, including several of our books, our pins, our bookmarks, and this amazing Dux tote bag she got custom printed! If you see her, stop by and say hi – and don’t forget to grab one of our business cards before you leave!

Photo credit: Rachael L. Young; used with permission.

Balticon, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Author Tris Lawrence is attending Balticon tomorrow, Sunday, and Monday, where she’ll be promoting her own work and her work with the Press, including participating in multiple panels and doing a reading from her novel Commit to the Kick. She’s also got several of our anthologies for you to take a look at, a pile of business cards, the last unsold print copies of the first print run of Commit to the Kick (we’ve got a reprint in the works, though…) and the debut of our first-ever entirely free Duck Prints Press zine, assembled by author and editor Alec J. Marsh!

Photo credit: Tris Lawrence; used with permissions.

Want to meet Tris? Here’s her panel schedule:

  • Sunday 11:30am – Spear Carriers and Background Characters
  • Sunday 2:30pm – Works I Wasn’t Ready to Write
  • Sunday 4:00pm – How to succeed as an ND (NeuroDiverse) creative
  • Sunday 5:30pm – Reading (with Elektra Hammond)
  • Monday 11:30am – Small press or self-publish?

If you’re going to either of these events, we really hope to meet you there!

Not able to attend either of these events? You’ll have other chances! We’re still fleshing out our 2023 convention schedule, but we know for sure we’ll have people – and tables! – at these events:

NordCon, Hamburg, Germany – June 2nd – 4th: Alessa Riel and possibly other German Press folks will be attending NordCon! We’ll have a table there, along with cards, stickers, and some other fun freebies.

FlameCon, New York City, New York, USA – August 12th – 13th: we might be attending FlameCon! We are on the waitlist for a small table, and if we’re able to get a table, we’ll be there with bells on (possibly literally). If not, we’ll skip this year, but we’re definitely going to try to make it next year!

FandomFest, Schenectady, New York, USA – August 26th – 27th: I (Nina Waters/unforth), Tris Lawrence, Catherine E. Green, Shea Sullivan, Willa Blythe, Nova Mason, and possibly other Press authors and contributors will be attending this convention, local to where the Press is based! We’ll have a vending table with merch and books for sale, and we’ll also be hosting a panel about transitioning from writing fanfiction to original fiction. We’ll post more about that, including scheduling, once the con organizers formally announce the schedule.

Albacon, Albany, New York, USA – September 8th – 10th: Tris Lawrence and I will be at Albacon in Albany, and we’ll be vending too! We don’t yet know about panels and readings, but we’re definitely looking to get involved. When the event is closer, we’ll absolutely be sharing more information.

We’re looking to expand our con attendance in the future, so be on the look out! And if you know a local con you think would suit us, do let us know!

What about y’all – attending any fun cons or book-related events this summer?