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From Manuscript to Marketplace: House of Cotton

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As a case study of the path to publication, From Manuscript to Marketplace offers candid talks between an author and members of their publishing team about each step of the publication process: acquisition, editorial, marketing, and more.

Author Monica Brashears joins us with Flatiron Books executive editor Nadxieli Nieto and publicity manager Claire McLaughlin to discuss House of Cotton. Brashears’ debut novel is a “stunning, contemporary Black southern gothic novel about what it means to be a poor woman in the God-fearing south.”

About House of Cotton

Magnolia Brown is nineteen years old, broke, and effectively an orphan. She feels stuck and haunted: by her overdrawn bank account, her predatory landlord, and the ghost of her late grandmother Mama Brown.

One night, while working at her dead-end gas station job, a mysterious, slick stranger named Cotton walks in and offers to turn Magnolia’s luck around with a lucrative “modeling” job at his family’s funeral home. She accepts. But despite things looking up, Magnolia’s problems fatten along with her wallet. When Cotton’s requests become increasingly weird, Magnolia discovers there’s a lot more at stake than just her rent.

Sharp as a belted knife, this sly social commentary cuts straight to the bone. House of Cotton will keep you mesmerized until the very last page. (Flatiron Books)

For more info about House of Cotton, please visit the author’s website.


Monica Brashears is an Affrilachian writer from Tennessee. She is a graduate of Syracuse University’s MFA program. Her work has appeared in Nashville Review, Split Lip Magazine, Appalachian Review, The Masters Review, and more. House of Cotton is her first novel.

Nadxieli Nieto is an editor of literary and upmarket fiction, nonfiction, and art books, including NYT bestseller LA Weather; 2023 Lammy finalist My Government Means to Kill Me, Shirley Jackson Award finalists Tiny Nightmares and Tiny Crimes; BCN award-winning Carteles Contra Una Guerra; and others. She is an executive editor at Flatiron Books and on the board of Latinx in Publishing. Her current authors include Kaitlyn Greenidge, María Amparo Escandón, Rasheed Newson, Monica Brashears, Jean Grae, Jessica Hoppe, Wendy Chin-Tanner, Erica Berry, Ben Austen, and John Manuel Arias. She has published work by writers such as Carmen Maria Machado, Yuri Herrera, Charles Yu, and Lilliam Rivera, and is the former director of PEN America’s Literary Awards. Her collaborative artist books may be found in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.

Claire McLaughlin is a publicity manager at Flatiron Books. She works on a wide range of fiction and nonfiction titles, including Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez, Razorblade Tears by S. A. Cosby, and More Myself by Alicia Keys.

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