Froelich’s Ladder Wins Gold

PORTLAND, OREGON—Gigi Little, Forest Avenue Press’s graphic designer, received a gold medal in the Small Format Cover Design category of the 2017 PubWest Design Awards for her work on Froelich’s Ladder, the debut novel by Jamie Duclos-Yourdon.

The cover features an endorsement by Brian Doyle, who died on May 27, and was well known for supporting and encouraging debut authors. Doyle called Froelich’s Ladder “A wild odd funny picaresque headlong fervent fever dream of a dense moist prickly novel—the most unusual fiction I have read in years.”

“When Gigi Little first shared her idea for this cover, I asked her to make sure it didn’t look too historical and stuffy,” said Publisher Laura Stanfill. “She responded with the perfect touch: adding a dangling bare foot, which belongs to Froelich, the titular character who lives his life atop a mythical ladder. We knew as soon as Brian Doyle sent his blurb to us that his ebullient string of adjectives was the perfect piece of language to fit inside that cloud. The bare foot only added to the magic and whimsy of the words themselves.”

Little has been designing covers for Forest Avenue since the press’s founding on June 26, 2017, when she and Stanfill decided, on a streetcorner outside Powell’s one night after a meeting of the Henry Writers, their writing group, that they both wanted to work on the book project that became Brave on the Page: Oregon Writers on Craft and the Creative Life.

“I wouldn’t have a publishing house, and Forest Avenue wouldn’t have such a strong visual identity, without Gigi’s talents, hard work, and commitment to small-press publishing,” Stanfill said. “We started this ride together five years ago with a what-if, and a why-not, and a let’s-go-for-it, and now she designs for other presses and is the editor of our bestselling title, City of Weird: 30 Otherworldly Portland Tales. We’re all so thrilled she received a gold medal from PubWest, because this gives us a wonderful chance to celebrate her important role as our graphic designer.”

PubWest will honor the award winners at its next conference, slated for Feb. 15-17, 2018, in Pasadena, California. The nonprofit is based in the Portland area and has members in 33 states and two foreign countries.




  1. Congratulations Gigi, and Forest Avenue Press! We’ve known all along how stellar Gigi’s work is, and now it’s been recognized in the wider world. Such a well-deserved award!

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