Interview with Jill Braithwaite and Alison Vandenberg

Jan 27, 2020 3:06:00 PM / by Nicole Carney


On January 28, 1517 Media announced the launch of Broadleaf Books, a new adult nonfiction imprint. Broadleaf Books is co-led by Jill Braithwaite, Associate Publisher, and Alison Vandenberg, Senior Director of Marketing and Sales. Braithwaite and Vandenberg also oversee Beaming Books, the children’s imprint of 1517 Media. We sat down with these two to ask a few questions to learn more about Broadleaf Books.

Q: Who is Broadleaf Books?

AV: Broadleaf Books is the new adult nonfiction imprint of 1517 Media, the publishing house of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America). Broadleaf Books publishes titles that explore the human experience in the areas of religion, spirituality, social justice, the intersection of religion and culture, and personal growth.

Q: Why launch this new imprint? 

JB: In recent years, 1517 Media has published a good number of successful adult nonfiction books for general audiences, alongside our academic and education titles under the Fortress Press imprint. Broadleaf Books allows 1517 Media to expand our reach into general audiences. We’re excited to be able to publish more books from thought leaders and emerging voices in spirituality and religion who bring fresh perspectives to essential topics.

Q: Who would be interested in books by Broadleaf Books? 

AV: Our readers may or may not be active in Christian communities, but they share a belief that questioning, self-reflection, activism, and inclusivity can be valuable aspects of a faith journey. We hope that our books inspire transformation in readers to foster a more open, just, and compassionate world.

Q: When can I read books by Broadleaf Books?

AV: The first twenty-one titles from Broadleaf Books will publish starting in July 2020. The titles for general readers that were published under Fortress Press, our sister imprint, have been moved to the Broadleaf Books website. You can see them, along with the new Broadleaf Books titles coming this fall, on the new Broadleaf Books website.

Q: Does Fortress Press still exist?

JB: Yes! Fortress Press continues its long tradition of publishing for the academy, for the classroom, and for church leaders in the areas of theology, biblical studies, history, and more. This transition allows them to focus on and expand their publishing of high-quality scholarship for the church and the classroom.

Q: Where can I find books by Broadleaf Books?

AV: Our books will be available through your favorite bookseller, through our website, and at your local library.

Q: Any final words?

JB: Our goal with Broadleaf Books is to meet readers where they are, with books that make a difference in their lives. We strive to publish timely, authentic, and inspiring books that expand the mind, nourish the soul, and cultivate the common good. We are so excited about the forthcoming list and can’t wait for Broadleaf Books to be out in the world!

Jill Braithwaite and Alison Vandenberg

More about Broadleaf Books:

Broadleaf Books is committed to expanding the mind, nourishing the soul, cultivating the common good. Our books inspire transformation in readers and their communities to foster a more open, just, and compassionate world.  Rooted in the progressive Christian tradition and reflecting the diversity of human creativity, we publish books that engage readers in fresh, substantive, timely and inspiring reflections on what it is to live with meaning and connection. To learn more, visit  

Topics: Resources, Interviews

Nicole Carney

Written by Nicole Carney

Nicole Carney is a digital marketing professional at Broadleaf Books, where she helps readers discover books that foster a more open, just, and compassionate world. She can often be found reading, exploring Minnesota, and spending time with her loved ones.

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