A Matter of Timing

In 2012, the South Dakota State Historical Society Press announced that it would publish Laura Ingalls Wilder’s previously unpublished autobiography, Pioneer Girl, in the summer of 2013.

Since that time, the Press has worked hard to keep its interested followers up to date with each step in the process. We knew that work on this book would be involved and deep, but we were unaware exactly how involved and how deep we, and principal editor/annotator Pamela Smith Hill, would find ourselves as the project progressed.

Time and again during the researching, writing, and editing of this book, we have found ourselves making new discoveries about Wilder and her early work. We have constantly been surprised at where we ended up when research led us in unexpected directions. Each twist and turn has been exciting, but unfortunately, it has also been time consuming.

So, it is with great regret that the Press is forced to announce a delay in the publication of Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Edition. At this time, we are working hard to expedite the process. However, we believe that all of our books deserve the highest possible level of research, writing, and production. With this in mind, we will strive for the earliest possible release date but will not shortchange the standards by which we have made our reputation.

The South Dakota State Historical Society Press thanks all those who have shown interest in Pioneer Girl. We will continue to update our progress on this website, pioneergirlproject.org, and we will be announcing a revised publication date as soon as we can.

Nancy Tystad Koupal

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35 thoughts on “A Matter of Timing

  1. Pingback: Beyond Little House | Pioneer Girl Project Update

  2. We’ve all been waiting years for the publication of Pioneer Girl, so if we have to wait a few (several?) more months, it’ll be worth it if the book will be, as you say, richer and better.

  3. Thank you so much for updating us on the progress of this important project. Although it is a bit disappointing to have to wait longer for the release, the additional time spent in research will no doubt result in an even more satisfying experience for everyone. As the saying goes, “a job worth doing is worth doing well,” and if that means extending the project, then I am sure that fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder will appreciate the end result all the more for the additional effort devoted to this project.

  4. While I am disappointed with the delay, I’m sure the finished product will be well worth it. Whenever we are able to read Pioneer Girl, it will be a wonderful gift to learn the intimate details of Laura’s life.

  5. I don’t mind waiting a little longer for a quality product. I suspected it wouldn’t be ready this summer. So far what you have shared is very interesting so I’m sure that the finished book will be a treasure.

  6. Thank you for your hard work and effort to do the very best job possible. This process is really honoring Laura. I thought the June 2013 was a bit optimistic 🙂 whenever it is published I will definately order one ! All the best….

  7. Thank you for the update to Pioneer Girl’s release. I agree with Pamela Smith Hill that she should continue deeper and thorough research for this project as it’s the one opportunity to present Wilder’s early ‘Little House’ story. Please keep us posted on new tidbits as the excitement builds toward publication time.

  8. Pingback: Pioneer Girl | Sarah's Notebook

  9. This project will be worth it! Thank you so much for devoting the time and quality scholarship Pioneer Girl truly deserves! Looking forward to the final release date.

    • Hi, Carlos. At this time, we do not plan to release Pioneer Girl as an audio book. Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Edition will not only make Laura Ingalls Wilder’s unpublished memoir widely available for the first time, but it will also add valuable context through the annotations, maps, and appendices. Unfortunately, the close relationship between text and annotations is difficult to reproduce in a non-visual medium.

  10. Pingback: Linkspam, 3/8/13 Edition — Radish Reviews

    • Thank you for your question. Along with making Wilder’s unpublished memoir widely available for the first time, Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography will add valuable context through photographs, annotations, maps, and appendices. We do have plans for an eBook version of Pioneer Girl in the future, but creating an eBook will require restructuring, so we will probably not be releasing a digital format at the same time as the print version.

  11. I visited Laura’s home in Mansfield last Monday with my children. I visited Burr Oak in 2011 with one daughter and De Smet in 1988. I googled “Pioneer Girl” to find the book, and found your website. Please do publish it, and let us know when it’s out.

  12. Is the Laura Ingalls Wilder estate cooperating on this project? I am surprised they did not publish the book themselves because they are very protective of what they own.

    • The Laura Ingalls Wilder estate, via The Little House Heritage Trust, granted the South Dakota State Historical Society Press the exclusive right to publish Pioneer Girl.

  13. I have just finished Pamela Smith Hill’s book about Laura and I can hardly wait until I can purchase Pioneer Girl. I portray Mrs. Wilder in the Ozark Mountain Players’ “Laura’s Memories” in Mansfield and have recently visited Walnut Grove and DeSmet. I am truly a Laura fan.

  14. Pingback: A New Time Frame for Pioneer Girl | The Pioneer Girl Project

  15. I just stumbled upon this website via Pinterest and I am so excited to learn about Laura’s initial works and true life details being published. I can’t wait to read it. I have always loved the Little House books and have wanted to know more about the real life of the Ingalls family. Thank you for providing us with the opportunity to learn more about them.

  16. I just received in the mail the new catalog for South Dakota State Historical Society Press and what was on the cover? Yes! It’s Wilder’s ‘Pioneer Girl’ annotated edition cover and multiple pages featuring the release in September 2014! Your work looks like it will be worth the wait these past few years. Thank you for the sneak peak!

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