About Raven Words Press

Gossiping Ravens by Jim Brandenburg
Gossiping Ravens by Jim Brandenburg

Raven Words Press is an independent publisher in Ely, Minnesota. Our mission is to encourage children and grown-ups to explore, enjoy, and protect the natural world and share experiences with one another through story-telling, writing, and art.

Raven Productions was established in 1995 with the production of The Ely Summer Times, a small magazine with articles about the Ely area, its people and history, a calendar of events, and all the information needed for tourists and residents to make the most of their visit or life in Ely. The Times became popular enough to expand to two editions per year in 1997. We added the Boundary Waters & Quetico Calendar in 1999, and published our first book in 2003. In 2018 Legacy Toys took over the Book Publishing division where they continue to publish children’s books and other products under their re-branding.

Awards for Raven Productions books include the Independent Publishers (IPPY) Award, Midwest Independent Publishers Association, Moonbeam Children’s Book Award, John Burroughs List of Nature Books for Young Readers, the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award for Children’s Literature, Midwest Book Awards Honorable Mention for History, Lupine Award and Honorable Mention by the National Outdoor Book Awards in the Classic category.

We support our local economy, keeping our business expenditures as close to northern Minnesota as possible and dealing with other small, independent businesses. All our printing is done by Minnesota companies.

Raven Words Press continues to produce the Ely Summer & Winter Times as well as our annual Boundary Waters & Quetico Calendar.

Why did we choose the name of a large black bird for our business?


One expert has posited that ravens have a larger variety of sounds—“words” if you will—than any species other than ourselves. Each individual has a name, a series of sounds that only it uses. When another raven, most often a mate, wants to find that raven, it makes this call and, if free to do so, the called raven comes. Having close to 100 natural sounds made by the whole species, individual ravens expand their vocabularies by imitating the sounds they hear around them from other animals, humans and their machines, and other ravens.


Ravens can be seen sliding down rooftops in winter, teasing dogs by pulling their tails, and performing mid-air acrobatic stunts. They like shiny objects, and will use them as gifts to their raven or human friends. Also, ravens are intelligent. Depending on what trait researchers have used to measure smarts, ravens have outperformed even parrots, elephants, and monkeys. For a business that seeks to entertain and educate through language, the raven is a perfect mascot.

By Root River Photography