The Victoria Book Prize Society announced the winners for the 2015 Victoria Book Prizes at an awards gala hosted by Robyn Burns. Victoria's Poet Laureate Yvonne Blomer opened the evening with readings from her recent works, including As If A Raven from Palimpsest Press.
Coteau Books was founded in 1975 by four writers in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan who saw the need for a publishing house that would focus on writing from the Prairies, and, in particular, writing from Saskatchewan. 40 years - and almost 500 books - later, Coteau has established itself as a publishing house of merit and integrity. At its head is new publisher John Agnew, who shared with us his zeal for literary publishing and where Coteau will go next.
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Founded in 1988, Vancouver’s Ronsdale Press is dedicated to publishing books from across Canada, books that give Canadians renewed insight into themselves and their country. After writing the annual roundup for the University of Toronto Quarterly for some years, founder and current publisher Ronald Hatch saw the need for a publishing house that was not focused on one style of writing. His Ronsdale Press fit the bill: selecting books across all writing styles, age groups, and genres, aiming to publish the best of Canadian writing from all quarters.
Vancouver-based Arsenal Pulp Press publishes books that engage and challenge readers and ask probing questions about the world around us. From Vegetarian cookbooks to LGBTQ stories, Arsenal has always made the voices at the edges of society stand out, in award-winning, interesting, challenging books. Their publishing mandate, committed to giving voice to writers who work from the margins, whether social, cultural, racial, sexual, or gender-based; and to publishing work by new voices subverting old systems, goes right back to their roots.
The Canada Council for the Arts recently announced the nominees for the 2015 Governor General's Literary Awards. The GGs are Canada's national literary awards, celebrating the best in Canadian Literature and showcasing the rich diversity to be found there. The nominees are selected by a peer assessment committee for each category--fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, children's literature-text, children's literature-illustration, and translation in both official languages.
Gaspereau Press of Kentville, Nova Scotia was established in 1997 with the launch of its literary quarterly, The Gaspereau Review, and first three books. Soon partners Andrew Steeves and Gary Dunfield were publishing eight titles a year and by 2000 they had purchased a printing press and bindery equipment so they could directly oversee all aspects of publishing a book, from start to finish.
Continuing with our Atlantic Canada spotlight, we have another Newfoundland publisher: Creative Book Publishing.
Creative actually started as a printer. In 1982 Dan Morgan and two business associates bought the presses of Creative Printers and Publishers. "It was basically a printing business," Morgan said, but "people kept sending in manuscripts because Creative's full name had the word 'publishers.' We kept sending them back, saying we were not in that kind of publishing."
Anyone who is a fan of “Canadian Literature” will agree that the province of Newfoundland has been producing some amazing literary talent for quite some time now. Way back in the 1970s, five professors at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador had already recognized this fact and acted upon it.
The shortlist for the 2015 Giller Prize was announced by the jury this week at a press conference hosted by Rick Mercer at a Toronto art gallery. The previously announced longlist featured more titles by independent Canadian presses than past years and the shortlist confirmed that this year's jury is definitely indie-friendly.
Congratulations to Coach House Books and Biblioasis who claimed three of the five shortlist spots!
Biblioasis was founded in the back of a bookstore in the fall of 2004. Without knowing much, or anything really, about publishing, their first book was Salvator Ala’s Straight Razor and Other Poems. An exciting experience but one that also highlighted the fact that if they were going to keep doing this whole publishing thing, they were going to need to learn a few things.