Friday, May 6, 2011

Porcupine's Quill Press

68 Main Street, P O Box 160
Erin, Ontario N0B 1T0

The Porcupine's Quill, is a small literary press that creates high quality books on its own presses. It can publish no more than a dozen new titles per year, and these are generally selected at least eighteen months in advance of their release. All of our authors have published before, although they may not have had their work appear in book form.

PQL’s goal is and always has been to publish brilliant fiction by largely unknown Canadian authors, and brilliant poetry by well-known Canadian poets. We have also been known to delve into literary criticism, art, personal essays and children’s fiction, and recently we have started publishing a series of graphic novels by emerging artists under the editorial and artistic guidance of wood engraver George A. Walker.

The Porcupine’s Quill published Jane Urquhart’s little poetry book The Little Flowers of Madame de Montespan in 1983, and her first and only collection of stories, Storm Glass, in 1987. Jane Urquhart has subsequently achieved international fame and fortune with her novels (published by McClelland & Stewart) such as The Whirlpool, Changing Heaven, Away, The Underpainter, The Stone Carvers, and most recently, A Map of Glass.

Other novelists who published with the Porcupine’s Quill early in their careers include Steven Heighton, Andrew Pyper, Mary Swan, Russell Smith, Gil Adamson, Michael Winter, Elizabeth Hay and Annabel Lyon.

PQL does accept (and love) submissions, but our upcoming titles are often determined two years or so in advance, meaning it will take some time for you to see your book published by PQL, even if we do like your work. We can also take, unfortunately, a rather long time in getting back to people.
PQL is a literary press and so any pure genre piece – horror, fantasy, mystery, etc., all of which we frequently see in our submissions pile – is out of the question. We also generally will not publish an author who does not already have some pieces published in literary journals or magazines.

Our print runs are relatively small, from 500-1000 copies. They are distributed to bookstores by the University of Toronto Press (UTP), or individual purchasers can go through our store on They are also available through e-tailers like and, and from the big American wholesalers: Ingram, Baker + Taylor and Blackwell.

Our fiction editor is Doris Cowan, who lives in Warkworth, in eastern Ontario. Query:
Graphic novels are handled by George A. Walker, who teaches at Ontario College of Art and Design and lives east of Yonge Street, in Toronto. Query:
Non-fiction proposals should be directed to Carmine Starnino, who lives in Montreal. Query:
Poetry is edited for the press by the very famous Wayne Clifford, who currently lives on Grand Manan Island in the Bay of Fundy. Query:

Our intern and manuscript reader is Monique Mongeon, a recent graduate of Queen's University who also studied Publishing at Ryerson University in Toronto. Contact:

Note: Brian Henry will be leading: "From the Horse's Mouth ~ Strategies for Getting Published" at Ryerson University in Toronto on May 7 (see here). He will also be leading his "How to Get Published" workshop in Woodstock on August 27 (see here) and in Guelph on Sept 24, with guest speaker Monica Pacheco of the Anne McDermid literary agency (details to come).

Brian will be leading his "Writing for Children and for Young Adults" workshop in Oakville on August 27 (details here).

See Brian's full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Toronto, Etobicoke, Mississauga, Brampton, Georgetown, Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton, Kitchener, Woodstock, London, Orangeville, Barrie, Gravenhurst, Muskoka, Peel, Halton, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

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