Tuesday, March 27, 2012

House of Anansi Press publishes literary fiction, crime fiction, serious non-fiction, poetry and children's books

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt,
published by House of Anansi Press
The House of Anansi Press has been around 45 years and has published significant Canadian authors such as Margaret Atwood, Matt Cohen, Michael Ondaatje, and Erín Moure, as well as George Grant and Northrop Frye.

In June 2002, House of Anansi was purchased from Stoddart Publishing by Scott Griffin, the founder of the prestigious Griffin Poetry Prize. In 2005, Anansi expanded its business by acquiring the children's publisher, Groundwood Books, and in 2010, the company launched Spiderline, a new imprint dedicated to crime fiction. 

Anansi remains best known for literary fiction, serious nonfiction and poetry.

They look for novels with a unique flair, memorable characters, and a strong narrative voice. Anansi fiction writers have read widely, studied their craft, and often have previously published in reputable literary journals and/or magazines.

In non-fiction, Anansi seeks books that are meticulously researched to support a strong thesis, that avoid dry, jargon-filled academic prose and have a literary twist that will interest general readers and experts alike.

Anansi publishes poets who have already established a strong reputation. Anansi poets usually have had poems previously published in book form or in reputable literary journals and/or magazines.

Update, Nov 7, 2013: Anansi also publishes short story collections. Under its Astoria imprint, Anansi publishes three titles per year, acquired by senior editor Jared Bland. Hellgoing by Lynn Coady, one of the first books published under this new imprint, won the 2013 Scotiabank Giller Prize, establishing Astoria not only as a prestigious imprint but also as financially viable.

To submit:

  • Consider if your submission is compatible with Anansi's publishing program. Take the time to look at the titles on our web site.
  • Include a covering letter telling us about yourself and your book, and a CV indicating your publishing history, if applicable. Anansi prefers writers who already have a history of published works (e.g. previous books, anthologies, literary/academic journals, newspaper/magazine articles etc.).
  • Mail us a query letter outlining your project and providing a brief synopsis if you are unsure if your work is appropriate for Anansi. We will advise you on whether or not to proceed with a formal submission.
  • Always include a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) with your submission. It will be used to send your review letter. Manuscripts without a SASE will not be returned.
  • Enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard with your submission if you would like confirmation that it has been received.
  • Be patient. Anansi receives hundreds of queries and submissions a month and it takes time for them to be read and evaluated. We respond to all submissions received.

Do not:

  • Send us a submission if you are not a Canadian citizen or resident. Anansi does not accept unsolicited materials from non-Canadian writers.
  • Email submissions or queries.
  • Send complete manuscripts. They are costly for you to send, and cumbersome for us to store. Please mail a 5-10 page sample of your work. If we decide to consider your work further after reading the sample, we will request the rest of the manuscript.
  • Send original artwork, irreplaceable materials, or the ONLY copy of your manuscript in existence. Keep your originals and send us copies.
  • Contact us regarding the status of your submission. We keep track of all submissions received.
  • Expect feedback. Anansi does not offer editorial comment on manuscripts unless we feel the work has potential for our list.

Please mail all queries and submissions to:

Manuscript Submissions
House of Anansi Press
110 Spadina Ave., Suite 801
Toronto, ON M5V 2K4

Full submission guidelines here. Anansi home page here. For information on Anansi’s children’s imprint, Groundwood Books, see here.

Brian Henry will lead "Writing for Children and for Young Adults" workshops in London, Ontario, on April 21 (see here) and in Oakville on June 2 (see here).

Also, Brian will lead "How to Get Published" workshops on Saturday, May 12, in Newmarket with Meghan Macdonald of Transatlantic Literary Agency (see here), Saturday, June 9, in Brampton with Monica Pacheco of the Anne McDermid literary agency (see here), and Saturday, June 16, in Hamilton with Carly Watters of P.S. Literary Agency (see here).

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

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