Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Assembly Press – A brand new Canadian publisher seeks book-length fiction, nonfiction, and poetry

Leigh Nash, Publisher, Assembly Press

Assembly Press


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Poet and publisher Leigh Nash, poet and editor Andrew Faulkner, and veteran literary publicist and communications strategist Debby de Groot  announced a new joint venture: a brand new multi-genre publishing house, Assembly Press.

Leigh Nash, who formerly served as publisher at both Invisible Publishing and House of Anansi Press, will be Publisher at Assembly, with Faulkner, the former managing editor for Invisible, serving the role of Strategist, and de Groot heading up Communications.

Based in Prince Edward County and in Mississauga, Ontario, Assembly Press will publish a balanced mix of voice-driven and concept-driven fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. They want their books to be notable for engaging with contemporary issues with thoughtfulness, incisiveness, and passion in equal measure. 

They are open to submissions from anyone now and until December 18, 2023.

They welcome submissions by all writers, regardless of publication history or writing experience. In other words – they welcome new authors.

Like everyone else, they especially want submissions from “equity-seeking writers marginalized by attitudinal, historic, social, and environmental barriers based on age, ethnicity, disability, economic status, gender, nationality, race, sexual orientation, and transgender status.”  They will push proposals and manuscripts from these authors to the front of their reading queue. (Of course this means that if they do have submissions from "equity-seeking writers," they’ll push projects by other writers to the back of the queue).

What they’re looking to acquire


  • Our taste is literary, in that we prioritize quality of writing above all else, but we’re not afraid of plot. 
  • Inventive and innovative ways of telling stories, and work that plays with form and style. 
  • We love a good mood, especially writing that’s sly or has a witty sense of humour or that embraces dark or gritty emotions and that leave us with feelings. 
  • Genre projects (romance, speculative, mystery, etc.) that centre craft and writing quality just as much as the narrative. 
  • We’re big fans of short(er) novels and novellas. 

We’re not a good home for straightforward historical novels that don’t have a contemporary hook. We're also not looking for straight-up commercial projects, such as crime, thriller, mystery, romance, speculative fiction, or chick-lit.  

Assembly's first title will be County Harvest,
a follow-up to County Heirlooms

  • We want to see writers grappling with their passion for their subject matter on the page. 
  • Voice-driven and concept-driven nonfiction with contemporary relevance, especially nonfiction from historically underrepresented voices, that engages with the world. 
  • Our interests include ideas, science, psychology, nature writing, culture, memoir, business, and to a lesser extent, history and politics, as well as books that visit the intersection of those subjects. 
  • Work that plays with inventive and genre-bending narrative structures. 

We’re likely to pass on straightforward surveys of subject matter; memoir without any tie-in to larger cultural of social issues; political biographies; and books without any central narrative or intellectual hook.  


  • We are interested in a wide range of contemporary poetry, including lyric, experimental, and visual poetry.  
  • We’re especially keen on poems with a strong sense of voice, and poetry collections with a unifying concept or outlook and that engage with a specific idea, problem or cultural issue. 
  • Visual and experiment poetry manuscripts should be reproducible in a standard book format by commercial printing. 


Include a 12 page letter of introduction to you and the project you’re submitting, a 250-word synopsis, and a short bio (who you are, the communities you come from, the job(s) you work, any other personal details that will give us a good sense of who you are, and a list of publications, if you have one) as part of your letter. Additional context is always helpful; if it’s applicable to your project, please include any/all of the below info in your letter: 

  • what made you write (or want to write) this manuscript and why you’re the ideal writer to tackle such a project  
  • traditions or cultural conversations your manuscript participates in  
  • your manuscript’s ideal reader/audience 
  • books you’ve read and think would be good conversation mates for your manuscript 
  • your hopes for your writing career  

The work. A full manuscript for fiction and poetry, and either a full manuscript or a proposal for nonfiction. We have no word-count requirements, but our preference is for completed prose works between 35,000–90,000 words, and poetry manuscripts in the 60–100-page range. Nonfiction proposals should include a chapter outline and a writing sample of at least 10 pages. 

See Assembly’s full submission guidelines and submit through their online form here.


See Brian Henry’s upcoming weekly writing classes, one-day workshops, and weekend retreats here.

Navigation tips: Always check out the Labels underneath a post; they’ll lead you to various distinct collections of postings. For more children’s and young adult publishers, see here {and scroll down}. For book publishers in general, see here {and scroll down}.

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