News for November

After the hustle and bustle of a busy October—from Thanksgiving to Halloween, to all the bookish events in between—you’d think we’d be slowing down here at PQL. Not a bit! October ended with one of the milestone in our publishing calendar: the Spring/Winter 2014 sales conference.

Two men talking

Clearly, these men are conferring, as one does at conferences. Food and wine appear to have been part of their tête-à-tête, however, which might be a nice new tradition to start….

I (perhaps strangely) love sales conference time. It’s a lot of work, sure, and it’s maybe a bit of stress, but I love the process of dedicating some time away from the day-to-day activities and immersing myself in the new list. It’s a fresh start every fall and every spring, and it represents a much-needed change of pace. Plus, it’s great to be able to get new perspectives from the experienced LPG and Manda staff, and of course, talk up my favourite books!

Now that sales conference is over with, we’re switching gears a bit and getting back to the present to bring you the rest of our fall lineup. November’s shaping up to be another exciting month, with two new releases scheduled and a heck of a lot of printing going on. We’ve got a couple of swanky events in store as well, and you know me—always up for a little travel.

What’s happening this month.


Tim and Elke are working like mad at the shop as they ready our two November releases.

Changing Channels, the memoir of ground-breaking Canadian communications lawyer Peter S. Grant is going to be quite the big deal. It’s fascinating that we take for granted the ease of channel surfing the radio in the car, or flicking on the television in the evening to unwind, or using our cell phones with wild and reckless abandon. All of these everyday activities have in some way been affected by communications policy that Grant has probably had a hand in shaping. Changing Channels was one of the very first books I read for the Quill over a year ago, so I’m excited to see the book finally make its debut.

Another exciting release is Niki Koulouris’ book of poetry, The sea with no one in it. I have a thing for the water (and boats, and lighthouses, and all that nautical stuff) despite my firm landlubber status, so the rich imagery and the marine themes speak to me.

Printing on the press

Lots of printing going on. Laborious, messy, and apparently prone to occasional electrical issues. Good thing they’re handy up in Erin!

In Toronto.

We’ll be launching Changing Channels: Confessions of a Canadian Communications Lawyer by renowned legal trailblazer Peter S. Grant at the offices of McCarthy Tétrault in Toronto. This event (by invitation) will take place on November 14, and it’s going to be be quite the production. It should be a who’s who of communication law, and plus, I can’t wait to see the view from the 53rd floor.

In event news, PQL author (and musician!) Alec Demster and his band, Café Con Pan have a duo of events this month. First, he will perform at Wychwood Barns for a Días de los Muertos celebration on Saturday, November 2. Then join Dempster and Café Con Pan for an evening of food, music and theatre at Pancho y Emiliano in Kensington Market on Sunday, November 3.

Tom Smart will launch Jack Chambers’ Red and Green at the Loch Gallery on November 23. You’re all invited! Just RSVP to

If you’re into small press fairs (we definitely are) you should check out the 29th annual Book Arts Fair at OCAD U on Saturday, November 30. It will showcase artists, printmakers, bookbinders and all sorts of people who create hand-made books and ephemera.

Similarly, Meet the Presses is putting on their Indie Literary Market on November 17 at the Tranzac Club. You can meet the people behind some of the most exciting literary magazines and presses in Canada.

In Ottawa.

A second launch for Changing Channels by Peter S. Grant will take place during the IIC Canada 2013 Conference on November 18. It will be conveniently located at the Ottawa Convention Centre next to all the action.

In Kingston.

Alec Demster and Café Con Pan are also busy in Kingston and will participate in Family Day at the Kultrun Festival on November 17. Artists will share songs and talk about their instruments and traditions.

In the World.

Thanksgiving. A time to scarf down some delicious turkey and bask in the pleasures of a tryptophan coma. Hello my lovely American buddies. FYI—I’m coming over. Save me some food.

Thanksgiving. A time to scarf down some delicious turkey and bask in the pleasures of a tryptophan coma. Hello my lovely American buddies. FYI—I’m coming over. Save me some food.

American Thanksgiving is November 28th. If you have any friends or family stateside, hit ’em up for an invite to the shindig. It’s a time for food, family, friends, and football. Also, perhaps more importantly, the point at which it becomes socially acceptable to watch cheesy Christmas movies. Gotta love the holidays.

November 22 is Start Your Own Country Day. Indulge your inner benevolent dictator and draw up some fool proof plans to found a new nation.

For those who are not quite so ambitious, November 15 is National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day. So, um, enjoy that.

From the Intern’s Corner

It seems like everything is fresh and new these days. In addition to the new books we’ve got on the go for the spring (check ’em out on our homepage if you haven’t already), new fall titles are continuing to make their appearance.

We’re also seeing a lot of improvements on the PQL website as well as over at the Devil’s Artisan. DA is featuring a whole bunch of fabulous new dingbats, from creepy clippings, to cute cartoons, to some particularly nifty banners. We’re also trying some new features pages for you all. Right now, we’re showcasing the Essential Poets series, which is an excellent bunch of beautiful, concise and affordable editions featuring only the best from some of Canada’s most recognizable poets. Check out our new landing page and pick up a few essentials that are missing from your bookshelf.

I’ve also been learning more and more about the benefits of a personal touch when it comes to sales. Recently I’ve been working on my pitching skills to find our books the best possible homes. With so many libraries and bookstores to contact, this means a firm grasp of the subject matter, the ability to recognize selling features, and a lot, a LOT of research. I’m still a novice, I think, but I certainly have plenty of opportunities to practice!

Writing Desk

Keeping calm, carrying on, but swapping the computer (or, you know, a few) for the quill and ink combo this guy’s got going on. I am so surrounded by screens on my desk, I am legitimately apprehensive for the day that Skynet becomes active.


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The Porcupine's Quill would like to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts for our publishing program. The financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) is also gratefully acknowledged.