News for October

Oh dear. You’ve caught me at a bad time, I’m afraid. My hair’s a mess, I haven’t been to the gym in days, and I’ve been dreaming about the act of writing (and endlessly rewriting) marketing copy. OK, so maybe the first two aren’t exactly unfamiliar occurrences, but let’s be honest, the third one is starting to become a worrisome habit.

Why the bout of neuroses? Why, it’s TIP sheet season, of course! In case you’re not familiar with these little gems, let me give you a quick primer—a small snapshot of the publishing world, so to speak.

This will be me, 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning, once all the deadlines have passed. Mercifully, blissfully dead to the world.

This will be me, 10:00 a.m. this coming Saturday morning, once all the deadlines have passed. Mercifully, blissfully dead to the world.

Title information sheets have the distractive honour of being both the best and worst part of the publishing process. On the one hand, they represent a fresh crop of promising new manuscripts just waiting to moulded and shaped into hot-off-the press books. There’s nothing like delving into a raw manuscript brimming with wonderful poetry or clever one-liners that make you laugh out loud. It’s a pleasure to puzzle over meaning and look for patterns and just breathe in the possibilities.

On the other hand, writing TIP sheets based on these manuscripts is stressful as all get out. There’s the pressure of getting the wording just so when writing the product description, capturing the essence of the book with enough flair to inspire some book-lover interest. There’s also that moment of sheer terror just before you’re about to hear back from the author whose book you’re writing about. You hope to hell that they’ll think your words do credit to their work, that your interpretation of, say, a book of poetry or a wordless novel, is on the money. Then there’s the whole process of pulling all of that together with endless fiddly bits of data, from ISBNs to subject codes to comparable titles.

It’s a whirlwind, that’s for sure, and one that I’ve been caught up in for the last couple of weeks. Now that the end is in sight and the work is done, I’m itching to see all of these fabulous books out in the real world. I can’t wait to share them with you, Quill fans. Be sure to check back in the coming weeks to see what we have in store for you this spring.


What’s happening this month?


I’m sure you’ve noticed the release Mexican Journal and The Essential Travis Lane in August, so now, get ready for George A. Walker’s latest book of wood engravings, Trudeau: La Vie En Rose. Just in time for the upcoming election, this book will remind you of the iconic political and personal moments of one of Canada’s most well-known prime ministers. Also appearing in print is Thoughts on Driving to Venus, a fascinating look into the mind of Newfoundland’s favourite artist, Christopher Pratt. If you can’t wait for the print edition, be sure to check out the modestly-priced digital edition.

In the Maritimes.

The first of two fantastic events in New Brunswick this month is Fog Lit. This incredible little literary festival will be hosting M. Travis Lane (author of The Essential Travis Lane) and Shane Neilson (author of On Shaving Off His Face and editor of The Essential Travis Lane) on October 3 at Callaghan’s Pub as the entertainment between sets at the honest-to-goodness poetry slam.

After their appearance at Fog Lit, our two intrepid poets, Shane Neilson and Travis Lane, will be stopping by UNB’s famous Poetry Weekend in Fredericton. Stop by Memorial Hall and hear from some excellent poets.

Gaspereau Press will be hosting their annual wayzgoose on October 24 in Kentville. Wood engraver and Quill friend George Walker will be there, as will a number of printers, artists and authors.

George will also stop by Lexicon Books in Lunenberg to sign his new book, Trudeau: La Vie en Rose. Stop by Sunday October 25 between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to get your copy signed.

In Ontario.

Lots going on in Toronto this October, as usual! Wood engraver George A. Walker will delivering the keynote speech at this year’s Alcuin Awards on October 5, followed by a lecture at the Toronto Public Library on his illustrated edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Also in Toronto, PQL and Craft Ontario are also pleased to invite you to the launch of Trudeau: La Vie en Rose at the Craft Ontario Shop. All 19+ are welcome, but we do request that you RSVP to

Thomas Gerry, author of The Emblems of James Reaney, will be presenting the 6th Annual James Reaney Memorial Lecture at the Stratford Public Library. The event is free and open to all, and promises to be an illuminating afternoon.

Bob Bossin will be regaling audiences with a reading from Davy the Punk. He will be taking part in the Trent University Writers Reading Series at Traill College in Peterborough. Visit the Junior Common Room at Scott House for the main event, and be sure to wander across the way to the Trend for refreshments and discussion.

In the West.

Jim Westergard’s “Distorted Contradictions” exhibition continues at the White Gallery in Red Deer. Several of the images from his upcoming book Oddballs are on display, and if you get the chance to take a look before the book comes out this Fall, I highly recommend you seize it. The detail is incredible.

Another gallery show, called “Crocky Rocky Prairie Fairy,” will run at the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery starting October 10, with an opening reception to be held on October 18.

In the world.

What? You need more than that? If you say so, but I don’t know where you get your stamina.

Well, I guess you could take part in Name Your Car Day on October 2. (Is she more an Ethel? Or a Mindy? Think carefully before you answer. It could say a lot about you.

If that’s not your speed (ha! See what I did there?) console youself with National Dessert Day. And pass the double chocolate brownies, would ya?


From the porcupette’s corner.

Well, you already know all about the TIP sheet fiasco, so nothing more need be said about that. But lest you think I’m a one-trick pony, I’ve been busy sending out new book files to all of our digital vendors. It’s a somewhat tedious job, but I have to admit to kind of enjoying the spreadsheets. They’re just so detailed and organized!

Totally OK with being a one trick pony, by the way. As long as it's a good trick.

Totally OK with being a one-trick pony, by the way. As long as it’s a good trick.

And now, my thoughts turn to getting the new, super-secret Spring 2016 titles ready for their day in the spotlight—AKA their “reveal” on the PQL website. I’m bursting with the need to tell you all about them!

portraitHope you enjoyed this (rather lengthy) monthly update. I really hope that I’ll see some of you at the Trudeau: La Vie en Rose launch. Be sure to pull me aside and say hi. My face looks like this:



This entry was posted in Letters from the Porcupette (the Intern's Blog) and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


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.