A Decade of Literary Delights, or, News for January at PQL

As we settle into the productive business of 2020, it’s easy to forget the bigger picture—that we’ve completed a whole decade filled with a succession of publishing endeavours, and that, with the turning of the year, we have embarked upon a new one.

Sheree Lee Olson unveils Bookmark for Sailor Girl

Sheree-Lee Olson and Port Colborne Mayor Vance Badawey unveil Sailor Girl‘s Bookmark in 2011.

This past decade has boasted a number of impressive highlights. In 2011, Project Bookmark Canada unveiled a bookmark for Sheree-Lee Olson’s debut novel Sailor Girl at Lock 8 on the Welland Canal in Port Colborne. In 2012, Nicole Dixon garnered several shortlist nominations and a Foreword First Debut Fiction Award win for her collection of short stories, High-Water Mark. JonArno Lawson was honoured with The Lion and the Unicorn Award not once but twice—in 2013 for Down in the Bottom of the Bottom of the Box, and in 2017 for The Hobo’s Crowbar. Folk singer Bob Bossin’s biography of his father, Davy the Punk, won the Western Canada Jewish Book Awards, garnered several other commendations, and toured as a one-man musical show in 2014. Governor General’s Award-winning author Leon Rooke collaborated with visual artist Tony Calzetta to create Fabulous Fictions and Peculiar Practices (published in 2016) which, with the help of director David Ferry and talented students from the Randolph Academy of Performing Arts, inspired a cabaret performance in 2015. And most recently, we were pleased to see cellist Ian Hampton’s memoir, Jan in 35 Pieces, achieve acclaim on shortlists for the RBC Taylor Price and the BC Book Prizes in 2019.

Tim Inkster, Ian Hampton

Tim Inkster and shortlisted author of Jan in 35 Pieces Ian Hampton enjoying some wine and hors d’oeuvres just before the RBC Taylor Prize luncheon in 2019.

These celebrated titles represent just a few of the outstanding books we have had the pleasure and privilege to publish over the last ten years. Though we have faced many challenges over the years, and are sure to encounter many more, the pride that we have found in discovering new talents and in producing beautiful literary objects has only strengthened our dedication to the “perilous trade” of book publishing, and has fuelled our continuing appreciation of Canadian literature.

Cheers to the last decade in literature. Now bring on 2020!


What’s happening this month…


Casting into MysteryCatch up is still the name of the game. You might have noticed that copies of The Ballad of Samuel Hewitt are now in print. (Get your copy here!) We will be shifting focus to Casting into Mystery, as well as to preparing for you a plethora of spring titles sure to tickle your literary fancy. Be sure to visit our home page to browse the varied titles that will be coming your way during the Spring 2020 season, including a haunting debut novel from Ed Seaward, some fun and witty poetry from P.C. Vandall, and a graphic novel on the life of silent film star Mary Pickford by wood engraver George A. Walker. There’s something for most every taste–be sure to sample widely!

In Cobourg.

Jeffery Donaldson will be participating in the Third Thursday Reading Series in Cobourg, reading from his recent books Fluke Print and Viaticum. The event will take place at Meet at 66 King East at 7:30 and will feature two local poets alongside Jeffery.

In the World.

January 10 is Houseplant Appreciation Day. I will absolutely be celebrating this year given that I have managed to keep my two houseplants, gifted to me by Fearless Leader Tim, alive and (mostly?) well.

Celebrate Dress Up Your Pet Day on January 14. It is probably also known as Make Your Pet Hate You Day, and/or, Give Your Pet No Choice But to Claw Your Face Off Day (if you have a cat).

January 28 is Data Privacy Day. No quips here—in all seriousness, this is an important issue. Protect your data, folks!


From the porcupette’s corner…

Man looking forlornly at empty place

Me, looking at my New Year’s rations compared to the excesses of the holidays.

After a couple of weeks of interrupted schedules and a grossly indulgent diet, this porcupette is quite pleased to be back to our regularly scheduled programming, thank you very much.

Of course, the new year has brought with it new deadlines to meet, and so I find myself tackling Fall 2020 tipsheets and wondering how it could possibly be time to start thinking about new titles already. But actually, I do love this part of the job—encountering new books, sometimes for the first time, and thinking deeply about what they are, what they do, what they say, and how best to convey all those things to interested readers like you. It’s quite the responsibility, but it’s also such a thrilling time of discovery and possibility. Bring it on!


PortraitThank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to see what we’re working on this month. We hope to see you back in your inbox soon!


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

One Response to A Decade of Literary Delights, or, News for January at PQL

  1. Pingback: The Porcupine’s Quill

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.