How Not to Communicate with Publishers

HA! “eradicating craft herpes from the publishing world”. Priceless. Some good insights here.

Write or Wrong


How Not to Communicate with Publishers

In my time I’ve done a lot of writing courses and gone to a lot of writing seminars/festivals/workshops. I’m not just saying that to brag, I’m going somewhere with this. Because of this extensive training I have become a bit of an expert on what publishers don’t want. Me, would be a simple yet hilarious answer, and however crushingly truthful it might be, it would not help any of you good folk. So below I have collected all the insights I have had revealed unto me by publishing house reps and published authors alike.

How Not to Approach a Publishing House Representative

  1. NO GLITTER! Don’t put it in envelopes, don’t glitter bomb them in passing, don’t offer them glitter lip gloss. These people fucking hate glitter. No surprise really, glitter is the herpes of the craft world. I have three kids and I…

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Two Spring Launches not to miss! At the same time!


Both Anvil and Talonbooks are having a spring launch – ON THE SAME NIGHT.

Not sure how that got planned, but please be at both.  Amazing writers reading and socializing and selling copies of their fine, fine work.

Upcoming Launch: Elena Johnson’s Field Notes for the Alpine Tundra

e_johnson_bThis is coming up this sunday in Vancouver.  Elena is a talented poet, and the local community has been looking forward to the release of her first collection with anticipation.  Joining her for this launch are two other local luminaries; Ray Hsu and Susan Steudel.  Here’s the details!


Come celebrate the launch of Elena’s first collection of poetry, Field Notes for the Alpine Tundra, published by Gaspereau Press this spring. With readings/performances by Elena and two special guests: Ray Hsu and Susan Steudel.

Doors at 7:30; performance begins at 8:00. (Feel free to arrive earlier if you like; just know that we’ll be busy setting up until 7:30.)

About the book: Field Notes for the Alpine Tundra is a collection of poems written and researched in the Yukon’s Ruby Range during the author’s time as writer-in-residence at a remote ecology research station. Earlier versions of this collection have been longlisted for the CBC Literary Awards and shortlisted for the Alfred G. Bailey Prize, and several of these poems have been published in The Fiddlehead, Arc, Dandelion and other fine publications.

About Elena: Elena Johnson is a Vancouver poet whose work has appeared in literary journals across Canada and in the UK, as well as in four anthologies. Field Notes for the Alpine Tundra is her first published collection.

Special guest-stars:
– Ray Hsu is a poet, social entrepreneur, and co-founder of Art Song Lab, a collaborative institute for poets, composers, and performers; and the Medici Group, which provides art scholarships for aspiring painters in developing countries.
– Susan Steudel is the author of New Theatre (Coach House Books, 2012, poetry). Her work has been published in many literary magazines and journals in Canada. She has worked as a deckhand in the past and earns her current living as a court reporter in British Columbia.
Cafe Deux Soleils offers delicious food and drink in a warm, friendly, wheelchair-accessible environment. There is no cover charge. Books will be for sale at the event (please bring cash if you’d like to buy a book or two).

Upcoming Reading at Canadian Author’s Association

This coming Wednesday, April 8th, I’ll be doing a reading alongside the talented Kevin Spenst and the legendary Christopher Levenson and Bernice Lever.  Really looking forward to this – I’ve yet to meet Christopher or Bernice, and this will be a event to remember.  Hosted by the brilliant Dennis E. Bolen!  Public is welcome.

Place: Alliance for Arts and Culture, 938 Howe Street, Suite 100, Vancouver BC V6Z 1N9

Time: 7-9 p.m., (doors open at 6:45 p.m.)

Cost: Members no charge; Guests $10; Students (with ID) $5. Pay at the door.


Wed Apr 8: Poetry Night, hosted by Dennis E. Bolen
Featuring Mariner Janes, Christopher Levenson, Bernice Lever, and
Kevin Spenst

Four BC poets read from their latest work and discuss their craft with host Dennis E. Bolen.

Mariner Janes was born in Victoria, BC, and raised in East Vancouver. His books include The Monument Cycles (Talonbooks 2013), and blueprint, a chapbook. He has also been published in West Coast Line. While studying at SFU, he co-edited iamb magazine, a venue for new and emerging writers. He lives and works in Vancouver’s Eastside. His first book, The Monument Cycles, has been called “a new urban vernacular” and part of a “growing tradition of contemporary urban poetry notable for its polyvocality”. In 2014, CBC put him on a list of “11 Canadian Writers to Watch”. He likes badly illustrated classics, llamas, and his kids. He is currently at work on a second collection of poetry and short

Christopher Levenson, who taught English and Creative Writing for 31 years at Carleton University, Ottawa, was co-founder and first editor of Arc magazine. The first recipient in 1960 of the Eric Gregory Award, he has published eleven books of poetry, most recently Night Vision (Quattro Press, Toronto) which was a finalist last year for the Governor General’s Award for poetry. He has also translated contemporary German and Dutch poetry.

Bernice Lever has an MA English, York University. She is the long-time Writer-in-Residence for Canadian Authors Vancouver and has taught English and Creative Writing at Toronto area colleges for decades. Her prose books include a textbook for Seneca College. She is well known for editing WAVES, a literary magazine, 1972-1987. Now back in her home province and living on Bowen Island, The winner of many awards, she has thirteen poetry books published, including her latest, Red Letter Day: four are joint books, plus a book of prose, The Waiting Room.

Kevin Spenst is the author of Jabbering with Bing Bong (Anvil Press), a coming of age narrative of growing up “post-Mennonite” in Vancouver’s suburb of Surrey. He’s also the author of the chapbooks Pray Goodbye (the Alfred Gustav Press), Retractable (the serif of nottingham), Happy Hollow and the Surrey Suite (self-published), What the Frag Meant (100 tetes press) snap (Pooka Press), and Surrey Sonnets(JackPine press). In April and May of 2014 Kevin Spenst did a 100-venue reading tour of Canada in support of chapbooks and poetry presses. His work has recently appeared in BafterC, Poetry is Dead, and the anthology Best Canadian Poetry 2014.

The evening’s host Dennis E. Bolen has led the literary life since his late teens, experimenting with poetry in high school before taking two university degrees in creative writing. He published seven books of fiction with three different publishers over a career that saw him work as editor for sub-TERRAIN magazine, part-time editorial writer for the Vancouver Sun, and freelance literature critic for several publications. Over the years, Mr. Bolen has sat on the executive of the Canadian Authors Association and assisted with the annual Summer Dreams Literary Arts Festival. His return to poetry, the largely autobiographical collection Black Liquor, was published by Caitlin Press in September 2013.