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The Best of Canadian Small Literary Presses (SLPs)

Posted on August 9, 2010 at 1:15 PM
The decade 1965-1975 saw the abundant establishment of literary publishers in Canada. There are now a total of over 800 English and French book publishers of varying sizes all across the nation, and some of the best remain smaller houses – releasing 25 or fewer individual titles per year – including:

  1. AB Collector Publishing (Halifax, NS); est.
  2. Anvil Press (Vancouver, BC); est. 1988; 8-10 titles/year
  3. Arsenal Pulp Press (Vancouver, BC); est. 1971; 20 titles/year
  4. Bayeux Arts (Calgary, AB); est. 1994; 6-10 titles/year
  5. Black Moss Press (Windsor, ON); est. 1969; titles/year
  6. Bookland Press (Toronto, ON); est. ?; 10 titles/year
  7. Borealis Press (Ottawa, ON); est. 1972; ? titles/year
  8. Breakwater Books (St. John’s, NL); est.
  9. Brick Books (London, ON); est. 1975; 7 titles/year
  10. Brindle & Glass (Victoria, BC); est.
  11. Broken Jaw Press (Fredericton, NB); est. 1984; 3-6 titles/year
  12. Cape Breton University Press (Sydney, NS); est.
  13. Coach House Books (Toronto, ON); est. 1965; 16 titles/year
  14. Conundrum Press (Montreal, QC); est.
  15. Cormorant Books (Toronto, ON); est.
  16. Coteau Books (Regina, SK); est. 1975; 16 titles/year
  17. Creative Book Publishing (St. John’s, NL); est. 1983; 12-15 titles/year
  18. DC Books (Montreal, QC); est.
  19. Dreamcatcher Publishing (St. John’s ): est.
  20. Ekstasis Editions (Victoria, BC); est. 1982; 15 titles/year
  21. Fitzhenry & Whiteside (Markham, ON); est. 1966; 200 titles/year (incl. reprints)
  22. Frontenac House (Calgary, AB); est. ; 6 titles/year
  23. Gaspereau Press (Kentville, NS); est. 1997; 10 titles/year
  24. Goose Lane Editions (Fredericton, NB); est. 1954; 18-20 titles/year
  25. Great Plains Publications (Winnipeg, MB); est.
  26. Guernica Editions (Toronto, ON); est. 1978; 15-23 titles/year
  27. House of Anansi Press (Toronto, ON); est. 1967; 20-25 titles/year
  28. Insomniac Press (London, ON); est. 1992; 20 titles/year
  29. J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing (Winnipeg, MB); est. ; 14 titles/year
  30. Manor House Publishing (Ancaster, ON); est. 1998; 5-6 titles/year
  31. Mansfield Press (Toronto, ON); est. 1999; 5-6 titles/year
  32. Morgaine House (): est. 1994; 2-5 titles/year
  33. Mosaic Press (Oakville, ON); est. 1975; 20 titles/year
  34. Napoleon & Company (Toronto, ON); est. 1990; 15 titles/year
  35. NeWest Publishers (Edmonton, AB); est. 1977; 13-16 titles/year
  36. New Star Books (Vancouver, BC); est.
  37. Nightwood Editions (Gibsons, BC); est. 1970; 9 titles/year
  38. Nimbus Publishing (Halifax, NS); est. 1978; 32 titles/year
  39. Oberon Press (Ottawa, ON); est. 1966; 8 titles/year
  40. Oolichan Books (Lantzville, BC); est. 1974; 8-10 titles/year
  41. Pedlar Press (Toronto, ON); est. ; 6 titles/year
  42. Penumbra Press (Manotick, ON); est. ; 10 titles/year
  43. Red Deer Press (Markham, ON); est. 1975; 22 titles/year
  44. Ronsdale Press (Vancouver, BC); est. 1988; 10-13 titles/year
  45. Saxon House Canada (Toronto, ON); est. ; 4 titles/year
  46. Shoreline Press (Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue, QC); est. ; 7 titles/year
  47. Signature Editions (Winnipeg, MB); est. ; 6-7 titles/year
  48. The Porcupine’s Quill (Erin, ON); est.1974; 9 titles/year
  49. Thistledown Press (Saskatoon, SK); est. 1975; 14 titles/year
  50. Thomas Allen & Son Publishers (Markham); est.
  51. Tightrope Books (Toronto, ON); est. 2005; 8-10 titles/year
  52. Touchwood Editions (Victoria, BC); est.
  53. Turnstone Press (Winnipeg, MB); est. 1976; 10-12 titles/year
  54. Vehicule Press (Montreal, QC); est. 1973; 15 titles/year
  55. Wolsak and Wynn (Hamilton, ON); est. 1983; 8 titles/year
  56. Your Scrivener Press (Sudbury, ON); est. 1995; 4 titles/year

Small literary presses are usually the natural home for poetry and literary fiction, writing genres for discerning, intellectual, well-educated readers. Oftentimes well-known writers such as Jane Urquhart, Michael Ondaatje, and George Bowering have had early work or ‘secondary’ works of poetry or short fiction published by the established SLPs, and may even remain on their boards. Some SLPs such as NeWest Publishers see themselves as regional publishing concerns with a provincial mandate, and others like Manor House reserve themselves exclusively for works of strong Canadian content.


Categories: Writing Markets