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November Q&Q: Don Gillmor

quill-nov2009coverThe cover star for the November Q&Q, now on newsstands, is journalist and historian Don Gillmor, whose first novel for adults, Kanata, is being published this month by Viking Canada. Also in the issue, Q&Q looks at the Ontario Arts Council under its new literary officer, and we weigh the benefits of The Writers’ Union of Canada’s health insurance plan for writers. All that, plus our College and Scholarly Publishing Special Report and reviews of more than 35 new books, including Kate Pullinger’s The Mistress of Nothing, John Bemrose’s The Last Woman, Wade Davis’s The Wayfinders, and Frieda Wishinsky’s Maggie Can’t Wait.

In search of the West

In his first novel, Don Gillmor puts an overlooked cartographer, explorer, and extraordinary Canadian back on the map

Kicked off the block

Have the rules of the funding game changed under the Ontario Art Council’s new literature officer?

The cut-and-paste method

Digital technology has led to customized products for the scholarly market – but are they a good deal for academic presses? Plus more in the College and Scholarly Publishing Special Report

Children’s Announcements

The season’s complete listings


Reviewing the ReLits

Weighing the benefits of the Writers’ Coalition health plan

The future of the AECB

Local Buzz: Keith Halliday’s Game On Yukon!

Cover to Cover: Kennepohl and Shaw’s Accessible Elements

Snapshot: Bryan Jay Ibeas of Cormorant Books


CSPI’s unlikely feminism

Free e-books for everyone

Revisiting the Canadian Research Knowledge Network


The Last Woman by John Bemrose

Dracula the Un-Dead by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt

Monstrous Affections by David Nickle

Plus more fiction, non-fiction, and poetry


The Pirate and the Penguin by Patricia Storms

Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion by Jane Barclay and Renné Benoir

The Rocket by Mike Leonetti and Greg Banning

Plus more fiction, non-fiction, and picture books


Authors who complain about bad reviews need to grow up, writes Claude Lalumière


October Q&Q: Shane Peacock, Kelley Armstrong, and more in our KidLit Special

quill-oct2009coverWith the third instalment in his burgeoning Sherlock Holmes series set for publication this month, could Shane PeacockQ&Q‘s cover star for the October issue, now on newsstands – be the next big name in Canadian YA? Also in this issue’s KidLit Special, Q&Q looks at the two faces of Kelley Armstrong, the Haida-Manga hybrid art of Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, and the future of Tundra Books. All that plus the fall Children’s Announcements, listing every kids’ title of the season, and reviews of Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood, Bonnie Burnard’s Suddenly, Seán Cullen’s The Prince of Neither Here Nor There, and two new books by John Wilson.

Poised for success

Introducing Shane Peacock, the next big name in Canadian kidlit

Tundra in transition

Outgoing publisher Kathy Lowinger reflects on her legacy, the company’s future, and the generation that built Canadian kidlit

Pages’ last chapter

Skyrocketing rent forced Pages Books and Magazines to close. Could more have been done to save the iconic Toronto bookstore?

Children’s Announcements

The season’s complete listings


Being Kelley Armstrong

Two Canadian versions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Can rockin’ be taught?

Haida Manga man

Snapshot: Stephanie Stewart of Fifth House Publishers

Cover to Cover: Claudia Osmond’s Smudge’s Mark

Local Buzz: The Falls keeps rolling along


The Boy in the Moon: A Father’s Search for His Disabled Son by Ian Brown

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

Suddenly by Bonnie Burnard

Plus more fiction, non-fiction, and poetry


Harry and Horsie by Katie Van Camp and Lincoln Agnew

The Prince of Neither Here Nor There by Seán Cullen

STAR Academy by Edward Kay

Plus more fiction, non-fiction, and picture books


Sending the right message to kids can be tricky, writes Eric Walters

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Fall Preview and more in the July/August issue of Q&Q

quill-july2009coverFall is the season for “big” books, and this year is no exception, with new fiction from the likes of Margaret Atwood, Douglas Coupland, Louise Penny, Bonnie Burnard, and Alice Munro. In our 2009 fall preview, part of the July/August issue of Q&Q, we give you a first look at the season’s most exciting titles. Also in the issue, we look at authors’ options in the landmark Google book search settlement and investigate the troubled publishing history of Kunati Books.

Fall preview

Munro, Atwood, Coupland, Charles Pachter, David Adams Richards, and the long-awaited return of Bonnie Burnard and John Bemrose. A first look at the top titles of the season in fiction, non-fiction, kids’ books, and international titles

Publishing the Kunati way

When it launched two years ago Kunati Books aimed to take on the world, but instead it has become mired in accusations of unpaid royalties and missing financial statements

Settling with Google

With the opt-out deadline fast approaching in the landmark Google book search settlement, Q&Q explains your options


  • Michael Turner goes off the grid
  • Eric Walters: does the man sleep?
  • Local Buzz: Langley through the ages
  • Cover to Cover: Jason Guriel’s Pure Product
  • Snapshot: Penguin Canada rights and contracts co-ordinator John Kruusi
  • Daniel Poliquin takes on René Lévesque


  • The Golden Mean by Annabel Lyon
  • The Wife’s Tale by Lori Lansens
  • Welcome to the Urban Revolution: How Cities Are Changing the World by Jeb Brugmann
  • Plus more fiction, non-fiction, and poetry


  • Night Flight by Mireille Messier and Carl Pelletier
  • Jacob Two-Two on the High Seas by Cary Fagan and Dušan Petricic
  • When Stella Was Very, Very Small by Marie-Louise Gay
  • Plus more fiction, non-fiction, and picture books



The rewards of being a full-time author rarely include money, writes Katherine Ashenburg

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Robert Charles Wilson and more in the June Q&Q

Stephen King calls him “the finest science fiction author now writing,” but Robert Charles Wilson is hardly a household name in Canada. The June issue of Q&Q profiles an author at the height of his powers who is beginning to garner mainstream attention. Also in the issue, we look at how publishing schools justify maintaining enrolment levels even as the job market dries up, and we examine a trend many authors and agents find alarming: the decline of in-house editing.

22nd century man

Robert Charles Wilson rises through the ranks of sci-fi respectability

School’s still in

In a world of ever-decreasing employment opportunities, Canadian publishing schools are coming up with new ways to justify enrolment levels

Secretly Canadian

How did the faculty of Vermont College, one of the only schools in North America to offer an MFA in writing for children and young adults, become one-third Canuck?


With publishers more pressed for time than ever before, authors are increasingly turning to freelancers for real, substantive editorial work. Is this the end of in-house editing?



•    Callaghan goes back to the beginning

•    Don Calame: from L.A. to YA

•    Kids Can picks up Ninja Cowboy Bear

•    Cover to Cover: Heather Waldorf’s Leftovers

•    Snapshot: Sarah Yu of the B.C.-based Self-Counsel Press

•    Emily St. John Mandel: A Canadian in the Brooklyn lit scene

•    Local Buzz: Saskatoon self-help


•    Going Ashore by Mavis Gallant

•    The Incident Report by Martha Baillie

•    True Patriot Love: Four Generations in Search of Canada by Michael Ignatieff

•    Plus more fiction, non-fiction, and poetry


•    The Queen of Paradise’s Garden by Andy Jones and Darka Erdelji

•    The King’s Taster by Kenneth Oppel, Steve Johnson, and Lou Fancher

•    Tell Me Why: How Young People Can Change the World by Eric Walters

•    Plus more fiction, non-fiction, and picture books



Authors have few options when hit with a negative review, writes Allan Levine

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Richard Poplak and more in the May Q&Q

Jet-setting author Richard Poplak travelled to 17 different countries to research his latest book, which looks at the influence of American pop culture in the Muslim world, and he’s Q&Q’s cover subject in the May 2009 issue. Also in the issue, we look at the surprising success of Harlequin Enterprises at 60 and at how print-on-demand is changing the bookstore of the future. Our Library Special Report examines the tricky task of putting Canada’s archival history online. Plus reviews of new books by Colin McAdam, Emily Schultz, Giles Blunt, Lynn Johnston, Barry Callaghan, and more.

Pop goes the world
Richard Poplak bets that tawdry TV and banal bubblegum can bring cultures together

Print-on-demand: The dream and the reality
The bookstore of the future, and why POD machines are waiting for books in the present

Love wins out
While other major publishers are bleeding money, Harlequin Enterprises is raking it in. How the firm has managed to beat the odds

History, bit by bit
What’s the best way to put our national heritage online?
AND MORE IN THE LIBRARY SPECIAL REPORT: Coping with rising patron demand, and learning to LOL at the reference desk


  • Ninety minutes with Stuart Ross
  • Comedy is easy, kidlit is hard
  • The adventures of Pierre Turgeon: a timeline
  • Cover to Cover: Lauren Kirshner’s Where We Have to Go
  • Snapshot: Alexandra Moore of Word on the Street
  • Breakwater unbroken
  • David Bezmozgis moves from control to collaboration


  • Heaven Is Small by Emily Schultz
  • Though You Were Dead by Terry Griggs
  • The English Stories by Cynthia Flood
  • Plus more fiction, non-fiction, and poetry


  • Dance Baby Dance by Andrea Spalding
  • Dracula Madness by Mary Labatt and Jo Rioux
  • Soccer Sabotage by Liam O’Donnell and Mike Deas
  • Swim the Fly by Don Calame
  • Plus more fiction, non-fiction, and picture books


Lesley Choyce
does the math on three decades in writing

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In the January/February Q&Q: the life of the Canadian children’s book illustrator

The January/February issue of Q&Q, out now, features a look at the working habits of several Canadian children’s book illustrators, including Greg Banning, Marthe Jocelyn, Jillian Tamaki, and others. Also in the Children’s and Educational Publishing Special Report: a look at the limited effect B.C.’s new CanLit curriculum requirement is having in classrooms, and a story on how the government is competing with school publishers in the digital arena. January/February is also the Spring Preview issue, offering a sneak peek at the hottest spring titles in fiction, non-fiction, books for young people, and international titles. Plus reviews of 40 new books by Lisa Gabriele, Eric Walters, Alan Bradley, Priscila Uppal, and more. The full table of contents is after the jump.


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Q&Q‘s Books of the Year – LIVE!

As part of the global celebrations marking the release of Q&Q‘s annual “Books of the Year” issue, the World’s Biggest Bookstore in downtown Toronto has put together a display in its honour:

books of the year

The display.

books of the year

Not-at-all-suspicious-looking store manager Blake DesRoches sneaks a peek at the issue.

Now, before you decide you can avoid actually buying the issue to find out what we picked as books of the year, you should know that not all of the books displayed here are on the list, and not all of the books on the list are displayed here. So caveat emptor. And there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

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The Q&Q online-only bonus review blowout

The latest issue of Q&Q includes reviews of 40 new books, but we’re not stopping there. We’ve just posted an additional dozen new online-only reviews, covering some big titles that might otherwise have slipped through the production-schedule cracks. (We also wanted to weigh in on a spring title, Atmospheric Disturbances, that has recently garnered award attention.) The books in question are listed below, with links to the reviews.



Books for young people

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December Q&Q: Books of the Year

Q&Q has made its annual Books of the Year selection: 15 books that mattered in 2008, from fiction to non-fiction to kids’ titles. To find out what made the list, and why, you’ll have to check out the December issue, which is making its way to stores and subscribers now. Also in the issue: how the financial crisis rocked author Joseph Heath‘s upcoming book; the death of Canadian experimental novelist Lawrence Braithwaite; and why and how publishers are reaching out to frontline Indigo staff. Plus: reviews of new books by John Ralston Saul, Joan Thomas, Kenneth Whyte, Neil Bissoondath, Deborah Ellis, Charles Pachter, and more. The full table of contents is after the jump.

UPDATE: The Books of the Year package is now available online.


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Farley Mowat and more in the November Q&Q

Farley Mowat is the cover star of the November Q&Q, which is making its way to subscribers and bookstores now. In a profile by Marq de Villiers, the 87-year-old Mowat discusses some of the passions and preoccupations that have defined his career. Also in November, a closeup on two e-reading devices, the Sony Reader and Amazon’s Kindle, a look at hustler-turned-author Daniel Allen Cox, and a Special Report on College and Scholarly Publishing, covering the newly reduced Broadview Press, a new online textbook initiative, and the quirky Toronto imprint Alphabet City. All this plus reviews of new books by M.G. Vassanji, Nino Ricci, Margaret Atwood, and more. The full table of contents appears after the jump.


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Book Pictures

Do you have great photos from a recent book event in Canada that you'd like to share with us? Submit them to the Quill & Quire Flickr pool and they'll show up here.

Steve Artelle

Chris Jennings

Kaie Kellough


Hall of Honourers

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Eva Stachniak's Empress of the Night

Eva Stachniak poses with a copy of her book, Empress of the Night

Tea and snacks inspired by Eva Stachniak's Empress of the Night

Rimma Burashko with author Eva Stachniak

Eva Stachniak talks to the audience about the best and worst of Catherine the Great's favourites

Eva Stachniak smiles as she signs a copy of Empress of the Night for a fan

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