Quill and Quire

Top Stories

Frequently Asked Questions

You may also wish to consult the About Us or Customer Service pages of this site.

THE CONTENTS OF THIS FAQ:

1. This site

2. Quill & Quire Magazine

2a. Book Reviews

1. THIS SITE

What is available on your web site? Click here for a description of what you receive as a free or paying member of Q&Q Omni, or check the Products section of this site.

How much does it cost to access the Q&Q Omni content on this web site? What do I get as a member? The cost of a Professional membership to Quill & Quire Omni is $15 a month. For more details about the memberships, see the Memberships page of this site.

What do I do if I’ve forgotten my password? Click here to be assigned a new one.

How do I change my username, e-mail address, or password? Your username and e-mail address can be changed on the “Edit your profile” page, found here.

The site is not accepting my password. What’s wrong? Passwords are case-sensitive, so first make sure that you’re entering it and your username properly. If you need to be reminded of your password and username, go to the Members Log In section of the site on the home page. If you are still having a problem send an e-mail to our help desk.

How do I cancel my membership? Send an e-mail to subscriptions, or call (416) 364-3333 ext. 3118.

Why was my account terminated, and how can I continue my membership at Q&Q Omni? Send an e-mail to subscriptions, or call (416) 364-3333 ext. 3118.

How do I report a book deal? Use the deal form on the Noticeboard section of this site.

How do I post a job at your site? Use the job posting form on the Job Board section of this site.


2. QUILL & QUIRE MAGAZINE

How do I contact Quill & Quire? See the Contact Us section of this site.

How do I subscribe to Quill & Quire? Complete our online order form, call Q&Q subscriber services at 905-946-0406, or send an e-mail to subscriptions.

Whom should I contact if I have a question or problem with my Quill & Quire subscription? Call Q&Q subscriber services at 905-946-0406, or send an e-mail to subscriptions.

How do I find an old Q&Q article or order a back issue? Most articles between April 1996 and the present are available on this site, as well as selected article dating back to 1990. Reviews and author profiles are free, but news, feature, and opinion articles are available only to paid members. To order a copy of a back issue, or an old article, call (416) 364-3333 ext. 3118. A fee will apply. Click here for information about becoming a member of Q&Q Omni (quillandquire.com).

Whom should I contact to get permission to reprint an article from Quill & Quire or from the web site? Contact publisher Alison Jones or editor Sue Carter Flinn.

What’s a “quire”? A “quire” is a measurement of paper. The Canadian Oxford Dictionary defines it this way: 1. four sheets of paper etc. folded to form eight leaves, as often in medieval manuscripts. 2. any collection of leaves one within another in a manuscript or book. 3. 25 (also 24) sheets of paper.

I’m holding an event I’d like Q&Q to cover. Whom should I contact? Contact anyone in the editorial department (see the Contact Us section of this site).

I have a story idea, how do I get it into the magazine? Contact editor  Sue Carter Flinn.

How do I submit information about forthcoming books for Quill & Quire’s spring and fall previews (for the January and July issues)? Quill & Quire editors contact publishers in November and May each year to request information about the highlights of the forthcoming season’s titles. The information can be submitted via e-mail to the editor who contacted you, or by fax, to (416) 595-5415. The Spring and Fall Preview articles feature a selection of the season’s forthcoming titles under the categories of Canadian fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, and international titles. The articles are NOT comprehensive, and do not include books from all Canadian publishers. Rather, the articles are intended to present highlights from the new season. Previews appear in the January and July/August issues of Q&Q each year.

Where can I find out more about advertising in Quill & Quire? Click here, or contact Alison Jones.

Where can I find an editorial calendar? You can download an editorial calendar from the Advertising section of this site, or by contacting Alison Jones.

How do I send a letter to the editor? Send letters to  Sue Carter Flinn. Be sure to include your name, your job title, your company, and a phone number where you can be reached during business hours.

Do you have writers’ guidelines? Yes. Quill & Quire is the monthly magazine of the Canadian book trade, reaching an audience of primarily publishers, booksellers, librarians, and writers. We publish both short (300- to 1,200-word) and long (up to 3,000-word) news and feature articles about the business of writing, publishing, and bookselling in Canada. We also publish author profiles (generally of about 1,800 to 2,000 words), and brief reviews of Canadian books. The fee for published articles is 45¢ a word. Brief reviews (350 words) pay $110 ($60 for picture-book reviews); feature reviews (800-1,000 words) pay $300.

Before you pitch a story, we recommend that you read some articles online or pick up a few back issues to get a sense of the type of specialized reporting we do.

Q&Q only very occasionally accepts unsolicited manuscripts. To pitch an idea for a feature or news story, send an email to  Sue Carter Flinn outlining in two or three paragraphs why the article would be of interest to our readers. If you have an idea for a guest column on an issue that relates to the book industry, send an email to  Sue Carter Flinn, outlining what you’d like to write about. Quill & Quire also runs guest columns from writers (“The Last Word”) on subjects that pertain to the writing life.

Thank you for your interest in Quill & Quire.

Does Quill & Quire offer editorial internships? Yes. Quill & Quire offers three internships a year, beginning in the first week of January, May, and September. The internship is a full-time position that involves writing for both the monthly magazine and the web site, as well as fact-checking, research, photo research, proofreading, and some administrative work. Some journalistic experience is preferred.

If you’d like to be considered, please send a resume with cover letter and some samples of your written work to the editor at least two months prior to your intended start date. E-mail submissions are permitted.


2a. BOOK REVIEWS

How do I get a book reviewed in Quill & Quire? For information about adult book reviews, contact Review editor Steven W. Beattie; for children’s books contact Books for Young People editor Dory Cerny. Q&Q aims to run reviews of books before the finished book is available, so manuscripts or galleys must arrive in our office at least two months before publication date. Picture books are also reviewed from page proofs, when possible, which should be sent in advance of publication. Books submitted for review can be sent to: Quill & Quire, 111 Queen Street East, Suite 320, Toronto, ON M5C 1S2

How do you decide what gets reviewed? With several thousand new books being published in Canada each year, it’s impossible for Quill & Quire to review any more than a small fraction of what’s released. Still, we run about 480 reviews of new Canadian books each year and make every attempt to include books that we anticipate will be of commercial and/or critical significance.

At the same time, we recognize that in choosing only the 40 most “significant” books each month we could probably limit ourselves to little more than the output of the major houses. We try to balance our coverage with many reviews of books published by smaller independent presses, with the result that almost 40% of the books reviewed each year in Q&Q are published by small presses. We have also made a commitment to review poetry each month, as well as some drama, and scholarly titles.

In general, we do not review professional or educational titles. Within non-fiction, we tend to focus on “idea” books – history, biography, current affairs – rather than gardening, guide books (such as computer or travel), or cookbooks, although we do feature these categories from time to time.

If I advertise a book, will it get reviewed? It might, but not because it’s been advertised. The Review editor and the Books for Young People editor choose which books to review, based on the criteria above.

How can I become a book reviewer for Q&Q? Ask us (by e-mail, preferably). Our review editor, Steven W. Beattie, and Books for Young People editor, Dory Cerny, generally look for people who have had experience writing reviews, and specialized expertise in the field in which they want to review. Children’s book reviewers, for example, should be familiar with a broad range of children’s literature. Although it’s not essential, it certainly helps to be a parent or someone who reads to kids regularly and has opinions about what works and why. Good writers are always welcome.

What are your reviewers’ guidelines? The following is our 21-point guide to writing reviews for Quill & Quire:

  1. If you quote from the review book, indicate the page number, so that it may be checked with the publisher. It is often best to refrain from quoting from manuscript versions of books, however; with galleys, it should be kept to a minimum, only quoting in cases where paraphrase would be wholly unacceptable.
  2. If you are reviewing anything less than a finished book, please disregard typographical errors in the text. We have to assume the publisher will spot and correct these faults before the book goes to print.
  3. Please don’t contact the book’s publisher to make queries. Call the Q&Q editor you are working with, who’ll do it for you if necessary.
  4. If, reviewing a book, you discover a conflict of interest, please let us know. Conflict of interest is, for Q&Q purposes, defined as: your being published by the same house within one year; your working for the same organization as the author; your writing or having written a book on the same topic published within a year of the book in question; your having any personal relationship with the author. If in doubt, please ask your editor.
  5. Reviewing a single book for more than one publication is discouraged.
  6. Q&Q reviews are to be more evaluative than synoptic – lengthy descriptions of plot are not encouraged. We and our readers are interested in what you think of the book, and why. Try to mention such elements as prose style, characterization, freshness of theme or approach, explaining why a book is distinctive or distinguished or not, and do so in explicit detail rather than generalized and generic statements. There should, however, be some précis, spread out over the review or condensed into a single paragraph.
  7. Please keep in mind that many readers of Q&Q reviews are booksellers and librarians. Their concerns are often pragmatic. They need information to help them decide whether to devote scarce display space (in the case of booksellers) or acquisition money (in the case of librarians) to the book, and (if and when they have the book) they need information to help them put it in the hands of the right customer or patron. For example: how does a book of non-fiction compare with others in the field, or how does a book of fiction compare with others by the same author?
  8. Remember to identify the author. This need only take a few words, e.g. “Globe and Mail columnist…” or “University of Alberta sociology professor…” or “so-and-so, editor of The Pumblechook Review.” Identification of the author’s city or province of residence is also useful information in the case of little-known writers.
  9. If the book needs an index, is one included? If the cover and inside design of a finished book seem relevant, are they effective?
  10. Please avoid addressing the author, directly or indirectly, in your review. Avoid writing what you think the author would want to hear, or correcting the author by noting faults that are insignificant in the context of a short review.
  11. A common temptation is to make heavy use of qualifiers. “The book is almost pedantic”; “The story verges on the lyrical.” These statements, with these qualifiers, end up saying very little. Decide whether something is pedantic or lyrical, then say that it is, if it is. If it is not, there is probably something else to be said about it, or a name to be given to the almost lyrical tone that it does have.
  12. We believe that a bad book is a disappointment, maybe even a severe disappointment, but not a heinous crime meriting the cutting off of hands. Unexplained bitchiness is out of place in the pages of Q&Q, as is flippancy – Q&Q reviews are serious business for our readers (which, it is to be borne in mind, includes the writing community). Remember that highly skilled writers shouldn’t have to shout to be heard. A bad book is, however, a bad book, and discussion of this fact ought not to be shied away from. If you genuinely feel that a book is mediocre, or worse than mediocre, there is no need to end a review on a positive note.
  13. Avoid making assumptions about the publishing process. For example, blaming the editor for the book’s shortcomings: “A stronger editorial hand would have sharpened the book’s focus considerably.” (Editors make many suggestions; we will never know which ones were accepted by the author and which were rejected.) Likewise, try to avoid including assumptions as to why the publisher took on the book; a discussion of the book’s specific merits or flaws is preferable.
  14. When keying in your review, please put as much of the bibliographic information at the top as is available to you. This includes full title and subtitle, author, price, format, ISBN, page count, trim size, publisher, and month of publication. Whenever possible, Q&Q will provide you with this information with the assignment, for you to transcribe into your review. Please pay attention to our format. The page count should be the sum total of pages from first printed page to last.
  15. Please suggest a short (approximately 10-word) bio line of yourself for the end of your review.
  16. Submission by e-mail is greatly preferred. Please do not include an attachment, as these are problematic; instead, cut and paste the review into the body of the e-mail.
  17. Deadlines are strictly kept at Q&Q. If possible, please submit before the last day. If you have any problems, or anticipate any delays, please call as far in advance of the deadline as possible — rescheduling a review is usually not a problem if it cannot be avoided.
  18. Q&Q, while believing in allowing each reviewer his or her own voice, does abide by certain basic points of style. Aside from staying clear of movie-poster commentary of the whiz-bang variety, adhering to the following points will greatly assist Q&Q’s editorial staff: honorifics (Mr., Dr., Ms., etc.) are avoided; en dashes (” -”) should be used (if your keyboard allows) to break up sentences rather than dashes (“-”) or double dashes (“–”); and, of course, we use Canadian spellings. Please browse through a few of our published reviews to get acquainted.
  19. We reserve the right to edit reviews (sensitively, of course) for length and to make changes to bring the writing into closer accord with our style. Whenever possible, we’ll discuss changes with you before they are finalized.
  20. When galleys are used, we’ll do our best to get a finished copy to you when it is published. If you’ve not received yours in a reasonable amount of time, please call your Q&Q editor.
  21. We may be able to get you backlist copies or background information by the author in question if you feel any particular book or books would be helpful to you in your review. Please call your Q&Q editor and we’ll see what can be arranged.