An Interview With AnnMarie MacKinnon for Geist Magazine

Publishing is a challenging field to work in, and the landscape keeps changing. To continue to succeed, we need help with staff retention. -AnnMarie MacKinnon

Annmarie Mckinnon has been a long time reader of Geist magazine, a BC-based literary magazine publishing since the ‘90’s. She even studied it during her degree in publishing and communications, so, when a job opened up at the well respected magazine, she jumped at the chance.

“When I was growing up, literature in Canada definitely had a certain feel to it. It was all about big trees and isolation and survival, but we have other stories to tell,” says AnnMarie. She is excited to see the face of Canadian literature changing, especially since she’s been at Geist. Under her leadership, there’s now an emphasis on opening doors to new voices and exploring different modes of storytelling.

It’s an exciting time for Geist, with AnnMarie taking the helm and becoming the third publisher of the magazine since its inception 28 years ago. Yet, it’s also a time of change and transition, especially in terms of recruitment. “There’s no shortage of people interested, but it’s tough to train them and get them the experience they need when there aren’t enough resources.” “A lot of people have this idea that working in magazine publishing is glamourous,” jokes AnnMarie. “It’s definitely not The Devil Wears Prada around here – it’s hard work, long hours. Your eyes burn from reading all the submissions…and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!”

More than 200,000 people read Geist each year, and the publication contributes greatly to the zeitgeist of what’s happening culturally, both in Vancouver and across Canada. “Like all creative industries, we’re in the business of telling stories, one way or another. We’re talking about what’s happening in the world around us. There’s a lot of courage and bravery happening in literature right now.” For AnnMarie, the highlight of her job is finding emerging writers. “I love working with young people who are just getting started, and helping them to make their piece even greater. It’s so satisfying when they get to see their work finally in print, and I know that, in some small way, I helped launch them into something bigger.”

The media landscape is changing, with people able to set up websites to showcase their work in just a few short hours. It can be hard to attract investment in the publishing industry. “Creative BC has been awesome, giving us access to grant money and recognizing literature and publishing as creative endeavors. We need to continue to educate people that writing is an art, while also reminding them about all of the invisible work that goes into publishing a magazine like Geist.”

2018 BC Book Festival Calendar

A Literary Adventure

We have complied a list of all of the incredible book festivals in BC! Take some time out of your summer and stretch your literary lens with a festival journey of a different kind.

 

Elephant Mountain Library Festival: July 12-15 | Nelson

Denman Island Readers and Writers Festival: July 19-22 | Denman Island

Spoke Literary Festival:  August 10-12 | Vernon

36th Annual Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts: August 16-19 | Sechelt

LiterAsian: Sept 21-23 | Vancouver

Word Vancouver: Sept 24-30 | Vancouver

Victoria Festival of Authors: Sept 25-30 | Victoria

Whistlers Writers Festival: Oct 11-14 | Whistler

2018 Vancouver Writers Festival: Oct 15-22  | Vancouver

Surrey International Writers Conference: Oct 19-21 | Surrey

Congratulations to the 41st Annual Magazine Award Nominees!

 

The 41st Annual Magazine awards are taking place this June at the Arcadia Court in Toronto. We complied a list of all the BC nominees – check them out!

 

Best Magazine: Lifestyle

Explore-Vancouver

Published by: My Passion Media Brad Liski, publisher David Webb, editor Edwin Pabellon

Art Direction Grand Prix

Issue 23: Cheese

SAD Mag-vancouver

art director Pamela Rounis

Art Direction of a Single Magazine Article

The Fifth Coast

Mountain Life Annual – BC/ON

contributor Amelie Legare, art director Leslie Anthony, editor Kristen Wint

Best Editorial Package

Only in Canada

Cottage life mag-BC/Toronto

art director Michelle Kelly, Jackie Davis, Blair Eveleigh, Liann Bobechko, Braden Alexander, editors Kim Zagar

Long-Form Feature Writing 

Hakai Magazine-Victoria

handling editor J.B. MacKinnon, writer Jude Isabella

Feature Writing

The Hunger Games: Two Killer Whales, Same Sea, Different Diets

Hakai Magazine-Victoria

handling editor Larry Pynn, writer Adrienne Mason

Dammed and Determined

Kootenay Mountain Culture Magazine- Kootneys

Bob Keating, writer Mitchell Scott, handling editor Tara Cunningham, Mitchell Scott,

Peter Moynes, Chris Rowat, Darren Davidson, Vince Hempsall, Mike Berard

Columns

City Informer

Vancouver Magazine-Vancouver

Stacey McLachlan, writer

Investigative Reporting

The Ecolabel Fable

Hakai-Victoria

handling editor Raina Delisle, writer Jude Isabella

Fiction

Food for Nought

Malahat Review -Victoria

handling editor Shashi Bhat, writer John Barton

Before he Left

Malahat Review -Victoria

handling editor Jason Jobin, writer John Barton

Visions

Taddle creek- BC

handling editor Lisa Moore, writer Conan Tobias

Poetry

No Buffalos

Malahat Review-Victoria

Handling editor Délani Valin, poet John Barton,

Migrations: Salt Stories

Room Magazine- Vancouver/BC

handling editor Juliane Okot Bitek, poet Navneet Nagra

When Louis Riel Went Crazy

Taddle creek- BC

handling editor Katherena Vermette, poet Conan Tobias

Illustration

Paul Goes West

Taddle creek- BC

Art Director Michel Rabagliati, illustrator Conan Tobias

Portraits Photography

Towing the Line

Vancouver Magazine-Vancouver

Editor Carlo Ricci, photographer Paul Roelofs, art director Stacey McLachlan

 

 

 

 

 

For More Information on the 41st Annual Magazine CLICK

 

 

An interview with Rob Sanders from Greystone Books

“Support in getting out to other parts of the world is critical. We can’t just sit back.”

-Rob Sanders

Without question, there is a strong demand for Canadian content in Canada, yet that doesn’t always translate to international success. According to Rob Sanders of Greystone Books, in order to thrive in today’s publishing market, you need to think globally.

Greystone had the foresight many years ago to set up strong distribution channels across the US and UK, and that’s helped them stay in the game. “We are a stealth publisher, which for us means not pushing Canada on the rest of the world. We find it’s more effective to publish ideas and information without borders.”

While it can be hard to compete with major publishing cities in different time zones, such as New York or Toronto, what it really comes down to is readership. Rob believes that a reader in Texas or London, England can be just as engaged as a reader in Cranbrook, BC. It’s only a matter of reaching them in the most economical and efficient way.

 

Despite the advantages the big publishing cities have, they’re not always better, according to Rob. “In places like Toronto and New York, there’s always something happening, 24 hours a day and that can detract attention. Out here, you have a bit more quiet so you can focus on your community. We have a good sense of what people are doing here.”

British Columbia has a strong publishing community. From writers to designers, artists to small publishing houses, there are lots of people working in the industry. In order to stay ahead, publishers need to continue to be innovative and push the envelope. “We do something new every month – we’re always trying new things. Yet there aren’t a lot of resources to draw on, and we don’t have deep pockets, so it can be challenging. Creative BC has been helpful as we set out to learn what other markets, in other parts of the world, are doing.”

What it comes down to is building relationships and fostering communities. It’s helping establish places, in person and online, for books to find their readers.

“I believe that good material will always find interested readers. For us, it’s about being sensitive to what people want, how they will react and where they will hear about it. Young people are the readers of today and tomorrow, and we want to continue to create an active, dynamic community of writers and people who are interested in what they are saying.”

This interview originally appeared in Creative BC’s 2016/2017 Impact Report.

Magazine Profile: Dance International

Dance International covers classical and contemporary dance in all its facets, locally, nationally and internationally, with lively critical analysis, expert commentary and superb photography. The quarterly magazine informs and delights readers with in-depth coverage of the diversity that inspires the art form.

Dance International makes an important contribution to the public conversation about dance of today, while offering reflection and insight into the past. As well, with almost 40 years of continuous publication, they provide a historical record of dance in British Columbia, Canada and abroad that is a valuable resource for scholars and the general public. BC has many prominent locals that have achieved international success in the dance world, including choreographer Crystal Pite.

The magazine has humble origins as a newsletter for the Vancouver Ballet Society almost 40 years ago. Now a 64-page quarterly featuring articles from local and international writers, the magazine is distributed not only in Canada, but also in the U.S. and around the world.

 

“For a lot of our writers, dance is their life, it’s their career and they invest a lot of their own time and money researching and being involved in dance. I feel it’s important that we’re there to support them.”

–       Kaija Pepper, Editor Dance International

 

Learn more about Dance International on their website and follow along with them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

 

Celebrated BC Children’s Authors Release New Book

Following the success of their bestselling book Hello Humpback!, celebrated and award-winning children’s authors Roy Henry Vickers and Robert (Lucky) Budd are back with One Eagle Soaring.  We had a moment to check-in with Lucky and learn more about these wonderful books. Read our full interview below and follow along on Twitter with Lucky and Roy.

How did the partnership begin?

Roy and I met over our love of BC’s stories! I was working for a time at the Royal BC Museum as the person charged with digitizing their oral history collections. It took me nearly 5 years to listen to all of the amazing stories in there! Roy called me one day because there were a few recordings he was looking for. We connected right away and have been in this together ever since.

How many books are in the series (or, how many will there be)?

We are planning on doing 3 books in this series: first words (Hello Humpback), numbers (One Eagle Soaring) and colours (that will be next year). It is possible we will do a 4th.

What inspired One Eagle Soaring and Hello Humpback?

I was visiting Roy’s home which overlooks the Skeena River. My children (5-3 at the time) were playing on the grass with a friend’s little one (1 year old). An eagle swooped over the river and landed in a tree. Our friend said, “I wish there was a little book that could explain what we see every day on the west coast to my toddler!” Roy and I looked at one another and said, “We can do that!” The result was Hello Humpback!

What’s next for the series?

The next book in the series is a book that will introduce the colours we see everyday when we are out playing along our majestic west coast!!

ROY HENRY VICKERS is a renowned carver, painter and printmaker. He is the co-author of Harbour Publishing’s popular children’s Northwest Coast Legends series, all of which were shortlisted for the Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award: Raven Brings the Light in 2014, Cloudwalker in 2015, Orca Chief in 2016 and Peace Dancer in 2017. He lives in Hazelton, BC.

ROBERT (LUCKY) BUDD is the co-author of the Northwest Coast Legends series and the author of Voices of British Columbia (Douglas & McIntyre, 2010), which was shortlisted for the 2011 Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award, and its sequel, Echoes of British Columbia (Harbour Publishing, 2014), which won second prize in the BC Historical Federation’s writing competition in 2014. He lives in Victoria, BC.

Life Tree Media – The Best of Both Worlds

With a commitment to helping, healing and inspiring its readers, LifeTree Media brings written works to life by publishing books and offering authors additional editorial and marketing services.

Founded in 2013 by Maggie Langrick, LifeTree Media has made a name for itself in the publishing industry for its commitment to aiding personal growth and conscious communication. Pushing the boundaries of the traditional publishing model, the hybrid publishing model employed by LifeTree Media is giving more self-financed authors access to the mainstream marketplace. The creative and distribution services offered by LifeTree Media has contributed to the success of its published works.

In combination with Pink Velvet Couch, LifeTree Media is co-hosting an all day Book Publishing Boot Camp in Vancouver on Tuesday, March 6. The event is aimed at helping first time authors find out exactly what it takes to plan, write, publish and market a nonfiction book!

Some great authors LifeTree has worked with will be sharing their insights at the event, including Tracy Theemes, The Financially Empowered Woman  + Lindsay Sealey, Growing Strong Girls.

To learn more about the event click here.

 

Magazine Profile: The Claremont Review

The Claremont Review is a literary magazine that features outstanding fiction and poetry by young writers between the ages of 13 and 19. The magazine has about 650 to 700 annual subscribers that are primarily based in the U.S. and Canada, although they have begun shipping more issues internationally.

The magazine is edited by volunteers, who take on a great amount of work during the journal’s busiest period, from January to April. During those first few months of the year, the editors finalize and edit selections for the spring issue, write their Canada Council grant application, run the annual contest, and compile a shortlist for the judges.

“If you want to know the future, pay attention to what youth are doing in their art, what they are trying to tell you or show you about the human condition and what is possible for humanity.”

–       Jody Carrow, Co-Editor The Claremont Review

The Claremont Review has seen significant changes over the years. Artwork within the journal’s pages is now printed in colour, the number of international submissions has increased, and they have doubled the prize money for their annual contest. A unique feature of The Claremont Review is the guaranteed feedback they provide on submissions, which supports and encourages young writers and artists.

 

Stay up to-date on The Claremont Review by following them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Brian Kaufman from Anvil Press

Founder and Publisher, Brian Kaufman worked for years in the Vancouver art scene as a playwright, editor, and publisher. He founded the internationally known literary magazine subTerrain, as well as Anvil Press. Now in their twenty-sixth year of publishing, Anvil has firmly established itself as a publisher of progressive, contemporary Canadian literature and has become known for its quality books and unconventional literary work. Anvil remains committed to its East Vancouver roots and doesn’t shy away from work from the wrong side of the tracks.

This dynamic hard working committed team have survived bad plumbing, rent hikes, eviction, bankrupt distributors, and numerous pronouncements on the “death of the book.”

Not to be the case as demonstrated with numerus awards and acclamations. Anvil Press recently received The City of Vancouver Book Award for Carleigh Baker’s debut collection of short stories. They have also just released a fabulous anthology with Vancouver’s current poet Laureate, Rachel Rose. It’s called Sustenance: Writers from BC and Beyond on the Subject of Food and brings to the table some of Canada’s best contemporary writers — Renee Sarojini Saklikar, Mark Winston, Susan Musgrave, Lorna Crozier, Ayelet Tsabari, Adèle Barclay and many others — celebrating all that is unique about Vancouver’s literary and culinary scene. The book is fully illustrated with beautiful local food photographs, and includes interviews with and recipes from some of our top local chefs — Frank Pabst (Blue Water Café), Thomas Haas (artisan chocolatier), Meeru Dhalwalla (Vij’s and Rangoli) — each of these short pieces will shock, comfort, praise, entice, or invite reconciliation, all while illuminating our living history through the lens of food.

A great thing about this recent project is that a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Farmers Market Nutrition Coupon Program, providing a refugee or low-income family with fresh, locally grown produce, and at the same time supporting B.C. farmers, fishers, beekeepers and gardeners. It’s early days, but there has been an enthusiastic reception to this book thus far.

Anvil Press is certainly making waves with another recent story collection, Bad Endings by Carleigh Baker, which is currently a Finalist for the $50K Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.

In addition, two books from last year (2016)– Cretacea & Other Stories from the Badlands by Martin West and Garage Criticism: Cultural Missives in an Age of Distraction by Peter Babiak were finalists for the Montaigne Medal, which is part of the Eric Hoffer Awards, and is an additional distinction awarded to the most thought-provoking books.

Langara College is celebrating!

 Langara College Publishing program students and instructors are celebrating after Pacific Rim Magazine won two prestigious CMA Pinnacle Awards at this year’s ACP/CMA National College Media Convention in Dallas, Texas.

Pacific Rim Magazine (PRM) was awarded third place for Feature Magazine of the Year, while LangaraPRM.com was awarded first place for Website of the Year (two-year program categories).

This is the third consecutive year Langara’s Publishing program and Pacific Rim Magazine have won Pinnacle Awards.

Lagara College started in 1965 and is located in beautiful Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Today, Langara is one of BC’s leading undergraduate institutions providing University Studies, Career Studies, and Continuing Studies programs and courses to more than 21,000 students annually.

Details below:

https://langara.ca/news-and-events/langara-news/2017/171121-publishing-pinnacle-awards.html