113 Bond Street St. John’s NL A1C 1T6   feralgrl@interlog.com

Pedlar Press publishes innovative, contemporary Canadian fiction & poetry, the occasional literary nonfiction title, works that preserve and extend the literary tradition that values experimentation in style & form. Writers include Agnes Walsh, Phil Hall, Kim Fahner, Michael Kenyon, Guy Birchard, Sara Tilley, Maureen Hynes, Soraya Peerbaye, Souvankham Thammavongsa, Martha Baillie, Kate Cayley, Emily McGiffin, Jan Zwicky, Stan Dragland, Anne Golden, Anne Fleming, Ronna Bloom, Barry Dempster, Aga Maksimowska, Maureen Scott Harris. . .

TO PURCHASE PEDLAR TITLES: Pedlar Press titles may be ordered from your local independent bookseller, from www.alllitup.ca (the all-Canadian online bookstore), from www.amazon.ca. To purchase titles directly from Pedlar, contact publisher Beth Follett at: feralgrl@interlog.com

RECENT TITLES may be purchased by scrolling down to posts below. These include Barbara Nichol’s picture book THE LADY FROM KENT, Stan Dragland’s artbook GERALD SQUIRES, Martha Baillie’s novel THE SEARCH FOR HEINRICH SCHLÖGEL, and poetry collections LAMB by Michael Kenyon, ONLY SEEMLY by Guy Birchard, ODERIN by Agnes Walsh, THESE WINGS by Kim Fahner, VANISHING ACTS by Moira MacDougall.

Click on the various Pages to see Pedlar’s full front and back lists.

SUBMISSIONS: APRIL 2019 update – Pedlar’s Acquisitions editor Monica Kidd is accepting submissions for fiction and nonfiction titles ONLY. Send query to monica.kidd@me.com.

Submissions Guide

Pedlar Press is a consistently award-winning Canadian literary publishing house based in St. John’s NL. Pedlar started in 1996 and was run single-handedly by Beth Follett until 2018, when Monica Kidd joined as co-publisher.  We typically publish seven books of literary fiction, nonfiction, translation or poetry per year, including at least two debuts. 

Our house vision is this: to acquire works of exceptional literary quality that break silences regarding widespread failures of social and political systems, and to make books with serious intellectual and emotional content.

No Pedlar book is published as accepted. Each undergoes editorial transformation—often in-house, but occasionally with guest editors—with an eye to making it meet the aesthetic requirements of the text itself. Our aim is to produce literary works of integrity that will make a pronounced difference in the lives of Pedlar’s readers.

Before you submit your manuscript, please familiarize yourself with our backlist; understanding what makes Pedlar distinctive and why your work fits our mandate will help your pitch.

Please note that while the majority of our authors and translators are Canadian (like most Canadian-owned publishers, we are supported by grants that rightly require an emphasis on Canadian authors), we do sometimes acquire international works for translation. Also: it can take two years between acceptance and publication.

To submit:

  1. Please begin by sending a query letter with a one-paragraph description of the work. Please compare your book to one or two Pedlar books, and include a literary CV. (Do not elaborate on your literary lineage and relationships; we prefer to let the work speak for itself.) Simultaneous submissions are fine, but please flag this in your letter, and tell us promptly if your work has been accepted elsewhere.
  2. If we are interested in your description, we will ask for a .pdf of either the complete manuscript (if short prose or poetry) or for the first 50 pages (for long prose).
  3. Please do not send hard copies unless invited to do so, as we try to minimize our environmental footprint.
  4. You may submit at any time during the year, but please be patient. We aim to respond to submissions within six months of receipt.

You can read Pedlar’s mandate here:

About

or here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/pedlarpress/about/

The publisher wishes to acknowledge financial support received from the Newfoundland and Labrador Publishers Assistance Program. We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts. //  Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien.

“Be a good steward of your gifts. Protect your time. Feed your inner life. Avoid too much noise. Read good books, have good sentences in your ears. Be by yourself as often as you can. Walk. Take the phone off the hook. Work regular hours.”  ―Jane Kenyon


via GIPHY

Lamb, poetry by Michael Kenyon


Words “don’t hold the world,” writes Michael Kenyon in Lamb, “because we/ absorb the shallow fast first meaning.” In its line-by-line leaping precision, in the carefully detailed manyness of its particulars, in its expansive, intricate, overarching design, Lamb resists, it refutes, that laxity. Kenyon combs through time, history, identity—national, regional and personal—passionately seeking “something lost.” Lamb is a long poem of potent lyricism. It enacts what Galway Kinnell says of poetry (in a passage Kenyon integrates) that it “sings past even the sadness that begins it.” Singing through, in words that carry and hold, Michael Kenyon shapes a resonant world that is representative and yet very much his own.







STARRED REVIEW — Quill & Quire — The Lady From Kent, Barbara Nichol, illustrated by Bill Pechet

The spirits of Lear and Belloc are channelled in Barbara Nichol’s arousingly illogical book of light verse, The Lady from Kent, about, well, a lady who says she’s from Kent. But as we quickly learn the Lady says a lot of things, few of which relate to a recognizable reality. They sure are entertaining, though.

The book is divided into sections, told to an unseen narrator, that function as a kind of absurdist resumé. In “Early Years,” we meet the Lady’s pet raccoon. When the Lady was a child, she instructed the animal to play the violin (and spoons), earning the animal’s lifelong loyalty. “Some Worthy Acts” catalogues the Lady’s generosity: in addition to running a charm school for bats, she taught “autumn leaves to fall” and “giants to be small.”

“Oddities and Accomplishments” (which could describe the whole book) boasts of how the Lady does the daily crossword “never looking at the clues” and bakes chocolate cake “without ingredients.” Her claim of having invented the bathing cap and rake, however, provokes skepticism on the part of the narrator (the rake, after all, “is eons old”). This causes the Lady to become peevish, her tone “very cold”: “Her answer came so quickly / That it might have been rehearsed: / “I said I had invented it, / Not that I was first!”

“A Business Venture” describes how the Lady once befriended a “vast swarm of killer bees” that she trained to perform circus acts disguised as fleas, all while remaining mindful of the capitalist imperative: “She taught them to walk tightropes, / And bring tigers to submission, / And many other wondrous feats, /For which she charged admission.”

This is the ninth children’s book by the multi-talented Nichol (who also created the beloved recording Beethoven Lives Upstairs) and the fourth by illustrator Bill Pechet. An architect and designer by trade, Pechet once represented Canada at the Venice Biennale with the world’s largest polar-fleece garment, giving him exactly the right credentials for this project.

The Lady from Kent is so musical and clever it comes as a surprise when the rhymes occasionally mash their gears. But think of that as praising with faint damnation: page after page, Nichol shores up surface whimsy with blazing originality and intelligence.




ODERIN, poetry by Agnes Walsh

A new collection by Newfoundland poet Agnes Walsh, her first since the release of GOING AROUND WITH BACHELORS (2007). Born and raised in Placentia, NL, Walsh studied folklore in Georgia (USA), before returning home and taking to writing works founded in her love of her ancestral place. ODERIN is an homage to Walsh’s mother, who liked to sign her letters, “Love from your loving mother—Mother.”





ONLY SEEMLY by Guy Birchard

Guy Birchard lives below the radar, perfectly disaffiliated, in Victoria, BC.
 
This writing is dedicated to Howard McCord, esteemed elder, in admiration for his consummate own. And to Bill Corbett, who can no more now be thanked enough. “Full circle, the open hand.”




The LADY From Kent!

Last year I thought it was curtains for Pedlar. I had been searching for over three years for someone to join me, a successor, and had had no firm statement of interest from anyone. Then Monica Kidd restated hers—this time more vociferously—in 2017, and we began to have real talks. Then Linda Spalding said I mustn’t close Pedlar, especially not before I looked at The Lady From Kent by her friend Barbara Nichol. Twice nominated for a Juno award, winning for her platinum recording, “Beethoven Lives Upstairs,” and a finalist for an Emmy Award for “Basil Hears a Noise” (Sesame Street), and for Dippers, a Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Literature, Barbara Nichol is a powerhouse of zany enthusiasm for children and their stories, this new one written over many years with Post-it notes and a piecing together of scenes, like a giant jigsaw puzzle that she believed had only one right outcome.

Everything coalesced. Barbara and I asked ourselves who would be the right person to illustrate the book. We wanted a light and playful hand. Enter Bill Pechet, who holds a professional degree in architecture from the University of British Columbia School of Architecture, who is a lecturer-in-practice at UBC, and who has illustrated Bill Richardson books. I called designer Zab Hobart out of Pedlar retirement, asking her to turn her genius lights on this project.

There is a queer sensibility at base in this book of delights, and the perceptive reader will notice many tiny illustrative flourishes Bill Pechet has added on many pages. For example, here’s the Lady training for walking marathons:

11 kent final

 

 

And here is the Lady’s pal raccoon, playing spoons? Or is it bones? With a framed photo on the wall of—well, what is that, exactly?

Kent Dr 2a

 

The delight I had while making JonArno Lawson’s books (illustrated by Sherwin Tjia), Black Stars in a White Night Sky and Man in the Moon-Fixer’s Mask came back with a powerful surge, as did the very painful memory of how little support Pedlar received from mainstream media outlets, even after Lawson and Tjia won the very prestigious Lion & The Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Children’s Literature, adjudicated through Johns Hopkins University. We took on this project knowing we would have to fight for its proper place in literary history, as all too often the works from literary houses are seen as less important and therefore less noteworthy. Pedlar goes into this fall season with eyes wide open for anyone who looks the least bit interested in helping what we think could turn out to be a classic children’s book fall into many right hands.

 

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Nichol

Barbara Nichol has written nine children’s books, is an essayist, dramatist for radio and television, comedy writer, songwriter, and, for many years, a documentarian for the CBC program, Ideas.

Photo by Tess Steinkolk