About this project
Who We Are & Who We Hope to Become
The Quilliad is a biannual literary and arts journal that features emerging and established Canadian writers and artists, with a focus on promoting new talent and welcoming diverse voices and perspectives. We act on these values by providing all contributors with financial compensation and the opportunity to feature at our launch parties either as exhibiting artists or featured readers. We also write reviews of small press books, compose artist profiles, and cover local lit and art events for our blog, thequilliad.wordpress.com. As we grow and engage with an ever-widening artistic and literary community, we find ourselves writing about more books, more artists, and more local events.
We are also distributing more widely than ever before. While you can still find us through our blog and at our launch parties and small press fairs, we will soon have an Etsy account and, as of mid-September, we are now part of two zine libraries in Toronto, the Toronto Zine Library and the OCADU Zine Library. You can now also purchase a copy at Artarium on Spadina Avenue in Toronto! You can find out who's behind the scenes and how people feel about what we're doing below in the "More About Us" section.
We recently began publishing The Quilliad, previously an independent publication, through our new small press publishing company, The Quilliad Press. This new official status as a small press publisher reflects our commitment to growth. The Quilliad Press will continue the work we have been doing, but we are increasing the number of reviews and artist profiles we post, and we want to push beyond our biannual journal publication to chapbooks and, hopefully, anthologies.
We have successfully funded The Quilliad's previous issues through crowdfunding, revenues from launches, and money out of our own pockets. Now that we have seen the potential of this publication and can imagine the future of our recently formed small press, we want to move beyond an issue-to-issue model to one that is more self-sustaining. Which is why we want this Kickstarter to be our last.
Any support means a lot to us, our contributors, and our readers, whether you pledge $5 or $100, and will have tangible results that affect people across Canada, North America as a whole, and beyond. Check out our rewards section to the right and read more about what those rewards look like in our "Preview Your Rewards" section below.
More About Us
Sarah Varnam is The Quilliad's editor-in-chief, which means you're as likely to find her poring over notes on prospective poems as squinting at InDesign prepping the next issue's layout. She also works as a content writer and copyeditor. Her writing and art have been published in several journals and zines, including Chrysalis, Third Wednesday, The Flying Walrus, and pacificREVIEW, and she has self-published 3 chapbooks with original artwork. She regularly exhibits her art in Toronto galleries and shops.
Steph Chaves is our submissions editor and social media assistant. She is currently in Japan as part of the awesome JET program. Her first chapbook, Consanguinity, was published in 2014 by Grow & Grow.
Devin P. L. Edwards is a past contributor to The Quilliad and our current marketing officer, as well as the person who started the University Heights Literary Society, where we first thought up the idea for The Quilliad. His first chapbook, Love and Longing, was published in 2014 by Geek Collateral Media. He works as a technical writer and scriptwriter.
Riff Raff is our poetry parrot-in-residence. Our PIR composes poetry on Sarah's touchscreen phone and regularly supplies unsolicited opinions about layout and promotions.
We're writers (and, in Sarah and Devin's cases, also artists) ourselves, so we know how important exposure AND payment are for creative people. We hope to continue providing paid opportunities to our contributors and providing wonderful writing and art to our readers.
What We Publish
Issue 6 will be an October release, which for us means something special. This will be our second themed fall issue. We will be looking for art and writing that fits the season, including magic realism, literary horror, and literary science fiction, as well as generally unusual or unsettling work. We believe that realistic and "genre" fiction can both be literary, and our publishing practices reflect that.
While the lineup for our upcoming publications is in flux since we are currently in the midst of our sixth issue submission call, we have some early acceptances:
We’ll be publishing an eerie flash fiction piece about the weather by Nicole Brewer (a writer, editor, and micro-press publisher in Toronto who’s part of the (parenthetical) team) called “The Worm Will Eat the Bird” and a quirky science fiction piece about a “nomadic Anne Hathaway lookalike android” entitled “Fanatics Inherit the Earth. Cheap Motels Last” by Alexandra Harrison (an Albertan writer and editor whose work has been published in various journals and anthologies).
Long-time supporter and contributor John Nyman graces us with poetry about vampirism and death that manages to be both chilling and free of cliché. Both Erica McKeen (a writer of poetry and fiction based in London, Ontario whose work has been published in This Dark Matter, Nom de Plume, and issues four and five of Occasus) and Ruth Daniell (a BC writer who won the 2014 Young Buck Poetry Prize with Contemporary Verse 2) have provided us with pieces that offer new and spooky perspectives on old tales, through both fiction and poetry.
We're also excited to be including the artwork of Jill Davis LeBlanc, a New Brunswick artist who is the creator and illustrator of the anthology zine Hollow Round of Skull and the illustrator for The Legend of Hummel Park and Other Stories, currently an Amazon bestseller in the horror short stories category.
Also, here are some links to other places you can find work by some of our previous contributors, to give you a sense of our style:
You can also read the issue that started it all here. We've come a long way since then, now publishing art (in colour!) alongside our poetry and prose and creating longer issues.
We wouldn't be where we are if we didn't have community support, and we are reminded of why we do what we do whenever we hear about how The Quilliad has touched people. Our past crowdfunding successes are evidence of the love our community has shown us, as are the amazing things our supporters have to say about us:
"[A] cleverly-named litzine full of clever writing."
— Broken Pencil, the magazine of zine culture and the independent arts
"I highly recommend The Quilliad. The folks at the helm of this journal are open to good writing of all kinds. Great for readers and great for writers."
— Lisa Young, Quilliad contributor, author of the poetry collection When the Earth, published by Quattro Books, and former senior poetry editor for Existere: Journal of Arts and Literature
"I look forward to each issue of The Quilliad—clever name!—with keen anticipation. This magazine, and now blog, is a window into the emerging arts scene and a great way to support new talent. Bravo!"
— Paul Green, long-time crowdfunding supporter of The Quilliad
Based on our calculations, taking into consideration what it has cost us to run things up until now and what we know about future costs, this is how the amount we hope to raise breaks down.
Printing and binding issues 6, 7, and 8 of The Quilliad: 54% of budget
Printing and binding our first chapbook: 9% of budget
Paying contributors to The Quilliad + our first chapbook's writer and artist: 24% of budget
Postage and Printing for Kickstarter rewards: 4% of budget
Kickstarter fees: 8-10%
Other costs like tabling, launch decorations, office supplies, staff honorariums, and future chapbooks/cards are things that we are prepared to take on as our own costs, based on revenues. We will continue to write our small press book reviews, artist profiles, and other web content on a volunteer basis unless a different model becomes feasible.
Through revenue from a combination of sales at launch parties, our future Etsy store, sales at small press fairs, fundraising events featuring The Quilliad's contributors, and approaching small press friendly bookstores and artist spaces in Ontario for inclusion on their shelves (Artarium is our first step of what we hope will be many!), we plan to sustain ourselves past issue 8 and our third run of chapbooks. We will also be applying for publishing grants, but we choose not to rely on this as a primary source of support given the limited number of grants available and limited funds for those grants.
$2,500 At this stage, any extra funds would go toward paying our writers and artists more.
2,750 We could start planning future chapbooks.
3,500 We would be able to plan an anthology!
Preview Your Rewards
We're offering a lot of rewards, from copies of The Quilliad Press's publications to art to original, personalized writing.
We've published some great work over the last 3 years and are excited about the prospect of publishing more. Our backer rewards include copies of all issues of The Quilliad, as well as copies of future chapbooks.
We're also offering copies of our own books:
We also have art prints for you, appropriately themed for our late October/Halloween release.
Another reward, one that is both challenging and exciting for us, is the personalized poetry reward. You give us a topic; we write a poem for you. Depending on the reward level, we'll write you a haiku or a glosa, and backers who pledge $100 or more will have their poems published in issue 6 of The Quilliad. For past examples of backer-inspired poems, see our Tidbits page.
Finally, all backers are invited to attend out launch party on October 29 at Betty's on King in Toronto, 7-11 PM. Backers do not pay cover.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about us. We couldn't do what we do without you.
Risks and challenges
After 5 successful issues and 3 previous Kickstarters, we know we can do this if our Kickstarter succeeds. The scary part for us is always meeting our own expectations, because we make a point to do more every time, despite a tight budget. However, we've managed it every time before now, and we're good at making every dollar count. More importantly, we believe in this project and are willing to do what it takes to make it succeed.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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