Quebec Writers' Federation Workshops

Spring Session 2018
Workshop leader: Jim Johnstone and Karen Schindler; Workshop moderator: Leigh Kotsilidis

Monday, March 19 , 2018, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Auditorium – 1200 Atwater Avenue, Westmount, QC
(Atwater Metro Station)

Workshop fee: $15 for QWF members; AELAQ members' fee covered by AELAQ; $25 for non-members of either organization
Payment is due within one week of registration to confirm your spot. Please review our cancellation policy.

For more information, or to register:

(514) 933-0878 or

Micropresses are an essential component of the Canadian poetry world. Small, but often punching well above their weight, chapbooks have managed to retain a firm footing in a constantly changing publishing environment by being an ideal way for a new poet to enter the scene, or for a mid-career poet to maintain momentum between full-length collections. Both the length of the work (typically less than 40 pages) and the size of the print run (often less than 100 copies) distinguish chapbooks from trade publications. Side by side, small collections feel more ephemeral – thin, modest volumes that naturally focus the reader’s attention and encourage close consideration of the work. Whether a manuscript is comprised of a series of individual poems, a linked sequence, or a single long poem, chapbooks have proven to offer the perfect vehicle for poetry.

The types of chapbooks being produced today are as varied as the list of small press publishers is long – from hand stitched, letterpressed artist’s books to perfect bound, digitally printed booklets. Two current publishers – Jim Johnstone of Toronto’s Anstruther Press and Karen Schindler of London’s Baseline Press – will be presenting an overview of their chapbook work and experiences in the small-press community. The workshop will focus on how line-ups are chosen, best practices for submissions, how revisions proceed between editor and author, book design and construction, marketing, and event planning. Johnstone and Schindler encourage participants to join in an encompassing discussion of the details involved in running a chapbook press.

This session is being presented in partnership with the Association of English-language Publishers of Quebec, the Literary Press Group of Canada and Vallum Magazine.

Jim Johnstone is a Toronto-based poet, editor, and critic. He’s the author of five books of poetry, most recently The Chemical Life (Véhicule Press, 2017), and the subject of the critical monograph Proofs & Equational Love: The Poetry of Jim Johnstone by Shane Neilson and Jason Guriel. He’s also the winner of several awards including a CBC Literary Award, The Fiddlehead’s Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize, and Poetry’s Editors Prize for Book Reviewing. Currently, Johnstone curates the Anstruther Books imprint at Palimpsest Press, and is an associate editor at Representative Poetry Online.

Karen Schindler is the publisher of Baseline Press (London, ON) – a micro-press producing poetry chapbooks since 2011. Baseline titles have twice been shortlisted for the bpNichol Chapbook Award (2013 and 2015). Karen’s own poetry and book reviews have appeared in journals such as The Malahat Review and The Fiddlehead, and she has participated on juries including OAC granting programs and the Hamilton Literary Awards. In 2017 Karen stepped down after serving over ten years as Managing Director of the Poetry London Reading Series. She has also worked as an engineer, a systems analyst, and a high-school mathematics teacher.

Leigh Kotsilidis is a poet and visual artist, and the managing editor of Vallum Magazine.


Registration Information

To register, email [ workshops AT QWF DOT org ].

Payment Information

Payment is due within one week of registration to confirm your spot. Payment options are listed in the column to the right.

Please familiarize yourself with our
cancellation policy.

QWF workshop cancellation policy

Read about QWF and accessibility:

QWF and accessibility

For more information:

(514) 933-0878
[ workshops AT QWF DOT org ]

QWF gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Canada Council for the Arts / Conseil des Arts du Canada