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spotlight gallery: The Editors

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Introduction

Welcome to Spotlight, our new Magazine feature, an ever-growing portrait gallery featuring the people in Toronto’s literary scene. This issue, Spotlight turns its eye to The Editors, going behind-the-scenes to profile a highly talented group whose keen choices and wise guidance help shape the new books that land on shelves every season.

All Spotlight portraits are created and photographed by one of our favourite Toronto photographers, Anna Ross. To see more of her amazing work, please take a look here.

The Editors

Open Book Magazine

Michael Holmes

ECW Press

Michael Holmes writes fiction, poetry, cultural criticism and literary journalism. His books of poetry include Parts Unknown, James I Wanted to Ask You, Satellite Dishes from the Future Bakery, and Got No Flag at All. He is also the author of the novel Watermelon Row. His current project, Beer League, chronicles (among other things) the on- and off-ice exploits of the Oshawa Bulldogs. Holmes wears number 7. Since the early 1990s he has edited more than 150 titles for a variety of presses. He is now Senior Editor at ECW Press, where his imprint unleashes a half dozen or so new literary misFits on an unsuspecting world each year. He lives in Whitby with his wife and son.

Holmes’ books this autumn cover mortal sin, betrayal, misogyny, 409 aphorisms, the world’s fastest growing sport and wrestling’s first family:

The Bourgeois Empire by Evie Christie

Hope Burned by Brent LaPorte

The Semiconducting Dictionary (Our Strindberg) by Natalee Caple

Glimpse: Selected Aphorisms by George Murray

The MMA Encyclopedia by Jonathan Snowden and Kendall Shields

Straight from the Hart by Bruce Hart

Photographed the afternoon of August 12, 2010, at Coach House Books in Toronto. Photograph by Anna Ross.

Karen Li, Tara Walker & Yvette Ghione

Kids Can Press

Karen Li edits nonfiction, fiction and graphic novels at Kids Can Press. She loves working in children’s literature, where books on civics and books about mystery-solving dogs can sit amicably on the pub list. Books out this autumn: Lila and Ecco’s Do-It-Yourself Comics Club by Willow Dawson and Tower of Treasure by Scott Chantler.

Tara Walker is a senior editor at Kids Can Press. She feels lucky to be able to read stories and look at pictures for a living and attributes her career path to a spider named Charlotte, a boy called Charlie Bucket and a girl known as Laura Ingalls. Books out this autumn: Binky to the Rescue by Ashley Spires and Spork, written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault.

Yvette Ghione got her start as an editor at Kids Can Press in 2002, working on the popular Franklin the Turtle series. She has since added moose and cats and bears (oh my!), among many other memorable characters and subjects, to her picture book, nonfiction and first readers repertoire. Books out this autumn: In Front of My House by Marianne Dubuc and Making the Moose Out of Life by Nicholas Oldland.

Photographed the morning of August 10, 2010, at Kew Gardens.
Photograph by Anna Ross.

Allister Thompson

Napolean & Company

Allister Thompson has been editing fiction and non-fiction for twelve years. After attending Ryerson's publishing program, he got his start as an editor for a series of medical journals. In his current position as editor of a small press like Napoleon & Company, he is responsible for every kind of editing that there is a name for, from acquisitions to developmental/substantive to copy editing, and myriad other tasks associated with getting a story from a word processing file to a printed book. While Napoleon's focus is primarily crime fiction and children's books, Allister has also created a new literary fiction imprint, Darkstar Fiction, the aim of which is to provide younger authors with a gateway to a literary career.

Thompson has a wide range of books out this autumn.

With Napoleon Publishing: No More Dragons by Rie Charles, Trouble on the Voyage by Bob Barton, True Colours by Lucy Lemay Cellucci and Warbird by Jennifer Morton.

With the RendezVous Press imprint: Settlement by Ann Birch.

With the RendezVous Crime imprint: Beautiful Lie the Dead by Barbara Fradkin, In Winter's Grip by Brenda Chapman, She Felt No Pain by Lou Allin, Slow Recoil by CB Forrest and The Tanglewood Murders by David Weedmark.

With his latest imprint, Darkstar Fiction: Blind Luck by Scott Carter, Short Candles by Rita Donovan, Godblog by Laurie Channer, The Space Between by jp Rodriguez and The Year She Left by Kerry Kelly.

Photographed the morning of August 19, 2010, at Dufflet Beach on Queen Street East.
Photograph by Anna Ross.

George A. Walker

Porcupine’s Quill

George A. Walker is an award-winning wood engraver, book artist and author who has been creating artwork and books at his private press since 1984. Walker teaches courses in printmaking and the book arts at the Ontario College of Art and Design University in Toronto, where he is an Associate Professor. For over thirty years, Walker has exhibited his wood engravings and limited edition books internationally. He is Acquisitions Editor for the Wordless Graphic Novel series published by The Porcupine’s Quill.

Among many artist's book projects, Walker has designed and illustrated two hand-printed limited editions written by author Neil Gaiman. Walker also is the illustrator of the first Canadian edition of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures In Wonderland (Cheshire Cat Press 1988) and Through the Looking Glass and what Alice Found There (Cheshire Cat Press 1998). Walker was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Art (RCA) in 2002 for his contribution to the cultural area of Book Arts in Canada.

This autumn, with Porcupine’s Quill, George edited Wanderlust by Megan Speers. He also has his own new title coming out, Book of Hours.

George A. Walker is also the author of The Woodcut Artist's Handbook: Tools and Techniques for Relief Printmaking (Firefly Books 2005) and the popular graphic novel history book, Graphic Witness: Four Wordless Graphic Novels by Frans Masereel, Lynd Ward, Giacomo Patri and Laurence Hyde (Firefly Books 2007).

Photographed midday on August 10, 2010, on Kew Beach.
Photograph by Anna Ross.

Alana Wilcox

Coach House Books

Alana Wilcox is the editorial director of Coach House Books, responsible for acquisitions and editing, as well as overseeing day-to-day operations. She is the author of A Grammar of Endings (The Mercury Press, 2000) and she is a founding editor of the uTOpia series of books about Toronto. In Alana’s fall line-up:

Local Motion: The Art of Civic Engagement in Toronto, as co-editor

When Fenelon Falls, a novel by Dorothy Ellen Palmer

The Obituary, a novel by Gail Scott

Minor Complications, two plays by Brendan Gall

Photographed the afternoon of August 12, 2010,
at Coach House Books in Toronto.
Photograph by Anna Ross.
1 comment

It's so nice to see the faces of the often-anonymous editors who make our books what they are. Keep up the good work, you brilliant wordsmiths!

Openbook: Past Issues
Go To Issue 14 - Summer 2011

Go To Issue 13 - Winter 2011
Go To Issue 12 - Fall 2010
Go To Issue 11 - Summer 2010
Go To Issue 10 - Spring 2010
Go To Issue 09 - Winter 2009
Go To Issue 08 - Fall 2009
Go To Issue 07 - Summer 2009, including the Special Scream Edition!
Go To Issue 06 - Spring 2009
Go To Issue 05 - Winter 2008
Go To Issue 04 - Fall 2008
Go To Issue 03 - Summer 2008
Go To Issue 02 - Spring 2008
Go To Issue 01 - Fall 2007