The long and short of it is that generally speaking we do not accept unsolicited manuscripts; however, from time to time we will announce brief periods during which we will push that general rule aside to see what might find its way to our mailbox. Such open calls will largely be dictated by necessity and curiosity, and we make no claim to an organized or annual period. If you'd really like Greenboathouse to publish your book, you'll just have to visit this page from time to time to see if the door is ajar.
It's taken far too long, but I've finally managed to whittle the stack of over 60 submissions down to a short-list of three. While many of the submissions simply didn't fit with the aesthetics of what I'm drawn to publish, it was an enjoyable challenge to narrow the pool down to 20, then to 10, and now to three. Those three authors have now been contacted, but I'd like to thank everyone who sent in their work for consideration.
Once a final selection has been made I'll post the decision here, but, once again, thanks to all who sent in their good words.
For the past 10 years we've been working quietly and steadily to build up our reputation by bringing to the table a serious respect for the words and pages we produce. This has, gratefully, put us in a position where word-of-mouth tends to keep us up-to-date on a range of manuscripts brewing in the background that may be seeking a good home. Sometimes these murmurings come in person, on bumping into a writer we've never met, and other times it happens more consciously, as one or the other of us contacts a writer we admire to see if they have something new.
The point, really, is that we're extremely specific about the sort of work we want to publish, and yet there is no specific description that might sum up our tastes, no explicit recipe to suggest which might pique our curiosity. As with most things, the books we publish happen largely by chance, a random sequence of events that, together, find us beginning, again, a new project.
If this all sounds impossible, let's try putting it this way. Writers who are engaged in the kind of work we appreciate tend to be folks who take their writing fairly seriously, and, as such, they tend to be involved in various activities, interacting with various folks, and in short order this various gathering reduces down to a fairly small community. This isn't necessarily about 'who's in and who's out,' but rather it's about who's active and engaged.
While this may not help the new writer visiting this site, eager and furious to see their work in print, here's a suggestion that might be of use: literary journals are where every writer must cut their teeth. If you haven't published in such periodicals, you've yet to cut your teeth. First off, get to a decent library and read as many Canadian journals as you can. See what sort of work they publish. Do some research on the editors of each journal, read some of their work too. Educate yourself not only with what other contemporary writers are writing, but with which publications might be best suited to your own work. Submission research is nearly as important as the work you produce, because your engagement with other writers is testament to your own credibility and commitment to your craft.
If you do this, diligently, eventually we'll hear about you, and somewhere down the line, we may just bump into you at a reading or a book launch.
Until then, we'll continue to quietly and steadily work to produce the kinds of projects that have put us in the privileged position of being able to take our time to search out, consider, and, eventually, select some very fine words with which to make (hopefully) equally fine books.