Oh no! Coteau!

Terrible news out of the long-suffering province that drew the short straw for being next to Alberta. Local small press publisher Coteau has entered bankruptcy protection and laid off all its staff. Someone rich please step in an Anansi this vital literary vessel up!

She particularly noted the difficulty of getting their books into stores with the dwindling number of local, independent sellers and the rise of national bookstore chains. Coteau Books also struggled to transition toward electronic publishing on top of paper publishing — a struggle Skidmore said publishing houses across the country have been experiencing.

Skidmore said it has been “extremely difficult” to watch Coteau Books head toward bankruptcy. She said the former board of directors did everything it could to save the company before accepting it could not continue.

“These problems are complex,” she said. “We deeply regret having had to come to this point, but we tried everything we could and it didn’t work.”

With very few literary presses left in the province, Skidmore said Coteau Books’ closure will leave a hole for local creative writers. While she is optimistic authors will continue to find ways to have their works published, Skidmore said nothing can replace a local publishing house promoting local writers.

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