The current situation in the world is dire, but the much of what’s happening is long overdue (or being repeated because the last half dozen times it happened, no one (us) seemed to learn the lessons at hand), but changes in behaviour and programs are starting to fall into place to address at least some of the issues in our sector. Hopefully they create meaningful change.
My old publisher M&S (now part of the Frankenstein’s monster that is PRHC) runs the Journey Prize, a respected and coveted spotlight for emerging authors to establish themselves through the short story. Literary magazines are usually allowed to submit a single short story they published in the last year for consideration. As part of their anti-racism program, M&S will publish a special edition of Black writers and will remove the restrictions on the number of stories a lit magazine can submit.
Not to diminish the intention of this effort, but have you ever read mainstream literary magazines in Canada? I’d be interested to see how many CAN submit more than one story by a Black author. I suppose that’s why they included the self-submit option for the first time.
Lots of work to do, people.
McClelland & Stewart has announced an anti-racism action plan that will see new mentorships, a paid editorial fellowship, a looser submission process, and a “Black Brilliance” edition of the annual Journey Prize Canadian short-story collection.
The Penguin Random House Canada imprint announced on June 16 that the 2021 edition of the Journey Prize Stories anthology will feature emerging Black writers, chosen by a jury of three celebrated Black Canadian writers. Traditionally publishing the best stories of the year from Canadian literary magazines, The 2021 Journey Prize: Black Brilliance edition will expand its eligibility period to include stories published between 2019 and the end of 2021.
For this edition, literary magazines may submit multiple stories rather than the traditional cap of one submission per publication. Authors are also encouraged to self-submit one unpublished story. Authors from other communities who are not eligible for the 2021 edition are invited to submit to the 2022 edition, which will include stories published in both 2020 and 2021.