A mentorship and publishing opportunity
for an Indigenous or Black writer, or a writer of colour,
between the ages of 18–28 living in Canada
An imprint of Arsenal Pulp Press
We are happy to announce the 2018 open call for submissions to VS. Books!
VS. Books, a new imprint with Arsenal Pulp Press, was launched in June 2017. Created as an effort to foster more intergenerational dialogue and supports, the imprint offers both a mentorship with myself and a publishing contract to an unpublished youth who is Indigenous, Black or a person of colour. Scarborough-based Téa Mutonji was selected as the first writer to be published by VS. Books, with her debut collection of short stories out in Spring 2019.
This year, after receiving your feedback, I am happy to share that we have widened the age requirement, and now welcome submissions from writers between the ages of 18–28.
The mentorship will include:
- editorial feedback and writing support on your manuscript from me in person or via Skype meetings (one or two per month)
- advice and support relating to the writing process, grant-writing, CV-writing, social media, promotion, organization, self-motivation, the publishing process, touring, performing, and anything else that might be pertinent (e.g., informal conversations about art, process, the intersection of art with gender, sexuality, race & religion)
- a publishing contract with Arsenal Pulp Press & VS. Books, with a $1,000 CAD royalty advance and book release slated for Spring 2020
- my assistance in developing a marketing plan (alongside Arsenal Pulp Press’s marketing team)
- my assistance with booking and organizing a launch event
- a one-month post-publishing debrief period with me to brainstorm future goals
If you are an unpublished writer who is Indigenous, Black or a person of colour between the ages of 18 and 28 living in Canada, you are invited to email VS.Books
- your name, date of birth, and city of residence
- a completed manuscript in the genre of your choice (i.e. poetry, fiction, non-fiction, young adult, children’s book, graphic novel) in PDF or Microsoft Word format. Please note that because the first VS. Books title in 2019 will be a short story collection, we will not be accepting short story manuscripts in this round of submissions. As a multigenre writer, I want to support writers working in other genres. Unfortunately, we are also not accepting plays this year, except plays that are written in poetry or novel format.
- For poetry, your ms should be 60 pages minimum (single-sided).
- For fiction, your ms should be approximately 45,000 words.
- For illustrated works such as graphic novels or children’s picture books, please also submit sample artwork for the book (5 pages for a children’s picture book, 10 pages for a graphic novel) along with a completed written manuscript.
- a half-page synopsis of the book
- a short bio and social media/website info
- a description of what kind of support you are looking for from me in relation to your book
Please note that if we have worked together before through previous mentorship programs or in another capacity, or if you submitted to the 2017 VS. Books open call, you are still welcome to apply. You may also apply if you have self-published before, but the manuscript you submit must be new and not previously published in full elsewhere, including online. Feel free to email me if you have any questions!
The application deadline is September 1, 2018. All applicants will be notified about the selection by the end of October 2018. The selection process will be based primarily on my ability to support your work on your manuscript.
Look forward to working with you!