VS. Books was created in 2017 with the goal of mentoring and publishing emerging, unpublished BIPOC writers living in Canada. Since then, we have had the privilege of publishing Téa Mutonji’s award-winning collection of short stories Shut Up You’re Pretty (currently a finalist on CBC’s Canada Reads) and Cicely Belle Blain’s poetry book Burning Sugar. Today I’m thrilled to share our next open call!
If you are a writer who is Indigenous, Black, or a person of colour, you have never published a book before, and you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, living in Canada, you are invited to email VS.Books
- your name, date of birth, and city of residence;
- a completed manuscript draft in the genre of your choice (I’m not picky about word counts at this stage, but generally: fiction and non-fiction manuscripts should be a minimum of 50,000 words; poetry manuscripts and graphic novels should be a minimum of 75 pages; and children’s picture books should be a minimum of 35 pages);
- for illustrated titles, such as graphic novels or children’s picture books, please also submit sample artwork from the book (5 pages for a children’s picture book; 10 pages for a graphic novel) along with the 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.
The mentorship will include:
- regular editorial feedback and writing support on your manuscript from me, either in person or via virtual meetings;
- general advice and support related 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 relevant (e.g. informal conversations about art, process, the intersection of art with gender, sexuality, race, and religion);
- a publishing contract with VS. Books & Arsenal Pulp Press, including an advance, and your book release tentatively slated for 2026;
- assistance from both me and Arsenal Pulp Press’s marketing team in developing your marketing plan;
- my assistance with booking and organizing a launch event;
- a one-month post-publishing debrief period with me to brainstorm future goals.
Please note that if we have worked together before, through previous mentorship programs or in another capacity, you are still welcome to apply if you meet the other criteria. You may also apply if you have self-published a book, but the manuscript you submit must be new and not previously published in full anywhere else, including online. Please feel free to email me at the address above if you have any questions.
The application deadline is September 3, 2024. All applicants will be notified about the selection by December 20, 2024. The selection process will be based mainly on my ability to support you and your manuscript.
Look forward to working with you!