5 Up-and-Coming Independent Canadian Publishers: Attention New Authors!

by Michael Bedford

Published at 2019-09-19

New Canadian authors working without the benefit of representation are probably familiar with House of Anansi and Douglas & McIntyre as being Canadian publishers that continue to accept unsolicited manuscripts. But if you’ve already received rejections from these two houses, don’t give up: there are many independent Canadian publishers that accept unsolicited work. The following list features five up-and-coming Canadian publishers that publish groundbreaking work in a variety of genres.



Invisible Publishing


Representing Prince Edward County, Ontario, the most well-established of the publishers on this list is Invisible Publishing, which published its first works of fiction in 2007. Since then, Invisible has gone on to publish graphic novels — both fiction and non-fiction — pop-culture biographies, and poetry.


Invisible Publishing is a not-for-profit publisher dedicated to publishing works by diverse voices. In its own words, Invisible Publishing believes in “building communities that sustain and encourage engaging, literary, and current writing.”


As I write this post, a look at Invisible Publishing’s upcoming catalogue promises a new book of poetry by Bart Vautour, a new book of poetry by Nolan Natasha, and a reprint of Charles Yale Harrison’s There Are Victories, which includes a new introduction by Johanna Skibsrud, winner of the 2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize.



At Bay Press


This Winnipeg-based independent publisher originally opened its doors in Toronto in 2008. At Bay Press prides itself on the level of craftsmanship that goes into its books, binding some of its editions by hand. This independent publisher offers poetry, literary fiction, and literary non-fiction in both traditional prose and graphic-novel format.


At Bay’s 2019/2020 catalogue advertises a new graphic novel by Christopher Ducharme and Lisa Mendis, Curb Angels; The Mother Goose Letters, a fiction hardcover by Karen Clavelle with illustrations by Bob Haverluck; The Edge: 125 Pacific Avenue, a book of photos of alternative skatepark The Edge; and a variety of other works by up-and-coming Canadian authors. If you’d like a shot at being one of those up-and-coming authors yourself, check out At Bay’s submission guidelines, available through its website.



Page Two Books


Page Two’s founders, Jesse Finkelstein and Trena White, have a combined 40 years of experience in the publishing industry. Started in 2013 in Vancouver, BC, Page Two focuses on publishing great non-fiction works and helping non-fiction authors get all they can out of publication. Dedicated to providing their clients with a significant level of creative control, the publishers promise a fast path to market for their authors’ books.


Boasting an award-winning and dedicated staff, Page Two offers a variety of self-help and instructional trade non-fiction to a variety of demographics. Recent publications include Kimberley Record’s Finding Your Forever Body: A 10-Step Guide to Breaking the Diet Cycle for Good and Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips & Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality by Bob Joseph, founder of and Master Trainer at Indigenous Corporate Training Inc.



Stonehouse Publishing


Founded in 2014, Edmonton-based Stonehouse Publishing prints a variety of literary and trade fiction. Focusing specifically on historical fiction, Stonehouse offers three distinct lines of publication: “Originals,” “Classics,” and “Gothic.” The “Originals” imprint offers Canadian literature by new and established authors, “Classics” offers a range of classic literature, and “Gothic” offers readers classic or modern titles with a Gothic flair.


Lady Franklin of Russell Square by Erika Behrisch Elce and My Brother Chuck by Andrew Evans were both published under the “Originals” line in 2018. Heading up the “Classics” line in 2018 was The Poor Clare by Elizabeth Gaskell along with Evelina by Frances Burney.


Submissions are always welcome at Stonehouse but make sure you read its submission guidelines before submitting.



Indian Ink Publishing


Indian Ink started its presses in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in April of 2019, approaching its entry into the market with an open mind and a broad mandate. Indian Ink describes itself as “a woman-of-colour led, independent publisher that offers a platform to all authors, particularly those voices that have been historically and systematically underrepresented,” and is currently accepting submissions for literary fiction, trade fiction, and creative non-fiction manuscripts from emerging and established authors.


It’s always exciting when a new Canadian publisher starts its presses. With such a broad mandate and dedication to literary voices, Indian Ink’s forthcoming catalogue is definitely one to keep an eye on.



Lots of Choices for New Authors

The above five names are only a few in a growing list of independent Canadian publishers set on providing a good product for their readers, crafting high-quality books and offering readers amazing titles by underrepresented Canadian literary voices. Smaller independent presses can  offer things large publishers can’t, such as a handmade touch or the ability to take a chance on aspiring authors with interesting and unique stories to tell. And, since all of the above publishers are currently accepting submissions from the public, you may just see your own name in one of their catalogues someday.



Looking for more content that can help new authors? Check out our blogs on creating a great hook to catch the eye of a publisher, or how you can put together a great manuscript submission package.


Michael Bedford is a freelance editor, copywriter, and performer living in Mount Hope, Ontario. He can be reached at