Monday, May 26, 2014

the ottawa small press book fair / june 6-7, 2014‏

this year's spring edition of the semi-annual ottawa small press book fair is shaping up to be one of the biggest ones yet. held on saturday, june 7, 2014 from noon to 5pm in room 203 of the jack purcell community centre (jack purcell lane, right by gilmour street on elgin), the fair contains the best of the small press in poetry, fiction, comic books and original artwork from publishers, presses and authors in and around ottawa, with exhibitors regularly attending from toronto, montreal, vancouver, the united states and beyond.

now in our twentieth year, some of the exhibitors at our spring fair include a number of regulars, as well as friendly faces we don't get to see as often, including: 40-Watt Spotlight, above/ground press, Ankle Bone Books, AngelHousePress, Apt. 9 Press, Arc Poetry Magazine, Cat & Bean Publishing, Black Radish Books, CC Brunelle, Martin Bueno, BuschekBooks, Bywords, Chaudiere Books, Editions du Rognon, Gesture Press, GiddyPigs, The Grunge Papers, Hark! A Raven Little Magazine, Hopelessly Heroic, In/Words magazine & press, Loose Cannon Press, Luis Lama, Mansfield Press, Mary Kritz, Christian McPherson, Nous-zot Press, Ottawa Arts Review, Passion: Poetry Magazine & Press, Pedlar Press, Phafours, Postscripts to Darkness, Proper Tales Press, Puddles of Sky Press, room 302 books, SABL Cartoon Creations, Salgood Sam, Silgerond Press, Sonderho Press, Superandom Comics, Tekst Editions,Trans-Verse Books and WILDWATERS PUBLISHING.

for further information on the ottawa small press book fair, check here:

and don't forget our pre-fair reading the night before, held at the carleton tavern in parkdale market! lovingly hosted by rob mclennan, the event features readings and launches by Marthe Reed, David Menear, Chris Eaton, Renée Sarojini Saklikar and Nicholas Power. for author bios, check here:

for further information on either event (or both), contact book fair organizer and co-founder rob mclennan at or 613 239 0337

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Ottawa Zine Off! (Summer 2014 Edition)

The 5th Ottawa Zine Off is 7pm June 22nd! Make a zine quick, bring copies to trade with others to Pressed at 7:00pm, meet people who don't suck, immeasurably improve your life. Invite cool people, because it'll probably be balls hot out!

You don't have to make a zine to participate... but wouldn't it be cool if you did?

Facebook Event:
Ottawa Zines group:

Here's all you ever wanted to know about this awesome night!

Question: What's a zine?
Answer: As wikipedia says, "a zine (pron.: /ˈziːn/ zeen; an abbreviation of fanzine, or magazine) is most commonly a small circulation self-published work of original and/or appropriated texts and images usually reproduced via photocopier". Really though, zines are a way of sharing stories, drawings, information, whatever you want with other individuals. Be creative!

Q: What's the Zine Off?
A: The Ottawa Zine-Off is a self-enforced communal deadline. Basically, participants have a little over a month to create a zine. (Most people procrastinate and do it in the last few days, natch) There is no penalty for not making one, but really, the fun in having the night is seeing how many awesome zinesters exist in Ottawa, so get working!

On Sunday June 22nd, those who have made a zine and anyone who would like to come check them out can come hang out at Pressed for a night of trading, reading and camaraderie. 15 - 25 copies is a good number!

Q: What can my zine be about?
A: Anything! Last time, we had zines featuring comix, poetry, stories, how to read tea leaves, psychologically-manipulative office furnishing tips, travelogues, self-care manuals, drawings...

Q: Who can participate?
A: Everyone! Invite your friends, neighbours, family, coworkers, mailperson, favorite barista, etc.

Q: Is there a cost?
A: No! The meetup event costs nothing, but feel free to support our hosts Pressed by buying a drink or delicious sandwich. Participants can ask for for a donation for their zine, but we encourage trading. At the last few zine offs, zinesters traded copies amongst themselves instead of exchanging money.

Q: Can I be fashionably late?
A: Sure, but there won't be any zines left to trade. We strongly recommend showing up at the listed start time, as seating is limited and people usually start trading long before we tell them they're allowed.

If you have any further questions, feel free to post them on the event wall. Poster is coming soon, and we'll make copies available for individuals who would like to promote the Zine-Off at their favourite hang out spots...


Friday, May 23, 2014

The NUB: Indie Arts Hub

The NUB: Indie Arts Hub is an app compatible with iPhone/iPad or Android that provides a stream of independent arts and culture content from across North America directly to readers five times per week. Think of it as a a mini-digest of diverse content from participating independent arts and culture magazines.

Each day, you will find in your phone a new column, poem, short story, interview, profile, book/zine review, comic or rant from one of five of North America’s best independent arts and culture magazines.
The Nub features content from Broken Pencil: The Magazine of Zine Culture and the Independent Arts; Geist magazine; Subterrain magazine; Matrix magazine; Taddle Creek magazine; and 49th Shelf.
Don't Miss a Thing - updated 5 days a week with work from Canada's best independent arts and culture magazines
It Happened Here First - stay up to date with cutting edge culture while you wait for the bus
Underground Fiction - the best in radical fiction with stories from Geist, SubTerrain, and Matrix Magazines
Best from the Small Press - book and zine reviews plus excerpts and interviews from Broken Pencil and 49th Shelf
Poke Your Mind - thought-provoking columns and opinion from underground culture mavens.
The Best in Independent Writing from Across Canada - new work from Geist, Broken Pencil, Matrix, 49th Shelf and SubTerrain.
Download Free for your iPhone/iPad or Android Device
Here are some useful links and twitter info: 

The Nub page on the BP website (links out to both iOS and Android versions):
The Nub on iTunes (iOS):
The Nub in Google Play store (Android):

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Factory Reading Series pre-small press book fair reading, June 6, 2014: Reed, Menear, Eaton, Power + Saklikar

span-o (the small press action network - ottawa) presents:

The Factory Reading Series
pre-small press book fair reading

featuring readings by:

Marthe Reed (NY State)
David Menear (Toronto/Montreal)
Chris Eaton (Toronto) [pictured]
Nicholas Power (Toronto)
+ Renée Sarojini Saklikar (Vancouver)

lovingly hosted by rob mclennan
Friday, June 6, 2014;
doors 7pm; reading 7:30pm
The Carleton Tavern,
223 Armstrong Street (at Parkdale; upstairs)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Call for Vendors: Toronto Indie Arts Market Small Press & Literary Fest - Sunday May 25th 2014

The Toronto Indie Arts Market - a series of marketplace events at Toronto's Gladstone Hotel featuring the work of local artisans in various mediums - will be presenting its semi-annual Small Press & Literary Fest on Sunday May 25th 2014, featuring small/micro press publishers, indie magazines & zines, Canadian authors, etc.

The vendor call is open until March 31st, and we are accepting applications from the following:

  • authors, selling their own work – any content/topic, any size imprint – from self-published works to major publishers, as long as it’s your own or co-written
  • micro press – up to 10 titles total
  • small press – up to 15 titles per year
  • zines
  • indie magazines or journals – circulation up to 10,000 copies per issue
  • comic artists selling their own work
  • small distributors – may bring items that fall into any of the above categories
  • creators of paper goods (blank journals, books, cards, or other stuff to write in)
For more information and to apply to take part, see the event page on the TIAM website.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

the ottawa small press fair, spring 2014 edition: june 7, 2014

span-o (the small press action network - ottawa) presents:

    the ottawa
    small press
    book fair

spring 2014 edition
will be happening Saturday, June 7
in room 203 of the Jack Purcell Community Centre
(on Elgin, at 320 Jack Purcell Lane).

contact rob at to sign up for a table, etc.

"once upon a time, way way back in October 1994, rob mclennan and James Spyker invented a two-day event called the ottawa small press book fair, and held the first one at the National Archives of Canada..." Spyker moved to Toronto soon after our original event, but the fair continues, thanks in part to the help of generous volunteers, various writers and publishers, and the public for coming out to participate with alla their love and their dollars.

General info:
the ottawa small press book fair
noon to 5pm (opens at 11:00 for exhibitors)

admission free to the public.

$20 for exhibitors, full tables
$10 for half-tables
(payable to rob mclennan, c/o [NEW ADDRESS!] 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9;

send by May 20 if you would like to appear in the exhibitor catalogue.

note: for the sake of increased demand, we are now offering half tables. for catalog, exhibitors should send name of press, address, email, web address, contact person, type of publications, list of publications (with price), if submissions are being considered and any other pertinent info, including upcoming ottawa-area events (if any).

& don't forget the pre-fair reading usually held the night before, info tba! also,

BE AWARE: given that the spring 2013 was the first to reach capacity (forcing me to say no to at least half a dozen exhibitors), the fair can't (unfortunately) fit everyone who wishes to participate. the fair is roughly first-come, first-served, but preference will be given to small publishers over self-published authors (being a "small press fair," after all).

the fair usually contains exhibitors with poetry books, novels,cookbooks, posters, t-shirts, graphic novels, comic books, magazines, scraps of paper, gum-ball machines with poems, 2x4s with text, etc, including (at previous events) Bywords, Dusty Owl, Chaudiere Books, above/ground press, Room 302 Books, The Puritan, The Ottawa Arts Review, Buschek Books, The Grunge Papers, Broken Jaw Press, BookThug, Proper Tales Press, Phafours Press, and others. happens twice a year, founded in 1994 by rob mclennan & James Spyker. now run by rob mclennan thru span-o. questions,

free things can be mailed for fair distribution to the same address. we are unable to sell things for folk who can't make it, sorry. also, always looking for volunteers to poster, move tables, that sort of thing. let me know if anyone able to do anything. thanks. for more information, bother rob mclennan.if you're able/willing to distribute posters/fliers for the fair, send me an email.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Ottawa Zine Off - Winter Edition

A sampling of zines from the last zine off.

The fourth Ottawa Zine Off is coming up soon! If you're unfamiliar with this free event, the concept is simple:
  • Create your own handmade "zine" (think, lil' magazine) on any topic you desire
  • Photocopy it 15 - 25 times
  • Come to Pressed (750 Gladstone) at 8pm on February 5th 
  • Swap copies with other zinesters over drinks, coffee, sandwiches etc.
  • Improve your life immeasurably
At our last event we drew upwards of 50 zinesters, and consensus was that the night was on the awesome side. The idea here is to get something done in a limited time frame without the second-third-fourth-guessing that accompanies most creative projects. Zines have a rough, ready, handcrafted quality that most other formats lack, and they lend themselves to raw expression; that said, we had great zines on everything from a reading tea leaves "how to" to short comics about living with a cat. For more information about the nature of zines and this event, check out the Facebook page and/or get in touch with organizers Maxx Critical and JM Francheteau.

You don't have to make a zine to come out... but wouldn't it be cool if you did?