A Brief History of The Quilliad: A Canadian Journal of Literature and Art

Dear readers,

With our fifth issue Kickstarter and submission call running concurrently until March 22, we find ourselves here at The Quilliad thinking about how far we’ve come. Our publication started as a club chapbook for the University Heights Literary Society at York. We never received funding for The Quilliad from our university and thus were an independent publication from the start. The original team pooled its funds and had 200 copies of our first issue printed by Biz Shoppe, a fantastic printer up Yonge Street in Toronto, discovered by the literary society’s founder, Devin Edwards. You can read a free digital version of our first issue here.

The Quilliad Issue 1 cover

The Quilliad Issue 1 cover

Most of us graduated from York that year, and the University Heights Literary Society disbanded after four years of meeting to write and critique each others’ work, but it inspired us to keep writing–and editing. A smaller but no less committed team of editors, including myself as editor-in-chief, continued publishing The Quilliad. We have been lucky enough to work with some amazingly talented writers and artists, among them our second- and third-issue cover photographer Sean G. Marjoram and our fourth-issue cover photographer Scott Williams. We’ve also had the pleasure to work with the spooky Dan Holst Soelberg and featured the detailed work of Melissa Crook. Many of our classmates from the York creative writing program have graced our pages, but so have authors from across Canada–never-before-published writers from universities across the country, emerging talents like Kayla Czaga, and poets well-known in the Toronto poetry scene, like Lizzie Violet and Phlip Arima. With each issue, we find contributors in more surprising places.

Our fourth issue was our first Halloween issue, focussing on literary horror and art, apocalyptic poetry, and science fiction. We hope to continue the tradition every October. Our fifth issue has no theme–we’re open to short stories, flash fiction, poetry, paintings, illustrations, comics, and photography on any subject. If you’re interested in submitting to us, please read our submission guidelines and send your work to thequilliad@gmail.com.

Our success is largely due to the support we’ve found in the Toronto literary scene and through Kickstarter. If you are interested in supporting our fifth issue, see our Kickstarter campaign page. We’re offering some great rewards, including poetry on demand, art prints, pinback buttons, and, of course, copies of The Quilliad.

Thank you to those who have supported us thus far. We are excited about out fifth issue and the start of our third year in print.

-Sarah Varnam,
editor-in-chief of The Quilliad


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