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The Puritan: Frontiers of New English is an online, quarterly publication based in Toronto, Ontario, committed to publishing the best in new fiction, poetry, interviews, essays, and reviews.

The Puritan seeks, above all, a pioneering literature—work that pushes boundaries, or sees boundaries as unstable, or lines to be re-drawn.

More About The Puritan


The Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Literary Excellence is awarded to the single best submission in the respective categories of poetry and fiction. The prize is open for submissions each year from January 1st to October 10th through our online submissions manager. Last year’s judges were Ian Williams (for poetry) and Miriam Toews (for fiction).

More About The Thomas Morton Memorial Prize



February 10th, 2016

Comics Criticism: A Reading List

Literature is a dialogue, albeit often an insular one. For comics to occupy a position as a mature literary form, they need to be a part of that di[…]

appeared first on the Town Crier.


February 2nd, 2016

Call for Submissions: Inheritances: The Puritan’s Spring 2016 Svpplement

Writers are inheritors of another kind of lineage, one that they claim not by the corroboration of blood or name, but by the self-assertion of a right to storytelling. This is how writing can share and borrow lineages from myth, poetry, and theories. For many writers, the choice of what literary modes or models, schools or styles to adopt as one’s own is one that determines a life’s work.

Of course, there are also the cultural inheritances that are preconceived for us, by our elders, leaders and teachers. They are passed down by way of our mother tongue, proverbial sayings, idioms and family legends. We inherit tastes and aesthetic standards through our academic studies, and assimilate methods of analysis and literary approaches through our curriculum. Bodies of literature and literary canons can also be violently and insidiously imposed onto colonial subjects as an extension of state and institutional power. Those traumatic histories and devalued selfhoods are among a Canadian writer’s most painful legacies.

In its 2016 Spring Supplement, The Puritan invites writing that considers our complicated relationship to our literary inheritances. We welcome stories, poetry, essays, reviews and interviews that questions our inherited ideas, philosophies, standards and biases. How much of the past do we identify with, how long do we need to keep rehashing familiar debates, and how do we ultimately reject outmoded concepts in order to forge new connections and fresh approaches?

Some possible topics include:

  • reinterpreting myth and tradition
  • family traits and tendencies
  • collective memory and memorialization
  • traumatic histories
  • ghost stories
  • native language speakers
  • land claims/ ancestral claims
  • literary successors
  • literary legacies: wills, papers and archives
  • fallacies and appeals to antiquity/tradition
  • the legacies of feuds, scandals and controversies

If you are interested in contributing, please send a pitch to puritanmagazineeditors [at] gmail [dot] com (with “Spring Supplement 2016” as the subject line) by Feb 15th, with the possibility of a first draft by March 20th .

Phoebe Wang
Supplement Editor, The Puritan

January 29th, 2016

Publicity Agents Wanted!

Are you invested in the publishing community and looking for a crash course in Toronto’s vibrant literary scene? Are you outgoing and social media savvy, comfortable with creating connections both online and in person?

The Puritan | Frontiers of New English is currently seeking new Publicity Agents to assist our team with the promotion, development, and overall quality of the publication.

Publicity Agents will be responsible for promoting the journal and its sister blog, The Town Crier, at readings and other events, as well as handling all social media promotion. Publicity Agents will:

• represent the journal by attending local area readings,
• scout potential talent for the journal and solicit work from writers,
• manage the social media element of our advertising campaigns, including daily Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr updates (promoting blog posts, author news, events, etc.)
• research current Toronto-area arts and literature events,
• distribute promotional material and promote contests, projects, etc.,
• write short blog posts which engage with an event, an author, a book, or another element of the Toronto (or Canadian) literary community.

Interested candidates should familiarize themselves with the magazine, its history, and the work it publishes. Puritan associates are expected to devote approximately ten (10) hours per week to tasks and assignments, with some flexibility. Publicity Agent positions will last four (4) months. All agents should be available to meet with Puritan staff within the city of Toronto. Agents are expected to check and respond to email correspondence and will also write very short weekly summaries of work completed.

In addition, all Puritan Publicity Agents should have:

• a BA (or equivalent, or higher, or be enrolled) in English Literature, Creative Writing, Journalism, Design, Publishing, or related fields,
• knowledge of and interest in contemporary Canadian literature, literary communities, and magazine publishing,
• strong interpersonal skills,
• excellent written and oral communication skills,
• proficiency with MS programs and Google mail/docs (knowledge of WordPress and/or Adobe Creative Suite applications considered a plus),
• the ability to follow instructions in a timely manner and meet strict deadlines,
• the ability to work independently and as part of a team,
• familiarity with social media, and (most importantly)
• enthusiasm and moxie!

While we are a volunteer-run organization, and the founding and associate editors do not receive any income from the magazine, Publicity Agents will each receive an honorarium of $300 for their valuable assistance! We offer successful candidates additional benefits such as letters of reference, resume evaluation, review copies of new or forthcoming books from Canadian publishers, and an excellent platform for establishing professional connections.

Interested parties should send a CV as .doc or .pdf attachment to domenica.martinello [at] gmail [dot] comAll applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on February 20th, 2016, and positions will begin in early March, 2016. Only selected candidates will be contacted for an interview.

November 28th, 2015

2015 Thomas Morton Winners Revealed!

Dear Friends,

We are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2015 Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Literary Excellence, judged by Miriam Toews (short fiction) and Ian Williams (poetry).

Selecting winning entries was an especially difficult task for all involved, considering both the stunningly high quality of submissions received as well as their sheer magnitude. Only two winners could be selected by our judges: an unfortunate statistic that breaks even our (puritanical) hearts.

Nevertheless, we have two incredibly deserving winners, who can now be read as part of Issue 31: Fall 2015. We’d like to once again take this opportunity to thank everyone who submitted—this is a still-burgeoning competition, and we could not grow nor develop without the generous support of hundreds of writers.

POETRY WINNER: Katie Fewster-Yan, for “PR”

“As a lesson in technique, Katie Fewster-Yan models the right positioning of the self in poetry, neither invisible nor exposed. On first reading, ‘PR’ is like an inconsolable, wailing baby. It pierces your attention and ransacks your composure right to its oddly arrogant and uncertain last line. And it gets better on subsequent readings. You leave it and come back and it’s crying even more loudly, but musically like an opera singer and somewhat more recognizably like your own baby suffering.”
—Ian Williams, Thomas Morton Memorial Prize Judge, 2015

Katie Fewster-Yan grew up in Toronto. She is currently living, writing, and studying in Fredericton.

SHORT FICTION WINNER: Lowry Pressly, “Lisa Hall Smiles”

“Lowry Pressly’s “Lisa Hall Smiles” grabbed me off the top and held me in its fierce grip until the very end. I’m still jangly from the experience of reading it. What a beautifully written, graceful, ever-searching, haunting and absolutely mesmerizing story. The details, the language, the relentless momentum, the mystery, the horror, the tenderness and the humour … what can I say? Congratulations on a spectacular achievement.”
—Miriam Toews, Thomas Morton Memorial Prize Judge, 2015

Lowry Pressly is a writer of fiction, essays, and criticism. His work has appeared, among other places, in The Point, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and Jurist. He recently completed a novel, Nachtmusik. Lowry is from Statesville, North Carolina, though he currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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