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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.

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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 September 30th through our online submissions manager. This year’s judges are Ian Williams (for poetry) and Miriam Toews (for fiction).

More About The Thomas Morton Memorial Prize



May 20th, 2015

Why Are Readings So Boring? - kevin mcpherson eckhoff and Jake Kennedy Have the Antidote // André Forget

About a month ago, I went to the Pivot reading series and saw self-described best friends kevin mcpherson eckhoff and Jake Kennedy. They … well, […]

Why Are Readings So Boring? appeared first on the Town Crier.


May 11th, 2015

Issue 29: Spring 2015 Is Finally, Gloriously Here!

Dear Friends, Writers, Readers, Publishers, Pilgrims,

Issue 29: Spring 2015 is now live. Please enjoy outside, with laptop, phone or tablet, with something fragrant.

Be sure to mix memory and desire in new fine-tuned fiction by Aurora Stewart de Peña, Jon Chan Simpson, and Ben Stephenson.

Then mix dull roots with spring rain with poets in full bloom and those still sprouting: Stephen Collis, Kate Sutherland, Roxanna Bennett, Joelle Barron, Meghan Harrison, Aaron Boothby, Vanessa Stauffer, Caitlin Scarano, Rasiqra Revulva, Sara Jane Strickland, Carolyn Nakagawa, Hannah Hackney, and Glen Armstrong.

Then find excellent works of long-form non-fiction from some of the most compelling younger voices in the country.

In her engaging essay, “In Defense of the Negative Book Review,” Town Crier and magazine regular Julienne Isaacs poses the hard question, “Can hatchet jobs build strong literary culture?” while Dave Hurlow takes a particularly rigid look at the work of Haruki Murakami in his own, the “Art of the Literary Erection.”

Author A.R. Jardine interviews CanLit luminary Dionne Brand in a most intimate and surprising manner in “Love Enough”; Puritan staffers Jason Freure and André Forget chew the fat of worlds old and new with multi-award winning author Rawi Hage in “Clowning and Cosmopolitanism”; and writer Neil Wadhwa discusses all things book-store with Munro’s Books managing partner Jessica Walker in “Staying Independent.”

Issue 29 is rounded out with Nicholas Herring‘s thorough and thoughtful analysis of Michael Crummey‘s Sweetland.

It’s all here in Issue 29: Spring 2015. Enjoy!

May 9th, 2015

Upcoming Issue Call-out!

Open submissions for Issue 29: Spring 2015 are now closed. We are currently seeking submissions for Issue 30: Summer 2015. Get those submissions in before our deadline: June 25, 2015.

We are accepting submissions of fiction, poetry, reviews, essays, recipes, and interviews. Check out our submission guidelines for more information.

April 24th, 2015

A Brave World Indeed …

Puritan co-founder and editor Spencer Gordon was recently interviewed for the Toronto Star in an article called “Brave new world for Canada’s literary journals”, written by long-time editor Deborah Dundas.

In the piece, Dundas writes that “Literary magazines are facing a challenging new world. Cuts in funding grants, changes in technology and founders retiring have some worried that a critical vehicle for aspiring writers — a place where all of Canada’s literary superstars first saw print — is disappearing.”

The Puritan, however, is just getting started. Read more and find out how.

February 23rd, 2015

Issue 28: Winter 2015 Is Here!

Dear Artists, Writers, Editors, Publishers, Friends,

We are just shivery with excitement to announce the release of our long-awaited winter issue—a veritable squall of great poetry, fiction, and long-form non-fiction to see you through the rest of the season!

Dive into Issue 28: Winter 2015 and check out new works of fiction from exciting authors Stephen Thomas and David Huebert. And stay warm with all-new poems by the extremely talented Shane Neilson, Allison LaSorda, Annik Adey-Babinski, Theodore Worozbyt, Natalia Panzer, Michelle Brown, and Jeff Latosik.

For some of the best online author interviews you’ll read this winter, take a good look at Puritan Associate Poetry Editor E Martin Nolan’s expansive dialogue with poet, visual artist, and critic Donato Mancini, “Put on Your Negative Capability Helmet and Go with It,” Town Crier-regular Julienne Isaac’s insightful interview with author Joan Thomas, “The Texture of a Life,” and journalist Jared Young’s far-reaching conversation with writer Christine Fischer Guy, “Use It as Your Own Story.”

Lastly, Issue 28 is capped off with Ryan Pratt’s dual review of Sandy Pool’s Undark: An Oratorio and Gillian Sze’s Peeling Rambutan, two compelling collections of poetry released in the last few years.

Stay snowed-in through February and March with Issue 28: Winter 2015 and you won’t miss spring.

January 17th, 2015

Wanted: Publicity Agents!

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

The 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,
  • research current Toronto-area arts and literature events,
  • distribute promotional material and promote contests, projects, etc.,
  • manage the social media element of our advertising campaigns, including daily twitter updates (promoting blog posts, author news, events, etc.), as well as updates to our Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram accounts as required, and
  • 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 history, editorial mandate, and literary works published by The Puritan over the last several years. Puritan associates are expected to devote approximately ten hours per week to tasks and assignments. Publicity Agent positions will last four months. All agents should be available to meet with Puritan editors 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,
  • 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!

Interested parties should send a CV and cover letter as .doc or .pdf attachments to info@puritan-magazine.com. All applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on February 14, 2015, and positions will begin in early March, 2015. Only selected candidates will be contacted for an interview.

*The Puritan is a totally volunteer-run organization; the founding and associate editors do not receive any income from the magazine.

November 26th, 2014

Issue 27: Fall 2014 Is Here at Long Last!

Dear Artists, Writers, Editors, and Friends!

We are pleased to announce the launch of the very cool fall issue! Issue 27: Fall 2014 features all new fiction, poetry, interviews, and an essay, and proudly toasts the winners of the Third Annual Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Literary Excellence, judged by Margaret Atwood and Zsuzsi Gartner!

Plunge into Daniel Scott Tysdal’s prize-winning story, “1 Dog, 1 Knife,” and continue the fiction trend by reading new works by Amanda Leduc, Sam Shelstad, Jowita Bydlowska, and Kenan Orhan Dannenberg.

Check out Laurie D Graham’s prize-winning poem, “Battleford Gravesite,” and keep those line breaks coming with new poems by Stuart Ross, Angela Hibbs, Alice Burdick, LeeAnn Olivier, Kevin McLellan, Elisa Gonzalez, Sara Biggs Chaney, Jessica Bebenek, Garry Thomas Morse, gillian harding-russell, Chad Campbell, Shawn Fawson, Jenna Jarvis, Katie Jordon, and Kenzie Allen!

But don’t stop there! Move on to read Jeremy Hanson-Finger’s essay on the sometimes hysterical debate surrounding MFAs, “Top of the Muffin to You! Or, the Paranoid Style in Arguments against the Fiction MFA System.” Then cap off your fall reading experience by indulging in two long interviews: Malcolm Sutton’s cerebral conversation with adventurous novelist Marianne Apostolides, “Self-Control,” and Nicholas Herring’s long and intimate chat with mystery- and crime-writer John McFetridge, “Write What You Want to See Next.”

It’s great to be back! Now tuck in to a cold fall with red-hot readings from Issue 27: Fall 2014!

November 12th, 2014

Morton Winners Revealed!

The Puritan is thrilled to announce the two winners of the THIRD ANNUAL THOMAS MORTON MEMORIAL PRIZE IN LITERARY EXCELLENCE!

Many, many thanks to all who entered!

Winners in fiction and poetry receive will each receive $1000, each win approximately $850 worth of books from 18 Canadian (& Inter’l) publishers (54 books each!) as well as publication in our upcoming fall issue.

OUR FICTION WINNER: “1 Dog, 1 Knife” by Daniel Scott Tysdal

Fiction Judge Zsuzsi Gartner described this story as follows: “Creepily unpredictable and off-kilter, both “1 Dog, 1 Knife” and its tragically misunderstood and deluded teen-age protagonist hurtle the reader along at a furious pace towards destination heartbreak. Daniel Scott Tysdal’s amateur film-maker, Terry, is all the lonely, fucked-up boys on earth and yet sui generis.”

OUR POETRY WINNER: “Battleford Gravesite” by Laurie D Graham

Poetry Judge Margaret Atwood described this poem as “A tone-perfect elegiac meditation on the impossibility of engaging with painful history and the necessity of doing so.”

Both Daniel Scott Tysdal and Laurie D Graham will be coming to our BLACK FRIDAY event on November 28 to read a snippet of their prize-winning work and receive a warm end-of-year toast.

See you in just over two weeks! Remember to RSVP to info@puritan-magazine.com for a free drink.

Event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1500231733570346/

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