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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 September 30th through our online submissions manager. The judges for this year’s prize are Margaret Atwood (for poetry) and Zsuzsi Gartner (for fiction).

More About The Thomas Morton Memorial Prize



November 24th, 2014

Debunkering the Fortress of Solitude: Against Writing Alone - In Praise of Creative Community // Julienne Isaacs

In Praise of Creative Community // Julienne Isaacs Maybe every writer occasionally romanticizes isolation as a catchall remedy for clogged creativi[…]

Debunkering the Fortress of Solitude: Against Writing Alone appeared first on the Town Crier.


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/

October 22nd, 2014

BLACK FRIDAY 2014—You’re Invited!


Friday, November 28 witnesses another trifecta of Puritan milestones. Join the editors, staff, and readers of The Puritan for our now annual event!

BLACK FRIDAY 2014 is a night of celebrations to honour the winners of our Third Annual Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Literary Excellence, judged by Margaret Atwood and Zsuzsi Gartner and announced in November, for both fiction and poetry. Help us congratulate our winners and runners-up in grand style.

Secondly, BLACK FRIDAY 2014 sees the electronic launch of Issue 27: Fall 2014—a wicked collection of fiction, poetry, and journalism to end a great calendar year.

Thirdly, and to usher in the glad tidings and the bountiful work published since January, certain authors whose work and opinions were published in 2014 will be providing short (short) live readings. These writers (so far) include:

Jonathan Bennett
Andrew Forbes
Helen Guri
Amy Lavender Harris
Stevie Howell
Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer
Pasha Malla
Robert McGill
Shawn Micallef
Jay MillAr
Sarah Pinder
Jenny Sampirisi
Stephen Thomas
Liz Worth

This is a must-see night of literary entertainment. Come for the VERY cheap drinks, free munchies, an awesome raffle, and gnarly tunes. We so hope you’ll help us warm the spacious Loft 404 gallery on November 28th. Celebrations!

WHEN: Friday, November 28, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Loft 404 (263 Adelaide Street West)
RSVP at info [at] puritan-magazine [dot] com for a FREE drink

RSVP on Facebook!

September 29th, 2014

Thomas Morton Prize Deadline Extended until October 10, 2014

You heard it right!

Our contest deadline has been extended until the 10th of October, which means that poetry and fiction judges Margaret Atwood and Zsuzsi Gartner have even more time to read your submissions.

So polish up that poetry and prose, and get your submissions in by the new, extended deadline.

Best of Luck!


August 24th, 2014


Artists, Writers, Editors, and Friends!

We are pleased to announce the launch of our fierce and fiery summer issue! Issue 26: Summer 2014 contains all new fiction, poetry, essays, interviews, and reviews (11 pieces of non-fiction, the most we’ve ever published!) and is supported by our new supplement—a literary urbanist collection of lit and lit-commentary, “Littered T.O.”

The parent issue crackles with a new story by Robert Earle, and shimmers with hot new poems by Jonathan Bennett, Kasia Juno, Chris Hutchinson, Vincent Colistro, Julie Mannell, Marc Di Saverio, Jake Skakun, Matthew Vanstone, and Anzhelina Polonskaya (translated from the Russian by Andrew Baruch Wachtel).

You’ll find a scorching new excerpt from Jeffery Donaldson’s upcoming collection of criticism, Echo Soundings: Essays on Poetry & Poetics and a blistering new essay from Jess Taylor that polls the organizers and agitators of the Toronto literary community.

Inside we’ve got five blazing interviews: Evan Jones’s discussion with poet Elise Partridge, Laura Rock’s conversation with poet and novelist Jonathan Bennett, Nicole Grimaldi’s dialogue with novelist and short-story writer Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, Ryan Pratt’s confab with poet Pearl Pirie, and Tracy Kyncl’s talk with prose-writer Nora Gold.

The issue ends with four heated reviews: Andreas Vatiliotou’s take on Miriam Toews’s novel All My Puny Sorrows, Charles-Adam Foster Simard’s look at Chris Hadfield’s autobiography An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, Roxanna Bennet’s parsing of Jon Paul Fiorentino’s short story collection I’m Not Scared of You or Anything, and a Puritan first: a special three-way, roundtable review of Chris Hutchinson’s ‘novel,’ Jonas in Frames by Puritan staffers Jason Freure, E Martin Nolan, and Phoebe Wang!

But that’s not all. For the third time, we’ve split the magazine into parent and supplement issues. Be sure to sweat through “Littered T.O.” (curated by Puritan reader Jason Freure and editor Tyler Willis), a literary urbanist take on the city of Toronto and the works of literature that strive to define it.

“Littered T.O.” gives you great new fiction by Graham Arnold, and fantastic poems by Helen Guri, Peter Norman, Emma Healey, and Bardia Sinaee!

It’s features two timely essays: Maggie Helwig’s perspective on the streets of the 1 and 99 percent, and Amy Lavender Harris’s look at what Rob Ford now thinks is a major crisis: our ever-present neighbour, the city raccoon!

Finally, “Littered T.O.” is capped with two superb and in-depth interviews by our curators—the first with Spacing editor and author of The Trouble with Brunch, Shawn Micallef, and the second with the author of the ever-relevant work of thematic engagement with Toronto’s lit, Imagining Toronto, Amy Lavender Harris.

So whether you’re shivering in unnatural cold or simply sweating buckets, keep summer cooking with Issue 26: Summer 2014 and its supplement, “Littered T.O.”!

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