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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 April 1st to October 10th through our online submissions manager. This year’s judges are Rawi Hage (for fiction) and Jan Zwicky (for poetry).

More About The Thomas Morton Memorial Prize



April 28th, 2016

BC Publishing Focus: Joe Denham

Over the next couple of months, The Puritan’s Town Crier blog will be featuring short interviews with Canadian authors published by BC publishers[…]

appeared first on the Town Crier.


March 26th, 2016

The Puritan’s Guest Summer Editors Series: 2016

As the window to submit to Issue 33: Spring 2016 is now closed, The Puritan will now be accepting submissions to Issue 34: Summer 2016. And with that, we are pleased to announce the launch of the second iteration of our Guest Summer Editors Series: one of the ways The Puritan strives to expand its editorial scope and add to the quality of writing we publish.

That means, like last year, we have two special guest editors for Issue 34: Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer for fiction, and Sonnet L’Abbé for poetry. Essays, interviews, and reviews will be processed normally.


For now, and while you polish up those submissions, get to know our guest editors below.

Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer is the bestselling author of the novels All the Broken ThingsPerfecting, and The Nettle Spinner, as well as the short story collection, Way Up. Her fiction has recently been published in Granta MagazineThe Walrus7X7 LAStoryvilleThis Magazine and Significant Objects. Kathryn has been shortlisted for The Toronto Book Award, The Amazon.ca/Books in Canada First Novel Award, and The ReLit Prize, has won Danuta Gleed and the Sidney Prizes, and been longlisted for CBC Reads 2016. She is associate faculty in the MFA at the University of Guelph, and has taught extensively for the University of Toronto School for Continuing Studies and online through The New York Times Knowledge Network. She is currently pursuing a PhD in English Literature at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Sonnet L’Abbé is a poet, essayist and public speaker. The author of two collections of poetry, A Strange Relief and Killarnoe, L’Abbé was the editor of Best Canadian Poetry 2014 and was the 2015 Edna Staebler Writer in Residence at Wilfrid Laurier University. She has taught creative writing at the University of British Columbia – Okanagan and at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. Dr. L’Abbé is also currently a creative writing and English instructor at Vancouver Island University.

The deadline for submissions is June 25, 2016. Please see our submissions page for further details.

February 15th, 2016

Issue 32: Winter 2016 Blows into Town!

Dear Friends,

We are extremely pleased to announce the launch of Issue 32: Winter 2016—a cold-as-ice collection of all-new fiction, poetry, essays, interviews, reviews, and supplementary material that’ll leave you shivery with excitement.

As usual, the issue begins with another set of undeniably strong short stories: new work by fine writers Trevor Shikaze, Ingrid Keenan, Matthew J. Trafford, and David Huebert.

Next, we’ve got a bounty of fantastic poetry from an all-star line-up: Emily Schultz, Michael Prior, Jamie Sharpe, Suzannah Showler, Amy Carlberg, Elizabeth Ross, Robert Steckling, Cassidy McFadzean, Shane Neilson, Maria Tessa Liem, Ben Gallagher, Lily Gontard, Caitlin Scarano, Charity Gingerich, Sadie McCarney, Louise Carson, Patricia Young, Paula Parris Eisenstein, and Vincent Pagé.

As for essays, we’re honoured to present two zingers: “What Silence Doesn’t Say” by Deborah Thompson and “Sarajevo Roses” by Christine Estima.

This packed issue features two great interviews as well: Nicholas Herring’s in depth, engaged, and timely conversation with Rosemary Sullivan, and Kate Siklosi’s revealing dialogue with the talented Adeena Karasick.

Rounding out the standard issue are four exemplary works of literary criticism. Be sure to check out Liz Harmer’s voyage into the oh-so-droll world of Patrick deWitt’s Undermajordomo Minor; Mark Sampson’s review of three books about the (dys)functions of sleep: Nino Ricci’s Sleep, RM Vaughan’s Bright Eyed: Insomnia and Its Cultures, and Sandra Huber’s Assembling the Morrow; Sarah Richards’s investigation of Sigal Samuel’s playful and poignant The Mystics of Mile End; and Doyali Islam’s look at the musical qualities of life in Anna Yin’s Seven Nights with the Chinese Zodiac.

But that’s just the end of the standard issue. Number 32 also comes with our fifth supplementary feature, André Forget’s “Literary Cosmopolitanism”—an assemblage of works that engage, in diverse ways, with exile, race, class, difference, and their multicultural collisions. This special supplement features new fiction by Noor Naga and Yuliya Barannik; poetry by Domenica Martinello and Derick Mattern; excellent essays by Martyn Wendell Jones and Rudrapriya Rathore; and, of course, a foregrounding introduction from the editor.

With that, Issue 32: Winter 2016 and “Literary Cosmopolitanism” come to a close. But before we say farewell until the spring, we’d like to remind you of a few other Puritan-related deadlines and announcements.

First, our awesome team of readers will be reviewing general submissions to Issue 33: Spring 2016 until March 25th (that gives you just over a month to submit!). Moreover, keep an eye on Phoebe Wang’s call-out for her own supplement (our sixth!), scheduled for next issue—an intriguing look at “Literary Inheritances.”

Second, our Senior Editors and Head of Publicity are looking for another team of Publicity Agents to join the team from March until the end of June. For details on submitting to our issues, supplements, or for more information on our Publicity Agent call-out, simply scan our News & Announcements section online. You can also now subscribe to our cool new newsletter, which launches its maiden voyage to inboxes around the world tomorrow.

Third, and finally, The Puritan’s blog The Town Crier—now arguably Canada’s best and most steadfast literary blog—continues to run exciting guest-curated pieces according to theme. Last month featured Julie Mannell’s focus on the pain and solace of hometowns, and February continues with Laura Kenins’s take on comics and comic criticisms. Watch for several more guest-edited months as the year rolls on.

That’s all for now. Until we speak again, enjoy the new issue, and thanks for reading, as always.

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

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