It’s no secret that book publishing has seen better days. Beloved bookstores are closing left and right, major publishers are merging and/or crashing into bankruptcy and art funding seems to be strapped to the guillotine from the CBC to The Globe and Mail.
Somewhere in the midst of all this, the digital tide is rolling in carrying ebooks and online lit with it. These relatively new literary mediums call for newer (and often risky) publishing models to meet them at the shore.
That’s where Found Press comes in.
Found Press is an online literary journal that distributes short stories from it’s website to your ereader or tablet. No story is too short and there are no guidelines or submission themes to follow. You can purchase them individually as a single or as a volume of four. The Found Press mission explains “just as we should value individuality in ourselves and our peers, so too should our stories be unique and varied,”. Its purpose is to give short stories a place to be seen and read. In the past, their collections have featured the likes of Jessica Westhead, Caroline Adderson and PTBOrian Andrew Forbes. In it’s 6th instalment (FPQ 6), the stories involve the likes of a vampire, the family of an overbearing grandfather, a women chasing her youth, and a young student at the hands of heartbreak.
I’m a big fan of short story collections. I love how they feel like little snapshots of life that are often full of depth and charged with subtlety. The stories in FPQ 6 are unique and thoughtful, going from love to family politics to seemingly everyday people with strange secrets. What’s different about something like Found Press versus your single-authored publication is that you get the chance to read 4 very different stories in 4 very different voices. The stories in FPQ 6 are as comparable to one another as apples are to oranges and bananas and pears, but each one is exceptionally written, expertly selected and nicely packaged, even boasting their own unique cover designs.
Suckers by Kirsty Logan follows a modern-day vampire and comic book enthusiast named Steve who tries to run a his comic book shop in the presence of an unsuspecting and woefully irritating employee. These contrasting characters make for a wincingly relatable situation with a gothic twist.
Off the Main Highway by Courtney McDermott takes us to a condemned motel where Riley McGuinness reflects on her years growing up with her family under the influence of her high-handed grandfather. Both hurtful and happy, her recollections demonstrate the conflicted nature memories sometimes hold.
Cup Rings by Marielle Mondon is the introspection of a music student who finds herself modelling for artists, singing at church for 40$ a week and pining over her brief-but-fervent love affair with man named Rico. The narrative is all over the place, jumping from past to present and all corners of the girl’s life. It perfectly captures the process of navigating what’s left in the wake of a once-significant courtship.
Called a modern-day fable, Pauline Holdstock’s Mirror, Mirror follows a middle-aged woman and her search to reclaim her youth through cosmetic treatments leading to a surprising result. This story taps into the extremes of vanity alongside the relationship between mother and daughter that is both wonderfully written and unexpectedly strange.
The 3 founding editors of Found Press are all graduates of the Creative Book Publishing program at Humber College and working in some form in the publishing industry. I know first hand the crop of people this program spits out, and you could not have a better source for passionate story-minded people. Their main objective is offering the best stories and story collections from notable authors to be consumed a la ereader. Based on this excellent selection, I can see they are doing just that and I am very eager to read more.
epubs can be purchased on the Found Press website for Kobo and Kindle at 99 cents per story or 2.99$ per volume. Also! You can soon subscribe for a mere 10$ and get access to all the FP stories for a full year. Do yourself a favour and stock up your ereader. You’ll be happy you did.