If you need a publishing house for your manuscript that is based in the capital, below you’ll find 5 top book publishers in Ottawa.
Specializing in children’s educational resources, the Ottawa-based publisher DC Canada started out in the 1990’s as an ESL (English as a Second Language) textbook provider for the Chinese market. Having succeeded there, they’ve expanded to create a range of learning aids for both English and French speaking kids in Ontario, including books, games and music. The creative team behind DC Canada focuses on delivering knowledge with the use of entertaining measures, which can be used both in class and by home-schooled children. Their One Story A Day series is a particularly interesting concept, created to spark the passion for regular reading even in the most unmotivated of children. That inspirational, fun approach is clearly working since they’ve sold millions of books worldwide so far!
DC Canada is currently accepting manuscripts, however only from Canadian authors. Submissions can be made electronically or via traditional mail.
This publishing company’s history dates back to 1972 when it was founded in Nepean, Ontario. The goal back then was to encourage growth among local authors that had not yet been published, but as Borealis Books became more popular, established names started to crop up as well. Even among those known authors, the genres varied from non-fiction to fiction, with Jan Drabek’s political publications, poetry written by Fred Cogswell, and many more. The story of Borealis Books shows a great deal of respect and dedication towards the Canadian community, including the drama and poetry journals they’ve been publishing to meet the demand for local literature series. Perhaps the most unique aspect of Borealis books is the vastness of folklore coverage released through the years, with books about aboriginal tribes from Northern Canada, Indian legends and forgotten tales.
The publisher’s wish to give Borealis Books local significance is also expressed through their submissions policy – a variety of genres are accepted, however, the manuscripts have to be either written by, or for Canadians. Thorough market research prior to submission is recommended. More information can be found in their Writer’s Guidelines.
3. Oberon Press
Oberon Press has been running independently since 1966, publishing volumes written by decades of Canadian writers. As the national leading publisher of fiction, they helped open the doors to literary careers for some of Canada’s famous novelists, such as Rohinton Mistry, W.P. Kinsella or Wayne Johnston. Boasting over 700 titles, Oberon has been most committed to publishing poetry and trademark short fiction anthologies, featuring the works of both callow, newly discovered authors, as well as those already established. Apart from fiction, throughout the years Oberon has also released biographies, literary criticism, children’s stories, as well as art and food books. Perhaps their longest running series is Anne Hardy’s Where to Eat in Canada restaurant guide – a travelling foodie’s bible that has sold more than 150,000 copies since its first 1971 edition.
Oberon Press is no longer accepting new submissions.
Established in Ottawa in 1993, it is the youngest of publishers among those listed here, but surely not the least successful. Their catalogue consists of over 250 titles and eight collections, with the creative writing selection (novels, short fiction and poetry) still expanding. Prose collections are targeting both adults and teen readers, whilst the collection of poetry has been built around contemporary works and unique variations of the Japanese form haiku for those interested. Apart from that, Éditions David offers many non-fiction texts, including works surrounding the topic of French-Canadian literature and culture. Their social media platforms are regularly updated and bursting with news and events; lately also with the celebration of a recently published debut, which should encourage new writers to submit.
Submissions made by francophone writers and literary critics are prioritized, due to the publisher’s aim to spread the word about the diversity of Canada and its French-speaking communities.
Another francophone book publisher, whose beautifully illustrated covers immediately stand out. Éditions du Vermillon was founded in Ottawa in 1982 and boasts an incredibly broad range of genres in their catalogue, starting from illustrated children’s and teenage fiction, through to novels and comics, as well as critical essays and pedagogical guides. The works published under the latter category have even granted them the Governor General’s Award a few years back. Éditions du Vermillon is deeply rooted within the French-Canadian community, taking part in local literary events and supporting young, newly discovered authors in the area.
Éditions du Vermillon only accepts manuscripts that have been sent in a traditional way, with a résumé and a letter of intent attached. The publisher is primarily interested in francophone authors, living in French Ontario and other regions.
Do you know of any other book publishers in Ottawa? If so, please tell us about them in the comments box below!
Zofia Filipowicz is a freelance journalist living in Poland. She has graduated from De Montfort University in Britain, with a first class degree in Journalism and English Literature. Since then, she’s worked with different print and digital publications. Currently open for commission.