Thursday, December 17, 2009

Finding Our Feet

In a fit of enthusiasm mid-Publishing Certificate, I started UpStart Press as a one-woman show before I had even met my future husband (who, luckily enough, turned out to be a writer and graphic designer who designed, of all things, books!), and now it has become a partnership, and best of all, a partnership with a vision.

More about us and UpStart Press.

UpStart did enjoy a brief but frustrating stint as a vanity press. The least said about this, the better. This video might give you an idea of how it felt.

And UpStart serves If I Knew Then very well as its publisher, but vanity publishing and business textbooks isn`t what UpStart is really all about.

What it is really about is a project that is just starting now--an anthology of writing by members of what has to be the longest-running writing group in history. The Ban Righ Writing Group formed from a creative writing course that Bronwen Wallace was teaching in the early 80s. When the course ended, the group continued to meet in Bronwen's home. Eventually the group moved to Queen's campus, where it still meets weekly. Some members pop in and out; some stay for years. And one has even stayed since the very beginning, making her the Ken Barlow of Bauder Lane.

Many of the members publish widely and have built up excellent reputations, and still the little group soldiers on, meeting rain or shine, writer's block or not, without any recognition or attention.

Which is all about to change because UpStart Press has found its "project"--an anthology of fiction, poetry, and memoir and a testament to thirty years of dogged hard work, Bronwen's inspirational influence on other writers, and a stellar example of community.

Feelers are being sent out, an editing/production schedule is being drafted, and costs are being considered. Stay tuned.

What is UpStart Press?

Upstart Press is based in Kingston, Ontario, and was founded by Christina Decarie, writer and editor, and DJ Berger, writer, artist, and graphic designer, as a way to combine their skills and passions to further their love of the art and writing communities in Kingston.

Among other projects, it publishes annually If I Knew Then: St Lawrence College Students Interview Business Professionals, a collection of interviews and essays used as a business communications textbook.

Christina Decarie is a freelance writer and editor, contributing regularly to Shameless Magazine, Quill & Quire, and Profile Kingston. Her fiction and other writing have appeared in Pottersfield Portfolio, Antigonish Review, The Puritan, All Rights Reserved (and other journals), and the anthologies Writing on the Edge (Siren Song Publishing) and Lake Effect (Artful Codger Press). Her chapbook, Nemesis Girls, is published by Black Bile Press.

DJ Berger is a graphic designer, artist and writer in Kingston, Ontario. His work has appeared in Prairie Fire, The Windsor Review, Geist, Subterrain, The Fiddlehead, Queen Street Quarterly, The New Quarterly, Event and others. The unpublished manuscript for his short-story collection - called Punishing Ugly Children - won the 2007 David Adams Richards Prize. This same manuscript will be published by Killick Press in fall 2010. His short story Scissors was a finalist in the 2007 Commonwealth Short Story Competition. His work and thoughts can be found at