What you can do to help the Literary Press Group of Canada

By now you’ve probably heard that the Literary Press Group of Canada (LPG) has lost their funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage, without warning. You can read their full press release here.

Why this matters

LPG represents some 47 independent small presses and some 225 titles – many of them presses that actively work to publish queer authors, indigenous peoples, feminist writing, and others with a focus on non-mainstream topics.

Small presses are usually the starting grounds for many of the authors who later become household names in Canadian literature, and continue to produce numerous award winning titles each year.

This affects me personally, as a reader of dozens of small press titles a year, and as someone who works part-time in an independent book store, I want to ensure that small presses and new authors continue to be represented and remain available for discovery in store. I’m also working on my first book, and expect if it reaches publication, it will likely be with a small press. I’d hope it would have distribution.

For more, see Quill & Quire‘s “In blow to small publishers, Literary Press Group loses federal funding,” Now Toronto‘s “Small presses get the squeeze,” Shameless Magazine‘s “Sales team for independent Canadian book publishers defunded” and Rabble.ca’s “‘Devastating’ cuts to Literary Press Group.”

How you can help

LPG has posted a request for people to contact their Conservative representatives, but whether your MP is Conservative, NDP or Liberal, adding your voice to the call is important.

If you’re not sure who your MP is, there’s a list by constituencies here, or you can run a search by postal code here.

I’ve already sent my e-mail. I hope you’ll consider doing the same.

Update

I’ve just heard the awesome news that LPG’s funding has been restored. Congratulations to LPG, and thanks to everyone who lent their support.

More from LPG’s Facebook page and a news update on their site.