We’re hiring! Now accepting applications for a full-time Publicity and Digital Marketing intern

Publicity and Digital Marketing Intern

Biblioasis is an award-winning independent publishing house based in Windsor, Ontario. We publish approximately 25 titles a year, including short fiction, novels, poetry, literary criticism, memoir, belle lettres, local and regional history, and general nonfiction. We are also the publishers of the critical journal CNQ: Canadian Notes & Queries and the annual Best Canadian anthologies, and operate an independent bookstore in Windsor’s historic Walkerville.

We are seeking a full-time publicity and digital marketing intern to join our Windsor office. This is a paid 12-month position primarily entailing the promotion of titles to media, planning and logistics of virtual events, and assisting marketing staff with metadata, digital sales materials and bookseller outreach.

Major Responsibilities:

  • assist with national and international publicity strategies for 16-20 books annually, including electronic pitches, digital review copy management and print review copy mailings, and related follow-up
  • build and manage relations with key media throughout North America
  • write and update press releases and pitches
  • organize and secure media coverage for virtual events, including author appearances at launches, readings, and virtual festivals, as well as in-person events and trade shows as public health recommendations allow
  • assist in designing promotional material such as digital graphics, postcards, bookmarks, posters and advertisements
  • oversee media and product updates on the press’s website and assist with the creation and management of metadata
  • work in collaboration with sales representatives in both Canada and the United States so they are informed and enthusiastic about Biblioasis titles.
  • interact with authors to strategize publicity opportunities and to execute promotional and publicity events.
  • field author queries and help manage author relations, including travel arrangements where public health recommendations allow
  • other duties as assigned

Knowledge, skills, and abilities required:

  • individuals must be extremely organized, detail-oriented, and self-motivated
  • excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • excellent interpersonal skills
  • must have a high degree of creativity and the ability to think strategically
  • must be willing to work occasional evenings and weekends
  • computer skills include: Word and Excel experience required. Experience with Photoshop, InDesign and Acrobat an asset.

Education and experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications, English, art history, or related field
  • experience in the book publishing industry would be considered an asset
  • previous publicity or marketing experience would be an asset
  • courses or certificate in a publishing program an asset

To apply, email resume and cover letter to Dan Wells at dwells@biblioasis.com by June 19, 2020.


Menno Moto Virtual Launch

Did you miss last night’s virtual launch of Menno Moto: A Journey Across the Americas in Search of My Mennonite Identity? Watch it here! Cameron Dueck talks with Dora Dueck and answers questions from viewers at home.

Buy Menno Moto here.

Mark Bourrie & Margaret Atwood: In Conversation

Did you miss today’s Facebook livestream conversation between Mark Bourrie and Margaret Atwood? Watch it here!

Buy Bush Runner: The Adventures of Pierre-Esprit Radisson here.

A Dramatic Reading from Aubrey McKee by Alex Pugsley

Today Alex Pugsley along with actors Fiona Highet, Karin Randoja, Matthew Edison, and Mary Lewis performed a section from Alex’s forthcoming novel, Aubrey McKee as a part of the National Arts Centre’s #CanadaPerforms initiative.

Did you miss it? Watch it here! And check out Aubrey McKee here.


April 1 Facebook Livestream – Dan Wells in Conversation with Andre Narbonne

Did you miss our Facebook livestream earlier this month? Watch below for a conversation on publishing and bookselling in the time of pandemic.

Covid-19 Biblioasis Talk

Biblioasis publisher and bookstore owner, Dan Wells, talks with Dr. Andre Narbonne about publishing and bookselling in the time of pandemic. Ask questions and join us for a chat as we try out a virtual event for the first time!

Posted by Biblioasis on Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Bush Runner by Mark Bourrie Wins the 2020 RBC Taylor Prize

Today it was announced that Bush Runner: The Adventures of Pierre-Esprit Radisson by Mark Bourrie won the final RBC Taylor Prize. To say we are ecstatic would be putting it mildly. We are so proud to be Mark’s publisher.

Noreen Taylor, prize founder and chair of the Charles Taylor Foundation, announced that Bush Runner won the $30,000 award during a gala luncheon celebrating this year’s finalists at the Omni King Edward Hotel in downtown Toronto.

Taylor stated, “Today we celebrated five of the most remarkable writers of our times and their compelling books – if there ever was a shortlist that defined every goal we had for the RBC Taylor Prize, this is it. Congratulations to the jury for their wisdom and above all heartiest congratulations to Mark Bourrie for his fascinating treatment of this compelling story.”

Vijay Parmar, president of RBC PH&N Investment Counsel, added: “I am delighted to congratulate Mark Bourrie for winning the 2020 RBC Taylor Prize Award. This is an outstanding achievement and contribution to Canadian literature. RBC Wealth Management through the RBC Emerging Artists Project is very proud to have partnered with the Charles Taylor Foundation and played a part in elevating and advancing the profile of our country’s non-fiction writers both at home and around the world.”

When accepting his award, Bourrie stated, “For a long time I wondered if anybody cared about what I wrote. People do.”

In their citation, the jury stated, “Readers of Mark Bourrie’s Bush Runner might well wonder if Jonathan Swift at his edgiest has been at work. This over-the-top narrative connects Canadian fur traders with three European royal courts, mixes in Indigenous political intrigues and family alliances among the Five Nations and French settlers, and adds Jesuits, cannibalism, and the Great Fire of London. To top it off, there’s the impact of the beaver hat and the buffalo on the entire Western world! In Bourrie’s telling, the picaresque Pierre Radisson, a humane con artist of heroic stamina and fluid loyalties, was the fulcrum of four centuries of Canadian centrality in the forging of modern Western civilizations. Who knew?”

Bush Runner is a national bestseller and was listed as one of “The Globe 100: Books that shaped 2019” by The Globe and Mail. It tells the untold adventures of Pierre-Esprit Radisson, largely known as one of the co-founders of the Hudson’s Bay Company, which is celebrating its 350th anniversary in 2020. Mark recently appeared on CBC’s As It Happens to talk about Bush Runner.

The jurors for the 2020 RBC Taylor Prize are Margaret Atwood, Coral Ann Howells, and Peter Theroux. They considered a record 155 books that were submitted for this year’s prize.

The RBC Taylor Prize commemorates Charles Taylor’s pursuit of excellence in the field of literary non-fiction. The Prize is awarded to the author whose book best combines a superb command of the English language, an elegance of style, and a subtlety of thought and perception. The Prize consists of $25,000 for the winner and $5,000 for each of the runners up as well as promotional support to help all shortlisted books stand out in the national media, bookstores, and libraries.

Known to some as the first European to explore the upper Mississippi, and widely as the namesake of ships and hotel chains, Pierre-Esprit Radisson is perhaps best described, writes Mark Bourrie, as “an eager hustler with no known scruples.” Kidnapped by Mohawk warriors at the age of fifteen, Radisson assimilated and was adopted by a powerful family, only to escape to New York City after less than a year. After being recaptured, he defected from a raiding party to the Dutch and crossed the Atlantic to Holland—thus beginning a lifetime of seized opportunities and frustrated ambitions.

A guest among First Nations communities, French fur traders, and royal courts; witness to London’s Great Plague and Great Fire; and unwitting agent of the Jesuits’ corporate espionage, Radisson double-crossed the English, French, Dutch, and his adoptive Mohawk family alike, found himself marooned by pirates in Spain, and lived through shipwreck on the reefs of Venezuela. His most lasting venture as an Artic fur trader led to the founding of the Hudson’s Bay Company, which operates today, 350 years later, as North America’s oldest corporation.

Sourced from Radisson’s journals, which are the best first-hand accounts of 17th century Canada, Bush Runner tells the extraordinary true story of this protean 17th-century figure, a man more trading partner than colonizer, a peddler of goods and not worldview—and with it offers a fresh perspective on the world in which he lived.


Mark Bourrie holds a master’s in journalism, a doctorate in Canadian history, and a Juris Doctor degree. He is the author of thirteen previous books, among them the Macleans bestseller The Fog of War and Kill the Messengers: Stephen Harper’s Assault on Your Right to Know, a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book of 2015. He has been a staff reporter for the Hamilton Spectator, London Free Press and Toronto Sun, contributed more than a thousand articles to Globe and Mail and Toronto Star, and written for National Post, Ottawa Citizen, and other papers. The winner of a National Magazine Award in 1999 and several honorable mentions, Bourrie lectures in History at Carleton University and Canadian Studies at the University of Ottawa.





Our Day with the Book Fairies

On Wednesday we tried something new! We partnered with the Book Fairies to hide copies of Pauline Holdstock’s new novel, Here I Am! across North America.

Here I Am! is about a little boy named Frankie who runs away from home and stows away on a ship when his mother dies and he doesn’t know what to do. We thought this was the perfect book to use in a continent-wide treasure hunt using the hashtags #WheresFrankie and #FindFrankie. We even joined in the fun and hid some copies around Windsor!

Buy your copy of Here I Am! now.

Check out the Book Fairies’ blog post.







Bookseller Praise for Here I Am!

“You will find that this high-seas adventure is one of the most absorbing books of the year. I loved every moment. Oh! I almost forgot to tell you: This book might remind you of past favorites, but it will be one that you won’t soon forget.”
—Shannon Alden, Literati Bookstore (Ann Arbor, MI)

“This captivating novel will surely draw comparisons to Emma Donoghue’s Room and Mark Haddon’s Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, and it should; it’s every bit as good as those wonderful books, but in no way imitative. The young narrator’s voice is his own, the story is guaranteed to hook the reader immediately, and the characters’ lively humanity makes Here I Am! a delightfully satisfying read. Very highly recommended!”
—Carol Schneck Varne, Schuler Books (Grand Rapids, MI)

“A highly intelligent six-year-old who has difficulty communicating tries repeatedly, and unsuccessfully, to tell a dullard, dismissive teacher that his mother is dead. Desperate to be heard, Frankie sneaks onto a cruise ship that he thinks will take him to his traveling father. Oops, wrong ship. But Frankie finds a kindred soul or two in a world where so few people seem capable of listening. Like me, you might find your own attentiveness enhanced by this big-hearted story.”
Kay Wosewick, Boswell Book Company (Milwaukee, WI)

“When new books constantly fight for my attention, it takes something special to be distinct. Pauline Holdstock has achieved this miracle. The narrative voice of 6 year old Frankie is what makes this a stand out. Frankie has the naivete of the narrator in ONLY CHILD by Rhiannon Navin, combined with the interesting perspective of a boy on the spectrum like THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHTIME. When Frankie’s mother dies, he is thrust into a situation beyond his comprehension, and into a world that fails to understand him. Frankie’s journey is a stunning tribute to perseverance and will melt your heart. HERE I AM! is a captivating winner.”
Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books (Excelsior, MN)

“Put down what you are reading and pick up Here I Am! by Pauline Holdstock and read it! Frankie is 6 and is not a normal child. His teachers and parents don’t know how to deal with him and one day he runs away and ends up on an ocean liner headed for America. His trip, how he gets back, and Frankie himself makes for a fabulous story. I couldn’t put this one down.”
—Beth Carpenter, The Country Bookshop (Southern Pines, NC)

“I adored HERE I AM, and am now frankly pressuring everyone I know to start reading it right this minute so that we can have a love-fest. The story — child stows away on an ocean liner! — is absurd but oddly inevitable in the telling, and the characters are humanely drawn, even the horribly flawed ones. Fans of Eleanor Oliphant will love the clear-eyed pragmatism of our six-year-old hero, who faces the impossible and somehow just keeps going.”
—Christie Olson Day, Gallery Bookshop (Mendocino, CA)

“I LOVE the distinctly written, very British characters who fill out the plotline of Here I Am! The plot unfolds around the discovery of a death, and although the tale is told mostly by a resourceful six year old, short interludes told by adults ground the story in the starkly mundane fact of mortality. The profound beauty, refreshing delight in small things, and stark realities are balanced in a way that creates a riveting, dynamic, and at times very funny read. This book has stayed with me.”
—Kathleen Johnson, Prairie Lights Bookshop (Iowa City, IA)

Excerpt from How to Die by Ray Robertson in the Globe and Mail!

An excerpt from Ray Robertson’s How to Die: A Book About Being Alive is in the Globe and Mail this weekend. It is available to read online now!

A radical revaluation of how contemporary society perceives death—and a literary tourist’s argument for how it can make us happy.

“He who would teach men to die would teach them to live,” writes Montaigne in Essais, and in How to Die, Ray Robertson takes up the challenge, arguing that the active and intentional consideration of death is essential to our ability to value life. An absorbing excursion through some of Western literature’s most compelling works on the subject of death and a selfhelp book for people who hate self-help, How to Die is an anecdote-driven argument for cultivating a better understanding of death in the belief that, if we do, we’ll know more about what it means to live meaningfully.

Ray also appeared on Global TV’s Morning Show in January. Click on the image below to watch the interview:


“While How to Die is a slim book, it offers some hefty insights, leavened with frequent, self-effacing humour. There are numerous passages here which, while quick to read (the book is very accessible, despite its philosophical bona fides), nonetheless take hours to fully internalize … Brilliant.”
—Robert J. Wiersema, Toronto Star





A shout out to How to Die in Toronto Life:


Click the image below to watch Ray’s interview with Annette Hamm on CHCH’s Morning Live:

Want to hear more from Ray? Read his interviews in the Windsor Star, Chatham Daily Newsor Queen’s JournalListen to his interview on CBC Windsor Morning.

Want to read the book? Buy it here!


About Ray Robertson:

Ray Robertson is the author of the novels Home MoviesHeroesMoody FoodGently Down the StreamWhat Happened LaterDavidI Was There The Night He Died, and 1979 as well as the non-fiction collections Lives of the Poets (with Guitars), Mental Hygiene: Essays on Writers and Writing and Why Not? Fifteen Reasons to Live, which was short-listed for the Hilary Weston Prize for non-fiction and long-listed for the Charles Taylor Prize for non-fiction. Born and raised in Southwestern Ontario, he lives in Toronto.



Biblioasis at Winter Institute 2020 in Baltimore

Every year the American Booksellers Association (ABA) puts on a big convention for booksellers to meet one another, talk with publishers, and share tricks of the trade. This year it was in Baltimore, Maryland, and Biblioasis had a blast. Booksellers are pretty much our favourite people in the world, so we are always excited when we get a chance to meet them face to face and share with them the books we’re excited about for the year. We brought with us ARCs for 2020 titles and buttons, as we often do, but this year we made something a little bit different … bookseller trading cards!

Because booksellers are our heroes, we decided to show our appreciation by creating our first deck of nine bookseller trading cards, complete with stats, stickers, and gum. Artist Owen Swain illustrated the cards, and our Managing Editor, Vanessa, designed the cards and found the stats. We sat around our front table wrapping them up and chewing bubble gum during the week preceding Winter Institute.

And when they got there, they made a splash. Shelf Awareness tweeted about them and wrote about us in their newsletter. Lit Hub wrote about us, saying “Do you even love books if you haven’t collected all of these independent bookseller cards?” Then Ron Charles included a mention about them in his Washington Post newsletter “Book Club.”

We had such fun making them and watching everyone trade them. We can’t wait for our next series, coming Indie Bookseller Day 2020! This series will soon be available for purchase on our website.


Trading in action!

James Crossley signing his card.

Bush Runner shortlisted for the 2020 RBC Taylor Prize!

We kept our fingers crossed and looks like luck is on our side! We’re ecstatic  to announce that Bush Runner: The Adventures of Pierre-Esprit Radisson has been shortlisted for the 2020 RBC Taylor Prize! 

I think Pierre would have seen the fun in all this, but he probably would have robbed the RBC Taylor Prize winner on the way out of the hall.


Author Mark Bourrie expresses his delight and gratitude in a statement: “Every writer hopes to have a day when Margaret Atwood stands on a stage and says their book is one of the five best non-fiction titles of the year. This is my day, and I am so glad that Dan Wells and Janice Zawerbny of Biblioasis were willing to give bad old Radisson a shot. I have lived with this pirate and cannibal for three years now, and I guess he’s going to be with me for a while longer. I think Pierre would have seen the fun in all this, but he probably would have robbed the RBC Taylor Prize winner on the way out of the hall. Every one of the twelve books on the long list was something I would have been proud to have my name on. Just making that list was an honor.

The RBC Taylor Prize jury, which is comprised of Margaret Atwood, Coral Ann Howells, and Peter Theroux, have this to say about Bush Runner:  “Readers of Mark Bourrie’s Bush Runner might well wonder if Jonathan Swift at his edgiest has been at work. This over-the-top narrative connects Canadian fur traders with three European royal courts, mixes in Indigenous political intrigues and family alliances among the Five Nations and French settlers, and adds Jesuits, cannibalism, and the Great Fire of London. To top it off, there’s the impact of the beaver hat and the buffalo on the entire Western world! In Bourrie’s telling, the picaresque Pierre Radisson, a humane con artist of heroic stamina and fluid loyalties, was the fulcrum of four centuries of Canadian centrality in the forging of modern Western civilizations. Who knew?”

We are extremely pleased that Mark’s book has resonated so well with both audiences and critics. We’d also like to thank all of you for championing the book and keeping it on the best seller lists for so long!

We won’t be uncrossing our fingers just yet: the winner of the RBC Taylor Prize will be announced on March 2, 2020.