Dundurn Press is looking for a new publisher, as president and publisher Kwame Scott Fraser relocates to Jamaica and steps down from the role he has held for five years.
Fraser will remain at Dundurn as editor-at-large, and will continue to work on acquiring new titles for the 50-year-old publisher. He will transition to his new role on February 1, 2024.
Fraser was named president and publisher when founder and longtime president and publisher Kirk Howard sold the independent press to tech entrepreneurs Jason Martin, Lorne Wallace, and Randall Howard (no relation to Kirk) in 2019.
“We love what he’s done,” Martin says of Fraser. “He’s taken Kirk Howard’s 50-year-old entity and brought it into the 21st century. We’re taking risks and we’re more diverse now … all these great things and it’s all because of his vision.”
Dundurn, which was founded in 1972 with the goal of creating books dedicated to Canada’s history, has expanded its list over the years to include a wide range of genres, including literary fiction, mysteries, sports titles, and childrens’ books. The Rare Machines imprint was launched in 2021. Dundurn also achieved its first Giller nomination with Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia’s The Son of the House that year.
Martin says the press is looking for a new publisher who will continue to build on the momentum Fraser generated alongside the current leadership team of associate publisher Kathryn Lane, COO Chris Houston, CFO Graham Matthews, and manager of publishing operations Meghan Macdonald, who all remain in place.
“Our focus remains to talk about the Canadian experience and to move into the Canadian conversation books, both nonfiction and fiction, that address who we are, that talk about our present, our history, and our future,” Martin says.
Martin tells Q&Q that Dundurn is also looking to recapture some of the focus of its founder on strong nonfiction such as Canadian history and academic books.
Update, Nov. 15: This story has been updated from the original to reflect that the sales percentage of nonfiction books originally quoted was not fully accurate, and that The Son of the House is not a Rare Machines book.