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Leigh Nash launching new independent publisher Assembly Press

Leigh Nash, Andrew Faulkner, Debby de Groot (Assembly Press)

Former House of Anansi publisher Leigh Nash is starting a new independent press.

Assembly Press plans to release its first list in spring 2024. Nash will be publisher of the new venture, with fellow Anansi alumna Debby de Groot responsible for communications and Andrew Faulkner, former managing editor at Invisible Publishing, as strategist.

Assembly Press is billed as a boutique publishing house that will publish fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, with the aim of being “independent, inclusive, and incisive.”

“We’re having so much fun already getting Assembly off the ground, and I’m looking forward to partnering with authors, agents, publishers, and booksellers both here and internationally to see what magic we can make together,” Nash said in a release.

The press will be based in Prince Edward County and Mississauga, with the team working together remotely. Assembly is working on confirming publishing partners, but hopes to work with printers the team has worked with in the past, including Imprimerie Gauvin and Friesens. Sales and distribution deals are already established, including one with Publishers Group Canada.

Assembly’s first title will be County Harvest, a follow-up to Natalie Wollenberg and Leigh Nash’s County Heirlooms, and Wollenberg is currently interviewing brewers, winemakers, and distillers in Ontario’s Prince Edward County for the book.

Nash says the press is approaching their list and the entire venture “with an intentional sense of experimentation,” so the number of books published may vary from year to year, though will likely be about 10 titles, with a balanced mix of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

Assembly expects to release a formal call for submissions soon.

Before her role as publisher at Anansi, Nash was publisher at Invisible Publishing for seven years. She has also worked for Coach House Books and sat on the boards of eBound Canada and the Association of Canadian Publishers. She currently teaches in the Creative Book Publishing program at Humber College.

Faulkner has published two books of poetry and founded a number of literary ventures before Assembly Press, including the Ottawa Arts Review, editing firm Re:word Communications, and the PEP Rally reading series in Picton, Ontario.

De Groot was most recently publicity director at Anansi – and continues to work with the publisher in a freelance capacity. She has also worked in publicity at Key Porter Books, McClelland & Stewart, Penguin Canada, and as an independent freelance publicist.

Nash and de Groot both announced their departures from Anansi earlier this year.