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M&S announces anti-racism action plan featuring special edition of the Journey Prize and new submission process

McClelland & Stewart has announced an anti-racism action plan that will see new mentorships, a paid editorial fellowship, a looser submission process, and a “Black Brilliance” edition of the annual Journey Prize Canadian short-story collection.

The Penguin Random House Canada imprint announced on June 16 that the 2021 edition of the Journey Prize Stories anthology will feature emerging Black writers, chosen by a jury of three celebrated Black Canadian writers. Traditionally publishing the best stories of the year from Canadian literary magazines, The 2021 Journey Prize: Black Brilliance edition will expand its eligibility period to include stories published between 2019 and the end of 2021.

For this edition, literary magazines may submit multiple stories rather than the traditional cap of one submission per publication. Authors are also encouraged to self-submit one unpublished story. Authors from other communities who are not eligible for the 2021 edition are invited to submit to the 2022 edition, which will include stories published in both 2020 and 2021.

Beyond the annual Journey Prize anthology, M&S intends to decrease barriers to publication by loosening their submission process, while continuing to focus on fiction, poetry, and narrative non-fiction. Though the imprint traditionally either acquires titles from agents or commissions work directly from writers, they will now be accepting submissions directly through [email protected].

M&S will also be offering professional development in publishing, including editorial, sales, marketing, publicity, and social media. Details of these conversations, which will be open to people across Canada, will be announced in July.

The final component announced in the plan is the launch of the Hazlitt Editorial Fellowship for Underrepresented Communities. This virtual initiative offers a month-long, part-time study in editing long-form narrative non-fiction journalism. The Fellowship, to be held twice a year, will pay $2,500. Full details of the program are available at hazlitt.net.

The anti-racism action plan comes on the heels of PRHC’s detailed “anti-racism action and accountability plan,” which was announced last week. The plan included a $60,000 donation to charities which support Black communities.