Kailey Havelock in Conversation with Editors Talking Editing

The Off the Page literary festival presents Editors Talking Editing: The Other Side of Submittable, a discussion among editorial alumni of Concordia University’s Headlight Anthology and Soliloquies Anthology. Taking place March 17-19, Off the Page will feature readings by Ben Lerner, Anne Boyer, Jordan Abel, and Sonnet L’Abbé, and an array of panels on all aspects of literature.

Former student editors Chalsley Taylor, Domenica Martinello, Geneviève Robichaud, and Larissa Andrusyshyn discuss their undergraduate and graduate publishing and editing experience and their current work in the industry, from editing to managing to writing and more.

Join us on Thursday, March 17 at 4PM for an engaging discussion on publishing and editing, moderated by student organizers Kailey Havelock and Karissa LaRocque. Find the most up-to-date information on FacebookTwitter, or soliloquies.ca.  

Editors Talking Editing: The Other Side of Submittable

Kailey Havelock: In an increasingly digital world, what do you envision as the future of publishing? How does the job of the editor change when computer programs can do so much now, and what potential might this change open up? Do you think publishing will move to the web exclusively, or will literary publications stay in print?

Chalsley Taylor: Digital applications provide vital support, but it falls to our human editors to to source and curate creative work. That said, the more digital publishing tools we have at our disposal, the more possibilities we create for ourselves. I don’t believe the rapid growth of digital publishing means the extinction of print media. Print offers us the physical object we can’t (as of yet) get digitally; however, the standards for that physical object are higher now, in terms of aesthetic appeal, singularity, etc. Likewise, digital publications have the capacity to incorporate a greater variety of media than print can manage.

Domenica Martinello: The future of publishing is hybrid and finely curated. Print will never die, nor will the Internet. Digital spaces have destabilized some of the old guard’s print oligopoly—suddenly there’s this breathing room for risk and innovation, for interdisciplinary and multimedia work, for more fragmented tastes. At the same time, the unfiltered glut of “stuff” produced online makes the physical print journal just as refreshing and valuable as ever. It could be the Gemini in me, but: If editors can harness both the immediacy of the digital (through social media, an online supplement, a blog, etc.) and the intentionality of a well-crafted, thoughtfully curated print journal, they’ve found the sweet spot.

Geneviève Robichaud: I have just spent the morning enveloped in the task of writing about a book of which there is none—Fernando Pessoa’s The Book of Disquiet—and so I feel compelled to answer that, while I cannot imagine addressing the question of the future of publishing, I am interested in works that move beyond the print and digital binary. Performance lectures, for instance, are a way to open the dialogue to a range of ways the sovereignty of the book gets tested, elasticized. Of course, there are several others... many of them located in a combinatory practice that extends beyond a single discipline or medium. 

Larissa Andrusyshyn: I do think publishing will see an increased presence on the web. But I don't think books or literary magazines will disappear. The feel and smell of a book, the place it has on a bookshelf, nothing will change that. But think of how accessible our work can be now, with a smartphone in just about anyone's pocket; we have an opportunity to reach a diverse audience, more than ever before. But the job of an editor does not change that much. Computers are still hugely fallible, especially when it comes to poetry (layout and playing with syntax), and I don't foresee a program that can make critical editorial suggestions to an author appearing in the near future. The editor will still curate the publication. They organize the other editors and designers and have the duty to maintain the tone of the magazine and the direction it will take going forward. Also, if there ever was a computer program that would secure funds, organize launches, and do our grant writing for us, well, I'd be plenty surprised. This is the realm of humans, and always will be. 


Chalsley Taylor spends her time in Montreal, working towards an MA at Concordia University. Her research and creative interests centre around race, second generation identity, and the politics of place. Currently, Chalsley is the photography editor and art director at carte blanche.

Domenica Martinello is a Toronto-based writer originally from Montréal, Québec. She is the head of publicity for the literary journal The Puritan, and interviews editor for CWILA: Canadian Women in Literary Arts. In Fall 2016 she will begin her MFA in poetry at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Geneviève Robichaud is a PhD candidate in the Département de littératures et de langues du monde at the Université de Montréal. She was an editor for Lemon Hound, Headlight Anthology, Matrix MagazineSoliloquies Anthology, and most recently for The Town Crier. Her prose has recently appeared in The Capilano Review, Lemon Hound, The Puritan, and Two Times One from the Jan van Eyck Akademie.

Larissa Andrusyshyn's first poetry collection, Mammoth (DC Books, 2010), was shortlisted for the Quebec Writers' Federation First Book Prize and the Kobzar Literary Award. Her poems have been long-listed for the CBC Poetry Prize and shortlisted for Arc Magazine's Poem of the Year and the 3macs carte blanche prize. Her second collection, Proof (DC Books), was released last spring. She is the reviews editor at Matrix Magazine and she facilitates creative writing workshops in Montreal.

For more insights from our interview guests, join Headlight Anthology and Soliloquies Anthology at the Editors Talking Editing panel at the Off the Page literary festival on Thursday, March 17.