Small Press Book Fair To Provide Exposure For Local Writers

Thursday April 12th, 2018

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Expanding past its origins, a small press in Windsor is giving others some exposure.

Taking place on Saturday, April 14th from 11am to 4pm  ZED Press is hosting their first small press book fair. Located at Green Bean Cafe and University community church, organizers hope to assist local authors, do-it-yourself publishers and small presses to attract a bigger audience.

Although it’s their first fair, the group was inspired by an event in Ottawa they attended in June.

The Ottawa Small Press Book Fair runs twice a year and has been running since 1994,” said ZED Press co-founder, Amilcar Nogueira. “The experience was incredible. It was great to see presses from different places across the country, new presses, old presses, solo publishers, art communities and more. We were excited to sit across from groups we had been reading for years.”

Bringing back a piece of the event, those involved also wanted to showcase small presses that are thriving locally. While they’ve successfully put on several launch parties for their series of chapbooks, this is the first book fair the small press will attempt since starting in summer 2016.

Having attended a workshop in Toronto at the time, several members of ZED Press were inspired by the work of words(on)pages. Focusing on engaging with emerging writers, it pushed the group to start contacting authors they liked.

From there, ZED focused on making unique chapbooks to fit their writers’ work.

Our work engages new voices and our style is built on DIY handcrafted quality,” said Nogueira. “We like to make sure our chapbooks fit our author’s work. We have published two chapbooks and have two more coming this year. Last year, we hand-painted all 200 chapbook covers, giving each a unique colour and feel. This year, we worked with stamps and coloured cover paper to give more colour to our author’s work.”

With a theme of writers with a Windsor connection, the small press’ first run of chapbooks contained a local flare. Expanding from that however, their current run spreads all the way to Toronto: An additional launch for Hanan Hazime’s Aorta and Khahsayar Mohammadi’s Moe’s Skin will be held on April 21, two weeks after the books premiere in Windsor.

Although co-founders have spread out across the province and into Quebec since forming ZED Press, they remain flexible and inclusive. As University of Windsor MA English and Creative Writing students, each one wanted to get into publishing on their own terms. While some have left or stepped back, the small press has managed to adapt and thrive, now helping others with the upcoming book fair.

Given that small publishers, self-publishers and e-book authors don’t have the same reach as others, it’s important to connect with the community. Those releasing their books this way don’t have large print runs or distribution, relying instead on events like these to get the word out.

With that in mind, ZED wants to show the effort that goes into such works.

“Every press has been receptive, helpful in providing information and signing up for the weekend,” said Nogueira. “April is one of the busiest months of writing in Windsor. Presses are launching books every week, readings are happening sometimes on the same night. It’s a perfect month to see what is coming out in Windsor. We didn’t want to ask too much from other presses other than their ability to come out to the event. We wanted to let them focus on running all their cool events.”

As for what to expect, there’s plenty to entice those unsure about attending as well.

“If you are on the fence about the event, come grab a delicious brunch, listen to some authors read, and browse a bit,” said Nogueira. “We’re sure the food, coffee, and writing will change your mind.”

University Community Church and Green Bean Cafe have an elevator to use in the back by calling 519-997-4710. There’s also an accessible washroom with a baby changing station at University Community Church. Attendees can e-mail ZED Press to address any other requests.

Those interested in keeping up to date with ZED Press can either visit their website or follow them on facebook and twitter.

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