Shoreline Press coming to the Eastern Townships

By Gordon Lambie

Founded in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue more than a quarter century ago, the Shoreline Press publishing company is about to leave the island and start a new life in the country.
“I’m buying it and it’s moving to the townships,” Hatley-based poet Angela Leuck told The Record. “Now we’re going to have a press focusing on writing that’s going on here.”
Leuck said that since moving to the region herself, she has been struck by the large number of writers or aspiring writers there are living in the townships without any kind of consistent local option for publication. She expressed appreciation for projects like Townshippers’ “Taproot” series of anthologies and other similar publication initiatives from places like Studio Georgeville, but argued that local writers are missing out without a press of their own.
“There is such an amazing number of writers here,” the new owner said, explaining that she would especially like to help elevate the work of local women writers who have been working in relative isolation for decades without any kind of more formal outlet. “There hasn’t been that much chance for connection outside of Montreal.”
Although the sale and relocation obviously marks a major shift for the company, Leuck said that she intends to draw on the established base and network developed through the publication of roughly 120 books to date to bridge the regional divide. Many of the titles in Shoreline’s catalogue, fiction and nonfiction, come from writers outside of the Townships, although Townshipper Donald Davison’s 2005 novel Raise the Flag and Sound the Cannon: The Northernmost Battle of the Civil War can be found on the list.
At this point the sale has been finalized and Leuck said that, with the help of two interns from McGill University, she expects the operation to be up and running as of the beginning of June.
She is so sure of this, in fact, that the company already has plans for a few books to come out this fall, including the collected works of 92 year old Anne Hill.
“She’s an amazing writer,” Leuck said, pointing out that Hill only began writing within the last ten years or so after participating in a writing group at the North Hatley Library.
Although she held back from describing the book in detail at this point, Leuck described Hill’s project as a book of essays about life that offer a quirky and unique point of view.
“It’s quite amazing,” she said.
Looking to the future, Leuck has a number of dreams that extend out of bringing Shoreline to the Townships. Among these she listed the possibility of writer’s residencies, where writers from other places are given a stipend to come spend time writing in the region as a kind of cultural immersion and exchange, as well as the idea of cross-border collaborations with the writing community in northern Vermont, once the border opens back up again.

Published in the Friday, May 1 edition of The Record.

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