What does an award-winning writer do when she is not writing? This one helps other writers get published. Meet Pamela Mulloy, the editor of The New Quarterly (TNQ), an award-winning, literary magazine published four times a year, right here in Waterloo.
Pamela and her team of editors read at least 160 fiction, non-fiction and poetry submissions for each issue of TNQ, priding themselves on publishing emerging writers alongside more established writers.
Publishing a Canadian literary magazine couldn’t be done without the help of volunteer editors and a dedicated board of directors, who support all elements of the magazine’s success, from strategy to fundraising to event planning.
Pamela, who had previously founded and managed an arts and culture magazine in the UK, started as a TNQ fiction editor in 2009 and became the magazine editor three years later.
As editor, she oversees the operational side of the magazine as well as develops its creative direction, working closing with the other editors. As it is an all-hands-on-deck kind of place, Pamela is also the fiction editor, meaning she gets to dig deep into the fiction submission pile, which she loves.
“We receive some amazing submissions and we are very good at spotting emerging writers with talent,” she says. “It’s important for us to take the time to coach and support them, as we want to discover those writers before they become famous.” And they have a strong track record of success. “Publishers check out TNQ work when they are scouting for new talent to publish as they know what we publish will be good.”
This sets them up well for that slate of awards I mentioned earlier, especially the National Magazine Awards for best fiction. While the award goes to the writer of the story, literary magazines see themselves in those wins too.
“These are huge moments for us, as it’s our peers who say the work in the journal is of high quality,” she says. “We get to put the gold award seal on the cover, highlighting that our publishing vision has been recognized through the value of winner’s work.”
In addition to the magazine, TNQ along with Words Worth Books, also runs the Wild Writers Literary Festival every fall. “We bring in established authors and blend the programming with our emerging writers, who wouldn’t necessarily have this kind of exposure,” she says. “The festival is to both celebrate TNQ and inspire ongoing conversations about writing and reading between our readers and our writers.”
TNQ is not the only award winner. Pamela, who has a novel, The Deserters (Véhicule Press), coming out next year, just took home the Waterloo Region Arts Awards in the literary category (Bravo Pamela!)
You can subscribe to The New Quarterly, or buy issues at local fine booksellers. And you if you love literature and reading, mark the Wild Writers Literary Festival for your calendar November 4-6, 2016 – you won’t regret it.
P.S. Pamela’s favourite topic of conversation: writing.