There is a new kid on the block in the Publishing World.
Merlin Star Press.
Like it says on the website
Merlin Star Press is an accessible, local publisher that supports writers through their creative process, offering them an opportunity to be published. Our concentration will be in Southeast New Brunswick, with the long-term goal of including authors from Atlantic Canada.
So, this week you will meet the Board of Directors but first, we have the Managing Editor, Don Blewett, with us to tell us more.
Scribbler: Hello Don. Thanks for taking the time to tell the public about this exciting new adventure. How did all this begin?
Don: Thanks for having me on your Blog Allan. Merlin Star Press began after someone at our monthly writers group meeting said, “Is anyone else here interested in starting a publishing company?” There was a flurry of thought and a number of people put their hand up.
A small core group got together and wrote a Mission Statement and set initial goals. Meetings were organized, plans were made, people were invited to join and in the end a group of eight people formed the core management group of Merlin Star Press.
Planning then began in earnest with elections for critical positions and the assignments of positions and duties. The legal wheels were put in motion and proudly, Merlin Star Press became a legal entity by the first week of January 2023.
Then our eyes became set on finding authors and manuscripts.
Being so new, we chose, at first, to concentrate on South Eastern New Brunswick authors before expanding into the rest of the Maritimes.
A Web presence was developed for information, manuscript submissions and author assistance. Please drop by and have a look around at merlinstarpress.com
Scribbler: What exactly does your role as Managing Editor entail?
Don: In my base interpretation, I consider myself a juggler. We have been blessed by having a number of screening and editing volunteers come forward. Their passions as with most writers is reading. In the various writing groups that they are involved with, they provide sound constructive critique of other authors work, as well as encouragement.
When we receive the initial limited submissions from authors, they come to me. I will organize a number of the “Screeners” to go over all of the information provided for each submission. Having a minimum of three screeners as well as a standardized template gives each author equal footing. If I notice a large discrepancy between the opinions, I will have someone else read it as well.
Once the screeners reports are organized, the core group of Merlin Star Press will select which authors to request the submission of their full manuscripts
These too will go through a similar acceptance process until we can approach authors and say we would like to talk to you seriously about your book and how we can help you get it from your manuscript to the hands of readers.
Scribbler: Are you an Author also? What do you write?
Don: I am proud to say I am an author.
The majority of my publishing experience has come from publishing, editing, writing and laying out a magazine called “Whatsup Magazine”. It promoted New Brunswick and the rest of the Maritimes to people within the Maritimes as well as sixty five countries around the world for twelve years.
While it did offer me plenty of opportunity to write and interview interesting people, I became enthralled with writing after shutting down the magazine. I began a humorous memoir book titled Stories I Thought You Would Like in 2020. It is a series of short stories traveling through the misadventures of two loving brothers from their childhood to recent days. It is amazing they survived some of the situations that they found themselves in. We did though, and I got to write it in to history.
Scribbler: Are you ready for submissions? How does an author get in contact with you?
Don: Indeed, we are ready for submissions. To get in touch with us and me in particular, simply go to our web site at merlinstarpress.com . Go to the “Submissions” section and read the guidelines thoroughly. It explains the whole process. If you feel you fall into our guidelines and are interested, please, jump right in and start your journey. We’ll be happy to walk it with you.
I should mention here that we do not want your entire manuscript right away, but that is explained in the guidelines.
Scribbler: Can you briefly tell our readers what is involved in publishing a book?
Don: There are a great many steps that need to be taken before a book is actually in your hands. My department does screening and editing but there are other things that need to be dealt with, not the least of which is keeping the author informed at all times. There are legal things, designing, printing, site support, promotion, advertising, media, distribution, launches, readings and on and on. Those are some of the things that we worry about for you.
Scribbler: Anything else you’d like to mention?
Don: The trip from picking up the pen to opening that first book is a long journey. It takes more time than most people realize. It can be a year or even more from start to finish. Writing takes commitment, organization and work. We’re here to help you through it.
Thanks for sharing the good news Don. Best of luck to you and your team.
Board of Directors
Warren writes under the pseudonym of Zev Bagel.
Warren lives in Shediac, where he can look out of his window onto Shediac Bay – an inspirational setting. His short stories and poems have been published in several anthologies, and he is the author of four novels to date: Bernie Waxman & the Whistling Kettle, which was shortlisted for the Atlantic literary awards, Secrets, Solitary, winner of the David Adams Richards Award, and his latest, The Last Jew in Hania.
As Warren Redman, he has published seventeen books of non-fiction, including the Canadian award-winning The 9 Steps to Emotional Fitness. Many of his poems are inspired by the work of his wife, artist Nicole Tremblay.
Secretary and Co-director of Marketing
Co-director of Marketing Team.
Other Board Members & Executives.
I moved to Shediac in 2009. In the previous 30 years I had lived in Ottawa, Calgary, France, England and again Calgary. I have now thrown away my moving boxes.
I never in my dreams thought that I would one day call myself an artist. I have no professional training other than workshops I have attended over the years. I have always been attracted to vibrant colours and textures creating things with my hands (calligraphy, soap, candles, collages, dolls) and things that are different). In my mid-forties I started painting with watercolours on 4”x5” cards depicting fanciful fish and flowers. It is not until I discovered acrylic paints and inks mixed with collage that I felt I was home.
Thank you to our dear readers for visiting today. If you are an Author from Southeastern new Brunswick, please consider submitting your story to MSP.
Wonderful blog Allan! Thank you.ReplyDelete
Glad you like it. Thanks for the comment.Delete