Saturday, 15 April 2023

Merlin Star Press of New Brunswick, Canada.

 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     



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 . 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 Redman.


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

Maria Gillespie.

Maria Gillespie is a former school principal who has hung up her whistle and put her school bell on the shelf. She no longer writes staff memos and newsletters. Instead, she enjoys creating short stories and poems.      

She is a member of Ice Dash, the Shediac writers' group and the Writers' Federation of New Brunswick.      

She is learning new skills by delving into the business of writing as Director and Secretary of Merlin Star Press, a newly incorporated company on the New Brunswick publishing scene.


Allan Hudson

Allan was born in Saint John, New Brunswick. Growing up in South Branch he was encouraged to read from an early age by his mother who was a schoolteacher. He lives in Dieppe with his wife Gloria. He is an author of action/adventure novels, historical fiction and a short story collection. His short stories – The Ship Breakers: In the Abyss – received honourable mention in the New Brunswick Writer’s Federation competition. He has stories published on, The Golden Ratio and his blog – South Branch Scribbler.



Managing Editor.

Don Blewett.




Bradley Boudreau.

In order to deal with his anxiety Bradley Boudreau started keeping a journal of his thoughts. This exercise turned into poetic surprises and fictional exploration. After submitting works of poetry to competitions and receiving encouraging feedback he decided to embark on writing a novel. His life then pivoted to family growth and software development. His fascination with human behavior and imaginative leaps still intact, he's now taking up the call to adventure and investing in his writing. Bradley's role within merlin star press is focused on our digital presence. He manages our website ( and our twitter account (@melinstarpress).


Co-director of Marketing Team.

Rachel Baxter.

Rachel Baxter recently capped a decades-long career as a practicing lawyer and litigator with a foray into writing. A long-time member of the Writers' Federation of New Brunswick, she innocently joined a Shediac writers' group in 2019. They had so much fun together, members discussed starting a publishing company. Rachel is a Board Member and a marketing director of Merlin Star Press.


Other Board Members & Executives.

Nicole Tremblay


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.


Donna Griffith.


A retired elementary teacher who enjoys reading and knitting. Exercising and travelling keep her moving. A writing group, the Ice Dash Dozen, has kept her journaling and interested in all things bookish since retirement and widowhood. Several book clubs keep an eclectic bunch of books at her reach. Creative adventures are yet to be experienced!



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.


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