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President Samarasekera’s Dessert Reception

The University of Alberta Press wishes to express its sincere congratulations to Dr. Indira Samarasekera, outgoing President of the University of Alberta for her extraordinary achievements during her ten years at the University. The University of Alberta Press has been privileged to have contributed to the growth and internationally recognized achievements in research and education under Indira’s leadership.

During the centenary celebrations in 2008, the University of Alberta Press published All True Things: A History of the University of Alberta, 1908-2008 by historian and Professor Emeritus Rod Macleod. We were pleased to present a copy of the book to guests who attended the dessert reception for the campus community hosted by Indira on May 8, 2015.

A video of President Samarasekera’s achievements, Because We Dared, was a highlight of the reception.

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ACP to honour Linda Cameron with President’s Award

TORONTO, ONTARIO—(April 22, 2015)—The Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) is pleased to announce that Linda Cameron, Director of University of Alberta Press, will be presented with the ACP President’s Award this June. A past president of ACP, Linda is recognized for her exemplary advocacy work on behalf of Alberta and Canadian publishers, and her service on numerous boards and committees across the industry. She is currently vice-chair of eBOUND Canada.

“Linda is an outstanding advocate for Canadian writers and publishers,” said ACP President Erin Creasey. “In addition to running one of Canada’s top publishing programs at the University of Alberta Press, she is one of the industry’s most dedicated volunteers. Her thoughtfulness, business acumen, and tireless efforts for Canadian books are an inspiration to many of us in the industry. The board’s decision to honour Linda was a unanimous one, and we look forward to celebrating her achievements in June.”

Awarded annually, the President’s Award recognizes a publisher who has made a significant contribution to the Canadian publishing industry and to the ACP. The award will be presented on June 11, 2015, at the ACP’s annual banquet in Toronto.

The ACP is the national voice of Canada’s independent English-language book publishers. The ACP supports its 120 members in creating an economically sustainable Canadian-owned and -controlled publishing industry. Visit http://www.publishers.ca for more information about the association’s programs and mandate.


For further information contact:

Erin Creasey, President, erin@ecwpress.com | 416-694-3348
Carolyn Wood, Executive Director, carolyn_wood@canbook.org | 416-487-6116 x222

Melissa, the Marketing Maven

We work with wonderful authors here at UAP! They have great ideas about promotion and marketing, and depending on their schedules and their available time – as most of them have other jobs, and no, you cannot live off your royalties – they do whatever they can to make sure that the news about their book is out there.

I asked Melissa Morelli Lacroix to write about her activities, of which there were many. Read and heed, if you have the energy!

On the one-year anniversary of the launch of my first book, A Most Beautiful Deception, I am finally responding to Monika’s request to write about my promotional activities that led to a second printing of my book after only nine months.

As publication was a life-long dream, promotion was as simple as opening my mouth, but sharing the news with family, friends and colleagues only goes so far. As publication grew closer, the University of Alberta Press sent me a marketing questionnaire. This helped me identify markets and promotional opportunities both locally and much more widely. I drew up a list of ideas based on the subject matter, genre, and content of my book and met with Monika and Cathie to brainstorm promotional ideas.

As it so happened, the Writers’ Guild of Alberta offered an information session on hosting a book launch around the same time. At it, Karen Spaford-Fitz provided a four-step plan:

  1. Prepare for the launch
  2. Organize the details of the event
  3. Personalize the event
  4. Follow-up with post-launch promotion.

For each step, Spaford-Fitz provided concise recommendations for how and when to proceed. This provided me with a concrete framework to plan both my launches and further promotional activities.

For the sake of brevity, I won’t go into the specifics and details, but I will say that I spent a lot of time preparing and promoting my launches and A Most Beautiful Deception in a variety of ways. Facebook was the easiest way, but I also prepared and sent personal invitations to a wide array of people. The internet helped keep this undertaking relatively inexpensive and environmentally friendly, but I also sent paper invitations to people whose email address I didn’t know or who do not use the internet. I also contacted local media through press releases, which resulted in articles about me and A Most Beautiful Deception in four different newspapers.

I had two launches within the same week. The first was in Edmonton, where I live and write, and the other was in Saskatoon, close to where I was raised. Both were huge successes: over 120 people attended them and almost 100 books were sold. Both were exciting events that allowed me to celebrate the publication of my first book with family and friends, colleagues, strangers, and former students. A thrill was having four former teachers, one representing each level of study from elementary school to university, in attendance at the launch in Saskatoon. Videos from my Edmonton launch can be viewed on my website (www.morellilacroix.ca), which was created to help promote my book.

In addition to my launches last spring I also read from A Most Beautiful Deception in two events at the Edmonton Poetry Festival, including UAP’s Literary Cocktails, and at the annual “Poetry at Stephan’s event” at Stephansson House in Markerville. I was also invited to speak at the U of A’s MLCS Annual Nobel Prize event last spring and the Festival of Ideas Pre-Festival event last November. Neither were promotional in nature, but they did allow for me and my book to become more widely known, for I was introduced as ‘‘the author of A Most Beautiful Deception.’’ My talk about Nobel Prize winner Alice Munro can be viewed on my website, as well as here.

While in Saskatoon last March, I was invited into four first year English classes at the University of Saskatchewan to talk about poetry in general and A Most Beautiful Deception in particular. I have returned three times, and lectured on the creative process and the dramatics of poetry.

Since one section of A Most Beautiful Deception was expanded and staged as a play in 2011, a professor colleague at the University of Saskatchewan has included the book on her Engl 112: Literature and Composition – Reading Drama reading list. Continuing the crossover to drama even further, I have created a short poetic play that explores the inspiration behind the creation of A Most Beautiful Deception by weaving music and poetry together. Singer Mireille Rijavec and pianist Dessislava Gavrailova will join me on stage at the Edmonton Poetry Festival April 19 and at the Edmonton International Fringe Festival in August.

Shortly after the début of the stage version of A Most Beautiful Deception, I will be participating in a tête-à-tête discussion with U of A doctoral candidate Amanda Lim at the CLC Research Seminar “New Voices: Emerging Paths”. Our session, entitled ‘‘Something That Surprises Even Ourselves,’’ explores the blurring of boundaries of poetic form and tradition.

I am also pairing up with pianist Magdalena Adamek this spring to provide a lecture-recital in collaboration with the Alberta Registered Music Teachers’ Association at Edmonton Piano Centre on May 1. Magdalena will perform some of the music that is featured in my book, and I will share the stories (and poems) behind the music.

In between the promotion of and participation in these many events I have also worked on a novel and written a bit of poetry, and I look forward to writing more now that A Most Beautiful Deception is launched and running free.

Tomson Highway’s Kreisel Lecture

The Henry Kreisel Memorial Lecture is the Canadian Literature Centre’s most prestigious annual public event. In 2014 we enjoyed Tomson Highway’s talk, “Understanding Each Other: the Essential Importance of Multilingualism Through the Prism of Cree, French, and English”. Well, it was a lot more than a talk; there was laughter and piano playing during the multilingual event by one of Canada’s foremost Indigenous voices, which is now available on YouTube.

The published versions of the Kreisler Lectures garner media attention every year, and this year hasn’t been different. Read a snippet of Tomson Highway words on the CBC website, or his  inimitable answers to 8 questions from Canada Reads.


For 2015, the CLC has invited Lynn Coady, Canadian novelist, journalist and TV writer, originally from Cape Breton Island, NS. Her collection of short stories Hellgoing won the 2013 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

The Kreisel Lectures are co-published by the Canadian Literature Centre and the University of Alberta Press, and Tomson Highway’s new book, A Tale of Monstrous Extravagance: Imagining Multilingualism is now available. Previous speakers in the series included, Dany Laferrière, Eden Robinson, Annabel Lion, Lawrence Hill, and Esi Edugyan.

2014 Mountain Guides Ball of ACC

Louise Olinger, the Silent Auction Co-ordinator for the 2014 Mountain Guides Ball of the Alpine Club of Canada and the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, sent us this very kind note to let us know how the donation of our books from the Mountain Cairns Series contributed to the success of this yearly event. Thank you, Louise!

On behalf of the Alpine Club of Canada and the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, I am writing to thank you for your very generous support of the 2014 Mountain Guides Ball. The event was an enormous success with a crowd of just under 300 outdoor enthusiasts. Your donation resulted in a significant contribution towards our fundraising efforts. What a fantastic array of titles! Three of them went for well above retail.

The funds from the silent auction will go toward constructing the Richard & Louise Guy Hut (at Mont des Poilus on the world-class Bow-Yoho ski traverse) which is scheduled to be built during the summer of 2015. The hut will be a demonstration site for green technologies and an extension of our commitment to long term sustainability in off-grid alpine locations, offering visitors the ability to leave a smaller footprint.

We greatly appreciate your donation to this project through your silent auction donation. Find out more about the project at alpineclubofcanada.ca.

We are looking forward to celebrating the completion of the Richard and Louise Guy Hut in 2015.  I hope you will support us again!

This has been a very active year for us and the Mountain Cairns Series. We published two wonderful new books in the series: Climber’s Paradise by PearlAnn Reichwein, and Conrad Kain, edited by Zac Robinson. Both garnered great interest at the 2014 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival.


UAP at the 2014 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival

At the beginning of November the University of Alberta Press had a booth at the 2014 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival. It was our first time in attendance, but their 40th annual gathering, where mountaineers from all around the world gather to watch films, exchange ideas, learn about new books, and award those in the impressive line-up that are most deserving.

And what a wonderful and successful time it was! The setting–Banff Centre–couldn’t have been more picturesque, even when the clouds were low and half of the city of Banff was engulfed in fog.

The Marketplace had a variety of vendors, offering information (CPAWS, Interpretive Guides Association, American Alpine Club, etc.), books, various climbing gear and crafts. There was a lot of interest in our books.

Climber’s Paradise: Making Canada’s Mountain Parks, 1906-1974 by PearlAnn Reichwein was one of the finalists in the Mountain & Wilderness Literature – Non-Fiction category, and Zac Robinson [Conrad Kain: Letters from a Wandering Mountain Guide, 1906-1933] gave a talk on Friday to a crowd of more than 350 people. Both authors spent some time at the UAP booth signing books on Saturday.

The Banff Centre is an environmentally friendly place, paying attention to every aspect of protecting the environment, even having a green team, who made sure that we placed our garbage in the appropriate bins.

By the last day the snow has started to fall, hiding the surrounding mountains from view and making the way back to Edmonton very challenging.

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International Convention of University Presses at Frankfurt Book Fair

Academic publishers from around the world gather each October at the Frankfurt Book Fair to buy and sell international publishing rights and licences, to seek information and compare notes on new publishing technologies and services, and to explore means by which to develop and improve their roles and value in the university enterprise to disseminate new knowledge. The modern Frankfurt Book Fair, established in 1949, is an ideal venue for this exchange. It attracts over 7000 exhibitors, including academic presses, trade publishers, and technology vendors, from 100 countries, as well as nearly 300,000 visitors and 10,000 journalists over its five-day assembly.

In 2014, the second annual, multilingual International Convention of University Presses took place during the fair. Latin American university press networks initiated the International Convention with the goal of establishing links among national and regional university press networks around the world. A roundtable discussion explored the purpose and potential of an international association of university press associations. Taking up the question were representatives from eight countries: Argentina, Columbia, Brazil, Mexico, France, South Africa, the United States, and Canada. Five Canadian university presses (Alberta, Ottawa, Wilfred Laurier, McGill-Queen’s, UBC) attended as members of the Association of Canadian University Presses (ACUP). Linda Cameron, Director of the University of Alberta Press and Past President of ACUP, represented Canada on the roundtable panel.

Among the issues debated, three stood out: 1) with the internationalization of knowledge and the emergence of a global knowledge economy, academic publishing needs better infrastructure to enable and support more translation; 2) more international publishing partnerships are needed to facilitate the wider dissemination of knowledge; and, 3) in support of both of these two issues, a shared understanding of peer review practices is needed, and perhaps international standards for peer review need to be articulated.

Linda Cameron proposed a well-received concrete first step: that group members establish a database of grants and other funding support available in each country for enabling translation into other languages. Later sessions on support for international awareness of the humanities as well as open access cited such an initiative as the type that an international network of university press associations could undertake to effectively support the international flow of knowledge.


Round table "Toward the Formation of an Association of University Press Associations". On stage with Linda Cameron of the University of Alberta Press are: Peter Berkery, Executive Director of the Association of American University Presses; Emmanuelle Corne, AEDRES (L’Association des éditeurs de la recherche et de l’enseignement supérieur), France; and Hetta Pieterse, Unisa Press, South Africa.

Round table “Toward the Formation of an Association of University Press Associations”. On stage with Linda Cameron of the University of Alberta Press are: Peter Berkery, Executive Director of the Association of American University Presses; Emmanuelle Corne, AEDRES (L’Association des éditeurs de la recherche et de l’enseignement supérieur), France; and Hetta Pieterse, Unisa Press, South Africa.


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