For 20 years, Laurentian University English professor Laurence Steven ran Scrivener Press, publishing works by Northern Ontario authors.
But upon his retirement from the university this spring, he shut down Scrivener, the only English-language publishing company in this region.
Two of his former students, Laura Gregorini and Heather Campbell, have stepped in to fill the void.
Both of them local freelance writers, Gregorini and Campbell recently launched their own new publishing company, Latitude 46 Publishing.
“We get to build on what (Steven has) done,” Campbell said. “I'm really grateful for what he's done for the publishing industry in this area. We got a 'yee haw!' from him on Facebook yesterday.”
Appropriately for a Northern Ontario company, the publisher's name refers to the latitude upon which Sudbury sits.
To begin with, the business partners are looking to publish two books this year — an anthology of fictional short stories with a Northern Ontario theme, and one other yet-to-be-determined book.
Unlike Steven, they'll to release books in an electronic format, as well as physical copies. They plan to explore various genres, including possibly graphic novels, and would like to publish First Nations authors.
“I want us to be a thriving publishing company that is able to function in Northern Ontario,” Campbell said.
“That means maybe finding a Northern Ontario writer that gets nominated or awarded some of the bigger prizes that we have in this country. That's what any publisher wants, is to find the gem writers and get them out there
“For me, it's about having the voice of Northern Ontario echoing through the country.”
The publishing industry is competitive, the women say, and without small publishing companies such as Latitude 46 or Scrivener Press, some northern authors might not have a chance to have their work published.
Make no mistake, though, Latitude 46 is no vanity publisher. “We have strict submission guidelines,” Gregorini said.
For more information, or to learn how to submit a story to Latitude 46's first anthology (the submission deadline is Aug. 31), visit latitude46publishing.com.