Intervention: Font by Linda Leith presents emerging literary talents

Author and book publisher Linda Leith at her home in Westmount, Que., on January 19.Stephanie Foden/The Globe and Mail

The organizer: Linda Leith

The pitch: Create a font

The reason: Promote new Quebec writers

Linda Leith has had a long career as a writer, editor and festival organizer, and she is always on the lookout for new talent from a variety of backgrounds.

Last fall, Ms. Leith launched Font, a free online literary magazine that features a host of emerging Quebec writers, poets, playwrights and other artists. Font publishes several selections each month and began last November with the works of 11 young black writers. The December magazine featured artists from the Eastern Townships and future issues will include plays by Montreal playwrights as well as Aboriginal writers from across the province.

The site is funded by a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts and contributions from several charities, including the Fédération des écrivains du Québec. Contributors are paid for their submissions and Ms. Leith, who runs Linda Leith Publishing, volunteers on Font.

“The idea behind Font is, above all, to publish, promote and compensate early-career writers from marginalized communities across Quebec,” Ms. Leith said from her home in Montreal. His hope is that many of those featured in Font will be picked up by publishers. “In other words, we’re doing what we can to open doors for these writers.”

Ms Leith said she was impressed with the new talent that has found a voice in Font. This includes a group of writers from the Montreal Black Community Resource Center who are writing a book on the history of black Montreal which Ms. Leith plans to publish.

Font “feels like a really fresh new start,” she said. “I would like this to be firmly established because I think it does a great service. This gives some visibility to some really remarkable young talents.

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