Arts & Literary Magazines Summit

Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27, 2020

Join us Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27, 2020 for the 2020 Arts & Literary Magazines Summit! This programming for arts, literary and cultural magazines will pick up where last year’s Summit left off, with a continued focus on diversity and intergenerational networking.

Curated by Lindsay Nixon, Editor-at-Large for Canadian Art, and hosted by Casey Plett, winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Fiction and the First Novel Award, this year’s Summit line-up delves more deeply into the business side of magazines. All-star panels will kick off lively discussions on what makes magazines tick, with presentations on circulation, marketing and promotions. Be prepared to share and collaborate during the interactive afternoon session.

Special bonus: The Summit also includes a conversation between Toronto MPP Jill Andrew, NDP critic for Culture and Women’s Issues, and Canadian Art editor Jayne Wilkinson on the state of criticism in publishing. You won’t want to miss out on this dialogue.

This full-day event is included with a full MagNet pass or available as a separate purchase. If you have any questions about the Summit, please contact Kiley Pole at


8:30 – 9:00 Breakfast/Networking Coffee

9:00 – 9:30 Keynote Speaker
Jael Richardson, Artistic Director, Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD)

9:30 – 10:00 Culture as Criticism
Dr. Jill Andrew, MPP (Toronto—St. Paul’s), NDP Critic, Culture and Women’s Issues; Jayne Wilkinson, Editor-in-Chief, Canadian Art

Jill Andrew—Member of Provincial Parliament for Toronto-St. Paul’s and the ONDP Culture Critic—will join Canadian Art Editor-in-Chief Jayne Wilkinson in a conversation about the current state and future of cultural criticism in Canadian publishing.

10:00 – 10:30 Coffee Break

10:30 – 11:45 Visual Story-Telling for Community-Engaged Audiences
Miriam Ho, Editor-in-Chief, Site; Sharine Taylor Editor-in-Chief, Founder, Publisher, Bashy; Moderator: Jennifer Varkonyi, Publisher, Maisonneuve

Perhaps one of the most elusive factors of circulation is that “je ne sais quoi” factor: what makes a magazine jump off the newsstand and into the reader’s hands, from content headers to layout? And arts and lit magazines face unique challenges generating aesthetically appealing content for visually-influenced audiences who are engaged in community-based movements and social politics. Learn how are magazines, known as content and layout trendsetters, are appealing to diverse audiences across digital and print platforms.

11:45 – 1:00 Lunch

Enjoy a delicious buffet lunch in MagNet Square and rub elbows with MagNeteers!

1:00 – 2:00 Arts and Lit in the Market
L’Amour Lisik, Social Media, Marketing & Circulation Manager, The Malahat Review; AnnMarie MacKinnon, Publisher, Geist; Moderator: Kayi Wong, Marketing Coordinator, Room Magazine

As Cardi B says on the Netflix series Hustle + Flow, “this is the social media generation.” But arts and literature literary magazines can struggle to attract the same social media followings as general interest magazines in Canada. Communications and marketing specialists at magazines known for their established online presence and inventive social media strategies, meant to reach diverse audiences, will lead a discussion about marketing arts and literature to Canadian audiences.

2:00 – 3:15 Arts and Lit Podcasting
Sarah Melton, Host and Producer, Brick Podcast; Matthew Blackett, Publisher, Spacing; Jeremy Leslie, Creative Director, magCulture

Podcasting has quickly situated itself as a key way to connect with audiences engaged in publishing. Producers of literary podcasts will discuss why they podcast and who they podcast for. Panelists will also consider the technical aspects to aid any would-be podcasters such as how to make a quality podcast, the differences between writing, editing, and conceptualizing projects for audio versus for a magazine. , Panelists will take you through the challenges of starting and sustaining a low-budget podcast, what makes a good interview or podcast episode, and what audio could add to a magazine or literary journal that print isn’t able to.

3:15 – 3:30 Coffee Break 

3:30 – 4:30 Round Table Discussions

4:30 – 4:35 Closing remarks

4:35 – 6:30 Cocktail Reception

For more information on pricing, click here.