On Spec Issue #77

onspec77On Spec Summer 2009 #77
Vol. 21 No. 2


  • “Don’t Swear at the Editors” by Barb Galler-Smith


  • The Resident Guest By Sandra Glaze
  • The Far-springer by E. Catherine Tobler
  • Surveillance by Jonathan Cresswell-Jones
  • Case 143 by Robert Piotrowski
  • Emily’s Shadow By A.J. Onia
  • The Exchange by Karen Keeley
  • Angel in the Corner by Benjamin Gleisser
  • The Gospel Truth by Rhonda Collis
  • Left-hand Turn by C. Burger


  • The Drowning Ones by Colleen Anderson
  • Topography by Amy Dennis


  • Feature Author Interview: Benjamin Gleisser & Chaos Theory by Roberta Laurie
  • Feature Artist Interview: Jason Dirks by Lyn X

On Spec

onspecEstablished: 1989
Editor(s): The editorial team has changed over the years. Current for 2009, we have Diane Walton as the Managing Editor, Barb Galler-Smith (Fiction Editor), Susan MacGregor (Fiction Editor), Ann Marston (Fiction Editor), Robin Carson (Copy Editor) and Barry Hammond (Poetry Editor).
Design/layout: Lynette Bondarchuk, Production Editor
Administration Staff: Jen Laface, Publisher’s Assistant

Our quarterly journal On Spec adheres to a strong mandate that has served us well over the years. We discover and showcase quality works by predominantly Canadian writers and artists, in the genres we call “Speculative and Fantastic” literature. We foster the growth of emerging writers in this genre, by offering support and direction through constructive criticism, education, mentoring, and manuscript development. We try to publish as many new writers as possible, alongside works by established writers, and we also endeavor to support these writings with innovative cover art for every thought and emotion-provoking issue! We pay $50 to $200 for short stories (maximum 6,000 words) and poetry. As a member of Magazines Canada, we are currently undertaking an endeavor to offer our issues in a digital format to download through Zinio.

Our History:
In 1989, a small group of Edmonton writers formed The Copper Pig Writers Society in order to fill a niche in Canada. At the time, there was no paying market for literary works that the major American SF & Fantasy magazines deemed to be too “alien” for their audiences.

English-speaking Canadian SF writers were frustrated with having to “Americanize” their stories for the paying markets. We knew there was an audience hungry for thoughtful, intelligent (often unconventional) SF and Fantasy with a uniquely Canadian perspective. After selling out our initial print run of a test issue filled with stories sent to us by invitation, we began receiving inquiries as to when the “next one” would appear. That was nearly twenty years ago!

Awards and Recognition:
Nomination – 2008 Aurora Award for Best Work in English (Other), Diane Walton, Managing Editor
Winner – 1997 Aurora Award for Best Work in English (Other), The Copper Pig Writers’ Society
Winner – 1995 Aurora Award for Best Work in English (Other), The Copper Pig Writers’ Society
Winner – 1991 Aurora Award for Best Work in English (Other), The Copper Pig Writers’ Society
Winner – 1990 Aurora Award for Best Work in English (Other), The Copper Pig Writers’ Society

Other Items of Interest:
“The ABCs on how NOT to write speculative fiction” seminars. Our editors have presented at the Canadian Authors Association (CAA) Edmonton Branch and Edmonton Youth Week in 2009.
We also have a MySpace account and “I Read On Spec” Facebook group and a Facebook Fan Page.