Let's Make Something Together

Update: As of Spring 2021 I have book projects lined up for about a year. I am not scheduling collaborations past that at this time. I'm not sure what my life and studio access will be in 2022 and I don't want to make commitments I can't stick to! That said, if you want to send me a writing sample for consideration, I'm happy to have a look and file it away if it's promising for when I have some time. Also, following me on Instagram @penrosepress is the best way to hear about news and collaboration opportunities as they come up.


 This page used to be called "submit your writing" but that just doesn't feel right anymore. I am not a publisher. I am an artist who often makes books (and/or art objects that include text) and working with someone whose creative practice is different from mine means that both of us can expand our horizons and make something outside of our respective wheelhouses. 

Now that I've opened the possibilities way up, I think it's time to narrow the focus just a little: 

  • My strength is in the printing and constructing of a physical object. The labour involved in this means that I will only work on editions of up to 100
  • I'm not interested in having any rights over your contribution beyond printing and distributing those 100 objects. If you want to take your writing, or your design, or any other content you brough to our collaboration and release it elsewhere in another format, go for it. I'm happy to gve your alternative format a promtional boost but I can't be responsible for it long-term. For one of the poets I've had the opportunity to work with, this means self-publishing a paperback edition of her book at the same time as we're working on the bookarts project.
  • One of my favourite things about a collaborative creative practice is being given the opportunity to speak to experiences and perspectives that are outside my own. Know that if you are a black, Indigenous, person of colour, trans*, or queer human in a different stage of life than me, I will work to recognize your specific needs and goals. 
  • If you're a writer, you may want to think of a collaboration with me as a side project to realize your wildest book design dreams. You can reach a new audience or treat your existing audience to something really special. I'm going to say this once more for the people in the back: this is not traditional, or even indie publishing. This is an artist (me) who likes to team up and challenge reader's conceptions of the physical book. When Jasmine Gui came to me with the poem If a Carp Dreams of the Milky Way, she said in that first email that she envisioned it as a scroll and she didn't know who else to go to with that idea (uh, so many creative dreams were recognized by that email). I had never made a scroll before but that didn't stop me from doing some research and producing something pretty awesome (if I do say so myself).
  • If you're another kind of creative (because there are so many of you falling into your own carefully defined niches, I won't try to list you), hi! It's hard for me to know what a collaboration between us would look like until we've had a chance to chat, so you get to make the first move! What do you do? What do you dream of doing, if all your restrictions fell away? Can you show me some of your recent work to get the wheels spinning in my creativity factory? 
  • I'm excited to work with people who have vision, who can stand back and look at the whole of a collection of images or poems. What makes a body of work besides the fact that one person made it within a specific time period? What themes wander through the pieces, obviously and subtly? Bonus points: know your audience and be able to describe them to me so we can look at the overlap and see who this project is for besides our friends and family.
  • I work well with others who feel all the feelings, like I do. I'm not afraid of tears, but you can't be either.
  • This is not the place for your writing centered on the defense or critique of masculinity. I'm not saying there isn't a place, but it's not here.
  • Money matters: under the umbrella of Penrose Press, you do not pay a cent towards the production of our project together. Once we launch the project, we use the first few sales to cover material costs and then we split sales half and half. We'll make a contract together to iron out these details and make sure everyone is on the same page before starting.

If you have some more questions you want answered you can email me or send a direct message to me on instagram @penrosepress. I think I like the idea of starting off with a conversation, but feel free to hit me with a more fully formed idea if that's what you've got. 

Can you feel the potential brewing?

Much love,

Brianna Tosswill