Introducing the Coach House Books Non-fiction Indigenous Advisory Board: zaagigin
In January 2022, Coach House Books announced the establishment of a Non-fiction Indigenous Advisory Board, whose members – Denise Bolduc, Hayden King, Emily Riddle and Kim Wheeler – will acquire books for the new imprint zaagigin.
As the Board explains, ‘The name is Anishinaabemowin and describes when a sprout comes out of the earth. It is related to the Anishinaabemowin word for love. The associated teaching about the nehiyaw words (which are very similar) tells us that love is about giving people room/support for them to grow, so providing room for Indigenous writers to bring forth new non-fiction works is an act of love.’
As a collective of Indigenous editors, we are drawn to writing that offers compelling narratives of Indigenous land and life. We aim to support authors who challenge readers on issues as varied as records of Indigenous resistance, the reclamation of Indigenous political, social, cultural and economic practices and contemporary Indigenous realities.
In this case, we are most interested in manuscripts and proposals related to the following topics:
- Land Back & Food Sovereignty
- Indigenous Law and Policy
- Northern Perspectives & Urban Indigenous Life
- Black and Indigenous Solidarity (or Black Indigenous perspectives)
- Records of 1950-2000 Indigenous History Leadership, Rights and Activism
- Queer, Trans, and Two-Spirit Organizing and Community Indigenous Art and Music
Some non-fiction books we are inspired by:
In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado; A History of My Brief Body by Billy-Ray Belcourt; White Magic by Elissa Washuta; Fresh Banana Leaves: Healing Indigenous Landscapes Through Indigenous Science by Jessica Hernandez; Indigenous Toronto: Stories That Carry This Place edited by Bolduc et al; Unsettling Canada: A National Wake Up Call by Arthur Manual and Ronald Derrickson; Wrestling with Colonialism on Steroids: Quebec Inuit Fight for Their Homeland by Zebedee Nungak; ohpikinâwasowin / Growing a Child: Implementing Indigenous Ways of Knowing with Indigenous Families Edited by Leona Makokis, Ralph Bodor, Avery Calhoun and Stephanie Tyler.
Proposals and pitches should include:
An outline/covering letter, a table of contents, a sample chapter, some brief biographical information on the author(s), and, if desired, an overview of what else has been published recently on the proposed topic. Pitches via literary agents are welcome, but will not be prioritized over other proposals.
Submissions will be reviewed regularly by the zaagigin board and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. zaagigin will ensure that authors (or agents) whose proposals have not been accepted will be notified in a timely way.