Toronto-based Cormorant Books is launching a children's and YA imprint, Dancing Cat Books, which will focus on literary fiction, nonfiction and poetry for young adults and middle grades. It will also publish picture books. Three books are set for this fall and Dancing Cat will do eight in 2011 and 10 the next year.
Cormorant is a respected small press with a good record of publishing first books by authors who go on to success and critical acclaim such as Scotiabank Giller Prize winners Elizabeth Hay and Joseph Boyden. The company has published some children's books before, and publisher Marc Côté said the success of two books by artist Charles Pachter and the support shown by children's booksellers first sparked the idea of a new imprint. "When Barry Jowett [co-ordinator of editorial and production] joined Cormorant in the fall of 2009, he brought with him his commitment to quality YA books and then, in December, Gail Winskill and I began to talk. Her enthusiasm, experience and previous successes made the decision to establish Dancing Cat very easy," said Côté.
Winskill, who will be publisher of Dancing Cat Books, is an industry veteran with 30 years experience with companies such as Scholastic Canada and Penguin Group (Canada). For the past 11 years, she has worked at Fitzhenry & Whiteside Publishers as the children's publisher, expanding its primarily educational list to include trade titles. Announcing the new imprint, Winskill said, "I'm delighted to find a home with a publisher whose reputation for high literary standards matches my own ambitions for this imprint." Winskill is joined by another veteran, her former Fitzhenry & Whiteside colleague editor Ann Featherstone.
In January, Cormorant also announced the creation of a new poetry line that will publish four books of poetry a year beginning in spring 2011.