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, the only paying markets for SF short fiction were the major American magazines. When we sent our work south, we’d often be told it was good, but simply 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 a very long time ago. Editors have come and gone, and we are proud that some of them have made significant contributions to Canada’s literary scene, by becoming novelists.
Our little 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 genre we call “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 endeavour to support these writings with innovative cover art for every mind-bending and emotion-provoking issue!
We love to get to as many events as we can, and you can often find an On Spec table in the Dealer room of your regional or national convention (come by the table and say “Hi”). If you’re interested in having On Spec come to your event, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the details.
Back Issue Information
We no longer sell physical copies of our back issues, but you can still get information on their content and the writers we have published over the years. The Internet Speculative Fiction Database maintains a listing of every On Spec back issue and its contents, among the many other such listings the site maintains. It’s a great place to start if you need to research something from On Spec’s past.