BC and Yukon Book Prizes Shortlist

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Mona Fertig retiring

December 14th, 2021

After thirteen years and 52 books, Mona Fertig, founder of Mother Tongue Publishing (MTP) has announced she will retire at the end of year.

“I began Mother Tongue’s literary trade publishing venture enthusiastically in 2008,” says Fertig. “The book publishing business is a highly competitive and complex world, and the hustle has only increased.”

The pandemic made business more difficult adds Fertig. “During this time our book sales dropped 65% and have only improved slightly. The Canada Council and BC Arts Council emergency funds helped in sustaining MTP, paying the printers, designers, bookkeeper, accountant, editors, royalties, and advertisers, but sales have increased very slowly, despite MTP spending more on advertising.”

Mona Fertig began promoting poetry and the arts in B.C. long before 2008. In the 1970s, she organized poetry readings and produced a poetry show on Co-op Radio, which led to opening what she calls the first “literary centre” in Canada – the Literary Storefront (1978 – 1985). Now, after fifty years of service to B.C.’s literary community, Fertig says, “I am ‘ready’ (definition of Fertig) to have more time for my poetry, myself, my family and my grandchildren!”

Mona Fertig in her Literary Storefront days.

Fertig will keep Mother Tongue Publishing and promote the company’s backlist, 2020 – 21 titles and authors into 2022-23 by submitting their books to various awards, reading series, etc., as well as paying royalties every year. But she will not be signing any new authors.

“I am very grateful for all the wonderful years of special events, writer, book and art celebrations, the amazing and highly rewarding art sleuthing adventures, and all the good friends we’ve made while bringing Mother Tongue to the fore,” she says. “What a rich and interesting time it’s been! Mother Tongue has attained an excellent reputation as a small regional literary press and most of my authors are happy authors. I believe our beautiful books, (40% were shortlisted or won awards), have made an important and timeless contribution to the literature of Canada.”


Mother Tongue Publishing is holding a December book sale with free shipping and 25 – 40% off many of its titles.

For more information, go to this link: https://www.mothertonguepublishing.com/shop/?store-page=December-Sale-25-Off-Free-Shipping-in-Canada-c123705589

One Response to “Mona Fertig retiring”

  1. Alan Byrom says:

    I have a Poetic License card with my signature on it. Issued by yours truly. Probably around 1972, when I worked in Gastown. I haven’t forgotten you, Mona. I have 10 m/s of unpublished poems. I was probably 27 when I met you.
    I’m 78 now. I live in Yukon. My story is on Facebook, House of Byrom, scroll to Dream Medicine Bundle. Best wishes, Alan

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