Thursday, November 29, 2007

CNQ Gift Subscription Offer

The following is a gift subscription offer made to CNQ subscribers, but I post it here in case any Thirsty readers might want to take advantage. If you give a gift subscription to two different individuals, we'll give you a subscription for the same period. And you'll save yourself at least a little time in a mall. Tell me, how much is that worth?

If you're interested, email me at, and I'll give you all the necessary info.

CNQ: Canadian Notes & Queries

“…it may be the best literary journal in the land.”

-John Fraser, Master of Massey College. The National Post

Dear Subscriber,

In the spirit of last-minute Christmas shopping, I am writing you today with a last minute Christmas offer. Like you, we’re a bit behind here: December’s just around the corner, CNQ 72 is in, waiting in the garage to be mailed; there are grants to do and subscriptions to renew. Like you, we do not have our icicle lights up yet, and our tree is still dusty in its box. Christmas spirit is in rather short supply, and the thought of hitting the mall and that crush of shoppers and their parcels isn’t helping either.

Besides, what do you get your friends and loved ones? If you’re like me, you’re finding it harder and harder to find that (near) perfect gift. $20-$30 doesn’t buy much these days, and little of any value. Another scented candle? A bundle of Mark’s Work Warehouse thermal socks? A bottle of wine in a gauzy negligee of a gift bag (complete with a bow?) A small brick of Marks & Spencer fruit cake? That’s about it. And nothing says I didn’t think about this at all like all of the above.

(Yes: I know. There are books. But bringing that up wouldn’t help my case now, would it?)

But a gift subscription to CNQ is different. Not only does it say you thought about it, it says you like to think (and let’s face it, gift giving is at least a little bit about the giver). And, just as importantly, it says that you think the giftee likes to think too. You’re saying that your friend or loved one cares about Canadian art, literature and culture, that they deserve so much more than the great aunt’s yearly subscription to Reader’s Digest or People; that art, literature and criticism are more important than crock pot recipes, fashion and celebrity gossip.

As a subscriber, you’ve seen how we’ve revamped and expanded and revitalized CNQ. You’ve had the chance to read Mike Barnes on Libraculture, Robyn Sarah on Publishing (Too Much) Poetry, Carmine Starnino on the noir-esque Karen Solie. We hope you’ll agree with Dennis Lee, who recently wrote to us about the magazine and said in part: “Bravissimo! Piece after piece has a wonderful mix of intelligence, maniacal caring, and (dare I say it?) generosity of spirit. Almost gives you hope for critical thought in this country.” You know about the passion and thoughtfulness (and the occasional typo). You’ve seen the love (& what is Christmas about, if not love?).

We also expect that you know others who might appreciate CNQ. Many of you are writers or editors or academics or librarians or booksellers or teachers; all of you are readers. We’re certain you know at least two like-minded souls out there who might just love to receive a subscription to CNQ. At present we have 300 paying subscribers, and about 100 newsstand readers. Even with government grants, it’s pretty difficult to sustain a magazine with these kind of numbers. And we simply refuse to believe that that’s all there are out there who care about Canadian art and literature. Even in a country of 35 million (and growing) the Aesthetic Underground must be larger than that.

Which is where you & this offer come in (& as with all holiday offers, there’s something in it for you):

Give a one-year gift subscription to two separate individuals for Christmas, and we’ll add a free year to your account. Give a two-year subscription to two separate recipients, and we’ll add two free years to your account. All gift subscriptions will come with a Christmas card letting your recipient know that this thoughtful gift came from you. (And if you’re one of those lifetime subscribers who hasn’t paid a cent since William Morley or Doug Fetherling ran the magazine (bah humbug) think about all the money you’ve saved. Certainly enough for two measly little gift subscriptions, don’t you think?)

All you have to do is fill in the enclosed form with the names and addresses and length of subscriptions for your gift subscriptions, and mail it back to us (with a cheque, of course). We’ll take care of the rest, starting the new subscriptions with issue 72. We’ll send a pretty card with your name on it. And, for these people on your Christmas list, at least, no trip to the mall will be necessary.

Think about it for a moment: if all 300 of our subscribers gave just two gift subscriptions this year, we’d go from being one of the smallest critical journals in the land to among the largest. We’d have a bit more security (though, alas, no dental). We’d be able to pay our writers more, and our editors something. Colour signatures for the art pieces? Perhaps one of those little water wheels so that we won’t risk glue poisoning? It’s enough to get me excited.

So sing along with me: All I want for Christmas is 600 new subscriptions, 600 new subscriptions, 600 new subscriptions …

Happy Holidays,


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