Who are we?
The Northern Appeal is a biannual, non-profit, literary journal native to the Simcoe County and Muskoka region of Ontario. Founded by Victoria Butler and Will Crosson, the journal showcases poetry, short stories, photography and artwork from northern Ontarian artists and writers.
Why a literary journal?
There is a void in the culture of Simcoe County and Muskoka that needs to be filled. You can turn any corner in Toronto and stumble upon a poetry reading in a dimly lit bar or café. A short stroll through the Toronto public library reveals posters among posters asking for writers and artists to submit their work to various journals and magazines. However, you drive an hour up north and the posters disappear. The quaint cafés and quiet bars still exist, but the poetry vanishes.
As young writers and artists growing up in Barrie Ontario, we found a severe lack of local publications where we could submit and potentially showcase our work. After graduating high school and venturing off to university, we discovered that there was not just an absence of an avenue for young writers, but there were no outlets available to creatives of any age.
We believe this needs to change.
Simcoe County and Muskoka have a number of well established institutions that showcase visual arts, music, and drama. Unfortunately there are very few publications dedicated to the literary arts in our community, making it difficult for local writers to showcase their work. The Northern Appeal will be an essential avenue for writers in our area to gain exposure.
A literary journal for the Simcoe County and Muskoka area would help foster a culture that is encouraging and supportive of artists and writers. It would help turn our community into a space where artistic talent and literature can grow. Creatives may feel less pressure to move away in order to find an artistic community. We want the voices of small town Canadians to be heard.
Our dream is to have a published, physical journal full of curated poetry, short stories, photography and visual artwork available in bookstores and cafés around Simcoe County and Muskoka. While The Northern Appeal will be available online for free, we want a physical journal to be available for readers to purchase as well. The written word is ancient. It is a tradition almost everyone experiences. We believe that actually holding and touching a book or piece of writing allows the reader to have a much more intimate experience with the words. Digitizing things eliminates that intimacy. Unfortunately, publishing is expensive, and we are currently attempting to raise funds to publish our first issue. If you are interested in donating, click here.