TouchWood Editions is an independent book publisher based in Victoria, BC, Canada.
We are a small team of creatives who share a big love of eating, drinking, exploring the region, and diving into stories that expand and deepen our worldview. Our best work happens when creating beautiful books on topics that ignite our passion: food and wine, regional history, art and photography, gardening and pets, house and home, and quality literary fiction titles.
Individually and collectively, we value how these topics speak to our sense of belonging and place. In this spirit, we gratefully acknowledge that the land on which we live and work is within the traditional territories of the Lkwungen (Esquimalt, and Songhees), Malahat, Pacheedaht, Scia’new, T’Sou-ke and W̱SÁNEĆ (Pauquachin, Tsartlip, Tsawout, Tseycum) peoples.
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “knock on wood.” The British version is “touch wood.” This little ritual is akin to crossing your fingers, a simple gesture meant to seek blessings and luck. Some say that to touch a tree is to seek a blessing from the benevolent spirit that inhabits it, and others say that this phrase has its origins in the auction house: when the auctioneer’s gavel finally strikes its wooden block, the item you’ve bid on becomes yours. We like to think our readers receive a little blessing every time they touch the pages of one of our books.
The roots of TouchWood Editions reach back to 1984 when Marlyn Horsdal and Michael Schubart started Horsdal & Schubart (H&S), a small publishing company based on Salt Spring Island. Their goal was to carry on the legacy of Gray’s Publishing, one of British Columbia’s earliest book publishers, by publishing similar types of books. H&S published mainly non-fiction titles: history and biography, often favouring nautical books, and always authored by writers from western and northern Canada.
In 2000, H&S was purchased by current owner, Pat Touchie, and renamed TouchWood Editions. We continued to build our reputation on producing quality books of cultural and historical significance to BC, specifically Vancouver Island and BC’s west coast. Our backlist is anchored by titles that recount the true stories of BC historical figures and events. Some of these legacy titles include Heart of the Raincoast (1998), Voyages of Hope: The Saga of the Bride-Ships (2002), and Stella: An Unrepentant Madam (2005), among others. Today, we proudly continue to build our reputation in this genre. For example, we recently published Boom & Bust: The Resilient Women of Historic Telegraph Cove (which received Honourable Mention for the 2019 Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing), Victoria Unbuttoned:A Red-Light History of BC’s Capital City (2021), Craigdarroch Castle in 21 Treasures (2021), and E. J. Hughes: Canadian War Artist (2022).
Brindle & Glass
Originally founded by Ruth Linka and Lee Shedden in 2001, Brindle & Glass became the literary imprint of TouchWood Editions in 2013. Brindle & Glass continues to live up to its original mandate to showcase the varied, unique, and homegrown literary talents of Western Canadians. Through literary fiction, memoir, and narrative nonfiction, B&G offers compelling and relevant stories that represent diverse people and perspectives.
Over the past decade, we’ve become an award-winning publisher in many categories and are proud to report recent nominations and wins: In 2020 Michael Layland’s In Nature’s Realm won the BC Book Awards’ Basil-Stuart Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Book on BC and the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing. As well, Meteorites by Julie Paul was shortlisted for the ReLit Award; From Bear Rock Mountain by Antoine Bear Rock Mountain won the Northwords Book Award; and Cedar and Salt by DL Acken and Emily Lycopolus won the Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design and a Gourmand World Cookbook Award, and was a finalist for the Taste Canada Awards, the BC and Yukon Book Prizes, and the Pacific Northwest Books Award.
In 2021 Iona Whishaw’s A Match Made for Murder won the Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award; Always Brave, Sometimes Kind by Katie Bickell won the Alberta Literary Awards’ George Bugnet Award for Fiction and was shortlisted for the ReLit Awards; The E. J. Hughes Book of Boats by Robert Amos won the Bill Duthie Bookseller’s Choice Award; and Orphans of Empire by Grant Buday was a finalist for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize. Flat Out Delicious by Jenn Sharp was shortlisted for four Saskatchewan Book Awards and was a finalist for the Taste Canada Awards alongside Bisous and Brioche by Laura Bradbury and Rebecca Wellman.
In 2022 A Lethal Lesson by Iona Whishaw was a finalist for the BC and Yukon Book Prizes; Distilleries of Vancouver Island by Marianne Scott and Menno-Nightcaps by S. L. Klassen were finalists for the Taste Canada Awards; the audio book for Dance Me to the End by Alison Acheson (narrated by Ellen Dubin) was nominated for the Society of Voice Arts and Sciences Voice Arts Award; Brian Thomas Isaac’s debut novel, All the Quiet Places was longlisted for CBC’s Canada Reads and the Scotiabank Giller Prize, a finalist for the 2022 Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction and the Amazon Canada First Novel Award, and won the Indigenous Voices Awards’ Published Prose in English Prize.
In 2023, Only in Saskatchewan by Naomi Hansen and E. J. Hughes: Canadian War Artist by Robert Amos won gold prizes in the 2022 PubWest Book Design Awards, and Butter and Flower by Ann Allchin was awarded bronze in the same competition.
- Tori Elliott︱Publisher
- Kate Kennedy︱Editorial Coordinator
- Curtis Samuel | Publicist and Social Media Coordinator