Defining Taddle Creek was no easy task, which is one of the reasons it often refused to do so. Taddle Creek will concede that it was a magazine—one that appeared every six months on newsstands, in mailboxes, and through digital devices. Each issue contained an eclectic mix of fiction, poetry, comics, art, interviews, and non-fiction features stories. An editorial mix like Taddle Creek’s was rare, leading Taddle Creek to best define itself as a “general-interest literary magazine.”
Taddle Creek’s contributors were among the famous, the infamous, the long-since famous, the never-to-be famous, the up-and-coming, the down-and-going, and the never to be heard from again. Their work is humorous, poignant, ephemeral, urban, and rarely overly earnest. Theme issues of the magazine were few and far between, and when they did pop up, they were not of the themes one might expect. Taddle Creek took its mission to be the journal for those who detested everything the literary magazine has become in the twenty-first century very seriously, with rigorous editorial values and a keen eye on design.
Taddle Creek supplemented its semi-annual publication schedule in a number of ways, with live events, a newsletter, a Web site, a podcast, the odd video, art shows, a series of social media feeds, and the occasional special publication or piece of merchandise.
Taddle Creek was founded in 1997 as a Christmas annual for Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood and the surrounding communities of Seaton Village, Christie-Ossington, Little Italy, Palmerston, Sussex-Ulster, Huron-Sussex, and the University of Toronto area. By the end of 2000, an insatiable need for expansion saw Taddle Creek increase its frequency to twice a year, widen its availability to all of Toronto, and launch both its Web site and e-newsletter. In 2002, Taddle Creek became available nationally across Canada and eventually published work by anyone from anywhere. Originally a black and white journal, Taddle Creek began dabbling in colour in 2007, eventually throwing all future staff raises to the wind and becoming a full-colour publication in 2009. In 2015, another grand expansion led to the creation of The Taddle Creek Podcast, a YouTube channel, and an ill-fated app.
Finally, in 2022, the magazine decided the fun and merriment had lasted long enough, and chose to bring itself to a satisfying end, with a giant-sized final issue and, in 2023, a hardcover book anthology.
The Editorial Style
High editorial and production standards were Taddle Creek’s top priority. All works appearing in the magazine went through a rigorous process of editing, fact checking, copy editing, and proofreading. The magazine’s main editorial reference was the Chicago Manual of Style, though this was superseded by Taddle Creek’s in-house style guide—an amalgam of rules specific to the magazine and a list of instances where rules from past editions of Chicago overrule newer changes Taddle Creek simply did not agree with.
Also of frequent reference was The Taddle Creek Guide to Fact-Checking Fiction.
Taddle Creek’s official spelling resource was the Oxford English Dictionary. Though the magazine often referred to the O.E.D.’s abridgement the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, it did so less frequently as time went on, since the Canadian Oxford hasn’t been updated since 2003. Honestly, some days Taddle Creek just had to wing it.
Nearly every work published in Taddle Creek since its inception is available for free on the magazine’s Web site, found either via the above subject menus, each print issue’s contents page, or the downloadable PDFs located on the top of said contents pages. If, like Taddle Creek, you prefer your magazines in print format, take note that complete hard copy sets of Taddle Creek are archived by Library and Archives Canada; the Toronto Reference Library; the John P. Robarts Research Library and the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, at the University of Toronto; the Vancouver Public Library; the University of British Columbia Library; the Banff Centre Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives; and the University at Buffalo Libraries. (The Taddle Creek Web Site is also archived by Library and Archives Canada.)
The Editor-in-Chief, Publisher, Art Director & Founder
Conan Tobias (1997–2022)
The Associate Editors
Kerri Huffman (1997–2002), Andrew Daley (2004–2009), Grace O’Connell (2012–2014), Suzanne Alyssa Andrew (2015–2019)
The Copy Editors
Rebecca Caldwell (1997–2002), Kevin Connolly (2003–2022)
Rebecca Caldwell (1997–2002), Joyce Byrne (2003–2022)
The Contributing Editors
Alfred Holden (1997–2022), Dave Lapp (2004–2022)
The Contributing Designer
John Montgomery (2000–2022)
Ian Phillips (1997–2012), Matthew Daley (2009–2022), Hartley Lin (2012–2022)
Aaron Hawco (1997–1998), Phillip Smith (1999–2005), Mark Lyall (2005–2008), Thomas Blanchard (2008–2022)
The Web Site Developers
Phillip Smith, John Piasetzki, Matthew McKinnon
TADDLE CREEK was published semi-annually in print (ISSN 1480-2481), in June and December, and online (ISSN 1710-8632), by Vitalis Publishing, P.O. Box 611, Station P, Toronto, Ontario M5S 2Y4 Canada. Canadian Publications Mail Agreement No. 40708524. Taddle Creek acknowledges the financial support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. Taddle Creek also acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada, through the Canadian Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage, in the creation of this Web site. Taddle Creek was a member of Magazines Canada. All rights reserved. No part of the print or online version of this periodical may be reproduced in any form without the consent of Taddle Creek or the individual authors.