U of T professor Nick Mount has parted ways with The Walrus, a magazine which publishes longform journalism along with creative works, after serving as its fiction editor for five years.
The English professor first joined The Walrus’ team as a fiction writer in 2010.
In an interview with the National Post following his appointment, he commented that publishing the writers he taught in his classes was an “extension” of his commitment to “introducing readers to the best writers of our time and place.”
However, he recently ran into disagreements with The Walrus’ management team, when it expressed concern about the publication of fiction pieces featuring words they deemed too lewd for print.
Issues between Mount and the magazine date back to January, when Mount published a short story by Stephen Marche that included a description of an act of bestiality, according to The Globe and Mail.
The decision to publish the piece was met with outrage from some readers, who even cancelled their subscriptions, prompting the management team to warn Mount about publishing controversial material.
On September 16, Mount sent an email to past contributors announcing his resignation, explaining that the magazine’s shift towards publishing more family-friendly fiction did not parallel his own literary interests.
Marche and Margaret Atwood, authors who have previously contributed to The Walrus, were amongst those who expressed their support for Mount and his contributions to Canadian literature.
While there have been rumours of alleged censorship, Mount seemed understanding of the magazine’s choices. In his resignation letter, he acknowledged that the publishing team likely had its own priorities, including securing advertising and maintaining readership. Mount noted that he and the magazine had parted ways amicably.
Mount declined The Varsity’s request for an interview.