Episode 22: Erin Klassen, Editor in Chief of With/Out Pretend

Today we continue Maple Leaf May by interviewing Erin Klassen. She’s a writer, founder, and Editor in Chief of With/out Pretend.

(What, you think we’d just leave Canada without lingering?)

With/out Pretend is an independent Toronto-based publisher focused on producing, promoting and distributing works by women and non-binary writers and artists. They also host storytelling events and run a digital and print magazine called The Vault.

Erin Klassen is the founder of With/out Pretend. She’s also an editor, collaborator, community-builder, and fiction writer. Her work has appeared in a number of print and online publications, including Studio Magazine, The CBC, Ephemera Magazine, and You Care Too Much. She enjoys Nina Simone, Italian food, and talking about the future.

Erin shares how she curates a diverse collection of women and non-binary creators, revealing how her collaborative zine examines a range of human emotions that many literary journals overlook. Erin shows us how With/out Pretend and The Vault make the creation process transparent from the seed of an idea through its full-grown splendor. Plus, Erin gets real about the financial side of independent publishing.

We also explore the subject of genuine (non-Goopified) self-care, and we all agree on our favorite Kid in the Hall.

Find Erin Klassen, With/out Pretend, and the Vault On Social Media

Get books and zines from With/out Pretend

Check out On Pleasure and throw your hat in for the giveaway)

On Pleasure includes writing from Alicia Bunyan-Sampson, Mollie Coles Tonn, Colleen Conroy, Lizzie Derksen, Jaime Eisen, Margeaux Feldman, Ruchika Gothosar, Carvela Lee, Brooke Manning, Maria Isabel Martinez, Kyisha Williams, and Kristen Zimmer. It’s Illustrated by Violeta Noy, and features photography by Alison Maxwell.

Then at 36:55 Emily and Corinne air some grievances

To maintain the inspirational glow of our interview with Erin, stop the podcast at 36:55. After that, Emily and Corinne gripe about (more) careless disregard for the people who make traditional publishing possible. Specifically, we talk about the recent layoffs at Portland’s own Oni Press in the wake of its merger with Lion Forge. We also lament the withdrawal of Baker & Taylor from the retail and wholesale business. Long story short? Monopolies should GTFO.


Get in on our giveaway of two physical zines from our sisters to the north. We’re giving away one copy of You Care Too Much from the Vault and a copy of Return Trip, created by Episode 21’s interviewee, Erin Pehlivan.


Leave a Comment

Want to get started? Book a 15-minute chat with Emily!