Hi, I’m Paul Snyders. Welcome to Large Ess Small Press.

I have worked as a technician, educator, writer and art model, and now I write about friendship, love, work, art, heart and striving – and the sort of crazy pratfalls and misadventures which help us learn about them – mostly in the form of short stories set in my home town Toronto.

How Large Ess Small Press happened.

A few years ago several of my favourite inspiring people died in a short period of time, and I found myself trying to set down some of their unique magic as a small act of tribute. As I wrote from full hearted gratitude – I found my well overflowing, in a way it never had before. And as I recovered more saving kindness and gratitude from my past, I found myself gradually recovering early years of my own history which I used to block-out entirely, and piece by piece, rediscovered the strange kid I was, and a childhood which was twisted into both wonder and horror by epic-fail sixties idealism.

It is popular now, to write about the intimate details of our own pain, but since pain is a part of all of our lives, I have set my sights instead on that special humane magic which helped me get through and past all the storms. Gifts of generosity, challenge, companionship, mutual striving, creativity and adventure.

Making the mining of gratitude my work for years in a row, has made me recognize that love and friendship have made all the difference at every stage of my life. Kept me hopeful and growing, even when there were a million reasons to give up.

Every single book in my Large Ess catalog comes out of that sweet epiphany

Large Ess Small Press is a tiny creator-run Toronto publishing house with a great big heart. The diverse catalog includes poetry, short stories, biographical sketches and even a book of uplifting dystopian science fiction for youngsters – all set proudly in Toronto, sourced from gratitude, and filled with lessons learned, love shared and wacky and wonderful friendship.


My launch volume is Night Song for Cigar-Box Banjo

a generously illustrated collection of poetry inspired by ancient mystics, with an unusual practical focus.

Included are pieces which offer playful wisdom, sharp psychological political or social insight, along with heartfelt memorials for dear friends and creative heroes gone much too soon.

Inspiration, ratiocination, consolation. Pretty pictures, too!


My second release is “Structural Happiness”

We all start off as fools – but I do everything the extra foolish (and funny) way. Love and friends, work and skill, style and substance.

I sometimes think of this book as a loving tribute to much missed teachers and friends, and sometimes as a compendium of the thousand subtle deep and funny things I really wish I’d understood when I was twenty.

A pocket full of sweet prat-fall wisdom.

Included are:

Magic Days
Welcomes From Other Worlds
A Trade And A Bargain
Finding Yourself – A Lover
A Job, A Joke, A Yoke, A Trap
Bigger Than Words
All The Marbles


My third book is “The Kind of Friend You Need”

What is it like to grow up in a commune that descends into cult madness? You don’t know what is wrong, but you sure as heck know that something is seriously messed up!

This collection of short stories begins in the seventies, in the largest urban commune in North America, and ends when the kid raised as an alien (me) finally escapes to the real, even scarier and yet infinitely more hopeful and exciting planet earth (early eighties Toronto).

The stories in this collection are:

Chair Forts And Small Fugitives
Special Exemption For Tricycles
Fun You Can’t Call Fun No More
Playing Through The Changes
Secret Agency
Very Small Business
Thirty Years And Forty Feet
Watershed Friendship


Book number four was unexpected – “Stymie and Toffel” got impatient and jumped the cue!

Stymie and Toffel is a Dystopian adventure for young (and young hearted) readers, set in a future Toronto “after the fall” – but this is no bleak or preachy tale. My aim is the kind of long view hope which so many of us got from sci-fi years ago, and the the way I get there is a small scale adventure story built of things that kids do all the time (or can choose to do with their time, any time they want to put down the phone and have some real fun).

To be really honest, these resourceful goofy and unstoppable young characters stole the book from me and gave it a special zany heart. (and Andrew Foerster’s superb illustrations add even more warmth to their already sweet and streetwise story)

Our children are very concerned about the future – we need to tell them that no matter what – heart, friends, love and trying will always be worth the effort – because they will always be where the fun challenge and adventure in life can be found.

The stars of this show are:

Stymie – Street-wise orphan – loyal friend – bicyclist extraordinaire – all around trickster.

Toffel – always drawing and making and learning and helping

Francesca – can she run her uncle’s shop by herself? Of course she can, she’s a highly resourceful person.
But can she find the nerve to sing in front of everyone she knows and then some?

Book number five, “At A Crazy Time Like This” is a brand new book of short stories of Toronto, and also works as the companion volume to “The Kind of Friend You Need”.

My latest collection of short stories about wacky and inspiring eccentrics, musicians, technicians, revolutionaries, teachers and wise shopkeepers.

What is a friend, really? Someone just like us? Someone who agrees with everything we think already? No way. A friend is the one who helps us try again and grow some more and make it through and laugh!

The stories in this collection are:

Bus Station
Square Impostor
The Benevolent Dictator
Community Centre
What Happens When You Smoke A Joint During Morning Break In The Digital Lab
The Best Robert Anton Wilson Story I Know
Special Ed
Enough For One Lifetime
Through Lines, Side Tracks and Back Flips
Fate, Fault, Foolishness

And yes of course – new volumes of poetry, works of fiction and photographically illustrated essays about art society history and politics are always on their way – check back here (and please subscribe to my substack site – even free subscriptions give full access to all stories) regularly!

You can also follow my latest on Facebook at – https://www.facebook.com/paulfromlargeess/
Dinged and dented I am indeed – but I remain a laddie of perpetual motion, all the same!

I am always curious about what you are thinking

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