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Five Things Literary (& Haunted!): Hallowe'en Edition, with Mark Leslie

It's Hallowe'en and Open Boo(k) wants to scare you silly with the spookiest literary spots in Ontario, courtesy of Mark Leslie, the author of Tomes of Terror: Haunted Bookstores and Libraries (Dundurn Press). Mark's paranormal volumes will delight readers who love a little scare with their story. In addition to Tomes of Terror, he's also the author of Spooky Sudbury and Haunted Hamilton, so he's the ideal guide to take us a bookish tour of haunted Ontario today as part of our mapping of literary Ontario in our Five Things Literary series.

Read on to hear from Mark about the book buyer who got a free ghost with purchase, haunted cigar smoke and much more.

Open Book Recommends: Chilly Fall Reading Guide

The air is crisp, the days are cool and there are pumpkins everywhere! It's Halloween, the perfect day to share our Chilly Fall Reading Guide with you. We've put together a list of books that are creepy, freaky and full of spine-tingling thrills. There's something to entertain all readers on Halloween night, or any chilly fall night when something spooky is in order.

The Lucky Seven Interview, with Ben Lefebvre

Contrary to popular belief, Canadian Literature was already a robust discipline before the great voices of the sixties came to define our national literature.

No one knows that better than Ben Lefebvre, the editor of the Early Canadian Literature Series published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press. The series returns to print rare texts from the early canon of Canadian English literature. With novels, memoirs and creative non-fiction, the series showcases texts by Indigenous peoples and immigrants from a range of ancestral, language and religious origins. Each book features an afterword offering a new interpretation in a contemporary context. Five titles are already available with a sixth forthcoming.

Discover Ontario one book at a Time with the Open Book Explorer

Open Book: Ontario and the Ontario Book Publishers Organization (OBPO) are pleased to announce the launch of the Open Book Explorer, an interactive online feature that makes connections for readers between history books and historical landmarks. Search the Explorer by book, region, city or landmark and discover mapped tours, author interviews, supplemental reading lists and feature articles.

The WAR Series: Writers as Readers, with Elana Wolff

If you think you know what a flip book is, you haven't seen A Hunger Artist & Other Stories; Poems and Songs of Love (Guernica Editions), a collaborative effort in translation between Elana and Menachem Wolff and Thor Polson.

Photos! Hush Hush brings the party to the stacks for The Toronto Public Library's Young Patrons Group

Toronto Book Award Wagers

On a recent Thursday night at the Toronto Reference Library, the Toronto Books Awards marked its 40th edition. A crowd of publishing, library-going and CBC-listening types gathered to drink some bubbly drinks and maybe bet some friendly bets (cuz, hey, Toronto may be Good but it can still have a flutter). They perused the posters that greeted them on arrival, showcasing 40 years of winners with names both familiar and forgotten.

Video of the Week: Toronto Public Library e-writer-in-residence Emily Pohl-Weary talks to Teens about Writing

The Toronto Public Library's writer-in-residence program provides tons of value to aspiring writers, and they've added an e-writer-in-residence with a focus on teen writers, who are invited to submit works-in-progress for feedback.

The current e-writer-in-residence is acclaimed author Emily Pohl-Weary. Check out this first video in a series getting to know Emily and some of the library's aspiring writers from the Young Voices program. Check out the whole video series and the Toronto Library's teen writing webpage for great writing advice for the talented young authors you know.

The Dirty Dozen, with Annette Libeskind Berkovits

Annette Libeskind Berkovits thought she'd missed the chance to write about her extraordinary father's life. She had asked him to record some of his memories of so she could share his remarkable stories, but he never got the chance before his death.

Or so she thought. Several years after she and her brother, Daniel Libeskind (whose design work includes the Royal Ontario Museum's iconic Michael Lee Chin Crystal), lost their father, Annette stumbled across a box of tapes, containing years of recordings.

Special Feature: Kaitlin Tremblay on her Interactive Fiction Game, Lights Out, Please

Kaitlin Tremblay is an editor and gamemaker who primarily makes horror games with themes related to feminism and mental illness. Her latest creation, Lights Out, Please, is an interactive fiction game that she wrote collaboratively with an international group of diverse writers using Twine, an open-source software that allows users to create text-based and interactive fiction games.

Today, Kaitlin speaks with Open Book about Lights Out, Please, the collaborative process and the relationship between games and fiction.

Open Book:

Video of the Week

Video of the Week: Toronto Public Library e-writer-in-residence Emily Pohl-Weary talks to Teens about Writing

The Toronto Public Library's writer-in-residence program provides tons of value to aspiring writers, and they've added an e-writer-in-residence with a focus on teen writers, who are invited to submit works-in-progress for feedback.

The current e-writer-in-residence is acclaimed author Emily Pohl-Weary. Check out this first video in a series getting to know Emily and some of the library's aspiring writers from the Young Voices program. Check out the whole video series and the Toronto Library's teen writing webpage for great writing advice for the talented young authors you know.

Writer In Residence

October 1, 2014 to November 1, 2014

Nicolas Billon »

Nicolas Billon’s work has been produced in Toronto, Stratford, New York and Paris. His triptych Fault Lines won the 2013 Governor-General’s Literary Award for Drama. He recently adapted his first play, The Elephant Song, into a feature film starring Bruce Greenwood, Xavier Dolan, Carrie-Anne Moss and Catherine Keener. His newest play is Butcher, which is published by Coach House Books and premieres at Alberta Theatre Projects in October 2014. You can visit him online at http://www.nicolasbillon.com.

You can contact Nicolas throughout the month of October with questions and comments at writer@openbooktoronto.com.

Whazamo

Random reads

"Toronto’s Tower of Babel"

"Toronto’s Tower of Babel"

In The State of the Arts, edited by Christina Palassio, Jonny Dovercourt and Alana Wilcox.

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University of Guelph Creative Writing

Humber Scapa

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