Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

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Working at home: the fine line between distraction and productivity

I have learned that it's not unusual in that I like to listen to podcasts while I draw comics. Those of us who work on things alone much of the time have tricks to feel less isolated. Music, podcasts, pets, maybe even houseplants or a garden, or both – these can be distractions, tools to help channel productivity, or gifts that make us feel less alone. 

The In Character Interview with Dawn Green

Bennett Ryan led her basketball team to a State championship at her old school, but after her mother's new job forces her to transfer to Riverside High, she finds herself playing alongside her former rivals and facing off against her old friends. With a scholarship hanging in the balance, Bennett can't afford to allow her conflicted feelings to affect her on the court. This tense set up is the premise for In the Swish (Red Deer Press) by Dawn Green, which has been called "a slam-dunk for basketball fans".

Marianne Dubuc and Susan Nielsen win 40th anniversary Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards

On June 22, the Ontario Arts Council and Ontario Arts Foundation announced the winners of the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards. 2016 marks the 40th anniversary of the awards, which honour excellence in English-language writing for young readers.

At an event at Toronto’s Scarborough Village Alternative Public School, Marianne Dubuc and Susin Nielsen were honoured as the Children's Picture Book Award and Young Adult/Middle Reader Award winners, respectively.

The prizes are unique in that the winners are selected by juries of young readers, in grades three and four for the Children's Picture Book Award, and in grades seven and eight for the Young Adult/Middle Reader Award.

Poets in Profile: Vivek Shraya

Multi-talented and multi-genre artist and musician Vivek Shraya is running out of debuts — she has tackled short fiction and the novel and now she's completing her literary hat trick with a gorgeous, powerful collection of poetry: even this page is white (Arsenal Pulp Press).

even this page is white has been praised as "dexterous and sinister... revelatory". Vivek "dares to ask the unspoken yet screaming questions" in her clear-eyed interrogation of what it means to be racialized, rendered in poems that are as stylish as they are intelligent.

Kevin Hardcastle & Soraya Peerbaye win 2016 Trillium Book Awards

Open Book is thrilled to announce that our own Kevin Hardcastle, Open Book Toronto's Assistant Editor, has won the $20,000 2016 Trillium Book Award for his debut short fiction collection, Debris (Biblioasis). Debris was also nominated for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award and the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize. 2016 marks the second year in a row where the Trillium Prize has been awarded to a collection of short stories from an independent publisher (the 2015 award was given to Kate Cayley for her story collection How You Were Born, published by Pedlar Press).

The WAR Series: Writers as Readers, with Soraya Roberts

ECW Press' Pop Classics series is a quirky pop culture-obsessed line of short and sweet books that offer cultural commentary that is equally parts witty and insightful. Delving into film, television, actors, musicians, and much more, if it's got a cult following or an unexplained fascination, it fits into Pop Classics.

Love song for my bicycle

It’s hot. Summer settles heavily on Toronto. The air is thick. It wraps itself around me like a salamander skin.

Walking becomes a waking slow dream. Swimming without any of the freedom of kicking off the lip of the pool. I crawl from one air conditioned oasis to another, sweat circles forming at my folds, where my clothes catch and nest.

That is, unless I ride my bike. The bike cuts through the thick air like a sharpened blade. I create my own cooling wind. I push forward, leaning into the bike and its manufactured breeze.

Literary Prize News: Talented Authors Honoured in History, Poetry, LGBTQ Writing & More!

It's prize season in Canada, and a handful of incredible books have recently been honoured by a number of organizations. You'll want to check out the winners below when you're putting together your summer reading lists! Whether you're looking for great poetry, prose, history writing, or you just want to be amongst the first to discover great new emerging authors, the hard working jurors for these prizes have made it easy to find great Canadian writing.


#WritingTips Mondays: Hilary Mantel - "Be Ready for Anything"

Each week we bring you tips from a different writer as part of our #WritingTips Mondays, and as inspiration for the book you're working on, thinking about, or just dreaming of. This week, Booker Prize winner author Hilary Mantel shares advice, from the practical ("get an accountant") to the inspirational ("be ready for anything").

Last week we brought you the first instalment of The Guardian's amazing multi-author list of top tips. This week we've got part two, including Mantel's advice, posted below.

Writing tips from Hilary Mantel via The Guardian:

Revenge of the Indie Bookstore

by Vivek Shraya

Writer In Residence

June 1, 2016-July 1, 2016

Teva Harrison »

Teva Harrison is a writer and graphic artist. She is the author of the critically acclaimed graphic memoir, In-Between Days, which is based on her graphic series about living with cancer published in The Walrus. It was named one of the most anticipated books of 2016 by the Globe and Mail, which also named the author one of 16 Torontonians to Watch. She has commented on CBC Radio and in the Globe and Mail about her experience. Numerous health organizations have invited her to speak publicly on behalf of the metastatic cancer community. She lives in Toronto.

You can write to Teva throughout June 2016 at

JF Robitaille: Minor Dedications


Random reads

The Porcupinity of the Stars

The Porcupinity of the Stars

(Coach House Books, 2010)
Read Rachel Wedekind's Great Canadian Writer's Craft interview with Gary Barwin. For more information about The Porcupinity of the Stars, please visit the Coach House website.

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