Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015


On Learning to Read Again: Tips from a First-Time Author (PART TWO)

Welcome back Open Book readers! Here's Part Two of an earlier post on some advice for new writers embarking on their first book experience.
# 3 Give Back to the Community

On Learning to Read Again: Tips from a First-Time Author (PART ONE)

“The problem with the writing community right now is that we’re not reading each other anymore.” This statement came from a friend and fellow poet over a beer at a recent Pivot Reading in Toronto. At first, I wanted to disagree. I thought about all the books I had purchased, the stacks I bring home from stores and literary events, how I try to make a point of reading a decent percentage of what comes out of the Canadian Poetry community, especially Ontario. I knew that others did the same. Then I thought about my own book and fell into one of those self-pitying, insecure pits that many emerging writers are prone to. I thought about my own sales last year. I made the connection. I agreed. We’re not reading each other anymore.

Poet in Preview: Stevie Howell

BT: Stevie, in 2014 you published your brilliant debut collection, Sharps, with Goose Lane Editions. Not only did you receive numerous rave reviews in The National Post, Canadian Literature, and The New Quarterly, to name a few, but you were also nominated for The Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. A lot of writers get asked about the experience of publishing their first book, but I'm more interested in your experience afterward. After such a successful debut, what comes next for Stevie Howell? What have you been up to the last year and what can readers look forward to?

Poet in Preview: Daniel Renton

BT: Daniel, you're a permanent and vital fixture in both the Toronto and East Coast literary communities, and you're the host of one of Toronto's best reading series, The Common Readings at The Belljar Cafe. You've recently finished a long-anticipated chapbook with Frog Hollow Press that is officially launching early next year. Tell us about Milk Teeth, and give us a glimpse of what readers can look forward to after your chapbook is released.

Good Morning Open Book Readers!

Hello Open Book readers! It’s a pleasure to be here, and I look forward to acting as the writer in residence here at Open Book for the month of December. Having been given time to contemplate what topics I might want to write about during my online residency, I became all too aware of how daunting the task could be. About twenty times a day I check my newsfeed on Facebook and see countless articles, reviews, essays, blog posts, etc. being circulated, all the virtual pats on the backs, the moments of awe that come as I read a particularly interesting piece.

Eighty feet without a net - Conversations with John Irving

About a year ago I got an email that I had to read about twelve times over before it really settled in. That email was from Janet Turnbull Irving, the wife and agent of one of the most famous literary fiction writers in the world, John Irving. At the suggestion of Nick Mount (fiction editor at The Walrus, University of Toronto English Lit professor, and general champion) they asked me if I’d be interested in interviewing for a position as Irving’s assistant. Long story short, that assistantship ended up going to a far better person for the job, but I got along well with John and Janet, and talked a long while with them about a range of things from writing to wrestling to mixed martial arts to Georgian Bay.

On "Fiction" - Writing from real life

Over the past while I’ve noticed a number of situations where an author is asked about the autobiographical or non-fiction elements in their books. It has always been something that people are interested in, and that interviewers or reviewers tend to gravitate toward, but recently it seems I’ve had to consider this very closely during a project, or have had to think on it more and more while engaging with writers and readers. In writing a profile of John Irving for the National Post (and interviewing for a job with the man last year), I saw an almost obsessive amount of material on how much of his writing comes from real life.

On Writing Violence - An Addendum

I’ve been receiving a lot of positive feedback and some questions about one of my first posts for Open Book, “On Writing Violence.” One reader, Susan, asked me in the comments about how this all might apply to a third person perspective, instead of the first person scene in The Sun Also Rises. I originally posted a reply in the comments section, but it was quite lengthy, and I figured I’d put it all up here as a short post and sort of addendum to the original piece.

Taking Your Medicine in the Editing Room

In previous posts I’ve talked about the hard road to getting a book published, and even a bit about the effort that goes into just getting those first few stories done. I’ve talked about submitting writing and dealing with rejection, so I thought I’d take some time to discuss another real important thing to get used to, as you ready work for publication.

On Navigating the Literary Landscape - Part 2

Hey. Thanks for coming back for Part 2 of this discussion about various aspects of navigating our literary scene. Good to see you again...

Engaging with the literary community – Social media

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