ICYM these: Some interesting ish from around the net.

1) A fascinating piece by celebrated novelist/writer Karl Ove Knausgaard about the self-loathing that has driven his lifelong desire for fame:


To Blog or Not to Blog, That is the Question

I think of Julie Powell’s 2002 blog The Julie/Julia Project as the original food blog, or at least the first blog I heard of that paired good writing with food. But Powell’s blog, about trying every recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking over the course of a year, the blog that became a bestselling book and a major motion picture, was all words, no pictures. How 2002 was that?

Social Media Bare Minimums for Authors

Have a new book coming out? Don't want to self-promote? Too bad. You must do at least these few things if you want to get the book rolling:

Word on the Street Toronto Invites Readers to Join New Summer Book Club

Last night, I went to a literary party in the Brigantine Room at the Harbourfront Centre. It was a joint celebration of the anniversaries of the Word on the Street festival (this year’s festival will be the 25th) and of the International Festival of Authors at Harbourfront (this year’s will be it’s 40th) – the two festivals will be partnering in 2015.

At the party, games like poker, ping pong and Scrabble were played, I hobnobbed with some writers, and I met a baby named Felix, who could be a stand-in for baby Prince George, and who allowed me to carry him around for ten or fifteen minutes while his mother had a mini-break.

The Great Canadian Writer's Craft Interview: Lillian Allen

This spring, students from Malvern Collegiate Institute's Writer's Craft class conducted interviews with Canadian poets as part of a class project. The interviews will posted on The Great Canadian Writer's Craft page on Open Book throughout June and July. In this interview, poet Lillian Allen speaks with students Chris Goodfellow and Rebecca Richards.

Kim’s Top Ten Writing Tips: How to Write Like a Pro

Do you want your (fiction) writing to look polished and professional when you submit it to editors and agents for consideration? Of course you do. So make sure your words are correctly spelled and your sentences are graceful and grammatically correct, and avoid these signs of the amateur writer:

1) Too many adverbs. Whenever possible, choose strong verbs instead of a weak verb that needs to be modified by an adverb. Instead of: he walked quickly, write: he ran.

Got Any Good Lit Jokes?

Several years ago, I spoke at a gala dinner at a writers’ festival in Thunder Bay. Picture a hotel ballroom filled with about a hundred people seated at tables for ten. I had tried to inject some humourous self-mocking bits into the speech when I wrote it, and my lines seemed to pay off when, a few minutes in, a lone woman in the audience started to laugh – loud and long, semi-hysterically, and contagiously. I was encouraged by her vocal positive reinforcement, and so was the rest of the room. I settled into a comic groove, became funnier, and the audience joined in with peals of laughter. At the end of the speech, I floated back to my seat, face flushed, buoyed by a large wave of enthusiastic applause.



Today marks the last Sunday Sundries and final installment of its sister column on Open Book Ontario, Fiction Craft. Thanks for reading.

Ha ha! Well done, Guardian! Screw Amazon.

Why do people think indie bookstore owners are any less greedy than Amazon? Oh well. How to Quit Amazon and Shop in an Actual Bookstore.


Beyond Luminato: Upcoming Writerly Events

Much ado is being made of this year’s Luminato literary programming, which includes literary walking tours (for a fee) in three different Toronto locations, and a big literary picnic (for free) at Trinity Bellwoods Park, all happening (tomorrow) Sunday June 15th. (For more info, go to:

But Luminato isn’t the only writerly game in town, not Sunday, and certainly not next week, when readers, writers, bloggers and lit culture enthusiasts alike will be checking out these worthy literary and literary-adjacent events:

Sunday June 15 – 11 a.m.
Heritage Toronto Walking Tour: The Mansions of Jarvis Street

The Art of the TV Show Recap

My first exposure to the 21st century art form known as the TV show recap came in 2003, on the ground-breaking website Television Without Pity (TWoP). Its motto: Save the Snark, Spoil the Network.

My show of choice that year was The O.C. I liked the show so much that I wanted to do more than just watch it; after an episode I wanted to hear what other people had to say about it. Since I worked at home, I had no office water cooler to gather around. So I went online and discovered TWoP. The fan forums could be amusing and illuminating – the level of viewer commentary tended towards intelligent snark, in keeping with the site’s sensibility – but the funny, well written, we-mock-because-we-love recaps of each episode were what brought me back to the site every week.

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