Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

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Kid Lit Can, with Susan Hughes: Sex, and drugs, and rock and roll: Writing edgy YA (Part 1)

By Susan Hughes

Drugs, gambling, sexual harassment, suicide, sexual abuse, physical abuse, cutting, death, sex, drugs, body image issues, bullying, STDs, abduction...between them, YA authors C.K. Kelly Martin, Don Aker and Cheryl Rainfield have touched on all these difficult themes.

Why do they do it? How far can they go when writing for teens? Do they ever have to hold back? What’s the most challenging part about writing for teens? And what tips will they share?

I’m so pleased that these three popular YA authors have agreed to answer all these questions and more in today’s and next month’s article. Read on!

The Dirty Dozen, with June Hutton

When Lila Sinclair arrives in a rough frontier mining town in 1922, the wild events that welcome her beg to be reported. The trouble is that Lila's dead uncle's newspaper has shut down and the only person who can help her revive it lives in neighbouring (and forbidden) settlement of Lousetown. Determined to get the paper running again, Lila braves danger, stigma, tough business negotiations and more to see her dream realized.

Inspired by real historical figures, June Hutton's Two Gun & Sun (Caitlin Press) is part history, part Western and part story of a woman finding herself (and love) in a tough, unpredictable environment.

Poets in Profile: Majlinda Bashllari

Majlinda Bashllari published her first poetry collection in Albania in 2007. Less than ten years later the Toronto-based poet has released her first English language collection, Love is a very long word (Guernica Editions). The collection draws on both the lyrical nature of the Albanian poetry tradition as well as modern, innovative techniques, to explore the tension between love and freedom.

Today we welcome Majlinda to Open Book to take our Poets in Profile questionnaire, in which we ask some of our favourite poets to explore how they came to the craft, the poems that shaped them and what they get from the writing life.

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