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Tag: short stories (page 1 of 4)

Saleema Nawaz Updates Us on Fire Damage—And Her Books

To all who’ve read and so generously responded to my previous blog post Help Canadian Author Saleema Nawaz Rebuild Her Book Collection After Fire:

THANK YOU. Your responses showed kindness, understanding, empathy, and also a kindred love of literature. I feel certain that your comments have buoyed Saleema’s spirits even while she’s faced with the destruction of her home. As Sam Gamgee said to Faramir a long, long time ago, you have shown your quality, the very highest.

However: Saleema has posted an update on her blog. Please read her post. There are pictures, too. Importantly, she gently requests that since their books were mostly undamaged except by smoke, it’s not necessary for us to send her any to help her rebuild her collection.

Again, I thank you so much for your responses and suggest instead, as Denise Bukowski commented, that you buy Saleema’s books. Mother Superior is a collection of, well, superior short stories. Bone and Bread, her new novel, has already been welcomed with high praise, and the Quill & Quire has called her Anansi’s new star.

This post serves to end the campaign to send books. Even if I jumped the gun, for which I apologize, I don’t feel the posts were in vain. Saleema saw your gracious, caring comments, and at a time when all was uncertain, felt us as the ground beneath her feet.

Thank you all again.

-Steph

Short Stories for Breakfast Weekly Recap

2013-02-19 08.00.24Another week of good stories. Some better than others, but I remain convinced that I don’t have a shitty book in this whole house.

April 15: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: “Of God and Cod,” by Anthony De Sa, from BARNACLE LOVE. So much richness in one little story. A man leaves his family behind for a voyage from Portugal and Newfoundland. The beginning of what promises to be a very good collection of intimately connected stories. Doubleday, 2008.

April 16: #shortstoriesforbreakfast is abominably late today. But better late than never. I read “Elk Talk,” by Elizabeth Gilbert, one of my favourite writers. It’s from PILGRIMS. Yes, she wrote short stories, and a novel, before Eat, Pray, Love! And her short stories kick ass. I’m jealous all over. A family in the country is surprised by unwelcome neighbours who appear on their doorstep en masse and invite themselves in. And the father has an elf call apparatus. [1997], Penguin, 2007.

April 17: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: “For Puzzled in Wisconsin,” by Bronwen Wallace, from PEOPLE YOU’D TRUST YOUR LIFE TO. M&S, 1990. A woman’s reflections are triggered by a letter to the newspaper. “Dear Allie: My husband has an intricate tattoo on his chest. I am very fond of it, and I don’t want to see it go with him when he dies…” Very good, but I wouldn’t expect less from Wallace.

April 18: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: “Cleats,” by Johanna Skibsrud, from THIS WILL BE DIFFICULT TO EXPLAIN. My first Skibsrud read. And I like it. It’s pretty funny, this one, mature and well-done. I’ve heard more negative about Skibsrud than good, and I feel like I want to prove them all wrong. I don’t even need to read more to do that, but I will. Hamish Hamilton, 2011. (Read from the ARC)

April 19: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: “Big Bitchin’ Cow,” by D.W. Wilson, from ONCE YOU BREAK A KNUCKLE. I keep reading stories, like this one, that make me think, yes, this is exactly what mine’s supposed to be! A father chases his son across a frozen lake, remembering the past between them. So damn good. The structure is perfect. Hamish Hamilton, 2011. (Read from the ARC)

April 20: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: “Out of the Woods” by Chris Offutt, from his collection of the same name. A man goes and picks up his wife’s dead brother. Such a poor summary for such a masterful story. I love the vernacular, the tone. The greatest thing to come from the US is its literary talent. Like Woodrell, Offutt is a great American writer whom Tobias Wolff (yet another goodie) says is one of the best. I agree. Simon & Schuster, 1999.

April 21: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: “With Daddy,” by Allison Baggio, from her collection IN THE BODY. In the wee hours of the morning, a girl’s father plucks her from her bed in the house where she lives with her mother, and takes a trip. Heartbreaking, an excellent story idea, and an interesting exploration of the collection title in a juxtaposition sort of way, but something tells me this story could have been better. Having worked on Girl in Shades, though, and having thought it rather strong, I look forward to reading the rest of this intriguing collection. ECW Press, 2012.

If you have suggestions, do let me know and I’ll add them to my list. Thank you to those who’ve recommended already. Duly noted!

Next up: who knows! I get to pick each day depending on what I feel like for breakfast!

Writers’ Trust Identifies Literary Stars of Tomorrow

This is a Writers’ Trust press release

Finalists Announced for RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers

Toronto – April 18, 2013 – The Writers’ Trust of Canada is delighted to announce finalists for a literary award that plays an instrumental role in discovering and promoting the next stars of Canadian literature.

The RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers rewards writers under age 35 who are unpublished in book form. Alternating each year between poetry and short fiction, the award will be given this year to the author of an exceptional work of poetry. The $5,000 award is supported by the RBC Emerging Artists Project, which invests in up-and-coming artists to help build their professional careers. Two finalists will each receive $1,000.

A jury comprised of the poets Mary Dalton, Phil Hall, and Susan Holbrook read 135 blind submissions and selected three finalists:

Laura Clarke for “Mule Variations”

Laura Clarke is a Toronto-based writer and a graduate of the MA program in creative writing at the University of Toronto. She has published work in The Antigonish Review, Grain, PRISM international,Qwerty, and Freefall. The jury said of her work: “Something both hip and ancient is given full rein: hard limits slurping in the sun, Aristotle and police reports, electric fences and pick-up lines, subway riders with donkey heads. A washed-out sardonic tone delivers a sure push that is humane and celebratory.”

Laura Matwichuk for “Here Comes the Future”

Laura Matwichuk holds an MA in art history from the University of British Columbia and is a recent graduate of the Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University. She lives in Vancouver and will be a writer-in-residence at the Banff Centre later this spring. Her poems have appeared in Contemporary Verse 2 and Emerge. The jury citation said of her work: “Matwichuk hangs poetry from the syntactical hooks of the sentence, offering us prose poems that are flexible, slightly surreal, both expansive and focused.”

Suzannah Showler for “The Reason and Other Poems”

Suzannah Showler holds an MA in creative writing from the University of Toronto. Her writing has appeared in many places, including The WalrusHazlittThe Puritan, and Joyland, and she won the 2012 Matrix LitPOP Award for Poetry. She is the poetry editor for Dragnet Magazine and curator of the website Art of Losing (artoflosing.ca). She lives in Toronto and is working on her first collection of poems. The jury said of her work: “These poems distinguish themselves by the quality of their poetic intelligence. They are astute, linguistically and syntactically adept, and full of sonic energy.”

The winner will be announced on May 28, 2013, at an event hosted by acclaimed poet and past Bronwen Wallace Award winner Jeramy Dodds. The event will be held in Toronto at the Leslie and Anna Dan Galleria at the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, located at the Royal Conservatory of Music.

The nominated work of each finalist is available for free to download exclusively on Apple’s iBookstore starting today at iTunes.com/BronwenWallace.

“At RBC, we believe in the power of creative writing to enrich our lives,” said Shari Austin, Vice-President, Corporate Citizenship, RBC and Executive Director, RBC Foundation. “That is why we are proud to support the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers, because it helps promising young writers to build their professional careers and fosters the next generation of great Canadian writers.”

“The RBC Bronwen Wallace Award has a stellar track-record of launching literary careers,” said Mary Osborne, Writers’ Trust executive director. “A nomination for this award signifies exceptional potential and gives young writers a boost at a crucial point in their development as artists.”

About Bronwen Wallace

Bronwen Wallace was a poet, short story writer, and mentor to many young writers as a creative writing instructor at Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College in Kingston. This prize was established in her honour in 1994 by a group of friends and colleagues. Wallace felt that writers should receive greater recognition early in their careers and so this annual award is given to a writer below the age of 35 who has published poetry or prose in literary magazines, journals, or anthologies, but has not yet been published in book form.

About the Award

Over 19 years, this award has distinguished 66 young writers with a nomination and many have gone on to receive literary acclaim. Several past honorees have new books out this spring, including Michael Crummey, Shashi Bhat, Natalee Caple, Dina Del Bucchia, and Tanis Rideout.

About the RBC Emerging Artists Project

In 2012, RBC invested $6.2 million in programs that support Arts and Culture in Canada and around the world.The RBC Emerging Artists Project consists of support through sponsorships and donations to organizations whose programs bridge the gap from academic excellence to professional careers in all forms of art.

About the Writers’ Trust of Canada

The Writers’ Trust of Canada is a charitable organization that seeks to advance, nurture, and celebrate Canadian writers and writing through a portfolio of programs, including literary awards, financial grants, scholarships, and a writers’ retreat. Writers’ Trust programming is designed to champion excellence in Canadian writing, to improve the status of writers, and to create connections between writers and readers. Canada’s writers receive more financial support from the Writers’ Trust than from any other non-governmental organization or foundation in the country.

***

You can view the 2013 finalists on the Writers’ Trust site.

You can read Bronwen Wallace’s writing, too, but she does seem hard to find, except for the short stories. Try abebooks.com.

Poetry

  • Marrying into the Family - 1980
  • Signs of the former Tenant - 1983 (winner of the Pat Lowther Award)
  • Common Magic - 1985
  • The Stubborn Particulars of Grace - 1987
  • Keep That Candle Burning Bright and Other Poems - 1991

Short stories

Essays

  • Arguments with the World - 1992

Letters

  • Two Women Talking: Correspondence 1985-1987 - 1994 (with Erin Mouré)

Short Stories for Breakfast Weekly Recap

2013-02-05 07.25.15The short stories I read this weekend were a nice mix, by women and men, contemporary and older, even different in format, since one I read, today, was from a pdf. Here are the breakfasts I enjoyed this week:

April 1: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: “The Many Faces of Montgomery Clift,” by Grace O’Connell, author of the novel Magnified World. This story, which reminded me so much of a friendship I had, was part of Writers’ Trust Journey Prize Anthology #24. I enjoyed it so much I emailed Grace and we had a neat chat about it.

April 2: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: Going for seconds after reading Matthew Trafford’s aptly titled “Gutted” from The Divinity Gene. I’m caught. Hook, line, & sinker! “Gutted” specially blew me away. I read it three times. “Camping at Dead Man’s Point” is interesting in that he uses himself as a character in the story, a gay guy named Matthew Trafford, but the story also includes a walking, talking dead guy. An original, cool way to make a good point in this one! Trafford deserves much more attention. Douglas & McIntyre, 2011.

April 3: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: “Mother Superior” and “My Three Girls,” by Saleema Nawaz Webster, from Mother Superior. Enjoyed both, particularly the first one. The second was somewhat horrifying, but also very well done. I could keep reading! Freehand Books, 2008. Already in the first few stories there is a theme of motherhood and children.

April 4: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: “Cracked Wheat” and “Pisces,” by Hugh Cook, from Cracked Wheat  and Other Stories. Middleburg Press, 1984. Early stories by my former English prof. I read the book years ago and remembered “Cracked Wheat” fondly, reading it again. I recall why the story has stuck with me all these years. Well-written.

April 5: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: “Foley’s Pond,” “Occidental Hotel,” and “Spokane,” by Peter Orner, from Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge. (Reissue August ’13; Little, Brown. I hope they reprint all of his, as they’re hard to find.) You know you’ve just read some stellar writing when the first thing that comes out of your mouth is a giant sigh and “holy shit.”

April 6: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: “The Premier’s New Pajamas,” by John Lavery, from Very Good Butter. ECW Press, 2000. NO ONE writes like John. No one. I miss you, cher ami.

April 7: #shortstoriesforbreakfast, “Better to Lose an Eye,” by Jamie Quatro, from I Want to Show You More. Powerful and surprising. I’ve read some of her stuff on McSweeney’s too, and it’s hilarious! Quatro’s been getting a lot off attention in the US. She’s one to pay attention to. Thanks to Hugh Cook for bringing her to my attention.

In all, a great week of stories. I’m understanding little by little more about how stories work, and what makes a good story better than another. I’m also finding myself hungrier for more literature in general (the way eating breakfast makes you hungrier the rest of the day), and finding myself becoming more inspired by ordinary things.

Next week includes some lesser-known Canadian authors, plus Diana Athill.

Stay healthy: read well.

Short Stories for Breakfast

As much as the magazines and websites and professionals stress that you must eat breakfast every morning, I just can’t. I’m not ready, I don’t want it. It takes me a while to ease into my day. But everyone argues that you must have nourishment to start your day properly, to jumpstart your metabolism, blahblahblah. Sorry. No can do.

More than ever I’ve been listening to my intuition—literally, here, my gut. It tells me the best time for me to eat is between 10:30 and 11:30, and sometimes even later. I eat when I’m hungry. I used to eat every couple of hours, but that was because I was so restless. Now I’m finding calm and not needing to eat so much.

But I’ll be damned if I’m going to miss out on nourishment to start my day properly. And if I can’t jumpstart my metabolism, how about jumpstarting my creativity?

A few months ago, I decided to see how many short story collections I had, so I pulled them out from wherever they were, got a bookcase from Greenley’s, and shelved them all together. Not only was this very exciting for me, seeing them all, but it also elicited a kind of Pavlov’s dog response. All that potential in one place. The culmination of a deep and abiding passion for short stories.

But I was also overwhelmed. Lately, the shorter the book, the better, and I’ve been reading more short stories than anything else. But how was I going to read them all with so little time? How would I overcome that feeling of wanting to read them all at once?

Out of this question and the whole breakfast issue, Short Stories for Breakfast was born. In the morning, no less.

On the menu this week

On the menu this week

The first thing I do when I wake up now is pick a book of stories, bring it down into the kitchen, put on the stovetop kettle for lemon water, and then enjoy a short story for breakfast. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t survive without food for breakfast. I’m thriving.

Yesterday morning, I read the excellent and also gut-punching titular story from Jess Walter’s We Live in Water. It’s not the first story I’ve read from the book, and I’ve skimmed through some of the other pages, and I can tell you, this is very good writing. No surprise there. But this is my favourite so far of his books. I love his style, the topics, the theme of “personal struggle and diminished dreams,” the roughness of it all. Walter’s been called one of the greatest young American writers today. I will not disagree. We Live in Water is from HarperCollins, where he couldn’t have a better team of supporters.

This morning, I read two stories because they were somewhat short, called “Flies” and “The Table,” from Paolo da Costa’s The Green and Purple Skin of the World. Da Costa lives on the west coast and has won several literary awards. He was born in Angola and raised in Portugal, and this cultural background enriches his stories. He’s a writer, editor, and translator. This collection is from Freehand Books, also this year, and, well, I can’t help it, but I recommend this one, too. It’s not your usual breakfast, which is partly why I like it so much.

You guys, I feel so great and excited about this new idea. I love starting out the morning this way. I’m getting to read a bunch of authors at once. I’m incorporating variety, which, as they say, is the spice of life.

This is my new reader’s diet. I imagine that not only will my creativity get stronger (had an idea for a NEW short story on my  walk today!), but also my reading muscles will tone, and my writing will become nice and lean.

Stay tuned for literary tweets and Facebook statuses sharing what I had for breakfast every morning. Isn’t that more exciting and appealing than telling you I had oatmeal with cinnamon and slices of banana and chia seeds and hemp hearts? Or granola and almond milk? Buckwheat pancakes with blueberries? I’ve always preferred breakfast foods at supper time anyway.

“Give Canadian” and “Defying Convention: Reading Short Stories”

On the #CanLit chat today on Twitter with @CBC books, a couple of us were talking about the impressions people have of Canadian literature. Usually, these are unfortunate and misguided impressions, caused inadvertently by school teachers or others who define CanLit as only from a few major authors like Atwood, Ondaatje, Shields, etc. Not that there’s anything wrong with these authors or their writing, but CanLit is so much more than the canon.

We also discussed the negative and negligent attitude toward short stories. I’ve found as a bookseller that the response is exactly the same from each person when I offer short stories and people decline: No, I don’t like short stories. They leave you hanging, they never feel finished, they aren’t fulfulling, etc. It’s true that the short story can seem strange if you’re used to novels. But good short stories are simply not guilty of being unfinished. The craft of writing a short story is very precise. And it allows you afterward to think about the literature more so than after reading a novel. Short stories entice you to engage, and they often cause more of an emotional reading experience than you may have with a novel. Yes, short stories can be a bit of work, but not always. They do take some understanding of form, but not anything that’s beyond you as a reader to comprehend. And most importantly, not all short stories are the same. Lydia Davis’s are sometimes a paragraph, while Miranda Hill’s are long and very fulfilling.

When I made up a short story table at the bookstore where I worked, I targeted those readers who often found themselves short on time or with frequent small chunks of time during their day—such as waiting in line, at the airport, while commuting, before getting out of bed, before falling asleep—saying that they could still read an entire piece of fiction in their busy days rather being constantly interrupted in the story of a novel. And you know what? The table was such a success (in store, on Twitter, and on Facebook) that not only did we keep it going for at least half a year, we also now order in more collections than ever before. Short stories right now are being published left, right, and centre, and are being more widely recognized among our readers and literary awards juries. The signs are all here. Short stories are in. But still far too many aren’t willing to catch the wave.

Many times I’ve argued for the expansion of our views on CanLit, here on the blog or elsewhere. Examples of the posts I refer to can be found here, here, here, here, here, and here. And then I thought, maybe it’s easiest if I just make lists of Canadian contemporary CanLit people can browse. “Give Canadian” was created in response to 49thShelf’s invitation to make a list of CanLit we’d recommend for Christmas. And because short stories are my very favourite format, and I’d love to be able to share that passion and excitement with others, or to change others’ minds about short stories, as well as showcase superb contemporary CanLit, here is my list called “Defying Convention: Reading Short Stories” (contemporary CanLit short stories).

Happy browsing! If you buy any of these books, try shopping at your local indie. If you have to go elsewhere or order online, at least you’re buying and supporting our Canadian talent. I don’t think we should only read Canadian, of course, but I love it enough to say  I think it’s worth trying out. You never know. You may love it. Just as I did when it was introduced to me.

If I’ve forgotten any, let me know. These lists are from my own bookshelves.

LitBits 27

Lately I’ve been finding it hard to keep up with all the fantastic book stuff! Here’s another LitBit post of some things I’ve collected since LitBits 26.

1. I want this very badly. It’s a tent that looks like a book! My husband and I take Lucy camping every year — have done since 2000 (well, we’ve been camping that long together, but Lucy didn’t start curling up with us by the fire till 2003). Anyway, I’d camp under the stars in this tent without hesitation. It’s awesome. “Sleeps two comfortably.” It would also be cool for backyard book clubs!

2. You already know I’m all for short stories. I just finished Alix Ohlin’s Signs and Wonders for work, and it’s excellent. Short stories are perfect for breakfast or just before bed, for your commute, or during lunch. They’re great for everywhere. Here are the three winners of the Commonwealth short story contest. And for $3 I downloaded the winners of Sarah Selecky’s Little Bird contest this year; you can too! The money goes toward helping migratory birds of North America.

3. Speaking of short fiction, Kristine Ong Muslim is a writer of flash fiction based on art. Her new book, We Bury the Landscape, is a collection of 100 mini-stories about different paintings. Each flash fiction piece corresponds to an artwork she’s indicated in the book. Portions of the book have appeared in publications and have been nominated for awards and cited as exemplary by publishers. For example, these stories were early versions of the fiction pieces that were included in the book:

We Figure the Leaves in Hobart

Revenge of the Goldfish in The Brooklyner

Boy with a Propeller Head in Birkensnake

Requiem for Industry in Eschatology

Flowers, Secrets in Every Day Fiction

The book has already been reviewed in many places, http://kristinemuslim.weebly.com/we-bury-the-landscape.html, too.

4. Bookends! Which I have no room for on my bookshelves, of course, but could be used to display a little selection of Canadiana somewhere else, like on top of a bookcase or shelf. I love these, from Anthropologie. Somehow they speak to me as stories themselves.

5. And since I mentioned Canadiana: you’ve probably already heard of the 49th Shelf’s Read Local map (I have a little badge for it in the sidebar as well). The idea is to pin Canadian books on the map. I put on Sam Martin’s This Ramshackle Tabernacle, because it’s very close to where I live (the stories mostly take place between Belleville and Algonquin Park, and north of 7). (I’m going to be reading his new novel, A Blessed Snarl, as soon as it arrives, for his virtual tour. It’s going to be excellent.)

6. Fellow book blogger @jacqu83 (Jaclyn Qua-Hiansen) sent me this awesome article to include here: In Barangay La Paz, Makati (the Philippines), Hernando Guanlao is the caretaker and founder of the wondrous Reading Club, commonly known as “the library on Balagtas Street.” Check it out!

7.  Introducing book-smell perfume, called Paper Passion. I’m pretty sure this is not how I want to smell, or how I want others to smell (although I’d go for it in lieu of how some people already smell. Phew). But I prefer to come across this fragrance when I walk into a bookshop or open a book. Right now I’m reading the hardcover copy of The Sisters Brothers, and I can’t stop fanning the pages. It’s such a good smell, that one.

8. My friend Alison Gresik is an author. We went to school together, sang in the concert choir, and then in 2000, a year after I graduated from my fifth year, she published her first book. I was jealous when I first came across it working at Chapters. And then she lost her way; she fell into a depression. A few years later, she and her husband decided to sell everything and leave Canada for Asia. They are now happily of no fixed address. Her journey through depression wasn’t easy but she discovered along the way that not being true to your creative self can be a very bad thing. Now she’s a creativity coach, helping artists and authors fulfill their dreams and foster their creative needs. She’s also written another book, called Pilgrimage of Desire. Recently, she and a designer friend decided that they were going to self-publish the book so they could lay it out the way they wanted. It’s beautiful. She raised over $10,000 in support of her project, a book that openly shares what she went through and will help those going through the same. Alison is a truly amazing, strong, and inspiring woman. You can check her and her book out at www.gresik.ca.

9. The term bibliotherapy makes sense to me as is. But I recently found it has a different meaning than I thought. Bibliotherapy is an academic term used to describe the beneficial mind/body reactions that occur from reading erotic romantic literature. Apparently, too, sex therapists advise their patients to get busy reading romance. While I’m glad they’re endorsing reading, unfortunately, it’s not necessarily of good literature (*cough* Fifty Shades *cough*) or even emotionally healthy sex. So what literary romance or erotica have you read? While they’re not romance novels, I admit the sex scenes in Philippa Gregory’s Tudor series were pretty breathtaking, whereas Ken Follett’s in Pillars of the Earth are deplorable. I am going to try only one more time to read that book. [UPDATE: Melanie of the blog Four Rooms: Creative self-care, wrote to inform me that bibliotherapy has a much wider use than simply sexual health. See her helpful, thorough post on bibliotherapy here.]

10. By now you’ve read the news about the government cutting funding to the Literary Press Group, which has rightfully caused a huge uproar. LPG has offered several ways to help counter this heinous act.

11. For all you digital readers out there: Thomas Allen and Cormorant Books have launched a really cool project called cStories:

cStories has made it easy for you to read short stories digitally but still support your favourite local bookstore!

cStories offers individual short stories ready for readers on-the-go.  A joint initiative between Thomas Allen Publishers and Cormorant Books, cStories will make a significant number of outstanding Canadian-authored short stories available exclusively through the websites of independent booksellers.

You can also win an iPad with predownloaded ebook singles in their humorously named Get Into Our Shorts contest!

12. And speaking of cool ventures, fellow book bloggers Colleen McKie of Lavender Lines and Kimberly Walsh of East Coast by Choice have partnered to launch Fierce Ink Press, a “publishing label dedicated to producing high quality books of fiction and short non-fiction pieces by Atlantic Canadian authors who write for young adults.” I’m very excited about this, mainly because I know both of them as booklovers and active in the industry (Colleen opened her own second-hand bookshop last year and Kimberly has worked as a writer and with publishers), but also because this is exactly what the industry needs in a time of such uncertainty: fierce support for writers and hope for the book industry. It’s not unusual that we look to small and independent ventures to shine and turn things around when the going gets tough. I’m certain these girls are going to give much to the Atlantic and the YA book world in general! And get this: already they’ve been recognized and won an award, before they’ve even got started!

Fierce Ink Press is asking for submissions, too, for their Fierce Shorts imprint.

13. I love this story, because I have first-hand experience of it working but also because it’s such a lovely thing to do. I’ve said before that when I read to Colin in the car or at home, Lucy always joins us and also calms down. See what the Regina Humane Society has started: reading goes to the dogs! 

14. People love making lists. Here are the fifty coolest book covers, according to shortlist.com. Of course, lists are subjective and must leave stuff out, and I can think of a few I like that aren’t on there. Depends on what you think is cool. But which are your favourites?

15. CBC Canada Writes has recently been featuring 600-word stories by Canadian authors for their Brief Encounters series:

Life is made up of fleeting moments that may be life-changing or destabilizing. What are the repercussions of an instant?

We asked ten Canadian writers to imagine a vivid meeting or confrontation: A “Brief Encounter” in 600 words or less.

Try Sarah Selecky, “The Guest Room,” Alexander McLeod, “Everything Underneath,” and Annabel Lyon, “Rusty or Ruby (Or Both).” The rest of the stories are here.

16. Last but not least, introducing the CWILA, Canadian Women in the Literary Arts. I only just heard of them today. There are some interesting literary gender stats here. You can also follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

And that’s it for today, all! Thanks, as always, for reading!

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