Posts tagged ‘writing’

March 4, 2011

Ch-Ch-Changes!

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Hey friends, writers, readers, and ardent fans of THIS!

I’m thrilled to tell you that later this month changes will be happening at THIS. As we grow our readership, we’d like to become a greater part of your daily conversation on all things literary. We’ll soon be expanding the scope of writing in THIS by offering new columns, new reviewers, and lighthearted literary tidbits to pull you through that excruciating three o’clock meeting. If you’re a writer, blogger or reviewer, keep an eye on our blog for further information on how you can work with us.

In the meantime, happy reading!

Yours,

Lacey N. Dunham
Editor

March 3, 2011

“Faded” Sparks Teenager’s Literary Career

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BY JOHN COLEMAN

Fifteen year old Oakville, Ontario student Maha Hussain is generating a lot of buzz lately. Last fall she published her first novel, Faded, through TriMatrix Consulting. Hussain has been working on the novel since she was twelve, when she mustered up the idea and gumption to make it as a teenage author.

Faded, which is being geared toward a student audience of thirteen years and up, begins when teenage girl Hope Padden survives a car crash which kills her parents. The tragic event rehashes an old relationship with a male imaginary friend who now seeks revenge on her, and with whom she must save the world from fear and unhappiness.

In a recent article with the Toronto Sun, Hussain admits she’s always been fond for writing and started honing her talent at a young age. By the time she was twelve she completed more than most people do in their whole life*she had the workings for a full-on 238 page work of literature.

“I wanted to prove people wrong and make my mom proud by writing the book” she proclaims in the interview. Hussain also keeps up a credible reputation as a student council member at her highschool, and as a volunteer at a hospital, among other endeavours. How’s that for overachieving?

Check out Faded’s Facebook page for more information.

January 12, 2011

Book Review: Stitches by David Small

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STITCHES: A MEMOIR
by David Small

W. W. Norton Company
(September 2010 paperback, $14.95, 329 pages)

In the well done graphic novel the story surpasses both words and illustrations. With Stitches, David Small brilliantly writes and illustrates such a graphic novel.

Stitches is a sad autobiographical tale of Small’s childhood in Detroit, Michigan in the 1950s and the bulk of it is drawn from the memory of boy from age 6 to 15. A child of a wretchedly unhappy home where furious silences speak louder than screaming fights, the reader enters a world in which a mother’s silent fury is realized by a cough, a slam of a cabinet or the placement of a fork on the dinner table. For reasons unknown to Small as a child, his mother sets the dour tone of the household for hours, days or weeks at a time.

The youngest son of a radiologist father and a 1950’s housewife mother, Small brilliantly illustrates the tale of his neglected youth as a byproduct of his parents miserably unhappy marriage. Because words are never assigned to the deep unhappiness that envelopes his childhood, each family member develops a language to process the frustration and anger. Small’s father beats a punching bag in the basement. His older brother Ted bangs on his drums. Small gets sick. Born an irritable baby prone to bouts of colic and respiratory illness, he gets home-treated with shots, medicine and enemas. Thanks to the marvels of 1950’s medicine he also receives multiple sessions of high dosage radiation therapy for his sinusitis, administered by his father.

A growth appears on Small’s neck at age 11. Brought to attention by a friend of his mother, it takes three years for his parents to actually pursue diagnosis and treatment. The growth turns out to be a malignant tumor due to the repeated radiation exposure. This truth he discoverers on his own rather than being told. He undergoes radical neck surgery. His right vocal chord is cut and he is left without a voice. The surgery leaves his, “smooth young throat slashed and laced back up like a bloody boot.” Small struggles to find a voice and to conquer the demons of his youth.

This is a jarring tale. However, it manages to avoid the maudlin pitfalls of the “survivor” who overcomes tragic odds. It does not make Small a stereotypical “hero” who conquers the demons of his past. These are the all-too predictable pitfalls in many graphic novels. Instead, this tale is a truthful look at a painful past. With insight, Stitches illustrates memories of place and time which take the reader into Small’s consciousness. At times whimsical and magical, then is suddenly devastatingly sad and harsh, Stitches is moving yet it is never burdened with self-pity, or miraculously, with spite.

Small’s ink lines and washes are masterful. His use of space and expression illustrate volumes of words that are never spoken. He perfectly captures adult expressions from the eyes and understanding of a child: his mother’s crushing fury, his father’s aloof distance, his grandmother’s inconceivable insanity, a disapproving and confused frown from his parents friends and the kind eyes of his psychiatrist. Minimal use of ink and dialogue paint the greater picture of Small’s vulnerability during his childhood. Small remarkably and exquisitely captures the essence of the time and place without imparting distorted feelings or superimposing adult interpretations. This cathartic memoir of deep, disturbing loss is ultimately a testament of acceptance, forgiveness and moving on.

– reviewed by Sweetman

January 7, 2011

From the ‘zine: Poetry by Sergio Ortiz and A B Datta

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Good Morning Gulliver
by Sergio Ortiz

Welcome to my day Gulliver, the dogma of “no strings attached” embellish my
fingers and toes. Continue reading.

 

 

In Maps
by A B Datta

In the house of murder
we collide and try to speak a little
before everyone runs for home.
Continue reading.

 

December 10, 2010

From the ‘zine: Two Poems by Bill Yarrow

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The Grave of Rimbaud
by Bill Yarrow

I visited the grave of Rimbaud.
It was pale blue like the blood
of a baby penguin.

Continue reading “The Grave of Rimbaud”

– – – – – – –

The Empty Bed
by Bill Yarrow

Bright falcons nested in the cracks of the cathedral
ceilings. Every closet had its owl.

Continue reading “The Empty Bed”

– – – – – – –

Submit to this.

December 4, 2010

THIS Reads: e-Hoarding the Best Online Lit Mags

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BY JOHN COLEMAN

A couple of months ago I explained in THIS Reads how my library is home to an exhausted number of big-name titles and not so many lesser known, underdog books. Believe it or not, the problem is still troubling me. No, I haven’t been brainwashed by Penguin and Random House into zombie-walking to the nearest Chapters or some other chain store looking for the ex-president’s memoirs. And no, it’s not an odd catch-22 that I’d like to go out and pick up a copy of The Sentamentalists, the biggest small press book in a long time (although if you happen to miraculously find a copy, I’d love to borrow it once you’re finished).

No, the only problem troubling me is that I can’t find enough independent literature. I’ve become a bloodhound sniffing out anything under the radar. I thrive on the minnow-like, unheard author’s view of the sharks and whales in the rest of the sea. I obsess over the small press.

Lately, in order to feed my habit, I’ve taken on a risqué lifestyle quite frowned upon in the current reality TV age: hoarding. But my home isn’t billowing with pocketbooks and paperbacks. I want to avoid all the dirty stares. So, I’ve come up with the perfect little secret – the big “H” without any of the kickback – e-Hoarding. I’ve taken to spending many late nights turned early mornings searching the web for any sort of underground-lit I can find. And this month in THIS Reads, I’m going to let you in on some of the best online literature collectives I’ve found so far. I must say, in terms of niche writing, finding stuff that’s brand new and fresh is easiest through online journals. How ironic, you’re reading one right now.

Without further ado, I give you my e-picks of the month:

PANK – This is one of the best free literary magazines I’ve come across. They publish monthly with tonnes of new poetry and prose from writers worldwide. But that’s not saying much once you read a bit of PANK – the stuff they put out is very high calibre. Contemporary, relevant, cutting edge, the best adjectives represent what PANK is all about.

Abjective – Along the same lines as PANK, Abjective e-publishes great fictional prose and poetry, but there’s a catch. Abjective comes out weekly with only one piece of either poetry, prose, or creative non-fiction. It’s a stripped down literary ‘zine – the only thing on the site is the current piece and a minimalist description of the Abjective manifesto. If anything, it keeps you on your toes in anticipation for the next issue only every few days away.

My e-journeys in the past month have also brought me to Mel Bosworth’s Grease Stains, Kismet, and Eternal Wisdom available as a free e-book (yes, free!) at Brown Paper Publishing. The short novel of about one hundred pages is an interesting read, it definitely doesn’t bore with its parameters of lust, drugs and borderline insanity. But I won’t ruin it for you because you can, just as easily as I did, read it yourself.

Oh, and keep reading this, it’s also free, independent and full of great writing.

November 26, 2010

November/December Issue is Here!

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Tired of hanging out with your family? Want to avoid work? Read our November/December issue, featuring the works of eleven poets, four fiction writers, one essayist and a partridge in a pear tree.

Let us know your thoughts!

November 3, 2010

THIS Reads: NaNoWriMo Killed the Literary Star

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BY LACEY N. DUNHAM

I always find myself frustrated by all the books I’m not reading. My “to read” list is always miles longer than the list of books I’ve finished. Compounding my frustration is that I’m a slow reader. I have friends who readily soar through three or four books each week and, unless all I do is sit in a chair for six hours a day intently focused on one book, knocking through multiple titles only days apart is something I rarely accomplish.

Then again, at least I’m reading, right? In an article at Salon in which she rails against National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), Laura Miller complains that there aren’t enough readers and far too many writers. And while there are statistics revealing that many folks in the U.S. spend more leisure time watching television or using a computer than reading, I don’t believe the argument that there is a dearth of readers in the U.S. People are reading; what people are reading has changed.

In the age of technology, reading occurs outside of books with an increasing frequency, something Miller doesn’t acknowledge in her article (which I “read” online although, because it doesn’t occur between the pages of a bound book, might not count as actual “reading” in Miller-world). Each Sunday I read the New York Times Book Review, in print; I try to read most of the New Yorker each week. When I travel, I frequently pack back-issues of magazines and literary journals I’ve been meaning to get around to and haven’t: Bitch, Poets & Writers, Zone 3, Zoetrope, The Normal School. I don’t work at a typical desk job, but if I did, I imagine that a chunk of my day would be spent reading articles and blogs online. Does all of this, because I’m not purchasing my reading from a traditional bookstore or downloading it on a Kindle, mean I’m reading-deficient?

To be fair, Miller’s article mostly deals with the reasons why someone shouldn’t participate in what she calls the “self-aggrandizing frenzy” of NaNoWriMo: “…while there’s no shortage of good novels out there, there is a shortage of readers for these books.” She’s right: getting published is not half as hard as getting someone to purchase your book, read it, and recommend it to others who will also purchase it once you’ve been published. And it’s true that few authors are commercially successful. But reading novels and writing them isn’t a zero-sum game.

Maybe I’m touchy because I am participating in NaNoWriMo and I take it personally that Miller refers to writing as a “narcissistic commerce,” even if I’m not sure where the “commerce” part comes in. If I’m supposed to be getting wealthy from all this, I wish someone would have told me long ago so I could have the last laugh over my friends who elected law and business school.

Miller implies that Wrimos (NaNo parlance for participating writers) aren’t reading any books or, at least by her judgement, not enough of them. I disagree with this assumption, too. Maybe Wrimos aren’t reading the same types of books Miller would read (she goes on a long rant against self-help books in her article) but reading is reading, regardless of the material. And, unless it’s Nicole Richie’s latest novel, I don’t think reading in all its many forms is making anyone more stupid.

So in addition to all the magazines, lit journals (both in print and online), book reviews and newspapers this particular Wrimo has read over the last month, I also enjoyed Julia Glass’s novel The Widower’s Tale, a story shaped by four voices that represent various corners of modern American culture. Set against the backdrop of eco-terrorism, limousine liberals, and a longing for the past in the face of rapid change, Glass succeeds in illuminating the darkest corners of our hypocrisy and hopes, all with her characteristic tenderness and humor.

Leslie Marmon Silko has been a favorite writer of mine ever since I read Ceremony. The Turquoise Ledge is her first book in ten years and a beautiful memoir that fuses elements of her family’s mixed-race heritage with Native myths and reflections on the natural world. Her imaginative storytelling travels across boundaries of time to share aspects of her life as they are remembered; for example, her first divorce is discussed alongside the eradication of the Laguna language.

University of Chicago historian Thomas C. Holt presents a generational and nuanced portrait of African-Americans in Children of Fire, a uniquely framed history that traces the shifts in culture, policy, and social norms that have defined race relations and institutions of oppression in the U.S. from when the first Africans were sold in Jamestown in 1619 to the election of President Barack Obama. Holt’s history reminds us that lives mired in history as it is lived are far more complex and dynamic than the flattened accounts textbooks would have us believe. I don’t generally read histories but appreciated Holt’s perspective and sharp narration. Children of Fire is a long book but it doesn’t lag.

Finally, confidential to all the Wrimos clattering away at their keyboard out there: Carolyn Kellogg is on our side.

October 26, 2010

Fiction from the ‘zine: Cameron L. Mitchell’s “Vacuuming Again”

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Vacuuming Again
by Cameron L. Mitchell

Pretending your husband isn’t outside the trailer smoking a joint is easy enough when there’s so much to clean. Men are ridiculous, Bonnie thinks with a smirk on her face. They think you don’t know what they’re up to. If Bonnie had a nickel for every time Danny thought he was pulling a fast one over her, well, maybe she wouldn’t be confined to life in a trailer.

The electric hum of the vacuum cleaner calms her nerves. She likes keeping a clean and, dare she think, happy home for her family. This is the fourth time she’s unleashed the small mechanical wonder today against the powers that be, the unrelenting gathering of dust that tickles her nose, making her sneeze and sneeze, as well as all the other scraps and debris that stain an otherwise happy home. With Danny Jr. running around all over the place with folded pieces of sliced cheese in his hands, it’s no wonder Bonnie often notices bits and pieces of old, hardened food stuck in the carpet.

That’s kids for ya. They make a mess. And mothers clean up after their babies. Bonnie only wishes her husband wasn’t such a baby needing looked after as well. She has her hands full with Danny Jr. and little Michaela. Right now, while Danny smokes his joint, he’s supposed to be out there watching their son, making sure he’s not getting into any trouble. But what kind of mother does that make her, that she trusts her dimwitted man to see past the plume of marijuana smoke to keep an eye on anything?

Continue reading “Vacuuming Again” by Cameron L. Mitchell

October 22, 2010

NaNoWriMo: What the Hell Was I Thinking?

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BY LACEY N. DUNHAM

In the past, I’ve toyed with participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) but have always found an excuse: November’s too busy, I’m in the middle of a project, I’m spending every waking hour of the entire month washing my hair.

Then Lars happened.

I’d completely forgotten that NaNoWriMo was approaching when Lars asked me, in September, if I planned on participating this year. Caught unawares by his Canadian charm, I couldn’t think of a good excuse. Even my previous year’s handy, ready-made put-offs evaporated.

Why is my resistance so weak to you, Lars?

So now I’m participating in NaNoWriMo. This means that during the month of November, my goal is to produce a 50,000 word novel alongside thousands of other writers (called “wrimos” in the NaNoWriMo parlance). I calculated this out: if I’m going to meet my goal of 50,000 words, I must write approximately 1,666 words each day for thirty days. That’s about three, single-spaced pages of a novel on a daily basis.

Scratch that. My goal for the month of November is not to go crazy trying to write a 50,000 word novel.

The main problem is that I’m a slow writer because my self-editor kicks in far too frequently. Even if I write three pages (or more) a day, I’m just as likely to delete 80% of my work the next day. I get stuck in the synonym mud of finding the perfect alternative to the word “bitter.” I work and re-work dialogue between characters and, sometimes, entire characters themselves. I tend to write fiction that is less action-orientated and more literary, where characters have an argument on one page and spend the next forty pages reflecting on it.

Also, I’ve never written a novel before. Not a real, grown-up novel. I wrote “novels” all the time when I was a child, but these were mostly fifty page rip-offs of whatever Nancy Drew or Boxcar Children book I’d recently read. Once in a while I’d get smart and rip-off Katherine Patterson or Mary Downing Hahn but, generally, I’d go the commercial route with easily marketable mysteries. My writing focus is on short stories, many of which undergo three or four complete revisions before my first reader ever sees a draft. I guess the question is, can a short story writer produce a fifty thousand word novel in just thirty days?

I don’t fool myself that this novel will be anywhere near good. No one will ever read it because after November, I’ll paw through its carcass for salvageable phrases and then delete the remainder without mercy. In all likelihood, this “novel” will reflect the various curse words I pitch at my computer screen as I sit down to advance my literary, people-in-a-room-thinking plot one word at a time.

So what’s the point of participating in NaNoWriMo?

For one month, I can try something I’ve never done before and can do it in the company of the very active NaNoWriMo group in my region. While I’m suffering, so will thousands of others and, in an odd way, that provides great comfort. I have permission to shut-off the self-editor that lives in my head. And Lars has promised me cupcakes. Isn’t that reason enough?

 

To join Lacey in her NaNoWriMo adventures, sign up to participate and then search for her under the username “laceywritesanovel.”

October 19, 2010

Book Review: The Countess by Rebecca Johns

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THE COUNTESS
by Rebecca Johns

Crown
(October 2010, $25, 304 pages)

The Countess opens with a passage from the Brothers Grimm tale Snow White, which serves as a bit of foreshadowing of Bathory’s jealous rages. The story begins with a letter Reverend Zacharias writes to a colleague that describes his failed attempts to convince the countess to repent of her crimes. He also mentions his discovery of personal letters written by Erzsebet Bathory to her only son, Pal. The story of her life is told through these letters, and paints a less dramatic picture of her activities than any other Bathory novel I have read.

Erzsebet has been sealed away in a tower in her own castle, with only a small space through which to pass her food and drink and take away her chamber pot. To pass the time, she writes to her son about her life, hoping to enlighten Pal to the dangers around him. She shares a story about a horrific punishment her father carried out against a gypsy while she was a young girl. She moves through stories of her arranged marriage, her affair, and the death of her husband.

I was halfway through the book when I wondered if there would be any mention of the crimes that inspired all the legends that surround her name. Eventually, she does use severe punishment for her servants, justifying her actions by explaining how lazy and insolent they had been, “rutting” with stable boys and stealing from the household. However, aside from the extreme and brutal beatings, usually with a whip, the punishments are not described in much detail and are hardly mentioned.

The transitions from one chapter of her life to the next are separated by accounts of what is happening to her in the tower as she writes to her son. What she says and does elicits little sympathy, however, as she sounds very much like someone who is self-centered and living in her own little world. Even though she speaks a great deal about her relationships with those around her, she gives very little consideration to their thoughts and feelings. If someone does something she doesn’t approve of, Erzsebet assumes it is a personal attack on her happiness. The more she accuses others of being jealous and malicious, the more she appears to be a sadistic and cold-hearted woman.

I thought this was the blandest account of Bathory that I have ever read; every scene seemed to lack any real emotion, which was unusual, considering that Bathory is telling her own story. I’m not sure if the author’s intention was to portray Bathory as a different sort of monster than the usual bloody tales. Despite her unlikeable character and her atrocious attitude towards others, this novel is worth reading at least once if you are interested in a new perspective of the life of Countess Bathory. Readers will either love it or hate it – there’s no middle ground with this book.

However, don’t mistake my disliking of the character’s attitude for a disliking of the author’s writing style. Rebecca Johns has vastly improved her story-telling since her debut novel, Icebergs. Johns also maintains a blog called Illiterati, featuring an exclusive interview with the deceased Bathory.

Ursula K. Raphael

October 16, 2010

Edna Staebler Award Winner

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BY JOHN COLEMAN

This week, Kitchener, Ontario author John Leigh Walters was awarded the 2010 Edna Staebler Award for creative non-fiction for his first book A Very Capable Life: The Autobiography of Zarah Petri.

Walters’ A Very Capable Life is the story of his mother, Zarah Petri, and her life as an immigrant during the twentieth century. Walters is being heralded for mastering the first-person autobiography of another person. He writes Petri’s stories in her voice, from her point of view, and creatively reinterprets landmark twentieth century events through her perception.

Now retired, Walters hosted and produced television shows in Canada and the United States for most of his life. Most recently, he hosted a program on CTV in Waterloo.

The Edna Staebler Award, established by Staebler in 1991, annually acknowledges the best first or second non-fiction work of an author that significantly portrays Canadian culture or takes place in a Canadian locale. The winner receives $10,000 from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. Wilfrid Laurier University recently published a collection of Staebler’s diary entries entitled Must Write.

Edna Staebler was one of Canada’s most well-known writers, regarded widely for her Mennonite cookbook series Food That Really Shmecks. She also wrote for popular Canadian magazines Maclean’s, Chatelaine, Reader’s Digest and Star Weekly. In 1996 she was awarded the Order of Canada.

October 1, 2010

Poetry and Fiction Editors Wanted

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this is now hiring Poetry Editors and Fiction Editors for our bi-monthly ‘zine. If you’re interested, please review the information below and submit an application.

FICTION EDITOR RESPONSIBILITIES:
Fiction Editors work as a team alongside the ‘zine Editor to:
– Read all fiction submissions during the issue’s reading period.
– Discuss each submission with the other Fiction Editors and make recommendations for publication.
– Review pieces selected for publication for grammar, punctuation, spelling, word usage, and flow.
– Format 1-2 pieces for publication in the ‘zine using the ‘zine’s stylebook guidelines.
– Adhere to established deadlines as posted by the ‘zine Editor.
– Assist with soliciting submissions for the ‘zine.

POETRY EDITOR RESPONSIBILITIES:
Poetry Editors work as a team alongside the ‘zine Editor to:
– Read all poetry submissions during the issue’s reading period.
– Discuss each submission with the other Poetry Editors and make recommendations for publication.
– Review pieces selected for publication for grammar, spelling, and word usage.
– Format 1-2 pieces for publication in the ‘zine using the ‘zine’s stylebook guidelines.
– Adhere to established deadlines as posted by the ‘zine Editor.
– Assist with soliciting submissions for the ‘zine.

POSITION QUALIFICATIONS:
Applicants for the position of Fiction/Poetry Editor should meet the following requirements:
– Love of fiction/poetry and a desire to put new and emerging writers in print.
– Experience as a copy editor, editor, or reader with an online or print magazine, newspaper, literary journal, blog, or related publication.
– Strong knowledge of written English.
– Ability to express opinions clearly.
– Ability and willingness to meet established deadlines.
– Familiarity with our ‘zine and the types of fiction we currently publish.
– Knowledge of or experience with Google Documents is strongly preferred. If you haven’t worked with Google Docs in past, we expect you’ll be willing to learn! (Please note: a Gmail address is NOT required to access and use Google Docs.)

EXPECTED TIME COMMITMENT: Depending on the length and number of submissions, editors can anticipate to work between 2-5 hours per week.

We request that applicants make a minimum two issue (4 month) commitment to work with us.

Please note: All positions are unpaid.

Interested? Applications can be filled out online.

September 25, 2010

September/October 2010 Issue Is Here!

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We can’t believe it’s true!

Head over and read our newly published September/October 2010 issue!

September 24, 2010

Happy National Punctuation Day!

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Today the U,S, celebrates the {unofficial} seventh annual National Punctuation Day; with a Punctuation!? Program in “elementary schools…. a Haiku contest’: and meatloaf shaped! like a question mark – We hope you”ll celebrate your punctuation dexterity and power today too;-!

September 16, 2010

Best of the Net 2010 Nominees

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Congratulations to our nominees for the Best of the Net 2010!

Nominees were eligible for selection if their piece was published in an issue of our ‘zine between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010.

Sundress Press established Best of the Net to promote the diverse and growing collection of voices that are choosing to publish their work online, a venue that still sees little respect from such yearly anthologies as the Pushcart and Best American series. The Best of the Net collection will hopefully help to bring more respect to an innovative and continually expanding medium.

You can read 2009’s winners and finalists, as well as the archive of past winners, at Best of the Net 2009.

Our nominees are:

Fiction
Lauren McDonald
Taped to a Rocket

Poetry
Jonathan Viguers
“it was right after she broke up with me.”

Rachel C. Fletcher
Reflecting on Life outside the Nunnery

Michelle Dominque
We Were Too Reckless With Our Hearts

Ivan Jenson
Bad Boy

Jason Blanco
left

Non-Fiction
Thomas Burchfield
The Wild Bunch: Down the Hole in Glorious Blood and Fire

August 31, 2010

Faber Academy Hits Toronto

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BY JOHN COLEMAN

The world renowned Faber Academy has announced that its first North American campus will open this fall in Toronto.

Miriam Toews

The inaugural course, commencing September 29, is ‘Writing A Novel’ and will be led by Miriam Toews. She is the author of four novels: Summer of My Amazing Luck; A Boy of Good Breeding; the 2004 Governor General’s Award winning, 2006 Canada Reads winning novel A Complicated Kindness; and 2010 novel The Flying Troutmans. Also lined up for guest lectures are big CanLit names such as Margaret Atwood, Michael Redhill and Anne Michaels.

Ken Babstock

Beginning October 1 at the Toronto campus is the ‘Becoming a Poet’ course led by Ken Babstock and Karen Solie. Babstock is an acclaimed Toronto writer and poet. His first collection Mean won the Atlantic Poetry Prize and the Milton Acorn People’s Poet Award; his latest work Airstream Land Yacht won the 2006 Trillium Book Award for Poetry in English; and he is the winner of a K.M. Hunter Award. Currently Babstock is the poetry editor for House of Anansi Press.


Karen Solie
‘s latest book, Pigeon, won the 2010 Trillium for English Language Poetry. She has released two other poetry collections: Short Haul Engine, which won the BC Book Prize Dorothy Livesay Award, and Modern and Normal, which made the 2005 Globe and Mail Best Books List. Her writing has also been included in various literary journals including Geist and Other Voices.

If you’re quick, you can make the September 1 deadline for applications, which applies to both programs. However, the Faber & Faber site stresses that “the course will be selective.” The Faber Academy is widely respected and most of its graduates go on to lead successful careers as professional writers. What more do you expect from the publishing firm where T.S. Eliot got his start?

August 28, 2010

Reminder: Submission Deadlines

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Don’t forget! The submission deadline for the September/October issue of this is September 1!

Here’s a sample of what you can expect in our September/October issue:
~Great fiction by Cameron L. Mitchell and Kristopher McGonegal
~Artwork by Italy-based artist Pepper Pepper
~A look at the artist Chihuly by contributing writer Ursula K. Raphael
~Our inaugural Poet Spotlight, featuring Hong Kong-based poet Nicholas Y.B. Wong
~and more!

Interested in being feature with our next Poet Spotlight? The Poet Spotlight deadline is November 15 with a publication date of March/April 2011.

May 13, 2010

Flash Fiction: Taped to a Rocket

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Taped to a Rocket
by Lauren MacDonald

I came twice after when you were no longer there. Perhaps you have been tempted by exotic chocolates, fishnet tents, and the lure of the warm ocean water. Perhaps none of those things have tempted you at all, and it was the hollowness of yourself – like my the empty scoops of my pockets – that drove you away.

****

The shooting stars all fell out of my pocket. Great! he yelled, pulling his hands and the grip of his hard muscles away. Get off before we catch on fire! I had forgotten. He jumped off the blanket in the field, my bra flinging into the air with him. The corner was burning, the flame nibbling at the red thread and florals. Some of the darkness of the hills turned green again in the light of the flicker. I didn’t know where we were; we had gone so far off of the main trail that ran towards the mountain. It was cold like the city, but a different type of cold that came naturally, a cold that was able to breathe. The cold hitting my chest made me simultaneously forget and remember that I was nude, trying to catch my breath and stop my chest from heaving.

Continue reading “Taped to a Rocket” by Lauren MacDonald and published in the May 2010 issue of this .