I'm pleased to jump back on social media for a few moments to announce that I've signed on with Mark Gottlieb of the Trident Media Group! Mark is a powerhouse agent from a powerhouse agency, so it's exciting to imagine where my work might end up.
For those interested in such things, here's the Coles Notes version of how it happened: for a couple of weeks, I've been querying Canadian/US/UK agents to represent my latest project (working title: BARREN ARM), an upscale near-dystopian/apocalyptic adventure novel ("near" = where epically bad things happen, but the world hasn't ended). Interest has been great and I've had a number of requests for the full manuscript, but Mark read it in less than twelve hours (!!!) and offered representation right away, which I was over the moon about (Trident consistently sits at the top of a whole bunch of submission and deal categories). After chatting with Mark and touching base with the other agents who had the manuscript—who're all great, too—my decision was clear: Trident does serious business, so if Mark is behind my project, that says a lot about its potential. Onwards!
I'm so, so pleased to report that my short story "Bayfront" and my lyric memoir "Gone Supernova" have been picked up for publication by The New Quarterly, which has featured my work in the past and remains my ab-fab Canadian literary journal. "Bayfront" will appear later this year, and "Gone Supernova" will be published sometime in 2019.
Soms shouts-out are in order here: first and foremost, thanks again to Pamela and Susan at TNQ for believing in and supporting my work; second, to authors extraordinaire Michael Christie and Madeleine Thien for lending me a few of their words in "Gone Supernova"; and third, to my UBC fiction peeps, who workshopped "Bayfront" even though it was way too long.
FYI, Michael Christie's If I Fall, If I Die is an amazing novel—get a copy, and be changed. Madeleine Thien's sublime Do Not Say We Have Nothing is fiction to aspire to, and well worth a read.
Writing is a solitary sport, with days and weeks and months often spent toiling away in blissful, heartbreaking, and mostly unacknowledged solitude, often staring at blanks screens and pages.
But not this week. This week has been a corker.
1. I received news that my novel SAINTS, UNEXPECTED has been shortlisted for a Hamilton Arts Council Literary Award. Winners will be announced on Nov. 27, so fingers crossed.
2. My essay "You'll See the Sky" was given an honourable mention for a 2017 Short Works Prize.
3. My short story "Drift, maybe fall" has won subTerrain's 2017 Lush Triumphant Literary Award (best prize name ever!), which nets me a nice cash prize and publication in one of Canada's coolest magazines.
4. I received my contributor copies of the sublime 2017 Short Story Advent Calendar (which is still available for yourself or the story-lover in your life—order by Nov. 15 to ensure delivery by Dec. 1!), got paid for two stories, have been asked to present an award, and am participating in a 6-Minute Memoir event.
It's amazing to have some recognition and a little extra cash to throw at the mortgage, but more importantly, this week I get to call myself a working writer, for which I'm humbled and grateful.
Thanks for the support, everyone.
I am so pleased to be able to announce that my short story "[Title TBA]" will be a part of the 2017 Short Story Advent Calendar!
It's a gorgeous box set with 25 individually wrapped stories, one for each day of the Advent season. If you enjoy short stories, there's nothing better than opening a fresh one to savour each day. Bonus: they're not dated, so you can keep them for future years, too.
The calendar is incredibly popular and sells out ever year, so be sure to get yours soon. It would also make a fantastic gift for the story-phile in your life. Click here to order.
#BecauseSocial, a piece I wrote for The Writer Magazine about stepping back from social media, is now live on their site.
Click here to read
"Hard Sell" a hybrid piece of fiction centred on real events that took place on a single day, has been published at Litro Magazine, a very cool publication distributed free to London UK commuters. Click here to read the story online.
What a blessing and honour it has been to get to know just a few of our best First Nations and Inuit writers, and to learn and read some of their words and stories. Even so, those stories are challenged whenever they're presented, unfairly and with great bias. My privilege will continue to allow me the space and opportunity to move forward, but I know that there are many who will not get the same opportunities as I will.
As such, I would like to make one small adjustment to our country's 150+ celebrations. I am a proud Canadian, and am humbled to be a citizen of this place. But I acknowledge that much of what makes me most free and this country great has come through the abuse and murder and suppression and ignorance of our First Peoples and their foundational contributions to this land. I vow to explain the "+" in Canada150+ whenever and wherever I can.
It won't be enough, of course. We need to do much, much better.
I'm super excited to report that "Hard Sell," a piece of hybrid, based-on-real-stuff fiction, has been picked up by Litro Magazine, a very cool UK literary publication that is distributed free of charge to London commuters! Watch for it this month in the "Alternative Facts" edition.