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.
"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.
Devin Scullion, a 20-year-old Hamilton man who had the ultra-rare genetic disorder progeria, has died. My research into progeria for Saints, Unexpected frequently brought David's story across my desk, and indeed he was loosely the inspiration for Wu, a character in the novel who has the disorder. The Hamilton connection is a strong one, too, as Devin was one of only 200 people worldwide who suffered from the disorder, attracting worldwide interest from geneticists and physicians who traveled to Hamilton to learn more about him and his case.
RIP, Devin—I hope some of your abundant light will live on in the pages of my work.
Link to the Hamilton Spectator article about Devin's passing.
...the day a writer realizes that his biggest literary accomplishment is out there and running.
I've talked about it for months, held it in my hands, read from it in front of eager listeners, and chatted about it at an amazing literary festival, but today is the day my debut novel officially gets launched into the world.
Available at your favourite local bookstore, or
Click here to order from Amazon.ca, or
Click here to order from Chapters/Indigo.ca
Thanks, everyone, for your support—this is quite a ride.
On Sunday night (March 20, 7pm), I'll be doing live radio for the first time in 20 years! (I was a radio junkie/host in a former life.)
I'll be talking with Bernadette Rule, host of ArtWaves, on 101.5FM The Hawk, Mohawk College's radio station. I'll join Jennifer Gillies, the director of GritLit, to read from SAINTS, UNEXPECTED and to talk about the festival, writing, and what it means to find a voice in Hamilton.
If you're in Hamilton, you can dial into 101.5FM on your radio. Alternatively, the show can be live-streamed by clicking here. Finally, the show will be archived at this location, too.
I'm excited to share the cover design for Saints, Unexpected, which will be released on April 15 from Invisible Publishing!
Thanks to Megan Fildes for the stunning design.
(Don't forget: Saints, Unexpected is available for preorder from the Invisible Publishing website.)
My short story, "Fairly Traded," achieved a notable mention in The New Quarterly's 2013 Peter Hinchcliffe Fiction Award contest and was picked up for publication!
This will be my first major publication credit in a Canadian literary journal, so I'm very excited. "Fairly Traded" will appear in the winter or spring issue.
Story link: http://www.thecolorsofmysoul.com/2013/06/zoomer/
My writing friend Nicole Baute posted her story to a contest page a ways back and announced it on facebook. The challenge is to write a flash fiction piece (max 500wds) as inspired by the image to the left. Well, after reading her piece and enjoying it a lot, the image kind of got stuck in my brain. So I wrote my own.
I received my official acceptance letter for my creative writing MFA through the University of British Columbia!
I'm very excited. UBC runs what is probably Canada's best MFA for writers.