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.
Readings, booksales, and other literary shenanigans abound on the SAINTS, UNEXPECTED west coast tour! More photos to be added as they become available.
The Puritan, one of Canada's best and edgiest literary journals, has published "Washed (Or, the Cleanest I Might Ever Be)," my creative nonfiction essay (you might recall that this piece was also longlisted for the 2015 CBC Creative Nonfiction Prize).
They've also done a complete redesign of their website, which looks great!
My friends at the UBC Creative Writing Alumni Association have posted to their website a brief interview and an audio recording of me reading the first few pages of SAINTS, UNEXPECTED.
Thanks to the amazing Francine Cunningham and UBCCRAA crew for the nod!
(If you like what you hear, don't forget that, as always, you can buy SAINTS, UNEXPECTED online or at your local bookseller.)
...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.)
I'm really excited to be working again with The New Quarterly, one of Canada's best litmags.
This time, in my creative nonfiction piece entitled "You'll See the Sky," I explore the lasting impact of a horrific tree-planting accident I was involved in more than twenty years ago that resulted in a broken back, popped sternum, fractured skull, and uncounted stitches. But even more notably, how that experience has continued to echo in my life, as a newlywed on a long road-trip, as a new father weighing what could have been against the pink, bright newness of a baby girl, and as a person of faith in what some call a faithless world.
For the record, I'm not buying that our world has less faith: we're all searching for some greater meaning, a narrative we can attach to the big "why" of our existence. Even when we say--and how loudly and piously it can get said--that we don't believe anything.
So check out TNQ's Issue 137 and test yourself on the sacred, profane, and faith-filled. I'm excited to dig in, and feel privileged to have my work appear alongside another TNQ who's-who of literary craft.