Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

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The Lucky Seven Interview, with Lindsay Gibb

Whether having his face swapped with John Travolta's, stealing a sexy Mustang or scream-begging "not the bees!", Nicolas Cage is one of the most talked about and debated actors alive. Neither critics nor viewers seem able to agree whether he is a genius, a hack or something in between, but he has undeniably captured the imagination of the viewing public in a way few actors could ever dream to do. So Cage makes for rich fodder for the latest instalment in ECW Press' Pop Classics series, Lindsay Gibb's National Treasure: Nicolas Cage.

Ontario Students Have the Write Stuff: Announcing the Winners of the 2015 Write Across Ontario competition!

Together with IFOA Ontario, we are pleased to announce the 2015 winners of the Write Across Ontario competition.

Elementary and high school students from across the province used story prompts from acclaimed Canadian writers to tell creative, exciting stories, and we've selected the best of the best.

Writers' Trust Awards Inaugral $50,000 Fellowship to Newfoundland Author Michael Crummey

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Canada's confederation, the Writers' Trust of Canada has committed $150,000 over three years to a new fellowship celebrating the finest in Canadian writing. The inaugural fellow was announced last night at a gala event in Toronto. Michael Crummey is a highly decorated Newfoundland-based author, whose books have been nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General's Literary Award, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, the Amazon First Novel Award and the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in addition to winning the Thomas Head Raddall Award, the Winterset Award for Excellence in Newfoundland Writing and the Atlantic Independent Booksellers' Choice Award.

The Lucky Seven Interview, with Joey Comeau

The internet is full of beloved mascots, but it's hard to find one that has struck a deeper chord with people than Joey Comeau, whose webcomic A Softer World (created with Emily Horne) exploded in popularity for its pitch perfect combination of heartbreaking insight and gallows humour.

Joey's not just adept at the ultra short form writing of A Softer World — his popular novels and story collections capture the same dark wit and energy. One of his most unique works was Overqualified, an experimental novel told in job application letters that was described as "Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret chewed up and spit out by J.G. Ballard".

The Proust Questionnaire, with Shannon Maguire

Shannon Maguire is an author, creative writing instructor and a doctoral candidate at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her work has appeared in Best American Experimental Writing of 2014, Jacket2, Event and others, and her first poetry collection, fur(l) parachute (BookThug), was a finalist for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry.

Her newest collection is Myrmurs: An Exploded Sestina (BookThug), an innovative variant of the Medieval sestina form that connects to contemporary politics and poetics.

Video of the Week: Book Trailer for The Illegal by Lawrence Hill

Lawrence Hill is one of Canada's most successful authors, with his Book of Negroes having smashed records to become one of the best selling novels in the country.

On Writing Violence - An Addendum

I’ve been receiving a lot of positive feedback and some questions about one of my first posts for Open Book, “On Writing Violence.” One reader, Susan, asked me in the comments about how this all might apply to a third person perspective, instead of the first person scene in The Sun Also Rises. I originally posted a reply in the comments section, but it was quite lengthy, and I figured I’d put it all up here as a short post and sort of addendum to the original piece.

On Writing, with A.J. Somerset

A.J. Somerset is a journalist, sports shooter and former soldier. His non-fiction writing has appeared in numerous outdoor magazines and his debut novel, Combat Camera, won the 2009-2010 Metcalf-Rooke Award.

In his latest book, Arms: The Culture and Credo of the Gun (Biblioasis,) A.J. tackles one of the most divisive issues in current politics as he maps the cultural history of guns and gun ownership in North America. Arms is both an intelligent and humourous look at the evolution of gun culture, written from the unique perspective of a self-professed gun lover who is disgusted with what the culture has become.

Taking Your Medicine in the Editing Room

In previous posts I’ve talked about the hard road to getting a book published, and even a bit about the effort that goes into just getting those first few stories done. I’ve talked about submitting writing and dealing with rejection, so I thought I’d take some time to discuss another real important thing to get used to, as you ready work for publication.

Ontario Speaker’s Book Award Shortlist Features a Majority of Small Press Titles!

The holidays have come early for non-fiction lovers, political junkies and policy wonks, with the release of the 2015 Speaker's Book Award shortlist. Presented by Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario Dave Levac, the Speaker’s Book Award aims to bring awareness to books written by Ontarians covering historical, regional, cultural, or parliamentary aspects of the province.

The award, now in its fourth year, gives special consideration to works focusing on Ontario’s parliamentary heritage and on provincial political discourse.

Video of the Week

Video of the Week: Book Trailer for The Illegal by Lawrence Hill

Lawrence Hill is one of Canada's most successful authors, with his Book of Negroes having smashed records to become one of the best selling novels in the country.

He returns this fall with his first novel since the publication of The Book of Negroes, the hotly anticipated The Illegal. With prescient timing as the world deals with a crisis of vulnerable and persecuted refugees, Hill tells the story one such young man fleeing a violent homeland with the hope of a better life. Keita Ali is a talented runner, and his talent might be enough to help him escape the fictional country of Zantoroland. But when he escapes to the wealthy nation of Freedom State, he's deemed "illegal" and forced into a desperate, underground existence where his running is the only way to survive.

Check out this book trailer for a glimpse into one of the hottest books of the season.

Writer In Residence

November 1, 2015 - December 1, 2015

Kevin Hardcastle »

Kevin Hardcastle is a fiction writer from Simcoe County, Ontario. He studied writing at the University of Toronto and at Cardiff University. His work has been widely published in journals including The New Quarterly, The Malahat Review, Joyland, Shenandoah and The Walrus. Hardcastle was a finalist for the 2012 Journey Prize, and has twice been published in the Journey Prize Stories anthology.

Hardcastle’s debut short story collection, Debris, was published by Biblioasis in September 2015. His novel, In the Cage, will also be published by Biblioasis, likely in fall 2016.
You can contact Kevin throughout the month of November at

Guelph University

Random reads

The Farmerettes

The Farmerettes

(Second Story Press)
From Second Story Press: The Second World War is raging. Millions of men have left to fight. But who will take over their jobs? A group of mismatched girls live and work together on a farm during the summer of 1943. Defying convention, they must take over for the men who’ve gone to fight.

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