I just came back from a book fair in Europe, about which more later, but I found an astonishing number of alumni involved in literary activities here.
First, two of our alumni, Brittany Smith and Jenny Keogh were the final contenders in the "Literary Death Match" at Broken Pencil Magazine. This is a sport-like event in which various stories are paired off and then the audience votes to find the winner. Since both the writers in the final were alumni, we found it hard to choose!
New book deals were announced too.
Eric Murphy wrote to say this about his forthcoming YA book: Dancing Cat Books was so thrilled with The Phantom's Gold that they moved up the publication date from fall to spring.
Ron Schafrick wrote to say that his new collection of stories will be published by Oberon Press in Ottawa.
David More's first novel, mentored by M G Vassanji, The Eastern Door, will be published by by Fireship Press in Arizona.
Roost, Ali Bryan's first novel, is about Claudia, a single mom whose favourite word is asshole. Long restless and resistant to ‘nesting,’ Claudia finds herself reluctantly holding her entire family together after the unexpected death of her own mother. It’s a refreshingly honest and hilarious look at modern parenting and family.
And of course, our alumna, Cathy Buchanan, has had a bestseller with her second novel, Painted Girls. She just might end up being the best-selling Canadian author of the year.
Elizabeth Maclean writes: My book Imagining Vietnam has just been published in the UK by Impress Books. It won the Impress Prize for New Writers in 2011.
And as for me, I was a featured guest for the translation of my novel at a book fair in Vilnius, Lithuania. It was a delight to go back to my roots, but the real delight lay in a book fair so crowded with families that it was hard to walk freely. Sixty thousand people at a book fair in a country of three million! People are big readers in some countries, and this is one of them.