Trillium Book Award Author Readings June 16

Waterloo Region

 
Share |
Focus on: Waterloo Region
A Guide to Waterloo Region?s Literary Scene
Javascript is required to view this map.
 

The Waterloo Region is a haven for great minds — including the many gifted and, yes, wild writers who make their homes here. Kitchener-Waterloo is the base for two of the country's best steadfast independent publishers: Wilfrid Laurier University Press and The New Quarterly Magazine. The unparalleled Words Worth Books, host of many spirited literary discussions and readings, is a community-oriented bookstore with an incredible hand-picked selection of books and magazines. And the new Wild Writers Festival, the region's first lit fest, is gearing up for its second season! Follow Open Book: Ontario throughout the month of November as we Focus On: Waterloo Region.

Waterloo Region News

The Proust Questionnaire, with Pam Fluttert

One of the Focus On: Waterloo Region writers we are celebrating this month, Pam Fluttert is not only an author, but also a committed advocate for youth. Using the difficult experiences of her own childhood, she has written a brave look at mental and sexual abuse in her first novel, Until Today (Second Story Press). The author states that her mission is "to inspire, protect, develop and empower today's youth to take control of their lives and be all that they can be."

In her answers to the Proust Questionnaire, Pam Fluttert tells us about her own inspirations, horses and heroes, the cool drink that tempts her and more.

Behind the Books, with Clare Hitchens

When we think of the people behind the books we love, we generally think of writers. But many people work in a variety of professions to get those books onto your shelves. In our new series, Behind the Books, Open Book speaks with the printers, publicists, book sellers, book bloggers, event programmers and many others who work in the publishing industry.

As we celebrate Focus On: Waterloo Region, we check in with Clare Hitchens of Wilfrid Laurier University Press to find out how the cogs work at this thriving independent publishing house.

Clare is an ideal voice to speak for the Waterloo writing community. Not only has she worked as a publicist for Wilfrid Laurier University Press for the past decade, she also serves as a volunteer with the Eden Mills Writers' Festival as the Young Adult Author Coordinator and Social Media Coordinator. Outside of publishing, she devotes her time to the communication team for the Canadian Down Syndrome Society and sits on the Board of Directors for Facile, an organization that seeks to empower people with disabilities to take their place in the world through independent facilitation services.

At the Desk: Erin Bow

For each book we readers eagerly open, there's a writer who's spent countless hours researching, organizing, writing and rewriting. The place where all this happens is unique to every writer, and we love nothing more than to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the site where it all happens. In Open Book?s At The Desk series, writers tell us about their creative processes and the workspaces that inspire them.

Physicist-turned-author Erin Bow sits us down at her desk today to talk about the lengths she went to finding the right space to write. Warning: it involves dancing and poles! Erin is one of the authors featured in our Kitchener-Waterloo Recommended Reads list. Her latest book is the young adult adventure Sorrow?s Knot (Scholastic Canada).

Focus On: Waterloo Region - The Recommended Reads

By Ginger Pharand

It's time to get wild with our Recommended Reads as we Focus On: Waterloo Region this November. Home to Wilfrid Laurier University Press and The New Quarterly Magazine, there is always something literary going on in Kitchener-Waterloo. And with the Wild Writers Festival just about to start up for its second season, it's a great time to take a look at the region's writers.

Waterloo Region offers readers a smorgasbord of genres, from Edna Staebler's classic cookbooks to David Chilton's record-smashing financial guide to Tamas Dobozy's award-winning fiction. And if you're a teen reader in Ontario, you'll find Kitchener-Waterloo is the place to be for new releases in young adult fiction. If you're in the area, there's no better place to pick up this month's Recommended Reads than Waterloo's must-not-miss destination, Words Worth Books.

With special thanks to Timm Vera and the City of Kitchener for permission to publish the photos in this series.


Writing Habits: These Happy Golden Years

By Carrie Snyder

I call my writing ?work,? but that?s mainly tactical, to convince others that writing is something I really must be doing. No one ever questions you if you say you?re going off to work. Even children take this very seriously. But I?ll let you in on the truth: writing isn?t work, for me, though I?m not suggesting it?s recreation, either. Writing is breathing, it?s therapy, it?s sanity, it?s expression, it?s habit, it?s compulsion, it?s delight, it?s celebration, it?s adventure, it?s discovery, it?s mystery. I could go on. But for the sake of simplifying the editing process (which, by the way, is also not really work, for me) I will stop. Unlike any other job I?ve tried, writing is never something I don?t want to do, and I have the sneaking suspicion that were I not bound to reality by my responsibilities — in the very specific form of four active children — I would disappear inside my imagination and never come out again. Or rarely. You?d probably glimpse me around town in running gear mumbling to myself as I pounded past in all weathers. There she goes — you know, she?s a writer.

And so I count my blessings: pressing pause to exit my head at regular intervals, and dash around in the real world, ferrying children to activities, reading to them, meeting up with friends, cooking meals and participating in the primal stuff and bother of actual life. I?ve learned, over years of necessary practice, how to move between worlds, being as present as possible wherever I happen to be. This fails only when I?m in the midst of a serious plot-push, desperately trying to dump every idea onto the page. That?s when, stirring a pan on the stove while listening in stereo to children begging for snacks and screen-time, I sense myself tuning out, pulled into my imaginary spaces, trying to untangle imaginary problems, my eyes going blank, and I regret it, but I can?t seem to stop myself.

Focus On: Waterloo Region

The Waterloo Region is a haven for great minds — including the many gifted and, yes, wild writers who make their homes here. Kitchener-Waterloo is the base for two of the country's best steadfast independent publishers: Wilfrid Laurier University Press and The New Quarterly Magazine. The unparalleled Words Worth Books, host of many spirited literary discussions and readings, is a community-oriented bookstore with an incredible hand-picked selection of books and magazines. And the new Wild Writers Festival, the region's first lit fest, is gearing up for its second season! Follow Open Book: Ontario throughout the month of November as we Focus On: Waterloo Region.

With special thanks to Timm Vera and the City of Kitchener for permission to publish the photos in this series.

Five Things Literary: The Virtual Literary World, with Douglas Glover

Today's literary connections are hardly limited to any immediate neighbourhood of scribblers. In our favourite Five Things Literary feature yet, Governor General's Award-winning author Douglas Glover shares a mere five of his favourite links to his literary community, all thriving in the busy hub of cyberspace.

Douglas was born in southwestern Ontario, lives in New York State and is currently serving as writer-in-residence at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. This week he's on tour in Ontario with his new book, Savage Love (Goose Lane Editions).

Douglas began his tour on September 16 in Windsor and continues on to Toronto on September 17, Hamilton on September 18 and Waterloo on September 19. He'll return to Toronto in November for the International Festival of Authors. Visit our Events page for details.

The Dirty Dozen, with Barbara Aggerholm

Barbara Aggerholm grew up in towns across the Bruce County, and now spends her summers in Kincardine, where she was born. The area is in her blood and has inspired her two novels, The Phantom Piper and Stowaway in the White Hurricane (The Brucedale Press). Barbara will launch Stowaway in the White Hurricane, which tells the story of the Great Lakes Storm of November 1913 from the perspective of 13-year-old Lucy Clark, in Kincardine on Sunday, August 25. Visit our Events page for details.

Today Barbara takes on the Open Book Dirty Dozen and reveals her predilection for altering photographs, her appreciation of selective hospitality and her solution to the violent feline soap opera that unfolded in her home.

The Proust Questionnaire, with Jason Wilson

Jason Wilson is an award-winning Canadian author and musician. He is a two-time Juno Award nominee and is currently completing his Ph.D. at the University of Guelph. Author of four books, including Lord Stanley: The Man Behind the Cup (2006), Wilson has published on various topics, including Canada and the First World War, hockey and music. His latest book, Soldiers of Song: The Dumbells and Other Canadian Concert Parties of the First World War, was recently published with Wilfrid Laurier University Press.

Jason will be at Toronto's Hugh's Room on Saturday, June 15 along with Canadian storyteller Lorne Brown and his ?era-appropriate? band. Visit Open Book: Toronto's Events page for details.

In his answers to Proust Questionnaire, Jason tells us how dropping out of high school inspired his life-long love of reading, what his perfect afternoon in the backyard would look like and why the hockey dressing room might just be the most honest place to reveal one's feelings.

Blog Alert! Carrie Snyder writes about the Wild Writers Festival in Waterloo

Carrie Snyder, author of the GG-nominated short story collection The Juliet Stories (House of Anansi Press), has written in her blog, Obscure CanLit Mama, about her experience at the Wild Writers Festival in Waterloo.

The festival occurred just this past weekend (November 2-3) and was its first year. Carrie writes that she has been to many writers festivals across Canada, each unique in their own way. The Wild Writers Festival was the "most academic" she had attended; however, "it was not stuffy. It was comfortable."

Waterloo's Own Lit Fest: The Wild Writers Literary Festival

Open Book loves nothing more than the launch of a new Writers Festival — and the Wild Writers Literary Festival, held in Waterloo for the first time in November 2012, has the makings to become one of the premier festivals of the season. The Wild Writers Festival invites "the unbridled lovers of the written word" for readings, panel discussions, writer's craft classes — even a Speakeasy on how to write great sex scenes.

We spoke with TNQ editor and festival organizer Pamela Mulloy for a sneak preview of the festival and tips on how to best soak up the literary scene in Waterloo.

The Proust Questionnaire, with Tamas Dobozy

Tamas Dobozy is a Waterloo author who has just released a collection of thirteen linked stories called Siege 13 with Thomas Allen Publishers, which has recently been shortlisted for the Writer's Trust Award for fiction and for the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction. In his answers to Proust Questionnaire, Tamas tells us what kind of rally would be misery itself to sit front row in, what part of Canada is home to his dream of happiness, who the anonymous historical figures he admires are, the significance of "Caw!," and much more.

The Proust Questionaire, with Suzanne Church

Suzanne Church was born and raised in Toronto. She attended the University of Waterloo, earning a BMath, and has never left the Kitchener-Waterloo area. She lives with her two teenage sons, who remind her daily that high school is hard work.

Writing science fiction, fantasy and horror since 2002, her short stories have appeared in Cicada and On Spec, and in several anthologies — including Tesseracts 13 and 14. Her short story "Synch Me, Kiss Me, Drop" can be found online in the May issue of Clarkesworld Magazine. To learn more about Suzanne, visit her website.

Her short story "The Needle's Eye," from the collection Chilling Tales: Evil Did I Dwell; Lewd I Did Live (EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing), is nominated for an Aurora Award. All Canadians are eligible to vote for the winner online. Votes must be submitted by July 23rd.

The Proust Questionnaire was not invented by Marcel Proust, but it was a much loved game by the French author and many of his contemporaries. The idea behind the questionnaire is that the answers are supposed to reveal the respondent's "true" nature. Today, Suzanne tells us about her love for teaching, what she thinks about Stephen King and more.
_________________________________

Mom's the Word: Tips and Confessions from Writing Mothers

by Erin Knight

Writers and mothers have their hands thick with the putty of becoming and creating. These two roles so essentially shape one's identity that it can be difficult to understand how they can co-exist within one body — even if we set aside for a moment (assuming we have one) the very practical concern of time and energy. "I never thought anything could matter more, be so essential to who I am, as being a writer," says Camilla Gibb, author of The Beauty of Humanity Movement and the Trillium-Award winning Sweetness in the Belly. "And then I became a mother. It matters so much more."

On Writing, with Nan Forler

Nan Forler is the author of Winterberries and Apple Blossoms: Reflections and Flavours of a Mennonite Life (Tundra Books), which not only tells the story of a young girl finding her place in a traditional culture, but also offers genuine Mennonite recipes for readers to try at home. The book is illustrated with paintings by Peter Etril Snyder.

Waterloo Region Events

Advanced Search