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Vol.1 Issue 1

Author Canadian

Canada’s e-zine for writers by writers

Nino Ricci and the writing life

What an

Editor

Looks For Advocacy

in Action

How to WRite a Successful Query


Bringing Order to Content Management Access Copyright is pleased to announce aŠe Creator, a free, comprehensive, password-protected web-based service that allows creator affiliates to access their content anywhere at any time. Store multiple file formats, archive, retrieve, repurpose and track your writing edits. Manage your entire collection of works in digital form from one secure location and bring order to your content management. To find out how to get started with aŠe Creator, please contact us at acesupport@accesscopyright.ca or 416-868-1620 ext. 248.


Cover Story

Author! Author! Nino Ricci

Advice from a 31-time award winner

16

Features

08 10 How to Write a Successful Query: Make a good first impression

13  What an Editor Looks For: 10 ways to make a book editor’s day

10

13

In Every Issue 05 From the Editor 05 Your Turn / You Said

Departments

06 Message From the President 07 FrontLINES:

20 Pages from the Past 21 Happenings

08 Spotlight: Person / Place / Issue

22 BackSTORY

News about the world of writing – written by you

15 BookNOOK 18 Advocacy in Action CANADIAN AUTHOR •

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Author

CanWrite! 2013

Canadian

CALL FOR ENTRIES Short Story Contest It’s back! Canadian Authors’ short story anthology contest is back – and so is your chance to win cash, attend a great conference and get published. Prizes: $500, $200 and $100 plus a free conference* registration Entry fee: $20 per story Deadline: April 1, 2013 The top 10 stories will be published in an anthology to be launched at this year’s CanWrite! conference and retreat. Guidelines and entry form available at www.canauthors.org or call 866 216 6222 *CanWrite! 2013 conference will be held in Orillia, Ontario, June 13–16, 2013

So you think you CanWrite?

Editor: Anita Purcell

Associate Editors: Noelle Bickle, Courtney Thompson Art Director: Nick Bornino Editorial Advisory Board: Margo Bates, Matthew Bin, Judith Chopra, Millie Knapp Contributing writers: Moira Allen, Rosemary Aubert, Cryssa Basos, Noelle Bickle, Matthew Bin, Kevin Craig, M. Jennie Frost, Robert Gilbert, M-E Girard, John Provenzano Contributing illustrators and photographers: Bickerstaff Publisher: Canadian Authors Association / Matthew Bin Date of Issue: February 2013 ISSN: 2291-238X Unless otherwise specified, all contents ©2012 Canadian Authors Association. All rights are reserved and contents, in part or in whole, and may not be reprinted or reproduced without prior written permission or, in the case of photocopying or other reprographic copying, a licence from the Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright). For an Access Copyright licence, visit www.accesscopyright.ca or call toll free 800 893 5777.

Opinions expressed in Canadian Author do not necessarily represent those of Canadian Authors or its members. The publisher assumes no responsibility for advertisers’ claims, unsolicited art, photographs, stories, manuscripts or other materials. Canadian Authors Association 74 Mississaga Street East Suite 104 Orillia ON L3V 1V5 Mailing address: P.O. Box 581, Stn Main Orillia ON L3V 1V6 www.canauthors.org Complimentary subscriptions for 2013 The Canadian Authors Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Ontario Arts Council.

CANADIAN AUTHOR •

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from the

EDITOR

The Bookman | Canadian Author & Bookman |

W Anita Purcell

hile this is the first issue of Canadian Author ezine, it is also a rejuvenation of the original Canadian Author, a print magazine established in 1919 and published by the Canadian Authors Association for three-quarters of a century. During that period, the magazine’s name changed from The Bookman to Canadian Author & Bookman, and finally to Canadian Author until it ceased publication in 1998. On browsing the issues in our collection, I found the magazine to be a fascinating chronicle of Canada’s literary landscape. For this reason, Pages from the Past will be a regular department of this magazine, and its focus in this first issue is on the founding of the Canadian Authors Association (see page 20). There are other nods to the past in this issue, including a letter to the editor from long-time member L.B. Greenwood—written fifteen years ago (see below). Beth raised some valid points in that letter, and I can’t think of a better way to begin

Canadian Author a dialogue with our readers about what this magazine is and isn’t. For example, let’s be clear: although Canadian Author is published by the association, it is not meant to be a publication for members only but rather for all writers at all stages of their careers. While we will not feature poetry, we will profile authors who have good advice or interesting stories to tell. We will also share news about the sector, about events being held across Canada, and about advocacy work being done on behalf of all writers. We’ll feature how-to articles on writing— well-written articles that creative writing teachers will want to read to a class. And if we should somehow slip into a “confusion of purpose”, we know that you and Beth will be there to keep us on our toes. In the meantime,

Don’t forget to write!

your

TURN |

Let’s have more how and less who

you SAID

May I say a few words on Canadian Author?

I

t’s a good publication. Its current weaknesses seem to lie in a confusion of purpose. Is it meant to be primarily an organ for the Canadian Authors Association, a tribute to Canadian literature or a periodical to help all writers of the English language? To me, the latter should be our aim, practically to the exclusion of the other two. I would suggest that we have no more biographies, because they are not of any special use to other authors. My only exception would be to include in every issue a short bio of a CAA member who is not particularly well known but who has succeeded. This would both encourage others and boost our organization. Another article on Findley (who is a strong favourite of mine) does neither. I would have more how-to articles. Too many times the advice now presented is little more than generalizations: know your characters, etc. How? Very seldom do I find an article that I want to read to a writing class, and that is sad. Bill Marles [Markets column] is doing an excellent job. Why not give him at least twice the space, or perhaps triple? Why do we publish poetry? We don’t print sections of a novel, or children’s stories, or scenes from a script. What’s the justification for having a poetry section? —L. B. Greenwood

Letter to the Editor from the Summer 1995 issue of Canadian Author; see From the Editor above to see the current editor’s response to these points.

Kelowna, British Columbia

CANADIAN AUTHOR •

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from the

PRESIDENT

Canadian Authors Association Founded in 1921, the Canadian Authors Association is a registered charity and National Arts Service Organization dedicated to promoting a flourishing community of writers across Canada and to encouraging works of literary and artistic merit. While Canadian Author is published by the association, it is dedicated to reporting and informing on a variety of topics of interest to all writers and other stakeholders in the publishing sector.

Board of Directors Matthew Bin President

W

e’ve entered a very important phase in the Canadian Authors Association—a part of our organization’s development that promises to catapult us far ahead of where we’ve been in recent years. It’s an exciting time to be a part of this writer’s organization. Why is that? A lot has been happening in recent months, starting with the strategic planning work and governance reform that we’ve done at the national level. That strategic plan, which we’re well into, led to our receiving funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Ontario Arts Council, which in turn has led to a great deal of new activity, including a new website and a youth program—not to mention the Canadian Author magazine you’re reading right now. While things like governance and strategic planning aren’t headline-grabbing news, they have made possible these new programs that will very soon have very noticeable effects for our members. We are slowly moving away from having our branches as the sole point of contact for our members, too. Increased funding and staffing and better use of Internet enable the national office to supplement the branches’ work, as well as reach out to members who don’t have the benefit of a local branch. So what’s next? There’s a new TWIG program enabling writers to get together in areas not served by a branch. We’re working on new ways to showcase members’ publications, a series of online webinars for writers, and you’ll see new programs at this year’s CanWrite! conference, including the return of the short fiction contest. The board of directors, our national office, and I are all focused on making our motto—Writers helping writers—a greater reality. I’m glad to be part of the journey, and I know every member will soon have reason to agree that we’re moving in the right direction.

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President: Matthew Bin, Ontario Past President: Anthony Dalton Vice-PresideNt: Margaret Hume Secretary/Treasurer: Mae Denby

REGIONAL DIRECTORS BC-Yukon: Bernice Lever Manitoba-Saskatchewan: Joan Eyolfson Cadham Alberta-NWT: Jeananne Kathol Kirwin Quebec-Nunavut: Ken Kalman Ontario: Karen Gansel, J.R. MacLean

DIRECTORS Toronto: Jake Hogeterp Vancouver: Robert Mackay

BRANCH PRESIDENTS Alberta: Jana Rieger Montreal: Ken Kalman National Capital Region: Sharyn Heagle Niagara: Karen Gansel Okanagan: Beth Greenwood Peterborough: J.R. MacLean Toronto: Jake Hogeterp Vancouver: Margo Bates Waterloo-Wellington: Sandra Stewart

TWIG PROGRAM COORDINATORS Leacock-Simcoe: Jessica Purdy, Rose-Ann Marchitto

STAFF Executive Director: Anita Purcell Associate Director: Courtney Thompson Program Director: Noelle Bickle Canadian Authors Association 74 Mississaga Street East Suite 104 Orillia ON L3V 1V5 www.canauthors.org


Front LINES

News about the world of writing and publishing –

written by you E-Books Represent 16% of Book Purchases in Canada

Send Us Your News Next news deadline: March 25, 2013

Canadian Author is looking for short news items for this column, either researched and written by you or sourced from media releases or industry publications and rewritten for our readership. In return you’ll get a byline and the satisfaction of sharing information with the community. Your news item should be under 200 words—thorough but snappy—and contain info of particular interest to writers. The topic should be big enough to appeal to writers across Canada. Please make sure that any timesensitive stories are submitted in time. You must be able to provide us with the source of your information. Canadian Author will check and edit any stories submitted, and if a story is covered by more than one writer, we will select the best version. Please send items to admin@canauthors.org.

Access Copyright Begins New Chapter Access Copyright is pleased to announce the appointment of Roanie Levy as its new Executive Director. Ms. Levy assumed the role on January 1, 2013. Ms. Levy replaces Maureen Cavan who retired at the end of 2012 after eight-and-a-half years at the helm of Access Copyright. On announcing Ms. Levy’s appointment, Access Copyright Board Co-Chair Nancy Gerrish stated: “Ms. Levy brings leadership, experience and a wealth of knowledge in working with creators and publishers, as well as the many educators, learners and other content users that Access Copyright serves. Her experience uniquely positions her to guide Access Copyright in developing innovative products and services which respond to both the new legislative environment and new user requirements.” Ms. Levy takes over the organization as it embarks on a new, bold strategic direction focusing outwardly on users of content. —Robert Gilbert, Access Copyright

Canadians still overwhelmingly prefer print books to e-books, says BookNet Canada’s new The Canadian Book Consumer 2012: Book-Buying Behaviour in Canada January to June 2012 report. The first edition of the report—available since October—says that 86% of Canadians still purchase print formats and 19% buy electronic formats. Only 7% buy both. About 20% of print book purchases were made online (27.5% of all book sales were online, including mobile). But in-store purchases are still more prevalent: non-book retailers account for 32% of sales and traditional bookstores for 37%.  “What we’re seeing is that Canadians are still devoted to print and they’re most comfortable shopping in physical stores,” said Noah Genner, CEO of BookNet Canada. “But online shopping and digital formats already have significant adoption across Canada, and it’s something we will continue to track as the study continues over the next two years.” For more information, visit www.booknetcanada.ca/ canadian-book-consumer/ —Canadian Author staff

New Canadian Children’s Book Event Website The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) is thrilled to announce an exciting new endeavor. The CCBC Book Event Calendar is a comprehensive source of Canadian children’s book events happening across the country. The calendar was created as a service to CCBC’s members, who can sign up for a free online account and list their children’s book events, whether they be launches, seminars, festivals, signings, or workshops. The site is completely public, but the ability to post events is unique to CCBC members. Visit events.bookcentre.ca to view events. Members can immediately sign up for an online account. Prospective members should visit bookcentre.ca to learn more about membership. —Canadian Author staff

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SpotLIGHT

PERSON

Person | Place | Issue

Cultural Volunteer Extraordinaire

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PLACE

A

few years ago, the Niagara branch of the Canadian Authors Association was suffering a crisis. Its president, years into his term, was suddenly unable to continue in the role, and he left without any warning and without any succession plan in place. Into the void stepped an experienced, capable member who would go on to serve not only as the new president, but as a key member of the national board of directors. She currently serves as National Secretary/Treasurer, but it was as the chair of the Strategic Planning Committee that she had the greatest impact on the association. In fact, she was instrumental in transforming our organization into its modern, efficient, and progressive shape. That member is Mae Denby. She is also the winner of the Canadian Authors Association’s 2012 Allan Sangster Award, the annual award that honours a member for long and meritorious service to the organization. Mae is originally from Manitoba, and recently moved back to Winnipeg. She served for three years as the Niagara Branch president, and current Niagara Branch President Karen Gansel credits Mae’s commitment to writers with her success as president. “That gave us stability and encouragement.” Writing has been a lifelong passion for Mae, and she has lately turned her focus to memoir, both as a writer and as a teacher. But this is just the latest step in a career in education and commitment to not-for-profit organizations. She has been an influential voice on the board of directors as well as numerous committees and task forces. Her commitment comes, Mae says, from a belief in the Canadian Authors Association itself. “I firmly believe in the need for a national organization that connects and supports the growth and development of writers, giving voice to individuals across the country. On the subject of her recent recognition, Mae is enthusiastic. “I am honoured to have received the Sangster Award. It is always gratifying to have one’s efforts recognized; to be chosen by previous recipients for this award I take as the highest possible endorsement. Thank you, CAA!” —Matthew Bin

Breathing Space

I

n 2010 I knew I must go to Greece to see for myself several Mycenaean sites which are the setting for a novel I’m writing about Agamemnon’s mother Aerope. I’d have to rent a car, for no tour buses go to Midea or Asine. The prospect filled me with dread. I am not an intrepid traveller, and I remember vividly several terrifying driving incidents from my 2003 Greece trip. Then Suzanne Harris told me she was running a writers’ retreat in Greece in September 2011. “Where?” I asked eagerly. “We’ll spend two days in Athens, then bus to Kardamyli on the coast of the southern Peloponnese.” “Wrong places,” I sighed. But then I thought again. A retreat, not a tour. Unstructured time with other writers away from the duties and distractions of home. Accommodations and transport planned for me. And a reasonable price. Enticing! I decided I’d bribe myself into bravery: if I did my research in the Argolid, I could join the retreat. My solo week wasn’t easy, but it was useful and mostly enjoyable. Still it was wonderful to walk into the Attalos Hotel in Athens and know that for the next two weeks I’d be looked after. I met the retreat members in the hotel’s

roof-top lounge: Suzanne, four writers, an artist, and two seasoned travellers eager for a new place. We looked across the roofs to the Parthenon on the Acropolis and discussed our plans. Suzanne would lead walking tours to the Acropolis and its new museum tomorrow, to the Agora and its museum the next day, and the next we’d bus to Kardamyli. Participation in the walks was optional, and there’d still be some time to explore Monastiraki and the Plaka. How I appreciated the flexibility of this approach! I went on the walking tours but chose to leave the others and immerse myself in the museums for most of both days. The newly built Acropolis Museum houses the sculpture and other ancient artefacts found on the Acropolis. These are brilliantly displayed and interpreted. I left wondering if I’d ever seen a museum so well laid out. The Agora and its museum brought other delights. I was thrilled to visit sites I’d read about for years, then spent several hours in the Museum. I was delighted to see a gold signet ring from 1400 BCE with a Minotaur on it—aha! that story, still told today, is at least 3400 years old. Fun to see a 2500 year old ceramic baby’s potty with a photo beside it of a modern baby sitting on it. Some things never change! Best of all, I saw a whole case of oistrakha (pot shards


It was hard to pack up and leave. I came home determined to repeat the experience! —M. Jennie Frost

Issue

used as ballots) with Themistokles’ name written on them. Clever, tricky Themistokles has long been one of my heroes. I ended my long museum days by joining the other retreaters for relaxed dinners in the Plaka’s outdoor restaurants. Our last night’s venue was enlivened by a marvellous bouzouki band. We spent the third day driving south across the interior of the Peloponnese to Kalamata and along the west coast of the Mani (the middle peninsula) to Kardamyli. Fascinating to see the changing landscape and agriculture. Once again I was impressed with how the Greeks make use of every bit of land that will support crops. The thousands of olive trees around Kalamata grow all down steep mountain sides, each tree planted in its own small terrace created by building little stone walls to hold the dirt and catch the water. In Kardamyli we shared apartments (single or double bedrooms as we chose; full kitchens and baths) in a pensione. Again that marvellous flexibility—we could eat at home or go out, be sociable or solitary at will, live on our own timetable for nine days. I spent most of my days writing and reading at a table on my balcony. Others took their computers to a village café where they could use the Internet. The artist vanished for the day to whatever spot she was currently painting and reappeared about 6:30 when the light started to go. Usually two or three of us would meet to go swimming or out for dinner. Kardamyli is manageably small. There’s the harbour and beach to explore, many interesting shops and cafés, the fascinating Old Town church and Mourtzino Tower museum, and a mountain walk up to Aghia Sophia church situated near the second millennium BCE Mycenaean citadel. That path passes two Mycenaean tombs, supposedly the graves of Kastor and Polydeukes, the mythical Spartan twins who became twin stars, the Gemini. In late September the temperature was +30°C nearly every day, so we all appreciated swimming in the clear blue-green sea.

Spider Robinson on Science Fiction and Piracy

E

ver since he was a child, Spider Robinson wanted to write science fiction. As a young boy his mother took him to the library and said, “Start reading!” By chance the librarian handed him a Robert Heinlein novel. Robinson devoured that book and when he returned the book the very next day he asked the librarian, “You got more of this?” Spider’s first science fiction novel grew out of boredom while he was a night watchman at a construction site. “So there I sat in that trailer one night desperate for something to do. I had been reading a science fiction novel that I had flung across the trailer in disgust so to kill time I hacked out a story about where I’d rather be—a bar where they’d let you smash your glass in the fireplace. It sort of turned science fiction on me.” The location that Spider Robinson wrote about was Callaghan’s Place. The bar’s regulars are willing to listen to the problems of anyone who drops by the establishment. Strange and unusual events as well as visitors turn up frequently in the stories. Regulars at Callahan’s include a talking dog, time travelers and several extraterrestrials. Robinson’s first collection about Callaghan’s Place was Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon which was followed by sequels such as Time Travelers Strictly Cash, Callahan’s Secret and The Callahan Touch. He is most proud of his Robert Heinlein award for lifetime achievement, an award named after his hero and mentor. “If it wasn’t

for Robert there would be no me. The first twelve books I ever read in my life were by Robert Heinlein,” gushes Robinson. From 1996 to 2005 Robinson served as a columnist in the OP-ED section of the Globe and Mail. It was during this point of his career that he got his first taste of what it felt like to have his work pirated. “This guy wanted to show his love for me by making all of my works available free on the Internet, forever, for anyone who wanted it. I could not explain to this man how little love this displayed or how poorly this love played out. I was really trying to earn a living from this stuff and we’re still having that debate today, aren’t we, between those who say information ought to be free and those who say information ought to be reasonably inexpensive.” Spider has been a writer all his life and he makes a living from his craft. He can see the danger that lurks in the future, just like a plot line in one of his books. The market for his works will dwindle if his works are used and he doesn’t get compensated for it. “I don’t want to agree that if it’s for purpose of education that someone is allowed to copy everything that I’ve ever written. Sooner or later there’s going to come along a university professor who thinks I’m the greatest writer who ever lived and thinks he has a right to give away every book that I ever wrote to anyone who wants one and then what am I going to do for a living?” —John Provenzano

Writing Retreats in Greece A paradise of quiet elegance, tranquility and simple experiences to feed our spirits and our imaginations ...

September 2013 www.OlivewoodandLaurel.com

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How to Write a Successful Query BY MOIRA ALLEN

As editors become increasingly swamped with inappropriate manuscripts, more and more publications are closing their doors to unsolicited submissions. This means that the query letter is fast becoming the only way to break into some of the best magazine markets.

The Value of a Query Queries benefit both editors and writers. Editors much prefer to review a one-page letter than a 10-page manuscript, so queries spend less time in the slush pile. They also enable an editor to determine, quickly, whether you: • Can write effectively • Have a coherent, well-thought-out idea that fits the publication’s content • Have a basic grasp of grammar and spelling • Have read the publication • Have the credentials or expertise to write the article • Are professional in your approach to writing Queries save you time by ensuring that you don’t invest time and energy into writing an article that won’t be accepted. Keep in mind that articles are often rejected for reasons that have nothing to do with quality. An editor may already have a similar piece on file, or assigned, or have covered something similar in a recent issue. It’s much easier to find this out through a query, than to tailor an article for a publication and then have to rewrite it and send it somewhere else. It’s also easier to obtain interviews when you can say you have a solid assignment. By querying first, you also give the editor a chance to provide feedback on your idea. The editor may want to suggest a particular length, or approach, or recommend experts to interview. S/he may want you to cover other aspects of your subject in sidebars. By finding out what the editor wants before you start writing, you’ll avoid having to revise the piece later. A well-written query can also result in assignments you didn’t expect. If the editor is impressed by your style and credentials,

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s/he may offer you some other assignment, even if your original idea isn’t usable. This can often be the beginning of a long, rewarding relationship!

Query Letter Essentials But how do you sell an editor on your article when you have no more than a page to explain your concept and display your writing skill? The answer is: By including everything the editor needs to know about your article—and about you. A successful query letter generally includes these five basic components: • The hook • The pitch • The body • The credentials • The close

The Hook Your very first line should grab an editor’s attention. It must demonstrate that you can write effectively, and that you understand your market.

There are several ways to approach the hook, including: The problem/solution hook This defines a problem or situation common to the publication’s audience, then proposes an article that can help solve that problem. Here’s an example: The pet magazine market is an ideal place for newer


writers to break in. However, it is constantly flooded with inappropriate submissions. To break in, one must understand what these magazines want, and what they won’t accept. (“Writing for Pet Magazines,” sold to Byline.) The Informative Hook This usually presents two or three lines of useful information (e.g., facts, statistics), followed by an explanation of how this applies to the target audience. For example: Thanks to a translation glitch, Microsoft was forced to pull its entire Chinese edition of Windows 95 from the marketplace. Microsoft recovered—but that’s the sort of mistake few small businesses can afford! The Question Often, this is a problem/solution or informative hook posed as a question, such as: Did you know...? What would you do if...? Have you ever wondered...? The personal experience/anecdote Many writers like to take a personal approach, as it immediately establishes the credential of “experience.” Be sure, however, that your market uses more personal articles, or first-person accounts, before attempting a hook like this: Forget-me-nots. I love their wistful name. I love their tiny blue flowers. And yes, I love that growing them is as simple as pie. (“Forget-me-nots: Simply Unforgettable Spring Flowers,” by Mary R., sold to Fine Gardening.) The attention-grabber The goal of this type of hook is to make the reader sit up and take notice—hopefully long enough to read the rest of the story. This might be a good hook for a query about parachuting in Yosemite: As I fell from the top of Yosemite’s El Capitan, I wondered if my life would truly flash before my eyes—or if I would stop screaming long enough to notice.

The Pitch Once you have an editor’s attention, move on to the pitch. Usually, this is your second paragraph, and its purpose is to explain exactly what you’re offering. For example, the pitch that followed the informative hook, above, went like this: I’d like to offer you a 1,500-word article titled “Internationalizing Your Online Market.” The article would discuss how small businesses can take advantage of localizing agents to tailor their products and market strategies to the international marketplace.” If possible, your pitch should include a working title for your article (titles help editors visualize what you’re proposing), a wordcount (make sure you’ve checked the publication’s guidelines!), and a brief summary of what the article will cover.

The Body This is where you really start to sell. The body of your query will usually be from two to four paragraphs, and presents the details of your article. Remember that an editor wants to know exactly what the article will cover, so by this time you should have a working outline of the piece in your own mind. A good way to present an overview of your topic is to break it into logical subtopics—e.g., the sections that would be likely to appear under subheads in the finished piece. The longer the article, the more subtopics you can include (though it’s usually not advisable to have more than four or five). For example, a 700-word article on cancer in pets might only cover “The ten warning signs of cancer,” while a 2000-word article on the same topic might cover “common types of cancer, warning signs, and current treatment options.” A good way to determine whether you have the right number of subtopics is to divide your word-count by the number of topics—e.g., a 2,000 word article with five subtopics gives you a budget of 400 words per topic.

Here’s how I described the content of an article on quilt care: The article covers techniques of hand-cleaning delicate quilts to avoid damaging fragile fabrics and prevent fading and staining. It discusses ways to remove spot stains (including blood spots and rust stains from needles and other metal contact). It also discusses ways to mend damaged quilts without destroying the integrity of an heirloom piece. Finally, it discusses the best ways to store or display quilts in order to preserve and protect them. (“Caring for Heirloom Quilts,” sold to DownUnder Quilts.) Some writers like to use block paragraphs; others like to use bullets. There’s no rule on the best style; choose a style that makes your query visually appealing and easy to read.

The Credentials Editors want to know why you are the best person to write the article you’ve proposed. This is where your credentials come in. Don’t assume, however, that these must include writing credits. While a list of previous articles on relevant topics is nice, you may also be able to prove your qualifications with credentials such as: • Professional experience (some publications only accept material from qualified experts) • Academic degrees or training • Teaching experience in the subject area • Personal experience (especially if the article relates to personal issues/problems) • Writing experience • Interviews with experts (a way to demonstrate that even if you don’t have the credentials, you’ll be able to get information from those who do)

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Hooks to Avoid

Certain hooks scream “amateur” and are guaranteed to speed a query to the rejection pile, including:

The personal introduction Never start with a line like “Hi, my name is John, and I’d like to send you an article about...” Don’t offer irrelevant information, such as “I’m a housewife and mother of three lovely children. Recently I decided to pursue my lifelong dream of writing...”

The “suck-up” hook Yes, edtors want to know that you’ve read their publication, but they also want you to prove it by offering an appropriate query—not by saying, “I’ve been a subscriber for 20 years and just love your magazine...” (This is even less effective if your query goes on to prove that you’ve never actually read the magazine!)

The “bid for sympathy” Don’t tell an editor that you’ve never been published before, or that you need to sell this piece or your children will starve.

The “I’m perfect for you” hook Never sing your own praises: “I am a highly experienced professional and will be an asset to your magazine”. Don’t inform the editor that your article is “perfect” for his readers. Never declare that your article is “wonderful” or “fascinating.” Prove it—with a good query.

The “I’m an amateur” hook Never announce that you have never been published before, or that you’ve tried to sell the same article to 20 other magazines, or that your writing teacher (or mother or spouse) suggested that you send this to a magazine. Even if you haven’t sold anything before, you can still act like a professional.

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Credentials are usually listed in the last or next-to-last paragraph. Here’s an example: As webmaster of www.musicphotographer.com, it has been my job to connect music writers and photographers with the markets that need their work. This is the only site devoted to music journalism on the Web. I’m also writing the first guide on the topic. Reviews for my last book, The Van Halen Encyclopedia, are available at Amazon.com. (C. Chilver’s successful pitch to Inkspot for “How to Write for the Music Market.”)

The Close Use the final paragraph of your article to thank the editor for reviewing your proposal—and to offer one last nudge to encourage the editor to respond. I usually include a time-estimate in this paragraph—e.g., “If you are interested in this article, I can have it on your desk within XX days.”

Here’s a typical closing paragraph: I hope this topic interests you, and look forward to your response. If you would like to see the article, I can have it on your desk within two weeks of receiving your go-ahead. Thank you for your time!

Clips Many editors ask for clips so that they can review a sample of your writing style. Clips are simply copies of previously published materials. Never send copies of unpublished works! Don’t send clips of work you’ve selfpublished or posted on your own website. And remember, bad clips are worse than no clips at all. It’s best to send clips that are relevant to the proposal, if you have them. If you don’t, send samples from your most prestigious publications. If most of your published works are electronic, print out copies from your website; don’t just ask the editor to visit unless you are sending an email query. If you have no clips, don’t despair. Most editors consider the merits of a query first and the clips second. (To be honest, many editors don’t even have time to read clips,

even though they request them.) If your query is strong enough, the absence of clips shouldn’t be enough to trigger a rejection, unless the publication only works with published writers.

Following Up How long should you wait for a response? Usually, you should wait at least as long as the publication’s guidelines suggest (e.g., 4 to 6 weeks)—and then add another two weeks grace period. Then, send a polite follow-up. Attach a copy of your original query, so that the editor won’t have to search the files for it. If you still hear nothing after another 3 to 4 weeks, consider a polite phone call. (No, it won’t cause your article to be rejected.) If you still can’t get an answer, and you would like to withdraw the query, send a final letter informing the editor that, as you have received no response, you are officially withdrawing the query from consideration. This protects you from charges of simultaneous submissions if the first editor finally decides to reply after you’ve already sent the query on to someone else. The ability to write a good query is one of the most important skills in a writer’s toolbox. A good query shows an editor that you can write and that you are a professional— qualities that may result in an assignment even if the editor can’t use your original proposal. Think of your query as a letter of introduction, your first and only opportunity to get your foot through that particular door. If you make a good impression, you’re likely to be invited back (even if your original pitch is rejected). If you make a bad impression, you may find that door forever closed. © 2001 Moira Allen

Moira Allen is the editor of Writing-World.com, and has written nearly 400 articles for The Writer, Entrepreneur, Writer’s Digest, and Byline. An awardwinning writer, Allen is also the author of eight books, including Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer, The Writer’s Guide to Queries, Pitches and Proposals, and Writing to Win: The Colossal Guide to Writing Contests. She can be contacted at editors@writing-world.com.


What an

Editor

LooksFOR H

by Rosemary Aubert

aving been a book editor for a number of years, I’ve seen my fair share of unsolicited manuscripts. They have ranged from the totally hopeless right up to the award-winners—every editor’s dream. Editors have hopes for novels, just as authors do, so they are disappointed when a novel fails. Surprisingly many of the manuscripts I’ve seen have been near misses: works that might have made it had the author tried harder or worked longer. What does an editor look for in a novel? Here are ten things I would look for, from the simple to the sublime!

A properly prepared manuscript

A technically competent treatment

You’ve heard it all about typewritten, double-spaced, 8½ by 11-inch pages with good wide margins. Take it to heart, it is important. Editors are generally very busy; they do not have time to decipher handwritten manuscripts, manuscripts that are single-spaced or manuscripts that are typed on both sides of the paper. If you do not submit clean, well-spaced copy, an editor will be prejudiced against you from the start, will read your manuscripts in a state of irritation, which is, of course, no way to make an impression. It is also important to submit your manuscript loose. I once had a manuscript that was single-spaced, typed on both sides of the paper, photocopied, and bound together with a fastener that could not be loosened even with a screwdriver. Imagine how I felt by page twenty at which point I had lifted and turned the whole manuscript nineteen times!

Editors are lovers of language, perhaps the staunchest believers that a language is to be used properly, is to be respected. An editor will quickly lose respect for an author who cannot punctuate, spell, and use correct grammar and syntax. It is an editor’s job to perfect a manuscript, not to correct careless errors. An editor will always pay particular attention to an author who demonstrates knowledge of the rules of his language and who applies them with diligent care.

“It is an editor’s job to perfect a manuscript, not to correct careless errors.”

A manuscript that fits the intended market It is a waste of everybody’s time to send a manuscript that does not fit the market for which a particular editor is selecting. It is amazing how many authors send manuscripts without bothering to go into a bookstore or library to see who publishes what. Suppose you send your sexy novel to Nature’s Own Publishing House without knowing they publish only children’s stories. You get a rejection note and become discouraged about writing, whereas if you had done a little market research, you might have been published on the first try. There are no guarantees, of course, but this scenario is not an impossible one.

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“An editor’s heart leaps with joy when he reads an author with a strong style…” A setting appropriate both to the story If you are writing romance fiction, there is an element of fantasy that allows for the lush and the exotic, but the same sort of treatment might be downright weird in a sports story. The old adage about writing about what you know well also applies. If you haven’t been to Siberia or read at least fifty books about it, you’re better to stick to Ontario or Saskatchewan or whatever place you are familiar with. We’ve all heard of tourists who bring skis to Canada in July. So do some authors. Don’t let that happen to you!

of the person of the narration, but the same principle applies: consistency. Another problem in narration is loose ends. If Aunt Annie is never heard from again, you had better make sure she is dead and buried in print and not simply missing in action. Editors hate loose ends because they know that readers hate loose ends.

Individual style An editor’s heart leaps with joy when he reads an author with a strong style, one recognizable from work to work. This is one of the things that always separates the great from the ordinary. Of course, style cannot be taught. It is probably one of the few aspects of writing that come from talent rather than application. But it can be worked on. Your style will improve as your confidence improves—keep at it. Also, it is possible that style is discovered rather than created. It takes years to clear your writing of affectation, of imitation, and of the shy self-consciousness that points the finger at amateurs. The more clearly you write, the more likely you are to find your own style and to find an editor who will respond to it. Be as straightforward as you can, be an editor yourself—cut out everything extra. What is left is the real you.

Dialogue that is natural Nothing kills an editor’s interest in a novel more quickly than stilted dialogue. When was the last time you heard someone say “Wife, dear, I cannot locate our incorrigible progeny”? When was the last time you heard “Where’s that rotten kid?”

Characters that are not stereotyped unless they are minor There is a place for stock characters in any work, but not a very big place. Editors meet thousands of characters, and they know instantly when they have met someone before. What they are looking for is a new face in the crowd, a person (and I use that word on purpose) they have never met before. One way to accomplish this is to write from life. Never ever base a character in your work on a character in some other work. Even editors of formula fiction look for new characters, and in their best writers they find those new characters. Remember, in life no two snowflakes are alike; the same goes for characters in good novels.

Consistent narration and no loose ends Imagine a harried editor who has skipped lunch just to read your latest effort. She is speeding along happily in first person narration when suddenly she finds herself in some third party’s head. This is shocking—and angering. The editor puts down your novel and runs to the cafeteria. Consistent narration, a viewpoint that is deliberately chosen and maintained throughout, is essential to a good novel. Mistakes in narration are not something an author should leave for an editor to “fix.” No editor will get that far if you are careless. Of course, in some novels, there are deliberate changes CANADIAN AUTHOR •

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A new story Any editor will tell you that a new story is not necessary to a good novel. Boy meets girl can still stand to be done ten million more times if it is done well. But, oh what a thrill it is to sit down and read a really new story! Of course, no novel can stand on plot alone. But if you can really come up with a new one, you’re one step ahead of almost everybody else.

The perfect novel I’ve never seen it, but I know what it looks like. The manuscript is letter perfect and would fit right inside my briefcase; there is not one comma out of place; it fits my market to a tee; it takes place right in my backyard, which has suddenly become fascinating; the characters speak a language just like the language I heard on the bus this morning; they are people I never met before but would like to know better; the clear, precise narration tells me—with style—a story I’d never even thought of before; and best of all, this perfect novel comes directly to me and not to the editor next door who is still slogging through all those near misses!

Rosemary Aubert is the internationally-acclaimed author of the Ellis Portal mystery series and the author of five romance novels published around the world. Reprinted from The Canadian Writer’s Guide: Official Handbook of the Canadian Authors Association, 10th Edition, 1988 (Fitzhenry & Whiteside), with permission from the author.


Book

nook

BOOKREVIEW BOOKREVIEW BOOKREVIEW

The ArtfulEdit: On the Practice of Editing Yourself Susan Bell, Norton

The Artful Edit: On the Practice of Editing Yourself by Susan Bell is a comprehensive and approachable guide to self-editing. Susan Bell, a former Random House editor, demonstrates the art behind the discipline and demystifies the process. The author discusses in detail two forms of editing: macro (structure, theme, character) and micro (language, clarity, repetition). Literary examples support the theory using before and after text taken from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby through his collaboration with his editor Max Perkins. It is this show vs. tell approach that distinguishes this editing guide from others. To further drill down to the principles, each section contains helpful tips and practical exercises with a summary. Interviews with notable authors like Michael Ondaatje, Eliot Weinberger and Ann Patchett offer their perspectives about writing and editing. In the section titled “Master Class,” Susan Bell expands the discipline to other creative fields to explore how other artists revise their work. Understanding how a film editor works with a sound track can help the writer explore the elements of their own prose and maintain control of their message. The book’s conversational style is engaging and accessible, making The Artful Edit not only a valuable writing tool, but also an enjoyable read. This is a must-have reference guide for writers of all levels. —Cryssa Bazos Available in paperback, hardcover, ebook

Second Sight: An Editor’s Talks on Writing, Revising & Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults, Cheryl Klein

In this book, professional editor Cheryl Klein combines the information she’s shared via blog posts and talks given at various conferences. She focuses on giving an in-depth analysis on what constitutes great storytelling, demonstrating concepts and principles using various examples, many right out of the Harry Potter series (she served as continuity editor for the American editions of the last two books). Among the highlights of this book are the character flowsheets, a fairly substantial chapter on what makes a great picture book, a chapter with 25 revision techniques, and the comparison of finding a publisher to falling in love. But it’s the “Quartet” chapters that make this book an essential read. The Quartet is comprised of Character, Voice, Plot, and Point (or theme). These four elements are dissected and explained in a way that provides a deep understanding of the writer’s job as a storyteller, their duty (and challenge) to make these elements come together to create a rich story. As much as this book focuses on children’s writing, the principles the author teaches can, in my opinion, be applied to any work of fiction. I recommend it for the writer who wants to gain a critical eye when it comes to evaluating a manuscript for those four vital elements that make up the Quartet. —M-E Girard Available in paperback

The Summing Up, W. SomersetMaugham, Vintage Classics

The Summing Up is a perfect read for those who enjoy their information delivered to them through storytelling. Think of a past generation’s On Writing. Like Stephen King did in his opus on the craft of writing, W. Somerset Maugham takes the reader to wonderful places while sharing truths and insights into the life and work of the writer. Keep a pen handy; you will want to take copious notes and pin them above your workstation for inspiration. Whether you’re a novelist or a playwright, you’ll be delighted by the backstage pass Maugham offers. His self-deprecating humour and honesty will resonate with your inner writer—how refreshing to learn such an acclaimed writer had the same insecurities as we ourselves experience as writers. His thorough description of theatre, playwriting and the relationships between writer, actors, director and audience are golden. Reading about his theatre experiences and play creation process will feel like a workshop experience. Alas, as insightful and bang-on as most of his teachings on writing are in this extraordinary glimpse into a writer’s life, the last quarter of the book drags as he leaves writing behind and hits on the topic of philosophy. Nevertheless, The Summing Up will strike a chord with all writers. His philosophy ramblings aside, I highly recommend this book. —Kevin Craig Available in ebook, audio book

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Nino Ricci reflections from an award-winning author

L

uckily for readers around the world, Nino Ricci once ignored W.O. Mitchell’s advice—and went on to become one of Canada’s beloved best-selling authors. Ricci has earned a multitude of awards, including two Governor General Awards, the Trillium Award for Literature, the Alistair MacLeod Award for Literary Achievement, the Canadian Authors Association Fiction Award and, most recently, the Writers’ Trust Engel/Findley Award for a writer in mid-career. He’s also been shortlisted for the Giller Prize for Fiction, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and in 2011 was named a Member of the Order of Canada. Canadian Author’s Noelle Bickle recently chatted with Ricci about his long-standing writing career and his very best advice for emerging aspiring authors.

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CA: You have a long list of literary awards. Which is your favourite? NR: Every prize is my favourite at the moment I get it. Most writers have an abundance of insecurity and self doubt. The most valuable thing about a prize is that it gives you that boost that says we still believe in you, there’s still hope for you. And each prize has done that for me. The Writers’ Trust Engel/Findley mid-career prize is in some ways the most important kind of prize because it isn’t for a specific book, it isn’t for completing something. It’s for being in the middle of something and that’s exactly when you— particularly writers—most need a boost, need someone to come along and say “Keep going.”

CA: When you first started out, did you think like the mainstream population, that all writers are rich? NR: Maybe when I was eight. By the ninth

tion office when they were just gearing up and saw these people doing all sorts of work on the project. I had spent maybe $20 worth of paper and now they were spending tens of thousands of dollars to recreate sets on something that I’d just made up. At the same time, you realize it’s something very different from the novel. It leaves you as an artist and becomes a different kind of art object, sometimes successful and, often enough, not that successful. In this case, there were a lot of different hands in the project. So the final product, for me, was a little bit of a hodgepodge because there were so many different agendas that had to be met at the end of the day. But it’s still thrilling to see it happen.

CA: Do you have any interesting writing rituals?

CA: You mentioned it passing hands during the production of it. Did anything get changed that felt like a loss?

And it all worked out. I learned a lot, even in just the three weeks that I was in his class. I still refer back to his writing lessons—that’s the irony of it.

NR: Yes. The Italians felt you could not have a

CA: What good advice do you give aspiring or emerging writers?

grade I was fully committed to being a writer, and I knew it was not a profession that made money. My plan was to become a lawyer as a way of funding my writing. I’d already formed that plan by high school. I think any wise writer goes into this from the outset knowing that it is by no means a logical path to fortune. There are much easier ways to make money

movie in which incest actually occurs, but the incestuous relationship between the brother and sister in the third book of the trilogy is really essential to the whole story. In the movie it turns out that they’re not really brother and sister. From my perspective, that was a substantial betrayal of the vision—or a substantial revision, to use a less harsh word. It was a different story.

CA: So if it’s not the money, why become a writer?

CA: But would you do it again?

NR: For most writers, it’s the thing you feel you have to do. I knew that nothing else would make me happy. In that sense, there didn’t really seem any choice. It doesn’t make a lot of evolutionary sense, how this impulse would have come about through natural selection. Writing doesn’t really serve that much use in terms of survival, and yet there are people who are just driven to write and that is what they must do.

CA: The Lives of the Saints trilogy was adapted for a television miniseries. How was that experience? NR: Just to see that kind of incorporation of corporal coming to life from what you made up out of your head is both humbling and thrilling. We all fantasize about it and, when it actually happens, it feels unreal. I went to the produc-

NR: Well, I would certainly try. There aren’t many people knocking on your door saying “Can I make a movie of your book?”

CA: You’re married to another brilliant writer—Erika de Vasconcelos. How does that affect your work? There’s no fooling another writer… NR: Exactly. And you can’t pull rank, and say “Well, I’d love to do the dishes, but I have to finish my novel.” You can’t mystify the creative act, like you might be able to with an outsider. At the same time, it’s affirming—we both appreciate that what we’re doing has value. And then on the negative side, we’re both competing for the same rarified air, and that can be quite Darwinian.

NR: I usually play a game of Spider Solitaire on my computer before I start writing.

CA: What was the worst advice you ever received as a writer? NR: The worst advice was from W.O. Mitchell, who told me to give it up. I was a first year undergrad at York University and it was my first workshop. He called me into his office after a few weeks and basically told me I would never be a writer. But he may have done me a favour—it gave me something to fight against.

NR: Persist. That’s the only common characteristic I’ve seen among successful writers. And many of them have a person who’d told them that they could never do it, one who they sort of bucked against. That will end up being the difference—keep at it.

Fast

Furious Round: What book are you reading now? Rereading The English Patient

Favourite place to visit? Italy

Guilty Pleasure? Spider Solitaire

Biggest time waster? Spider Solitaire

Favourite season? Spring

Writing is?

Pain. Though if you asked me another time, I would’ve said something else.

Best thing about being a writer? I set my own hours.

Downside to being a writer? I set my own hours.

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Advocacy in Action

“Bill C-11 has swung the pendulum too far and the pendulum needs to swing back to the centre.”

Copyright Cultural Organizations Working Together to Speak with One Voice “Copyright is important for writers,” explained Greg Hollingshead, an Edmontonbased writer and former chair of the Writers’ Union of Canada, in 2011.“It’s a very crucial component of this relatively small income that each of us cobbles together each year, and if it is diminished – which it is likely to be, if educational uses of material become devalued or even non-existent – then you’re going to see even fewer writers writing.”

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H

ollingshead was talking about Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act, which became law on November 7, 2012. The Bill expands the Copyright Act’s existing fair dealing exceptions to add three new allowable purposes. At the top of the list is education. This significant change will create marketplace uncertainty that will cost writers and publishers millions in lost revenue at the same time that they will need to undertake costly and long-drawn-out litigation to have the courts interpret the new law. During the period of time that the Bill went through the legislative process starting with its predecessor Bill C-32, introduced on June 2, 2010, many groups representing Canadian creators and publishers banded together to fiercely defend the interests of the country’s cultural sector. Groups that took part in this effort included the Canadian Authors Association as well as the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP), Association National des éditeurs de livres (ANEL), the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illus-

trators and Performers (CANSCAIP), the Canadian Educational Resources Council (CERC), COPIBEC, the Canadian Publishers’ Council (CPC), League of Canadian Poets, Literary Press Group (LPG), Playwrights Guild of Canada (PGC), the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC), the Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) and Union des écrivaines et des écrivains Québécois (UNEQ). This coalition of cultural groups proposed amendments to Bill C-11 and presented them to the government, and also participated in regular ongoing advocacy with MPs, bureaucrats and staffers at Canadian Heritage and Industry Canada, the two government ministries responsible for the copyright file. Additionally, members of many of the groups that comprised the coalition were invited to testify before a Special Legislative Committee struck to examine the Bill as well as the Senate Banking Committee and ensured that the concerns of the Canadian cultural sector were heard loud and clear. The group attempted to have the government recalibrate the Bill so that it truly


Writers Talk to Students and Teachers about Fair Dealing lived up to how it was described in the government’s backgrounder on the Bill: “legislation to modernize Canada’s copyright law in a way that balances the needs of creators and users.” It was also an effort to mitigate what many see as the unintended consequences of the Bill, which have the potential to do more harm than the Bill’s drafters intended. Jackie Hushion, Executive Director of the CPC, expressed these concerns in 2011. “The educational publishing sector wouldn’t shrink or disappear immediately, but over time, I think you’d see a remarkable decline in publishing outputs,” said Hushion. “You’d see a lot of projects that had been in the works halted and put on the shelf because publishers would have no confidence in the marketplace and wouldn’t be able to justify spending money to produce new resources in print or digital or to further innovate in digital materials.” While the Bill became law without any amendments to clarify the inclusion of education as a new fair dealing exception under the Copyright Act, the advocacy work continues as the threat that the Bill poses to Canada’s cultural sector remains. “I believe that the Bill will come back to haunt this government,” says Maureen Cavan, who recently retired as Executive Director of Access Copyright. “Bill C-11 has swung the pendulum too far and the pendulum needs to swing back to the centre.” However, Cavan stresses the lasting importance of the work of this coalition of cultural groups. “Bill C-11 is an excellent example in Canada of how the industry came together in a very productive task force,” says Cavan. “There’s a coalescing of these stakeholders in the content production industries around the world and an understanding that unless we are speaking with one collective voice, our individual voices get lost.” —Robert Gilbert, Access Copyright

J

ohn Degen, Executive Director at The Writers’ Union of Canada, was recently interviewed by Courtney Kirby, host of CKUT Radio’s Wednesday Morning After show (Montreal). He briefly outlined recent changes to copyright law in Canada, how those changes are currently being misinterpreted by educational administrators, and the broader implications of that misinterpretation for Canadian students, teachers and the cultural economy. You can listen to the interview via an audio fileat the following link: http://traffic.libsyn.com/bookroom/CKUTinterviewJan2013.m4a For more background information please see the following page on TWUC’s public site: www.writersunion.ca/writers-students-and-teachers-its-time-talk-about-fair-dealing

GOT BOOK ?

So You Want to Get Published: an insider's guide for all you need to know July 15 + July 16, 2013 Contact: Cynthia Good 416-675-6622 ext. 3462 | cynthia.good@humber.ca

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Pages from the

PAST

The Canadian Authors Association Reprinted from the June 1921 issue of Canadian Bookman

W

ith this number, the Canadian Bookman, which has already made itself in its two years of existence a sort of unofficial organ of the literary community of Canada, becomes the official organ of the makers of literature, organized in the form of the Canadian Authors Association. The birth of that Association, which is recorded in these pages, is, we confidently believe, an event of first-class importance in the history of Canadian literature. Nor do we believe we are exaggerating when we say that but for the Canadian Bookman the bringing into existence of an Authors Association, founded on so wide a basis and representing so many aspects of Canadian literary activity, would have been impossible at the present time and very probably for many years to come. The committee which called the convention consisted of four members of the editorial committee of the Canadian Bookman, including its editor, along with one who while not a member of the Bookman’s committee is one of the most regular and valuable contributors to the magazine. We have had many reasons for believing that the prompt and general response of Canadian writers to the call for this convention, together with the hearty assistance afforded by the later-formed French-Canadian committee, was in large measure due to the broad and non-sectional attitude maintained by this magazine and by all those connected with it. If the convention had done nothing more than to concentrate the attention of Canadian writers upon the atrocious perversions of the whole idea of copyCANADIAN AUTHOR •

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June

1921

right which have been grafted by special interests upon the new Copyright Bill introduced this session in Ottawa, and the purport of which, we are confident, was but imperfectly understood by those responsible for the measure, the trouble taken by those who called and those who attended this gathering would have been fully repaid. But this is merely the first instalment of the results which should and will flow from the bringing together into a nationwide relationship of the authors of this growing Dominion. We therefore make no apology for devoting a very considerable amount of our space in this issue to the affairs of the new organization. Perhaps we cannot express our sense of the nature of this occasion better than by quoting the words of Prof. W. T. Allison, himself, one of the most active and inspiring participants in the convention, as we find them in an article written in a Western newspaper since his return to Winnipeg: This must be regarded as a significant event in the history of Canada. It indicates that a new national consciousness is growing rapidly as one of the results of the Great War. Had there not been formed a League of Nations wherein Canada speaks and votes as an independent nation, it is not likely that we would have today this new League of Canadian Authors. Authors are strongly influenced by the tide of events; they

are mirrors of our national life and voice our aspirations and ideals. The stronger the pulse of our people and the more pride they take in their status as a nation and in their own products, whether they are agricultural implements or books of verse, the more courage will Canadians have for high endeavours. Before the war, Canadians writers were few in number, ill-paid, distrustful of their own powers, timorous to a degree. Recent events, however, have ushered in a new era of confidence and hope the first-fruits of which is the wonderfully well-attended convention of authors and their formal banding together in a national organization. In the circumstances we feel that no apology is necessary, either for the omission of the March issue of this magazine, which would in the ordinary course have been No. 1 of the third volume (the numbering now borne by this issue), or for the omission in this issue of some of our customary features, notably the condensed reviews of recent publications. The attention and energy of the editorial staff has been largely devoted, since February, to the task of making the new organization possible. The organization is now well under way, and we shall resume with the next issue all of the features which have made the Canadian Bookman valuable to its readers.

Editor’s note: Pages from the Past will be a regular feature of Canadian Author—at times celebrating how far we, Canada’s literary community, have come over the last nine decades, and at other times illustrating how some things change very little. We thought it fitting that this first issue of the ezine carry an article commemorating the birth of the Canadian Authors Association at the first conference of Canadian writers, which was held in Montreal, Quebec, on March 11 and 12, 1921, and attended by 110 writers from across Canada.


2013

HAPPENINGS

Conferences|Events|Festivals|Tours Freedom to Read Week Freedom to Read Week is an annual event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed them under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Freedom to Read Week  provides an opportunity for Canadians to focus on issues of intellectual freedom as they affect your community, your province, our country, and countries around the world. By getting involved, attending events, hosting your own poster contest, BookCrossing, and/or by becoming a sponsor, you can make a difference and help mark this as an annual event across Canada. February 24–March 3, 2013 Various libraries, schools and community groups across Canada www.freedomtoread.ca/freedom_to_read_week/index.asp

BNC Technology Forum 2013 Technology Forum 2013 will showcase experts and visionaries from around the world as we move beyond being simply digitally literate to becoming digitally fluent. With an abundance of digital tools and workflows at our disposal, are we really getting the most out of them? This year, we move from the how and what of digital to the when and why to improve, compete and excel. By attending this year’s forum, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of where our industry is headed, develop a more sophisticated and profitable strategy, and learn practical skills you can apply. Take the opportunity to learn, debate, network and glimpse into the future of our industry. March 6–7, 2013 The MaRS Centre, Toronto, ON www.booknetcanada.ca/ technology-forum/ Ontario Writers Conference The Ontario Writers’ Conference 2013 will provide you with an extensive and impressive range of speakers conversing on the art and skill of writing and related industry topics. This year’s conference will celebrate, inspire, educate & connect writers of all levels; provide participants with an opportunity to network with writers and other publishing professionals; and encourage writers to publish, promote and sell their work. Speakers and facilitators include

Deborah Kimmett, Andrew Borkowski, Sherry Coman, James Fitzgerald, Ed Greenwood, Linda Griffiths and many more. May 3–4, 2013 Deer Creek Golf & Banquet Facility, Ajax, ON www.thewritersconference.com/ ontario-writers-conference-html/ Between the Lines The Editors’ Association of Canada (EAC) 2013 conference takes place June 7 through 9 at the Lord Nelson Hotel in downtown Halifax Registration. Early-bird registration opens in February and goes until April. Keynote speakers include Robert MacNeil, former co-anchor of The MacNeil-Lehrer Report and Donna Morrissey, an awardwinning author. There will also be presentations from Atlantic Canada’s unique publishing, writing, Acadian and Mi’kmaq cultural communities. June 7–9, 2013 Lord Nelson Hotel, Halifax, NS www.editors.ca/conference

MagNet 2013 Canada’s Magazine Conference is happening again this year in downtown Toronto. MagNet is Canada’s premiere public policy, professional development and networking conference for magazine professionals. Find the ideas, peer support and

Mark Bourrie, Susan Swan and Marg Anne Morrison at Censored Then & Now 2012

inspiration you need to advance your business, expand your career and take on new skills that will guide you through to the future. MagNet is  the  destination to network and learn, and to celebrate Canada’s dynamic magazine industry. Member rates apply so check out the list of member organizations before registering. June 4–7, 2013 Courtyard Marriott, Toronto, ON www.magnet.magazinescanada. ca/overview CanWrite! 2013 – Masters, Muses & Magic A Writers’ Retreat & Conference CanWrite! 2013 is the Canadian Authors Association’s 92nd national conference. Each year, CanWrite! celebrates Canadian literature, provides an educational forum and networking opportunities for professional, emerging and aspiring writers from across Canada, and supports writers in the development and promotion of their work. This writers’ conference + retreat is designed for anyone who writes, wants to write or wants to get back into writing. Whether you’re an aspiring writer or an accomplished professional, this is the one conference you don’t want to miss!  June 13–16, 2013 Lakehead University, Orillia, Ontario www.CanWriteConference.com

Write! Canada – Canada’s Largest Christian Writers’ Conference Thinking about writing? Want to meet with about 200 other writerly people? Join us for Write! Canada 2013! June 13–15, 2013 Guelph Bible Conference Centre Guelph, Ontario www.writecanada.org Writing Certificate Programs University of Calgary’s Continuing Education is now offering three online writing certificate programs. Each program requires 200 hours of instruction time, and in some cases, courses can be applied to more than one certificate. Online courses include professional writing specializing in business and technical writing, professional writing specializing in marketing and public relations, and creative writing. Registration is on a first come, first served basis so be sure to register soon as spaces fill up fast.  www.conted.ucalgary.ca/writing/

Send Us Your Event Info

Have a conference, retreat, residency, festival or other major event coming up? Send your event listing to admin@canauthors.org by or before March 18, 2013. Next issue: April 15

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ftr2012

BackSTORY: Fiction/ Depiction/ Conviction

Freedom to Read Freedom of Word Search The basic tenets of the Freedom

Expression

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delegated or appropriated. Prior restraint t s u e n n e h demeans e i individual t i e responsibility; t n k tit is See if you can find the words listed below.of Expression Committee of the anathema to freedom and y a o l t n i i e n b e a t democracy. m c r In the puzzle, the words could be written Book and Periodical Council As writers, editors, publishers, book r c k l e m e l manufacturers, e r s mdistributors, r u tretailers l dand in any direction: up, down, diagonal Freedom oftexpression d a is o a fundamenr t m d librarians, a p rwe oabhor s arbitrary a n uinterprer and backward. tal right of all Canadians, and freedom to tations of the law and other attempts to e t e r n c t r e o v i r r c b m limit freedom of expression. We recog13. journalism read is part of that precious heritage. Our 1. banned o s p t e u y e f court e judgements; c n e otherwise, s l y wee opCommittee, representing member organize 14. theatre 2. censorship nizations and p associations of the Council, r s n t t c n pose r the k detention, s a dseizure, l h destruction t g 15. poetry 3. children’s lit reaffirms its support of this vital principle or banning of books and periodicals—in16. music 4. literacy i efforts r e to osuppress h hwriti s u w d e r p i i a and opposes all deed, any effort to deny, repress or sani17. borders 5. libel ing and silence writers. Words and ime n r c m s i l tize. a Censorship n r u does o not j protect y rsociety; p 18. control 6. access ages in their myriad configurations are it smothers creativity and precludes open e r m o s a v i l t l i b e l e h 19. free speech 7. controversial the substance of free expression. debate of controversial issues. 20. megaphone 8. library u toechoose e ewhatl wec read h t a s r k t n n r o The freedom —Endorsed by 21. read 9. information does not, however, the freedom e tinclude c p e c to r e i then Book r and i tPeriodical i s Council, i n 22. Internet 10. book club choose for others. We accept that courts February 5, i c p n y s h o i t s i l e n c 1997 e 23. silence 11. literacy alone have the authority to restrict read24. speak out 12. letter writing e y athat ecannot t be c r e r o n n s s g n ing material, aaprerogative

and Freedom to Read

Banned Authors

Word Search

See if you can find the surnames of the authors in the puzzle. The surnames are listed below in boldface type. All these authors have had their books challenged or banned somewhere in Canada. In the puzzle, the surnames could be written in any direction: up, down, diagonal and backward. 1. Mordecai Richler (The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz) 2. Anthony Burgess (A Clockwork Orange) 3. W.P. Kinsella (Dance Me Outside) 4. Stephen King (Different Seasons) 5. Margaret Laurence (The Diviners) 6. Peter Turnbull (Embracing Skeletons) 7. Piers Anthony (Faun and Games) 8. Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale) 9. John Ball (In the Heat of the Night) 10. Yuk Yuk’s (Jokes Men Only Tell Other Men) 11. D.H. Lawrence (Lady Chatterley’s Lover) 12. Alice Munro (Lives of Girls and Women) 13. Marguerite Duras (Man Sitting in a Corridor) 14. John Steinbeck (Of Mice and Men) 15. Jimmy Pritchard (The New York City Bartender’s Joke Book) 16. Salman Rushdie (The Satanic Verses) 17. Charlaine Harris (The Southern Vampire Mysteries series) 18. J.F. Gonzalez (Survivor) 19. Kate Allen (Takes One to Know One) 20. William Pierce (The Turner Diaries) 21. Jonathan Nasaw (Twenty-Seven Bones) 22. Timothy Findley (The Wars) 23. Jane Rule (The Young in One Another’s Arms)

CANADIAN AUTHOR •

22

• Winter 2013

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CanWrite! 2013*

Literary masters + writers' retreat + conference

Masters, Muses & Magic

June 13-16, 2013 Lakehead University Orillia Campus Ontario

*An annual Canadian Authors Association event

www.canauthors.org


Canadian Author - Winter 2013