Tag Archives: publishing

Word On The Street – Book and Magazine Festival Extraordinaire!

I’ve attended Word On The Street’s annual book and magazine festival for several years now (I even volunteered one year. Still have the tee-shirt) and it’s been wonderful every year.

photo 1

This is a small section of the festival. There really are so many beautiful books! Not to mention fantastic authors who read their work and give advice to emerging writers.

And did I mention that this festival is free? FREE!

photo 2

I totally want to drive this…

In addition to exploring the book vendors tents, I also ventured into The Humber School for Writers Workshop Marquee.

photo 3

They had an excellent line up of panels and talks. I attended Close Your Eyes and Think of Book Sales facilitated by Humber School for Writers faculty members Kim Moritsugu and Antanas Sileika with participants literary agent Monica Packeco and author Elizabeth Ruth

Monica had some good tips but the two biggest take-aways for me were from Elizabeth:

1) Bring people with you. What does that mean? Well, why have an event just starring you? Why not partner with another author who can bring their audience and contacts with them. Sending out e-blasts? Why not mention other authors who can do the same for you? Scratch some backs. They might scratch yours.

2) Saying yes to something small can lead to something big. You never know who knows who, what they do for a living or how they can help you. Say yes – to everything. Readings, book club appearances, whenever opportunity comes knocking – answer. You never know what it might lead to.

If you are a reader, a writer, an all-around lover of books, I highly recommend you attend next year. If you don’t live in Toronto, Word On The Street also takes place in Lethbridge, Saskatoon, Kitchener and Halifax. (…And if you don’t live in any of those places, I say you should lobby for your city!)

I want to thank all of the dedicated staff and volunteers who make this event happen. The festival is amazing. You’re amazing. Thank you.

Leave a comment

Filed under Events

No, really, what’s it like?

If you go to a reading or a festival you see writers on stage looking so confident. They get asked questions like what’s changed since you’ve published. They answer that they write faster, that they think of themselves as a professional. They get asked how they found an agent and they talk about queries and rejection. Rarely do you hear an author talk about the inexplicable joy of holding their creation in their hand.

Damien Walters Grintalis is the author of Dreams of Ink. I haven’t read this book (and since he defines it as horror I probably won’t since I don’t like being scared) but I love his blog post about how he felt when he published.

Fourteen hours until Ink is released and I feel as if I’m standing on a precipice, yet what waits below is not a deep chasm of treacherous rock and stone.

Today, I’m a published author, thanks to my short fiction. Tomorrow, though, I become a published novelist. Maybe it’s only semantics and this whole thing is worthy of nothing more than a rolling of the eyes.

Except… Except…

Over the years, I heard things like “agents don’t rep horror”, “horror doesn’t sell”, and when I received the first rejection for the first query letter, I wondered if they were right. Second rejection. Ouch. By the fifth, they didn’t hurt as much. And then came a request. I don’t remember if it was a full or a partial, but what it meant was a maybe, a step up on a climb to somewhere that was a dream.

More waiting, more querying, more maybes, more nos. And then a yes. Another step.

And then came submission. More waiting, this time for editors, more maybes, more nos. Sometimes the nos cut so deep, I thought I’d bleed out before too long. Then came a yes. Another step. A huge one.

And now this.

I know tomorrow will bring giddiness and laughter and fear and anxiety, but right now, I have this almost ethereal feeling of accomplishment that tastes of honeysuckle and candyfloss. Call it luck, call it hard work, call it talent. But I didn’t quit. I kept taking those steps. I kept climbing.

Now I’m standing on that precipice and what waits below is a dream I dared to believe in, and I hope I never forget what this feels like.I hope he doesn’t, either.

1 Comment

Filed under Writing