Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Best of Open Book 2013

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The Best of Open Book 2013

Happy Holidays! At the end of the year, we like to take time to reflect on the highlights of the past 12 months. We've pulled together for you a list of the year’s most-read articles and features on Open Book: Toronto and Open Book: Ontario. Enjoy!

DALTON HIGGINS AND SOCIAL MEDIA
"I’ll admit, it’s getting increasingly harder for me to finish my manuscript chapters because Kim Kardashian just gave birth to Yeezy’s first child, and my Edward Snowden NSA whistleblower conspiracy theories need further cultivation." Back in June, Dalton Higgins questioned the value of his time spent on the internet, and asked writers, "Are You Spending More Time on Pinterest Then On Your Prose?" "Yes," was the resounding response, and readers and writers clicked on Dalton's article and made it one of Open Book's best-read articles of 2013.

SUSAN HUGHES LOOKS AT THE VALUE OF BOOK TRAILERS
"For me, creating the trailer was fun, easy to arrange and cheap.... But do book trailers have other purposes? Do they, for example, help sell books?" In "Book Trailers: What're They All About, Alfie?" Susan Hughes asked members of the literary community to rank the importance of book trailers of a scale from one to five (one being "Essential," five being, "Nah, don't bother."

ROB MCLENNAN ON FATHERHOOD
"Just how do male writers write about their offspring? The male perspective as parent and caregiver couldn’t be more interwoven with confusion, contradiction and mixed signals." rob mclennan — a father of a grown woman and a newborn girl — looks at fatherhood and writing in a four-part series.

GRACE O'CONNELL SUGGESTS THAT YOU READ LIKE BOWIE
"So if you've ever wanted to read like one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century (and still going strong in the 21st!), check out this list of excellent books." It seems many people want to read like one of the world's top pop starts — or at least want to know what books make David Bowie tick. "How To Read Like Bowie — David Bowie's Top 100 Books" by Grace O'Connell was enjoyed by fans from all over the world.

SHAUN SMITH'S FICTION CRAFT
Shaun Smith's monthly Fiction Craft column is always a hit with Open Book readers, but his September Fiction Craft especially struck a chord this year when he asked authors Paul Blackwell, Krista Bridge, Scott Carter, Craig Davidson, Brian Fawcett, Meaghan McIsaac, Mary Novik, Noami Ragen, Richard Scarsbrook, Brad Smith, Ian Thornton, elizabeth Wein and Lucky Wilk, "What methods do you use to get into the mindset of your characters?"

CARRIE SNYDER'S HAPPY GOLDEN YEARS
"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." In "Writing Habits: These Happy Golden Years," Carrie Snyder gave us an glimpse of her lovely office and her enviable daily routine in Waterloo, Ontario.

BECKY TOYNE ON STARTING OUT IN PUBLISHING
"I think it’s fair to say he was an odd man to work for. Instead of an 'in-tray' there was a large, rectangular basket, which each morning would be overflowing on my desk, and each evening would be returned to his office ready for a re-fill.... One morning, it contained a pair of large brown brogues." In "A Foot in the Door, a Brogue in the Basket," Open Book columnist Becky Toyne looks at internships and entry level positions in the publishing industry.

WRITERS IN RESIDENCE
In 2013, Open Book had Writers in Residence blogging about a variety of topics: television, self-care, public libraries, bioart, writing retreats, shadow juries, bookselling, book festivals, baseball, teaching writing, history and many other subjects. A huge thanks to Aya Tsintziras, Natalie Zina Walschots, Elizabeth Ruth, Adam Dickinson, Ann Ireland, Andrew Faulkner, Michael Januska, Victoria Sedova, Stacey May Fowles, Kim Firmston and Elizabeth MacLeod for your brilliant, entertaining and engaging blog entries.

FOCUS ON ONTARIO
Each writing community in Ontario is unique, with different hang-outs, habits, landmarks and opportunities. In 2013, Open Book celebrated the vibrant literary cultures in regions across our province with our new "Focus On" series, which featured London, Stratford & Perth County, Cobourg & Port Hope, Prince Edward County, Windsor, Thunder Bay, Kingston, IFOA Ontario, Waterloo and Durham Region.

Coming up in 2014: Interviews with and features about some of your faviourite authors, new Writers in Residence, up-to-date book news, recommended reading lists, a Literary Salon at the Spoke Club in Toronto and many more exciting features!

Happy Holidays and best wishes for 2014!
Open Book: Toronto & Open Book: Ontario