Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Up and Comers

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By Dennis McCloskey
January 1, 2009

I hate the word “blog!” I know what it means (online diary) and where the term comes from (Web log) but it reminds me of “Blah” or “Ugh!”
But I think blogs are here to stay: according to Universal McCann (March 2008) 184 million people worldwide have started a blog, and 346 million people read blogs.

I love blogs. (Just not the word.) And I know I’m going to love being the January Writer-in-Residence (WIR) for OpenBookToronto.com and I am looking forward to writing a blog (not a blah or an ugh) every couple of days during the month.

I am honoured to be the first WIR of 2009. I believe I was chosen, in part, because I am in the golden autumn years of my career that has spanned 38 years. During that time I have subjected readers to millions of words in 65 publications around the world, and in 8 books.

So, you can well imagine I have plenty to say, and during the month I will be talking a lot about myself and my work and my ideas and my mistakes of the past and my accomplishments. For that reason, I would like to start the month off by talking about others.

I want to tell you about 5 young people I know who, to me, represent the face of writing and journalism in the years to come. I have plenty of writing left in me (in fact I told a friend recently that I’m thinking of retiring from full-time writing so I will have more time to write!) But I am ready to pass the symbolic torch to five young people who are very near and dear to me:

JEFF TOWN is my 28-year-old nephew who works in advertising sales for CHUM radio in Vancouver. Jeff has written for the iconic international magazine, Wallpaper, but I believe his greatest talents lie in photojournalism. He recently spent some time in Malawi, and the photos he took of the people of that Southeast African country are worthy of publication in National Geographic Magazine.

LORENA "Lori" HARITO is a twenty-something friend who graduated last year from Ryerson University’s Journalism course. I mentored Lori over a few beers at the London Pub and was so happy when she graduated in 2008 and landed a contract position with Global TV in Toronto. Lori’s talents are writing for the Web and I know she will go far in that important medium. She also writes great book reviews. In an online review of my latest book “My Favorite American” Lori wrote that “everyone should have this book in their hands and in their hearts.” Awww, Lori!

MARGAUX HENQUINET is the 17-year-old daughter of a friend in the Chicago area. I recognized her writing and editing talents several years ago and encouraged her to write for her school paper, Prospector, and consider a career in journalism. She became a staff writer and entertainment editor for the paper and now she is considering enrolling in Missouri State University with a double major in Journalism and Spanish. As I write this, she and her sister, Kelsey, are marching in the New Years Day Parade with the Prospect High School Marching Knights...in London, England!

VICTORIA HALL, of Sweden, is the 18-year-old daughter of my sister-in-law. Fashion and writing is her forte, but whatever career this amazingly talented and creative young woman chooses, she will make her mark on the world. Her blog is heavy on fashion but her reflections on life and living is top notch writing. Consider this thoughtful remark in one of her recent blogs: “I love working with words. I feel as though thoughts are like puzzle pieces, and that words are like the colour that creates the pictures in our minds.” Victoria hopes to write a novel one day. I can’t wait to read it!

TAYLOR KOSMACHUK is the 13-year-old daughter of our long-time neighbours, Tim and Wendy. Several years ago, “Tay” founded a newspaper. The young media tycoon started the Tomlin Street News, a compilation of news and gossip that takes place on our suburban neighbourhood street in Richmond Hill, Ontario. It is delivered free to selected homes on the street, and without the Tomlin Street News, I wouldn’t know half what goes on around here!

1 comment

Blog/blah/ugh. It's like how I don't like the word limpid. Meaning, of course, clear like a limpid pool of water. But sounding like limp+tepid. "She let the limpid slice of last night's white toast slide off the plate into the dog-dish." Or how about bucolic - ah, pastures, lovely. But sounding diseased. "Ralph decided against picking up the bucolic puppy with the oozing sores." (- Sick from bad bread no doubt.)

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Dennis McCloskey

Dennis McCloskey is a journalist and editor and the author of numerous books. Several hundred of his human interest and business articles have appeared in over sixty-five newspapers, magazines and corporate newsletters in Canada, the US and Europe. His latest book, My Favorite American, is published by General Store Publishing House.

Go to Dennis McCloskey ’s Author Page