Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

February Updates from OBT

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Fresh & Local: Your connection to Toronto's vibrant literary scene

Dear Readers,

You're sitting on a patio, people saunter by in t-shirts and shorts and a warm breeze brushes against your bare neck. You pick up your book.... Can you picture it? It's almost here: spring. Check out Open Book: Toronto for our latest Writer-in-Residence postings, interviews, features and contests and for some exciting, interesting and inspiring spring reading suggestions.

Keep up-to-date with Open Book: Ontario by subscribing to our monthly newsletter. If you subscribe before February 28, you will automatically be entered in a draw for one of two $100 gift certificates to the Ontario book store of your choice.

Win one of five copies of Solemn Vows, the newest Marc Edwards mystery by Don Gutteridge. Click here to find out how.

In Renee Miller's February Flash Fiction challenge, she asks writers to "take us somewhere we've never been. Use setting to bring a foreign land or a new world alive for us." Read the full submission guidelines.

Congratulations to last month's Flash Fiction Challenge winner, Wendy Swore. Read her winning story, "Stroke."

We're loving Kate Pullinger's stint as Open Book's February Writer in Residence. Her blog is always a fascinating read; among many topics, she's written about ebooks and pbooks, digital fiction and some enjoyable ways to waste time. You can send your questions to Kate to or post them directly to her blog.

Open Book and McArthur & Company are giving away a copy of Kate's Governor General's Award-winning novel, The Mistress of Nothing. Click here to find out how to enter your name in the draw. The contest closes on February 28th.

Open Book's Black History Month Interview Series
"Most of my pieces manifest directly from my internal narrative out my mouth and never start on paper or in the notes section of my iPhone." Mahlikah Awe:ri tells us about her work as a spoken word artist, her heritage and more.

"I was always singing, talking, always had songs in my head, tape them on a recorder." An interview with poet, educator and hip hop artist Motion (40 Dayz, Canadian Scholars' Press).

"I had this false notion that people like Henry James and Edith Wharton wrote novels. A young man from Somalia who learnt English at fourteen had no business writing novels, I thought." We talk to Hassan Ghedi Santur, author of Something Remains (Dundurn Press).

On Writing Interview Series
"An author can better express emotion and develop strong characters in fiction than in non-fiction." Memoirist and former Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario James Bartleman talks to us about his first novel, As Long as Rivers Flow (Knopf Canada).

"JUST SAY NONI! That's my new mantra. I cannot tell you how many times I've said yes when I wanted to say, and should have said, no." Writer Heather Hartt-Sussman and illustrator Geneviève Côté talk to Open Book about writing and illustrating for children and their new book, Noni Says No (Tundra Books).

Ten Questions Interview Series
Jared Bland, managing editor at The Walrus, tells us about the magazine, editing Finding the Words (McClelland & Stewart) and what excites him about Canadian literature today: "I'm constantly awed by the talent we have in this country."

"The book began with dreams." In his Ten Questions interview, Scott Thornley tells us about his debut novel, Erasing Memory (Random House).

The Proust Questionnaire Series
C.B. Forrest's (Slow Recoil, RendezVous Crime) greatest extravagance? "A good suit and a killer tie."

Don Gutteridge's (Solemn Vows, Simon & Schuster) dream of happiness? "What I've done, writing 35 books."

Psychic medium Carolyn Molnar (Compassionate Messenger, Dundurn Press) lets us in on her greatest accomplishment: "Being a mom, helping others connect with their loved ones in spirit."

George Murray's Questionless Books Interview Series
Literary agent Samantha Haywood's response to George Murray's Questionless Books Interview (QBI) offers this advice: "A Manuscript should always...spend some time on its own before it's reread and rewritten and later passed along to your agent."

"A Manuscript that's ready to be read by others is a rare and precious thing," says writer and blogger Sam Jordison in his response to the QBI.

Thinking of switching literary agents? Are you casting your gaze south of the border? Before you make a move, you'll want to read Samantha Haywood's latest Agent's Corner column, "Canadian Agent vs. American Agent: Is One Better than the Other?"

In "Cro-Magnon Kids and David Letterman," Dalton Higgins offers his "Top 10 Reasons Textbooks Bite" and how e-readers could help lighten kids' loads.

Visit Open Book's Events page for a comprehensive list of literary activities in the GTA. Do you have an event that you'd like listed? Please send an email to Rebecca Lohse at

We'd love to hear from you. You can send your questions and comments to

All the best,
Open Book

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