Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

kfirmston's blog

All Is Revealed

This is my last blog as Writer in Residence for Open Book Toronto. That's kind of sad. So as I exit the stage I thought I'd give all of you a chance to get to know me better. So I ask for questions and I got them, some more coherent than others. I will do my utmost to answer them all. So here we go with a peek into the mind of Kim Firmston (hold on tight, it's going to be a bumpy ride). Oh, and don't mind the Do Not Push buttons. If you leave them alone all will be well. If you touch them - well, let's just say, you've been warned. . .

Introducing a Young Writer - Jessie Tollestrup

I first met Jessie Tollestrup at WordsWorth. She had put on a red hat that lay on the table, scattered among the other costumes, and I must say she looked fabulous. She's a soft spoken nineteen year old who will blow your mind the minute she hits the stage. She writes her own music, composes lyrics, and is an awesome prose and poetry writer. She hails from the prairies and you can see that influence in her eyes which seem to see things far in the distance. You will see Jessie Tollestrup soon. You will hear her on the radio. You will watch as she becomes something so big that the prairies themselves will seem tiny by comparison. But right now, she plays gigs in Vancouver and busks to make ends meet.

I introduce young writer Jessie Tollestrup:

Ask a Question

Hello Open Book Toronto!

Well, it's been a blast blogging for you for the past month. Only two days left in my time here and I've been thinking. I've interviewed so many great writers over the past month, I thought I would share a little bit about myself for a change. So here's the deal: on the my last day as Writer in Residence (Saturday November 30th) I will answer all the questions anyone has ever asked me about writing, teaching, and mentoring. AND if you out there on the interweb have questions too - ask away. Just send them into here or use the CONTACT KIM area of my website. Simple.

Two Young Writers and One Reason

So I've spent the past month introducing all of you avid Open Book Toronto readers to some up and coming young writers. But why? I mean, who knows if any of these kids are going to make it in the harsh world of writing? Well, one has to start somewhere and really anyone can interview someone once they have become established. My aim is to catch the genesis, the spark, the glowing ember before the big bang. That's harder. I want to show the world who is next on the writing front. Will I get it right every time? Probably not, but what fun is safe? Besides, maybe just validating young writers makes the probability become a reality.

Changing the Rules

I remember one Girl Guide camp I went to as a leader. It was district camp with a good fifty girls in attendance. One afternoon the girls were given an activity which involved answering questions about the Queen of England in exchange for ribbons they could display proudly on their camp hats. The answers to the questions were in articles displayed on posters around the building. The questions were in a separate room. The girls had to pick a question, memorize it, and find the answer before going to claim their ribbon.

Introducing a Young Writer - Mary Innes

Mary Innes is a girl who is just, just starting her life as a writer. She is still in high school and has a long road ahead of her. But talent! Man, this girl's got it. Her writing is stunning and disturbing. She can weave words like someone twice her age. And she's clever. Frighteningly clever. So let me introduce you to her:

Presenting young writer - Mary Innes.

KF: How old are you?

MI: Physically or mentally? Physically I am sixteen, but mentally I can be anywhere from about four to thirty depending on the situation.

KF: When did you start writing?

A Review of Nix Minus One by Jill Maclean

I bought Nix Minus One by Jill Maclean, published by Pajama Press, on a whim. I’d heard a good review of it on the CBC children’s book panel right before summer started and thought it would be a great read. Then I opened it. It was poetry. That was the end of the book for me. I don’t read poetry. I don’t get most of it. So I shut the book. A month passed and I was bored. I needed something to read so I thought I might give it a try. I mean, why not. If nothing else I could use it as a pillow while I lounged in the back yard.

A Great Day - Teaching and Dr. Who

Today two exciting things are happening in my life, well one has already happened and one is about to. They are:

Dr. Who's 50th anniversary episode is airing. I am a huge fan of the show. I've been watching it since I was very young. Also, the first episode aired on my birthday. Granted - I wasn't born until a few years later. Still, me and the show, we have a connection.

And second: I got to teach writing to some wonderful young immigrants. I've just finished my last class in a project put together by the Calgary Public Library and YMAP - which is out of the YMCA. It's a project which pairs four groups of immigrant youth (one from each quadrant of the city) with a team of writers with the goal of helping the kids write their immigrant story.

Maxine Bennett – Writer and Teacher

Twenty three year old Maxine Bennett is at the beginning of her career. She has a great knowledge of both writing and theatre and loves to share that knowledge with those younger than her. She has a passion to teach and has done this through her work as an interpreter at Dinosaur Provincial Park. Maxine is boundless in her energy when working with young writers. She is truly a mentor to those around her. I’m sure one day, her name will be mentioned as the reason notable writers got started in the craft.

I present, an interview with Maxine Bennett – writer and teacher.

KF: Why did you decide to start teaching?

A Review of Eldritch Manor by Kim Thompson

Eldritch Manor by Kim Thompson, and published by Dundurn Press, has a rather unassuming cover, plain yellow with a black ink picture of a fairy that could have easily come out of any sixties Field Guide to Fairies book. And I know, because I own one. The thing is, that’s what intrigued me. Given the cover, I thought the treatment of fairies and other mythical creatures would be true and accurate. I was right.

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