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Field Notes by Sara Jewell

Ever since I met my “Upper Canadian” husband in my hometown of Fredericton at age twenty and moved to southern Ontario at twenty-one, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with the Maritimes, as well as with rural and small-town life in general. At times, I have resented what I saw as its narrowness and stubborn attachment to the past. I can credit Sara Jewell and her Field Notes: A City Girl’s Search for Heart and Home in Rural Nova Scotia (Nimbus, 2016) with adding more weight to the “love” side of the equation. Now back east, living in Halifax after seven years abroad, I’ve come to appreciate anew the warmth and hardiness of my birthplace. Field Notes reminds me of what I had lost and now regained. Continue reading

Understorey Magazine at CCWWP

Join Understorey Magazine editor Katherine Barrett and Cargo Literary editor Mo Duffy Cobb at the 2017 Canadian Creative Writers and Writing Programs Conference in Frederiction, New Brunswick, June 9-11.

We will be discussing:

  • how and why we founded online literary magazines,
  • the role of literary magazines in nurturing new writers, and
  • challenges of the current publishing environment in Canada.

We hope for a lively discussion.

See the full conference schedule on the CCWWP website.

Call for Submissions: African Nova Scotian Women

We are excited to announce that Issue 12 of Understorey Magazine will be dedicated to writing and art by women of African descent in Nova Scotia.

This project is funded in large part by the Delmore “Buddy” Daye Learning Institute, an organisation focussed on excellence in Africentric education, with additional funding from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Issue 12 will be published in both digital and print editions and will be guest-edited by author/editor Lindsay Ruck.

We will also hold two community writing workshops during May 2017. One workshop will be in the Halifax Regional Municipality and another in Shelburne, NS. (Please stay tuned for dates and times.)

Submissions are now open to all who identify as women of African descent and who live in Nova Scotia (as well as African Nova Scotian women living outside NS). Please contact us with any questions and see full guidelines on our submissions page.

Deadline: September 1, 2017.

 

 

Writing Hard Stories by Melanie Brooks

When I received my copy of Writing Hard Stories by Melanie Brooks (forthcoming from Beacon Press, February 2017), I envisioned myself curled up in my comfortable armchair with coffee, settling in for a good long read. That was not to be—partly due to demands of a busy holiday season and introducing a new kitten to our family but mainly due the nature of Brooks’ book itself. It is not the sort of work that one can rush through, so I found myself reading one of her eighteen “interviews” per day, savouring the insights I gleaned and pondering how I could apply their lessons to my own writing

Although she grew up in New Brunswick, Brooks now lives in New England. It was while she was working on her MFA in creative nonfiction and planning the writing of a memoir based on her father’s death from AIDS contracted from tainted blood that she began to look into the works of memoirists who inspired her. She then got in touch with the writers directly to ask the questions that she was asking herself: What does it take to write an honest memoir? How can memoirists present the details of a painful past honestly and at the same time respect the privacy of friends and family? Those conversations became Writing Hard Stories. Continue reading