Reading and writing: just a means of escape from the anxiety-inducing present?

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The first job I ever had in the Montreal region was at a company called Bath Fitter, aka Bain Magique, up beyond Laval in a town called Saint Eustache. As I listened to the explanation of the pension benefits that I was entitled to, a repeat of conversations I’d had with prior employers in Edmonton, it dawned on me: I’ve never cared about this conversation, I still don’t care, and I actually feel it’s OK to not care, because I have very little faith that, by the time my retirement rolls around, the world that we know – mortgages, insurance plans, “financial security” etc. – will exist.

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Head in the Gutter: A Profile of Comic Artist Avalon Moore

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Avalon Moore is a comics artist based out of Nova Scotia that is releasing a few pages of her graphic novel, Between, online every week. Eve Nixen sat down with Avalon to talk about the creative process, relationships and finishing projects, no matter how challenging they become.

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Art & Love & Geneviève Castrée

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Writing about my experience of someone else’s death feels like a million acupuncture needles at once—I know it’s serving some mysterious purpose, but it feels strange, surreal, selfish. I’ve decided to trust that it will do some good, and frankly, I don’t know what else to do.

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INSIGHT: Saying Yes

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I am bad at saying no. As part of a better-late-in-life-than-never self-improvement exercise, I try to turn down extra work—especially the non-paying variety.

So last summer, when Michelle Sylvestre of the Make A Wish Foundation phoned to tell me about a volunteer opportunity—Raphaëlla Vaillancourt, a young survivor of a life-threatening illness, wished to publish a book and needed mentoring—I referred Michelle to Lori Schubert at the Quebec Writers’ Federation.

A few days later, Lori contacted me. If the QWF could fund a mentorship for Raphaëlla, would I take the job?

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FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT: Gadfly at the Festival

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In the hospitality room at the Hôtel Gouverneurs in Trois-Rivières, you are greeted by two perky volunteers whose first question after introductions is: “Will you three be reading the French translations of your poems yourselves, or will you be requiring the services of a French reader?” Oh, my, you think. What translations? The hotel carpet begins to yaw under your chair. What was I thinking coming to a poetry festival in a city whose population is 97 percent French—without translations?

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From the Underground: A Writer’s Life with Zines

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I had tapped into a vibrant community of punk writers who crafted great stories and then cut and pasted their work together, photocopied it, and released it with no thought of gaining attention from the world of mainstream literature. These were my first literary heroes. In a time before our current memoir boom, they wrote honest and true stories full of grit and heart. Read more →

Guillaume Morissette: Guest Fiction Editor of Issue 26

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We are pleased to announce that Montreal author Guillaume Morissette will be joining us as guest editor of fiction for Issue 26, our first issue of 2016. You still have until December 31 to find your best short stories or novel excerpts and send them in. Submit online now if you haven’t already. It’s free! Successful contributors receive $50.

Video: Dispatches from Ann-Marie MacDonald

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During her time as the 2015 Mordecai Richler Writer in Residence at Concordia University, Ann-Marie MacDonald has been chronicling her experiences in a series of ‘dispatches.’ In these brief videos the award-winning author reflects on and among the writerly-tools of the late author. Richler attended what is now the Sir-George Williams campus of the university from 1949-1951.