Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Dispatches From The Front Lines ...

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Dispatches From The Front Lines ...

Welcome to this, my first posting as the Writer-in-Residence at Open Book Toronto. It may be my last if The Ones Who Would End All Publishing trace my IP address and shut me down. In that case I will not go down without a fight; I will be key-stroking until my last breath.

I will be sending dispatches from the front lines in our battle for the hearts and minds (and spending money) of our friends, family, strangers, and co-workers. And it is a battle, friends. Let us not pretend otherwise. This world we have known of arts and letters, of reading and writing, is changing. Have we taken it for granted? Perhaps. But now is not the time for second-guessing or pontificating. It is time for writers and readers to unite, to discover and celebrate what has been under our noses these long years.

We have strength in numbers. We can’t depend on ‘the next guy’ stepping in to fight our fight. Canada has always battled well above its weight class in terms of good writers per capita. But the Canadian writer needs you to have her back. Right now, today.

So unless you want a diet of LCD Books – Lowest Common Denominator – or the end of our culture as we know it, you can act right now:

1) Buy a Canadian book as a gift to yourself. That means paying for it.

2) Share with your friends / colleagues the title of the book purchased in #1.

3) Stop by an author reading or in-store event to ensure the author looks out and sees at least one face that does not belong to his mother or cousin-in-law.

4) Suggest a Canadian author for your next book club meeting.

5) Invite a local author to your book club; authors love free food, drinks, and the chance to hear directly from readers how they screwed up an aspect of plotting or didn’t catch a typo. (If the meetings occur in your private residence, accept beforehand the likely loss of some valuables).

6) Date and/or marry a Canadian writer. We need stability, love, understanding, limitless patience, and someone to pay the bills. In return we promise you will rarely ever see us.

7) Loan money to a Canadian writer knowing full well you won't see it well spent -- sort of like the Canada Council.

8) Help a Canadian writer turn all of his books face-out in a bookstore.

9) Help a Canadian writer move all the other 'F' authors to the bottom shelf.

10) Line up early outside a Canadian writing awards gala (usually held in a public school gymnasium stinking of stale sweat and Axe), ask for autographs, and yell "over here, C.B., this way" before taking a series of photos.

See you out on the field.
Bring your helmet.


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.

Related item from our archives

C.B. Forrest

C.B. Forrest is the author of the literary crime novels The Weight of Stones and Slow Recoil.

Go to C.B. Forrest’s Author Page