Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Writers at Night: The Writers' Trust Gala Series with Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall

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Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall

This Thursday, November 24, marks the 26th annual Writers' Trust Gala, a black tie fundraising event for the venerable literary charity that plays host to dozens of the finest writers in Canada.

Today Open Book speaks with Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall as part of our Writers at Night series, which celebrates the gala's talented guest authors. Shaughnessy is the author of Ghosted (Random House Canada), which was part of the New Face of Fiction program.

Open Book:

Is this your first time attending the Writers' Trust Gala? If so, to what aspect of the event are you most looking forward? If you've attended before, what is one of your favourite gala memories?

Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall:

This is my first time attending the Writers’ Trust Gala. I am looking forward to cornering the organizers and demanding to know why I haven’t been invited until now. Also, wearing the big medallion. That is, after all, why we write: to get the big medallion.


Each guest at your table receives a copy of your latest book as a gift. Tell us a bit about your recent book.


My most recent book, Ghosted, is a novel about a young man who becomes a professional ghostwriter of suicide letters. Hilarity ensues.


What will you be wearing to the gala?


I take any tuxedo opportunity. It’s amazing how much you can get away with when you’re wearing a tux. I am opting for vest rather than cummerbund. I don’t hate cummerbunds quite as much as Russell Smith (spoiler alert: he’ll be wearing suspenders) but I do loathe the word so much it taints my composure. So: tux and vest, no cummerbund.


What Canadian writer, living or dead, would you most like to sit next to at dinner? What might you ask him or her?


I would most like to sit next to Alice Munro. I might ask her if she would like to accompany me to a Mad Men party this Saturday night.

Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall's first book was an account of the year he spent in deep cover, living with the homeless in Toronto's infamous Tent City. Down to This: Squalor and Splendour in a Big-City Shantytown was nominated for the 2005 Pearson Writers' Trust of Canada Non-Fiction Prize, the Drainie-Taylor Biography Prize, the Trillium Award and the City of Toronto Book Award. The following year, he was awarded the Knowlton Nash Journalism Fellowship at Massey College and also played the role of Jason — a bad-mannered, well-dressed journalist — on CBC-TV's The Newsroom. He currently teaches writing at the University of Toronto's School of Continuing Studies. Ghosted is his first novel.

For more information about Ghosted please visit the Random House Canada website.

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore or online at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

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