Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015


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The secret world of pronouns
A new study indicates that how a person uses pronouns says much about his or her psychology. (For example, the previous sentence would indicate that I feel I am in a dominant position over my readers, because it lacks the first-person singular "I", whereas this sentence shows that I am submissive to my reader.)

The secret history of Times New Roman
Well, not really much of a secret anymore, given that the truth about the font was discovered way back in 1987 (it may well have been plagiarized by the man hired by The London Times to design it), but Katherine Eastland's telling (on The Daily) of the tale behind the omnipresent font is nonetheless entertaining.

From "a-holes" to "yoga"
Not that far apart when you get right down to it, really, but on the copy editor's style sheet (reproduced on for Nicholson Baker's reportedly rather pervy new book House of Holes, there's a heck of a lot of distance between the two, forming one of the most entertaining alphabetized lists of inventive euphemism you are ever likely to read. (note: not for the prudish)

Don't you just love a good info graphic?
Here's one (c/o VisualLoop via TheNewtWeb) that looks at publishing in the digital era. Oh, how exciting!

Seventeen of the reasons manuscripts get rejected
Summary: your writing sucks and so do you. But you can read the full list on

100 of the best closing lines from novels, packaged in a nifty slideshow c/o

Samuel Becket, screenwriter
Screenwriter? Yup, the late Irish playwright, author of such classics as Waiting for Godot and Krapp's Last Tape, wrote but one screenplay in his life, entitled Film. In 1965, it was made into a 20-min silent short by director Alan Schnieder, starring none other than Buster Keaton. Watch it on

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.

Shaun Smith

Shaun Smith is a novelist and journalist living in Toronto. His young adult novel Snakes & Ladders was published in January 2009 by the Dundurn Group.

Go to Shaun Smith ’s Author Page