West Coast flavours dominate the 2020 Taste Canada Awards shortlist

Chop Suey Nation

2020, a year for home cooks. In its 23rd year, the Taste Canada Awards unveils its shortlist of cookbooks competing for a coveted culinary writing award as well as the virtual gala hosts. Eighty-six cookbooks entered the competition, featuring authors from seven provinces. The shortlist narrowed the competition to five entries per category, featuring authors from six provinces.

British Columbia’s notorious food scene takes a lead with 15 nominations from B.C. publisher titles. View the nominees below, and the full 2020 Taste Canada shortlist here.

 

Culinary Narratives:

Chop Suey Nation by Ann Hui (Douglas & McIntyre)

Chop Suey Nation: The Legion Cafe and Other Stories from Canada's ...

 

Island Craft: Your Guide to the Breweries of Vancouver Island by Jon Stott (TouchWood Editions)

Island Craft: Your Guide to the Breweries of Vancouver Island ...

 

General Cookbooks:

Duchess at Home by Giselle Courteau (Appetite by Random House)

Duchess at Home 電子書,分類依據Giselle Courteau - 9780525610335 ...

 

Gather: A Dirty Apron Cookbook by David Robertson and Kerry Gold (Figure 1 Publishing)

David Robertson's tarte Tatin | Eat North

 

Let Me Feed You by Rosie Daykin (Appetite by Random House)

Let Me Feed You: Everyday Recipes Offering the Comfort of Home ...

 

Regional/Cultural Cookbooks:

Burdock & Co by Andrea Carlson (Appetite by Random House)

Burdock & Co by Andrea Carlson - Penguin Books Australia

 

Cedar and Salt: Vancouver Island Recipes from Forest, Farm, Field, and Sea by DL Acken and Emily Lycopolus. (TouchWood Editions)

Cedar and Salt: Vancouver Island Recipes from Forest, Farm, Field ...

 

Coconut Lagoon: Recipes from a South Indian Kitchen by Joe Thottungal and Anne DesBrisay (Figure 1 Publishing)

Coconut Lagoon: Recipes from a South Indian Kitchen: Thottungal ...

 

Secrets from My Vietnamese Kitchen by Kim Thúy (Appetite by Random House)

Secrets from My Vietnamese Kitchen: Simple Recipes from My Many ...

 

Single-Subject Cookbooks:

Living High Off the Hog by Michael Olson (Appetite by Random House)

Living High Off the Hog: Over 100 Recipes and Techniques to Cook ...

 

Modern Lunch by Allison Day (Appetite by Random House)

Modern Lunch: +100 Recipes for Assembling the New Midday Meal: Day ...

 

Vegetables First by Ricardo Larrivée (Appetite by Random House)

Vegetables First: 120 Vibrant Vegetable-Forward Recipes: Larrivee ...

 

Health and Special Diet Cookbooks:

Peace, Love and Fibre by Mairlyn Smith (Appetite by Random House)

Peace, Love and Fibre: Over 100 Fibre-Rich Recipes for the Whole ...

 

The Living Kitchen by Tamara Green and Sarah Grossman, (Appetite by Random House)

The Living Kitchen: Healing Recipes to Support Your Body During ...

 

The Long Table Cook Book, Plant-Based Recipes for Optimal Health by Amy Symington (Douglas & McIntyre)

The Long Table Cookbook: Plant-based Recipes for Optimal Health ...

 

Mini Incite: A Celebration of Indigenous Voices with the BC and Yukon Book Prize Finalists

For a stirring final event of the mini-Incite season, the Vancouver Writers Fest partners with the BC and Yukon Book Prizes to celebrate some of British Columbia’s incredible Indigenous talent, all nominees for the 2020 BC and Yukon Book Prizes. The BC and Yukon Book Prizes, established in 1985, celebrate the achievements of British Columbia writers and publishers. These are stories of place, of displacement, of resilience and healing. Join the special event on YouTube Live Wednesday, June 17 at 7pm PDT.

In My Own Moccasins: A Memoir of Resilience (University of Regina Press)

Helen Knott, a 2019 RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Author, shares her deeply intimate and provocative memoir of intergenerational trauma and becoming, In My Own Moccasins: A Memoir of Resilience (University of Regina Press), which is nominated for the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize.

 


SH:LAM (The Doctor) (Mawenzi House Publishers)

Joseph A Dandurand shares his insightful and sweeping poetry collection SH:LAM (The Doctor) (Mawenzi House Publishers), which follows the story of a Kwantlen man given the gift of healing. His collection has been shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Award for Poetry.

 

On/Me (Caitlin Press)

Francine Cunningham shares her debut poetry collection On/Me (Caitlin Press), a suite of emotive and powerful poems on her lived experience as an Indigenous woman, mental illness and urban life. Her collection has been nominated for the Jim Deva Prize for Writing That Provokes.

Tune in with their host Sean Cranbury, the Executive Director of the BC and Yukon Book Prizes, live on YouTube for an unforgettable discussion, before the winners are announced Saturday, September 19, 2020. Learn more about the nominees at bcbookprizes.ca.

RSVP and submit a question for the panelists here.

Vancouver’s Arsenal Pulp Press and Read Local BC Champion BIPOC Storytelling

Arsenal Pulp Press is a Vancouver-based independent publisher leading and championing with a focus on books on social issues; gender studies; LGBTQ and diverse literature; graphic novels and non-fiction; cookbooks; alternative crafts; visual arts; and books in translation.

 

 

Their comprehensive shelf features BIPOC writers from British Columbia and beyond. It is our responsibility to do better, to take action and to make change, beginning with education and active support. BC independent bookstores are important representatives of Black and Indigenous B.C. writers’ content. You can browse and purchase works from Arsenal Pulp Press on their website.

 

Read Local BC has compiled antiracist texts, to support learning about systemic racism and its effects, and supporting Black artists, writers, and business owners.

 

Reading Lists
12 (Mostly) Canadian Books about Racism, Anti-Blackness, and Anti-Racism, Plus Places to Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is from Casey Stepaniuk
25 Books About Being Black in Canada a from CBC Books
Awesome Anti-Racist Kids’ Books from 49th Shelf
Black Lives Matter reading list from Red Balloon Bookshop
BLM: Books by Black Authors from All Lit Up
Confronting and Combating Racism from the New Westminster Public Library
Publishing@SFU’s List of Books You Need Right Now from Simon Fraser University’s Publishing department

Resources
Anti-Racism Resources from Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein
Justice in June from Bryanna Wallace and Autumn Gupta
Resources for Race, Equity, Anti-Racism, and Inclusion n from We Need Diverse Books
Support Local Black-led Organizations from Pivot Legal Society
Black-Owned / Black-Focused Bookstores to Support Now created by Don Gorman of Rocky Mountain Book Publishers

 


Map of Black-owned/Black-focused Bookstores to support now

Alexis Roumanis of Engage Books wants to help children understand COVID-19

Explaining COVID-19 to young children can be challenging for families. Engage Books wanted to create accessible resources for parents and educators to help children understand the significant impact that COVID-19 is having on their lives. Engage Books created multi-level educational books to empower young children to read about COVID-19 on their own, or with the help of an adult. This simple act empowers young readers, and is an important step in making this situation a little less scary.

As COVID-19 is affecting millions of children across the world, Engage Books strives to translate these books into multiple languages. To help support their efforts, physical copies are available for purchase. To help make this book available to as many children and families as possible, this eBook is offered free of charge to everyone.

Engage Books partnered with Munday Media & Design to donate a Story Walk of the Level 2 and Level 4 books. Each page of these books are now printed on signs, and placed in the park at Oliver’s community centre for families to read the entire book as they walk from sign to sign. We chatted with Alexis Roumanis about his determination to take an initiative in educating facts in a meaningful way.

Tell us about your book and how it came to ideation.

When schools closed in March, my boys (6, and twin 5-year-olds) were asking lots of questions about COVID-19, and I realized that parents around the world are being asked similar questions. A few days later, I decided to use my experience in writing and publishing children’s books, along with the involvement of talented publishing professionals, to put together three books for Level 1, 2, and 4 readers.

Did you collaborate with anyone to create the book?

Over the past several years, I have worked closely with children’s book editor, Jared Siemens. He has a keen eye for detail, and knows intuitively how to structure a children’s educational book. Recently he has been working in the non-profit sector, performing a wide variety of relief and poverty prevention work internationally. When I approached him with the COVID-19 series, he immediately appreciated the significant impact that this could have on children, and began helping me with the finer details of structuring each book. I am very grateful for his help.

Tell us about your work at Engage Books

Engage Books publishes a wide variety of content. I began by publishing classic titles from the likes of Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and James Joyce. Since, Engage Books has branched out into a variety of areas including bullet journals, and children’s books. One of our books, The Toddler’s Handbook, has been so successful that we have translated it into 20 different languages. I divide my time between writing, editing, finding new images, laying out new content, and coordinating workflow with publishing professionals. One of my favourite things is coming up with new concepts, and planning out a new series of books.

 

 

What were the early days of your career like? How did you get to where you are now?

After I graduated Simon Fraser University, I enrolled in SFU’s Master in Publishing (MPub) program in 2007. During my time in the MPub program I established Engage Books, and began publishing some of my first books. My goal upon entering the program was to start a book publishing company, and I wrote my thesis on this endeavour. After graduation, I began working full-time for other publishers, and built Engage Books slowly in my spare time. Over the past decade, I’ve edited hundreds of children’s books, and written about 100 educational books for other publishers for children in grades K-12. Engage Books now has several hundred titles, and I am now able to focus solely on Engage Books.

What inspires you as a creator? What are your influences?

When I focus on a new project, I wonder how I could make the most of myself, and what impact my actions could have on others. When creating children’s books, I am appreciative of the positive effect that words can have on developing minds. My ultimate goal is to instill a belief in children that anything is possible. I am inspired by Elon Musk. Not because of his success and an individual, but because his actions are focused on solving real-world problems. When faced with the threat of pollution, Elon Musk decides to focus on electric vehicles, and creating renewable energy with solar panels. To make travel safer and faster, he began digging tunnels under major cities and plans on connecting cities with ultra-fast Hyperloop pods. Musk is also dead-set on sending people to Mars as humanity’s ultimate safety net.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?

Publishing in an industry with many creative outlets. It has allowed me to branch out into writing, editing, production, marketing, layout and design. My advice is to learn as much as possible about the publishing process, as it will not only help you become better within a specific field, but it will give you an opportunity to move your expertise to multiple departments. The best way to learn about the publishing process is to attend Simon Fraser University’s Master in Publishing (MPub) program. It is an in-depth, and rigorous 16-month program that helps students to develop the practical and conceptual tools they will need to flourish in an industry that is constantly changing. I am extremely fortunate to have found the MPub program nearly 13 years ago and am happy to see the program flourishing under its director, John Maxwell.

Alexis Roumanis and his children read What is COVID-19 together

 

What impact do you hope to achieve with those who read the book?

My goal with Level 1, 2, and 4 readers is to empower young children to read about COVID-19 on their own, or with the help of an adult. This simple act empowers young readers and is an important step in making this situation a little less scary. As COVID-19 is affecting millions of children across the world, we are striving to translate these books into multiple languages. I have enlisted the help of three of SFU’s graduate students from the MPub program to work remotely with professional translators in different countries. They are working fast and will have French, Spanish, and Hindi editions of all three books available for distribution in early May. Our goal is to reach as many children as possible.

Where can people access and purchase the books?

To support our efforts, copies of all three books are available for purchase on all Amazon websites. eBooks will be available on all major platforms in May. Libraries can order directly through Ingram’s iPage.

Are you doing any innovative creating from home during this time? 

When I contacted the MPub program several weeks ago, I was surprised to learn that most of the 16 student’s internships had fallen through. Many publishers decided not to take on interns while their offices were closed. I hired on two interns by distance, one from BC, and the other has moved back to her home in Ontario. We are collaborating on a daily basis, using Zoom, Google Docs, and email to keep in touch. Generally an intern would work closely with a supervisor in a publishing house, however, we are finding that with the use of innovative technology, we are able to collaborate and accomplish daily goals. The internships have started off extremely well, with the MPub students developing interactive eBooks, and new content for young children. It is difficult to see students held back by COVID-19, and I am excited to be working with such a talented group of people.

Support Engage Books by purchasing copies on Amazon: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 4

 

A spread from What is COVID-19

Top 10 tips for B.C. book lovers for Victoria Day long weekend

Make a win-win decision: Read Local BC, get discounts and delivery! BC’s book publishers and distributors have you covered from poetry to bestselling cookbooks. These are top 10 tips for BC book lovers so you can read your way through Victoria long weekend.

1. Arsenal Pulp Press is currently offering 25% off all in-print titles plus free shipping for orders over $50 (promotional code STAYSAFE)

2. Talonbooks is offering 25% off all books on their website from now until June 1

3. Orca Book Publishers is running a Giveaway for Heads Up: Changing Minds on Mental Health by Melanie Siebert until midnight PDT May 10.

4. Rebel Mountain Press is offering 30-50% off select titles.

5. Royal BC Museum Publishing is offering a 30% discount and reduced shipping on Spirits of the Coast: Orcas in Science, Art and History through May 17, 2020 in their Publications Shop using promo code SPIRITS30

6. The Royal BC Museum Foundation Shop is offering 20% off site wide for the month of May (note that this cannot be combined with the Sprits of the Coast offer)

7. UBC Press has 20% off of all print books and 30% off of all e-books at www.ubcpress.ca. When ordering print books, use the discount code “CabinFever” at the checkout, and for e-books, “Housebound.” Learn more.

8. Get 30% off everything in Anvil Press‘s online bookstore. They’re shipping twice a week!

9. Greystone Books is donating 25% of website sales to local independent booksellers. Customers can enter the name of their local bookstore at checkout.

10. Heritage House Publishing, Rocky Mountain Books, and TouchWood Editions, along with their distributor, Heritage Group Distribution, are extending a helping hand to independent bookstores while they experience challenges due to COVID-19 by offering them an extra 20% off their invoices until stores are able to reopen.

Thanks to ABPBC for the hot tip in their Read Local BC at home newsletter! Check out the map of Canadian Indie Bookstores Who Deliver, created by Don Gorman, publisher of Rocky Mountain.

Map of B.C. independent bookstores offering pickup and delivery services

From Terrace and Qualicum Beach to Cranbrook, the Made-in-B.C. Indie Bookstore Map is yours to use in support of your community bookstore, now offering online orders, home delivery and/or curb-side pickup during COVID-19. ⁣

The map was curated by Don Gorman of Rocky Mountain Books, from Victoria, BC. View the map here.

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The Art of Asking with Nav Nagra, Publisher of Room Magazine

On March 11th, Room Magazine is hosting its fourth annual literary and arts festival celebrating diverse Canadian writers and artists, Growing Room. The festival was created in commitment to deepen learning about inclusion and accessibility, both within the systemic structures of the festival and the creative curation. Growing Room is a celebration, a protest, a reflection, a re-visioning, a gathering, a question, and a dream.

Nav Nagra, who was recently appointed as the new publisher of Room Magazine is no stranger, having been a collective member since 2014 holding various roles. Her passion for the publishing industry has taken her through various initiatives and organizations throughout the province including consultancy with Breathing Space Creative, serving on the board of Vancouver Art Book Fair and the Professional Development Committee of AFP Vancouver.

We speak to Nav about her journey with Room Magazine and multi-disciplinary skills that have afforded her a wealth of experience in British Columbia’s publishing industry.

 

 

Tell us a little about yourself, your work and Room Magazine.

I’m a first-generation Canadian and I feel like this and the culture I was raised within really informed my interest in storytelling. Most of my life was spent living in a multi-generational house with a Grandmother who loved sharing stories and quite frankly, gossip and I think those interactions made me want to become a storyteller. I made sure my education was always centered around books and writing and then shortly before I graduated from university, I found out about Room Magazine and inquired about getting involved with the magazine. I started at Room Magazine in 2014 as the Advertising Coordinator, moved onto our Editorial roster and now am extremely humbled to be Publisher. I have published a few small pieces of poetry and hope this year will bring about a lot more writing for me.  I’m also currently working on what I hope will be a novel.

 

For those who may not be familiar with B.C.’s magazine publishing industry, what are your thoughts on the ever-evolving landscape? What does the future of magazine publishing look like?

I think the future of magazine publishing will see magazines appearing on more than one platform in more than one format. We’re seeing it now with magazines starting podcasts, YouTube channels, and other types of audience engagement. I don’t think print is dead and I may be naive in thinking so, but I don’t see print going anywhere for a while. I do think that magazines need to be a bit nimble going forward and work towards becoming as digitally accessible as possible while maintaining a print presence.

 

What were the early days of your career like? How did you get to where you are now?

The early days of my career were really formed by me asking a lot of questions and finding ways of getting involved in editorial work. I have an accidental art history background and this led to my work at an art gallery and creating artist catalogues for emerging and established artists. I was almost rabid in my university days trying to find any publication that would allow me to write an article or blog post about pretty much anything. As I moved within my career, I always made sure that I could do something that would bolster my editing abilities and allow me to write. I guess I am where I am now because I would always say yes and then scope out the next opportunity. And though I acknowledge that not everyone has the privilege of doing this, I am very glad I was able to.

 

What inspires you as a creator?

I am very inspired by music and movies. I love reading but I find that I am so baffled by the talent of the writers I read that I never feel I can create such amazing works so I take the emotions I feel from movies and music and translate that into my writing and other creations. My influences change so quickly it’s really hard to narrow it down. Right now, I would say from a writing standpoint, I am most inspired by Carmen Maria Machado, Roxane Gay, and Chelene Knight. Oh! And Fleabag – I found so much inspiration from that show.

 

 

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?

Ask questions! The art of asking is real and if you’re able to, ask lots of questions. One thing that I like to do if I’m interested in a certain aspect of the industry is I ask if I can go to coffee with someone just to find out how they got where they are or if they have any advice. For the most part, folks are more than happy to sit down with someone to share some wisdom. I know that I would not be where I am if I hadn’t just asked.

 

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

As of now, it’s definitely becoming the Publisher of Room Magazine. If you had asked me in 2014 where I thought my path would lead with Room, I would have never thought I would end up as Publisher. I am so humbled in my role and by the team at Room.

 

Are there any upcoming events or initiatives in the pipeline for Room Magazine?

Yes! Our Growing Room literary and arts festival is happening in Vancouver from March 11th – 15th and features so many amazing artists and writers. You can find out more and get your tickets at festival.roommagazine.com.

 

Visit Room Magazine’s website for more information.

Kristina Stanley, Founder & CEO, Fictionary

Kristina Stanley grew up in a household where reading books was very important. “I’ve had a lifelong journey with reading, and that comes from my mom. She was born in Italy, and throughout World War II she didn’t have access to books. When she came to Canada, books became a really big thing.”

When she was in her 40s, Kristina decided to write her own book with the hope of writing something that gets a reader so involved they can’t put it down. She went on to write a series of books, and in that process, she discovered that it’s actually quite hard to document all of the different characters and settings. “I would use a huge spreadsheet to keep track of all of the different elements in my story. I thought there must be an easier way, but I couldn’t find it.”

 

 

Kristina decided to build Fictionary with her husband and brother to solve some of the challenges writers were facing. Fictionary transforms editing through deep story analysis software.

She went to conferences and interviewed hundreds of writers and editors, asking them how they edit and keep track of their work. They took all of that learning and spent months building an alpha prototype to help writers display their story arc and keep track of their characters, settings, and plot lines. As any entrepreneur knows, it can take some time to go from idea to launch. “We had the idea in 2014, but we didn’t come out with the first product until January 2018.”

Since they launched, they’ve heard from many of their writers that while they love the product, they want more automation and more visual tools. In order to get Fictionary to that next level, they realized they needed more funding. “Through their support, Creative BC is helping us focus on getting to that next level of wow, so we can make Fictionary more beneficial to our writers.”

Kristina found out about Creative BC by accident. “We were at a dinner party when someone told us to apply for a grant. Applying for the grant itself made us take a hard look at what we were doing. We had to do our due diligence, thinking hard about how and where we wanted to spend the money. When we received the grant, we were able to make it public on our website and in a news release, and that helped our credibility.”

While writing is typically thought of as a lonely profession, technology has changed that. “There are authors out there who have been successful and are willing to help the next writers coming along, showing them what worked and what didn’t. Writing can be a lifelong joy, and my philosophy is: the more writers we help, the more likely they’ll continue to write.”

 

Kristina knows better than most that a book can open up the world, especially for young people. “Kids that are read to by their parents are more confident and social. Storytelling is an important part of our lives, and the more we can do to help people tell good stories, the better it is for us all.”

While Fictionary currently focuses on supporting writers, they plan to adapt their technology to support editors as well as other forms of storytelling. “We built this to help writers because we believe that storytelling can positively impact a person’s life. That’s the driving factor behind all of this.”

 

Fictionary is a creative editing software for fiction writers and editors.

Michael Neill and Brian Lam of Arsenal Pulp Press Named 2019 ABPBC Award Recipients

Yesterday evening the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia (ABPBC) honoured the recipients of two awards recognizing outstanding contributions to British Columbia’s publishing industry. Vancouver’s Arsenal Pulp Press received the Jim Douglas Publisher of the Year Award, and Kelowna-based Michael Neill, bookseller and owner of Mosaic Books and TBM Bookmanager, received the Gray Campbell Distinguished Service Award. The recipients were honoured at the annual Book Publishing Conference in Vancouver on February 13, 2020.

The Jim Douglas Publisher of the Year award is presented to an active British Columbian book publishing company that has in recent times earned the respect and applause of the community of publishers for a specific publishing project, an extraordinary contribution to the B.C. publishing community, and/or its extended commitment to excellence in publishing. This year’s recipient, Arsenal Pulp Press, started in 1971 as an alternative small press specializing in literature and politics. They have evolved over the past decades to become one of Canada’s leading independent presses, specializing in LGBTQ literature, books by writers of colour, graphic novels, books on cultural issues, and literary fiction. Some of Arsenal Pulp Press’ recent notable works include Aaron Chapman’s Vancouver After Dark, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha’s Care Work and Louis-Georges Tin’sThe Dictionary of Homophobia, a personal favourite of Brian Lam, founder and owner of Arsenal Pulp Press.

The Gray Campbell Distinguished Service Award is presented annually by the Association of Book Publishers of BC to an individual or individuals who have made a significant contribution to the book publishing industry in the province. Named for the pioneering publisher and founder of Gray’s Publishing, the Gray Campbell Award recognizes the importance of the many individuals who comprise the book industry; their energy and creativity are essential to the continued creation and dissemination of books that tell our stories. This year’s recipient is Michael Neill, founder and president of Bookmanager and owner of Okanagan’s largest independent bookstore, Mosiac Books. Bookmanager is a leader and invaluable point-of-sale provider that has provided bookstores across North America the ability to advance their services

For more updates on the BC Book Publishing Conference visit ABPBC’s website.

Arsenal Pulp Press
Book Manager
Mosaic Books

Chelene Knight, CEO #LearnWritingEssentials & Breathing Space Creative 

“Sometimes being a leader means creating space by giving up your space.”

 

 

Chelene Knight knew fairly early on that she was a storyteller. “I was a really quiet kid, I wouldn’t talk a lot, but you could pull things out of me with a paper and pen. In school, there was always this fear of getting it wrong or saying things people didn’t want to hear. In my 20s, I threw that out the window and started to break some templates and get creative.” 

Once Chelene threw away her need for structure, doors started to open. She uses a variety of formats in her writing to address her own experiences with mixed ethnicity and belonging and often speaks about her desire to build community through authentic storytelling. As a mentor, teacher and entrepreneur, she encourages her students to think about their message before they focus on their structure. “I want them to think about what they want their community to take away from the book, how they will engage with it.”

Growing up, Chelene felt isolated. “I was shy, and my family wasn’t the closest. I didn’t have that close-knit community.” Yet, she found that when she attended SFU’s The Writer’s Studio in 2013, suddenly, she felt safe to explore the stories she wanted to tell. She also realized that there were conversations taking place behind closed doors and decisions being made that had restricted access. “I came into the publishing world really fresh. I had no idea what it meant to publish something. I just knew that the industry was really hard to break into without an MFA or someone leading you behind those closed doors.” 

Chelene started volunteering with Room Magazine, and that’s when she got a behind-the-scenes look at what was happening in the industry. “I was let into so many private rooms; I got to hear the conversations taking place amongst writers and publishers. I saw the gaps of what was missing and what was starting to take shape.” 

As Room’s former Managing Editor and now owner of her own writer’s boutique studio and author care consulting firm, she has that opportunity. She works with emerging writers to not only help them produce better work but also to better prepare them for the opportunities they’re presented with. “We have this huge responsibility to filter down what we’ve learned. It can be life-changing to bring someone into a community they didn’t know existed. My goal is to help bring people into worlds they’ve not seen before. Organizations like Creative BC help us try new things and connect with communities in different ways. They give us permission to explore.”

For Chelene, one of the most important things we can do in publishing is to take better care of our authors. For so many new authors, they’re asked to travel to new cities and speak on panels in rooms full of people they don’t know. Chelene wants to support emerging authors too, especially those from marginalized communities who might be too afraid to ask questions like she was. That’s why she started Breathing Space Creative, an author care consulting firm where artist care is rooted in building resilience, community, and trust through authentic communication (launches fall 2019).

“I remember sitting in front of an audience feeling like I was going to vomit, and being asked questions I didn’t want to answer. It’s so important to help writers navigate all of that, and prevent situations where they feel uncomfortable or vulnerable. Trust and safety are so important when you’re sharing your story.”

 

Learn more about Chelene and Breathing Space Creative.