Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pics from 2009 Canadian Jewish Book Awards

Bonjour les amis,

Here are some pics from the 2009 Canadian Jewish Book Awards, which were given out in Toronto on May 25th downtown. You'll find some interesting people here, such as juror Cynthia Good, former President and Publisher of Penguin Canada, now Director of the Creative Book Publishing Program at Humber College, me and my fabu publicist Emma Rodgers, the beautiful blonde, fellow SSP author and award winner, Kathy Kacer, and Joseph Kertes, author of the compelling novel, Gratitude, winner of the Yad Vashem Award, among other highlights. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What's the Story?

I recently taught a great group of short story writers in my workshop for The Quebec Writers Federation (QWF) called Re-Vision: Shaping Short Stories. The class was about literally looking again at your pieces and shaping them in a sculptural process.

I was pleased folks brought in stories in all stages of draft form. When a piece was promising but went out in many directions, I would ask the writer to tell our group--IN ONE SENTENCE--what's the story? It was a great discipline to focus one's thoughts, ideas, and distill to the bone.

Of course a great story has numerous themes. But I think a great story can also be distilled down to a sentence that will express it's core.

Just back from TO and The Canadian Jewish Book Awards where we winners, btw, were asked to speak for 3 minutes and many spoke for 15! (Ah the limelight)! I am off this end-week to New York City, home of my birth to the Jewish Book Council's "Meet the Author" event, where we will each pitch our novel in two minutes.

So, I have distilled the essence of The White Space Between down to a cogent two minute talk.

The JBC has a great coach who worked with me on several drafts and guess what? You can say a hell of a lot in two minutes. Try it. It's bracing.

Monday, May 4, 2009

White Space Wins!

Great news! I'm honored that The White Space Between has won The 2009 Canadian Jewish Book Award for Fiction. I'll be attending the awards ceremony in Toronto on May 25th and look forward to meeting the other authors, the jury, as well as spending time with the wonderful team of women at my publisher,Second Story Press.

Although one can't count on honors in this business of writing fiction, it is a lovely validation when it happens. What matters most is that readers find my books and that they are moved and connect with the characters and their stories.

I'm grateful.

See you in Toronto!