amongst books

amongst books

Thursday, February 21, 2013

wishlist: a fiction series in Ottawa


you can find fiction twice yearly at the Ottawa International Writers Festival, here & there as part of series such as Plan 99,which features fiction regularly, but is a series that occurs for only half of the year. I believe  the Dusty Owl, Voices of Venus, In/Words & very occasionally the Factory Reading Series feature fiction writers; Tree used to include fiction as part of its mandate, which was excellent. I think it would be great if fiction returned to the series.

however, what this town is lacking is a regular ongoing fiction series with a combo of open mike & feature.

it's one of the things I would set up if I had time, but I don't want to organize readings anymore. I don't want to hassle with trying to find a venue & I don't want to go thru the process of grant applications for something new. I have enough on my plate, all of which I enjoy & don't want to give up to start the series.

if you're a fan of fiction & you really want to do something to help improve Ottawa's literary options for readers & give opportunities to fiction writers both outside of Ottawa and within Ottawa, please consider starting such a series. I would be happy to offer whatever advice I can about funding, suggesting possible writers to invite & other aspects of organizing readings.

if you're already running a reading series, please consider featuring fiction & making sure, if you have an open mic, that fiction writers know they are also welcome.

one of the difficulties with fiction is that it is hard to excerpt for a five or ten minute reading. but there are ways. for instance if you're reading from a novel, you can give short excerpts that talk about the various characters. the mistake many fiction writers make when they read from their work is to read one long excerpt in the story or book's published order. this can be deadly dull & hard for the audience to endure. instead of that, I think it's a better idea to read bits & pieces from the work to give the audience the flavour & tone of the fiction.

as you can see, I have some ideas, but I am already loaded down with activity, including a few new initiatives that most of you haven't heard of yet.  still I continue to hope that someone gets the ball rolling & begins a fiction series.

if I'm not mistaken, I believe Toronto has at least one series devoted to fiction, if not more. one possibility is to connect with the organizers of those series & get advice as to how it's done, where to get funding, etc.

No comments: