Monday, January 30, 2012

Ross Leckie Reads His Poetry At Molly's, Feb. 5, 2012

The Fiddlehead Editor, Ross Leckie will read from his poetry at Molly's in downtown Fredericton on Sunday, Feb. 5, at 2 p.m.

Leckie's most recent book is Gravity's Plumb Line, and he will read from this book and from his new work.

Fiction Editor Gerard Beirne's new publication: Games of Chance

Games of Chance: A Gambler’s Manual

The distinction between art and science is man-made, like language and words. The best we can hope to do, it seems, is to redefine both. Games of Chance tosses words like knucklebones into the air, while seeking to predict the outcome. The results are deception and random revelation. Gerard Beirne studied mathematics and engineering, and in the present collection seeks to reconcile art and science with spirituality.

“The fine art of mathematics and gambling are the inspiration for Gerard Beirne’s newest collection of poetry, Games of Chance (Oberon Press). Weaving mathematical formulas and scientific lingo into beautifully written verse, Beirne creates a happy union between the arts and science.”   — Open Book

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

10 Rules for Submitting

If you missed the deadline for The Fiddlehead’s 21st Annual Literary Contest, fret not! The Fiddlehead accepts submissions year-round so if immortalization on the page is what you seek, you’re in luck. Fire up the printer, break out those stamps, and adorn that cover letter with your best John Hancock. But if this humble author may be so bold as to momentarily delay your merry skip to the post office, here are a few things to consider to ensure your submission has been properly outfitted.

Taking a page out of the Globe and Mail’s column on “10 rules for writing” (who took a page out of the Guardian’s “Rules for writers” series, who took a page out of Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing . . . I feel like I’m following the yellow-brick road . . . ), here are ten suggestions on submitting. Sending your prized brainchildren to far-off publications may seem daunting, so hopefully this list will ease some of that confusion and anxiety.

1. If submitting prose or multi-paged poems, paginate your submission. Accidents do happen (a gust of wind! a toppling stack!) which make page numbers crucial in piecing your submission back together.

2. Use a legible font. As tempting as it may be to type in jokerman, resist the urge. Times New Roman and Arial are indeed old-school, but the classics never go out of style.

3. Print on clean, white-washed paper. You want your submission to stand out, but using neon-green cardstock may be taking it a little too far.

4. Use the appropriate margin size and line spacing as specified by each publication. Preferences vary from journal to journal, so taking the time to adhere to their formatting guidelines will put a smile on the editor’s face before they’ve even read your opening line.

5. Make sure you’ve included your contact information in the appropriate places. Some journals require the author’s name and address on every page while others prefer to not have any identifying markers at all. Correctly placing your contact information may save your submission from ending up in the recycle bin.

6. Check to see how the publication prefers the submission to be bundled. Some prefer staples; others, paperclips; others still, nothing at all. Each journal has a tried-and-true method for handling submissions, to which your blasphemous staple or paper clip may be the disastrous wrench.

7. Include a cover letter. You would do the same if sending off your resumé, so why should your story or poem receive any lesser treatment?

8. Always always always include a SASE. Or at the very least, an email address. It’s rather difficult for an editor to send you that coveted “yes!” with no means of getting in contact.

9. Affix proper postage to your SASE. If you’d like your manuscript returned, make sure you’ve included enough stamps to do so. Most journals survive on grants, subscriptions and the kindness of their readers, which sadly doesn’t leave much wiggle room in the annual budget.

10. You must, indeed, skip on your way to mailing your submission. Through a mystical process that I’ve been sworn to never reveal, skipping endows your submission with a quality akin to being showered in fairy dust. Hah! Not really. But in all seriousness, relax and take your time in putting your submission together. Submissions that are a joy to compose are almost invariably a joy to receive.

While these rules cannot guarantee eventual publication, keeping these suggestions in mind will aid in your submission being efficiently processed and properly dispatched to the correct editorial committee, rather than being either rejected for not following the guidelines or left to languish until someone can figure out where it  should go. This in turn means a shorter response time to the actual submission. And as any writer can attest to, waiting four months as opposed to nine months (or longer) for a cordial “no” wins first runner-up to being accepted for publication.

Of course, these suggestions pertain mainly to hard-copy submissions. Online and e-mail submissions are a whole other can of worms (perhaps someone will take a page out of my book and author those lists?). But I’ve delayed you long enough. Send us your stories and poems! We’re eagerly waiting to read your work.

Christina Cooke
Editorial Assistant

Monday, January 9, 2012

Author Holly Luhning Reading at UNB Fredericton

Holly Luhning will be reading from her new novel, Quiver, published by HarperCollins Canada, on Monday, January 16th at 8 pm in the Alumni Memorial Lounge at UNB.

Quiver, Luhning's first novel, is the thrilling story of Danica, a forensic psychologist from Canada who works at the Stowmoor Hospital in London, England. Danica is drawn into a strange, gothic landscape by her celebrity patient, Martin Foster, who is convicted of branding and murdering a teenage girl, and by her glamorous friend, Maria, who arrives in London for archival research. Both figures have connections to the sixteenth-century Hungarian Countess, Eizabeth Bathory, who famously tortured and killed over six hundred young girls in order to bathe in their blood. Bathory believed the bloody ritual would preserve her youth and beauty. As Danica's fascination with Bathory develops she is compelled to explore a dangerous world of violence and obsession that ultimately questions what she is willing to risk to satisfy her attraction to the legend.

Holly Luhning is a graduate of the UNB Creative Writing MA programme, and later completed a Ph.D in the literature of 18th-century madness and theories of the body. In addition to her academic writing, Luhning has published two books of poetry, Sway (2003) and Plush (2006), and has received a Saskatchewan Lieutenant Governor's Arts Award. Quiver, Luhning's debut novel, was described by the National Post as "fast and wicked and dark," and is a Globe and Mail Top 100 pick for 2011.

The reading is presented by the UNB English Department, the Canada Council for the Arts, the UNB Fredericton Bookstore, and The Fiddlehead.
Admission is free and all are welcome to attend.

Winter 2012 UNB Reading Series
Holly Luhning 16 Jan Alumni Memorial
Tammy Armstrong &
Nick Thran
15 Feb Memorial Hall
Lynn Davies &
Sue Goyette
15 Mar Alumni Memorial
Amy Jones &
Rebecca Rosenblum
29 Mar Memorial Hall
Linden MacIntyre 12 Apr Memorial Hall

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Celebrating Young Literary Ladies!

I listen to CBC radio quite a bit, mostly because I can’t pay for cable, and I have run through all my DVDs, namely, a four-season box set of A Haunting and some bootlegged Harry Potters with burnt-in Greek subtitles. The CBC, as I am sure you know, has some terrific programmes and personalities (Eleanor Wachtel, especially). There are, too, these somewhat bizarre features, interviews with pseudo-scientist types whose main goal, it seems, is to shame the Younger Generation. What, with our Internet and Hot Pockets, we’re little more than lazy, apathetic, unhealthy, unhygienic, mouth-breathing menaces to society. The Older Generation, you see, does not think much of us. Last month on the CBC, a man expressed fear that his grandchildren would not actually be able to use their legs. I think he was being hyperbolical, but it is so hard to tell when we all know how the muscles of Young People Everywhere have atrophied from years of neglect. Also, we do not read, ever. The Older Generation harps on this a lot. Young People today! Can’t live with ‘em, can barely understand what they’re saying behind the Harvey’s counter. Another thing: we have poor elocution (because, you guessed it, we do not read).

Of special interest to the Older Generation is the Young Lady Problem. To give a poor illustration: have a look at articles about Twilight fans. Words that crop up repeatedly: female, hysterical, shrieking, hordes. Some of the more deft wordsmiths use all of these words together in a sentence. This, basically, is what the Older Generation seems to think of young women. Don’t believe me? A certain national magazine ran a cover-page headline in 2010, “Inside the Dangerously Empty Lives of Teenage Girls.” In it, Dr. LeonardSax (male), expounds upon the fragile, shallow psyche of the young woman (female), whose life revolves around Facebook and impressing her peers. You know, that age-old adage – young women: they sure do hate each other! Did I mention that they don’t read books? This is only one example of a lot of the hand-wringing that goes on. The Older Generation is just so concerned about the young, female intellect. So fragile! But I won’t belabour the point (probably). What I will say is: all the young women I know are intelligent, involved, creative, excellent human beings. They’re writing, making movies, attending academic conferences, starting businesses, small presses, lobbying for social and political causes, working real jobs, and, yeah, kind of leading fulfilling lives. So, in celebration of these young women, here is a (very short) list of young Canadian literary ladies (whom I admire) and their work. 

Gillian Sze, Fish Bones
El Jones, Halifax-based spoken-word artist
Leigh Kotsilidis, Hypotheticals
Linda Besner, The Id Kid
Sachiko Murakami, The Invisibility Exhibit
Esi Edugyan, Half Blood Blues
Johanna Skibsrud, The Sentimentalists

And finally, recent UNB Alums Rebecca Geleyn and Allison LaSorda, who have three poems apiece in the Fall 2011 issue of the Malahat Review

Sarah Bernstein
Editorial Assistant