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Ottawa's Latest and Greatest on Books & Lit

Write On Ottawa: Local writer debuts new fantasy series

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Johnny EatonJohnny Eaton

Johnny Eaton has lived an interesting life.  When not writing fantasy, the Ottawa-native spends his summers working as a tree planting boss, while in the colder months you can find him acting and making music.  Although he’s on the road quite a bit, he still spends parts of each year in Ottawa, as well as across the river in Chelsea, Quebec. Apartment613 caught up with the multitalented Eaton to discuss Summons, his debut novel that is Part One of the fantasy series The Panachrest.  Below is a Q&A slightly edited for... | Continue reading article

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Librarian in Residence: Don’t be a YA hater!

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Jessica Green is a book addict and library card holder since the age of 3. She’s a librarian at the Ottawa Public Library and currently the Apartment613 Librarian-in-Residence, sharing a compendium of literary thoughts and tips. Slate published this article last month written by Ruth Graham, “Against YA: Adults should be embarrassed to read children’s books” which caused a firestorm among librarians and many others. One of the many assertions the author makes is the following, “There’s room for pleasure, escapism, juicy plots, and satisfying endings on the shelves of... | Continue reading article

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Call for Submissions: YOW! A Zine about Ottawa

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YOW

Meet Lily Pepper, a local whose passion for zines (and Apt613!) has led her to launch YOW! a zine about Ottawa in all its glory. Because yes: Ottawa deserves some praise in the form of words, illustrations, comics and other expressions of love on paper. “People living in Ottawa tend to talk this city down,” says Pepper. “What I want to do with the YOW! zine is to get people talking in different ways about Ottawa, talking about what the city means to them, recounting memories of special Ottawa times,... | Continue reading article

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Write on Ottawa: Palawan Story by Caroline Vu

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Caroline Vu. Photo from Palawan Story's Facebook Page.Caroline Vu. Photo from Palawan Story's Facebook Page.

Caroline Vu’s Palawan Story is about the young Kim Nguyen’s unwitting and traumatic escape from the 1970’s Communist Vietnam to the Palawan refugee camp in the Philippines, to her eventual arrival in the United States thanks to a case of mistaken identity. While the story of survival told from a child’s perspective and later re-dissected through Kim’s adult eyes is one that merits readers’ attention alone, it is Vu’s ability to keep her readers emotionally aligned with her narrator that really secures this novel’s literary merits. Vu displays an uncanny... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: Reimagining the cosmos

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Vanishing-Stars-Cover-Front

What do you feel when you look up at the heavens?  For many people – if not most – contemplating the vastness of the cosmos is a deeply humbling experience. The universe is so large, and our planet Earth in comparison so small, we can be forgiven for thinking that humanity is mere dust on an infinite cosmic broom. But is this feeling of insignificance justified?  In his fascinating book Vanishing Stars: Unravelling the appropriation of art by science, Ottawa-based photographer Sanjeev Sivarulrasa offers a radical new way of thinking... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: Fantasy sequel by local writer is a hit

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Photo of Caroline Fréchette by TurkoizePhoto of Caroline Fréchette by Turkoize

Caroline Fréchette is one of my favourite fantasy writers in the National Capital Region. Last year, the Gatineau-based author released Blood Relations, the first book in a five-part series. Now she has published Brothers In Arms, the enjoyable sequel in her action-packed world filled with gangsters, a mysterious corporation and young people with superpowers. Published by Renaissance Press, this well written series tells the story of Alex Winters, a teenage boy who can create fire with his thoughts.  Growing up in rough circumstances and running away at the age of... | Continue reading article

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Hintonburg Happening: a festival celebrating all that’s wonderful about this neighbourhood and its residents

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Hintonburg is a community that has gentrified in recent years and is now alive and thriving with art, culture, as well as fantastic food and drink. For the first time ever, this Ottawa community will host its very own festival, opening Saturday June 21 and ending Sunday, June 29. I interviewed Anne Wanda Tessier, a local artist and Hintonburg resident who has been instrumental in putting Hintonburg Happening together along with Summer Baird of the Hintonburg Public House to find out more. Why is there a “Hintonburg Happening?” The festival... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: The writings of a self-proclaimed madman

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the yarns

Gatineau-based writer Benoit Chartier is a quirky cat. If you look on the back cover of his debut book The Calumnist Malefesto: And Other Improbable Yarns, you will find a short bio in which he claims to be, “training a wild monkey army to carry out his tasks.” At first I assumed this was a joke.  After reading his innovate stories, however, I am no longer sure.  After all, this is someone who describes himself as a Canadian madman who writes off-the-wall prose. But as any lover of literature knows,... | Continue reading article

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Librarian in Residence: Libraries as space

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Photo from OPL-BPO on Flickr. Credit: Rheal DoucettePhoto from OPL-BPO on Flickr. Credit: Rheal Doucette

Jessica Green is a book addict and library card holder since the age of 3. She’s a librarian at the Ottawa Public Library and currently the Apartment613 Librarian-in-Residence, sharing a compendium of literary thoughts and tips. “The last bastion of free, equitable, open, public space is the library” – Libraries as Space Last week, I attended a panel discussion hosted by the Library Association of the National Capital Region association (LANCR) that was looking at the theme of “library as space”. The featured five speakers ranged from a planning librarian... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: Simply delicious recipes

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Natasha Kyssa Natasha Kyssa

For more than 20 years, Ottawa-based chef and health pioneer Natasha Kyssa has been promoting the benefits of a raw vegan diet. As the owner of the popular SimplyRaw Express in Hintonburg, the former fashion model-turned-entrepreneur has demonstrated that healthy eating can be both delicious and easy. With years of experience in the kitchen, the talented chef has now published The SimplyRaw Kitchen, a cookbook filled with mostly raw, whole-food recipes that also contains important tips on how to live a healthy lifestyle. “Nowadays it’s so easy to be vegan,... | Continue reading article

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