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Ottawa Small Press Fair promises bookish delights for local readers

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Photo by Pearl Pirie courtesy of Flickr (creative commons)Photo by Pearl Pirie courtesy of Flickr (creative commons)

A treasure trove of literary gems will be on display this coming Saturday, as vendors from the National Capital Region and beyond set up shop in Centretown to sell their valuable wares. Since 1994, the Ottawa Small Press Fair has offered local bookworms a chance to purchase rare, limited edition works, as well as becoming familiar with many great writers in our region.  The successful event consists of two fairs per year, one in the spring and the second in the fall. The fall 2013 edition, which will take place in... | Continue reading article

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“Blood” is a thoughtful meditation on how human identity flows in our veins

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Blood

Human life would not exist without blood.  This is not only true in a literal sense – if your heart stopped beating you would die – but also figuratively, as blood plays an indispensable role in literature, politics, sports and culture, not to mention our understanding of who we are. In his new book Blood: The Stuff of Life, Canadian best-selling author Lawrence Hill meditates on this almost magical substance that runs through our veins. “Blood counts in virtually every aspect of our being that matters deeply,” he writes.  ”If you are fighting... | Continue reading article

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A stellar lineup, and some literary controversy, highlight the Ottawa Writers Festival

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Photo by zeeweez courtesy of Flickr (creative commons)Photo by zeeweez courtesy of Flickr (creative commons)

The Ottawa International Writers Festival is one of my favourite times of the year.  With a spring and fall session, as well as several literary events in between, this celebration of the written word is manna for book lovers. The 2013 fall edition, scheduled from October 24-30, continues the proud tradition of promoting intelligent discussion on a wide range of topics. One writer bound to pique local interest is Canadian author and University of Toronto English instructor David Gilmour, who recently started a firestorm after telling a journalist that he only... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: With smashing plot and ace tennis scenes YA novel is a fun read

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Break Point

The fundraising auction at the Bytowne Tennis Club was going to be perfect.  Among the precious items on the catalog list was a 1970s vintage racket autographed by Björn Borg, one of the greatest tennis players of all time. So when teenage Connor Trent discovers that his beloved tennis club has been broken into, and that the auction items have been destroyed, including the prized Borg racket, his heart is broken. “Who would do a thing like this?” asks Connor’s friend Maddy as she sees the destruction.  The search for this... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: Discussing writing with a possible zombie (no, really)

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Photo taken from Victoria Dunn's Facebook page.Photo taken from Victoria Dunn's Facebook page.

Victoria Dunn is the evil hive mind of local writers Victoria Higgins and Meghan Dunn.  Using this pen name, the duo jointly wrote Alice Hearts Welsh Zombies, a wacky novel published by The Workhorsery that is filled with zombies, bog snorkelling, and an organization called the Odyssey International’s Enforcement branch that fights the supernatural. In an act of magic, Apartment613 fused the two writers together to form their single, joint-persona. Below is a transcript of the email interview with Victoria Dunn, a mysterious creature who has her own Facebook page.  If you want to... | Continue reading article

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Streetscape Memory Bank: The Trafalgar Building endures along the ever-changing Queen Street

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Queen Street at Metcalfe, circa 1938. All photos from Library and Archives, Canada.Queen Street at Metcalfe, circa 1938. All photos from Library and Archives, Canada.

The discovery of human bones under the street near 66 Queen has made me think of the passage of time and of the ways in which a streetscape can change. Queen Street itself has been transformed repeatedly over the course of the last few centuries. Up until the 1840s, the eastern end of Queen Street was Ottawa’s first graveyard, known as “the old burying ground.” In the 1850s, when the street was first laid out, the graveyard was moved east to Sandy Hill and the first First Baptist Church was... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: Talented illustrator turns to crowdsourcing to help publish two children’s books

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All illustrations by Gerry CapelleAll illustrations by Gerry Capelle

Gerry Capelle has had an impressive career in animation, ranging from his work on the TV show Arthur, to previous assignments with such legendary publications as National Lampoon, Raw and Heavy Metal.  His long list of credits can be seen on IMDb, in addition to his design and storyboard work for commercials in the United Kingdom, New York City, Australia, Montreal and Toronto. Currently living in Perth, which is located about an hour south-west of the nation’s capital, the former longtime resident of Ottawa is now working on a new... | Continue reading article

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Son of a Certain Woman is a brilliant novel by one of Canada’s best authors

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Photo of Wayne Johnston courtesy of Nancy Williams.Photo of Wayne Johnston courtesy of Nancy Williams.

Sometimes you read a book that is so good you just want to get up and applaud.  Other times a novel touches you so strongly that you are left speechless, unable to react.  The Son of a Certain Woman, the new novel by Newfoundland-born writer Wayne Johnston, somehow manages to accomplish both of these things at the same time. Local readers can hear Johnston speak about his great new work this coming Monday, September 30. The talk in the nation’s capital is a warm up to the 2013 fall session... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: YA novel tackles the misunderestood issue of teenage anorexia

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Photo of Tudor Robins by Debora DekokPhoto of Tudor Robins by Debora Dekok

On the surface, fifteen-year-old Grace is living a perfect teenage life.  Hired to work at the stables all summer to take care of her beloved horses, the Ottawa-resident has also caught the attention of Matt, a handsome co-worker. Behind this contented picture, however, Grace is struggling with an eating disorder that is starting to take over her life.  As she obsessively counts her caloric intake, she threatens to set in motion a serious of events that could have serious consequences. In her debut novel Objects in Mirror published by Red Deer Press, local writer... | Continue reading article

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One World Film Festival explores the global and local with themes of peace, freedom, wealth, justice

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The One World Film Festival is more than just a weekend of documentaries focused on human rights issues and environmental sustainability. It is an opportunity to turn some attention onto under reported issues that don’t make, or don’t stay, in the headlines long enough to capture the collective imagination and to be addressed by the public at large. Reaching beyond the images on-screen, the festival provides an atmosphere that encourages engagement and promotes meaningful dialogue. In the break between screenings audiences can grab a bite to eat and talk amongst... | Continue reading article

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