There are a multitude of writers living in Ottawa, some professional, others who must sneak in a few lines of well-turned prose on their lunch break or before hitting the sack. The city is also home to a legion of readers who are as hungry for local literature as they would be for local beef or beer. Jam Jar – the brainchild of our very own Jared Davidson, an Apt613 contributor and editor – hopes to bring together these two groups. Jared’s goal is simple; to help showcase the city’s best.
“Jam Jar is about promotion. That’s it. It’s about promoting great lit, and it’s about creating a place for people to share their love of it. I hope that that only adds to the already established community. I love Ottawa’s lit scene — I just want to make it bigger!”
The new website, which launches today, plans to publish three pieces of literature submitted by anyone from the Ottawa area. Each piece will have been vetted in a Darwinesque editorial process and posted on the site on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week. Jam Jar will then use all the tools at its disposal – the blog, twitter, facebook and good old word of mouth – to help the week’s survivors reach the maximum possible audience.
The idea is to build upon and complement the established players in Ottawa’s literary scene, such as Writer’s Fest, Versefest, OAR and InWords and the vibrant small press scene. There will be get-togethers for contributors, and free advertising to any local publication or book store who wants it.
“I feel that now is a good time to begin putting time and money into Ottawa as an arts town. I think that people are moving here with aspirations to begin creating art. I think that businesses are investing in art in the capital in ways that we haven’t seen before.”
As a relatively new venture Jam Jar is still looking to build up its bench strength and is accepting applications for volunteers, particularly editors.
“I’m trying to put together a group of editors whose opinions collectively represent our city. So we have literary giants, and we have rappers. We have people who have studied English in university, and we have people who don’t read very often. I feel that it’s important to have all of these points of view, especially in such a democratic system. I want to make sure Ottawa gets to read what it wants to read, and that the best in the city truly rises to the top.”
If you are interested in contributing to Jam Jar, or want check out their very first post, click here or tweet them @jamjarwords