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Tour de blogosphere: A Special Guide to Ottawa’s Literary Blogs (Part 5)

By Catherine Brunelle on September 12, 2015


This is your tour guide to Ottawa’s online literary world blogosphere style. In coming posts, expect champions of poetry, stories of small press, writers seeking writers, book clubs to notice, online journals, recaps, reviews and more.

Today we take you into the online world of literary blogging with creative twists. From those scouring the second hand shops for their next read, capturing a story book character’s map of Ottawa, rounding up CAA authors, and creating choose-your-own story adventure games, this leg of the tour will show you a curious assortment of literary lovers. But whether you’re learning about chickens, tracing fictional road maps or choosing to go right or left, one thing is for sure: you are going to be challenged to think differently about what you read.


by Pearl Pirie

Pearl Pirie has a very clean look to her literary blog and poetry journal, pesbo. This is a fascinating site. Pirie has a clear and fascinating way of breaking down her readings and grouping them for visitors to digest. In compiling her list of books, her groupings and reflections are insightful. “To read different stories from the same era at once gives a richness to history. This list will continue into the next with more books of the era. The same names turn up in different context,” writes Pirie on her blog.

You’ll not only pick up new ideas and readings at pesbo, but also, it’s infused with support for Ottawa writers and locations. With quietly shared but fascinating tidbits such as her observations after reading a book on the Experimental Farm by Helen Smith, picked up in the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store.

“Did you know the cattle are there just for pleasing the public now?” writes Pirie in her post on local history and literary histories. “They don’t have a mandate, or didn’t at the time of writing, to research dairy cattle anymore. Volunteers look after the flower beds, which also aren’t part of the research anymore. The sunken flower bed uses the foundation of a house that became derelict and kept the foundation plantings. At one point, someone tried to abscond with flagstones. Can you imagine. Of all the things to steal.”

This is one of those websites where the author’s voice is as charming as the material she covers. Definitely worth a visit.


by Carol A. Stephen

Quillfyre is an in-depth summary of work springing from the Canadian Authors Association. This stop of the literary blog tour takes you beyond the CAA newsletter, and dives into Ottawa-area events, poetry readings, and book launches through not only news updates, but also author interviews. Stephen offers us an insider’s look at the Ottawa literary scene normally found at the small press and indie book fairs.

Both online and off, she’s an active participant in not only the CAA but also as co-director at Tree Reading Series, too. Check out Quillfyre and stay in touch with literary local happenings are taking place in this city.


by Greg Guevara

Welcome to Inbreak, a literary blog offering you game play, book reviews, choose-your-own-adventure, screenplays, zombie action thrills, poetry, and more. It’s the dynamic and varied creative collection of writer and soon-to-be-journalist, Greg Guevara. It’s also a magnificent example of what a literary blog can be, and why rules need not apply in the online world of storytelling. Guevara is jumps between various formats and focus, all works coloured by excitement for the latest project.

With Guevara commencing his degree in journalism with Carleton University, it will be interesting to follow how both he and his blog develop in tone, output and creativity. This stop on the Tour de Blogosphere reminds the reader that blogs, unlike books, are stories without a final chapter. Rather, they grow alongside an author. It may be worth the RSS subscription to see what happens next.

Fictional Ottawa

Last stop on our blogosphere tour of Ottawa is – actually – a tour of Ottawa. Fictional Ottawa is not a blog, but it’s so cool that if you’ve been reading this post, you’ll for sure want to check out this website. Four students from Ottawa University’s Public History course populate a map of Ottawa with notable places mentioned in author’s works of fiction. This project is similar to Ottawa’s Literary Tourist blog, except in the case of Fictional Ottawa, the entire city is map is based upon locations and monuments mentioned in stories. So take a peek and enjoy!