Stiwdio Maelor; Wales Writing Residency

One of the greatest gifts a writer can have is being invited to spend time in a Residency. Last year, I applied and was accepted to an International Writers’ Residency in Wales. The process of applying seems so long ago, but suddenly it’s only a month away. My heritage on my mother’s side is Welsh so in a strange way, it feels like I will be travelling to a country that feels familiar, even though that familiarity is a product of stories I heard as a child and my imagination.

I’ll have the precious gift of time to write and I hope to keep up a blog while I am there, so check back for news and stories of my time in Wales.

I’ll be at stiwdiomaelor, and no, I can’t pronounce it yet, but that will change when I arrive mid-May. Thank you to Australian artist Veronica Calarco for giving me this wonderful opportunity to Write in Peace.

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There’s something unknown waiting for me! 

 

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The Preludes to Assaults

Thank you Jane for saying what we all know to be true.

Jane Eaton Hamilton

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#gomeshi #ghomeshi #ibelievelucy #IStandWithLucy #BillCosby #hairextensions #truthmatters #rapeculture #cndjustice

Jian Ghomeshi, you [redacted]. I don’t know you very well, but I know this: one night in early 2004, after I’d been awarded a writing prize in Ottawa, you followed me to a side room annexed to the main hall, where I’d gone to get away from the crowds, and while my (then) wife was in the bathroom or off getting another drink, I’m not sure, you put your hand on me. That hand. One of the very hands that is being discussed in court this week. You closed the distance between us and you massaged my shoulder/neck while talking to me about how I needed to relieve the stress of my big win. Eventually my (then) wife returned, you dropped your hand (that hand), and we chatted politely while you bashed the Rockies, BC and, in…

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Authors Demand Fair Contracts

January 5, 2016

An open letter to the members of the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP), the Literary Press Group (LPG), and the Canadian Publishers’ Council (CPC):

Today, author groups from around the world have signed on to an open letter regarding the Fair Contract Initiative from our sister organization, the Authors Guild (AG) in the United States. The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) has included its name and logo on this letter. TWUC works closely with the Authors Guild on many initiatives, most notably global copyright concerns (TWUC is, for instance, a friend of the court in the AG’s ongoing book-scanning lawsuit against Google). We fully endorse the AG’s recent work updating contract principles.

TWUC has been sharing with its members the AG’s new contract principles as they have been published on their website over the last six months. As a founding member of the International Authors Forum (IAF), TWUC is also contributing to work on new, global contract principles for creative professionals. You will find attached both the AG’s open letter and the IAF’s Ten Principles for Fair Contracts.

TWUC has long advised its members on contract terms and negotiation using its own Model Trade Book Agreement, and we believe the time has come to update this document to better reflect the changed reality of writing and publishing in Canada. There is no question the economic reality for Canadian authors has deteriorated in the years corresponding with massive changes in the publishing industry. TWUC’s 2015 income survey report shows that author incomes have declined 27% since 1998, and that, distressingly, annual writing income is below the poverty line for 80% of Canada’s writers. These findings are mirrored by similar studies in both the US and UK. The reasons for this decline are complex, and contract terms are not solely to blame, but they are part of the mix and need to be addressed.

TWUC is aware that many independent Canadian publishers have used its Model Trade Book Agreement as a template when drawing up their own first contracts. In that spirit of professional cooperation, we want to make sure you’re aware of the fair contract movement in the author community. In fact, we invite representatives from the ACP, LPG, and CPC to be part of the Canadian discussion around new contract terms. TWUC proposes a roundtable discussion about contract principles aimed at establishing general best practices. In the meantime, please read the many tweaks and changes to industry standard contracts proposed by both the AG and the IAF.

Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,

The Writers’ Union of Canada

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Martha Eleen at the Loop Gallery November 7, 2015

If you live in Toronto, check out my friend, Martha Eleen’s upcoming show. She is brilliant!
The Meaning of Things
Loop Gallery, 1273 Dundas St. West (at Dovercourt)
Nov. 7 – 29, 2015
Opening reception: Nov. 7, 2 – 5: pm

Image: Thank you for making this day necessary, 2015oil on wood, 20″ x 20″

Martha Eleen

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Place Speak: Real Time Polling Results

Check this out: Federal Election Polls Live! I am determined to vote ABC, this time around, again. That means “Anything But Conservative.” As a writer, a humanitarian and someone who is passionate about the environment and believes in a Sustainable Economy, I have little choice but to ensure Canada does not remain in the hands of Stephen Harper and his henchmen. They are out to destroy everything Canada is built on.

I came across this poll at Place Speak, that asks the simple question: “Which Party will you support in the upcoming Federal Election?  Of course, as election day approaches, pollsters across Canada want to know how the answer to this. The amazing thing about this poll is that it shows REAL TIME polling results that are neighbourhood specific in six cities across Canada! This means that I can make an instant judgment based on their polling results about which candidate is the most likely to take down Stephen Harper in my hood! This I love.

Of course, it will only be effective if all of you go there and vote and then spread the word around to your friends, family and workmates. I know I have not come across a Real Time Poll like this one. If you’re like me, you won’t be able to take your eyes off the Place Speak Live Map!  

Anyway, have fun with this. I am.

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I Won Tickets for Bard on the Beach – King Lear

This weekend I am going to re-read King Lear because next weekend I’m going to see the Bard on the Beach Production, directed by Dennis Garnhum. I had asked my friend, Tina if she’d be interested in going with me, and she was pretty keen. It was left to me to buy the tickets, but of course, I didn’t get around to it.

That turned out to be fortunate because I just received a phone call from the marketing co-ordinator at Bard on the Beach and I’ve won two VIP tickets for King Lear and big bonus, gourmet picnic for two! Since Tina is always cooking the most delicious dinners for me, I am thrilled to be take her as my guest for what promises to be an unforgettable evening of culture and good eats.

As am always optimistically entering my name into contests, I had some troubles remembering who I should thank for this evening and it’s finally come to me. Stongs Grocery Store!

Thank you to Bard on the Beach and Stongs for this treat!

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Writers and Artists Please Vote for Culture in the Canadian Election

Many thanks to the Alliance for Arts + Culture for their Election Toolkit, which arrived in my email box just now. I couldn’t wait to share it with all of you.

Although I realize that most of us would rather chew off our own arm before we’d mark a vote for Harper on our ballots, this sentiment is useless unless we get out and vote for Arts, Culture and the Environment. It’s so important to spread the word to friends, colloquies and family. Usually my mantra is “Show up at the page,” but today it’s “Show up at the Polling Station on October 19th, 2015.

Remember to vote with ABC in mind: Anything but Conservatives (Harper). Both the NDP and the Liberals have some amazing candidates and they need your support.

Even writing Harper’s name makes me feel nauseous…

Julie

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