By Reid Lodge
As a queer, transgender Canadian I often find people like me to be either underrepresented or poorly represented in fiction. The idea that marginalized groups are underrepresented in all forms of artistic media (especially the most popular varieties) is hardly new, but even so, I always find it worthwhile to call attention to some of the great work happening by queer artists across the country whenever I get the chance. . . .
By Kelly Jarman
Jan Zwicky claims in her essay “The Ethics of the Negative Review” that a negative review is a “Squelching of self and creativity,” but for me my first semblance of a negative review was a grand inspirational moment, a first milestone to becoming a writer. Someone had taken my work to be worth criticizing on a higher level than mere feedback and deemed it to be worth spending the time to criticize. That was a great compliment. . . .
By Zach Alapi
An Interview with France's 13e Note Editions. 13e Note founder Eric Vieljeux was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule for an interview. What follows is a short conversation to help introduce readers of The Fiddlehead to 13e Note’s ethos and why, as a foreign press, they support and promote American and Canadian writers.
By Christina Cooke
Taking a page out of the Globe and Mail’s column on “10 rules for writing” (who took a page out of the Guardian’s “Rules for writers” series, who took a page out of Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing . . . I feel like I’m following the yellow-brick road . . . ), here are ten suggestions on submitting. Sending your prized brainchildren to far-off publications may seem daunting, so hopefully this list will ease some of that confusion and anxiety. . . .
By Madeline Bassnett
I’ve been thinking lately about Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” It fits the current Fredericton landscape perfectly: the snow lies two feet thick on the ground and I have to strap on snowshoes just to feed the backyard birds. But I think about this poem for another reason too: it’s an old friend, the first poem I fully memorized.
By Madeline Bassnett
My life is all about revision — and that’s not just a metaphorical statement. It seems I’ve ceased writing anything new: my only task is to complete and repair the old. As if I’ve suddenly entered the field of furniture restoration, sanding the scratches, oiling the bumps, replacing worn nails — a deceptively satisfying comparison. As if revision were simply a matter of priming and primping, of returning to some earlier and idealised state.
By Matt Mott
Set small, specific goals like write a scene with a lamp, a dog, and blue sedan. Remember, education is about drills and jumping through hoops. Most of those hoops are going to be completely arbitrary, just like lifting a dumb-bell up and down is completely arbitrary, but arbitrary hoops provide practice, and you need to practice creativity to develop it as a skill. Editing comes later. Learn to just grow a story first. . . .
By Matt Mott
You can’t teach someone to be a good writer per se, but you can teach people, or rather train people, to regularly access the creative side of their brain. You’d think this would come eventually as you write more and more stories (however failed those stories may be), but this is not always the case. . . .