YYC Winter’s Tale Tonight

Winters Tale

That’s right  — tonight is at last the night of YYC Winter’s Tale!  We get started at seven with readings from three, count ’em, three poets — Joan Shillington, Tyler Perry and Vivian Hansen — as well as three fiction writers: myself, Lee Kvern and Sarah Johnson. We were a little concerned about the weather when we started organizing this event, imagining, as writers are wont to do, blizzards, ice storms, what have you. Turns out we currently have a temperature of + 9 as I write this at 11 AM, with showers forecast this evening.

So what better, on a warm and rainy February night, than to come in out of the wet and listen to fine readings, drink wine, munch snacks and buy books? Sounds pretty much perfect to me.

Writers’ Block

Thanks again to Emily Ursuliak, this time for the interview on CJSW’s Writers’ Block program, which aired last night. While I was teaching, of course. I’ll post a link to the podcast when it’s up on the Writers’ Block website. It’s a taped interview (obviously); I had a blast talking to Emily last fall about After You’ve Gone. More later.

The Kindle Trade

I’m often asked by my students what I think of self-publishing. Sometimes I get the feeling that some of the younger ones particularly think I’m a bit of a dinosaur, what with my old school approach; I’m convinced that traditional publishing is the way to go almost all the time. There are a few circumstances where I think self-publishing works — if you’re writing a book aimed at a very specific market, for instance, like a local history. It would be hard to find a traditional publisher to take something like that on. Also, I know of an inspirational speaker who self-published a book (with the help of a good ghostwriter) as an adjunct to his talks, and the book did quite well. If you’re already a celebrity of some kind, self-publishing would work, but then chances are good you could find a traditional publisher if you were a celebrity.

Okay, I’m then asked, but why can’t I just put it up on Amazon as an ebook and see what happens? Well, you can. But first I would read this article, “Adventures in the Kindle Trade”, by Lawrence Grobel in The Saturday Evening Post. As Grobel points out, “The truth is, with every successful e-book writer’s story, there are hundreds of thousands of failures.” Food for thought. Don’t just take it from me.

Alberta Views review

Many thanks to Emily Ursuliak and Alberta Views for the great review of After You’ve Gone in the March 2015 issue of the magazine! So nice that the first review of the book is such a positive one. The review doesn’t appear online, but I urge you to check out Alberta Views’ website here. Click on the image of the scan below to read the review.

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Capa Roja

Many thanks to editor extraordinaire Kirk Ramdath at Eleventh Transmission for including my story “Capa Roja” in their debut issue. Also appearing is a poem by Anne Sorbie as well as loads of other creative work. What could be better on a chilly day like this one than reading some fine fiction and poetry?

Oh, for the love of …. short story!

Betty Jane Hegerat

In 2008, I graduated from UBC’s Optional Residency Creative Writing program in the company of wickedly talented writers, several of whom were published very soon after that walk across the convocation stage. In quick succession, Sarah Selecky, Amy Jones and Matthew Trafford’s collections of short fiction hit the ground running. As a group, they declared 2011 the year of the short story, YOSS which I can never say without adding YES! http://yoss2011.com/

Sarah Selecky: This Cake is for the Party
Amy Jones: What Boys Like
Matthew Trafford: The Divinity Gene

and notably as well, Zsuszi Gartner, instructor of Short Story and mentor extraordinaire to many: Better Living Through Plastic Explosives

I’m quite sure I’ve missed some of the brilliant graduates of 2008 and 2009 and their books, and I offer an apology to not only those with short fiction collections but those with novels (one of those being my own,

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