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Ann Birch, author of The Secret Life of Roberta Greaves, writes about gender inequity, the perils of women's washrooms, and a call to organize!

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Women Writing4: Remembering


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Beauty Beneath the Banyan

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Haunting the Stacks

Susan McCaslin blogs about writing, poetry, her love of books, and a lifetime of uncovering hidden literary treasures at the library.


CWS/CF Call for Papers: Women's Human Rights

Canadian Woman Studies/les cahiers de la femme (cws/cf) Call for Papers Women's Human Rights 
31.3/32.1 ---- EXTENDED DEADLINE: APRIL 30 2017 Guest edited by: Jeannette Corbiere Lavell, Alda Facio, Angela Lytle, Angela Miles, and Patricia Nyaundi

 This special double issue of Canadian Woman Studies’ (CWS/cf) will focus on feminist women’s human rights theory and activism as a visionary framework for movement-building and social change, activism and education, considering both the historical trajectory of this movement, current efforts, challenges and debates, as well as possibilities for the future in troubled times. Since a locally-grounded, globally-engaged transnational women’s movement led to the international recognition in the 1990s that women’s rights are human rights, many women from all regions have organized under this shared banner while simultaneously shaping human rights discourse according to their unique and diverse needs, perspectives, and visions for a just world. By using CEDAW, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (the UN women’s human rights convention), and other international and regional human rights mechanisms, and also by engaging in their broad social justice work from a women’s human rights perspective, feminists have contributed to transformative understandings and analysis of women’s human rights that reflect the diversity of women’s experiences and take into account intersectional discrimination. Indigenous women activists in particular are expanding the understanding of women’s human rights by linking violence against women with struggles for land, water, self-determination, and against transnational corporations and mining companies.

In the current climate of intense economic and religious fundamentalisms, and an atmosphere in which the human rights of women, Indigenous peoples, workers, peasants and others are under attack, women around the world continue to organize using women’s human rights frameworks and mechanisms that support the creation of local, regional and international networks and movements. We welcome stories of lesser-known events, individuals, groups and debates/issues involved in the political, legal and policy processes leading up to and including the Vienna and Beijing Conferences in the 1990s, as well as reflections on women’s human rights struggles today and into the future. 

Possible topics include:
 · Feminist understandings of Women’s Human Rights
 · Significance, meaning, tensions of WHR framework in legal, policy, activist practice
 · History and Development of international WHR movement: Women’s organizing around the 1990s WHR conferences, with an emphasis on women in the Majority World
 · Women’s human rights and movement-building;
 · CEDAW and civil society movements: Shadow Reports, Optional Protocol; education and activism
 · CEDAW as a living document: WHR theory in action- jurisprudence, general recommendations, reporting process
 · UN Mechanisms and Feminist Activism, including Special Rapporteurs, Working Groups, CSW and others
 · Beijing +20 and beyond
 · Protecting and sustaining WHR framework in neo-conservative global climate
 · Intersectional and/or thematic WHR Perspectives and Analyses--including but not limited to:
 o Cross/inter-cultural understandings of WHR;
 o Women and dis/Ability;
 o Indigenous women’s human rights;
 o LBT women’s human rights/SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Rights) rights;
 o Rural women’s human rights;
 o Migrant women’s human rights;
 o Trafficking, sex industry, and women’s human rights;
 o Race and gender;
 o Ageism and WHR;
 o Neo/colonialism and WHR;
 o Capitalism/ corporations and WHR
 o Poverty and women’s human rights;
•Violence and women’s human rights o Peace and women’s human rights
 o Religion / spirituality and WHR;
 o Land and water and WHR
 o Health, environment and WHR;
 o WHR & Food Sovereignty;
 o GMOs and WHR
 o WHR and the Rights of Mother Earth
 o Rights of women’s human rights defenders;
 o Fundamentalisms and WHR;
 o Reproductive justice and WHR;
 o Cultural rights & WHR; o Self-care and WHR;
 o Embodiment and WHR;
 o Women’s human rights as a visionary framework;
 o “Development” and WHR;
•Post-2015 development agenda;
 o WHR education and training;
 o WHR, diversity and solidarity. Your ideas for additional topics are welcome.
 Invited are essays, research reports, true stories, alternative forms of narration, poetry, drawings, and other art works that illuminate these issues.

 DEADLINE EXTENDED: April 30th, 2017. 

Articles should be typed, double-spaced, and a maximum of 16 pages long (4000 words). A short (50-word) abstract of the article and a brief biographical note must accompany each submission. Please send a hard copy of your manuscript as well as emailing a copy. We give preference to previously unpublished material. If possible, please submit graphics or photographs to accompany your article. Please note CWS/cf reserves the right to edit manuscripts with respect to length and clarity, and in conformity with our house-style. To encourage use of the material published, CWS/cf has granted electronic rights to Gale Group, Micromedia Proquest and the H. W. Wilson. Any royalties received will be used by CWS/cf to assist the publication in disseminating its message. Canadian Woman Studies/les cahiers de la femme
 210 Founders, York University, 4700 Keele St. Toronto, ON M3J 1P3
 Telephone: (416) 736-5356 Fax: (416) 736-5765 E-mail:

CWS/cf Call for Papers: Violence Against University and College Women

In this special edition of the Canadian Woman Studies/les cahiers de la femme (CWS/cf), we invite contributions that explore critically the various aspects of the issue. The editors seek especially contributions located in countries in the Global South as well as studies utilizing various research methodologies and theoretical frameworks across the social sciences and the humanities.

Femmes Fatales and the Female Muse: John Keats and the Feminine

Susan McCaslin, author of "Into the Mystic: My Years with Olga", writes about poet John Keats and his shift from explorations of the “femme fatale” portrayal of women, to a deep identification with female wisdom figures.

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Inanna's catalogues for your perusal...

CWS/cf Call for Papers Feminist Gift Economy Theorizing and Practice: A Matricentric Alternative to Patriarchy

Call for Papers: Feminist Gift Economy Theorizing and Practice: A Matricentric Alternative to Patriarchy 32.1 (Summer/Fall 2016)

Ms. and Mr. (file this under ‘Words Matter’)

Peg Tittle, author of "What Happened to Tom", writes about words, identifiers, naming, and the limitations of polite society.

Are We There Yet?

Nasreen Pejvack, author of "Amity", writes about women's rights, the toils of scientist Vera Rubin, and the question of who is worthy of a Nobel Prize.

Feminism, Activism and Spirituality

How to Order

How to order Inanna books

In the Name of Love

Women and the Black Diaspora

The Wondrous Woo

For Academics

Living in the Mystery: Keats, Negative Capability, and the Ecozoic Age

Susan McCaslin, author of "Into the Mystic: My Years with Olga", revisits the life and works of the English Romantic poet John Keats (1795-1821).

A Man Shaken by a Bomb

Peg Tittle, author of "What Happened to Tom", writes about male authors and the question of women in literature.

Women and Cancer

Inanna Events

There's a lot happening at Inanna...check out what our authors have coming up!

Barbara Klein-Muskrat Then and Now

All Titles

Flying Underwater: Poems New and Selected

List of Authors

Blog and Media

Portrait in Black and Gold

Editing My Own Poetry

Joanna M. Weston, author of "A Bedroom of Searchlights", blogs about her writing process and editing her poetry.

Canadian Women and Multiculturalism

On Writing: Q & A

Inanna author Rhoda Rabinowitz Green's Q & A on being a writer and her writing process.

Women and Sustainability

CWS/cf Journal

Migration, Labour and Exploitation: Trafficking in Women & Girls

Boy Books

Peg Tittle, author of What Happened to Tom, ponders boys books and the difficulty of girls seeing themselves in boys' literary worlds.

The Hedge

Women's Fiction

Peg Tittle, author of What Happened to Tom?, ponders the definition of "women's fiction", women writers, conflicting definitions of fiction, and under-representation / misrepresentation of writers in the publishing world.

Latin American Women


Priya's World

Women and Peace-Building


Splendid! . . . Words don’t even come close to sufficiently describing the performance I saw/heard on Saturday of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly at HD Opera at the Movies. Anthony Minghella’s production comes as close to perfection as one will ever reach in the arts – perhaps in any endeavour.

Indigenous Women in Canada: The Voices of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Women

Class Acts

Helen Weinzweig and Magic Realism

Rhoda Rabinowitz Green, author of "Aspects of Nature", writes about how Helen Weinzweig used magic realism to transport her feelings of trauma and pain into language the reader could emotionally grasp.

Mirrored in the Caves

Love of Duck

Ending Woman Abuse

Women, Globalization and International Trade

Humanities and the Arts

Ann Birch, author of "The Secret Life of Roberta Greaves" (fall 2016), writes about the decline in the study of the humanities at universities and unacceptable incomes in the arts

Women Writing4: Remembering

Helen Weinzweig: From Pain to Prose

In this second installment of a three-part blog series on Helen Weinzweig, Rhoda Rabinowitz Green writes about traumatic experiences of Helen's childhood, her growing awareness of thwarted self-fullfilment and her search for identity, and how they are revealed in her writing.

A Tilt

Naturally Woman: The Search for Self in Black Canadian Women's Literature

Perhaps Women Should Take Over! (March 8th, 2016)

Nasreen Pejvack, author of "Amity" on the sham of war, women's roles in the world, and a new agenda for peace.

Feminist Dialogues: politiques publiques et l'action collective au Quebec et Ontario

Editorial Feminists have never had an easy relationship with state policy. Linguistic barriers complicate sharing our learning across contexts. But in the spring of 2010, a number of feminist researchers, graduate students, and activists from Quebec and Ontario came together for a two-day bilingual conference at Glendon College (York University) to share our different approaches to feminist research on policy and activism. Our presentations and discussions were coloured by our context, in which neoliberal economics, neoconservative perspectives, and the economic crisis were pushing equity issues off policy tables. Talking across languages, academic disciplines and culture, we found common ground and divergences in our research approaches, our commitments and our view of the way forward for feminist action. We also found energy and stimulation from this dialogue. In this special issue, we hope to stimulate wider participation in these conversations, in order to think through the challenges before feminism(s). In preparing this collection, the editors asked our contributors to take into account the discussions and debates that surfaced during this conference, and to address how their own analyses could bridge our two themes: research on policy and research on collective action. The majority of contributors point out that feminist researchers and activists must recognize and resist the insidious slip of neoliberal and neoconservative politics into feminism(s), undermining the movement’s broad equity goals. They also reflect on ways forward. Researchers and activists can embrace the positions of those left out or rejected by the assumptions of these politics—single mothers, racialized minorities, and recent immigrants. We can consider questions of the family, gender, communities, bodies, sexual practices, and patriarchy in relation to these politics. And we can examine who benefits, as well as who pays from policy decisions, in order to support the development of coalitions and alliances in common struggles. We have structured this special issue in three sections. The first section introduces our questions with articles that reflect on the changing relationship between feminism and states. Theoretically well-developed, these articles from established feminist scholars unsettle those who are complacent about the gains women have made. These reflections receive validation and challenge from the contributors in the second section, who use empirical research to present feminist perspectives on three social policy areas: long term residential care, health care and home care. Each of these pieces reflects on the gendered aspects of policy developments and related equity struggles, showing how practices, lives and institutions are affected. Differences and similarities between the Ontario and Quebec contexts reinforce the benefits of learning what is happening on either side of this border. The final section takes up the role of political activism within women’s movements, and the synergies – sometimes tensions—with other political movements. Contributors to this section highlight the changing face of feminist politics within Quebec and Ontario. Some explore women’s movements more concerned by public policies while others present the face of feminism and its links with other political actors. Others revisit the contemporary history of feminism to shed light on shifts from the preservation of alliances with the political left to more engagement with state institutions. This special issue concludes with a special contribution from one of Canada’s best known feminists and academic researchers on women’s rights and labour law, Lucie Lamarche. During the conference, Professor Lamarche had the difficult, but challenging responsibility to draw together the many contributions’ disparate threads. Here, she undertakes a critical analytical review of the articles to provide elements to bridge our differences. If at first glance feminist research in Quebec and in Ontario seems to take separate, sometimes disconnected paths, there is solid ground and many reasons to pursue our efforts towards better feminist futures in this country. As usual, this project has relied on the invaluable support of many helpers. We, the editors of this special issue and organizers of the conference that stimulated it, wish to thank Le Secrétariat aux affaires intergouvernementales canadiennes, Gouvernement du Québec (saic), the cihr/chsrf Chair in Health Services Research (York University), the Center for Feminist Research/Centre pour la recherche féministe à York, l’École d’études des femmes (programme de Glendon)/School of Women’s Studies (Glendon Programme), L’École des affaires publiques et internationales/School of Public and International Affairs, the York Ad Hoc Research Funds, and the late John Dignard at Glendon and his team for technological support and services. Finally, we thank Karoline Jablonska for her help in organizing the conference and Sanjukta Banerjee for her assistance with translation. Éditorial Les féministes n'ont jamais eu le contact facile avec les politiques étatiques. Les barrières linguistiques ont compliqué les échanges de nos connaissances selon les contextes. Mais au printemps 2010, des chercheures féministes, des doctorantes, des militantes du Québec et de l'Ontario se sont rencontrées au Collège Glendon de l'Université York lors d'une conférence bilingue de deux jours afin de partager les différentes approches de la recherche féministe sur les politiques et sur le militantisme. Les présentations et les discussions reproduites ici portent la marque des économies néolibérales, des perspectives néoconservatrices et de la crise économique ce qui a relégué les problèmes d'équité au second plan. Le passage d'une langue à l'autre, d'une culture à une autre, le fait d'échanger entre disciplines, nous a permis de voir nos terrains d'entente et de divergences dans nos approches à la recherche, dans nos engagements et dans notre vision d'aller de l'avant avec l'action féministe. Nous avons aussi trouvé l'énergie et les stimuli dans ces échanges. Avec ce numéro spécial des Cahiers de la femme nous comptons stimuler une plus large participation aux dialogues et aux défis qui engagent tous les féminismes. En colligeant ces articles, les éditrices ont demandé à nos collaboratrices de considérer les discussions et les débats qui ont émergé durant cette conférence afin que leurs propres analyses jettent un pont entre deux thèmes: la recherche sur les politiques publiques et les recherches sur l'action collective. La majorité des collaboratrices ont demandé aux chercheures féministes et aux militantes de reconnaître et de résister au dérapage insidieux des politiques néolibérales et néoconservatrices à l'intérieur des féminismes, dérapage qui sape les grands projets du mouvement vers l'équité. Elles ont aussi réfléchi sur les perspectives d'avenir et ce faisant, elles ont adopté les positions de celles qui sont rejetées par ces politiques : les mères célibataires, les minorités racialisées et les nouvelles arrivantes. Nous nous avons analysé les questions autour de la famille, des communautés, du genre, du corps, des pratiques sexuelles, du patriarcat et ce toujours en relations à ces politiques, tout comme nous avons examiné la question de ceux qui profitent et ceux qui paient suite à aux décisions afin de favoriser la formation de coalitions et d'alliances dans les luttes communes. Nous avons structuré ce numéro spécial en trois sections: la première section présente des articles comportant une analyse critique de la relation changeante entre le féminisme et l'État. Ces articles , issus de chercheures chevronnées et théoriquement bien développés, dérangent ceux qui montrent de la complaisance face aux gains acquis par les femmes. Ces réflexions sont validées et mises en discussion par les articles de la deuxième section lesquels utilisent une approche empirique pour présenter les perspectives féministes à l'endroit de trois politiques sociales: la résidence à long terme, les soins de santé et les services à domicile. Chacun de ces textes abordent les aspects genrés lors du développement des politiques ainsi que les luttes d'équité touchant les pratiques, les conditions de vie et les institutions. Les différences et les similarités des contextes québécois et ontariens nous ont permis de voir l'importance de mieux partager ce qui se passe de chaque côté de la frontière. La dernière section rend compte du rôle du militantisme politique à l'intérieur des mouvements des femmes de même que les synergies-quelques fois les tensions- avec d'autres mouvements politiques. Les collaboratrices de cette section mettent l'accent sur la face changeante du féminisme au Québec et en Ontario. Certaines explorent les mouvements de femmes et leurs engagements vers de meilleures politiques publiques alors que d'autres analysent les diverses parties du mouvement féministe qui sont en lien avec d'autres acteurs politiques. D'autres encore revoient l'histoire contemporaine du féminisme afin de mieux comprendre le passage de son alliance avec la gauche politique , vers un engagement avec les institutions étatiques. Ce numéro spécial se termine avec la contribution de Lucie Lamarche, une des chercheures féministes universitaires des plus renommées au Canada sur les droits des femmes et les lois syndicales. Pendant la conférence, madame Lamarche a eu la difficile responsabilité de relier les différentes approches. Dans le présent numéro, elle a utilisé une analyse critique des articles afin d'en extraire les éléments qui font le pont entre nos différences. Si à première vue la recherche féministe au Québec et en Ontario semble prendre des voies divergentes, voire même déconnectées, force est de constater que le terrain est solide et qu'il existe plusieurs raisons de poursuivre nos efforts vers un meilleur avenir féministe dans ce pays. Comme toujours, nous avons demandé plusieurs soutiens pour la réalisation de ce projet. Les éditrices de ce numéro spécial et organisatrices de la conférence tiennent à remercier sincèrement le Secrétariat aux affaires intergouvernementales canadiennes, Gouvernement du Québec (saic), la cihr/chsrf Chaire des services de santé (York), le Centre pour la recherche féministe à York, l'École de genre et d'études des femmes (Glendon), l'École des affaires publiques et internationales (Gendon), le Fonds de recherche adhoc pour les conférences à York, de feu John Dignard de Glendon ainsi queson équipe technique . Finalement, nous remercions notre assistante Karoline Jablonska pour son aide à l'organisation de la conférence et Sanjukta Banerjee, assistante à la traduction.

Come Into Animal Presence: Grieving the Loss of Our Animal Companions

Susan McCaslin, author of "Into the Mystic: My Years with Olga" writes about human-animal relationships, spiritual companions, love, and reflection on loss.

Evie, the Baby and the Wife

Women and HIV/AIDS


Privacy Policy

The Holy Mango

Zoë S. Roy, author of Calls Across the Pacific, reflects on Mao Zedong, "VIP fruit", and the power of fiction.



Writing Effective Dialogue

Ann Birch, author of The Secret Life of Roberta Greaves, writes about some basic tips for writing dialogue that she's learned over the years from workshops with major Canadian writers.

Terms of Use

National Identity and Gender Politics

Shipping and Returns

Living the Edges: A Disabled Woman's Reader


Where Are They?

Nasreen Pejvack, author of Amity, blogs about moving to Canada and first learning about First Nations peoples in Vancouver, reservations, and the politics of Canada as a settler nation.

What would Helen Say?

Rhoda Rabinowitz Green, author of Aspects of Nature, writes about the legacy of Governor General’s Award Winning author Helen Weinzweig, the writing process, intellectual curiosity, aging, and finding one's hochma (wisdom).

The Witchdoctor’s Bones

Rural Women in Canada


Women's Spirituality: Contemporary Feminist Approaches to Judaism, Christianity, Islan and Goddess Worship

I Don’t Want To Do It

Huey Helene Alcaro, author of "In the Land of Two-Legged Women:, blogs about her relationship with her new book.

Over Our Heads

Motion Sickness


Rhoda Rabinowitz Green, author of Aspects of Nature (forthcoming 2016), ruminates on aging, personal growth, and the unexpected dangers of jay walking.

The Missing Line

First Voices: An Aboriginal Women’s Reader

Suffragette – the Film and the History

S. Noël McKay writes about the upcoming film "Suffragette" and how our votes continue to honour our Canadian grandmothers' struggles.

Wild Women: Painters of the Wilderness

Women and Sports

S. Noël McKay, author of "Stony Point", writes about the FIFA women’s World Cup of soccer, women in sport, sexism, homophobia, and the role of the media.

Arresting Hope: Women Taking Action in Prison Health Inside Out

Our Words, Our Revolutions

Societies of Peace: Matriarchies of Past, Present and Future

Stony Point

And There Was Morning, And There Was Evening; Another Year

Rhoda Rabinowitz Green, author of "Aspects of Nature" (2016) writes about her connection to T.S. Eliot’s The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock, life, love, aging, and the passage of time.

Midwives: good for women or good for men? -> Meet Nara

In Part Three of her 3-part blog series, Christina Park, author of "The Homes We Build on Ashes", explores the history and origins of midwifery.

Would I Lie to You?

My Husband's Wedding

Wo(men) and Bears The Gifts of Nature, Culture and Gender Revisited

My, how times have changed -> Meet Sun-hi

In part two of her three-part blog series, Christina Park, author of "The Homes We Build on Ashes", explores Korean history, the Joseon era, political changes, the treatment of women, and the rise of women's rights.

Confessions: A Book of Tales

Is one word enough? -> Meet Min-joo

In the first of a three-part blog series, Christina Park, author of "The Homes We Build On Ashes" (Fall 2015), introduces us to her book, its themes, and her characters; namely the history of "comfort women" - Meet Min-joo.

The Saviour Shoes and Other Stories

The Book of Changes

At Odds in the World: Essays on Jewish Canadian Women Writers

Independent Bookstore Day: Renaissance Bookstore

Nasreen Pejvack, author of "Amity" (fall 2015) writes about one of her favourite local bookstores and the importance of independent booksellers.

The Hungry Grass

Passing Stranger

Off My Feed

Huey Helene Alcaro, author of "In the Land of Two-Legged Women," writes about writing, the human condition, and literary fiction.

Women Resisting Rape Feminist Law, Practice, Activism

Theorizing Empowerment: Canadian Perspectives on Black Feminist Thought

Into the Mystic: My Years with Olga

The Good Bad Book

S. Noël McKay, author of "Stony Point" discusses good/bad books and literature.

Are Our Young Mothers Protected? What About Our Hardworking Citizens?

Nasreen Pejvack discuss "The Global Economy" vs. "Best Standard of Living" (young mothers and workers struggling against government regulations).

A Hero

Han Kut: Critical Art and Writing by Korean Canadian Women

Women in the Gift Economy: A Radically Different World View is Possible

The Voice: Reigning Ratings Queen of Singing Competitions

Carol Lipszyc writes an opinion piece about 'The Voice.'

Bear War-den

Moments of Joy

Season of Transitions

Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova on growth in a season of transitions.

Canadian Woman Studies: An Introductory Reader, 2nd Edition

Women Teaching, Women Learning: Historical Perspectives

Authors for Indies Day - May 2, 2015

S. Noël McKay writes about the importance of independent bookstores.

Only by Blood

Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You

What’s So Scary about Words Like “Religion,” “Spirituality” and “Mysticism”?: Some Reflections on Writing Into the Mystic: My Years with Olga

Susan McCaslin reflects on writing Into the Mystic: My Years with Olga

Feminist Politics, Activism and Vision: Local and Global Challenges

Violence Against Women: New Canadian Perspectives

The Girl Who Was Born That Way


Nasreen Pejvack writes about the history and currency of International Women's Day (March 8).

Terra Incognita

Why Do We Not Question?

Nasreen Pejvack ponders why we don't question the shaky decisions of government authorities.

Feminist Utopias: Re-Visioning Our Futures

Feminism(s) on the Edge of the Millennium: Rethinking Foundations and Future Debates

From Spoken Word Artist to Novelist: We’re Not in Kansas Anymore

Andrea Thompson, author of Over Our Heads, writes about the experience of moving from Spoken Word to Novelist.

Dancing on a Pin

Between the Cracks She Fell

We Stand on Guard for Thee

Gail Benick blogs about Canadian literature and a typo

Equity and How to Get It: Rescuing Graduate Studies

Confronting the Cuts: A Sourcebook for Women in Ontario

Here Comes the Dreamer

And We Are Running

Gail Benick, author of "The Girl Who Was Born That Way" blogs about the 2014 CIBC Run for the Cure.

Why Jane Austen is Cool

S. Noël McKay ruminates on Jane Austin and her timeless awesomeness.


Graduate Women's Studies: Visions and Realities

Women in a Globalizing World: Equality, Development, Peace and Diversity

At the Right Time and Place

Barbara D. Janusz ruminates on a writer's place, space, and the struggle of feelings of marginalization.

The Homes We Build on Ashes

In the Land of Two-Legged Women

The CRA Audits, The Harper Government, and Fascist Regimes

S. Noël Mckay's take on the recent CRA audits, the Harper Government, and PEN

"And Neither Have I Wings to Fly": Labelled and Locked Up in Canada's Oldest Institution

A Glittering Chaos

CODA - as written during post partum

Lilly Barnes writes about the post partum of finishing a piece of writing

First Gear: A Motorcycle Memoir

Land of the Sky

Farley Mowat's Passing

S. Noël McKay on the passing of Farley Mowat

Autumn's Grace

The Long White Sickness

The Snow Kimono

Who would Jesus discriminate against?: TWU covenant is not about belief, but control, former faculty member says - OpEd piece by Susan McCaslin

Opinion: Who would Jesus discriminate against?: TWU covenant is not about belief, but control, former faculty member says by Susan McCaslin

Midsummer's here and it's time to tweet!

Midsummer's here and it's time to tweet! The party starts now!

Calls Across the Pacific

I write these words / J'écris ces mots

Dark Water Songs

Midsummer Tweet-Fest!

Tweet-Fest Celebrating Midsummer

Laundry Lines: Stories and Poems

Women and Social and Environmental Justice

Join us June 21st! Special Midsummer celebration!

Inanna Publishing welcomes you to a special online celebration of the longest day of the year and the novella of the same name, Midsummer. On Saturday June 21st.

Rebel Women

A Gut Reaction A True Story About a Mother's Fight to Save her Son's Life and his Amazing Recovery from Crohn's Disease

Introducing "Stony Point"

S. Noël McKay introduces her new book, "Stony Point" (Inanna fall 2014).

Women and Water

What if nothing is holding you back?

Blog post about the Birth into Being Method by Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova, contributing author to "A Force Such as The World Has Never Known: Women Creating Change"

After Drowning

Canadian Woman Studies An Introductory Reader, 3rd Edition

A Force Such as the World Has Never Known: Women Creating Change

Something There Is That Doesn’t Love a Teacher

Some serious teacher bashing is going on in British Columbia right now.

All My Fallen Angelas

Howling for Life

Howling for Life - a poem by Nasreen Pejvack

Aspects of Nature

West of Wawa

The Long March Home

A Bedroom of Searchlights

Remembering Alistair MacLeod by Bonnie Lendrum

Bonnie Lendrum pays tribute to Alistair MacLeod

The Grand Book Tour and a Sprinkle of Lessons I Learned Along the Way - Carrianne Leung

I embarked on my first book tour in March. To sound glamorous, I liked to refer to it as the “western leg”. There hasn’t been an eastern leg planned or even a middle leg, but regardless, it made me feel a little bit like a rock star. My superlative editor, Luciana Ricciutelli from Inanna Publications and the tireless publicist, Renée Knapp, made this tour possible. They arranged everything, and I just showed up. I have a feeling that not all writers are as lucky as having their publisher place so much faith in them. I assembled and packed my reading outfits with care – clothes that I hoped would lend me with an air of seriousness (I AM A WRITER) with a dash of whimsy (BECAUSE I AM AN ARTIST). I also packed a box of books that sat at the bottom of my luggage like a small boulder. I was to read at 3 libraries in Vancouver and needed to bring my own books. Not sure how many to bring, my publisher had also sent another box up to my friend, Rob, to receive. Throughout my readings in Vancouver, Rob lugged this trove of dead weight all around the city to supply me. Lesson number one: You need good pals in every city you visit. Rob not only acted as my personal Sherpa, he also promoted the readings by co-sponsoring them with an organization that he was also part of. See? This is a good pal! Vancouver is a lovely place. All of you who have been would agree. The spring-like weather, the walks along the sea wall at Stanley Park, the crocus and daffodils peaking their heads up, sigh. The colourful scenery chased away the polar vortex that had haunted Ontario for months. I was gleeful! Breaks from my young child and partner and two dogs do not come around often. I took long walks in a daze and let future writing projects percolate. Lesson number two: Always splurge on room service. I paid an exorbitant amount of money on a tiny pot of yogurt and a carafe of coffee, but what the hell? You are an author on a book tour! This is what one does! Spoil yourself, live large! Order yogurt! The readings at the Vancouver libraries varied. One branch didn’t know I was coming and besides from tossing us a key to open a bare room, there wasn’t a lot of ceremony to it. Rob graciously arranged the chairs for me. At another branch, the head librarian was a dream. She was an ardent supporter of Asian Canadian literature and had been active in supporting the arts all her life. She made tea and arranged Peek Freans cookies (in the shape of maple leaves) and fortune cookies on a large tray for my audience. The pairing pleased her, and she asked if it pleased me. I wished she would adopt me and be my great aunt. The audience was a mixed group of what my partner called the “extended extended family” – cousins of cousins, aunts of aunts. Mainly, the far-flung reaches of my family tree and some I had never met before, but branched off from some common root. It was really touching that they came. I also got to see my mother’s childhood best friend, an auntie who was our first host when we immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong. We had made a pit stop in Vancouver before venturing further east to Toronto. (All I remember from that visit was that I had barfed up my first hamburger.) I was also able to reconnect with friends who I rarely see. I was thrilled that they came and spread the word about the book to their circles. It really does take a village to get a book to the right readers! Remember rule number one; you must have good pals in the cities you visit. They will come out to your readings, spread the word, and maybe even lug your books around for you. (Every writer would be lucky to have such a buddy like Rob!!) After Vancouver, I took off for a whirlwind of tour of Calgary. Another stellar friend, Catherine, was there to greet me at the airport. She kindly offered her home to stay for the next two nights and ushered me around to a radio interview and a reading. I hit the ground running. The interview was at the University of Calgary campus station, and I appreciated the earnestness that the interviewer displayed. Lesson number three: Never turn down an opportunity to discuss your novel. Not only is this a key part of promotion, but the questions that readers bring you give you even more depth of insight into your writing. After the interview, I read at a monthly reading series with two more writers at Pages Kensington. These opportunities are gold!! In cities where you don’t know many people, reading with local authors will pull in a dedicated and loyal audience. So let’s call that lesson number four: make connections with the local writing/reading community by collaborating as much as possible! The last day of my tour was the most interesting and underscores the glamorous/not-so-glamorous aspects of promoting a book as a newbie writer. I was assigned to the downtown big book store (it shall remain unnamed) for an author visit. I didn’t have to read, but I did need to sit at table of my books for 5 hours in an Indigo inside a mall. Again, the staff did not know who I was or what I was doing there. After some initial confusion, they cleared off a table at the front of the store, whipped out a tablecloth and asked me to unpack the books I had brought. (Note: I no longer had Rob to do my lugging in Calgary. And said big bookstore asked me to bring my own books for consignment. I suppose they didn’t want to chance on ordering books in case they didn’t sell.) So, there I sat, watching people go up and down the escalator in front of the store. I wore my best mall smile and tried to make eye contact with passerby. Some eyed me curiously, but most walked briskly by. I tried standing up. This only gave me the authority of a store greeter, and incoming customers asked me for book recommendations (well, do I have a book for you!) or directions to the bathroom. I had the company of Olivia Chow’s book at my back (because she does have my back, I think), which gave me some comfort of home. At hour three, my friend Sharanpal kept me company, live tweeting to her friends to come and meet me. Emboldened by Olivia and Sharanpal, I revved up my game and sold 10 books by the fifth hour. Lesson number five: Never underestimate the commitment that readers have in supporting Canadian writers. The ones who did end up picking up the novel were people who made a beeline for me without hesitation just because I made the effort to show up and meet readers. At the end of it all, I was exhausted but so invigorated. I loved sharing The Wondrous Woo. I didn’t end up selling all the books, but I did make a dent in the box! More importantly, I reached dedicated readers who will tell their friends about the novel. I also garnered a review from someone who had attended a Vancouver reading. These are not small things. They can ripple in unexpected ways. Just yesterday, I received an email from a reader who had bought my book at the big book store. She let me know that she loved the book. This is the biggest satisfaction as a writer, right? Our sometimes lonely and painstaking pursuit in creating these characters and stories find a place in the world and meet readers to continue their lives. This is the magic! So, the last lesson is: Give yourself a pat on the back. You wrote a book!!

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