Thursday, September 20, 2012


Last year the Northwords board asked me to be one of two judges on a selection committee for a brand new anthology of Northwest Territories writing, along with fellow Yellowknifer Judy McLinton. I was flattered and jumped at the opportunity.

My initial impression was one of gobsmackedness. I'm always reading Northern literature, so I shouldn't have been surprised, but the talent exhibited by these writers blew me away. And best of all, it was a blind submission process so I couldn't let any personal biases get in the way. When our selected authors were revealed, it turned out that I had met 5 of the authors, read a couple of the others, leaving 10 who were complete strangers to me. For the most part Judy and I agreed wholeheartedly, and I won't get into who pushed for what, but I will say that the final collection, featuring a balance of short fiction and creative nonfiction, is one I'm very proud of. (Though I will reveal that a personal favourite in the collection is Jamesie Fournier's "Children of the Strike.")

Coming Home has finally been published!!! Here's a complete listing of all the stories and authors contained within:

-"My Epiphany" by Rebecca Aylward
-"Coming Home" by Jordan Carpenter
-"Children of the Strike" by Jamesie Fournier
-"For us" by January Go
-"Jailbird" by Patti-Kay Hamilton
-"The Points" by Colin Henderson
-"Angatkuq" by Marcus Jackson
-"Haunted Hill Mine" by Cathy Jewison
-"Lost" by AmberLee Kolson
-"Homecoming" by Cara Loverock
-"Where They Belong" by Jessie MacKenzie
-"The Long Gun" by Shawn McCann
-"Beauty of the Butte" by Karen McColl
-"Ts’sankui Theda, The Kindness of the Lake" by Brian Penney
-"Celia’s Inner Anorexic" by Annelies Pool
-"Dirty Rascal" by Christine Raves
-"Born a Girl" by Richard Van Camp

One small beef: most anthologies I've seen have "edited by" or "compiled by" on the front. It sure would have been nice to see my name up there. Ah, who am I kidding? Richard Van Camp will sell more books. And besides, it gives me more motivation to get my 2nd Person Perspective anthology (You will) on the go. Almost time to do a call for submissions, me thinks.

Anyway, I clearly can't review this one. But I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. That's why I'm offering up a free review copy! To win it, please tell me why you want to read it in the comments below. That'll count as one entry. Blog about it and leave a link in the comments below for an additional entry. Contest will close as as of next Thursday at midnight. I'll do a random draw from all the entries received and announce the winner on Friday. The only thing I ask is that you review it before year's end. It doesn't need to be positive! (Though I hope it is— I will say that some stories needed editing, but I trust that the publishers at Great Plains Publications took care of that. If not, don't blame me!)

Here it is again:

I was also on the cover selection committee and this shot, by famed Yellowknife photographer Dave Brosha, really stood out.

You know you want to read this. Get your entries in!!!


Barbara Bruederlin said...

How very cool! I want to win a copy, not only because I want to read it (which of course I do), but also so that I can write "edited by John Mutford" in sharpie on the front cover.

Kate said...

I want to read this one because I haven't read enough books from the NWT! And I may emulate Barbara by writing "edited by John Mutford" in sharpie on the cover...

John Mutford said...

Barbara and Kate: Why don't you wait and read it first. If you like it, sharpie my name on the cover. If not, find my name in the credits and black it out.

Perogyo said...

Wow! This is really cool.

I want to win because my northern reading so far has been spotty and I'd like to catch up with the best of the best!

Faith Hope and Cherrytea said...

I'm impressed with the lengthy list of contributing authors! + having this Cdn Reading Challenge connxn w/ one of the editors?! of course I want to read it! =)
Congrats, John! I must say, very well done!

Loni said...

Congratulations! Sorry I missed the deadline on this one. I'll have to find myself a copy.