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:
Dave Brosha, really stood out.
You know you want to read this. Get your entries in!!!