Verbatim: A Novel

Notes on an unconventional book

Post-fiction panel

Last year an anthology of new pei writing, Riptides, came out from The Acorn Press. It’s up this year for an atlantic book award. Last night there was a fiction panel on it, hosted by Simon Lloyd, and featuring: Richard Lemm, the editor; Beth  Janzen; Steven Mayoff; Malcolm Murray; and Helen Pretulak, all contributors. (I’m in it too, plus about 18 others.) For the most part the panel and audience were in sync, with good questions asked by the writers and editor (almost all of who seem to not be from pei), and from the audience. Questions were asked about inspiration, if endings were difficult (a few thought beginnings were tougher), about markets and being from pei. There was also a direct question about pei content (sort of like cancon) and if anyone felt obligated to make mention of the Island. Most didn’t, thankfully. One audience member had the best remark: that everyone present was from some other place originally, and that no one was any more of an Islander than anyone else.

Soon we’ll hear what book won the award. It would certainly be nice to be associated with that, and Richard and The Acorn Press deserve the commendation.



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