If you’re the kind of writer whose satisfied with only having your close friends and family as your audience then good for you. In fact great; keep on writing and enjoy having an audience that is 100% positive and supportive of your work. This article is not for you. So stop reading, close down your browser, write something and go share it with someone you know and bask in their gush of praise, you lucky bastard.
Is he gone?
Good, because he doesn’t need to hear what the rest of you are pining for. A larger audience, with people you don’t know. You want that feeling of muted glee of seeing someone’s eyes hugging your book on the subway; you want to introduce yourself as ‘author’ in parties and hear total strangers gush to you about having read and utterly LOVED your work, and how that one scene with the little girl with the glass eye and her three-legged dog made them cry and inspire them to do great things and blah blah blah, you get my meaning.
Now if you think I’m leading to some gritty-realist, Saving Private Ryan style rant of the sheer misery an author’s life really is, know that every other article on writing already gives you this blood and guts lesson in some varying degree. You really don’t need to hear it from me. Now if for some (and quite convenient) reason you have been reading some of these depressing articles, allow me to offer some other websites for your perusal, articles that will help you get your work known, and sites every (Canadian) writer should know about.
Literary journal databases: These are sites dedicated to listing literary journals, writing contest deadlines, readings and the like.
places for writers (Canadian-focused)
duotrope (The most comprehensive writers database on the internet. However it runs on paid subscription)
Small publishers: Surprise, surprise, the choice is not limited to pining for Harlequin or Random House to get your work noticed or going the self-publishing route. Here are some small house publishers (around Toronto) that you could also submit your manuscript to.
The big four of Canadian Literary Journals: If you already have some inkling of literary journals and of submitting, then it is scientifically (it’s been proven, honest!) impossible that you would have not heard of at least one of the four below (At least Descant, which is incidentally based in Toronto)
The Fiddlehead (Maritimes)
Descant (Central Canada)
The Malahat Review (West Coast)
Literary Readings: These are event where a bunch of (3-4) writers will read excerpts of their work. It’s a great opportunity to hear some great work as well as get to know other local writers. As well if the name Farzana Doctor still sounds familiar, she runs the Brockton Writers Series.
If you still have time, from exploring all these fun sites, here is one more thing. A cutesy reminder of why we write.
By a fellow North York Writer
p.s. For those who enjoyed the sites like placesforwriters, but would like more submitting information along with the link (i.e. pay, reading periods etc) I have created an excel doc with most of the placesforwriters links, and some more besides, so comment below with your email address.