What If? Magazine is a literary fiction magazine written by teenagers, for teenagers. As you can see from their website, they’ve provided an excellent venue for fostering the growth of our next generation of authors and illustrators. And they’re marking their third anniversary.
To celebrate this milestone, the magazine’s publishers are organizing a number of readings across southwestern Ontario throughout March and April (you can see the full list here). A number of past contributors to the magazine will be attending, reading their works or displaying their art, and one or two professional authors will be in attendance to read from their books and talk a bit about the writing life. The people behind the magazine were looking for Waterloo-Wellington writers and thanks to a recommendation from Marsha Skrypuch, they contacted me and Erin about reading at the Guelph and Kitchener events.
Of course, The Unwritten Girl won’t be ready for another two months or so, but I’m honoured to have this opportunity to help celebrate this magazine and to promote my book to boot. Erin will be there, reading from her poetry, as will a number of talented and enthusiastic teen writers who deserve your attention. We’ll be reading at the Guelph Chapters at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 3, and we’ll be at the South Kitchener Chapters at 10:30 a.m. the following Saturday. Further details can be found on the events page of my Unwritten Girl website. I hope to see you there!
As Marsha mentioned in her Live Journal, she kindly allowed me to sit in on one of her school readings this past Wednesday as she gave a presentation to about fifty or so grade 7 and 8 students. And I have to say, I’m going to be so nervous when the time comes for me to give my own school readings.
I do hope to do some school readings, as it’s the bread and butter of young adult authors in Canada, but the sense I got is that school readings are like New York: if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. Marsha, a consumate professional, utilized a number of crowd control measures, a number of which she learned from teachers. These simple tricks are things that I’m definitely going to incorporate, but I had no idea that they could be useful until I saw Marsha use them. Which leaves me with the sense that there are other tricks I could need and that, without them, a tough audience of grade 7 and 8 students could eat me alive.
It’s probably about time that I contact my old friend Jeff Szpirglas, who was supremely comfortable reading in front of children when I saw him at last year’s Word on the Street. You can never have too much advice.
But nervous as I am, I still believe that this is what I want to do. Keep your fingers crossed for me.