I got in!
That’s right, starting this May I will begin a 30-week post-graduate program in creative writing at the Humber School for Writers. I am so excited to be a part of this unique writing program which provides emerging writers the opportunity to work one-on-one with an established mentor. I am so privileged to be working with one of my literary heroes, Shyam Selvadurai. I have admired Shyam’s writing ever since I read Funny Boy in 1994. I have read all of his work and knowing that he was on the faculty this year was one of the reasons I was compelled to apply.
In a previous post I spoke of finishing a draft of a novel, and that I felt it was ready to be shopped around. After putting it aside for a bit, however, I am now thinking it needs a little more work before it is ready to go out into the world. I have decided to use this opportunity to workshop the draft with Shyam and hopefully realize the manuscript’s full potential. I am sure the novel – and my writing in general – will benefit greatly from Shyam’s advice, guidance, and literary skill. I have always been enthralled by his ability to create depth and brilliance in his characters while exploring gender, sexuality, and culture in a narrative that touches the very core of who we are. I plan to use this incredible opportunity to learn and strengthen my writing.
Of course, despite how excited I am, I am more than a little nervous. Writers, like most artists, are no strangers to self-doubt and critique. There is a definite sense of apprehension in sharing my words with a writer who I admire and respect. I am committed, however, to accepting and living in this vulnerability so that my writing can benefit from the experience.
In keeping with my 2016 writing goals, I will use this blog to share my experience of the program with you. Check back for updates.
When I came out as gay, I immediately began to seek out books, movies, and magazines that had gay characters or were written or produced by members of the LGBTQ community. I was nineteen and desperate to read and watch anything that mirrored my own experience or could shed light on this exciting new community that I had just stepped into. Funny Boy by Sri Lankan Canadian writer Shyam Selvadurai was one of the novels that captured my imagination at the time. A brilliant coming of age novel which explores sexuality, ethnicity, and class, it won the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Male Fiction in 1994.
I think Funny Boy was the first novel I read that had actually won a “Lammy”. At least that I knew of. I began to look for other winners and finalists to add to my growing collection of LGBTQ literature. And now, more than 20 years later, I am a finalist! I can’t tell you how excited, honoured, humbled and surprised I am that Exiled for Love was nominated in the category of Gay Memoir/Biography.
For those that may not be aware of the Lambda Literary Awards, here is an overview of the Awards taken from their website:
The Lambda Literary Awards identify and celebrate the best lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender books of the year and affirm that LGBTQ stories are part of the literature of the world. The Lammys, which receive national and international media attention, bring together 600 attendees – including nominees, celebrities, sponsors, and publishing executives – to celebrate excellence in LGBTQ publishing. It is the most prestigious and glamorous LGBTQ literary event in the world.
How cool is that???
The awards gala will be held in New York City on June 6th. Unfortunately, I won’t be attending in person. I will, however, be watching closely from home…. probably while biting the nails on my crossed fingers.
A huge congratulations to all the finalists this year, especially the other Canadian writers that made the list. You can check out their nominated books here.
It’s 2016 already! Like many of you, I can’t believe we are here already. 2015 went by so quickly – too quickly – and was filled with a lot of success when it came to my writing. I published more magazine articles, Exiled for Love was launched by my publisher Roseway Publishing, and I finished […]
It’s done! Well, as done as any piece of writing can ever be. I sometimes think that determining the point at which a manuscript is finished is a completely arbitrary decision; one could easily revise forever. There is always a sentence to change, a better way of saying something, more detail to add (or pieces […]
Anyone who knows me, knows I am a book addict. And I don’t mean just an avid reader. A true addict. I can’t control my spending in a bookstore, I absolutely relish the feel and smell of a good hardcover, and my home library is my favourite room in my house. Understanding this – as […]
What an evening! For as long as I can remember I have been dreaming of having my very own book launch. You know, the whole celebration of many hours of writing, revising, deleting and agonizing – a reading and Q&A followed by mingling and a signing. And well…this dream finally came true tonight at Audreys […]