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Manitoba social worker pens trilogy on RCMP

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A Manitoba writer is drawing on experience in social work and counselling to create a self-published trilogy of novels focusing on the RCMP.

Barbara Joyce-Hawryluk is already working on Vol. 2 in her Scarlet Force series, following up on the recently launched Wounded.

Wounded, set in the Headingley RCMP detachment, focuses on Const. Debrah Thomas and her husband, Liam, a major-crimes investigator. Joyce-Hawryluk says her novels are inspired by her years as a social worker and her husband Garry's experience as a psychologist specializing in post-traumatic stress disorder.

A portion of the proceeds from the books will be donated to the D Division's slain peace officer's fund.

Details on the books can be found at scarletforce.com.

 

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A lost chapter in the career of novelist Mordecai Richler has been discovered, in the form of two short films starring a young Peter Sellers.

The 30-minute black-and-white comic shorts, produced in 1957, will be screened in Britain at next spring's Southend Film Festival, the festival's director Paul Cotgrove told the CBC's As It Happens.

Cotgrove says he doesn't know how Richler -- then living in London -- became involved in the films, which were originally used as "support films" to be shown in theatres prior to the featured movie. The films were discovered in the garbage in what were thought to be empty film cans.

Richler died in 2001, Sellers in 1980.

 

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Canada's writers and publishers got a lump of coal for Christmas this month when two of the country's largest universities ended their collective agreements with Access Copyright, the agency that sells licences for copying of copyright-protected Canadian works.

University of Toronto and the University of Western Ontario terminated their 20-year-old agreements Dec. 11, joining universities and education departments that have been interpreting recent changes to the Copyright Act as allowing extensive copying under the definition of "fair use."

The latest news was denounced by the Writers' Union of Canada, representing more than 2,000 published authors, which maintains that the universities' broad interpretation of fair use is not supported by anything in the new legislation.

 

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Not only is UWO deaf to the writers' case, the institution appears to be blind to irony. The same week the university pulled out of Access Copyright, it announced the creation of the Alice Munro Chair in Creativity, to honour its most famous literary graduate.

Munro, of course, received the 2013 Nobel Prize for her work as an author of short stories. And, according to the fair use interpretation being used by Western and other universities, educators can copy and distribute an entire short story without the need to pay.

 

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If you were counting on giving the curler in your family Al Rae's comical and socio-political study of the roaring game for Christmas, you may have to make do with an IOU.

The Winnipeg comedian and artistic director of the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, was commissioned to produce a study of curling, to be titled Throwing Stones.

Originally planned for publication this fall, it now shows up on Amazon with a March 2015 publication date.

 

booknewsbob@gmail.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 21, 2013 A1

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