Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Stories in anthology have local connection

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THREE stories with Winnipeg connections will be published by McClelland & Stewart in this year's Journey Prize anthology, collecting the best short stories published in Canada in 2012.

Winnipeg bookseller and writer Steven Benstead was selected for his story Megan's Bus, originally published in Saskatchewan's Grain magazine. Benstead, who has published stories in several other literary journals, has recently finished writing a novel, entitled Soldier, Soldier.

Two stories originally published in Winnipeg's Prairie Fire magazine also made the Journey Prize anthology: The Egyptians, by Toronto's Jay Brown; and Team Ninja, by Thunder Bay's Amy Jones.

 

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Is the book review dying or getting a new life? If you're in Carl Sandburg's City of the Big Shoulders, it depends on which newspaper you look at.

The U.S. trade journal Publishers' Weekly reports that the Chicago Sun-Times is shutting down its books section, which had already dwindled to the point where it was mostly wire-service reviews.

The Sun-Times -- a once-proud newspaper that was home to nationally known writers like Mike Royko and Roger Ebert -- has obviously fallen on hard times, having also laid off its photographers.

The "new life" side of the story comes from the Chicago Tribune, which last year launched a stand-alone 24-page weekly tabloid called Printers Row Journal, containing reviews, interviews, book news and short fiction.

 

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Everyone knows that the Wolverine is a Canadian. And doesn't Superman have a secret base in the Far North?

Maybe that explains the depth of comic book fan fervour in Canada.

A recent Publishers Weekly blog posting surveys attendance at North American comic book expos and ranks Toronto's Fan Expo Canada, with attendance of 91,000, as the third-biggest comic and science-fiction gathering in North America.

Calgary's Comic and Entertainment Expo, with more than 60,000 attendees, is the sixth largest.

 

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Winnipeg poet and fiction writer Sarah Klassen has won an award for her 2012 poetry collection, Monstrance (Turnstone Press), acknowledging the way her work discovers the sacred in the world around us.

The award was presented by the Word Guild, an organization that honours writers for works in a variety of genres and media that come from a Christian perspective.

 

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The Calgary Public Library is holding a one-day event today called 20,000 Books Under the Bow to support rebuilding of its collection and repairs to the main downtown branch following the massive June flood.

Calgarians are being asked to drop off "gently used" books, CDs and DVDs, which will be sold to raise money for the library. T-shirts are also on sale to support rebuilding.

Book lovers are also rallying to support libraries destroyed by fire. The French- and English-language book publishing associations in Quebec support the rebuilding of the Lac-Mégantic Public Library, which was incinerated along with 60,000 books and a collection of rare archival material in the July 6 oil fire. After an apparent arson destroyed the library in Bella Bella, B.C., on July 12 a rebuilding campaign has begun there as well.

booknewsbob@gmail.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 27, 2013 A1

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