BoldFace

Is it art? Well, how does it feel?

Illustration: Niklas Elmehed. Copyright: Nobel Media AB 2016

Illustration: Niklas Elmehed. Copyright: Nobel Media AB 2016

By James Harbeck

There has been much discussion of the Nobel Prize in Literature being awarded to Bob Dylan. I have no interest in weighing in on whether his work is Nobel quality—I won’t pretend to understand the judges’ criteria—but I do have some thoughts on the question of whether a songwriter is even eligible to be awarded the prize.

There is no Nobel Prize in music, or in songwriting. So we can’t say that he should be considered for a different category unless you think songwriting is more appropriate to the Peace Prize, or perhaps to Economics. No, if he’s getting a prize, Literature is it. The question is whether songs qualify as literature—whether, to be frank, they’re good enough, or whether they’re “just songs.” There’s something of a privileged-genre attitude, a white-marble image of literature (that is, the truly worthy kind of text) as being cool prose in dry books that silently dissects humanity’s problems, not in the noise of a musical performance.

This has about as much basis as the white-marble image of Greek statuary, which, we now know, was originally painted bright colours. We ought to remember that the novel, as such, has only existed for a few centuries. Narrative texts pretending to any literary merit were expected to be written in verse until early modern times. And why was that? Because the written literature was, originally, the lyrics of songs and chants and declamations to music. The vaunted Greek drama had not one word that was flatly spoken. The psalms of the Bible were for singing. Beowulf was incomplete without a harp to aid the recitation. The fact that we have peeled the spoken from the sung, and ultimately the silently read from the spoken, does not have any bearing on the human insight conveyed in the words. Poetry has been deemed worthy of the Nobel: Pablo Neruda, Seamus Heaney, and Wole Soyinka have all won it, and it is terrible to think that they might have been ineligible if they had, like Leonard Cohen, been driven by economics to set their poetry to music. (more…)

Oh, the Places You’ll Go: A bookstore crawl

bookstorecrawl-landscape-1-1

November 19, 2016
1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Editors Toronto and Professional Writers Association of Canada, Toronto chapter members are invited to browse, buy, share, and talk about books, while also learning about how bookstores operate in today’s marketplace. On Saturday, November 19, beginning at 1 p.m., we will visit four independent, specialty bookstores in downtown Toronto. At each store, staff will meet with our group to share insights and answer questions about the store’s offerings and operations. Then we’ll have ample time to talk, to shop, and to talk shop before moving on.

Travel between the stores will be by TTC and on foot. The stores on our itinerary will be confirmed closer to the date.

The bookstore crawl will be run as the monthly program meeting for November.
The cost to participate is $5. To register, please click here.

No editor is an island: The follow-up

Editors drink Wine too!

Editors drink Wine too!


by Carol Harrison

It was a dark and stormy night when I met with fellow editors at Editors Toronto’s coffee-shop event last week at Boxcar Social. We were a small group with varying levels of experience and comfort with social media. These meetings are a great way to alleviate the isolation that sometimes comes from working from home. Plus, it’s good to see the real-life faces behind the online names!

Janet MacMillan and I are both active on social media, with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blogging. Marg Anne Morrison and Alicia Peres, not so much. Admittedly, these platforms can be time-consuming, but they also help you connect with people who you would most likely never meet, especially if they live abroad.

Marg Anne raised the question of what “working remotely” meant. We agreed that it most often means working from home. However, there are those who work in remote regions or rural towns, which underscores the role social media plays.

Alicia said it was good to talk shop without having to explain yourself. That’s why editor meetups are so good! They’re not so much to learn something as they are to let off a bit of work-related steam.

Having drained our wine and drunk our beer (kudos to Boxcar for having Dieu du Ciel and making me one happy editor), it was time to return home. For me, it was good to meet people and reconnect with colleagues.

If you couldn’t make it out, we hope to see you at the our next event: “Oh, the Places You’ll Go: A Bookstore Crawl” on November 19, 2016.

Carol Harrison is editor-in-chief of BoldFace and freelance editor and writer at Muse Ink. When she isn’t focusing on words, she’s focusing her Nikon D3200.

This article was copy edited by Nicole Osbourne James.

The Word On The Street Toronto festival confirms printed books and literacy never go out of style

Word On The Street

Photo by Deepi Harish

By Deepi Harish

After a decade of calling Queen’s Park home to The Word On The Street Toronto Book & Magazine Festival, organizers have moved the festival to the Harbourfront Centre.

In 2014, the International Festival of Authors (IFOA) announced its new partnership with The Word On The Street Toronto. The Harbourfront Centre has always hosted the IFOA, and with the Queens Quay Revitalization project underway, it made sense to combine two of Canada’s biggest literary festivals. The combination of the festivals at the Harbourfront Centre allows for the use of both outdoor and indoor spaces to create a more enticing and creative exhibitor marketplace for the public.

“At IFOA we have spent decades as a hub for the Canadian and international literary communities, and we are now excited to become even more engaged with the vibrant community of readers and writers here in Toronto,” IFOA Director Geoffrey E. Taylor said at the time.

Returning for the twenty-seventh time, the 2016 Word On The Street Toronto has grown in size and popularity, with more workshops, readings, panel discussions, tents, stages, sponsors, and partners than in previous years.

With more than 200 publishing houses, 70 art organizations, 30 magazine publishers, 20 literacy groups, hundreds of authors, and thousands of discounted books, this festival can get overwhelming — in a good way. (more…)

No editor is an island: Working remotely and using social media (an Editors Toronto coffee shop)

Meeting over Coffee

If you’re an experienced editor who works remotely, join your colleagues for an evening of lively discussion about the challenges you face and how social media can help. Over drinks, share your questions, conundrums, and experiences in a welcoming group setting, and gain fresh ideas to help you in your work.

Facilitated by Marg Anne Morrison
Wednesday, November 2
7:00 PM to 9:30 PM
Boxcar Social
1208 Yonge St. (at Summerhill subway station)

Registration – free (Editors Toronto members only); participants buy their own beverages

This article was copy edited by Jeny Nussey

Introduction

Carol Harrison, photo by Jerome Daly

Carol Harrison, photo by Jerome Daly

All it takes is one email. That’s it. Just one ping, one click and your schedule is changed. Changed, of course, only if you say yes.

Which is what I did. And so, I am Editors Toronto’s new publications chair and, more importantly for this blog, the Editor-in-Chief of BoldFace. I, for one, am pretty excited!

So who the heck am I, you ask? To quote (and punctuate) my Twitter bio, I’m a Toronto-based freelance editor, feminist nerd, hobbyist photographer, music geek, former bookseller, wannabe writer, and work in progress. I’m also a traveller who recently rediscovered the joy of camping, and blogged about it.

My plan for BoldFace is simply to grow a good thing, to bring you articles about editing in its myriad forms, and to review books and other media that are relevant to what we do for a living. And I want you to participate! Leave comments, be they positive or negative (just be polite). Got a story idea? Pitch it! Be bold.

Carol Harrison

Editor-in-Chief, BoldFace

This article was copy edited by Ellen Fleischer

Becoming an academic editor: one year later

By Nicole M. Roccas

book-1421245

Nearly a year ago, I decided to strike out on my own and become a freelance academic editor.

It wasn’t a hasty decision—I was about to finish my PhD in history and had been considering career options for several years. During that time, I took on small, short-term copy editing jobs I found through friends or online job sites. Editing, I found, came naturally and complemented my tendency to be fastidious with written language.

Nonetheless, when I finally launched my own editing business, I encountered a steep learning curve. As I reflect on the past year, here’s what I’ve learned—and continue to learn.

(more…)

Seminars for Editors – Autumn 2016

Business Partners Helping Each Other

The next few months are full of professional development opportunities through Editors Toronto! Follow links below for registration and other information.

Tuesday, September 27 (AM)Usage Traps and Myths presented by Frances Peck

Is impact now a legitimate verb? Is it correct to write a couple ideas? Must you change till to until and reserve between for comparing two things? For anyone intent on preventing (not avoiding) word errors and avoiding (not preventing) usage myths, this seminar will help.

We’ll take an up-to-date look at some of the most misunderstood and contentious points of English usage and examine common errors that make it into publications. We’ll also count down the top five usage myths. Bring your most pressing usage questions to share with the group.

Tuesday, September 27 (PM) – Mastering the Sentence presented by Frances Peck

(more…)

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Upcoming event

  • Editors Toronto branch meeting January 25, 2017 at 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, 750 Spadina Ave., Room 202 Details TBA For information, go here: http://www.editors.ca/content/january-2017-program

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