Editing Worlds: Speculative Fiction and the Editorial Process

When: Tuesday, February 26, 7–9:30 PM (Please note the earlier start time, to accommodate our business meeting.)

Where: Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) Spadina, 192 Spadina Ave., Third Floor, Room F

Robert A. Heinlein first used the term “speculative fiction” in 1947 to describe the highest aspiration of science fiction. Over time, the term has expanded to include other genres, including fantasy and horror, as well as derivatives and hybrids. As an umbrella genre in which worlds are often built from scratch rather than patterned after our own, speculative fiction has provided fertile ground for social and political critique. It has also evolved to support a diversity of voices, though expanding the representational repertoire of speculative fiction remains a concern.

Join Editors Toronto on February 26 to hear four seasoned writers and editors discuss their experiences with the genre. Toronto’s Jen Frankel, JF Garrard, Dominik Parisien, and Drew Hayden Taylor will talk about various topics, including

  • the expanding role of Indigenous Voice in genre fiction (Drew Hayden Taylor);
  • the pressures of representation within texts and in relation to the broader publishing industry (Dominik Parisien);
  • the realities of indie publishing, crowdfunding, editing, and world building (Jen Frankel and JF Garrard);
  • the lessons learned from panels on writing and pop culture about the need for diverse stories in literature, film, and media (Jen Frankel and JF Garrard); and
  • strategies for supporting authors of different backgrounds and identities while keeping their voices intact throughout the editing process (Jen Frankel).

More about our panellists:

Photo of Jen FrankelJEN FRANKEL is the author of the Blood & Magic series (forthcoming from Final Girl Press) and the vegan zombie satire Undead Redhead. Her short fiction has appeared across North America including in the Pop Seagull Publishing anthology Robotica and in an upcoming Dark Dragon Publishing anthology of horror/noir. You can find her at Amazon and at jenfrankel.com; her Instagram/Twitter are @jenfrankelauthor/@jenfrankel.


Photo of JF GarrardJF GARRARD is the founder of Dark Helix Press, co-president of Canadian Authors Association–Toronto, deputy editor for Ricepaper Magazine, and assistant editor for Amazing Stories Magazine. She is an editor and writer of speculative fiction and non-fiction. Her short fiction “The Metamorphosis of Nova” was published in the Blood Is Thicker anthology (Iguana Books and Canadian Authors Association, 2018) and “The Perfect Husband” was published in the We Shall Be Monsters Frankenstein anthology (Renaissance Press, 2018). Her background is in nuclear medicine and she has an MBA in marketing and strategy. Currently, she is pursuing a creative writing certificate from Ryerson University. You can find out more at  jfgarrard.com.


Photo of Dominik Parisien

DOMINIK PARISIEN is an editor, writer, and poet. With Navah Wolfe, he co-edited The Starlit Wood: New Fairy (Saga Press, 2016), which won the Shirley Jackson Award; Robots vs Fairies (Saga Press, 2018); and the forthcoming The Mythic Dream (Saga Press). He also co-edited, with Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, the Uncanny Magazine special issue Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction (2018). He is the author of the poetry chapbook We, Old Young Ones (Frog Hollow Press, 2019), and his work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Fiddlehead, Quill & Quire, Arc Poetry Magazine, and various other journals. Dominik is a disabled, bisexual French Canadian, and lives in Toronto. Find out more at dominikparisien.wordpress.com.


Photo of Drew Haden Taylor

is an award-winning playwright, novelist, journalist, and filmmaker. From the Curve Lake First Nation in Central Ontario, Drew has done everything from performing stand-up comedy at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., to being artistic director of Canada’s premiere Indigenous theatre company, Native Earth Performing Arts. During the past month, two of Drew’s plays have been produced in Hamilton and Toronto, and he has just recently celebrated the launch of his 32nd book. He is currently working on a new novel and television series. His many contributions to Indigenous speculative fiction include the short story collection Take Us to Your Chief and Other Stories (Douglas & McIntyre, 2016) and The Night Wanderer: A Native Gothic Novel, a teen novel about an Ojibway vampire (Annick Press, 2007). You can find out more at drewhaydentaylor.com.


ENTER OUR RAFFLE! All proceeds go into our programs budget to help pay our speakers and provide professional development opportunities for our members.

Cost: $2 per ticket, $5 for three tickets, or $10 for seven tickets.

Prizes: two general admission passes to the Art Gallery of Ontario, donated by the AGO; a copy of Drew Hayden Taylor’s Take Us to Your Chief and Other Stories (2016), donated by Douglas & McIntyre; a $25 Starbucks gift certificate, donated by Upon A Star Books; a copy of Trump: Utopia or Dystopia? (2017), donated by Dark Helix Press; a copy of Denis Smith’s A Dissenting Voice: Essays, Addresses, Reviews, Polemics, Diversions: 1959–2018 (Rock’s Mills Press, 2018), donated by Rock’s Mills Press; and a one-hour mentoring session (on any aspect of writing or editing) with Editors Toronto co-chair Jennifer D. Foster.


Program details for Tuesday, February 26, 7–9:30 PM

LOCATION: Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) Spadina, 192 Spadina Ave., Third Floor, Room F

7 PM                  Branch business meeting
7:20 PM             Introductory remarks
7:30 PM             Panel
8:45 PM             Q&A and raffle
9 PM                  Mix-and-mingle (until 9:30)

Free for members; $10 for non-members; $5 for student non-members

Directions, parking, accessibility, and other details about the venue are available here and here.

Trouble getting into the building? Text the programs chair at 647-607-0416, and we will send someone to open the front door.

ACCESSIBILITY: Please note that although the third floor of CSI Spadina is fully accessible, the building’s narrow elevator (30 inches wide) may not accommodate all mobility devices. Please contact the branch programs chair at [email protected] with any questions or concerns about accessibility at this meeting.

PLANNING AHEAD: Editors Toronto meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month, except in June, July, August, and December. We’re currently working on panels devoted to poetry (on April 23, to coincide with National Poetry Month) and barriers to entry within the field of editing and publishing, along with strategies for overcoming those barriers (May 28). Stay tuned for more information.

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