It is that time of year again, when we at Junction Reads both celebrate – and sadly wave goodbye to – another fantastic season of readings. Why do I celebrate? Because summer is about escaping life and falling into stories with thoughtless abandon and sometimes (honesty alert) when I read a book for Junction Reads, I worry the thoughts and ideas that pop into my head are not as smart and insightful as I hope. I want our writerly conversations to bring out the best of the books and I worry that my fawning over the fabulous writing, crying about heartbreaking characterizations or my getting lost inside one perfect sentence won’t make for a great literary conversation.

I am sad because I really love thinking deeply about a story, and its voice, characters or plotting, and digging into the how and why a book came to be. When I think about my summer reading list in the Fall, I always forget what I read because I dive into my summer reads heart first and head last.

Our final two events of the season will bring both my fears and hopes together. Firstly, because I get to speak with an author about her debut novel, which is always so damn exciting, and then I get to speak with an expert about writing and publishing in Canada.

On June 4, Brooke Lockyer joins us with her debut novel, BURR, from Nightwood Editions.

“A ’90s-era Southern Ontario Gothic about holding on to the dead, voiced with plaintive urgency and macabre sensuality. In the small town of Burr, Ontario, thirteen-year-old Jane yearns to reunite with her recently deceased father and fantasizes about tunnelling through the earth to his coffin. This leads her to bond with local eccentric Ernest, who is still reeling from the long-ago drowning of his little sister. Jane’s mother, Meredith, escapes into wildness, enacting the past on the abandoned bed that she finds in the middle of the forest, until her daughter’s disappearance spurs her into action. The voice of the town conveys the suspicions and subliminal fears of a rural community—a chorus of whispers that reaches a fever pitch when Jane and Ernest disappear from Burr together. Throughout, the novel is haunted by Henry, a former wrestler who once stood on his bed in the middle of the night, holding up the weight of the ceiling in his sleeping hands. Mixing realism and the fantastic, Brooke Lockyer’s debut novel investigates the nature of grief and longing that reach beyond the grave.”

Register here.

On June 11, Patricia Westerhof joins us for something a little different. Both a reading and workshop, we’ll talk about her latest book, THE CANADIAN GUIDE TO CREATIVE WRITING AND PUBLISHING, from Dundurn Press.

“How do you get your writing published in Canada? What are the industry standards for publishable work and how do you reach them? This lively, practical guide shows you how to think more creatively, cultivate a strong writing voice, and make your sentences powerful. It explains the elements of style and offers writing prompts to help you apply what you learn. It gives strategies for finding critique partners and beta readers and for getting useful feedback before you send your drafts to agents or editors. The chapters are packed with up-to-date information about the publishing industry, including how to find an agent, how to submit manuscripts to literary journals, how to query independent presses, and how to apply for writing grants.” Patricia will answer all your questions and share directions and her road map to Canadian Publishing landscape.

Register here.

Follow us here and on our socials for information about next season. And head on over to our YouTube channel and become a subscriber. Please! We will be sharing details about our (hopefully) in-person schedule and our continuing online presence with interviews from Canadian authors across the Turtle Island.