A dozen award-winning Canadian authors are exposing themselves for a good cause in the 2014 Bare It For Books calendar.
First aired on Metro Morning (21/2/13)
It started with tweet in July by @AmandaLeduc: "Guys. Sexy #CanLit author calendar? Proceeds to libraries? Yes???" to which @ayoungvoice replied, "YES SO MUCH YES."
Following their Twitter talk, the two book lovers, Amanda Leduc and Allegra Young, met for coffee. Their idea then evolved into a campaign called Bare It For Books. It officially launched this week, and co-founder Young joined Matt Galloway on Metro Morning to unravel the details.
Twelve Canadian authors will be featured in the nearly-nude for the 2014 Bare It for Books calendar. They are:
- January: Angie Abdou
- February: Trevor Cole
- March: Farzana Doctor
- April: Dave Bidini
- May: Miranda Hill
- June: Daniel MacIvor
- July: Yasuko Thanh
- August: Terry Fallis
- September: Sachiko Murakami
- October: Vincent Lam
- November: Saleema Nawaz
- December: Yann Martel
They're doing it for a good cause too. Money raised from the calendar will go to PEN Canada, a free-speech advocacy group. Young says the organization perfectly exemplifies what Bare It For Books is all about.
"Authors bare their souls everyday on the page. This is a manifestation of that. They're physically baring it all. Free speech is very important," she said. "We're very lucky to have that in Canada and we're lucky to express ourselves the way we want. PEN is trying to make that a right for everyone."
To find the literary models, Young and Leduc started with a list of Canadian authors they could find online, through Twitter and email. Their first target: Margaret Atwood, via Twitter.
"She got back to us and said, 'we'll see.'"
Soon, they were shocked as interest from other authors wanting to get involved came. Word about the nude calendar had spread.
Young shared a story of how Miranda Hill was in a van to an event with other authors when the calendar became the conversation topic.
"She was hearing people say, 'What is this and who are these crazy women? She said very proudly, "I'm doing it."
Later, Vincent Lam turned to her and said he was going to be in it too.
The Bare It For Books campaign is hoping to raise $20,000 and some of the authors have already had their photo taken. So have founders Leduc and Young, although theirs is only for promotional purposes.
"We wanted to show the nature of the project, that it wasn't completely naked. We wanted to show we were happy to do the same."
So, who said Canadian literature can't be sexy?
Image: Bare It For Books founders Amanda Leduc (left) and Allegra Young (right).