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Best of 2011

The Canada Writes Top Three of 2011

As the year draws to a close, we're looking back on our three favourite features so far on Canada Writes.

3. The Literary Smackdown Series

Granted, this isn't a single feature -- but we couldn't pick just one at turns uproarious, contentious and thoughtful piece of the Literary Smackdown puzzle. We're now three battles into this series, in which writers argue for and against writing topics ranging from plot outlines to nocturnal writing to reviewing others' books. (And, as well as writing blog entries for us, the authors have been yakking it up with Shelagh Rogers on The Next Chapter.) More to come in the new year - and (spoiler alert) one of them will be about sex.

When we first contacted the financial maven Gail Vaz-Oxlade about participating in our first-ever editorial series - a hilarious, frank and touching window into the author-editor relationship - she told us point blank: "There is one person in the world who frightens me. And that person is Kate Cassaday." We loved this glimpse into a long-term, close and ultimately very loving writing relationship. (Hear them recount it on The Next Chapter here.)

...And drumroll please... our top feature from 2011 is:

We were literally snowed under by your entries in our True Winter Tales Challenge. In 19 days, we received over 1,500 entries, and the quality of your writing was so high that the process of coming up with a shortlist was akin to that of the Grinch pushing that present-laden sleigh up the mountain. So we were exceptionally proud to post the top 15 stories.

But then something else happened: comments started piling up at the end of the post. As we read comment after comment, championing the writing you thought was promising, affecting, exceptional, we saw the exactly the community we wanted to build with Canada Writes. 

So thank you for an inspiring start to Canada Writes in 2011 -- and onward to more great writing in the new year!

--Jennifer Warren
Editor, Canada Writes

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