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Features Blog
October 2012- Archives

Susan Juby: Sci-fi and the bolognium theory

The Stephen Leacock-nominated author on why she can't consider herself a "real" SF writer. (Casserole has something to do with it.) ...

More from: Writing Tips

Nina Munteanu: Write from the inside out

The Nova Scotia SF author and ecologist on the link between the known and the unknown....

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Matthew J. Trafford: Say no to the naysayers

The author of The Divinity Gene on how to handle those pesky sci-fi haters....

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Matthew J. Trafford: Use the news

The author of The Divinity Gene on why—even if you're writing about an alternate universe—you should still look at a newspaper every once in a while....

More from: Writing Tips

Peter Watts vs. Minister Faust: Can sci-fi be a happy place?

We've teamed up with The Next Chapter to present The Canada Writes Literary Smackdowns, an essay series in which authors sound off on various writing topics. No writers were injured in the making of this series. Battle Nine: Is the future bright or gloomy? Most science fiction authors tend to cast...

Craig Davidson: Four months, twenty days

The author of Rust and Bone on the value of taking your writing one step at a time....

More from: Writing Tips

“Tweets from 2112” All-Stars: Part 1

We'll be announcing the winner of our “Tweets from 2112” writing challenge on Wednesday, October 31. In the meantime, we're rolling out the All-Stars as chosen by our intrepid readers at SF Canada....

The "Tweets from 2112" Challenge is now closed!

Thank you everyone for your memorable Tweets today. We saw so much pass through the #CanadaWrites hashtag in the past 12 hours (talking cats, mindmelding, sentient carrot overlords). We hope you had as much fun as we did!...

Lynda Williams: Writing that flies

The author of the Okal Rel Saga on listening to your own voice and blocking out all the others....

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Alison Sinclair: Start with the brick

The Montreal-based SF writer on the importance of pinpointing where your novel truly starts....

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Arthur Slade: Breaking the fantastical ice

The "Young Adult Fantastical Fiction Guy" on why you might want to put down that plasma gun if you want to keep people reading....

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Steve Stanton: Writing from the subconscious

The author of The Bloodlight Chronicles on the power of writing fresh from a dream state....

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The "Tweets from 2112" Challenge is now open!

You've got until 9 pm ET tonight to teleport yourself 100 years into the future and Tweet back the most profound, funny, prescient or downright silly news you can think of. #canadawrites...

David Nickle: No such thing as "just lunch"

The author dubbed "the next Stephen King" by The National Post on making every single scene rise above the mundane....

More from: Writing Tips

Buffy Cram takes the Magic 8

The surrealist SF author of Radio Belly fields questions from the Canadian literati on itinerant carpenters, adult-sized sippy cups and her favourite Beckett advice....

Robert J. Sawyer: Five myths about science fiction writers

The "dean of Canadian science fiction" and judge for our Sci-Fi Twitter Challenge on Wednesday, Oct. 24 busts the five biggest misconceptions about his people....

Helen Marshall: Write your kink

The Aurora-winning poet and SF author on the importance of embracing your own eccentricities in your writing....

More from: Writing Tips

Sci-Fi Twitter Challenge this Wednesday

We hope you've been enjoying the intergalactic twists and turns of our Sci-Fi Odyssey so far—but now it's your turn to get in on the action....

Edward Willett: Creating a strange new world

The Aurora-winning author of Marseguro on the importance of sensory detail in your sci-fi universe....

More from: Writing Tips

SF Canada's Steve Stanton: Why I write sci-fi

The president of SF Canada on his sci-fi roots, ray guns, why the geeks have already inherited the earth....

Matthew Hughes: Don't get it right; get it done

The SF and crime writer on what a first draft of your SF novel may in common with D-Day....

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Margaret Atwood on how she became a sci-fi writer

In this excerpt from her collection of essays, In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination, the Booker Prize-winning author reveals the source of her passion for sci-fi: Tinkertoy....

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David Annandale: Respect your subgenre

The genre-leaping writer on the importance of adjusting your voice to the story—and not the other way around....

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Hayden Trenholm: The writer's toolkit

During our Sci-Fi Odyssey here at Canada Writes, we'll be running daily writing tips from Canadian sci-fi authors. First up: The Aurora-winning author and playwright Hayden Trenholm on expanding what's in your writerly bag of tricks....

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Cory Doctorow takes the Magic 8

The writer dubbed "this generation's William Gibson" starts with eight questions from the Canadian literati... and ends up avowing his love for tree-climbing, broadband and auctioning off character names.   What is the Magic 8? 8 random questions. From Canadian writers. To Canadian writers.How does it work? We asked some...

Canada Writes: A Sci-Fi Odyssey

From now until Halloween, we're celebrating all things science fiction at Canada Writes with mind-bending features and Q&As with Canadian sci-fi luminaries, fun challenges and truly intergalactic giveaways. ...

Annabel Lyon takes the Magic 8

The author of The Golden Mean and the just-released The Sweet Girl tackles questions from the Canadian literati on glass houses, and the day job that's helped her writing the most....

Nancy Richler takes the Magic 8

The author of the 2012 Giller-shortlisted novel The Imposter Bride answers questions from the Canadian literati on the song she wishes she'd written and why she'd never have dinner with her own characters....

Linda Svendsen takes the Magic 8

The author of the political satire Sussex Drive on cyber-pet funerals, CBC cuts and getting naughty with the Governor-General. What is the Magic 8? 8 random questions. From Canadian writers. To Canadian writers.How does it work? We asked some of our favourite Canadian authors for the questions they always wished...

Linda Spalding takes the Magic 8

The author of The Purchase answers questions from the Canadian literati on rabbit hunting, thank-you notes, and why fiction needs a sex life.    What is the Magic 8? 8 random questions. From Canadian writers. To Canadian writers.How does it work? We asked some of our favourite Canadian authors for...

Cordelia Strube takes the Magic 8

The writer dubbed "Canada's best bet to succeed Alice Munro" on her baroque idol and how family and fiction intertwine. What is the Magic 8? 8 random questions. From Canadian writers. To Canadian writers.How does it work? We asked some of our favourite Canadian authors for the questions they always...

Alix Ohlin takes the Magic 8

The Giller and Writers' Trust-nominated author of Inside on why there's no such thing as a perfect novel... and why she'd want to spend time with someone named Super Pickle. What is the Magic 8? 8 random questions. From Canadian writers. To Canadian writers.How does it work? We asked some...

CS Richardson takes the Magic 8

The author of The Emperor of Paris on the value of intractable knots and creating characters you'd want to have dinner with. What is the Magic 8? 8 random questions. From Canadian writers. To Canadian writers.How does it work? We asked some of our favourite Canadian authors for the questions...

Miranda Hill takes the Magic 8

The author of Sleeping Funny on witnessing miracles, work socks and why her dream life is set in Newfoundland. What is the Magic 8? 8 random questions. From Canadian writers. To Canadian writers.How does it work? We asked some of our favourite Canadian authors for the questions they always wished...

Shauna Singh Baldwin on "the seams between scenes"

The author of What the Body Remembers and The Selector of Souls on dreaming up titles, hate mail, and what (or who) could have possibly possessed her to throw out 300 pages of writing. What is the Magic 8?...

Margaret Atwood on slugs, scrap paper and Shakespeare envy

The reigning queen of Canadian literature answers 20 questions from Canadian writer and provocateur Dany Laferrière. (Oh, and we think he might have made her blush.)...

More from: Laferriere Questionnaire

Listen to a clip of Sadiqa de Meijer’s “Great Aunt Unmarried”

Last week we announced that Sadiqa de Meijer won this year’s CBC Poetry Prize for her collection of poems “Great Aunt Unmarried.” We asked Sadiqa to read an excerpt for us so that we could hear her work in her own voice. Here is a link to that clip."Great Aunt Unmarried” was...