Judging the 2022 Ottawa Book Awards

It was an honour to be on the jury of the Ottawa Book Awards this year, with fellow jurors Conyer Clayton and Faizal Deen

We considered more than 80 submissions in the English Fiction category, including poetry and prose for all ages. With such a talented pool of authors in Ottawa, it was difficult to narrow down the finalists to these fabulous five. 


Masses on Radar by David O’Meara

What the jury had to say: 

David O’Meara’s Masses On Radar, his 5th poetry collection, is quite simply an astonishing book. This is high-voltage poetry, gorgeously written, edited, and arranged, as well as reflective and tender. O’Meara’s poems, his “pantomime of normal”, offer us compelling portraits, both funny and heart-rending, of the poet’s consciousness in middle age. Having the opportunity to read O’Meara’s poems is an enriching and unforgettable experience!

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Discover the Best Books on Shepherd.com

I’m pleased to join the many authors making book recommendations on the new book discovery site, Shepherd.com. Check it out to discover the books your favourite authors recommend.

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Celebrating Literacy

I’m thrilled to be heading to Shawville, Quebec, next month for “Get the Word Out!,” a literacy festival hosted by the Western Quebec Literacy Council.

I’ll be joining other local artists and authors Jamaal Jackson Rogers, Robin Blackburn McBride, Seymour Hamilton, Katharine Fletcher, and Venetia Crawford for a day of poetry, stories, workshops and presentations on all good things, literary-wise.

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Short Stories

TDR Cover image
The Autumn 2021 issue of The Dalhousie Review, released in Spring 2022 🙂

[November UPDATE: You can read my latest short story, “Obsolete,” online in The Prairie Journal. Click on my name in the list on the Story page.)]

I’m thrilled to have a short story in the latest issue of The Dalhousie Review — my first one in its pages. The magazine was founded in 1921 and is still in print after 100 years. Amazing.

My story, “Down the Drain,” is about a writer on the brink of madness. (Over the brink by the story’s end.) It’s a piece I’ve read at two regional writers’ meetings to warm reception and assurances that the story is both funny and full of pain. Like life. Like the writing life, certainly.

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MYAIF: More Fun for Young Writers in Ottawa/Gatineau

[Updated March 18th 2022] Hey kids, I know you’re hustling to get your poems, stories, and graphic narratives finished in time to enter the Ottawa Public Library’s Awesome Authors Youth Writing contest. Some of you might even be prepping for tomorrow’s Awesome Author teen workshops or fondly remembering the pre-teen workshops of the past few weeks (thanks — I had a blast). But why not sign up for even more writing and illustrating fun this season?

Registrations are open for MASC’s annual Young Authors and Illustrators Festival (aka MYAIF).

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