The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Vagrant Revue of New Fiction

By Anne Chudobiak

Vagrant Press, the fiction imprint of Nimbus, Canada’s biggest English-language publishing house to be found east of Toronto, recently released The Vagrant Revue of New Fiction, a collection of stories featuring fifteen different authors from Atlantic Canada, some of them relatively new to writing.

In an interview for the Chronicle Herald, editor Mary Jo Anderson comes clean on the difficulties of the selection process in what is, after all, a small community (she and co-editor Sandra McIntyre received two hundred anonymous submissions): “I discovered [afterwards] that a rather large number of my friends had submitted stories which were not chosen. Fortunately, they are pros, they understand the process, and they are still my friends [….] There were very few stories that I think were publishable as they were and there was potential in them but they needed considerable work.”

I am making my way through the collection. So far, the standout story is Elizabeth Peirce’s Fifteen Heresies, which is about the selfishness of selflessness, and seems to take some details (but not all!) from Shambhala International, the Halifax-based Tibetan Buddhist community, which in recent decades has attracted a growing group of mainly American sophisticates to Canada's East Coast. In the story, a woman falls for a man, in part because of the exotic pull of his religion, only to become quickly disenchanted.


Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Interesting, Anne. I wonder what the writers whose work WAS accepted thought about Mary Jo's assessment of the entries. As for Shambhala, we hope to visit it one day.

Tue Jul 31, 03:45:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Chumplet said...

My mother was raised in Saint John, NB during the Depression, and I spent a great deal of my childhood in the Maritimes. I hope someday I can glean a deserving story from my experiences.

The strongest memory that pulls me back is the smell of warm tar mixed with salt air. That and a sprinkling of pulp and paper mill.

Tue Jul 31, 11:01:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

Gosh, imagine if one of us CWCer's got an editing gig and then didn't put any of the others stories in! We'd have to get Alice down from the big house to mediate the brouhaha!

I'll look for this book, Anne.

Wed Aug 01, 03:46:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger tamara said...

We'd be perfectly professional, Andrew, and talk behind your back and not invite you to the annual picnic. Oh, you didn't know about the picnic, did you?

Anne, I have seen this book and meant to have a look; thanks for the remind!

Wed Aug 01, 04:07:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Chumplet said...

Picnic? There was a picnic?

Wed Aug 01, 08:45:00 pm GMT-4  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello every body, my name is selena from south USA,and i really just want to let you all know that having a broken heart is not an easy thing, but no matter how bad your situation may be, i want to let you all know that there is a way to get your ex chasing you around again wanting to be with you, because this is exactly what i did when my boyfriend left me for someone else and i am happy today cause he is was were i got the chance to get my boyfriend back and i will also want you all to give it a try.anonymous

Wed Jul 31, 05:27:00 am GMT-4  

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