Writer in Residence

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye

By Evan Munday

This marks my last post as Open Book Toronto's writer-in-residence, and I want to thank everyone for their support this past month. Everyone has been extremely kind – both those authors, artists, and publishing staffers who donated much of their time to answering my questions, and those people who read and shared the posts they resulted in throughout May.

As I said way back on May 1 (which seems like almost a month ago), I wanted to fill my WIR blog with a bunch of literary conversations, but ideally to remove myself from those conversations as much as possible.To be honest, I sometimes regretted that decision. For there were important issues I could and probably should have written about. Things I probably had mildly strong opinions (think 'Old El Paso's medium salsa') about, like trigger warnings being suggested for some university course readings, like Amazon's battle with Hachette. But let's be honest: smarter people were writing much more important things about these happenings, and you probably didn't want to hear the thoughts of a callow literary dilettante. Maybe I should have saved some space for tributes to authors who we lost (through death) this May, like Farley Mowat and Maya Angelou.

That said, while I have some regrets:

a) Life is filled with regrets. Case in point: one of the greatest regrets of my life is, when I once went to a magazine fundraiser (for Shameless Magazine, before it existed), NewMusic host Hannah Sung was DJ'ing, and I never asked her to dance.

b) I think we still accomplished some fine things here together during my writer-in-residency at Open Book Toronto. For one, we proved a human being eat poutine six times within the span of three weeks and not (immediately) die. For two, if even a couple more people start checking out the #diversecanlit Twitter chats on Wednesday nights, I think that's a step in the right direction. And I'm pretty happy with how the 'Acknowledgements' columns turned out, if only because a few people with important publishing jobs got a tiny sliver of the spotlight for a few seconds. And those of you who read those 'Acknowledgements,' please keep in mind that for every person I managed to interview, there are dozens more people toiling away at that very same position or work who, sadly, I didn't have time to interview.

To make a long blog post short: Ontario is publishing some phenomenal books; make sure you're reading some of them. And until we meet on again on the internet, like Jerry Springer always said, take care of yourselves and each other.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book.

Evan Munday is the author and illustrator of the acclaimed book series for young readers, The Dead Kid Detective Agency. Both The Dead Kid Detective Agencyand its sequel, Dial M for Morna, were nominated for the Silver Birch Fiction Award.

Evan has worked in book marketing and publicity for ten years, eight of which were as publicist at Coach House Books, and he has since worked as a freelance illustrator and ebook designer.

Find out more about Evan on his website, idontlikemundays.com or follow him on Twitter at @idontlikemunday.