Next Big Thing

Happy New Year, everyone! I love these first few days of the year when everything seems fresh and manageable and bright. I had the nicest New Year’s Eve I’ve had in awhile: dim sum and rollerskating. It was a fun, lighthearted way to kick off 2013; I hope it bodes well for the rest of the year.


And 2013 already seems promising. A new story of mine was published over at Little Fiction. “The Most Serene Republic” is about wanting to get engaged, and money, and it’s set in Paris. Little Fiction is one of my favourite lit sites out there and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. (Thanks, Troy!)

Speaking of writing, Saleema tagged me in this fun “Next Big Thing” meme. I don’t think I’ve done a pass-it-on quiz like this since my Livejournal days! I’m working on something new, but it’s still too early in the writing/first draft-y process to answer the questions below, so I’ll answer it for my more completed project.

Continue reading

I have a short story in the latest issue of carte blanche, the Quebec Writers Federation online literary magazine. Here’s a description of what’s in Issue 10:

An investigation into murder and racism in Farmington, New Mexico by Emilie Karrick Surrusco
A tour of the “Seven Wards” with poet Buxton Wells
An interview with Myrna Kostash on the origins of creative nonfiction
And “Having Fun with Autobiography” by Dustin Harbin

photography by Steven Beckly;
graphic fiction by Francis Raven;
nonfiction by Tilya Gallay Helfield;
poetry from William Burton, Kara Dorris, Aaron Kreuter, Barb Lundy, Nancy Mackenzie, and Drew Winchur; and
fiction from William Robinson, Matt D. B. Wilcox, Teri Vlassopoulos, Pauline Clift, and carte blanche Quebec Prize finalist, Melissa A. Thompson.

The issue also includes the winner of the 2009 carte blanche Quebec prize for the poem “Changing Winter Tires” by Julie Mahfood, who I met through a QWF workshop 2 years ago – congratulations, Julie! The story in this issue is the one I workshopped in that very class, actually.

Kind of full circle

When I was making zines, I used to send them off to magazines like Exclaim or Broken Pencil and weeks later I would eagerly scan the magazines to see if I was mentioned in them at all. This was before the Internet, so I wouldn’t have any inkling about a review until it was in print in my hands. You’ll find a few reviews for “melt the snow” in the Broken Pencil online archives (on mts #11, “I think I’d like to sit in my pyjamas on a rainy Sunday afternoon listening to Belle & Sebastian, reading Melt the Snow and that would be the closest I’d ever get to being Teri.” Ha, that was so me at age 20!) When I was 18, one of the most exciting things that happened to me was coming home one day to a letter from Hal Niedzviecki asking to reprint a story from mts, the one about me crashing my car. It’s still online, in all of its awkward teenaged glory.

So, I was happy to hear that my essay from She’s Shameless was going to be the featured excerpt for Broken Pencil #44, the DIY issue. You can read part of it online (although the formatting is a little wonky?) and the rest in the magazine (or in the book, of course). I even quote that car crash story in the essay, full circle-like.

She's Shameless: Women write about growing up, rocking out, and fighting back

I’m proud to have an essay included in this forthcoming anthology. I wrote about zines and how important they were to me growing up, and I really hope that a teenaged girl in some suburb will read it and consider cutting and pasting something together. If you live in Toronto, you should go to the launch – it’s going to be amazing. I would go myself (all the way from Montreal!), but I have a pretty good excuse: I’m going to be getting married in Greece on June 20, 2009 to this guy. So.


She’s Shameless / She’s Writing: June 23rd

Save the date! She’s Shameless launches June 23rd in Toronto at The Gladstone Hotel! Join the facebook group here!

Shameless magazine and This Is Not A Reading Series celebrates the launch of She’s Shameless: Women write about growing up, rocking out, and fighting back

What media event five years ago transformed the lives of teenaged girls across North America? Here’s a clue: it had nothing to do with a boy wizard or the misadventures of trust fund brats. In June of 2004, Shameless, a magazine for “girls who get it”, first appeared on newsstands. We’ve assembled She’s Shameless: Women write about growing up, rocking out, and fighting back (Tightrope Books). To celebrate the launch of the inaugural Shameless collection, contributors will perform short pieces, and five teenaged girls will join them on-stage and present monologues from a writing workshop conducted that afternoon by acclaimed writer and teacher Ibi Kaslik. The evening will conclude with an early ‘90s-themed, Sadie Hawkins prom, featuring a noted local DJ. – A This is Not A Reading Series event presented by Pages Books & Magazines, Tightrope Books, Shameless, NOW Magazine, Gladstone Hotel and Take Five On CIUT.

Gladstone Hotel Ballroom, 1214 Queen St West, Toronto

Tues June 23; 8pm (doors 7:30pm) $5 (Free with Book Purchase)

Oh, and before I forget. I have a story called “Baby Teeth” published in the most recent issue of Room Magazine (Volume 31.3 – Glass Houses). The editor’s note calls it “unusual and inventive”, and also “dark”. Hurrah. It is, I guess, darker than what I usually writer. I kind of don’t want say, my parents or co-workers to read it. But, either way, I chose to submit it for publication, so pick it up if you get the chance; Canadian literary magazines tend to only be read by other writers – here’s a good article about the importance of these kinds of journals.


I think those of you that actually check up on this blog would know this but just in case:

Saturday September 13th
Redbird loft, 135 Van Horne, 8 PM

The Art of Trespassing is an anthology of 13.5 new stories about sneaking in, crossing over, and breaking through. Written by thirteen wire-cutting writers, each piece in this collection invites us to consider the relationships between people and the spaces they move through—real or imagined, geographical and personal—and reminds us that sometimes the best stories lie in the places between, the cracks where the weeds are poking through.

Join us on September 13th to celebrate the release of this awesome new book. The launch will include readings from several of the contributing authors, including:

Dan Gillean
Anna Leventhal
Sean Michaels
Jeff Miller
JB Staniforth
Michelle Sterling
Vincent Tinguely
Teri Vlassopoulos

And in Toronto:

Friday Sept. 19th
This Ain’t the Rosedale Library, 86 Nassau
6 pm

Anna Leventhal
Michelle Sterling
Wasela Hiyate
Teri Vlassopoulos

You can buy the book online over here:

And in other housekeeping matters, Andrew and I are moving and we’re having a garage sale on Saturday (Sept 13) (or Sunday if it’s rainy, I guess, which we’ve just come to expect this summer). If you live in Montreal and are curious about our junk, you’ll find us on the corner of Sherbrooke and des Erables (one east of de Lorimier) hawking our wares.