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Readership Survey says … We’re all writers!

A little while back, PRISM sent out a survey to subscribers. Now, the results are in!

The things we learned about our readers are all oven-warmed-fuzzy-peach-in-the-stomach kinds of things. Like, did you know that the vast (vast) majority of you are writers? And, at that, you’re dedicated ones.

Almost every respondent said that they submit to literary magazines, and over half are published. Yowza! A whopping 86% said that they’ve attended some sort of writing seminar or workshop in the past. Continue reading Readership Survey says … We’re all writers!

An Interview with YA Author Eileen Cook

Unraveling Isobel

By Elizabeth Hand

Unraveling Isobel is Eileen Cook’s fifth work of young-adult fiction to date, and if my reading the entire novel in one sitting is any indication of her aptitude for it, I’d say she’s got it. She is a talented writer with a clear and steady style. She is enticing and subtle. Her female characters are realistic, strong, and manage to avoid the usual pitfalls of teen protagonists by being totally honest.

Unraveling Isobel is the story of a quirky seventeen-year-old named Isobel. She’s a girl in the midst of more than her fair share of life-changing upheavals. Her mother is getting remarried which means that the family is moving her away from her school and her friends to a secluded island at the start of her senior year of high school. Her new stepfather seems to have it out for her, her stepbrother is a total babe but now “officially off-limits”, and her new house is either haunted or she is actually going crazy.

Most people, at one time or another, think that they might be going a bit crazy, but Isobel has a real reason to fear a mental break. Her father was diagnosed with schizophrenia when she was small and that event became a source of trauma for her family.

Instead of retreating in fear, Isobel, with the support and love of her new stepbrother, her therapist and her mother, finds a way to reclaim her power over the issue. She disallows the social dynamics of her new high school to make her feel inadequate. In doing so, she opens up a discussion on mental illness that allows other students to access their own concerns about mental health.

Speaking with Eileen Cook proves she is as smart and charming as is her work. Here’s what she has to say about the name Eileen, mental health, writer tips and ghosts stories:

Continue reading An Interview with YA Author Eileen Cook

An Interview with Writer, Director, Actor and Teacher Marilyn Norry

Marilyn Norry

By Tariq Hussain

Marilyn Norry has 30 years’ experience in Canadian film and theatre. Not only is she a Jessie Award-winning actress, she is also a writer, teacher, director and producer. She has been a dramaturg at Playwright’s Theatre Centre in Vancouver since 1996, was a story editor on the television series Madison, played a continuing role on Battlestar Galactica and is the creator of My Mother’s Story, a project of plays and books dedicated to telling women’s history one mother at a time. For more information about the project, and for some beautiful stories, check out their website.

Marilyn will be speaking at the upcoming Write! Vancouver Festival, which takes place on May 26th, 2012. For more information visit: www.writevancouver.com.

Tariq Hussain: First of all, I’m amazed by all the many “roles” you have in the arts such as writer, actor, director, teacher—is there a role that you feel most comfortable in or are they all connected for you?

Marilyn Norry: I don’t know if I move from one thing to the next because I get bored or if it’s economic necessity. Sometimes it’s just curiosity.

TH: One of your many roles is being a “teacher” and you’ll be presenting a workshop at the Write! Vancouver Festival this month called “Telling Mom’s Story.” What have you got have planned for this workshop?

MN: With memoir writing, people are overwhelmed by the amount of things they could put down and they don’t know how to start. I encourage people to get the big picture of their mother’s life first because then they can figure out what they want to focus in on. Part of the exercise I’m encouraging everyone to do is to force themselves to think: “Okay, what was the beginning? What do I remember next and what happened after that?” We never do it. We’ve got memories scattered all over our brains and it’s a real process to just sit down and write it all out.

Continue reading An Interview with Writer, Director, Actor and Teacher Marilyn Norry