Happy to announce I am now represented by Rachel Letofsky and the Cooke Agency
PRISM international 2013 Fiction Contest
I’m thrilled to learn that my short story “Last Concert – Luzon, Philippines” won first runner-up in PRISM international’s 2013 Fiction contest. The story features a constipated classical guitarist on the last concert of his first tour, a hole in a wall, some dogs, and other stuff. This year’s judge was Annabel Lyon, whose writing I admire. Check out the other winners here: THE WINNERS
In other news, I freaked myself out last night, here’s how: apparently I was staring at my lamp with only one of my eyes (??? I know. I was in bed and the other was blocked by a pillow I guess) so when I turned my light off I could see with my left eye but not my right (due to starting at the lamp) and I thought I’d burst a retina or some other awful thing. (All’s back to normal now.)
In third news, I went to Seattle and geeked it out at comicon. Here’s a shirt I bought:
And some friends I made:
Friday 13th Reading/Poem Time
Tonight I’m reading for an Art Dean’s conference hosted by the University of Victoria. I’ll be promoting The Malahat Review by reading from “Apiculture”
This story grew from a poem I wrote, though looking at the poem now it seems I cut all but two images. You can read “Apiculture” in the forthcoming edition of the Malahat Review, but for now here’s the poem.
Water – hosed at a wasp nest – Speaks
Shot through clear air
I grip pulp,
tremolo graves –
Joy in expansion,
cohesion; my stretched skin
pools, sweetens in
I sog paper,
onion off layers
to adhere to, to blur into,
many: I damp the fur
of a thousand furious vibratos
UPDATE: The reading was great fun! Bob MacDonald, Rhonda Ganz, and many many Deans.
A Few Books
I recently read “The Flame Alphabet” by Ben Marcus. The book looks great, the title is good, and the premise (the language of children has become toxic) got me on a bus in search of it. Additionally, it has Big Names (Chabon, Sfran Foer) on the back pumping the book’s Awesomeness. And there is some awesomeness to the book–there’s a lot of great descriptions and the quality of writing is A+. There’s just…too much of it. And nothing really happens.
There are comprehensive (uncomfortable) reviews already out there, so I won’t go on, but reading “The Flame Alphabet” got me thinking of all the really great books I’ve read lately.
Here (in the order they came to me) are a few:
1. The Sisters Brothers ~ Patrick deWitt
A Western that doesn’t go where you expect it. Dark, funny, and surreal. A book that inspires writing (read: I wish I wrote this)
2. Breath ~ Tim Winton
I’ve admired Tim Winton’s prose since discovering his short stories “The Turning”, and while his stories seem well-knit I haven’t always loved the structure to his novels. This one, though, was fab: a lesson in retrospective.
3. The Golden Mean ~ Annabel Lyon
A novel about Aristotle, this book convinced me to try first person point of view (thank-you, Annabel.)
4. Civilwarland in Bad Decline ~ George Saunders
Bleak, funny, heartful; classic Saunders plus ghosts.
Forthcoming Publication–Malahat Review
Excited to announce that my short story “Apiculture” won the fiction category of the Malahat Review’s 2012 Open Season Awards, and will be published in the Spring 2012 issue of the magazine. I wrote this piece in a UVic writing workshop with Steven Price last winter, though the story has gone through multiple overhauls since then.
The judge this year was Padma Viswanathan. Her comments can be found here: (here)
Year 2012 Begins
Attended Micheal Ondaatje’s reading of “The Cat’s Table” last night at the AGPH. Mr Ondaatje read for 40 minutes then answered questions. It turns out that the Cat’s Table is a German phrase for the least important table with the least important people–interesting term! The book is on my to-read list.
I’ve been a fan Tim Winton since I read The Turning, his collection of short fiction. His latest novel, Breath, is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Not only is the story itself exhilarating, the technique is controlled to the point of being invisible. Want to write? Here is a guide to the retrospective novel.
UVic’s the Ring does an Article
Thanks John for putting this together, and to Matthew for his help and encouragement this year!
UVic’s The Ring says….
“Erin Fisher is $2,000 richer, thanks to her first-place win for a story originally written as a first-year assignment for the University of Victoria’s Department of Writing. Fisher, now a third-year Writing student and winner of the 2009 Cadboro Bay Book Prize for Fiction, was selected as the Grand Prize Fiction winner in the 2011 PRISM International poetry and fiction contest for her 2,500-word short story “Bridges.”
Chosen from a field of over 250 entries by this year’s fiction judge—noted songwriter and publisher John K. Samson of The Weakerthans fame—Fisher describes “Bridges” as a story about “a six-year-old girl who spends her time watching her sister, watching herself and telling stories; it’s about quietness in people, and connections.”Originally written in two weeks for a first-year writing class, “Bridges” was reworked as an entry for The Malahat Review’s 2010 Open Season Award in Fiction, where it was shortlisted as a finalist, before being redrafted and sent to PRISM. “This will be my first publication, and it is a much-needed moral boost,” says Fisher, an award-winning pianist who also teaches at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. “I’ve spent a lot of years composing music and playing music, and in order to work on writing words I had to shift part of my focus from those studies. It’s good to know both fields can complement each other.”
Fisher says she hadn’t originally planned on pursuing writing at all. “When I first started at UVic, I was thinking of finishing off a music degree in composition,” she recalls. “I took a course from Lorna Jackson to see how the structure of short stories could compare to a musical structure, and got addicted. After luring me in, the writing department showed me what to watch for in technique and craft.”
Acclaimed local author Matthew Hooton (Deloume Road) was one of Fisher’s writing instructors this year and says it has been a “humbling experience” to read her work. “I’ve found myself in the paradoxical position of trying to engage with her work in class and get out of her way at the same time,” he says. “She has a knack for choosing the right word, the right metaphor, the right structure, the right line of dialogue. This prize is the literary equivalent of a warning shot over the bow of the establishment. It won’t be the last time you read her name—trust me, I’ve seen what she’s got coming next.”
Founded in 1959, PRISM International is the oldest literary magazine in Western Canada and published some of the first works by such iconic Canadian writers as Margaret Laurence, George Bowering, Alden Nowlan and Margaret Atwood.”