Faculty members of the Humber School for Writers discuss the craft of writing fiction. Find out how these acclaimed authors approach story and novel writing from start to finish.
Kevin Barry’s debut story collection, There Are Little Kingdoms, was a recipient of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. His first novel, City of Bohane, won the 2013 International Dublin Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award. Barry's most recent story collection, Dark Lies the Island, won the Sunday Times Short Story Prize and was nominated for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize. He presents Beatlebone, a searing novel that blends truth and fiction—and Beatles fandom.
Wayson Choy’s bestselling debut novel, The Jade Peony, shared the Trillium Book Award for best book in 1995 and won the 1996 City of Vancouver Book Award. Its companion novel, All That Matters, also won a Trillium Book Award and was shortlisted for the 2005 Giller Prize. His first memoir, Paper Shadows, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction, the Charles Taylor Prize and the Drainie-Taylor Biography Prize. Choy presents his second memoir, Not Yet, about the bonds of love and family that sustain us, framed by Choy’s own two near-death experiences.
Karen Connelly is the author of eleven books of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, the most recent being the novel, The Change Room, published by PenguinRandomHouse. The Change Room has been called “revolutionary” and “boundary-breaking” in its treatment of women’s sexuality. Connelly is also the author of the acclaimed novel The Lizard Cage, which was the winner of Britain’s Orange Broadband New Novelist’s Prize, shortlisted for the Kiriyama Prize, and compared, in the New York Times Book Review, to the work of Mandela, Solszhenityn and Mandela. Set in a prison in Myanmar, the novel was banned in that country for almost a decade and finally published there in translation last year. Touch the Dragon, her nonfiction travelogue about living in Thailand as a teenager, won the Governor General’s Award and was a Canadian bestseller for over two years. She has also received the Pat Lowther Award for her poetry. Her works have been translated into fourteen languages and published in seventeen countries. She lives with her family in Toronto and, during the summers, in Greece.
Valerie Martin is the author of nine novels, including Trespass, Italian Fever, The Great Divorce, Mary Reilly and the 2003 Orange Prize for Fiction winner, Property. She has also published three collections of short fiction. Martin presents The Ghost of Mary Celeste, a captivating, atmospheric piece of historical fiction. In 1872, the American merchant vessel Mary Celeste was discovered adrift off the coast of Spain: her cargo was intact and there was no sign of struggle, but the crew was gone. They were never found. This maritime mystery lies at the centre of an intricate narrative branching through the highest levels of late 19th-century literary society.
Nino Ricci is the author of award-winning novel The Origin of Species and of the Lives of the Saints trilogy, adapted as a miniseries starring Sophia Loren. Ricci's most recent novel is Sleep, published in the fall of 2015. Ricci has been a recipient of the Alistair MacLeod Award for Literary Achievement, of York University’s Pinnacle Achievement Award, of the Engel/Findley Award for a Writer in Mid-Career, and of an honorary doctorate from the University of Windsor. In 2011 he was appointed a member of the Order of Canada. He lives in Toronto with his wife, writer Erika de Vasconcelos, and their children.
Antanas Sileika is the author of four works of fiction. His first collection of stories, Buying on Time, was shortlisted for the Leacock Medal for Humour and the Toronto Book Award as well as serialized on CBC Radio’s Between the Covers. Woman in Bronze and Underground were both listed among the 100 books of the year by the Globe and Mail, and the latter has been optioned for film. Antanas is the former director of the Humber School for Writers. He lives in Toronto, Ontario. He presents The Barefoot Bingo Caller.