The Birthday Books is full of northern stories

Author Joanna Lilley
My short story collection, The Birthday Books, was published by Hagios Press in 2015 in their Strike Fire New Author Series. It's full of stories about northern places - Yukon, Nunavut, Alaska, Scotland and Greenland. If you live in Whitehorse, Yukon, you can buy it at Mac's Fireweed Books and at Coles. It's online too.

The wonderful painting on the cover, called Shelley, is by the Alberta-born artist John Brocke who sadly died in 2009. The painting hangs in the Foothills hospital in Calgary.

Here's what's being said about The Birthday Books:

"Joanna Lilley’s stories shoot for the Pole; they are in love with the north. They do just what short stories must do: introduce people we want to know, places we can hardly imagine, all in language as precise, as rich as poetry, clear as deep northern lakes. Lilley writes with great heart. Each story has a spirit. Each story stretches its arms to the broad northern sky."

– Arleen Paré, novelist, poet and winner of the 2014 Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry

"In her debut collection, Joanna Lilley empathetically enters lives as different as those of an Inuit sculptor, a middle-aged Scottish sheep farmer, and a trapeze artist who wants to run away from the circus. Her empathy extends to animals, plants, and the natural world, and her rural and wilderness settings captivate. Lilley also offers readers a fresh UK perspective on the Canadian landscape in clean uncluttered prose—a winter lake is “glutinous”—that is leavened with dry wit."

– Patricia Robertson
The Goldfish Dancer: Stories and Novella

Chapbook of animal poems now online

A little while ago I published a chapbook of animal poems as a way to help raise funds for animal welfare organisations. It's called They Bring it on Themselves and you can now buy it online. I worry about animals a great deal and this is just one little thing I can do to help them a bit.

Any money I make from sales goes to help animals. You can either buy a print version or a Kindle version. I gave the first batch I printed to Stop University of British Columbia Animal Research and also gave a bundle to the Nicholson Street PDSA shop in Edinburgh. That's the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals if you're wondering. If you're interested in printing your own copies for an animal-related project, just get in touch.

Whitehorse's literary community is thriving

A friend of mine in Whitehorse is looking for a writing group so I was listing the options for her, at least the ones I knew about. For a population of just 26,000, we're doing pretty well. There's the monthly Brave New Writing at the Rah Rah Gallery (complementing its companion Brave New Words open mic event) run by Susanne Hingley. There's the Cramped Hand writing session run by Jessica Simon. Darrell Hookey has just started a workshop for new and stalled writers. Patricia Robertson is leading a workshop on writing and healing and Clea Roberts is running a workshop on poetry and the grieving process. That's on top of all the huddles of writers meeting diffidently in each other's homes to share their work. If you're interested in any of these and can't find details about them online, just drop me an email and I'll do my best to connect you.