Staying Connected with Virtual Literary Hopping

Aug 28, 2020

What an insane year on so many fronts—the pandemic, unsettling politics, protests and social unrest, wild weather patterns and out of control fires. I hope and pray that you and your family have remained safe and well, despite the unprecedented challenges.

In addition to everything else, none of us could anticipate how this year would transform our reading and writing worlds. I’ve commiserated with my writing buddies who are launching their first or most recent book, discouraged that after years of working alone, they’ve now had to forfeit face-to-face celebrations and tours. But with their disappointments, there’s also been an explosion of virtual opportunities that have helped them reach an audience.  

Readers have never had so many choices to connect with writers! We can now zoom in from our homes to hear about the latest books from debut to best selling authors from around the world. For me it’s been a godsend. Living in a small town, I’ve often struggled to get to city book events, but now it’s a breeze to be immersed in literary fanfare –all in my comfy slippers and a glass of wine in my hand. I’ve joined a Facebook Book Club, attended Zoom launch parties, readings, and author interviews, participated in writing workshops, judged a pandemic writing contest, and even managed to strike off my first ever Annual General Meeting for the Writers’ Union of Canada.  

And this fall even more is on offer. Readers festivals at the top of my list include STARFest and WordFest’s 25@25 (25 amazing authors at 25 events.)

While virtual gathering is not the same as being in the room and clapping wildly and hugging your friends on the way out the door, it does form a valuable and often intimate touchpoint, and it helps me feel like we’re in this together.   

In other do-at-home news, COVID has allowed me to pound on my keyboard these past six months, dog at my feet, and I’m delighted to share that I’ve got a book draft ready to tear apart. Finally. It’s the story of a young man who gets railroaded into taking in his 14-year-old surprize son, along with his demented grandma, and all the drama that ensues. I’ve got scads left to do before I can send the manuscript on its way, but I’m celebrating anyway. The dog too!

Stay safe. Warmest wishes for happy reading and your own virtual literary hopping.   

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