Hey, so, I won a thing!
It’s a Hamilton Arts Award. I was awarded the 2018 Hamilton Arts Award for Writing at the awards ceremony last night in Hamilton, ON.
Thrilled to be recognized by my community. I’m new to fiction, but I’ve been writing about local arts and culture for almost thirty years (and technically that career was spawned by my writing fiction from the age of 8, so it’s really come full circle). We had a great time at the event, got to see several people win much-deserved awards (and cash prizes…big hooray for that), celebrated a little afterwards. Even got to give a bit of an acceptance speech and recognize my peers in the Hamilton lit community, as well as some writers who took valuable time out of their lives to assist a young JT.
The first of these was Paul Quarrington, who passed away in 2010. The second, it pains me to say, passed away yesterday. Poet and author David McFadden was the writer-in-residence at the Hamilton Public Library back in the 1980s. He took the time to read the novel I wrote in high school. Frankly, it wasn’t very good (it was called The Heart Of The Woods, it was my attempt at Stephen King, and it was a full-on ‘satanic cults are in our midst’ kind of thing, because, well, I grew up in the ’70s). McFadden was encouraging, pointed out my strengths, helped me with my weaknesses, and basically encouraged me to go forward. If you’re not familiar with his work, I urge you to check it out.
Finally, thanks to Benjamin Robinson, who was a guest on the show a ways back. He was nominated alongside me as an Emerging Artist, and he read a short McFadden poem after my goofy acceptance speech.
To the show! Today we have special guest Emma Healey, not to be confused with Toronto writer Emma Healey. Healey’s Elizabeth is Missing was an international bestseller. Her new book, Whistle in the Dark, is fantastic, so give it a read. Cheers!