THE CORE OF BREATHING SPACE CREATIVE
What is Breathing Space Creative?
Breathing Space Creative delivers artist care rooted in building resilience, community, and trust through authentic communication. It is our goal to help artists feel confident participating in events and having their books enter the world, all while reinforcing the necessity of being vocal about their needs. Breathing Space Creative will help artists recognize their value and self-worth and feel safe and secure navigating the Canadian Literary Community. Breathing Space Creative will have contracted “care consultants” who are trusted voices in the industry and have a high level of authentic communication skills. The team is being carefully put together.
Why did you start Breathing Space Creative?
Breathing Space Creative has been in the works for a long time, as a dream. I am not only president of BSC, but I am a writer too. The idea for Breathing Space Creative came to me after navigating many difficult situations as a new author while walking this tricky CanLit terrain. I have experienced racism on panels, sexism at conferences, and I have even had opportunities removed because I spoke up and asked a question about editing, or just plain asked for help. To me, this is not the CanLit I dreamed of. I never expected to strike it rich as a writer (I know, right?), but I had dreams of feeling safe (or as safe as possible) to write, share, and publish my words. Since speaking up and asking for what I wanted and needed, I saw a shift in the CanLit cannon, I saw the clouds part. Hello silver lining! I want other authors to keep going and not give up because of a few negative experiences. On the other side of that coin, I know that publishers, publicists, and agents are busy people. And although you may love the back and forth with each and every writer, and you might crave the extinguishing of fires, your goal is to get that book out into the world, on time and without burnout. Breathing Space Creative simply adds another layer of support for authors, publishers, event organizers and even publishing affiliates. Your goal is to put forth the best book possible, and sometimes that means letting some tasks go to experts in this area. Enter, Breathing Space Creative, the dream.
How did you come up with the name?
Great question! I had the core concept for the idea early on, that was the easy part for me. The name, on the other hand, was a little more difficult. My brand consultant had me do a variety of word exercises to not only get ideas flowing, but to also make sure that the words I chose spoke to me and my values. Breathing is everything. Breathing is the biggest “essential” in the world aside from water (and yeah, Water Space Creative didn’t really make sense!) What I found in life—and in writing—was that when I slowed down, stopped to breathe, gave myself the space to think clearly and evaluate situations with a clear head, my work and mental health was better for it. Breathing … I knew I had to include this word. The rest, as they say, is history.
We already communicate with our authors and we take great care of them. Why would we need BSC?
It is Breathing Space Creative’s goal to make sure that you the publisher (or publicist, agent, etc) feel supported and ready to be as efficient with your book production/promotion as possible. BSC will in no way remove you from the equation, but instead “pop our heads in” just when you need us. Please check out our BSC Scenarios page for some fab examples! At BSC we will also help you to address not only your own biases, but what it is you assume about authors. What do you assume? This is a big question. We will help you to make your assumptions work for you and therefore, infuse deeper communication to ask the right questions when putting together author questionnaires.
Why are you the person to do this work?
I am a writer, an editor, a teacher, a mentor, a parent, and more. I have worked directly with new writers and established authors, editors, magazines, and boards. I’ve curated events and festivals and participated in hundreds of panels. I took my knowledge of the industry, personal experience, education, and close relationships and infused all of this into Breathing Space Creative. I am all about building community and relationships through care. I listen. I listen authentically, and the CanLit community agrees!
what folks are saying!
How we can work together.
I am a publisher and I would love to infuse an author care consultant into the work we do. How will we work together?
The way in which we work together will be 100 percent up to you. How much or how little we are involved will depend on what your immediate needs are. Not sure what authentic communication will look like?
Not sure what your needs are? Check out the author care audits and we can help you find out.
Curious about the types of situations we are ready to tackle?
How will communication between BSC, authors, publishers, publicists, and agents work? Won’t there be too many cooks in the kitchen?
It will work like an orchestra. The violin complementing the bass, the cello coming in for a solo when needed. It will be a thing of beauty.
communications + care
I am not a publisher, but can Breathing Space Creative do a workshop on author care for my creative writing/publishing class?
You bet! We have two, three, and four hour in-person workshops available. All workshops are catered to creative writing students who not only want to eventually become professional writers, but also for those who want careers in publishing. Through slideshows, role playing, mock panels, and exercises, our workshops will provide a deeper understanding around what it means to be a part of CanLit and how to feel good about it!
I’m a festival organizer. Does Breathing Space Creative help with event curation? Could we bring you on to curate a specialized part of our festival?
Definitely ask about our curation service, or programming audit.
What about sensitivity reading? Do you offer this service as part of your core packages or as a standalone service?
What if I want to meet in person but I don’t live in Vancouver?
We can meet virtually! Breathing Space Creative has a private Zoom conference room for just this purpose : )
Fun Fact: Our president often travels across Canada for various reasons and is super creative with scheduling. She will make time to see you if she’s in your city.
How much do your services cost? Why should I pay for this?
Your authors and artists matter. Without them, you wouldn’t be doing the work you do. It’s important for you to invest in your business and investing in your business means making sure your authors have what they need to thrive. Authors shouldn’t have to pay for this, it should be embedded in their relationship with you. They trust you to take care of their words. We are available to set up a meeting to discuss any of our three packages as well as stand alone workshops, so get in touch.
You can also opt to have an author care audit performed so that we can better assess what your immediate needs may be.
Do you have different packages available?
Can I write your fee into grants? Can BSC help?
Yes! Core funders such as The Canada Council for the Arts WANT to see publishers taking initiatives that foster the growth of their own organizations. They WANT to see you seeking new methods to increase resources and tools for authors. Need a second pair of eyes on this particular section of your grant?
Let us know.
We’ve been at the grant jury table. We know what to do!
Do you help with final report writing/support material?
Yes! Once we are working together we can create a personalized report for you to include in the support material section of your grant. We will also look over your final report and offer up key successes mined from working together that you can include.
How can Breathing Space Creative help us to maintain/increase operating funding?
See the two answers above! ; )
Building lasting relationships.
What happens after our contract ends?
Well, we HOPE that you would be interested in renewing your contract when you bring on new authors, but when our contract ends you will receive an evaluation form, information on how to join our loyalty membership program (hint hint ...discounts for you). If you have requested a report for your grant support material, this will also be prepared.
How can we work together in the future?
Once you receive and fill out the end-of-contract evaluation, you will have the option to have your current plan amended to suit the suggestions mentioned in your evaluation. You will also then be eligible for our loyalty membership program which will include discounts, special perks for your Vancouver authors, and more.
How can working with BSC change the publishing landscape for the better?
It goes without saying, building community through trust, truth, and transparency is the key to breaking down so many barriers. But the work BSC does goes above and beyond this. We seek to get down to the fossil resin of what author care REALLY is and how it can help new authors to hold on to a career in the arts for as long as they see fit. Sharing knowledge, power, and resources through care is integral.
[link to mags can write up about me as volunteer of the year]
How can working with BSC help support marginalized writers?
Although BSC strives to work with all authors, we KNOW that some authors will require more specific care and we would love to create specialized care packages based on the needs of your authors.
Check out our scenarios and then get in touch!
How will i measure
After at least six months of working with BSC, you will be able to check off the following key successes:
authors are equipped for events, panels, tours (and they know how to communicate by asking for what they need, and feel GOOD about it).
you have officially written “time” into your production budget. You have freed up a good chunk of time to focus on the work you need to do.
you and your authors understand authentic communication
you will have the tools and resources to continue growing your organization
good word of mouth
funders will know you are serious about taking care of authors and growing your organization (aka $$$)
you feel supported when “tricky scenarios” arise, and you know how to handle them.
you feel secure knowing that you have a team of experienced professionals ready to diffuse fires should they arise.
you feel empowered to continue to assess and reassess the work you do on an annual basis.
you’ve adopted Breathing Space Creative’s mission and values into your own.