Jónína Kirton

Author of An Honest Woman

Publishing your first book can be quite the ride. It can feel as if you are water skiing, waving excitedly to everyone on the shore or riding your bicycle downhill going “Look Ma, no hands.” until you begin to swerve. There is so much we don’t know and that no one tells us about publishing a first book. It begins with the editing. For some, like myself who had no experience with track changes getting that first set of copy edits can be so intimidating. All you see is red lines leading to comments that sometimes make you doubt yourself or feel like ‘how on earth did I miss that’. At every step you can feel in over your head or like you

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Chelene Knight
Carleigh Baker

Author of Bad Endings

The literary scene is evolving, and we must keep up with these changes. Writing has always been political, but writers are now engaging with these politics in a conversation that can be heard on a grand scale, through social media. Voices that have been traditionally pushed to the margins are being heard. There is a greater diversity of writers being published, and appearing at festivals. For years, public writerly events have been a safe, sanitized space where discussions of creative process and inspiration have dominated the conversation. Literature is no longer a safe, sanitized space, and this is the best thing that's ever happened to it. 

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Chelene Knight
Farzana Doctor

Author, Psychotherapist, Co-Founder, Canada Lead, WeSpeakOut and Co-Founder, End FGM/C Canada Network

When I was an emerging writer, I sought out whatever advice, mentorship and support I could find. With a small writer network, that wasn't easy and I bumbled along, learning from mistakes as I organized my first launch, readings, and tours. As a more established author, it would be helpful to have support with things like author branding, managing itineraries and broadening my readership into new markets. Breathing Space Collective is a fabulous initiative.

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Chelene Knight
Alicia Elliott

Author of A Mind Spread Out On the Ground

When I first started doing festivals and other literary events, I had no idea what awaited me - and, despite many organizers' best intentions, apparently neither did they. Author care is so important, and requires an entirely different skill set than what it takes to put together a festival. I can only imagine the difference a dedicated author care team would have made in my literary life: making me feel safe, cared for, and less stressed overall. More importantly, it would have made me feel like a person and not just an art machine, pumping out emotional energy and continuously running on empty.

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Chelene Knight
Minelle Mahtani

Senior Advisor to the Provost on Racialized Faculty and Associate Professor, Institute for Social Justice, UBC

As a former radio host, I spent hours listening to the stories of authors as they shared some traumatic tales of navigating the publishing world. The stumbling blocks led to some serious stories of trauma. Knight is offering writers an opportunity to experience their ascendancy into the writing world with joy, support and kindness. I see her as a kind of emotional and professional coach for writers. What a gift.

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Chelene Knight