Monday 4 May 2009

Confessions of a Bibliophile #1 - To Write Or Not To Write

This summer I am applying for a column here in Imprint. I am doing so for a number of reasons, but first and foremost is to expose my love for books and all things bookish. I am a book addict! I have bought books rather than groceries - I have stayed up reading all night even though I had exams or work the next day but just could not put the book down. I have sat in Chapters and read a book from cover to cover because I did not have the money to buy it. One such book Starbright, by Andrew M. Greeley, I read 3 times in Chapters before I had the money to pick it up. I would even put a book mark in it and put it in the back of the stack till my next visit. Yet what does all of that have to do with writing?

You see I never expected to become a writer. I have a dual form of dyslexia and writing was never really an aspiration of mine. I never thought it would be even remotely possible. However a few years back, I was working as a zone lead in Chapters and developed some contacts in the publishing industry, and over time I started getting more and more free books, and getting them further and further before the books street date. The review copies are called by a variety of names: ARC (Advance Reader's\Reviewer's Copy), Galley Copies or Uncorrected proofs. I have received some of these as much as 8 months before a book's street date. I have had publishers send me PDF's of books because the ARC's were not even ready yet. I started writing reviews for publishers from which they would use excerpts in marketing campaigns. So I thought, why not try to publish in Imprint? I had not seen any book reviews in the paper for a while and each week in the arts section there were CD, DVD and Movie reviews. Most major papers have book reviews and usually a weekly section dedicated to book reviews. Then in May 2006 I published my first review in Imprint. Since then I have published almost 130 articles, and about 120 of them have been book reviews.

Over my years at the paper my involvement has been up and down some terms, depending on how much I was on Campus and other life events - having 2 children, being injured at work, surgery and more. Yet Imprint has remained a central part of my life, and my identity both as a UW student and as person. I am an author. So this term I am going to try to expand my horizons. I am applying for a column in the spring term for the paper. The process of becoming a columnist at Imprint is as follows: write a letter of intent, outlining the title of the column, the focus and the purpose, and include 3 sample columns. Then at the first staff meeting of the term, the current staff and members who become staff by successfully achieving editorial board status vote on the concept and determine your fate. If you already have a column and you wish to continue it you have to reapply each term. If I am successful over the next 4 months you will read my reflections, confessions and predilections as a bibliophile.

(First Published in Imprint 2009-05-01.)
[As a side note the column submission was accepted and will appear in Imprint over the next 4 months every other week, and a few days later will be posted here.]

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