Monday, January 18, 2010

Who owns the Arctic?

Meanwhile, at the Globe and Mail, we find a review of
Who Owns the Arctic? Understanding Sovereignty Disputes in the North, by Michael Byers, Douglas & McIntyre, 147 pages, $22.95

Reviewed by Ken McGoogan

Published on Monday, Jan. 18, 2010

For Arctic explorers seeking to enter the Northwest Passage from the Atlantic, one of the challenges came early in any voyage: In Davis Strait, the only way to reach Lancaster Sound, they had to cross or go around the so-called Middle Ice. This vast, floating expanse of pack ice, dotted with massive icebergs and rolling “growlers,” has trapped or wrecked scores of vessels down through the centuries.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Creative Non-fiction, anyone?

Back by popular demand: my advanced workshop in Creative Non-fiction at University of Toronto. What the heck is CNF, anyway? We hear the term applied to all kinds of writing. How does Creative Non-fiction differ from journalism? From academic writing? From short stories and novels? Is it okay to mix and match? Why does Our Hero prefer the term "Narrative Non-fiction?"

I came to CNF in the late 1990s when, while writing a book called Fatal Passage, I began bringing together everything I had learned from publishing three novels and thousands of journalistic articles. Short answer to FAQs: Yes, autobiography and memoir belong to the genre, and so does the research-based narrative.

My workshops are you-focused, you-driven. Tell me a true story. I lead discussions and in-class "workouts." In responding to works-in-progress, I am craft-oriented (I have spent crazy amounts of time thinking about craft). This advanced session runs eight weeks, Tuesday nights from 6:30 to 9, starting Feb. 2, 2010. Registration is open (http://learn.utoronto.ca/site3.aspx). Administrative questions, contact bill.zaget@utoronto.ca. Content queries, drop me an email.