A cyclone of epic proportions is brewing in Arif Anwar’s The Storm

Five stories intersect in Arif Anwar’s debut novel, The Storm. They roam from Chittagong, Burma, during World War II, to post-war Calcutta, to a fishing village in East Pakistan shortly after Partition and again a few decades later as a cyclone of epic proportions is brewing.

Read the full review on Goodreads.

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Watch out for Arif Anwar in 2018!

The Storm Book Cover

The Toronto Public Library, an institution all Torontonians are very proud of, has compiled its list of 10 New Canadian Novels it is particularly looking forward to in 2018. On this list, The Storm, by Arif Anwar. Pre-order now from your favourite book retailer. Out in Canada on March 13th and in the US on May 15th.

Hey folks, I know this guy. He’s in our writing group!

Writing Groups

Crabapples
Photo by JS
In my view, a successful writing group is one where the #1 goal is to make everybody’s writing stronger while giving other writers license to accept or reject our recommendations 
 
I have been blessed with belonging to two such groups, one that still keeps in touch and meets socially, while the other – First Page – is still going strong after 6 years. We meet every two weeks at someone’s house and take turns giving feedback and having a discussion about two submissions of twenty pages or less each. Since we’re only 7 members, our turns come up fairly often!
 
Thanks everyone! My writing and my stories are so much stronger than they would be were I still taking this long journey alone. We’ve come a long way together, haven’t we?

Happy news: two First Page members have books coming out!
 
Unfinished DollhouseMichelle Alfano’s memoir of gender and identity, The Unfinished Dollhouse, published by Cormorant Books, came out last month to glowing reviews in both the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star.

Michelle, we’re so proud of what you’ve accomplished! TUD was already very good when we read it as submissions, and now that you’ve added more of the insights you and Frankie’s father have gained along the way, your memoir is simply superb!
 
Link to my review on Goodreads will appear in an upcoming post.
 
The Storm Book CoverSecond good news: Arif Anwar’s debut novel, The Storm, will be available in Canada (Harper Collins Canada) on March 13th, 2018, and in the US (Simon & Shuster), on May 15th, 2018. Pre-order at all major online bookstores!
 
More happy news: Michelle Boone, another member, had a short story published in The Danforth Review earlier this year. It’s called Full Submission. Read it here!
 
secret_music_coverAnd this post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Susan Doherty Hannaford, member of my first writing group, whose first novel, A Secret Music, came out in 2015, is the Winner of the 2016 Grace Irwin Prize and was shortlisted for the 2017 Frank Hegyi Award for Emerging Authors! Publisher: Cormorant Books. Again!
 
So thrilled for these fabulous honours, Susan!