During this time of uncertainty for many freelance writers around the world, I somehow managed to sell my very first food story to The Toronto Star! The Food section is a place I never thought I’d have a byline, so I’m super proud of this one. Head’s up vegans/vegetarians (or anyone looking to reduce their meat intake), this is about Liquid Smoke, a must-have pantry ingredient to zest up your plant-based recipes (and since we’re all quarantined at home right now, this is something you will definitely be using more of. No more boring self-isolation meals!). Click here or the above image to read! I will update this post when it’s also published in the print edition!
APRIL 15, 2020 EDIT!: it’s printed in today’s print edition, in the Life Section!
I’ve been trying to break into The Toronto Star for years, so this is very special to me, and clicks are appreciated!
As I mentioned above, right now during such times of uncertainty, it’s hard being a freelance writer. Many of my friends in the industry are seeing their income drastically reduced. Freelance budgets are drying up at newspapers and magazines, most pitches are being rejected across the board, and there is a rising sense of anxiety in the industry. I’m super lucky to be a regular, daily contributor at eTalk as I blogged about previously. They’ve actually given me more work lately, so on top of my regular late night TV beat, I also do news hits in the morning, and even some entertainment roundups and special one-offs! Here’s my late night column from this morning that I really liked (feminist Ryan’s, holla!), a news hit from this morning (Swifties rejoice!), a special one-off dedicated to Mariah Carey, and an entertainment roundup for all of us stuck in quarantine. I am loving all the extra work, but I realize I am super lucky. Many thanks to every editor and publication who agrees to take me on!
As always, fanks for the support, my munchkins, and please visit the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my published stories, essays, and more!
April 2, 2020 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, creative writing, portfolio, toronto, writing | Tags: author, Canada, canadian women writers, Christine Estima, christine estima writer, columnist, coronavirus, covid-19, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, etalk, freelance writer, freelancer, life of a writer, liquid smoke, op-ed, plant based, publishing, quarantine, self-isolation, social distancing, the toronto star, Toronto, toronto food, vegan, vegetarian, writer, writer's life, writing | Leave a comment
Here’s something I’ve been keeping a lid on for some months, but am super excited to finally share! I sold a story to The Walrus! For my international readers, The Walrus is a Canadian magazine that could easily be likened to The New Yorker – a highly-curated arts and culture magazine with some amazing critical thinkers writing for and creating the magazine. It’s a national magazine, available across the country.
My essay, published today, is about the time last year when I found a roll of film on the curb and set out to find the lost photographer. It’s a really quirky story that involves a lot of six-degrees-of-kevin-bacon but also about expectations v reality. I may or may not mention Amélie once or twice within this piece. Check it out and share it with your friends!
So here’s something funny about this process of being a freelance writer that is related to this story – last year, another magazine (which shall remain nameless) bought this story. They sat on this story for 7 months. They edited it so it stripped out all the colour, flare, style, and tone of my writing. They were absolutely unreachable at times, and it was a super frustrating experience working with them. Finally, a publication date for this past January was set. They paid me in full in anticipation of the publication date. Then, ON THE DAY it was set to be published, I received an email from the editor, saying that they were killing the story because it was “too local” and not something that would appeal to people across the country.
What the shizz?
Not once in the 7 months that they had the story was the concern that it was “too local” ever raised. Also, that’s a bullshit criticism, you guys have read the story, do you find this story unappealing to people outside of Toronto? Rhetorical question.
And worst of all, before that publication had bought the story, I had pitched it elsewhere, & some places only got back to me after said-publication bought it. So I had turned down other publications for them! For those of you outside of the publishing world, you should know this kind of behaviour and practice is all SUPER UNPROFESSIONAL. I’ve had stories killed before, but not on the DAY it was to be published, for such a lame excuse, after paying me in full. Most writers I know have had similar experiences with them, and warned me about them. So in my reply, I told them exactly what I thought. May the bridges I burn light the way.
I subsequently erased ALL the edits they did on my piece, and went back to my true voice that they tried to strip from the piece. Sometimes editors try to “trim the fat” of a story, but any chef will tell you that the fat has all the flavour. Good writing requires a style and a voice, and I wasn’t going to let them convince me my voice needed to be trimmed.
Fast forward to this past autumn, The Walrus bought the story (and frankly, The Walrus is a much better publication, with a helluva lot more respect), and the process of fashioning and editing the piece with them has been light years ahead and beyond what said-shizz-publication was like. And I’m super proud of this end result. Because above all, I found a publication that nurtured and encouraged my voice and style.
There are a lot of shady things publications try to do to freelance writers . . . and most of the time, they get away with it. Being freelance means you don’t get the support of HR and you’re in this legal gray area most of the time. So I’ve learned that you have to be your best advocate in this business . . . because the world doesn’t owe you any favours. Hustle and work hard, and it will all sort itself out in the end.
And maybe, if you’re really lucky, you’ll get paid twice for the same story 😉
(Yes that was tacky of me, but I’m not deleting it.)
Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my published essays, stories, and more!
December 26, 2017 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, creative writing, portfolio, writing | Tags: author, canadian women writers, Christine Estima, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, freelance life, freelance writer, freelance writing, freelancer, op-ed, publishing, Short story, the walrus, Toronto, walrus magazine, writer, writer's life, writer's problems, writing, writing life | 2 Comments
As promised, more of my travel writing has gone up on VICE, it’s a whirlwind of publications around here, fam. This piece is about the cenotes of Mexico, which are subterranean swimming holes, and I illustrate the piece with pics I took using an underwater disposable camera. As you can see, the results are quote ethereal, haunting, almost tableau-like. Read it in full here.
I’ve been really lucky as a travel writer to get a lot of my pieces published in some really great publications, but I feel like the amount of my published travel pieces pales in comparison to how much travel I’ve actually done in my life. I’ve traversed this planet many times over, and it’s no where near quitting time. So I hope this trend of getting all of my fubar clusterfucks, epic extravaganzas, and adventures published in print will continue.
Here’s to writing on the road!
Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more!
November 30, 2017 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, creative writing, photography, portfolio, travel, Vice, writing | Tags: adventure activities, adventure travel, author, canadian women writers, cenotes, central america, Christine Estima, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, freelance travel writer, freelance writer, freelance writing, freelancer, get rich or die mayan, Mexico, op-ed, Photography, publishing, tbex, travel, travel blogger, travel photography, travel skills, travel tips, travel writer, underwater photography, vice, vice canada, vice magazine, writer, writing | Leave a comment
The Toronto International Film Festival was amazing this year, I saw so many films (as documented by this round-up I wrote for VICE last week), and the fest is always such an electric time to be on the streets of Toronto. Everything is alive.
Speaking of life, the film PREVENGE is about a pregnant woman whose fetus tells her to kill people. So OF COURSE I had to interview the director/writer/performer Alice Lowe. Check out what she had to tell me about women in the film industry and pregnancy stigmas over here on VICE.
Fun fact: I had first seen Alice Lowe in an episode of Sherlock (season 3 episode “Sign of Three“) and the whole time we were talking, her voice was just reminding me of one of her lines from Sherlock, “A GHOST, MR HOLMES!” and then a drunk Watson saying to her, “He’s clueing for looks.”
I am a gigantic nerd.
Check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my VICE essays and articles, and much more.
September 19, 2016 | Categories: academic essays, acting, celebrity interviews, Christine Estima, creative writing, critic, critiques, film, movies, portfolio, review, reviews, TIFF, Vice, writing | Tags: Alice Lowe, author, Canada, Canadian writer, Christine Estima, Christine Estima book, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, culture, director interview, film, film festival, film interview, film review, freelance life, freelance writer, freelancer, horror, movie, movie review, pregnancy, Prevenge, Q & A, Sherlock, Sign of Three, TIFF, Toronto, Toronto International Film Festival, vice canada, vice magazine, vice news, writer, writer's life | Leave a comment
It’s TIFF time already and time for me to review a whole bunch of woman-hating films so you don’t have to. Last year I reviewed TIFF films that portray fierce women in leading roles, now it’s time to review the films that can’t even pass a simple test like The Bechdel Test. Read and enjoy! (or hate it, I don’t care, I’m just a blog).
Don’t forget to check out all my VICE articles, and all my many other publications, at the official Christine Estima dot com!
September 12, 2016 | Categories: Christine Estima, creative writing, critic, critiques, film, portfolio, review, reviews, Vice, writing | Tags: am writingw, Ben Affleck, Christine Estima, christine estima novel, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, creative writing, Elle, feminism, feminist, film, film review, freelance, freelance writer, I Daniel Blake, Jim Jarmusch, Kristen Stewart, Manchester by the Sea, movie critic, movie review, movie reviews, movies, Paterson, Personal Shopper, The Bechdel Test, The Eagle Huntress, TIFF, Toronto International Film Festival, Unless, vice canada, vice magazine, Window Horses, women, women in film, writer, writer's life, writing | 1 Comment
Two essays published in one week? I feel pretty spoiled. Head over to the Life-Travel section of The Globe and Mail (a national newspaper here in Canada) and read my piece about chasing the lost art of the Viennese Ex Libris! It’s online today, and will be published in the print edition tomorrow (Saturday, June 18, 2016). I will update this post once I have the actual thing in my painted-fingernail’d-hands.
Edit! Turn to page 5 of the Travel section!
This has been in the works for a while and I’m super proud of how it all turned out. Working with the peeps over at G&M was really positive and I’m glad this went from pitch to published in a relatively short turnaround. Read the piece by clicking here or the photographs!
I’ve been really lucky over the past few years with how many editors and publications are willing to take me on, and who support my voice and writing style. Hopefully that can continue! Already, I have a few more publications that I’ve sold, slated for later this year, so when they come out, expect me to BLOG IT LIKE IT’S HOT.
Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com. It’s got all my published works up there for you to read over a cuppa and a slice of cake. Enjoy!
June 17, 2016 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, creative writing, hipsters, portfolio, travel, vienna, writing | Tags: adventure travel, austria, author, authoress, budget travel, canadian stories, canadian women writers, Christine Estima, christine estima writer, columnist, editorials, essayist, essays, ex libris, freelance life, freelance travel writer, freelance writer, freelancer, hipster travels, passion passport, published author, published writer, the globe and mail, travel blogger, travel section, travel skills, travel tips, travel tuesday, travel writer, travel writing, travelgram, traveling on a budget, travelling, vienna, Viennese, visit Austria, visit Vienna, writer's life | 3 Comments
Sometimes I really hate talking about this stuff, but writing is cathartic, and what is the point of being a writer if you don’t talk about the things that mortify you to an audience of millions, right? Oh boy.
My latest essay in VICE is about what it’s like having Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and having to deal with the resulting hirsutism. Women aren’t allowed to have hair, if you didn’t already know, and the world won’t let us fucking forget it. The way we are shamed for having something that naturally grows on our bodies is outrageous, but if you’re like me, you’ve internalized that shame. It has definitely affected my self-worth and self-confidence, but most days no one actually knows that I deal with hirsutism because I am so vigilant about it now. Years of bullying will do that to you.
And don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com where you can read all of my published VICE essays, and more!
June 14, 2016 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, creative writing, feminism, health, portfolio, Vice, wellness, writing | Tags: am writing, author, authoress, Canada, canadian women writers, Canadian writer, canadian writing, Christine Estima, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essayist, freelance writer, hair, hair removal, hairy, hirsute, hirsutism, laser hair removal, op-ed, pcos, personal essay, polycystic ovarian syndrome, published author, published writer, published writing, satirical essays, story published, vice, vice canada, Vice do's and don'ts, vice magazine, vice news, vice studios canada inc, views my own, waxing, woman, writer, writers of wordpress | 1 Comment
Remember a few months ago when my creative non-fiction piece ‘Sarajevo Roses‘ was published in The Puritan? The good peeps there asked me to contribute to their Town Crier section on the topic of music and what I like to listen to when I write. People ask me all the time what music is good for surging their creativity when they write. Here’s what I listen to. Maybe you’ll discover some new tunes that will inspire your writing. Click here or click the image above to read.
And as always, don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com to read more of my published works.
June 3, 2016 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, creative writing, music, portfolio, writing | Tags: A Winged Victory for the Sullen, am writing, author, authoress, canadian writing, chilly gonzales, Christine Estima, Christine Estima book, Christine Estima first dates, christine estima twitter, christine estima writer, columnist, creative non fiction, creative writing, daughter, editorial, Erased Tapes, Erased Tapes Records, essay, essayist, Franz Ferdinand, freelance writer, freelance writing, freelancer, hannah georgas, kiasmos, life of a writer, life writing, music for writing, Nils Frahm, Olafur Arnalds, op-ed, personal essay, Sarajevo roses, sharon van etten, the puritan, Town Crier, writer problems, writer's life, writing, writing about music | Leave a comment
Head to the magazine section of your local book store and grab the new issue of literary magazine The Antigonish Review (issue 185). Turn to page 67 to read my new short story, “The Meat Disappears from the Bones.” I’m super excited about this because I’ve been trying to crack into TAR for a decade. They’re a super prestigious literary magazine from St. Francis Xavier University, and they’ve published the likes of Carol Shields, Rohinton Mistry, and Marshall McLuhan!
See. The medium IS the message.
Or in my case, the tedium is the message.
Anyway, normally I would post a scan of the first page of my story to pique your interest, but this time I thought I’d post the last page. See above! Hope you enjoy! Fanks for the support, munchkins!
And as always, visit the official Christine Estima dot com for all of my published works, performances, and press!
May 18, 2016 | Categories: Christine Estima, creative writing, portfolio, writing | Tags: author, authoress, Bukowski, Canadian arts and culture, canadian fiction, canadian literary magazines, canadian literature, canadian stories, canadian women writers, Canadian writer, canadian writing, carol shields, Charles Bukowski, Christine Estima, christine estima novel, christine estima twitter, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, creative writing, fiction, freelance writer, literary journal, literary journals, literary magazine, literature, magazine publishing, marshall mcluhan, novel writing, Poetry, prose, prose fiction, published writer, publishing, rohinton mistry, short prose, Short story, st francis xavier university, story published, story writing, the antigonish review, the meat disappears from the bones, writer, writing | Leave a comment
It was really great to work with the team at Metro, the whole process was very fast-paced and positive. It was such a challenge to put everything I wanted to say into a mere 400 words, I’m used to writing 1500-word essays, so I welcomed the challenge to be brief and succinct. BUT I’M SO LOQUACIOUS!
Also, funny sidenote: that photograph of me there… That was taken yesterday with my iPad as I sat in a café on Spadina. OH THE GLAMOUR.
Fanks for reading, my munchkins, and don’t forget to check out ChristineEstima.com for more on my writing career.
October 2, 2015 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, creative writing, portfolio, writing | Tags: canadian women writers, Canadian writer, Christine Estima, Christine Estima Metro News, columnist, creative writing, essayist, essays, ethnicity, ethno-cultural minority, freelance, freelance writer, freelance writing, language, life of a writer, Metro News, Metro News Canada, metro views, op-ed, opinion piece, publication, racism, racism in canada, racist discourse, writer, writing | Leave a comment
If you’ve bookmarked this site as christineestima.wordpress.com, it’s time to update your links! I have a whole new website up and running at ChristineEstima.com! It’s my professional, sleek, clean, and fresh-to-death new corner of the internet**. You’ll find details of who I am, my career as a writer and author, my published works, the media coverage I’ve garnered, what others have said about me, recent performances, and yes, a link to this beloved blog of mine.
I started The Spadina Monologues TEN YEARS AGO in April 2005, and while most of my contemporary blogger friends from that time lost interest and abandoned their spaces, I kept mine going with an unusual degree of tenacity. In ten years, a lot has happened! There were First Publications, Artistic Awards, SO . MUCH . GLOBAL. TRAVEL , social media campaigns and amazing parties and experiences, and I somehow managed to keep catching the attention of the media and press. . . and through it all, of course, there was Street Art and Graffiti!
In 10 years, I have travelled to more cities and countries than I can actually remember. 89 stamps on my passport. I have lived in 12 cities around the world. I have had lots of ethereally-beautiful moments, and lots of disappointment … and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
I am still going to keep this blog alive and continue to update it, so do check back often. The updates may be dialled back a bit and perhaps not as frequent as the summer of 2012 when I was blogging THIRTEEN TIMES A DAY (it was New York, gimme a break), but there will be fabulous content nonetheless.
So please update your links and visit the new home of Writer/Author/Purveyor of Awesome Christine Estima!
**Redesign and development by Corbin Smith, whom ya’ll should hire for your web design/development needs
March 27, 2015 | Categories: blogger, book, creative writing, GIFs, media, portfolio, writing | Tags: author, blogger, blogging, blogiversary, Christine Estima, christineestima.com, columnist, corbin smith, creative writing, decade, dot com, essayist, freelance writer, GIF, GIFs, new site design, novel, novelist, online writing portfolio, performer, playwright, spoken word, spoken word artist, website development, website redesign, writer, writing, writing portfolio | Leave a comment