Today has been an interesting day to say the least.
I started the day with a heart-swell: my editor at The Globe and Mail forwarded me some delightful and lovely readers comments they had received on my essay that was published the other day. (Fanks for reading, everyone!) So that was a shot in the arm.
Then I received notification that I’ve been nominated for the 2018 Allan Slaight Prize for Journalism.
Wait . . . say that again? What?
The $10,000 prize celebrates the journalistic contributions by independent writers who have researched and examined some of the more pressing and timely issues of the day. And, apparently, this essay of mine that was published in The Walrus is the kind of stuff they’re jonesing for.
That piece — of which I am hugely proud, and was a joy to write (high-five to my editor!) — detailed my experience of developing a roll of film I found on the curb and then searching for the lost photographer.
But have you seen the other 9 nominees for this award? THEY’RE JOURNALISTIC HEAVYWEIGHTS. We’ve got Justin Ling (I started reading every word he published when we were both writing for VICE), Stephen Marche (I loved his first novel, and even gushed to him about it at his book launch at Hart House . . . like a psychopath), Kamal Al-Solaylee (true story: I cited much of his stuff in my Masters thesis), and even the guy who won the award last year! I mean, come on! I am indeed in excellent company and I am huge fans of all the other nominee’s work. I’m honoured to be named amongst them!
They say it’s an honour just to be nominated.
Fam, lemme tell ya, I’m just honoured they even know who the hell I am. Do you know how many pieces The Walrus publishes each year? Scores! I have no idea how my wee lil’ longform essay struck their fancy above everything else the award committee had to consider, but I am eternally humbled, delighted, pleased, obliged, and I may or may not have happy-cried a few times (Don’t tell anyone, I have a reputation to keep).
I’ve never been nominated for an award that I didn’t apply for myself. So this is new territory for me. I’ve always felt like an outsider in the Canadian writing community (It’s full of white men, and I’m a woman and an ethno-cultural minority. Many doors were slammed in my face because editors didn’t think my stories would resonate with – you guessed it – white men). So to be recognised in this manner is hugely meaningful to me.
Maybe I’ll win, maybe I won’t. But lemme tell ya — ya homegirl already feels like a winner.
One final note – today ended on a high-note as well. After every joyful thing that transpired today, I went grocery shopping, and this guy walks up to me in the chocolate aisle (as you do) and asks, “Is your name Christine?”
“Yeahhhhh,” I said tentatively.
“I follow you on Twitter, I read all of your stuff.”
…Pause for the length of the Old Testament…
“Wait. Have we ever met before?”
Guys, if ever there was a day to feel sassy, today was that day.
Fanks for all the support, my munchkins. I will keep you updated as things develop!
Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my published works!
November 20, 2018 | Categories: academic essays, celebrity friends, Christine Estima, contest, creative writing, portfolio, writing | Tags: Allan Slaight Award, author, award, Canada, canadian women writers, Christine Estima, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, Journalism, journalism award, Journalist, journalist award, op-ed, publishing, Short story, the globe and mail, the walrus, writer, writing | Leave a comment
People are always telling me that I should write about my love letter collection, especially after that Toronto Life profile on me a couple years ago. And this past year, I bought a stack of love letters in Toronto, and decided to go on an investigative journey to find out what happened to these lovers separated by war and an ocean. I wrote about it for The Globe and Mail (my second time being published in this national paper) and they published it today in their Remembrance Day issue. They sent over a photographer to my place to complement the piece, and in the print edition, they gave me a two-page spread. That’s prime real estate, ya’ll. If you can’t pick up a copy today, click here to read!
It was really great working with the team at G&M today, they were really excited about this project, and they even met with me in person so we could talk about ideas. I almost never meet my editors in real life! Mind-blown.
Thanks for reading and for the support, munchkins!
In other news, I recently was interviewed by Karim Kanji for his very popular podcast Welcome! He gets like 12,000 hits, which is crazy! We chatted about — you guessed it — love letters, my writing career, graffiti and street art, Banksy, Jian Ghomeshi, the #MeToo movement, and everything in between. It’s a really great listen! High five to Karim to inviting me.
As always, don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my published works!
November 10, 2018 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, creative writing, love, media, portfolio, writing | Tags: author, canadian women writers, Christine Estima, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, first world war, live-storytelling, love, love letters, op-ed, publishing, Remembrance Day, second world war, Short story, the globe and mail, world war 2, World War II, writer, writing, WWI, WWII, WWII history | 3 Comments
I don’t have anything else to say on the matter.
In terms of writing, this process was an extremely long one. For obvious reasons, this essay had to be fact-checked. But the process took over two months, mostly because the magazine (bless ’em) wanted to make sure they had crossed all the T’s and dotted all the i’s, in case anyone wanted to come back at me and call me a liar.
The burden of proof the fact-checker required was greater than what the police required to press charges against my assailant.
So I double-dare you to call me a goddamned liar.
Thanks for reading and for the support, my munchkins.
Fuck the patriarchy.
In other news, I spent the weekend with photographer and fellow writer Graham Isador, who took nice shots of me on a rooftop.
If you don’t think photographs are important, wait until they’re all you have left.
Check out my official website Christine Estima dot com for more of my published works.
October 16, 2018 | Categories: academic essays, Canadian Politics, Christine Estima, clusterfuck, creative writing, feminism, portfolio, writing | Tags: #metoo, #timesup, #yesallwomen, author, Canada, canadian women writers, Christine Estima, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, feminism, feminist, feminist writer, jian ghomeshi, kavanaugh hearings, me too, op-ed, publishing, Short story, the walrus, Toronto, walrus magazine, writer, writing | Leave a comment
Were the dreams nerdy?
Were they sex dreams?
Just like last time, I have been included in their latest podcast episode, which you can listen to on your device via the podcast app, or listen here:
October 8, 2018 | Categories: acting, Christine Estima, creative writing, toronto, writing | Tags: author, Canada, canadian women writers, Christine Estima, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, Grownups Read Things They Wrote as Kids, GRTTWaK, live performance, live storytelling event, live-storytelling, podcast, podcasts, Short story, spoken word, storyteller, Toronto, writer, writing | Leave a comment
So . . . this happened.
I sold an essay to The New York Times! They launched a new column in the Style section called Rites Of Passage, and I’m one of the first people to be published in it. I’ve been keeping a lid on this news for a while because, even after I sign a contract, I’m still never sure something will be published until I see it in print. Working with my editors at the Times was incredible, they were so kind and generous. This was a very quick process too, from submitting, to acceptance, to editing, to published. I’m so pleased with how it all turned out. Read it here!
One thing was edited out which I’ll share here: a behind the scenes look at some of things I wanted to say.
Well, I won’t tell you, I’ll show you:
I mean, it’s obvious why that wasn’t included in the final version, but as many of you already know, when it comes to my eyebrows, I GOT STORIES.
Thanks for the support, and if you want more, don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com, where you can read in full all of my published work!
August 16, 2018 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, creative writing, new york city, portfolio, writing | Tags: author, canadian women writers, Canadian writer, Christine Estima, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, ny times, op-ed, publishing, rites of passage, Short story, the new york times, the new york times style section, the times, Toronto, writer, writing | Leave a comment
So, funny story.
I was tweeting, as I am wont to do.
An editor at the New York Daily News saw it, and asked me if I’d like to write an op-ed.
So I banged out an essay in 27 minutes.
I’m published online and in today’s print edition so IF YOU LIVE IN NYC, can you head to a newsstand, grab a copy and help a sistah out? I’ll reimburse you if you mail it to meeeeeeee.
Seeing as how all of my UK/EU friends cannot read the essay online because of the new GDPR regulations, I have screencapped the whole thing here. Enjoy!
June 1, 2018 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, creative writing, feminism, jon stewart, new york city, portfolio, the daily show, writing | Tags: author, canadian women writers, Christine Estima, christine estima writer, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, feckless cunt, full frontal, full frontal on tbs, full frontal with samantha bee, ivanka trump, new york daily news, ny daily news, op-ed, publishing, sam bee, samantha bee, Short story, tbs, twitter, writer, 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 | 1 Comment
I’ve sold another short story! This time to Canadian literary icon Broken Pencil Magazine, the founders of CanZine, and a publication I’ve been reading for what feels like 20 years! (It most likely is actually 20 years, I’ve been in this writer game forrrreeeeeevvvvvaaaaaa).
Earlier this year, I found out they wanted my story, “Girl, Hold My Earrings.” It was a long wait between submission and acceptance so I kept following up with them. They told me the reason they were taking longer than expected was because it had gone through several reads. For anyone who knows anything about literary magazines, they usually have pools of readers who give every submission an eye. Stuff that makes it past the first readers, goes on to the secondary reads. Stuff that makes it past the secondary reads, goes on to debate with the editorial team for final selections. And in the end, my wee little story made through to the FINAL SELECTION BABY.
And as it turns out, they published it without changing a single word, comma or semi-colon. I will take that to mean my story was perfect from beginning to end. YOU HEAR THAT? ME = PERFECT.
Oh don’t give me that look.
It’s a pretty funny and short satirical piece. For context, the original title was, “8 Simple Rules for Dating My Ex-Boyfriend.”
You can buy the Fall 2017 issue 77 of Broken Pencil on magazine shelves now at the bookshops or online here!
Don’t forget to check out the official CHRISTINE ESTIMA DOT COM for more of my published short stories, essays, plays, and more!
November 3, 2017 | Categories: Christine Estima, creative writing, portfolio, writing | Tags: author, broken pencil, broken pencil magazine, Canada, canadian fiction, canadian literary magazines, canadian short stories, canadian women writers, canzine, Christine Estima, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, fiction author, fiction writer, op-ed, prose fiction, published author, publishing, short stories, Short story, writer, writing | Leave a comment
“Discussion Questions for Your Book Club,” my most recent short story, has been published in the new summer issue of Prism International, a literary magazine based out of B.C., and you can find it on the bookshelves nationwide now. I found a copy at Type Books! You can also order your copy online if you don’t live in Canada or near a book seller!
Plotless fiction! Why I never! Type Books, I resent that!
There’s a funny story behind this. So I’ve been a huge fan of Prism for years and have been trying to crack into their pages for over a decade. EASILY over a decade. Over the past year, I noticed that when I submitted a piece to their fiction editor (who recently left the mag….sad face!), he would reply with awfully kind and encouraging rejections. He was like, “I like this a lot. I can’t use it though. Submit to me again!”
So I kept submitting every time I had something new. And his replies were like, “Okay I laughed out loud at this, it’s hella-funny! Still can’t use it, but submit again!”
Personalized rejections are rare in this business, so I didn’t take his encouragement for granted. I kept trying and trying and trying. But, when you submit to magazines online using Submittable, you have to pay a small fee (which is standard across the board), so because I was submitting so much, he was like, “Your next submission is on me, just email it to me, and I’ll plug it into Submittable manually for you.”
Which was super duper kind of him, he didn’t have to do that at all. Anyway, it was that very free submission that turned out to be the winner. He got back to me and was like, “YAAS QUEEN.”
I’m paraphrasing of course.
But you get the idea.
TL;DR – Sure, talent is your most important asset, but you also need drive, ambition, patience, and persistence. If you don’t have those qualities, you won’t last. HUSTLE YOUR ASSES OFF, MY LITTLE CREATIVE MUNCHKINS.
One last thing I’ll say about this story — before I submitted it to Prism, I submitted it to Granta, a huuuuuuge literary magazine based out of the UK. They’re a big deal. They were doing a themed issue on Canada and were looking for Canadian writers and Canadian stories. The issue was edited by Canadian literary superstars Madeleine Thien and Catherine Leroux. Anyway, I got a rejection letter. Which is pretty standard in this industry, I get rejection letters all the time, and they’ve never bothered me. I’ve been lucky with some of the kind rejections I’ve received (like Prism!), but getting a personalized rejection is RARE. Like, it almost never happens. Boilerplate rejections are par for the course. So imagine my surprise when superstar Madeleine Thien added a personalized note at the bottom of the rejection letter!!
Sometimes, for a writer, all it takes is a little bit of encouragement and some nice words from a stranger to put you right again.
And almost directly following this, Prism was like, GURRRRRRL, this is dope. Done. Sold. Sign here.
Anyway, if you’ve read the story, I’d love your thoughts, comments, and feedback.
And as always, don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my published stories, essays, interviews, plays, and more!
August 12, 2017 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, creative writing, portfolio, writing | Tags: author, Canada, Canadian arts and culture, canadian fiction, canadian literary magazines, canadian literature, canadian stories, canadian women writers, Canadian writer, canlit, Christine Estima, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, fiction, granta magazine, madeleine thien, op-ed, prism international, prism magazine, published author, publishing, rejection, Short story, writer, writing | Leave a comment
FAIR WARNING this is a rather racy story that deal with some full-on topics. For the record, I’m not trying to say anything about the political issues associated with the themes in this story, I’m just exploring an idea and seeing where it goes. This piece is more about complicated emotions and feelings that are in direct conflict with each other, rather than the politicizing of bodies.
Also, creative writing is rarely sensical haha.
You can read this piece in full online right now and it will also appear in print soon, and I will of course update you when that happens! Enjoy at your own discretion, my munchkins.
* * *
A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to perform some of my Spoken Word/Live Storytelling at The Spoke.*
The theme of this night was Heartbeats, so I figured I could speak for 5-10 minutes about that!
I was the first storyteller of the night and it went very well. People came up to me afterwards to hold my hand and tell me they enjoyed my lovely little story. It’s so great connecting with people by just telling some of the fubar stories from my clusterfuck life, haha.
It was such a great night and I’m grateful to the organizers for asking me to participate. They recorded audio of the night so as soon as I have that, I will share it with you. It may also appear on their curated podcast soon.
Speaking of which, if you visit my Soundcloud, you can hear in their entirety some of the audio from my previous Spoken Word performances. I also have on there an Ambient Playlist that I’ve specially curated that is becoming quite popular on there. It’s a great playlist for writing and doing creative endeavours.
*fanks to Caron for the pics!
June 14, 2017 | Categories: Christine Estima, creative writing, photography, portfolio, writing | Tags: author, canadian women writers, canlit, Christine Estima, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, fiction, literary magazine, live performance, live storytelling event, live-storytelling, op-ed, Photography, prose, published author, publishing, Short story, soundcloud, spoken word, Toronto, writer, writing | 1 Comment
If you’re a longtime reader of this blog (which has officially been around for 12 years this month….), you might remember a decade ago when I sold a short story to Room Magazine. I posted about it here….my gosh that blog post hasn’t aged well. Also TMI, ESTIMA. Yeeesh.
Back then, Room was called Room Of One’s Own, but it’s always been an outlet for Canadian women to have feminist literature and art published. This was a big success for me at the time because I was still a novice, emerging writer with only a few successes under my belt. Also, I was still finding my style, voice, and form (which, for a writer, can take years).
In any case, recently Room contacted me to let me know they were putting together their 40th Anniversary Anthology and they wanted to include my short story!
Me: So you want to re-publish the same story a decade later?
Me: And you want to pay me a second time for the same story?
Me: What do you need me to do?
Them: Could you talk about it on social media?
Me: HOLD MY BEER.
In addition to this great honour, later this week they are having the Toronto launch party for the 40th Anniversary Anthology and they asked me to be one of the readers! Huzzah! Finally, a captive audience.
The event is the evening of April 22 at the Artscape Youngplace in the west end of Toronto, so if you’re about and free that evening, I’d love to see some familiar, friendly faces in the room. Get it? THE ROOM.
……(I’ll get my coat).
All the details for the even are here on the Facebook Event Listing so come out on Saturday and watch me be a huge ham in front of Can.Lit scenesters.
Also don’t forget to check the official Christine Estima dot com to read my published works and to check out all the great things I have coming up!
April 17, 2017 | Categories: academic essays, book, Christine Estima, creative writing, events, feminism, portfolio, toronto, writing | Tags: anthology, author, canadian fiction, canadian literary magazines, canadian literature, canadian stories, canadian women writers, Canadian writer, canadian writing, Christine Estima, Christine Estima book, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, feminism, feminist, feminist literature, fiction, fiction anthology, op-ed, prose, prose fition, publishing, room magazine, short prose, short stories, Short story, short story author, short story writing, Toronto, writer, writing, writing career | 1 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
Remember last summer when my essay ‘Sarajevo Roses’ was long-listed for the 2015 CBC Canada Writes Creative Non-Fiction Prize? They even profiled me on the CBC website (#swag). Well now I’ve sold the piece to The Puritan! It appears in their new issue which dropped today! And, best of all, you can read the piece in its entirety on The Puritan website!
It’s a piece about my time in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2008 when the former Serbian despot and war criminal Radovan Karadzic was finally arrested and transferred to The Hague to stand trial for crimes against humanity during the Yugoslav wars and the siege of Sarajevo. The Balkans have a special place in my heart, as I backpacked through the region at a time when you could still see war damage on every street. The former Yugoslav countries (I backpacked through Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Slovenia) hadn’t yet applied for EU membership, and for many of them, tourism was brand-new, as they had just eased their visa-requirements. It felt like I was walking through an authentic European culture untouched (for the most part) by globalization, westernization, and homogenization.
This blog is so old, you can actually read my posts from my time there. Here’s one from my time in Sarajevo and Mostar. There are photographs in that post of the actual Sarajevo Roses, and other things mentioned in The Puritan piece, like the destroyed Olympic bobsled track and the To Be Or Not To Be cafe.
It was really great working with the peeps at The Puritan, they were full of great ideas and had so many insights for my piece and how I should develop it. The issue looks nifty so check it out in full on their website!
Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com where you can find all of my published works and more!
February 15, 2016 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, creative writing, portfolio, writing | Tags: balkan wars, bosnia, bosnia-herzegovina, CBC, CBC Canada Writes, Christine Estima, christine estima writer, cnf, columnist, creative non fiction, creative non-fiction prize, editorials, essay, essayist, essays, magazine issue, magazine publishing, op-eds, prose, published, radovan karadzic, Sarajevo, Sarajevo roses, Short story, short story writing, siege of Sarajevo, the balkans, the puritan, the puritan magazine, war, war damage, writer, writer's life, writing, yugoslav wars | 1 Comment
Grab a copy of the current issue of subTerrain Magazine and turn to page 4 for my Creative Non-Fiction story, entitled “Rue Berri.” It’s a piece about my time in Montreal last year when I found the apartment my grandparents lived in during the 1940s. Above is a scan of the first page to whet your appetite. Included in the issue is also some of my original photography! See my hastily painted fingersnails there? SCHEXY.
Some of you have asked me where to find all these literary magazines in which I’m published. In Chapters/Indigo, you can find them in the Literature/Arts/Music section of the magazine racks. At indie book shops like Type Books or Drawn n’ Quarterly, just ask the clerks for help but those shops always have a large lit mag selection, so here’s a scan of the issue in which I appear so you can find it easily!
Working with the editors at subTerrain was a dream, they were so kind and helpful. I’m so honoured to be included in the pages of this amazingly beautiful issue, I’ve been trying to break into them since, I think, 2001 or 2002-ish, when I entered a crappy, crappy story into their Lush Triumphant contest. 15 years later – success! See? That’s how long it takes writers to improve. It’s a slow process indeed.
And, as always, don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for all of my published works, and more!
February 2, 2016 | Categories: Christine Estima, creative writing, photography, portfolio, writing | Tags: canadian fiction, canadian stories, canadian women writers, Canadian writer, canadian writing, chapters indigo, Christine Estima, christine estima dot com, christine estima writer, creative non fiction, creative writing, drawn and quarterly, editing, editor, editors, lit mags, literary agent, literary anthologies, literary journal, literary journals, literary magazine, literature, magazine publishing, Montreal, non-fiction, publishing, Rue Berri, Short story, story, subterrain, subterrain magazine, type books, writer, writer's life, writer's problems, writing | Leave a comment
The essence of drama is conflict. I had a lot of both in the past few years, but 2015 was oddly light and serene. I hustled my ass off, pulled every string, worked and LIVED, and received very little flack from the universe. 2015 was THE YEAR.
I started the year in New York City where I was housesitting. On a chance invite from a friend, I attended a Moth Storytelling event. I had been listening to the Moth podcast for years, and this was a story-slam event, meaning I could put my name in a hat and possibly be called up on stage. I threw my hat in the ring, decided what I would say while I was waiting in line to get into the venue, and wouldn’t you know it….
Live Storytelling and Spoken Word means a lot to me and I continued to do it back home in Toronto at Raconteurs:
Storytelling is an extension of writing to me. It feeds my need to tell stories and also to be a ham. I also discovered that working out ideas on stage proved excellent for cultivating written story ideas. 2015 was also the year of–
Chris Writes All The Things
Editors this year were like, “Hey Chris, do you want to publish stuff? HERE, HAVE ALL THE PUBLICATIONS YOU LIKE.”
It was like payback for many years of only publishing maybe one or two pieces every 6 months.
Of course, this wasn’t by fluke. I busted my ass, I submitted and submitted and submitted, and got rejection after rejection, but my acceptance rate kind of skyrocketed this year. I actually found myself in the odd position SEVERAL TIMES this year where I had to reject one publication because another had already bought my piece. I was selling pieces so quick, in some instances, I had to turn people down! I ALMOST sent them the lame boilerplate rejections they had sent me for years, but nahhhhhhh.
The first piece I sold this year was actually an academic essay which I sold to Palaver Journal based out of a southern University. I finished my Masters Degree ten years ago, but I can still flex my chops when I need to.
Then I sold my first piece to VICE, which was really exciting because I had been reading them since 1998 and am a huge fan, so it was great to see my pieces go across the VICE network and do really well.
Then I sold them another piece…
And then another…
And then a bajillion more…
I found out one of my short stories made the long-list for the prestigious CBC Canada Writes Creative Nonfiction Prize, and they profiled me on the CBC website!
Then I sold a short story to GRAIN when they wanted to buy another story of mine, but I had to turn them down because another journal had already bought it, so they asked for anything else I had, and snapped up this piece right away!
And then I cold-pitched METRO News Canada and they printed my piece in the centrefold:
And then EVENT published one of my Nonfiction stories in this issue:
My bio is a BOSS-ASS BITCH
Then I sold a travel writing piece to VERGE Magazine:
And just a couple weeks ago, another one of my serious essays about sexual harassment and the experience of reporting it to the police was published by my old friends at AufBau:
And this isn’t even all of my publications! Just a cross-section! I also sold three more stories whose publication dates are imminent, like TOUTE SUITE, dropping in a few weeks soon! So expect to read more from me in the new year!
Speaking of HouseSitting
This year, I did back…
…to back housesitting gigs.
These pictures aren’t even all of them. In total in 2015 I did ELEVEN housesits in 12 months. Considering that 4 of them lasted more than a month, and one of them lasted almost 3 months, that’s a lot of housesitting with snugglecats and dogs and not having to pay rent.
Last name Win, first name Epic.
And it’s not over yet. I’ve been housesitting for years and years now, so why stop in 2016. Starting in January, I will be housesitting in VIENNA!!
I haven’t been to Vienna since that first European clusterfuck trip in 2005 (here are some posts about that trip…. gosh this blog is old). I was last in Austria in 2012 for my Eurail Extravaganza, but I missed out on Vienna, so I’m super excited to spend a lot of time there this Winter.
I want to to everything Viennese, like eating strudel served by Michael Haneke on a harpsichord.
I’ll also be swinging through London, Prague, and Amsterdam, so the great tapestry of adventures I’m trying to build can continue!
Hey, You Never Know
One of my main mantra’s of 2015 was “Ask and you shall receive.” In the past I’ve refrained from asking for what I wanted because I assumed the answer would be no, or, more likely, I felt pretentious for even asking. Like, who the fuck are you Christine? You got some balls asking for that. That changed this year, when I realized that the worst thing that could happen was they’d say No. And if that’s the worst-case-scenario, it’s pretty surmountable. So with that in mind, I figured no-guts-no-glory. I’m a writer, so my income is limited (obvi). The amount of funds I can allocate to quality of life (movies, music, theatre, concerts, performances, dance, festivals, etc) is extremely limited. So what did I do when I wanted to go to an event but couldn’t afford it?
I asked for free tickets.
And I got them.
This year, just because I asked, I gained free entry to the following:
–Once: The Musical
-National Ballet of Canada performance of Sleeping Beauty
–Deadmouse: The Musical
–Basquiat exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario
-secret alt-J concert
-the Stars of the Lid concert at the Unsound Festival
–Joel Plaskett Emergency concert
–Bettroffenheit theatrical play
-several Toronto International Film Festival movies, including
Son of Saul.
If It Ain’t Broke…
Everyone knows I’m a huge flea market person (and this year I joined the super secret but now highly coveted collective of BUNZ Trading) so this year I procured a lot of fantastic antiques at bargain prices, and sometimes, for a few tokens or a bottle of wine.
I already had a typewriter, but I still went ahead and got myself a second one. Because reasons.
My two bee-yoots, side-by-side
And then I got a rotary phone. It’s a necessity in the modern world.
And then I finally hooked up speakers to my record player, so I went on a vinyl-buying binge, and got some gems like Duke Ellington (click the little volume button in the bottom right of the vid to listen!):
and the master Django Reinhard!
With these new gadgets, I am now able to open a sassy new office… in 1979.
Speaking of Music
I went to some kick-ass concerts this year. In years past I had grown a bit tiresome of concerts (I had been a music critic for about 5 years and now I have a touch of tinnitus…) but, I guess… YOLO
This year saw me at:
-Stars of the Lid
-Joel Plaskett Emergency
And, my, the new music I discovered this year!
FAV SINGLES OF 2015 include:
-“Emotion” by BORNS
-“Carry On” by Coeur de Pirate
-“Landfill” by Daughter
-all tracks by Tycho
-“All Clear” by Aidan Knight
-“Let it go” by Saint Saviour
-“Black to Gold” by Dear Rouge
-“Them” by Nils Frahm
-“Pretty Pimpin” by Kurt Vile
And the Oscar Goes To…
I saw a lot of films this year, and even reviewed some during TIFF for VICE. Here are the ones that haunted me long after the credits rolled:
-Son of Saul
As you can see from this list, I am not really a mainstream/Hollywood/wide-release film person. I prefer indie cinema, the ones that make the festival circuit. They usually have no money behind them and therefore can take more risks or tell stories we don’t normally see. So you can take your Chris Nolan/JJ Abrahms/Michael Bay clusterfuck and order it on DVD. Yawn.
Get Busy Livin’
As I said, I started the year in New York (housesitting). I also traveled to my hometown of Montreal (housesitting), and just recently I went to Miami (housesitting). But I really wanted to exercise my passport, so I bounced down to Mexico, Guatemala and Belize for a Mayan Adventure!
I made a short film about my experiences, I figured it was more fun than posting a bunch of touristy photos. I call it GET RICH OR DIE MAYAN. Enjoy!
To thine own selfie be true
View this post on Instagram
My best #instagram pics of 2015! Smashed my previous records too! Fanks for following and engaging, munchkins! #memoicono #statigram #instagood #instadaily #instagraphy #instaselfie #instatoronto #instapic #instagramhub #visualarchitects #urbanromantix #agameoftones #artofvisuals #torontoigers #torontophoto #toronto_insta #torontograffiti #streetart #streetphotography #igdaily #igaddict #igmasters #vsco #vscocam
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I’ll end this post with the one thing everyone really wants to see:
BEST SELFIES OF 2015
I don’t really post selfies anymore, but I do take them from time to time. Here are the ones I took and never posted!
Remember, you only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
Happy New Year 2016, munchkins.
SEE YOU IN VIENNA!
December 29, 2015 | Categories: academic essays, blogger, Christine Estima, clusterfuck, concert, creative writing, critic, critiques, events, feminism, film, GIFs, movies, music, photography, review, reviews, social media, TIFF, toronto, travel, Vice, writing | Tags: 2015, aidan knight, alt-j, ask and you shall receive, AufBau Jewish Monthly magazine, austria, author, basquiat, Belize, best films of 2015, best movies of 2015, best of, best selfies of 2015, best singles of 2015, bettroffenheit, CBC Canada Writes, chilly gonzales, Christine Estima, Christine Estima Metro News, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, citizenfour, coeur de pirate, columnist, concert review, creative non fiction, creative writing, daughter, deadmouse the musical, dear rouge, der naermeste, editorials, essay, eurail, Event literary magazine, film critique, film review, GIFs, GRAIN literary journal, Guatemala, happy new year, hauschka, homesick, House-sitting, housesitting, kiasmos, kurt vile, live-storytelling, Metro News, Metro News Canada, metro views, Mexico, Miami, Montreal, movie critique, movie review, new york city, Nils Frahm, novelist, once the musical, op-ed, publications, publishing, Raconteurs, record player, rotary phone, saint saviour, selfies, Short story, son of saul, spark london, spoken word, stars of the lid, tbex, The Moth, TIFF, Toronto International Film Festival, travel, travel blogger, travel skills, tycho, typewriter, verge magazie, vice canada, vice magazine, Victoria, vienna, vinyl, writer, writers of instagram, writers of twitter, writing, year in review | Leave a comment
I’m really excited to share that my non-fiction story, ‘Spray It, Don’t Say It,’ has been published in the latest issue of Event Literary Magazine, that for decades has published the best short prose and poetry in the country. I have been trying to crack into Event for 10 years (they are notoriously selective!), so I was delighted when they snatched this up with such kind words for my voice and style. The piece is about my time as a waif on the streets of Europe
And here’s my EVENT bio. Awww yeeeeeeah, dis mah shit. This is only a slice of my publications, my full list of publications can be found here
You can pick up Event at any bookshop in the country. As always, don’t forget to check out the official ChristineEstima dot com for more of my writing, performances, and recent news!
October 20, 2015 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, creative writing, portfolio, writing | Tags: Amsterdam, canadian fiction, canadian stories, canadian women writers, Canadian writer, canadian writing, Christine Estima, christine estima writer, creative non fiction, Europe, EVENT, Event literary magazine, EVENT magazine, graffiti, graffiti poem, Laser 3.14, Laser314, latest issue, non-fiction, Poetry, prose, publication, publishing, short prose, Short story, story, street art, writer, writer problems, writer's life, writing | 1 Comment
Another publication! The life of this writer has been so exciting lately. Grab a copy of GRAIN Literary Magazine, issue 42.4. Turn to page 13 and you’ll find my short story, “That Slice of Recklessness is Delicious.” It’s about typewriters (of course). Here’s a scan of the first page of my story to pique your interest:
You can pick up GRAIN in the magazine section of any book shop or book seller!
It was such a pleasure to work with the editors and peeps at GRAIN, they really supported my voice and style. Also, I’ve been trying to crack into GRAIN for about 10 years, so I’m extra excited about this.
Don’t forget to check out my official website for more samples from my published work!
September 22, 2015 | Categories: Christine Estima, creative writing, portfolio, writing | Tags: author, canadian fiction, canadian stories, canadian women writers, canadian writing, Christine Estima, christine estima writer, creative writer, creative writing, fiction, fiction author, GRAIN, GRAIN literary journal, GRAIN literary magazine, journal of eclectic writing, literary journal, literary magazine, new issue, portfolio, prose, prose fiction, publications, published writer, Short story, short story author, typewriter, typewriters, writer, writing, writing portfolio | 3 Comments
Wonderful news to report that I hinted at in my last post!
One of my short stories has been sold to The Madison Review, a literary journal published by the University of Wisconsin. It’s entitled, “Waiting For Bardot,” (ha ha) and it’s the first story I’ve published that A) has a male protagonist (usually I write in a female voice, but I thought, what the hey)…. and B) has been published in an American literary journal. I’ve published a lot of articles in American magazines, but all of my literary work (aka short stories and prose fiction) has always been published in Canadian literary journals. American literary journals are much harder to crack because their volume of submissions is greater, as is their readership. So I’m quite chuffed to be included! The editors said they loved my story and are excited to include it. Aw. Bless.
**Warning: I’ve had a lot of trouble viewing the issue using Google Chrome for some reason, but when I open it in Safari, or in Internet Explorer (ug), there’s no problem at all. I haven’t tested it on Mozilla Firefox. So if you’re using Google Chrome and can’t open it like me, try another web browser.
I’ve screen-capped the first page of my story below to whet your appetite! Read on below:
Fanks for reading my work, my little munchkins! I’m so excited to have another literary publication this year (after getting a short story published just last year) and I’m so excited for the future! My career is taking me to amazing new places, and if I can keep up this hustle, 2014 is going to be my year. I can feel it!
December 2, 2013 | Categories: Christine Estima, creative writing, portfolio, writing | Tags: Bardot, creative writing, literary journal, literary magazine, prose fiction, publishing, Short story, The Madison Review | 1 Comment