A conversation between University of Victoria writing professors David Leach and Deborah Campbell (plus guest authors and experts) about the art, craft and ethics of researching, writing and revising creative nonfiction, literary journalism and other forms of nonfiction prose. Fresh episodes (almost) every Monday morning.
Intro/Outro music, "Be With You Too" by Pipe Choir (Creative Commons 1.0)
Ep. 19: J.B. MacKinnon, The Art of Longform Nonfiction
Award-winning author J.B. MacKinnon returns to discuss his career in longform narrative nonfiction, the need for structure and intuition, how to keep a reader interested, his super-power and his Achilles heel as an author, and why writers need to strike a fine balance between bricks and jellyfish when building a story.
Ep. 18: J.B. MacKinnon, The Day the World Stops Shopping
Co-hosts Deborah Campbell & David Leach talk to literary journalist J.B. MacKinnon about his new book, The Day the World Stops Shopping: How Ending Consumerism Saves the Environment and Ourselves, including the motivation and research process for this globe-hopping "nonfiction thought experiment," as well as how the pandemic forced him to revisit his ideas and revise his manuscript. Bonus: J.B. reads an excerpt!
Ep. 17 Writing About Family (& other sensitive subjects)
Susan Olding joins Deborah Campbell and David Leach to discuss the art, ethics, and pitfalls of writing nonfiction stories about family members as well as other vulnerable subjects. How does an author balance a responsibility for their subjects and for the quest for truth in their writing? Are we always selling someone out?
Ep. 16 Susan Olding, Big Reader
Susan Olding joins the podcast to discuss her new collection of essays, Big Reader (Freehand Books) and talk about the importance of reading to her life, the differences between the personal essay and the memoir, intuitive vs. engineered structure, research in nonfiction, finding metaphors in fine details, and when writing nonfiction is easy—and when it's hard.
Big Reader; essays, by Susan Olding
Ep. 15: Our (Pandemic) Year in Reading
Deborah Campbell & David Leach discuss the surreal experience of reading in the pandemic, as well as highlights from their favourite books & essays, including memoir, investigative journalism, essay collections and even a few (very long) novels. BONUS: now with the funky Zoom recording glitches fixed!
Ep. 14: Jivesh Parasnam of Rumble Theatre
UVic writing prof David Leach talks to playwright and performer Jivesh Parasnam, co-founder of Rumble and Pandemic Theatres, about memory & the imagination, the problem with identity plays, Hindu philosophy, and the need for satire in our post-pandemic future.
Listen to his one-man show Take d Milk, Nah? on CBC's PlayMe series.