Friday, March 23, 2007

All change, all the time

As you may have noticed, AuthorsAloud has a new look. Aside from what I hope you'll agree are aesthetic improvements — a cleaner, more modern design — the changes are intended to have three benefits:
1. Easier navigation.
There should never be confusion about where you are in AuthorsAloud, or how to find what you want. Every page now features the same sitemap-style navigation menu on the right, including the name of every author to be found in the site, so you can always find your way quickly to the reading or the section you're looking for.
2. Quick links to fiction and poetry.
The Welcome page's "at a glance" area offers three buttons that will give you fast access to groups of authors where you'll be able to see ... at a glance ... who is reading, and what work they're reading from, and then link directly to that reading.
3. More recognition for authors.
The featured readings area at the top of the page shows six faces. The top three will show the latest three readings to be added to AuthorsAloud. The bottom three will rotate through the AuthorsAloud library on a regular basis to remind visitors of readings they may have missed.

As always, if you have any thoughts or suggestions for AuthorsAloud, use the contact page to let us know. We're all in this together.

Monday, March 19, 2007

First look

One of the chief challenges of any website is finding a way to help visitors move through the site
to find the things they're looking for. With that in mind, here's an early peek at one of the elements of the new AuthorsAloud design, coming soon:

Stay tuned for more...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

A poetic debut

Listen to Micheline Maylor read and you can tell from the skill of her expression that she's a born poet who knows exactly what she's doing. Of course, the fact that Micheline has just published her debut, Full Depth: The Raymond Knister Poems, belies the fact that she's been a poetry fixture for some time. Her decision to devote her first collection to the life and tragic death of another poet suggests a dedication to the art that's as easy to admire as her talent.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Good things coming

Here's a heads-up to stay tuned to AuthorsAloud because in the coming weeks, we'll be introducing a new look with some new interface enhancements. How that's going to happen with all the other deadlines closing in at the home office, I'm not sure, but we'll manage it.

Meanwhile, when you've heard everything you want to hear for the time being on AuthorsAloud and you have some extra lit-listening time on your hands, be sure to head over to Bookninja to hear Donna Bailey Nurse's interview with Hamilton writer Lawrence Hill, brother of singer-songwriter Dan Hill, who has a new novel out, The Book of Negros. It's fascinating stuff.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A few challenges

The spam monster whacked AuthorsAloud today, so until a solution can be found we have shut down the contact page. With any luck we'll get it back up and working soon, but until then, life goes on and the readings keep coming. So if you're a writer or publisher who would like to have a reading featured on AuthorsAloud, please send an email to Trevor Cole

By the way, we're testing out a new presentation style for the readings pages. If you're curious, just click on the images for Trevor Cole or Catherine Bush below, or Mark Lavorato to your right, and see what pops up. There may be more refinements to this coming soon, but for now, use the comments link to let us know what you think.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


Congratulations to one of the AuthorsAloud family, Caroline Adderson, for winning the Marian Engel Award last week. It's an enormous achievement — Adderson joins an illustrious group of winners, including Barbara Gowdy, Carol Shields and Anita Rau Badami — and she's done the west coast proud.

And speaking of joining illustrious groups, Mark Lavorato adds his name to the AuthorsAloud ranks this week with a reading from his just-published novel, Veracity. It's a disturbing scene that Mark gives us, all the more so because — and here is the value of hearing an author read his own work — Mark presents it in a calm, matter-of-fact style that belies the horror of what's happening. If you're an animal lover, brace yourself.

Sunday, March 4, 2007


History links us to places and people we rarely expect. I've never met David Elias except through email conversation, but he comes from Winkler, Manitoba, near the area he set his novel Sunday Afternoon, and for that reason I feel a connection to him than I wouldn't had he come from, say, Plum Coulee, 13 km east of there. Why? Because when I lived in Winnipeg for a time with my wife and daughter, we got our dog from a bison farm in Winkler. As my daughter and I drove down toward the U.S./Canada border, two recent émigrés from Toronto, we watched a field fire burning off stubble and filling the horizon with smoke, and wondered in our big-city innocence what kind of disaster had struck. Meeting our puppy pushed all that from our minds, of course, and now that he's five, all 70 fluffy black pounds of him act as our daily reminder of that place. Winkler, Manitoba. And now this writer, David Elias.