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Hear ye! Hear ye! Modest contest announced


Around our house, the most anticipated book of the year is 50 Canadians Who Changed the World. HarperCollins Canada will publish it in October. The author? Mais, c’est moi! The jacket copy promises an “astonishing array of activists, humanitarians, musicians and writers, comedians, visionaries, scientists, and inventors, all of whom are transformative figures who have made an impact internationally.” It tells us that cutting-edge Canada is the focus of the book, and that “two thirds of those celebrated here are alive and thriving today.” It even names a few names, as you can see here. Last week, I received a small number of “ARCs” or Advance Reading Copies. These are uncorrected proofs subject to amendment. Now, I am going to give away one of these advance copies. Okay, okay: it's a VERY MODEST contest. I will sign this paperback ARC and mail it to the first person who submits a winning entry. Here’s the deal: you get one chance. You can name seven names. Five of those must be the names of figures included in the book . . . and also must NOT be among those identified at the other end of the above link. You can enter through the comment section below, or else through Facebook, if you are an FB friend. Deadline: May 30.
Ken McGoogan
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Our Hero brings John Rae back to Calgary


In 1999, when he was working as books editor at the Calgary Herald, Our Hero traveled to the Arctic with a fellow Calgarian to erect a plaque at the spot where explorer John Rae discovered the final link in the Northwest Passage. He told that story in his award-winning book Fatal Passage, which became an international bestseller and inspired a BBC docudrama. Last August, Ken returned to the High Arctic to see if the John Rae plaque was still intact. On Friday, August 30, he will bring that story full circle, when he returns to Calgary to give an illustrated lecture at the Calgary Public Library (John Dutton Theatre). Ken will be appearing courtesy of Clan MacRae.
Ken McGoogan
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John Rae lives!


As you can see from this poster, an international conference on Arctic explorer John Rae is happening in Orkney this September. Rae solved the riddle of the lost 1845 expedition of Sir John Franklin, and also discovered the final link in the Northwest Passage. Yes, I will be in Stromness during the conference, serving as writer-in-residence. And, yes, I will avidly participate: can't wait! This is a big year for Rae. I recently spoke about him at the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Those with a passion for the subject can even catch some of the audio. John Rae will have me in Calgary late in August . . . but about that, I will reveal more soon. Why is the peerless explorer, the focus of my book Fatal Passage, attracting so much attention? This September marks the 200th anniversary of his birth.
Ken McGoogan
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Before turning mainly to books about arctic exploration and Canadian history, Ken McGoogan worked for two decades as a journalist at major dailies in Toronto, Calgary, and Montreal. He teaches creative nonfiction writing through the University of Toronto and in the MFA program at King’s College in Halifax. Ken served as chair of the Public Lending Right Commission, has written recently for Canada’s History, Canadian Geographic, and Maclean’s, and sails with Adventure Canada as a resource historian. Based in Toronto, he has given talks and presentations across Canada, from Dawson City to Dartmouth, and in places as different as Edinburgh, Melbourne, and Hobart.

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