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Writers' Union of Canada moves to admit self-published authors

Hats off to Merilyn Simonds! She not only runs an amazing meeting. But, with the help of Ottawa writer Eric Enno Tamm, she has pointed the way to a renaissance for The Writers' Union of Canada. In response to revolutionary changes in the publishing landscape, TWUC members at their 40th AGM voted unanimously to admit self-published authors. There WILL be an approval process. And the measure must win the approval of the membership in a referendum. Simonds, the outgoing chair of TWUC, called it "a landmark decision . . . that addresses our sincere desire for inclusion and innovation, while maintaining our tradition of defining and upholding professional standards for writers in Canada.” She noted that in "an increasingly fractured literary landscape, others in our sector are looking to TWUC to define what it means to be a professional book author." If the move wins approval of the general membership, she said, "we hope that granting agencies, festivals, residencies and other support programs for writers will follow TWUC’s lead and expand their own definitions to welcome what is becoming an increasingly important practice among professional writers.” And here's a link to the official release.
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.