Forming First Collections
With Shashi Bhat, Kate Cayley, Carrie Snyder, and Katie Zdybel.
How does a group of stories become a collection?
Join Carrie Snyder as she talks to Shashi Bhat, Kate Cayley, and Katie Zdybel about their experience in publishing their debut, newly launched short story collections. Did these writers set out to create collections of short stories, or did the collections naturally form? What links the stories together? Tune in to unpack these questions and more, as they reveal the story behind their stories.
Shashi Bhat is the author of The Most Precious Substance on Earth (McClelland & Stewart, Canada, Fall 2021; Grand Central Publishing, US, Spring 2022) and a short story collection also forthcoming from McClelland & Stewart. Her debut novel, The Family Took Shape (Cormorant, 2013), was a finalist for the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. Shashi’s fiction has appeared in publications including The New Quarterly, The Malahat Review, The Fiddlehead, Best Canadian Stories 2018 & 2019, Journey Prize Stories 24 & 30, and others. She was the winner of the 2018 Journey Prize and was a 2018 National Magazine Award finalist for fiction. Shashi is editor of EVENT and teaches creative writing at Douglas College.
Kate Cayley has published two short story collections and two collections of poetry. She has won the Trillium Book Award, an O. Henry Prize, the Mitchell Prize for Poetry, and a Chalmers Fellowship, and been a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, the ReLit Award and the K. M. Hunter Award. She has also written a number of plays, which have been performed in Canada, the US and the UK. She lives in Toronto with her wife and their three children.
Carrie Snyder is the author of three books of fiction, including Girl Runner, which was translated into a dozen languages and was a finalist for the Rogers Writers Trust Prize, and The Juliet Stories, a finalist for the Governor General’s award. Her new novel, Francie’s Got A Gun, is forthcoming in 2022 from Knopf Canada. Her creative non-fiction has been published in a number of anthologies. Carrie is also the co-founder and project coordinator of The X Page Storytelling workshop, a multicultural performance project that she runs in collaboration with other artists in Waterloo, Ontario, which is where she lives with her family. You can find Carrie on Instagram; or at carriesnyder.com, where she still insists on publishing a literary blog (her children have firmly requested she not look into TikTok).
Equipoise, Katie Zdybel‘s debut collection of short fiction, was shortlisted for the 2018 HarperCollins/UBC Prize for Best New Fiction and received a 2019 Canada Council for the Arts Award. Stories within the collection were awarded the 2018 Peter Hinchcliffe Short Fiction Award, the 2019 Exile’s Carter V. Cooper Short Fiction Award for Emerging Writers (a second story by Katie was also shortlisted for the prize), and were publisher-nominated for a 2019 Writers’ Trust Journey Prize and a 2021 National Magazine Award. Stories from the collection have appeared in The New Quarterly, Exile Quarterly, The Malahat Review, The Antigonish Review, and elsewhere. Katie is represented by the CookeMcDermid agency; she’s a recent graduate of the UBC MFA in Creative Writing program and is currently at work on her first novel with generous support from a second Canada Council for the Arts Award.