Saturday October 29: 3:10 pm - 4:30 pm

3:10 P.M. Making Mosaics: Understanding Short Story Collections

with Alexander MacLeod, Kathy Friedman, Cynthia Flood, and Lara El Mekkawi.

BSIA Room #142


Mosaics are compiled by inlaying small pieces of variously colored material to form a uniform or complementary picture. Short story collections can function in a similar manner, with a series of various narratives coming together to create a cohesive collage. 

Join us for a lively discussion on short story writing and collecting with Kathy Friedman, Alexander MacLeod, and Cynthia Flood as they tell tales of lives altered, human connection and adaptation, and existence in the world today. Moderated by Lara El Mekkawi. 

  • ALEXANDER MACLEOD’s short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, and The O Henry Prize Stories. His first collection, Light Lifting (Biblioasis), was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. In 2021, he and his friend, Andrew Steeves of Gaspereau Press, were awarded the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award for their collaboration, Lagomorph. Alexander lives in Dartmouth and teaches at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.

    Alexander MacLeod’s Animal Person, a magnificent collection about the needs, temptations, and tensions that exist just beneath the surface of our lives.


    Photo credit: Heather A. Crosby Gionet

  • KATHY FRIEDMAN is the author of the short-story collection All the Shining People (Anansi, 2022). She studied creative writing at UBC and the University of Guelph, and was a finalist for the Writers’ Trust Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers. Her writing has appeared in Grain, Geist, PRISM international, Canadian Notes & Queries, and the New Quarterly, as well as other publications. She teaches in Humber College’s Bachelor of Creative and Professional Writing program and is also the co-founder and artistic director of InkWell Workshops. Kathy is currently working on a collection of essays about travel, music, and mental health. She lives in Toronto.

  • CYNTHIA FLOOD’s stories have won numerous awards, including The Journey Prize and a National Magazine Award, and have been widely anthologized. Her novel Making A Stone Of The Heart was nominated for the City of Vancouver Book Prize in 2002. She is the author of the acclaimed short story collections The Animals in Their Elements (1987), My Father Took A Cake To France (1992), and Red Girl Rat Boy (2013) which was shortlisted for the BC Book Prizes’ fiction award and long-listed for the Frank O’Connor award. She lives in Vancouver’s West End.

    Photo credit: Dean Sinnett

  • LARA EL MEKKAWI is currently a PhD candidate in English at the University of Waterloo. She is the recipient of the Lea Vogel-Nimmo English Graduate Professionalization Award (2022); the Provost Doctoral Entrance Award for Women (2019-20); and the Jinan Majzoub Excellence Award in English Literature (2017). Lara’s main areas of interest include cosmopolitanism, trauma studies, postcolonialism, critical race theory, and world literature. Lara studies the complicated connotations behind being a part of the world: her dissertation explores the traumas of forced migration and issues of belonging in Black and Palestinian Diaspora Contemporary Transnational Fiction respectively.

    Lara completed a BA (English) at Notre Dame University- Louaize, and an MA (English Literature) at the American University of Beirut. She participated in The Institute for World Literature (IWL) 2021 session. She is also currently pursuing the Fundamentals of University Teaching program. Lara also freelances as a book editor. She has edited Nour Abou Fayad’s debut novel The Complete Opposite of Everything (2019), Nadia Tabbara’s debut book Harness Your Creativity (2018) and co-edited a poetry collection titled And We Chose Everything (2018).