Shaming or Celebrating? Challenging Norms in Personal Nonfiction
with Carolina Echeverria, Sheniz Janmohamed, Amanda Leduc, Heidi Reimer & Susan Scott
It’s hard to write deeply personal nonfiction, harder still to get it published. Yet there is a crying need, we know, to confront what is hidden and taboo. What to do in the face of standoff? Are there strategies we can all adopt, conversations we can each initiate—and with whom? Join us in celebrating how one wildly unpopular topic (spiritual memoir) could become a beloved book (Body & Soul from Caitlin Press) that breaks down barriers for others—and possibly, for you. Moderated by Susan Scott.
An excerpt from her memoir appears in Body & Soul: Stories for Skeptics and Seekers (Caitlin Press 2019), and her artwork adorns the cover. The title of her unsettling memoir-in-progress is Native Immigrant: A Personal Journey into Our Home and Native Land.
HEIDI REIMER’S short stories and essays have appeared in Chatelaine, The New Quarterly, Little Fiction, Literary Mama, Stealing Time, and Hip Mama, and in the anthologies Outcrops: Northeastern Ontario Short Stories, The M Word: Conversations About Motherhood, and Body & Soul: Stories for Skeptics and Seekers.
Heidi lives and works in Toronto. She is currently at work on a novel.
SUSAN SCOTT is the editor of Body & Soul: Stories for Skeptics and Seekers (Caitlin Press 2019) and the author of Temple in a Teapot. A deep interest in the interplay of the edgy, the iffy, and the sublime, and in championing neglected voices, informs her editorial instincts.
She serves as The New Quarterly’s lead nonfiction editor, retreat director, associate director of the Wild Writers Festival, and on the board of the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund. Her next book, Sainted Dirt, is a reckoning with land, language, family, and imperfect teaware.
AMANDA LEDUC is a disabled author with cerebral palsy whose work has been shortlisted for the CBC Short Story Prize, the CBC Creative Nonfiction Prize, the Malahat Review’s Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize, and the Thomas Morton Fiction Prize. Her first novel, The Miracles of Ordinary Men, was shortlisted for the ReLit Award. Her new novel, The Centaur’s Wife, is forthcoming from Random House Canada.
Amanda lives and works in Hamilton, Ontario, where she serves as the Communications and Development Coordinator for The Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD), Canada’s first festival for diverse authors and stories. Her first full-length work of nonfiction, Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space, is forthcoming with Coach House Books in February 2020.
SHENIZ JANMOHAMED (MFA) is a firm believer in fostering community through collaboration, compassion and creativity. In her own practice, she strives to embody words through performance, land art and writing in the ghazal form. A poet, educator and land artist, Sheniz has performed her work in venues across the world, including the Jaipur Literature Festival, Alliance Française de Nairobi and the Aga Khan Museum.