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Algonquin By the People For the People Tuesday, March 28, 2017
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Articles submitted by: Helena Merriam

Algonquin Reads Author Event

photograph of Zoe Whittall

Zoe Whittall

On Friday March 11, we welcomed Award winning author, Zoe Whittall to Algonquin College, for her reading and Q&A session. We were delighted to see so many people in attendance, coming from different areas of the college. 

Zoe Whittall read three passages from her book, Holding Still for as long as possible and then answered questions from the audience. And there were a lot of questions!  One student was amazed, and perhaps discouraged, that Ms Whittall’s novel had gone through around 25 drafts!  Sobering words, that we can’t all become award winning authors over night.  It is always interesting to learn about the writing process, when you love to read books. How do these authors come up with these ideas? How do they make sure they get the words right? It was interesting to learn about the mechanics of writing too. Ms Whittall described the process in great detail, about going through her manuscript many times taking out certain parts, adding certain parts, giving her book to others to read it over to see if the voices sounds credible.   It was a great and informative event and we hope to host more authors in the future.

Thanks to the Algonquin Reads team for making it happen, especially Joanne McDonald, Catrina McBride, Cecelia Taylor, Marni Squire, and Joan Callaghan.  Thanks also to the Professional Writing professors, Nathan Greenfield and Ian Roy for bringing their classes to this event.

posted by Helena Merriam in Learn and have No Comments

Algonquin Reads Student Contest

The Algonquin Reads Student Contest!

Let your students know they could win CASH prizes and be published by entering the Algonquin Reads student contest. 

New to this year, we are opening up the contest to include visual submissions such as drawings, videos, illustrations, in addition to written submissions. There are two categories for the contest, creative (short story, poem, screenplay, video, art work, illustration, animation or drawing) or critical (critical essay, opinion piece or journalistic essay)  and must be inspired by the 2010-2011 Algonquin Reads book, Holding still for as long as possible by Zoe Whittall. The book is available at the First Class bookstore and can be loaned from the Learning Resource Centre/Library. 

  Two prizes of $150 will be awarded and submissions may be published in Algonquin Times and/or posted on the Algonquin Reads web site. Word/size restrictions may apply and submissions must be in by March 15, 2011.

Full contest details can be found on the Algonquin Reads web site at  or by contacting Helena Merriam at merriah@algonquincollege or 613-727-4723 x5338.

posted by Helena Merriam in Learn and have No Comments

Zoe Whittall is Coming to Algonquin!

Zoe Whittall

Author Zoe Whittall

The Algonquin Reads committee is pleased to announce that Zoe Whittall, author of Holding Still as Long as Possible,  is coming to Algonquin College, Friday March 11, from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm in T102, for an author reading and Q& A session.

Zoe Whittall is a staff writer with the Canadian magazine, Quill & Quire,  and an award winning novelist and poet. Her debut novel Bottle Rocket Hearts was a Globe and Mail “Top 100″ book and a Quill & Quire Best Book. In 2007, she was named Emerging Author of the Year by NOW Magazine.

 Her second novel, Holding Still as long as possible, chosen as this year’s Algonquin Reads pick, tells the story of the interlocking lives of two young women and a man who live in the seedy but gentrifying Toronto neighbourhood of Parkdale:  Billy, a former teen idol from the Lilith Fair days; Josh, a shy and sardonic paramedic who travels the city patching up damaged bodies; and Amy, a filmmaker coping with her first broken heart. When a freak accident changes everything, each character must decide how to cope with the things they can’t control.

Learn about the writing process, find out more about a great book and enjoy some refreshments on us!   Bring your class, lots of seats available!

To learn more, contact Helena Merriam at or by calling 613-727-4723 x5338

posted by Helena Merriam in Learn and have Comments (78)

icon for post Algonquin Reads is Back !

Algonquin Reads is back again for our second year, championing the book by Zoe Whittall entitled Holding Still For As Long As Possible.  Get the book at a great price at the First Class bookstore – best price anywhere, or check it out from the LRC/Library.   Read the book and join in our events and activities throughout the year!

Here is what Lynne Eagan, Coordinator, College Preparation, had to say about this year’s book:

I am pleased Algonquin Reads chose Holding Still for as Long as Possible as the book for the Algonquin community to read this year.  By coincidence, I read this book this summer and I found that the voices were not ones I had heard before.  I felt the book gave me some insight into a lives and feelings of twenty somethings living in downtown Toronto.  The characters in this book, I expect, are not much different from many of the students walking the halls of Algonquin.  This book can provide a great spring board for discussion about who these young people are.  I am particularly looking forward to meeting the author. Read more…

posted by Helena Merriam in Learn and have Comments (94)