russell smith

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Fiction / creative non-fiction

Russell Smith is an award-winning novelist and columnist. He has published nine books, eight fiction and one non-fiction. His novels and short story collections have been nominated for the Giller Prize, The Governor General’s Award, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the Toronto Book Award, the Impac Dublin Prize and the Danuta Gleed Award. He has won the Canadian Magazine Award for Fiction twice. His most recent book is the story collection CONFIDENCE. He writes a weekly column on the arts for the Globe and Mail, and teaches fiction writing in the MFA in Creative Writing programme at the University of Guelph.

Russell is particularly interested in story structure and plot, and in the use of dialogue in narrative. He welcomes submissions in fiction of all genres – including thriller, fantasy, speculative fiction and erotica – and non-fiction, particularly memoir.

My job as a coach and editor is to understand, first of all, what it is you are trying to do. It is not my work; it is yours, and I want to provide a smooth path for that book to emerge. What that entails is seeing to the heart of the story: where does the drama lie, what is the most compelling part of the narrative, what is digressive? I have many years of experience of working with emerging writers. I am overwhelmingly encouraging, as I find something of delight in every story, yet I will firmly guide you away from what is superfluous or confusing. I hope to be able to always remind you of how readers will experience your story – what they will find exciting or what they will find dull. I will guide you through revisions, paying particular attention at that stage to precision and play in language. I want to make your story beautiful at every level.

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