The EW Reading Series Schedules Last Events for June and July
With sadness yet great optimism for the future, The Emerging Writers Reading Series has decided to discontinue its programming for the 2016-2017 season. A collective of dedicated volunteers runs the EW Reading Series, and in order to make room to start new projects, focus on our careers, and develop our own creative work, we have made the hard decision to shut down our programming at Duffy’s Tavern starting this summer.
The EW Reading Series was founded by Jess Taylor in January of 2012, with our first show running in March 2012. Since then, we have featured four new writers a month, excepting August and December, and have given exposure to past readers through our BIG on Bloor festival and to poets with our yearly installation at PULP: Paper Art Party. We have also continued to promote the work of our past readers as they have grown from new writers to writers with awards and published books.
In 2013, Sofia Mostaghimi joined the Emerging Writers team as Fiction Curator and assisted with every event. Mostaghimi will go on as an organizer, high school teacher, and writer of fiction. Ralph Kolewe was our dedicated show photographer for several years and showcased excellent photos of each month’s readers. Recently, he also began filming interviews of our readers, helping to archive each month’s performers.
In January 2015, Hannah Peck, Jessica Bebenek, and Amanda Childs joined our team. Jessica Bebenek stepped into the role of Poetry Curator, a role, which she held until leaving to pursue her MA in Creative Writing at Concordia University. Prior to this role, Bebenek often volunteered as a photographer for EW and always brought her positive energy to the EW community. She is still enrolled at Concordia University where she is finishing her degree.
Hannah Peck began as our Special Projects Assistant, working on our BIG on Bloor festival and PULP: Paper Art Party, as well as new initiatives like our online interview series. Peck stepped into the role of Poetry Curator upon Bebenek’s departure. She continues to write poetry and is currently working as a psychotherapist both at a clinic and through her own private practice.
Amanda Childs joined Emerging Writers as our Social Media/PR Representative and provided support for every show, coordinated and maintained our social media accounts, spearheaded our interview series, and did outreach for Emerging Writers. Childs continues to write poetry and creative work and also continues in the field of publicity, where she now works as a full-time Sales Coordinator for a catering company.
We would also like to thank our volunteers over the past four and a half years: Suzanna Derewicz, Magdalena Wolak, Annick MacAskill, Andrew Brobyn, Adam Zachary, Kieran O’Brien, Nicole Chin, Faith Arkorful, Hannah Brown, Johnathan Fahey, Shannon Page, Marsha Courneya, Victoria Hetherington, Thomas Dearnley-Davison, Lauren Mitchell, Jeremy Hanson-Finger, Jane Ozkowski, Suzanne Sutherland, Naomi Freeman, Zani Showler, Daria Garvrilina, Vicki Zhang, Bardia Sinaee, Matthew Walsh, Stephanie Coffey, Steve Cassidee, Nicole Royer, and Nadia Ragbar.
Thank you as well to the coordinators of BIG on Bloor and PULP: Paper Art Party, especially Rotem Yaniv and Michelle Senayah who allowed Emerging Writers to be more than a traditional reading series.
Thank you to the Toronto Arts Council and Ontario Arts Council who allowed us to pay our readers a regular amount and give them more money than we would be able to on our own. These first paycheques have meant a lot to our performers. And especially, thank you to our dedicated audience members for making Emerging Writers an enjoyable place to be and for your loyalty over four and half years.
Emerging Writers will continue to promote the successes of our past readers and continue to use our website and social media as a resource for new and emerging writers. We hope that a community member will take over the space at Duffy’s Tavern and start something new there, as we are grateful for this longstanding relationship with Duffy’s.
The EW Reading Series will run our last regular event on Tuesday, June 14th and will run our BIG on Bloor Festival event on Saturday, July 23rd and Sunday, July 24th. Our next event is Tuesday, May 10, 2016.