“Mediocrity stamped London fetches more than talent stamped provincial.” — Thomas Hardy, The Hand of Ethelberta
Here’s a summary of why you are on this page.
BCBookLook was envisioned in 2012, designed in 2013 and launched in 2014. By April of 2017, the site had generated more than 2,000 original postings and by January of 2018 the site had attracted more than two million visitors.
The popularity and viability of this service to support books and authors of British Columbia was hugely boosted by the creation of The Ormsby Review, a vehicle for book reviews and articles of any length, usually extensively illustrated, as of September 2016.
AS OF MAY, 2018, THE ORMSBY REVIEW HAS ATTRACTED MORE THAN 250 HIGHLY QUALIFIED CONTRIBUTORS AND WAS ABOUT TO SURPASS 1,000 READERS PER DAY.
- Cole Harris 2. Graeme Wynn 3. Jean Barman 4. Wade Davis 5. Tzu-I Chung 6. Dan Francis 7. Maria Tippett 8. Sage Birchwater 9. Hugh Johnston 10. Colin M Coates 11. John Belshaw 12. Chris Arnett 13. Patricia Roy 14. Hal Kalman 15. Robin Inglis 16. Vanessa Colantonio 17. Philip Van Huizen 18. Ian Kennedy 19. Larry McCann 20. Bonnie Reilly Schmidt 21. Peter Grant 22. Robin Ridington 23. Robert McCandless 24. Loys Maingon 25. Harold Rhenisch 26. Dorothy Kennedy 26. Robin Fisher 27. Margaret Horsfield 28. Howard Stewart 29 Jennifer Iredale 30. Glinda Sutherland 31. Joe Simpson 32. Janet Nicol 33. Trevor Carolan 34. Cate Sandilands 35. Martin Segger 36. Max Ritts 37. Jim Miller 38. Larry Hannant 39. Alan Hoover 40. Ken Mather 41. Bob Muckle 42 Chelsea Horton 43. Susan Safyan 44. Gregory Evans 45. Ginny Ratsoy 46. Takaia Larsen 47. Undine Celeste 48. Eldon Yellowhorn 49. Jan Drent 50. Bruce McDougall 51. Joy Parr 52. Bill Engleson 53. Briony Penn 54. Dennis Bolen 55. Michael Kennedy 56. Michel Bouchard 57. Jacqueline Holler 58. David N. Wright 59. LiLynn Wan 60. Rod Szasz 61. Lara Campbell 62. Jamie Morton 63. John McLaren 64. Émilie Pigeon 65. Ben Bradley 66. Jacqueline Gresko 67. Victoria Wyatt 68. Kenneth Campbell 69. Bob Coutts 70. Nichole Dusyk 71. Emma Battell-Lowman 72. Lisa Pasolli 73. John-Henry Harter 74. Joe Wiebe 75. Jawad Qureshy 76. Sean Cadigan 77. Alice Fleerackers 78. Adam Barker 79. Ron Dart 80. Kathryn Bridge 81. Mark Forsythe 82. Fred Braches 83. Marina Sonkina 84. Lynne Bowen 85. Elisabeth Otto 86. David Mattison 87. Bill Engleson 88. Christian Fink-Jensen 89. Jody Decker 90. Warren M. Elofson 91. Gillian Crowther 92. Helen Hok-Sze Leung 93. Lorraine Weir 94. Molly Clarkson 95. Norman Girardot 96. Nancy Janovicek 97. Courtney Kirk 98. Mary Leah de Zwart. 99. Richard Mackie 100. Hamish Telford 101. Howard Stewart 102. Sabina Trimble 103. Mary-Ellen Kelm 104. Steven Ferguson 105. Mark Stanton 106. Serge Alternes 107. Janet Mary Nicol 108. K. Jane Watt 109. Scott Stephen 110. Deidre Roberts 111. Lisa Murphy 112. Patricia Demers 113. Heather Sjoblom 114. James Wood 115. Solen Roth 116. Roger Robinson 117. John Hinde 118. Dan Gallacher 119. Jeremy Twigg. 120. Ron Verzuh 121. David Brownstein. 122. Joan Givner 123. Jim Kempling 124. Pam Erikson 125. Forrest Pass 126. Trevor Mark Hughes 127. Charlene Porsild 128. Graham Brazier 129. Kerry Mason 130. Clayton Whitt 131. Michael Kluckner 132. Sandi Ratch 133. Keith Regular 134. Mike Starr 135. John Gellard 136. Bert Ionson 137. Paul Crawford 138. Lara Campbell 139. Inge Bolin 140. Sean McPherson 141. Catherine Nutting 141. Megan Smetzer 142. Carol Shaw 143. Mark Dunn 144. John Hutchings 145. James Goldie 146. Megan Davies 147. Maansi Pandya 148. Les Kozma 149. Andrew Cienski 150. Rheanna Robinson 151. Robert Turner 152. Keith Norbury 153. Colin Levings 154. Brian Conway 155. Bill Jeffries 156. Veronica Strong-Boag 157. Mary Sanseverino 158. Sharn Sandhra 159. Susan Roy 160. Nikki Tate 161. Grant Keddie 162. David Stouck 163. Catherine Annau 164. Molly Clarkson 165. Nancy Marguerite Anderson 166. Michelle Murphy 167. Stan Markotich 168. Howard Hisdal 169. Lauren Harding 170. Carol Volkart. 171. Lani Russwurm 171. Deanna Reder 172. Cathy Carolsfeld 173. Andrew Woolford 174. Juliane Collard 175. David Mills 176. PearlAnn Reichwein 177. Ian Gibbs 178. Steve Pocock 179. Caroline Fox 180. Norman Fennema 181. Hillel Wright 182. Michael Layland 183. Barbara Messamore 184. Walter Volovsek 185. Mike Sasges 186. Gillian Der 187. Sarah Nickel 188. Myles Armstead 189. Graham Zilm 190. Yvonne Van Ruskenveld 191. K. Wayne Wilson 192. Henry Yu 193. Robert Allen 194. Rhodri Windsor 195. James Hull 196. Jonathan Henshaw 197. Tom Koppel 198. Max Hamon 199. Natasha Lyons 200. Michel Vallee 201. Duff Sutherland 202. Beverly Cramp 202. Danya Fast 203. Jeff Kier 204. Dustin Cole 205. Julian Wake 206. Daniel Lachapelle Lemire 207. Daniel Sims 208. John Moore 209. John F. Bosher 210. Cherie Thiessen 211. Theo Dombrowski 212. Dan Clayton 213. Kate Braid 214. Rob Taylor 215. Clayton Whitt 216. Anna Hall 217. Bryan Palmer 218 Ted Davis 219. Mary Lou Soutar-Hynes 220. Rachel Rose 221. Michael Picard. 222. Erika Dyck 223. Charles Menzies 224. Dana Lepofsky 225. Neil Vallance 226. Lilynn Wan 227. Paula Pryce 228. Claire Sicherman 229. Nicholas Bradley. 230. Andrew Parkin 231. Jonathan Peyton 232. Patrick Dunae 233. Phyllis Reeve 234. Adam Coombes 235. Sydney Cannings 236. Jennifer Chutter 237. James Goldie 238. Norma Kerby 239. Derek von Essen 240. Wayne Norton 241. Kaitlin Russell 242. Vivienne Poy 243. Hadley Friedland 244. Alan Belk 245. Renee Saklikar 246. Christian Lieb 247. Don Hauka 248. Pamela Sugiman 249. Isabelle Wang 250. Trevor Hancock 251. Brian Fraser 252. Mark Dwor 253. Dan Marshall 254. Claire Mullligan 255. Sheryl Salloum 256. Sandford Osler
257. Christoper Levenson 258. Paul Headrick 259. Daniel Marshall 260. Jeanette Taylor 261. Becki Ross 262. Dylan Burrows
263. Peter Clarke 264. Carys Cragg
WE REMAIN GRATEFUL TO YOSEF WOSK AND SFU’S GRADUATE LIBERAL STUDIES DIRECTORS STEPHEN DUGUID AND SASHA COLBY WHO ORIGINALLY SUPPORTED THE CREATION OF THIS OTHERWISE UNFUNDED SERVICE DURING ITS PILOT PROJECT PHASE (2016-2018)
– Richard Mackie (Reviews Editor) & Alan Twigg (Administration, Editor, Website Producer)
MORE REVIEWS, OF MORE B.C. BOOKS, MORE OFTEN: GOOGLE ORMSBY REVIEW
“Only connect.” – E.M. Forster
Anyone who spends five minutes grazing the site will discover it’s a news service that presents original articles, reviews and news on events, films, videos and audio interviews, as well as a BCBookAwards information hub (on most of the major B.C. literary prizes) and the enormous Literary Map of B.C. (the equivalent of nine books). As well, this site provides electronic access to the B.C. BookWorld newspaper, including back issues, and it’s linked to the ABCBookWorld reference site that affords free literary information for and about more than 11,800 B.C. authors. Plus it’s home to the new Ormsby Review, a venture to double the number of serious book reviews in British Columbia. As an unfunded project started in mid-September of 2016, co-managed by Alan Twigg on a volunteer basis, along with Richard Mackie, former reviews editor of BC Studies, The Ormsby Review has radically increased the depth of coverage for books and essays pertaining to British Columbia. After repeated efforts to receive provincial recognition fell on deaf ears, ABCBookWorld was likewise built entirely on volunteer labour from 2001 to 2014.
We like to err on the side of content. We don’t cut ‘n’ paste stuff from other websites; we make the content that other websites cut ‘n’ paste.
Similar to the B.C. BookWorld newspaper that began in 1987, our goal on the internet is to provide as much useful information as possible, about as many B.C. books and authors as possible, to as many people as possible, on a daily basis. Together, the BCBookLook news service and the ABCBookWorld reference service have eclipsed 4,000 visitors per day (stats available). With millions of people using these services, we easily serve more people than all the writers festivals in Canada combined. With zero federal funding.
There is absolutely no plan to discontinue the B.C. BookWorld newspaper because it is as popular as ever. It was expanded in 2015 to 44 pages per issue and remains that size. We believe the hard copy newspaper, available via more than 650 outlets around B.C., still triumphs as the most important cog in the infrastructure that supports B.C. publishers and authors.
Simon Fraser University Library serves as the essential host for the aforementioned digital platforms. We remain grateful to SFU Library’s Lynn Copeland for giving us the green light on the original ABCBookWorld project in 2003, followed by her successor at SFU Library, Chuck Eckman; now capably followed by his successor, Gwen Bird. Siavish Miri of SFU Library re-engineered the ABCBookWorld site for us in 2008 after Todd Holbrook had laid the technical foundations for our original BC Author Bank in 2003. The site was “re-simplified” with the assistance of Martin Twigg and Andre Liem in 2009. It underwent a major refit in 2016-2017 when SFU Library decided, mainly for internal security reasons, that all content must be migrated to a WordPress site.
The implementation process for BCBookLook was similarly collaborative and pleasant, starting with the collective input of Monique Sherrett of Boxcar Marketing and her students at the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing (Rowland Lorimer, director). Subsequently, Christine Rondeau of Bluelime Media and SFU programmer Marcus Barnes worked in concert with designer David Lester and Get To The Point Graphics, and Sharon Jackson of Jackson on The Moon.
I am most indebted to my colleague David Lester with whom I’ve worked continuously since January of 1988. Some of the personnel responsible for providing content and administration have included Writer/Editor Sophie Blom, Writer/Editor Angela Caravan, Writer/Editor David Conn; Contributing Editors Anne Cameron (more than 80 columns for Western Edge), Jane Watt, Paul Durras, Jaiden Dembo, James Paley, Beverly Cramp; Filmmakers Tom Shandel, Glynis Whiting, Ken Hewlett / Designer Christine Rondeau / Photographer Laura Sawchuk / Technicians Marcus Barnes, Kenneth Li / Accountant Anna Wu / Bookkeepers Elaine Keating and Ingela Kasparitis / Designer/Site Manager for BCBookAwards and Literary Map of BC Sharon Jackson.
A capsulized funding history:
Combined provincial and federal support for the ABCBookWorld service was zero from 2001 to mid-2014. Proposals to the B.C. Arts Council for help creating BCBookLook were rejected three times. Eventually Canada Council provided crucial, one-time support for the construction phase of BCBookLook in 2013. After B.C. Arts Council failed to respond to four letters asking for a meeting dating back to 2010, creativeBC came forward to provide essential support for the twin website initiatives in 2014. Canada Book Fund also contributed essential funding in 2014 for the creation and integration of videos for and about B.C. authors. We attained one-time funding support for the Literary Map of B.C. initiative from the Arts Innovative Fund of B.C. The combined sites of ABCBookWorld and BCBookLook had more than six million page views in 2014, the first year of mutual operation.
The manners and civility of that federal Canada Council have been exemplary ever since we started operating B.C. BookWorld under the umbrella of Pacific BookWorld News Society in 1988, but even Canada Council has lately fallen behind in terms of recognizing a variety of initiatives undertaken in recent years. The funding level from Canada Council between 2000 and 2017 has not changed; meanwhile we have added ABCBookWorld, BCBookLook, Literary Map of BC, BCBookAwards and The Ormsby Review during this period.
Vancouver is akin to Vladivostock and Toronto is Moscow. For a while we were naively hopeful B.C. funding might rise to even half the amount that Ontario provides for less effective sites but we have long since rescinded such foolish thoughts.
BCBookLook is increasingly integral to the book-reading public as more people gravitate to the internet for book news and book purchasing. We are fully confident the outreach of those two main sites, BCBookLook and ABCBookWorld, will enable us to successfully complete the book promotion spectrum by establishing The Ormsby Review to accommodate lengthy, critical reviews by experts. In its first 150 days of existence, The Ormsby Review instigated 160 reviews and essays–entirely without funding–and attracted more than 200 expert contributors in its first year of existence. Richard Mackie, as the main reviews coordinator, now receives a modest salary.
A note for B.C. authors:
If you’re a B.C. author who has just published a new book, and you already have an entry on ABCBookWorld reference site, please let us know the title, publisher and year of your recent publication so we can augment your entry. Non-self-promotional language is required for all submissions. You’re welcome to take a $25 subscription to B.C. BookWorld to support our labours in the process, but it’s not mandatory.
New authors pertaining to British Columbia are invited to submit biographical information, along with factual information about their books–keeping promotional language to a minimum. We are gatekeepers of book knowledge. We reserve the right to edit or restrict materials submitted to ABCBookWorld or BCBookLook, limiting puffery, endorsements written by friends and the name of your cat. And don’t forget to send along a Jpeg headshot of your yourself, limiting the size of the file.
In compiling these sites, we are continually correcting inadvertent errors made by those who came before us. It’s logical, given the plethora of dates and odd spellings of names, we’ll occasionally present some inaccuracies, too. Please let us know if you find any error, even a tiny one. Making literary history is a cumulative process so we cannot take full responsibility for every sentence; but, like Wikipedia (started in 2001, when we started ABCBookWorld), we do our damnedest to get it right.
The work is always rewarding. And, in those immortal words of the Spanish explorer Juan Francisco Bodega y Quadra as he negotiated his way through West Coast waters: “I sailed on, taking fresh trouble for granted.”
3516 West 13th Ave.
Vancouver, B.C. V6R 2S3
– Alan Twigg / Coordinator, Writer, Editor, Publisher
“Only connect.” – E.M. Forster
“What are called advanced ideas are really in great part but the latest fashion in definition, a more accurate expression, by words in logy and ism, of sensations which men and women have vaguely grasped for centuries.” Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles
A note regarding public funding:
We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) for the instigation of the project, as well as the integral ongoing partnership of the Canada Council for the Arts. Provincially, we would not be able to continue operations without the essential partnership of support of creativeBC.
ABOUT PACIFIC BOOKWORLD NEWS SOCIETY
Founded in 1988, Pacific BookWorld New Society is a non-profit organization with a constitution stating its purposes are: “(a) To serve the general reading public of British Columbia with news about the variety of writing, publishing and book industry activity taking place in the province; (b) To stimulate greater interest in the media in providing reviews and feature coverage of books and authors in British Columbia; (c) to foster better understanding and greater communication within the book industry in British Columbia; (d) and any other purposes that may conveniently or advantageously be combined with the existing purposes of the Society.”
The Society has served as the advisory, umbrella organization for the educational newspaper BC BookWorld, published for the Society by A.R.T. BookWorld Productions Inc. since 1988. It has also engendered a reference site—eleven years in the making, and unfunded during that time—for more than 10,800 B.C. authors and their books. Hosted by Simon Fraser University, it is the most extensive, original promotional site for authors in Canada, including thousands of photos and an ever-expanding archive of essays, interviews and profiles.
The BookWorld staff has also co-created and/or managed most of the province’s major literary awards including the BC Book Prizes, the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award, the Vancity Women’s Book Prize and the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness. For several years staff also provided free administration for the City of Vancouver Book Award. All such administration for ancillary literary support activities—eg. the ABCBookWorld reference site, management of literary prizes and organization of the Reckoning 07 conference at Simon Fraser University—has been provided on a volunteer basis. As well, the publisher of B.C. BookWorld served a two-year term as an unpaid Vancouver Public Library Trustee in 2011-2012.
Pacific BookWorld board members include Howard White (president), publisher of the Encyclopedia of British Columbia; UBC historian Jean Barman, author of The West Beyond the West; author and teacher Andreas Schroeder, co-founder of Public Lending Right in Canada; Dr. Rowland Lorimer, co-founder for the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing; former Vancouver Public Library chief librarian Paul Whitney; current Vancouver Public Library chief librarian Sandra Singh; SFU Chief Librarian Gwen Bird, UBC librarian Brenda Peterson and former CBC Radio host and author Mark Forsythe.
Since 1988, the permanent staff of two has consisted of David Lester and Alan Twigg. Over the years, staff of B.C. BookWorld has jointly produced six books outlining the literary history of the province, culminating in The Essentials: 150 Great B.C. Books & Authors (Ronsdale, 2010), the first critical overview of British Columbia literature. We are pleased to add Ormsby Review books editor/writer Richard Mackie; and, as freelancers, ABCBookWorld & BCBookLook editor/writer Beverly Cramp and webmaster Sharon Jackson to our team.
UNSOLICITED COMMENTS ON ABCBOOKWORLD
(ABCBookWorld is the ‘sister’ reference site for the BCBookLook news hub, created in 2001, with than fifteen million visitors since 2001)
Wow. It’s a godsend! –Chuck Davis
It’s a monumental undertaking & will be very, very useful to anybody interested in the considerable body of literature from this province. Many congratulations. –Daphne Marlatt
You are a walking miracle and an example of industry and accomplishment to all of us. –Joan Givner
I checked my author listing, meaning to update it with my newest Barkerville book, and the new title was already there! You guys are awesome! –Ann Walsh
You have taken on a labour of Hercules. –Robert Thomson
The site is invaluable. –Larry Hannant
I’m tremendously impressed by the ABCBookworld site — what a greatservice for BC authors, and readers! –Eileen Kernaghan
Thanks for this monumental contribution to writers, Alan. –Kate Braid
What a huge lot of work!! I’ve only briefly looked at the material inside, but it already looks like an extremely valuable resource, probably the best of its kind. It’s a great service you’ve done with BCBookWorld, and this just puts a very nice topping on all of it. Many thanks from me personally, and I’m sure the other writers of the province are also grateful. –Jamie Reid
Congratulations on getting the project up and running. A tremendous job of work. –Daniel Francis
Thanks for doing such a good job! –Douglas Coupland
The SFU web site is very impressive. Thanks for your many endeavours on the part of BC writers. –Sheryl Salloum
Thank you. This is a wonderful thing for all of us. –Jane Barker Wright
Thank you for the huge and marvellously helpful project of putting this all together — such a lot of work! –Barbara Lambert
Thank you for a thoroughly professional and handsome-looking job. It is already proving useful. –David Watmough
So glad this site is up and running. Congratulations, it’s a great service to B.C writers. –Margaret Hollingsworth
An excellent site, Alan. Congratulations. Ithas involved a great deal of work. –Rosemary Neering
I had a look at the website and at my entry, and I needed to congratulate you and the others involved! It is the very first time I can remember that all the information on such a site was correct. It is easy to make mistakes with all the dates, etc., but it didn’t happen here. Thank you! –Nancy Hundal
The web site looks excellent. –Douglas Todd
I’m having fun going through all the Haig-Brown book prize entries. There’s some great stuff – so many ways to know and enjoy this province! –David Conn
Thanks very much for setting all of this up! –Diane Swanson
You’re certainly doing the world of BC literary history a favour with your work and your BC BookWorld publication. –David Mattison
Very impressive, valuable reference material about BC authors. BC BookWorld has done a wonderful job! Congratulations. –Howard Overend
It’s a great site; I had fun surfing and seeing what some of my wretched ink-stained colleagues had to say about themselves. –Don Gayton
Thank you for organizing this, Alan! –John Nichols
I’ve checked it out…I think I’ll have fun poking through it, and I also think this is going to be a very important resource for all who scribble and wordsling. –Anne Cameron
Thanks–the site looks very good. –Anthea Penne
The Author Bank is a wonderful project. –Sid Tafler
Thank you very much! The site looks good and I’m glad to be on it. –Jocelyn Reekie
The site looks good. —Rhonda Batchelor
Thank you for arranging for this information to now be so widely available. –Kathryn Bridge
Thanks ever so. –Thelma Sharp
Thank you very much for this information. –Sally Rogow
Thanks Alan – looks great! –Sharon Brown
I’m grateful for all you do for B.C. books and writers. –Kay Gregory
Thanks for thinking of me! All the best with the project, I think it’s an excellent resource for all kinds of things. –Rhona McAdam
Thanks so much for all your hard work in putting this site together! –Maria Coffey
It’s a worthy endeavour, and a big project, so congratulations on pulling it off. –Steven Galloway
I’m so glad you got abcbookworld going — great idea nicely implemented. Congratulations! –Merrill Fearon, Federation of B.C. Writers
Wonderful website. –Bill Stenson
It looks good. I appreciate your continuing dedication to B.C. writers. –Mary Burns
You have done an amazing job in a short time. I was quite boggled at the list of authors who are showcased on the site –Kitty Lewis, Brick Books
Thanks for all you do for us. –Mary Billy
I am grateful to be listed among B.C. authors and thankful for the work you and your colleagues do to update and maintain the site. Keep up the great work –Ron Shewchuk
What a wonderful resource. Thank you for including my work. –John Barker
Thanks for doing the bibliographic project on B.C. authors. It will be wonderful to have this as a reference. –Robin Ridington
Thanks for including me in this. It’s much appreciated. –Julie Cruikshank
Thanks a million for the new page. –Russell Thornton
You’ve really done a terrific job. Enjoyed just reading the profiles for Patrick Lane and Lorna Crozier, two of my favourite poets. –Andy Quan
Thanks for taking on this mammoth task. –Norma Charles
Thanks for keeping this site going. It’s a good service for BC writers. –Mark Zuehlke
I had occasion today to check the new Author Bank and now see that there was a method in your madness. Thanks for my page on the website and for presenting an up-to-date image of me for the world to see. Thanks for everything you do for writers and books. –Lynne Bowen
I find the pages such an terrific resource. I’m not surprised to learn that it gets 800 hits a day. Every province should have one, though I can only imagine the work that went into it and the continuing upkeep. –Pearl Luke
I wonder if we writers appreciate, sufficiently, all that you do for us – not only with your excellent publication and your generous promotion of our works. … Your website must be unique in the world of writers and their writings. In my own case, although I already had many novels to my credit in South Africa, I could never have made it as an unknown author, in country new to me, without your encouragement – especially as, at that time, my non-fiction book dealt with a weird disease, hitherto unknown to most people. Now, as I savour the thrill of seeing my 20th effort in print, I have a special reason to acknowledge my debt to you. It seems that, no matter what I am researching on Google, your website inevitably seems to crop up in connection with some subject featured on BC BookWorld. Imagine my excitement when I was checking into something this morning, and came across a link to a very gracious bio of myself, and a list of my books! You must be God’s Gift to B.C. authors. –Marie Warder
I just wanted to tell you once again just how much I appreciated this wonderful (once in a lifetime) promotion of Living by Stories. It was so much fun sitting in the ferry lounge with Harry popping up all around me. That photo is pretty prominent!! (So much for the anti-smoking campaign…). I certainly noticed that everyone on the BC FERRIES picks up BC BookWorld!! So thanks a million, Alan!! –Wendy Wickwire
Just want to send you a huge thank you for giving Madame Zee such a fantastic plug on CBC this afternoon. You can’t imagine how surprised and thrilled I was–you’re wonderful, and you absolutely made my day! –Pearl Luke
Thank you so much for your steady support of our authors and our books–and for the support you offer to all BC books and publishers. —Hiro Boga
I’m the sculptor that did the George Ryga Award. I’ve just picked up the latest addition of B.C. BookWorld. I always look foreword to it coming out. Anyway the photo and the article made my day! Thank you very much for promoting this wonderful award for social awareness in B.C literature. I feel strongly that these voices are needed to be heard. I’m also sure that George Ryga would also appreciate your kindness as well as the great work you do in promoting the stories and the story tellers in our part of the world! Thanks again! —Reg Kienast
First glance of yr new book and I’ll be buying all in the series. I can hardly say why, but somehow the speed with which we are losing the ground beneath our feet makes me want to know more about that ground, what it is, how it got here, who placed it just as it is, and why. –Peter Levitt
You deserve the Order of Canada or Order of British Columbia for your publication and work on behalf of the world of books. –Ross Ranger
Keep up the good work. Even if you don’t hear that as often as you should, especially from this side of the Rockies. We need BC BookWorld. –Marc Coté, Cormorant Books
I think that more than anyone it was Alan Twigg who woke up Vancouver and the west coast up to its own legitimacy as a Canadian and North American literary hub. –Trevor Carolan, Director, Banff Writers Festival
I am continually being exposed to the respect and admiration to which you are held by many in this rarefied community. Numerous positive comments are passed on about you and the contributions you have and are making to the writing and publishing sector, particularly at the BC Historical Federation’s convention and award ceremonies in Victoria a week or so ago. –Peter Grauer
Hello! I love your author database – what a valuable tool for persons such as myself, a middle school teacher-librarian. –Lorraine M. Lindsay, M.Ed., North Saanich Middle School
UNSOLICITED COMMENTS ON THE ORMSBY REVIEW
(all received between Oct. 2016 to Dec. 2017)
David Suzuki: “Thanks for sending the review. I’m in Cairo filming a show on pyramids but when I get home, I want to talk to Ian [co-author Ian Hannington] about responding to John’s challenge at the end of his review.”
Jeannie Kamins: “I am delighted. You have fulfilled my dream of what would happen if I ever wrote a book.”
Theresa Kishkan: “This is a wonderful project.”
David Stouck (Advisory Board member): “I think it is a good idea and I will be happy to write for The Ormsby Review. ‘More in tune with the times’ is a good rationale for this new venture.”
Barry Gough: “I am reading The Ormsby Review on a steady basis. We will all benefit from this broadening of horizons.”
Jonathan Peyton: “Wowwowwow! Thanks so much for this. The Ormsby Review has done me huge solid here by organizing Wade Davis to write a review. Definitely worth the wait! What a rare treat. I’m guessing it will give the book a fair bit of exposure with a readership that might not have heard of the book otherwise. It will pique some interest, if nothing else. A very big, ginormous thank you!”
James Hall: Wow, that looks great! That is really visually appealing, kudos to you and your colleagues.
Nikki Strong-Boag: “Wow!”
Bonnie Campbell: “Your publishing of my Oppenheim article has given me more than I ever hoped for. You have no idea. I have been receiving very positive feedback. Jean Barman forwarded it to her publisher and they have sent a note, expressing interest in talking to me about the manuscript. I am over the moon, as they say.”
Melissa Pitts, Director, UBC Press: “I am hugely impressed by the comprehensiveness and quality of John McLaren’s and Chris Arnett’s reviews of our books and not just because the reviews were positive! In a word: brilliant. What a rare pleasure to see books taken so seriously and spoken about so thoughtfully. A hallmark of The Ormsby Review and the vision that informs it.”
Graeme Wynn (previous editor of BC Studies): “I am MIGHTILY impressed by the speed range and quality of TOR. I was stunned when Alan Twigg sent back the link for the draft layout of my review. And this within hours of my deciding the thing was done thousands of miles away in New Zealand. Boggles the mind to be published so quickly. And the format is inviting.”
Mark Leiren-Young: “Wow. The review of my book is lovely and The Ormsby Review looks like a brilliant idea. I am honoured to be kicking it off!”
Fred Braches: “It is a privilege to contribute. And I like the way all the Ormsby Review contributions are now listed, easily accessible.”
Mary Novik: “Thanks for all your work and support on my piece. I’m very proud of how it turned out and have been doing a lot of “sharing” today!”
Glinda Sutherland: “Thank you so much. It is an honour to be published in your Ormsby Review. You are a true gift to British Columbia.”
Jennifer Iredale: “Hooray. Today The Ormsby Review has posted my research paper on the 1891 Canadian watercolor journal Across the Bright Continent that I discovered in the archives of All Hallows in Ditchingham, England over a decade ago. I’m thrilled the story is finally published!”
Bonnie Reilly Schmidt: “The review looks great online – and you chose some of the best photos!”
Jean Barman (former editor of BC STUDIES; Advisory Board member): “The potential for Ormsby Review having a major impact on the climate for BC books and reading is enormous. I have thus far been hugely impressed by the quality of the work you’re presenting. With your ability to put a populist spin on these thoughtful and knowledgeable reviews, Ormsby is taking what might otherwise be dismissed as ‘high brow’ awareness and making astute and fair criticism accessible to the middle-brow masses. I feel it’s a great way to complement or even obviate the entertaining style of BC BookWorld. Both approaches stimulate sales of books. And I want to second the comments about the Ormsby Review being a different, more accessible entity from BC Studies, which I co-edited with Cole Harris. Given the demise of bookstores, it especially matters that prospective book readers have easy, ongoing, welcoming access to Ormsby Review comparable to Amazon.”
Eve Lazarus: “Fabulous review! Thanks so much for giving me a heads up!”
Janet Nicol: “My article on Bob Bouchette looks great. Thank you for your efforts on this.”
Rod Szasz: “Looks pretty bloody good to me… you helped me with a few transitions more smooth than I had… I was aware of them but was too close to the writing to come up with a plan to smoothen and simplify some of the transitions.”
Mary Leah de Zwart: “I am really, really pleased that The Ormsby Review has offered me this opportunity to let my research on Alice Ravenhill see the light of day.”
Naomi Wakan: “Not sure who thought up the heading for Phyllis’ review of my book “The Way of Tanka” but it is wincingly good and very funny. Thank whoever had this bright moment for me please and thank you for giving me space. Now I am no longer the poet laureate of Nanaimo (though I’ll always be the inaugural poet laureate) I am concentrating on weeding to keep me humble and ready to commit hara-kiri about our 25-tree little orchard which remains painfully unfertilized this year, not a plum in sight, or hazelnut and barely a handful of pears! Writing gets so much quicker returns in the way of results than gardening! Thanks for all you are doing (and have done) for BC writers. You’ve helped a load of creative folk get their words out there. Warm wishes from Gabriola.”
Joe Simpson: “Rather a nice email back just now from Jim Herlihy in Dublin who has shared the online link that I sent him last night for Ormsby Review #63 with James (Jimmy) Taylor the author. Also the Sheehy-Skeffington family are happy. They both said it was the best review to date. So the Ormsby will now be on the Irish literary radar screen as well. Well done also the editing – publishing dynamic duo for a terrific job. Onward & upward!”
Jay Sherwood: “Thank you for including Ootsa Lake Odyssey in your Ormsby reviews.”
Nick Russell: “Sweet!”
Barry Gough: “I have pleasant memories of this famed historian, Margaret Ormsby, especially from being in her History 426 Modern Canada class, arguably the finest undergraduate course on the History syllabus at UBC. A festschrift was published for her, a testament to the esteem held by her many fellow historians. I was pleased to be included. The Ormsby Review will continue the legacy, and thank you for launching it.”
Glen Mofford: “Thank-you for reviewing my debut book as you ‘hit the nail right on the head’. I never believed this book would be published. I am currently working on book II.”
Kerry Kilmartin: “Thank you so much for this glowing review. The author Wes Pue is very pleased that his book has been reviewed by the great John McLaren. It will receive several and many academic reviews, but to have it placed with The Ormsby Review means that it will reach a much broader audience.”
Warren Sommer: “Many thanks to all of you for this coverage of the book. It’s hard to believe that we discussed this opportunity for coverage less than 24 hours ago, and here it is! The spread looks wonderful.”
Rosemary Brandt, University of Arizona Press: “The review is very comprehensive! It’s so hard to find outlets that provide such thorough coverage.”
Peter O’Neil: “Thanks for this fantastic review from Jean Barman, who I have always greatly admired.”
Victoria Wyatt: “It looks beautiful.”
Lynne Bowen: “I’d be glad to review the book for The Ormsby Review. Trust Alan Twigg to be involved in this exciting new venture. He has done so much for literature in this province. This news is very exciting. I look forward to years of rich reading opportunities in The Ormsby Review.”
Kerry Mason: “I am thrilled with your presentation of my review. I had no idea that you would be adding the visuals which I really appreciate! Thank you SO much for all you both do.”
Colin Levings: “Many thanks for posting Bert Ionson’s amazing review of my book in The Ormsby Review.”
Cynthia Toman: “Many thanks to Margaret Horsfield for her work in crafting such a thorough and inviting review. It is very rewarding to see this part of our history and these women’s stories being valued at long last.”
Ben Bradley: “I’m so pleased that The Ormsby Review and BC Bookworld could do a review (the first) of British Columbia by the Road. Thanks so much, and thanks also for assigning Daniel Francis the task — one of the best suited people in all of Canada for it.”
Natasha Lyons: “Wow, this layout is gorgeous!”
Dr. Ruth Sandwell: “Many thanks, for a really thorough and positive review! I will forward it to the contributors.”
Sara Reeves, New Society Publishers: “I just saw the write up on The Aquaponic Farmer. It looks great, a big thank you to your team.”
Graeme Wynn (former editor of BC STUDIES, Advisory Board member): “I have just whiled away a fascinating evening with TOR. It is going GREAT guns and provides lots of valuable stuff as well as reviews…. I just want to say a rousing WELL DONE.”
Margaret Reynolds (outgoing executive director of the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia): “With discoverability issues at the forefront of publishers’ mind, we can only laud Mr. Twigg and Mr. Mackie for providing yet another opportunity to help us get our books in the hands of readers.”
Hugh Johnston (Advisory Board member): “My warm congratulations on the launch of the Ormsby Review. A worthy undertaking, with a most worthy editor. I would much appreciate the opportunity to review.”
Kerry Kilmartin (marketing director, UBC Press): “This is great news! We need more publications that publish academic reviews or articles about academic books that cross nicely over into the trade. And, on the West Coast!”
Maria Tippett: “Bravo.”
Theresa Kishkan: “Love the Ormsby Review. I am at the point in my life where I don’t want any of this stuff forgotten. Our history, our historians, every detail.”
Sage Birchwater: Fabulous work and a great service to the literary landscape of British Columbia. Thank you ever so much.”
Cole Harris (former editor of BC STUDIES, Advisory Board member): “Of course I will be a willing reviewer for The Ormsby Review.”
Robin Fisher (Advisory Board member): “Thanks for thinking of me with regard to your new venture. I would be happy to review when the opportunity arises.”
Hal Kalman: “Congratulations on the launch of your new journal / review. I immediately checked out the BCBookLook web site. I wish you all success. I presume you’re solely an online publication, yes? Smart, because it’s cheap and easy to reach people.”
Michael Kluckner: “The Ormsby Review is pumping out reviews with grace and esteem. I mean that with deep respect. With the shrinking availability of review space in Postmedia, it’s a great addition.”
Bill Engleson: “I keep on saying I am thrilled about my connection to BCBookLook and The Ormsby Review.” Liz Vibert: The Ormsby Review sounds very promising indeed. I particularly appreciate the effort to reach beyond the university.”
Graham Brazier: “I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying The Ormsby Review. Both the subject matter and the voices are so wonderfully varied. From rather long-winded but informative to razor sharp and to-the-point, and from punchy and clever to, dare I say, even quirky.”
Nancy Janovicek: “Happy to be part of this new initiative. Thanks for the opportunity. I did not meet Dr. Ormsby, but always tell my women’s history classes that her first office was a desk in the women’s washroom.”
Louise Mandell: Congratulations on The Ormsby Review—a great addition.
Ginny Ratsoy: “I wish you every success in this exciting enterprise and will certainly considering doing reviews. Congratulations on this noble endeavour.”
Ron Dart: The Ormsby Review is desperately needed to fill an immense chasm in literate B.C. history.
Harold Rhenisch: “Thanks for starting this much-needed publication.”
Ron Verzuh: “This is exciting. I’d be pleased to submit reviews for your consideration. Congratulations and good luck with TOR.”
Sarah Nickel: “Thanks for the email and congrats on your new adventure! I’d be happy to review for this new site. It sounds like an excellent and much-needed forum.”
Richard Chamberlin: “That’s a splendid move for readers and writers everywhere. Good on you….and thanks for all you do for all of us.”
John Bosher: “Congratulations on your initiative in launching the Ormsby Review! As Margaret Ormsby was a colleague of mine, and head of the department of history at UBC when I was teaching there many years ago, I find this project very interesting. Margaret would no doubt be delighted to be remembered. I will be glad to assist in any way I can.”
Jim Miller: “Best wishes for your new enterprise with the BCBookLook, site. I will be happy to continue with you at The Ormsby Review.”
LiLyn Wan: “How exciting. Yes, I am happy to continue reviewing books for you for the site. Let me know how things progress.”
Ken Campbell: “Wow! a new venture! I love it. Of course I would be honoured to keep reviewing books for you!”
Jack Little: “If the right B.C. book comes along I’d be happy to review it for your new enterprise. Best of luck with it.”
Robin Ridington: “Congratulations. It sounds like a wonderful new review and I look forward to continuing to work with you. Jillian [Ridington) would, too.”
Michael Kluckner: “Very interesting. Your email arrives just at the point when I’m feeling guilty about my lack of blog postings for BC Studies. Sure, sounds like we could have a chat about it. Good luck with the new venture.”
Dan Francis: “Congratulations on the new initiative. Sure, I’d be happy to contribute (always given issues of time constraints). Especially interested in books on Vancouver history, my current focus.”
Heather Longworth (Sjoblom): “Sure, I’ll keep writing reviews for you. The Ormsby Review sounds quite interesting. I hadn’t heard of it before. Keep me posted when something comes along. The headshot and bio are not a problem. [Museum Manager/Curator, Fort St. John North Peace Museum.]
Larry Hannant: “Congratulations on the new initiative. My best wishes for it. Yes, I’ll be happy to write for The Ormsby Review. When the occasion comes up, I’ll submit a headshot and brief bio.”
Carolyn MacHardy: “Good luck, Richard! I’m sure there’s a story here- to be told over a beer in the Sylvia pub or here when you get a chance to stop by on your way through. Yes, will definitely write for you if you wish.”
Eryk Martin: “Congrats on your new project! It sounds like a great opportunity, and please know that you can count me in as a reviewer. How about a review of Ian Milligan’s Rebel Youth?”
Loraine Littlefield: “Congratulations on your new venture and what a great name, too. By all means I will be pleased to contribute a review to your new enterprise when needed.”
Howard Stewart: “Thank you for this. It looks like an exciting new departure to me. I’m sure it’s going to be big. BCS’s loss is BCBookLook’s gain. I’ll be happy to contribute to Ormsby Review and look forward to watching it emerge.”
John McLaren: “I would be happy to submit the occasional book review to the Ormsby Review when that is mutually agreeable. I wish you all the best with this timely project.”
John Thistle: “This sounds interesting and thanks for the offer. Keep me in mind and good luck with the new endeavor.”
David Mattison: “Wow, this is surprising news. Congratulations. I’m happy to assist you as a reviewer in your new venture and thank you for thinking of me. I first started reviewing books in 1976, so it’s an auspicious year to start reviewing for a new publication.
David Rossiter: “This sounds like an interesting new venture! Best of luck! Of course, I’d be honoured to contribute reviews when asked…”
Jonathan Peyton: “I would be delighted to contribute to your new venture – which sounds very exciting. I should be ready to take on more assignments in the new year.”
Ian MacLaren: “I wish you the best with this initiative. The Royal Ontario is bringing out an edition of Kane’s Wanderings with all the studio oils reproduced in it. That one I’d review.”
Iain McKechnie: “Wow, good luck with this new venture. I’ll keep this in mind for sure and circulate to key possible people perhaps.”
Douglas Ross: “I would be happy to review books for your new venture, associated with any of my interests in archaeology and history.”
Lani Russwurm: “Congratulations on your new endeavour. Let me know when you have something for me to review. I wouldn’t mind taking a crack at Aaron Chapman’s new book on the Clark Park Gang.”
Sean MacPherson: “The Ormsby Review sounds great. Would love to help/contribute in any way I can.”
Patrick Dunae: “Of course, I’d be delighted to review books for your new enterprise, The Ormsby Review. I’m intrigued by your new venture and look forward to hearing more about it. In any event, all the best with the new review. I love its title!”
Jan Drent: “Just got around to looking at website for The Ormsby Review. Congratulations and best of luck!!!”
Loys Maingon: “This is a welcome addition to BC’s literary world. There is a great need to renew the conversation about BC’s history and cultures.”
Alan Hoover: “Thanks for the invite. Being an old retired guy, reviewing is a good way for me to stay somewhat current. Look forward to developments.”
Hamar Foster: “I am happy to review books for your new enterprise. I like the title. I had to deal with Ormsby in 1967 when I was Prof. George Shelton’s research assistant for a book he was editing, B.C. and Confederation. She was quite formidable.”
Kelly Black: “Yes, I would be happy to write reviews for The Ormsby Review.”
Ian Kennedy: I am also delighted to hopefully gain a place in the Ormsby Review. I was a student of Margaret Ormsby while at UBC and visited her and drank sherry in her home in Vernon with my editor and friend Gordon Elliott when we were touring BC “researching” our Pub Book. Gordon worked on her History of BC and on the Anthology in the years leading up to 1958 when they were published.
Graham Brazier: “Thanks so much for your invitation to submit a book review to TOR, which seems like such a fresh injection of energy into the BC history scene.”
Bonnie Reilly Schmidt: “I am very excited about The Ormsby Review.” Peter Grant: “The Ormsby Review has nice ring to it — count me in.”
Colin Coates: “I saw the news on Twitter the other day. I’m very pleased to learn about The Ormsby Review. It sounds like a great initiative!”
Larry McCann: “It’s obvious you’re going about this with a vision and with passion. Wonderful.”
Gillian Crowther: “It looks as if The Ormsby Review is an exciting new venture. I would be honoured to write reviews for it.”
Stephanie Rutherford: “Exciting times! Happy to hear about The Ormsby Review.”
Chris Herbert: “Congratulations! Of course I would be happy to review books for The Ormsby Review.”
John Belshaw: “Sounds like an exciting new challenge and I’d be happy to help out with a few reviews
Margaret Horsfield: “Thanks for thinking of me, and I wish you well in this exciting new horizon. Serious congratulations. ”
Chris Arnett: “Sounds great! Please send me a list of books. I’d love to review. Best wishes in your new endeavour.”
Nancy Marguerite Anderson: “Excellent. This will be good for all BC historians, whether academics or trade book writers.”
Mary Leah de Zwart: “It’s great to see this publication. I think it fills a much-needed niche.”
Janet Nicol: “Congratulations. This looks like an exciting new addition to the BC history scene.”
Trevor Carolan: “Glad to join in the fray as you embark on this worthy venture.”
Chelsea Horton: “Great to see such reviews coming to the pages of a more accessible platform.”
Ken Mather: “I look forward to an ongoing relationship with The Ormsby Review and wish you all the best in your new endeavour.”
Jon Bartlett: “Best wishes to all associated with this new project.” Frances Roback: “The Ormsby Review is truly universally accessible.”
Daniel Hinman-Smith: “May the Ormsby Review thrive. I’d be happy to do my best to make modest contributions to the publication.”
Susan Neylan: “Best wishes on this new endeavour. The Ormsby Review sounds like a promising venue for circulating BC-centred non-fiction. I like the academic and non-academic focus. Good luck with it.”
Christine Dickinson: “The Ormsby Review is an exciting venture.”
Jacqueline Gresko: “Congratulations on the Ormsby Review. As a BCBookLook subscriber I have enjoyed some of the Ormsby Review articles – on Dr. Ormsby and Jennifer Iredale’s on Miss Moody, the teacher at All Hallows.”
Scott Stephen: “I would love to contribute to The Ormsby Review — thank you very much for asking me.”
Michael Clague: “Thanks and every good wish for this important venture.”
Nicholas Bradley: The Ormsby Review is exciting and excellent—and much needed.”
Michel Hogue: “I was very interested to read about the Ormsby Review. It sounds like a terrific venture–congratulations!”
Lara Campbell: “This sounds like a fantastic project!”
Barry Cottam: “I’ve been browsing around The Ormsby Review. It’s an amazing resource, what I call “human scale,” something in short supply these days. The literary map is brilliant, a very engaging way to get drawn into BC stories and the people behind them. It would be great if more journals adopted this idea. I’ll be visiting TOR regularly.”
Lily Chow: “Congratulations. Very well done.” Esyllt Jones: “I love it!”
Eve Lazarus: “I love what you are doing with The Ormsby Review!”
Graeme Wynn: “Lill Emerson’s memoir is fantastic. What a GREAT thing to publish. Really insightful and a pretty rare view of an aspect of logging camp life as well as a worthy contribution to understanding BC in the depression.”
John Gellard: “Oh, wonderful. I am honoured.”
Clayton Whitt: “I looked this over and everything looks great! The photos are fantastic. I’m happy to see this up. Thanks! This was really fun to work on.”
Chris Arnett: “I like the publicity you guys are giving B.C. authors. B.C. lit is so alive and well.”
Don Gorman: “We’ll get this out on our social networks immediately…. It’s a GREAT (and much appreciated) review.”
Jacqueline Gresko: “I’m honoured to be contributing to the Ormsby Review.”
Kate Braid: “Thank you for doing the Ormsby Review. Fabulous to have another source of critical reviews in Canada!”