Crabapple Mews Collective is an author collective made up of volunteer writers and editors. We draw on our backgrounds as writers, teachers, editors, booksellers, designers, academics, publishers and producers of kick-ass literary events to help bring new stories to readers.
Our story starts here.


Missing Tanya

We are sad to report that our friend Tanya Coovadia died yesterday. Her IPPY award – which she received two weeks before she passed away – was a true affirmation of the excellence of her writing, and the impact of Pelee Island Stories.

Emily Dickinson said “Tell all the truth but tell it slant.” The truth must dazzle gradually, she advises. Tanya’s writing is like this, dazzling gradually, letting us see the truth on a slant so we won’t be blinded by it. Pelee Island Stories is about love, loss and hope. Her writing evokes place so strongly, readers feel as though they too have lived on the island as they brush against the forsythia and walk the dusty roads with Ranger the dog at our heels. The characters become our family and neighbours and their struggles are our struggles. 

In person, Tanya dazzled all at once with an effervescence that made everyone around her bubble too. Her enthusiasm for life was total. Generous in every way, she had that rare ability to make everyone feel like they belonged. Her love of her children, her husband and her friends was evident in every conversation we had. 

We are grateful to have had a hand in sharing her work and letting others who may not have had the good fortune to meet her get to know her this way. We send our sympathies to her family. 

Vive l’indépendance!

On May 10th, independent publishers gathered from across North America to celebrate the 2016 IPPY Awards. And to gaze at the view from the 103rd floor of Willis Tower on the Skydeck in downtown Chicago. There, our very own collective members, Jane and Elaine, represented Tanya Coovadia’s Pelee Island Stories. So much book publishing goodness in one place! See the full list of winners.

Click on an arrow to scroll through the album.

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Image credit: Jim Barnes

Elaine and Jane do Chicago

Hi. We are honouring Tanya by taking Pelee Island Stories around to see the Chicago sights. Highlights include Myopic used bookstore, walking the 606 and enjoying the adjacent graffiti, Van Gogh at the Chicago Art Institute, the bean and Millenium Park, and a fantastic architecture tour by boat. Oh yes, and the IPPY awards, of course, atop the Willis tower with brilliant views of Chicago and Lake Michigan. It was like going to a lovely wedding reception with an open bar and bonus awards. We both wore lipstick. Will send pics.

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Writing in the Works 2016

Writing in the Works celebrated its 10th edition on Thursday, April 28. It’s an annual reading series that was launched in 2008 by Rona Altrows and Lori Hahnel to promote local authors and writing that is — well — in the works! The event’s organizing members include two Crabapples, Inge Trueman and E. D. Morin.

The evening began with music by the Central Memorial Stringlets (a sextet composed of members of the nearby high school strings program) led by band director Katrina Archer. Elaine was emcee for the night. Authors Robert Bose, Susan Calder, Joan Crate, Sarah L. Johnson and Taylor Lambert read from their works in progress.

The event was held at Owl’s Nest Books. A big shout-out to co-owner Michael Hare for putting up with us noisy, wine swilling literary types. There was music. There were readings. There was a smash-hit literary Q&A. There were refreshments. We even had a book giveaway: two copies of Pelee Island Stories by Tanya Coovadia for the first two people to answer skill-testing questions about Owl’s Nest Books. All in all, a stellar night!

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Image credit: Scott Wakefield

New works by Calgary writers

Join emcee E. D. Morin for an evening of readings and refreshments followed by a literary Q&A. Rob Bose, Susan Calder, Joan Crate, Taylor Lambert and Sarah L. Johnson. Music by the Central Memorial Stringlets!

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Kudos to Kisscut

Last fall the wonderfully gifted Natalie Olsen packed up her books and moved to Vancouver to follow her book designing dreams. Although relocated across the Rockies, Natalie continues to work Kisscut Designs magic for her existing publishing clients, including Crabapple Mews. Her artisanal approach and exquisite aesthetic are evident in Pelee Island StoriesWhen the Wheels Fall Off and A Root Beer Season.

Congratulations are due to Natalie for her recent wins for the Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada. Her designs were awarded a third place and two honourable mentions in the national competition for best-looking books of 2015.

We Crabapple members are pining for a 2016 edition of her Short Story Advent Calendar. Wishing Natalie many happy bookish adventures!

An evening with Inanna authors

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So fun to see everyone at Thursday’s reading. I can’t tell you how much it makes me miss the Calgary community. Thank you to everyone who came out. And thanks to Cecelia Frey and Inanna and Owl’s Nest Books and Sarah Johnson for making it feel like a fun party in someone’s lovely living room.

Spring book harvest brings relief to the prairies

Date: Thurs, March 24th, 7 pm
Location: Owl’s Nest Books, 815A 49th Ave SW, Calgary

When spring hits Alberta, we hang on to the promise of bulbs and new growth while sweeping away the last blasts of winter from our doorsteps. Or, we escape to Vancouver Island or Nevada for the weekend to kneel down and kiss the warm ground.

But hope is on the way – it’s time to celebrate a crop of new books! Join us for an evening of readings from four Inanna Publications authors. An independent feminist literary press based out of York University, Inanna will publish Writing Menopause in spring 2017. This anthology of writings by over 50 authors from across North America was conceived and edited by E.D. Morin and Jane Cawthorne. The collection includes poetry, fiction, non-fiction, flash and monologue, with entries by, among others, Crabappple members E.D. Morin, Jane Cawthorne and Lou Morin.

On Thursday, you’ll hear readings by:
Mary Murphy, The Hungry Grass
Barbara Janusz, Mirrored in the Caves
Cecelia Frey, Moments of Joy
Jane Cawthorne, Writing Menopause (forthcoming)

Tanya’s awkward book launch speech

The CMC members would have loved to attend last Sunday’s Florida launch of Pelee Island Stories, for reasons other than the recent snow dump in Alberta. But we were there in spirit as Tanya and a host of distinguished literati gave her exquisite book the send-off it so deserved. As she recounts:

So, I’m happy and humbled to announce that my book launch was a resounding success, in the being-surrounded-by-lovely people sense. It’s a privilege to be among so many friends and writers whose work I admire. To those who could make it, thanks so much for being there. I wish I’d had more time to spend with each of you. To those who could not make it, happy thanksgiving, my dears! I’ll be seeing you soon.

 

We’d planned to video this speech, because I really wanted to thank people who were instrumental in the creation of Pelee Island Stories, but were unable to be there. Unfortunately, someone forgot to hit record. So I’ve included the text of my speech below.

Read her (not so awkward) speech here.

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