Amateurs by Hannah Macready

Hello and welcome.

This is my first personal blog post, ever, and also my formal announcement of my newest project, Amateurs. If you’ve been following my social channels you probably saw my call out for interviews a few weeks back. The response and support has been amazing and I have been able to, slowly, get this project underway. I thought it would be best to write a short blog post explaining my idea behind the project, my hope for its movements, and my own motivations for these interviews.

My project, Amateurs, will be a series of interviews with Canadian authors, medium and small, who are navigating the world of publishing. In the literary community, we often call up-and-coming writers ’emerging’ which, like the word amateurs, is a word I’ve come to dislike hearing. My issue with these words comes from the connotation that they carry and not their true meaning. When we break it down, emergence is a beautiful thing. The word calls to mind re-incarnated phoenixes, fish walking on land, and volcanoes erupting into the sky. To be an amateur means you are on the precipice of new ideas, new learning, and facing an endless realm of possibilities.

What I dislike about these words is that they often create a divide between new and established work in a way that makes the former trivial. There is just as much beauty in the practiced craft as there is in raw first drafts. I want to celebrate amateurs in the same way that we celebrate professionals and I want to create a space where we can talk about the struggles of creation at all stages.

The Amateurs project will focus on writers at different stages in their careers. Some interviewees will have a short list of literary publications, others may have a debut book, and others may have paused their careers to tend to their families, only to ’emerge’ years later in a new ecosystem of literature.

My goal is to give a voice to as many amateur writers as I can while also highlighting the struggles of the newcomer. What does CanLit look like to amateur writers? Who do we allow in and who do we dismiss? What, if any, is the difference between emerging and established writers? How might we all learn to better support each other as artists and not as competitors?

I hope you enjoy what is to come. My goal is to converse, create, and learn from these authors while celebrating the intensity of being an amateur and all of its accompanying glory.

If you know a writer who fits this bill and has a story to tell about their publication journey, feel free to reach out to me:

  • thanks a mill.