Liliia Smichenko, Arts Reporter
Eufemia Fantetti, editor of the Humber Literary Review, knows that writing can be lonely work. That’s why she went to Word on the Street this year.
“It makes you feel less lonely when you’re at something like this, this is almost like the opposite of writing,” she said. “because when you’re writing you’re by yourself and you feel a little isolated, and then you come here and it’s like extroverts.”
The Word on The Street literary festival celebrated its 30th anniversary at the Harbourfront Centre last weekend.
This festival brings book lovers come together to enjoy the festivities. Rows of tents and booths where magazines, such as Toronto Life put themselves in the spot light can be seen scattered throughout the Harbourfront Centre. There are bookstores such as BMV, publishers like Penguin Books, and of course literary reviews like the one organized by Humber.
From year to year the publishing industry is changing.
David Miller, another editor with the Humber Literary Review, has attended WOTS for 20 years and has seen the changes that have shaped contemporary publishing.
“It has moved online, as an example. online submission made a big difference, especially for the review,” he said.
All of its book reviews and interviews are also trying to experiment using different narrative techniques and writing more fiction.
“I think that there is more awareness of trying to find a broader range of styles as opposed to very traditional narrative style,” Miller said.
Neil Price, another editor with the Humber Literary Review, said digital media has taken over the writing industry in the past 10 years.
WOTS is also important for future writers and people who want to pursue a career in publishing.
Sarah Feldbloom, a Humber English professor and fiction editor wants young writers in the Humber community to get used to talking to other writers in the industry for experience and inspirations for future pieces of writing.
“It is a great opportunity to chat and connect with people in a meaningful way,” she said.
Two graduates from Humber’s creative writing programs also had a table at the festival, and were answering the most frequently asked question about the writing side of the publishing process.
“People usually ask about what does the program consist of, what age should you be and are there any scholarships available,” said Beatrice Ekoko, alumni of the Creative Writing program.
Richard Martins, another Humber alumni agreed there is great value for aspiring writers in learning about the industry, meeting other writers, and discovering what resources are available.
“It is just a good opportunity to remember that we live in the world where people do buy books. People still love reading, and people still want to hear other stories,” Fantetti said.