November 21, 2015

Dear Readers,

Cecile’s Writers Magazine continues to grow and demands more of our time and attention. We are happy with the progress there and are working hard to ensure writers get the maximum attention we can afford to offer them so that their stories are published with us. Stay tuned for new developments and features in the near future.

We will continue to update this blog, but it will not be as frequently as we would like it to be. Thank you for your continued support and interest in both our Magazine and blog.

CW team.

October 23, 2015

Literary Tidbits

Lets get right down to it, I love literature and I love the different genres literature offers: prose, poetry, drama, and criticism.  If I really have to choose a favourite, mine is prose.  I certainly wouldn’t hold it against anyone though if they loved another genre, even if it wasn’t literary but more mainstream or commercial.  To each his own.  So when one friend killed another in a drunken argument in Russia, because the former insisted that poetry was superior to prose, I say it’s taking a love for literature one step too far.



Rushdie (Courtesy of

Rushdie (Courtesy of

It’s an age-old argument that we have to keep fighting for: censorship is a no! So kudos to the organisers of the Frankfurt Book Fair for sticking with Salman Rushdie as the person to open the fair, with the Iranians threatening to boycott the event if they went ahead with their plans.  And kudos to Mr Rushdie’s outspokenness against censorship.


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October 16, 2015

Book Obsession

(Courtesy of

(Courtesy of

My husband and I needed to clear a room, which meant I had to get rid of some books.  I was heartbroken when I took three boxes filled to the brim to our local library.  I couldn’t possibly bring myself to trash them, and although I can’t enjoy them anymore, I’m glad that most of them at least will get a new home and lots of new readers.

Thank goodness we still have one bookcase in the living the room that is filled with books – two rows on each shelf.  I wouldn’t be surprised if late one night we are woken up by the whole thing crashing down.  I wonder how many of them I will ever read again?  Probably just a handful, but their presence comforts me, and I like the idea that I could lend them to friends and family who haven’t had the joy of reading them yet.

Yes, I suppose I’m obsessed, but this quote shows me that I’m not alone:

Book collecting is an obsession, an occupation, a disease, an addiction, a fascination, an absurdity, a fate. It is not a hobby. Those who do it must do it.

-Jeanette Winterson


October 13, 2015

The Booker Prize and Puffs


(Courtesy of

In an informative article ‘Do rave reviews on book covers count as literary criticism?‘ published in the NewStatesmen, Dr Wilson discusses the literary puff, i.e. the promotional blurbs that appear on book jackets and press releases.  I like that he discusses the puff with relation to the Booker Prize because that is one of the main problems I have with the prize, the ridiculously inflated praise attributed to the titles that make the long and short list each year.  In fact, ever since I can remember, I have developed an allergy to book covers with puffs on them.

If a book has literary merit to it, and is fortunate to also sell well like a ‘best-seller’, then future editions of the book will have puffs added by publishers.  There is something disturbing about this, it is almost like saying that even though the general public was able to come around and see the qualities of the text for what it is, subsequent publishers do not feel reassured unless they have reviewers dump positive adjectives on the cover for potential new buyers.  Are readers supposed to be so ignorant and clueless?  And if these puffs do work at some psychological level, like many marketing gimmicks do, should readers give up all sense of judgement?  Do we abandon our critical skills?  Shall we be spoon fed books deemed: ‘Amazing!’ ‘Five Stars’ ‘Absolutely Riveting’?

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October 9, 2015

Alexievich, the Nobel and Chernobyl

Courtesy of

Svetlana Alexievich (Image courtesy of

The Nobel committee did it again, caught me completely off guard.  The award for literature this year went to Svetlana Alexievich, and I was like… who?  Now I hold the Nobel prize for literature in high esteem, not only because it is awarded based on a writer’s oeuvre, but also because I often do like the works of the winning writers.  And the ones I do not know, I eagerly anticipate discovering their work.

So, naturally, I googled Svetlana Alexievich and found a lot of information.  I am not surprised I did not know anything about her since she is a journalist, and writes mainly non-fiction… wait, what?  I know of creative nonfiction and I know of nonfiction endowed with literary style that reads as smoothly as fiction, but a Nobel prize awarded for nonfiction?  This article of The New York Times sheds light on the matter, she’s not the first to win the Nobel for primarily writing nonfiction, but it is indeed rare.   However, her reportage is highly praised:

Ms. Alexievich’s work fits into a longstanding literary tradition of deeply reported narrative nonfiction written with the sweep and the style of a novel.

Continue reading

October 8, 2015


This cracked me up… I think it’s quite recognisable!



October 7, 2015

Small Press Editors Are the Gatekeepers to Publishing

I loved this little article titled ‘Publishing In Small Journals: The Un-Fairy Tale‘ written by Brianne M. Kohl and published over at our friends The Review Review.  I thought it appropriate to share with writers potentially willing to submit their work to Cecile’s Writers’ Magazine, as we are apparently gatekeepers :-)

Far, far away, maybe in another kingdom but most likely in some suburban home office, the Powerful Editor read and loved this writer’s story.  The editor plucked her from obscurity, whisked her away from her dirty hearth and published her story.  The entire kingdom rejoiced. She was beloved by all.

I am not that writer.

Read this clever article here, and share your thoughts with us.  Or better yet, send in your writing and we just might share it with the world.


September 25, 2015

7th Edition Cecile’s Writers Magazine: From Alzheimer’s to Heavenly Spices

Our seventh edition contains a flash fiction and three short stories.

We begin with Israeli Erez Volk whose flash fiction Father Figure shows the emotional strain of a father with Alzheimer’s, and he manages to do this with a great economy of words.

Irish/Canadian David Morgan O’Conner entertains us with good humour in his story The Bush Shoe, about the infamous incident when an Iraqi threw a shoe at former U.S. president George W. Bush.  It is wonderful to see how there is no limit to the human imagination and a story can crop out of almost anything.

American Mariya Taher‘s story Stung reveals the modern day challenges of ethnically different children growing up in an American suburbia, as she explores the interaction between two friends, and the protagonist’s struggle to find her identity to fit in.

And finally, Canadian Raj Sanghera writes about a mother looking forward to pass on her cultural heritage to her baby in Heavenly Spices.


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