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Reading in the Time of Covid: On the Online Launch of Ed Seaward’s Fair

Ed Seaward
Ed Seaward. (Screen capture from Zoom launch.)

Last week marked a bit of a milestone for us at the Porcupine’s Quill, with our first ever online book launch. Ed Seaward launched his debut novel Fair on Zoom, to an audience of about four or five dozen attendees tuning in from the comforts of their own homes.

So how did this online event fare for … Fair?

First off, the event would not have been nearly as interesting—or as polished—without the assistance of our host, the wonderful Lee Parpart. Lee provided a splendid introduction to the book and to Ed, and guided us though the discussion and Q&A portions of the event.

Lee Parpart
Lee Parpart. (Screen capture from Zoom launch.)

We were then treated to a short reading by Ed Seaward, the man of the hour. He read for us an early chapter of Fair, introducing us to some of the influential characters who shape the novel.

Ed Seaward reading
Ed Seaward. (Screen capture from Zoom launch.)

It was important to Ed that his literary friends find both education and entertainment in the event, so, after the reading, we added a quick discussion portion to the evening. We heard from Ed’s editor, Chandra Wohleber, about the editorial process of Fair—which, according to Chandra, ended up being something of a breeze considering how polished the manuscript looked!

Chandra Wohleber
Chandra Wohleber. (Screen capture from Zoom launch.)

Then it was your porcupette’s turn. My modest addition to the evening was a short mention of how we think about marketing books like Fair in this day and age. I also had the pleasure of presenting the droll and witty remarks of PQL Publisher Tim Inkster, who wasn’t able to attend the launch. Tim wrote a short but instructive piece on the design of Fair‘s book cover (which you can read here).

Stephanie Small
Stephanie Small (yours truly!). (Screen capture from Zoom launch.)

After another spectacular reading from Ed, the floor was open to the attendees for a Q&A. Ed fielded all manner of questions about the writing and publishing process like a champ.

Attendees of Fair launch.
Attendees. (Screen capture from Zoom launch.)

In the end, the launch was an enjoyable (if short!) hour of literary delight. Ed is such an engaging and friendly guy, and it really shines through, even digitally. And Lee kept the event moving and coordinated with her great questions and her ability to transition from one topic to the next.

Portrait

Many thanks to Lee and Ed for all their hard work, to Chandra, for her time and insight, and to all who attended the event and even ordered the book after! We hope you enjoy, and we hope to see you again soon.

Cheers,

Steph


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The Porcupine's Quill would like to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts for our publishing program. The financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) is also gratefully acknowledged.