The Porcupette Plans a Party, AKA Bookish Event Planning for the Socially Impaired

You can probably guess, gentle reader, that your porcupette, being a shy, bookish sort, is not exactly a party animal. Don’t get me wrong—I enjoy a good meal with friends, and I flatter myself that little book fairs in literary locales are kind of my jam. But I’m also the type to really enjoy being cozied up in bed with a book by 11:00 p.m. (Seriously. It’s awesome.) So when the opportunity arose to plan a couple of fall events for our talented PQL authors, my reaction can only be summed up as a mixture of excitement and dread.

Stressed-looking man standing on an enormous notepad with a giant feather quill surrounded by men looking pensive.
Me, trying to account for all the variables.

People who, like myself, are not particularly mathematically inclined, know that the notion of variables is downright disconcerting. And when it comes to planning a book event, there seem to be so many. Chief among them is the question that haunts my dreams: How many people will actually show up? And then you need to hazard a guess as to how much food to order, how many books to make available, what your timetable might look like … for a neurotic porcupette, it’s a recipe for a stressful couple of weeks and a new grey hair or ten.

Of course, once you get to the day of the event, it isn’t exactly smooth sailing. Will the weather be conducive to travel? Will the authors know where to go? Will they get there on time? What’s the small-talk situation? Do I know anyone in the crowd who will take pity on a wayward porcupette? I am sure many introverted authors, who would prefer their books sell without them having to do launches and readings and Zoom events and the like, know the feeling. Is it the pandemic that has atrophied my social muscles? Has that contributed to my awkwardness at book readings and events that don’t have a table full of books for me to hide behind?

Well, if that’s the case, the coming months will be a workout, indeed! Time to feel the burn, as they say. (Well, maybe a light warmth. Books are flammable, after all….)

What’s happening this month…


The Essential Eugene McNamara

Now that printing and binding of Wesley W. Bates’s Out of the Dark is complete, it’s time to turn our attentions to our Fall 2022 titles. First on the docket, we’ll be working on The Essential Eugene McNamara. The 24th volume in our Essential Poets series, this book shines the spotlight on a poet whose empathetic and emotional verses conveyed great empathy for “small, non-eloquent, delinquent, unpopular and wayward places”.

In Windsor.

Karl Jirgens will be taking part in this year’s Bookfest Windsor as a participant in the Fiction Across Borders Panel. He will be joined by Stéfanie Clermont, and the event will take place at the Armories building, part of the University of Windsor’s School of Creative Arts, at 11:30 a.m. on October 15.

Chapter Two Brewing Company

Also in Windsor, the Porcupine’s Quill is pleased to be hosting a “Books and Brews Bash” on Tuesday, November 1 at 7:00 p.m. at Chapter Two Brewing Company. The event will include readings by Anne Baldo (Morse Code for Romantics), Phil Hall (The Essential Eugene McNamara), Karl Jirgens (The Razor’s Edge) and D.A. Lockhart (Breaking Right). There will be free refreshments, and books for sale. We hope you’ll join us to celebrate these great books and their authors!

In Vancouver.

Frances Boyle, author of the story collection Seeking Shade, will be reading from her stories and poetry at the People’s Co-op Bookstore on October 18. She will be joined by Steffi Tad-y, Ellen McGinn at 7:00 p.m.

In Toronto.

All are welcome at the Toronto launch of Karl Jirgens’s short story collection The Razor’s Edge. Stop by Supermarket on October 23rd at 7:00 p.m. for a reading and signing. Books will be available for purchase, and refreshments will be available.


Looking ahead to November, mark your calendars for the PQL “Fall Literary Fiesta”. This event will be taking place at TacoTaco in Kensington Market on Wednesday, November 23 at 7:00 p.m. It will include readings by Ross Breithaupt (Midland), Daniel Bryant (Rerouted), Susan Glickman (Artful Flight), Karl Jirgens (The Razor’s Edge), Bruce McDougall (Urban Disturbances) and Ed Seaward (Fair). Enjoy free refreshments and fun readings from our talented authors.

In Hamilton.

C. I. Matthews will be reading from her debut collection of short stories, Took You So Long, as part of All Lit Up’s Indie Reading Room series. She will be at the Staircase Theatre in Hamilton on Tuesday, November 1 at 6:00 p.m. Books will be available for purchase on site from Epic Books.

In Clifford.

Wesley Bates

Also mark your calendars for an exciting open studio event! Check out the artistic environs of wood engraver Wesley W. Bates on Saturday, November 5 and Sunday, Novmber 6. The event will include an open studio, demonstrations and refreshments, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

In the World.

October 5 is World Teacher Day, so be sure to give a metaphorical tip of the hat to those hardworking men and women who probably taught you to read!

October 16 is Dictionary Day, a perfect day to remind you of your appreciation of the invention that helped generations of people brush up on their vocabulary, spelling, and reading comprehension.

October 27 is National Tell a Story Day in the UK and Scotland, and can we agitate to bring this to North America?

From the porcupette’s corner…

Monk surrounded by books
Me, in my little cave—I mean office!—surrounded by books and papers and work to do.

As you can probably guess, I’ve been in full on events mode these days. I’ve had the chance to attend a bunch of events this past month, and plan or help plan a few more. As the details get hammered out, I’ll be looking forward to doing some of the fun stuff relating to promotions, such as making social media images and event listings and so on. I’m also really looking forward to diving into the upcoming editorial projects that we have coming up in the spring. Such varied titles and styles—I definitely won’t be bored! 


Thank you for once again visiting the PQL blog to read my rambles. I hope to see you all soon at one of our upcoming events!



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2 Responses to The Porcupette Plans a Party, AKA Bookish Event Planning for the Socially Impaired

  1. Thanks for all your hard work! As a fellow introvert, I share your nerves but am way ahead of you on the grey hair!

  2. Pingback: The Porcupine’s Quill

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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.