Posts Tagged ‘literature’

Episode 227: Staff Pick 2016 – Problematic by Brian Hurrel

Show Notes

Every year in January, Cast of Wonders takes the month off to recharge, plan the year ahead and highlight some of our favourite episodes. Each week in January a different member of the Cast of Wonders crew will present their favorite story of 2016.

We hope you enjoy assistant editor Dani Daly’s favorite story from 2016, Problematic by Brian Hurrel, narrated by Tatiana Grey. The story originally aired September 27, 2016 as Episode 215.


Problematic

by Brian Hurrel

 

The Main Office is as spartan as the the rest of the campus. Three plain gray metal folding chairs arranged in front of Headmistress Dinali’s equally plain and unadorned wooden desk. In one of the chairs the slim ten-year- old frame of Luna Vega-MacPherson squirms restlessly, twisting strands of dark curly hair around a forefinger, and not at all trying to disguise her boredom. In the other two chairs sit her parents, looking equally uncomfortable but for different reasons.

I confess to taking some degree of pleasure in the final phase of the application process. Call it a guilty pleasure, but I do so enjoy seeing overbearing parents humbled. Since the Banks Institute is self-financing, and offers only full scholarships or flat out rejection, those of means have no more influence than those without.

The Headmistress’ face is deeply lined and wizened, her gray hair drawn into a severe bun. Through a pair of ancient wire-rimmed bifocals– complete with a thin chain securing them loosely behind her neck– her dark eyes regard the three seated guests intently. (Continue Reading…)

Genres:

Episode 215: Banned Books Week – Problematic by Brian Lawrence Hurrel

Show Notes

Learn more about The Freedom to Read Foundation, an advocacy group that deals with a wide range of issues affecting our freedom of speech and our right to access information. A growing part of their mission is to educate librarians, library patrons, and the general public about issues related to the freedom to read and our right to access information.

 


Problematic

by Brian Hurrel

 

The Main Office is as spartan as the the rest of the campus. Three plain gray metal folding chairs arranged in front of Headmistress Dinali’s equally plain and unadorned wooden desk. In one of the chairs the slim ten-year- old frame of Luna Vega-MacPherson squirms restlessly, twisting strands of dark curly hair around a forefinger, and not at all trying to disguise her boredom. In the other two chairs sit her parents, looking equally uncomfortable but for different reasons.

I confess to taking some degree of pleasure in the final phase of the application process. Call it a guilty pleasure, but I do so enjoy seeing overbearing parents humbled. Since the Banks Institute is self-financing, and offers only full scholarships or flat out rejection, those of means have no more influence than those without. (Continue Reading…)

Episode 214: Banned Books Week – The Price of Stories by Shannon Connor Winward

Show Notes

Learn more about Stop Hate and their work to challenge all forms of hate crime and discrimination based on any aspect of an individual’s identity.


The Price of Stories

by Shannon Winward

 

Mother is not the real librarian. You think she has always been here, but that’s the magic working. 

The real librarian – the one who issued your first library card, painted castles in the reading room and taught you about elephants – she never existed, now. That’s why you don’t remember. 

But don’t worry; she’ll be back. 

Mother doesn’t come for the librarians. (Continue Reading…)

Episode 213: Beneath the Loveliest Tints of Azure by Jeff Samson


Beneath the Loveliest Tints of Azure

by Jeff Samson

 

“You sure picked a hell of a day to start.”

The guard stared up at Ted with a look somewhere between aggravation and indifference. He slouched over his desk, his belly spilling over a portion of its tidy surface. His chair creaked in protest as he swiveled lazily. 

“I’m sorry?” Ted said, deepening his voice to match the guard’s husky bass.

The guard wiped a hand over his head, polished bald but for a faint horseshoe of salt and pepper hair buzzed to the same length as the patchy stubble on his face. He pushed himself away from his desk, growling as he rose. 

“Ken Allen,” he said, enveloping Ted’s comparably slight hand in a powerful grip.

“Ted Kirsch.” Ted stifled an urge to wince.

“I know–Hurrel’s replacement. Been expecting you.” Ken pursed his lips. “Sorry if I seem a bit gruff. It’s just, well, visiting days aren’t exactly best for breaking in fresh meat. Know what I mean?”

Ted nodded that he did. Then quickly realized that he didn’t.

(Continue Reading…)

Writers, Start Your Engines: Submission Call Alert


September 25 through October 1st is Banned Book Week, an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and raising awareness of the immense social value of free and open access to information. We’ve run special episodes spotlighting the event in the past, such as Alex Shvartsman’s The Things We Leave Behind.

To celebrate, later this year (tentatively scheduled for April/May), Cast of Wonders will hold a specific submission call for new YA stories focusing on themes of overcoming censorship, access to information and the transformative power of literature in all its forms.

Full details will be availaible before the submission window opens and will include:

  • Two week submission window to be announced in April or May 2016
  • New stories only
  • Open to both flash and short fiction
  • Our regular pay rates ($0.06/word), submission guidelines and contractual terms will apply
  • We plan to purchase up to seven stories to showcase the week

We hope this inspires you, and we can’t wait to see your stories!

BBW-logo