Book launch event takes place March 23
By Caroline Ho, Arts Editor
This Friday, the Creative Writing Department offers the perfect distraction from academic papers and lab reports: A free evening of readings by Douglas College student writers.
On March 23, the department will be launching Pearls 37, the latest edition of its annual anthology of student writing. Pearls accepts submissions from all Creative Writing classes, written over the past fall, winter, and summer semesters. The best among these works are selected for publication every March and celebrated at the book launch event.
This year’s Pearls launch will feature 10 presenters sharing their writing, in addition to readings from the winners of the Maurice Hodgson Creative Writing Award, according to Shashi Bhat, Douglas College Creative Writing instructor and editor of EVENT magazine. The presentations will include works of poetry, fiction, personal narrative, and screenwriting.
Every Pearls edition and book launch is a surprise thanks to the diverse writing styles and range of presenters, said Bhat, who spoke to the Other Press through email. This year’s launch promises to be just as unique: Pieces that will be presented include an excerpt from Chlöe Rowat’s story, which involves a haunting of cephalopods; a poem by Andy Field about a hummingbird encounter; and a script that starts off with a musical number in a mental hospital, written by Jenny Brown.
Bhat said that attending the event, whether as a presenter, a writer published in Pearls, or a fellow student, is a great opportunity to reflect on one’s achievements and one’s journey as a writer.
“For most students featured in Pearls, this is their very first publication and first public reading—in some cases, the firsts of many in their writing careers,” said Bhat. “Attending the launch is an opportunity for students not only to encourage their peers, but also to witness the breadth of creativity, talent, and skill at Douglas College.”
Along with readings that are hilarious, terrifying, quirky, pensive, deeply moving, and everything in between, previous Pearls launch events have also boasted delightful refreshments and a fantastic community of supportive fellow writers and readers.
It’s also a chance to motivate and foster further creativity, said Bhat: “Hearing the successes of other young writers can be a real source of inspiration.”
(Shameless self-promotion: Inspired writers can also consider submitting their own work to the Other Press’ own creative writing section!)
The Pearls 37 book launch is at 7 p.m. in the Douglas College Studio Theatre, on the fourth floor of the New Westminster Campus. Copies of Pearls 37 can be purchased at the event or at the campus bookstore afterwards.