A Literary Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. It means gathering family, consuming too much food, and starting fall baking. It is a time of reflection—a time to be thankful for the things you have achieved and to those who have supported you.

There are the big things to be thankful for, like the roof over your head and the family at your table. But there are also the small things, the dogs who hang out in the office all day. The dishes that are done, the soup that is made and in the freezer needing only to thaw out.

I think it is important to remember the big things, to not take them for granted, but also, the little things. The day to day things that are too easy to overlook. The sun on the deck where I can go read, for example. The plethora of books for me to choose from.

Thanksgiving also signals the beginning of the literary award season. Well, it starts a bit before Thanksgiving, but for me, it always reminds me that the season is upon us. I am always excited to see what books are making it from the long list to the short list. I started my morning by watching the live feed of the Scotiabank Giller prize announce their short list (I am a Truck by Michelle Winters; Transit by Rachel Cusk; Minds of Winter by Ed O’Loughlin; Bellevue Square by Michael Redhill; Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson). A great thing about The Scotiabank Giller Prize is that, come November 20, the finalist will be announced on CBC television.

It is a wonderful thing to be able to watch this event live, to be able to celebrate with the authors who are anxiously awaiting to hear the announcement. To see literature celebrated in such a way that is generally reserved for sports, or other such inductions. It shows that wherever you may live there is a vibrant literary community out there, and one that you can be apart of if only through watching the celebrations. I look forward to these events, to see the authors, publishers, editors, agents, all being recognized for their work in a world that is so important to me. And I am thankful for the ability to participate in this way.

Fall, Thanksgiving, is the start of a new year in the world of publishing. There are events, lists, and awards; there are new books being acquired after a slow summer, and writers are nervously sending out manuscripts after polishing them all summer hoping for that first yes. It is an exciting time. A time to take pause and be grateful that these things are happening—and that, in a way, we are all able to participate, if we choose, by following along with the longlists, the shortlists, attending events virtually, and holding our breath while the announcement is made.

Deanna Roney is an AU graduate who loves adventure in life and literature. Follow her path on the writing journey at https://deannaroney.wordpress.com/