Working with Seen Reading


Here are some ideas on how you can work with Julie Wilson and Seen Reading.


Festivals: How to Include Seen Reading

Julie is both an engaging reader and speaker. While Seen Reading is short on fictions — Get it? Microfictions? — it’s long on stories. Many of the fictions that appear in Seen Reading come with their own poignant and humorous  backstories, and Julie is a welcome complement to any discussion on the creative writing process, writing for new technologies, the impact of technologies on reading patterns and trends, as well as how to work with publishers, agents, and booksellers.

Outside of this traditional guest appearance, Julie is also available in her capacity as “The Literary Voyeur”. In character, she will happily narrate the experience of your festival, reporting live from your scene, logging reader and author sightings. In her role as host of 49thShelf.com, BookMadam.com, and past host of the CBC Book Club, she is comfortable interviewing authors for blogs and social media and creative in her coverage. If you’re looking for a roving reporter to help expand your festival’s reach across the country  and increase your social media profile, Julie is the perfect media partner.

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Booksellers: How to Hand Sell Seen Reading

Seen Reading is a gorgeous book that fits nicely in your hand and attractively on your screen. The hand sell could begin and end right there if the consumer simply wants something that looks good on their shelf or in their ebook library.

How, though, to explain Seen Reading to the consumer who is either new to the book’s origins or the format of microfiction, or both? The allure of Seen Reading lies in its backstory, and the connections between those who are curious about what others are reading. If only to act as a catalogue of close to 100 reader sightings, along with an index of the books that were seen, Seen Reading is as about as beautiful a testament to readers and reading as you’ll get. It’s a cultural memento. And if your customer happens to be one of the publishers or authors whose book was seen being read, it’s evidence that their hard work has found a home.

From The Globe and Mail‘s review of Seen Reading:

What’s unusual about this book are the many ways you might read it. It’s possible to read it as a catalogue of books you might like to read one day — a list. Alternatively, you might read it as geographically situated prose poetry. You can read it back to front. You can dip in and out at random. You can read it as micro-fiction, augmented by “the real.” Or you can read it as non-fiction, extended by the imaginative, as what some call creative non-fiction.

And while you could suggest that microfiction is an opportunistic response to shortened attention spans and a shift from long format reading to Facebook updates and Twitter tweets, you could also argue that very short fictions are evocative to the reader who enjoys poetry, well-scripted film dialogue, or found art forms, such as street photography and improvisational dance, which take place in arenas where anything can happen, everything hinges on a moment, and where some artists thrive. For the casual reader or busy commuter, the bite-sized fictions in Seen Reading can be consumed over lunch or between stops, and offer the daydreamer just enough fodder to carry them throughout the rest of their day.

There have also been reports of booksellers suggesting Seen Reading to adult literacy and ESL (English as a Second Language) students because the fictions, while short, also contain a strong creative component that entices the students to look at other readers in new ways, and because it provides a reading list of all the books that were sighted.

These are just a few suggestions. If you come up with any of your own, please contact Julie to let her know.

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Book Clubs and Writers’ Circles: How to Host Seen Reading

Freehand Books provides downloadable reading guides for Seen Reading (not to mention other Freehand titles) here.

While Seen Reading is short on fictions — Get it? Microfictions? — it’s long on stories. Many of the fictions that appear in Seen Reading come with their own poignant backstories. And when you invite Julie to your book club or writing circle, she’ll bring the same level of passion you have for books, reading, and writing as you do to your club or circle, as well as years of publishing experience and knowledge of the industry-at-large, where it’s come from, and where it’s going. Julie is a welcome complement to any discussion on the creative writing process, writing for new technologies, the impact of technologies on reading patterns and trends, as well as how to work with publishers, agents, and booksellers.

The allure of Seen Reading lies in its backstory, and the connections between those who are curious about what others are reading. If only to act as a catalogue of close to 100 reader sightings, along with an index of the books that were seen, Seen Reading is as about as beautiful a testament to readers and reading as you’ll get. It’s a cultural memento.

How to talk about microfictions? It’s hotly debated whether microfictions are a legitimate art form or an opportunistic response to shortened attention spans and a shift from long format reading to Facebook updates and Twitter tweets. Invite Julie to your club or circle, and she’ll argue (keenly) that these very short fictions are evocative to the reader who also enjoys poetry, well-scripted film dialogue, or found art forms, such as street photography and improvisational dance, which take place in arenas where anything can happen and where some artists thrive.

Beyond that, she’ll never arrive empty-handed, always offers to help with the dishes, and is good for more than just a few laughs. She also considers it a genuine privilege and pleasure to meet her fellow readers.

These are just a few suggestions. If you come up with any of your own, please contact Julie to let her know.

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Libraries: How to Work with Seen Reading

The allure of Seen Reading lies in its backstory and the mythical image of a lone woman lurking on public transit in search of readers on whom to spy. Of course, we know now that Julie Wilson is an affable sort, just another reader with a particularly adept ability to remember specific details within a short glimpse, a woman who delights in the connection with those who are also curious about what others are reading. If only to act as a catalogue of close to 100 reader sightings, along with an index of the books that were seen, Seen Reading is as about as beautiful a testament to readers and reading as you’ll get. It’s a cultural memento.

How, though, to talk about microfictions? It’s hotly debated whether microfictions are a legitimate art form or an opportunistic response to shortened attention spans and a shift from long format reading to Facebook updates and Twitter tweets. Julie would argue (keenly) that these very short fictions are evocative to the reader who also enjoys poetry, well-scripted film dialogue, or found art forms, such as street photography and improvisational dance, which take place in arenas where anything can happen and where some artists thrive. To point, in 2003, Kilter (Turnstone), a book of microfictions by John Gould, was shortlisted for Canada’s most lucrative prize for fiction, The Scotiabank Giller Prize. Abroad, Lydia Davis — “the master of a literary form largely of her own invention” — has been writing in the format for over twenty years. And let’s not forget Hemingway’s infamous short, short story, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

To read more about microfiction (also known a postcard fiction and flash fiction) read up on it here.

As well, Julie has years of publishing experience and knowledge of the industry-at-large, where it’s come from, and where it’s going. She has also conducted publishing and creative writing workshops for young adults. Julie is a welcome complement to any discussion on the creative writing process, writing for new technologies, the impact of technologies on reading patterns and trends, as well as how to work with publishers, agents and booksellers.

To discuss possible presentations, please contact her directly.

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Journalists: How to Explain Seen Reading

The allure of Seen Reading lies in its backstory and the mythical image of a lone woman lurking on public transit in search of readers on whom to spy. Of course, we know now that Julie Wilson is an affable sort, just another reader with a particularly adept ability to remember specific details within a short glimpse, a woman who delights in the connection with those who are also curious about what others are reading. If only to act as a catalogue of close to 100 reader sightings, along with an index of the books that were seen, Seen Reading is as about as beautiful a testament to readers and reading as you’ll get. It’s a cultural memento.

How, though, to talk about microfictions? It’s hotly debated whether microfictions are a legitimate art form or an opportunistic response to shortened attention spans and a shift from long format reading to Facebook updates and Twitter tweets. Julie would argue (keenly) that these very short fictions are evocative to the reader who also enjoys poetry, well-scripted film dialogue, or found art forms, such as street photography and improvisational dance, which take place in arenas where anything can happen and where some artists thrive. To point, in 2003, Kilter (Turnstone), a book of microfictions by John Gould, was shortlisted for Canada’s most lucrative prize for fiction, The Scotiabank Giller Prize. Abroad, Lydia Davis — “the master of a literary form largely of her own invention” — has been writing in the format for over twenty years. And let’s not forget Hemingway’s infamous short, short story, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

To read more about microfiction (also known a postcard fiction and flash fiction) read up on it here.

To invite Julie to provide commentary, or to contribute to any online contests you may host that feature the microfiction format, please contact her directly.

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