Blank Spaces Takes on Word On The Street Toronto

by - Friday, September 29, 2017

Last year we braved the crowds for a full day of inspiration at Toronto's massive FREE one day literary festival, Word on the Street. Our little magazine was freshly birthed and I carried it around in my bag like a tentative new mom, looking on other magazine displays with envy and hope—seeing that even little guys can make a big splash if they put their mind to it.

We left that day, confident that we'd be ready to try it for ourselves next time.

blank spaces at word on the street toronto
cn tower blank spaces booth at word on the street toronto
our table prior to set up

And we were! With a full year of publications under our belt, we reserved a table and booked it down to the BIG T.O.

Because our load-in time was 7:00 (*groan*) on Sunday morning, we went down the day before, intent on exploring Kensington Market, picking through all the bookstores we could find, chasing down adventure (because who wouldn't enjoy stalking a prince?), and eating great food we couldn't afford if our kids were with us! It was a beautiful day of much laughter and camaraderie. I am immensely thankful for the little team of dedicated volunteers that believe in Blank Spaces as passionately as I do—and excursions like this help boost our already high team morale, and give us great things to talk about as we think about the future.

Our booth was little, but we did our best to make it pop; and there, under a canvas tent and the sweltering warmth of a surprise September heatwave, we took our stand!

ann yk choi with blank spaces magazine at word on the street toronto
Meeting Toronto Book Awards nominee and Blank Spaces contributor Ann Y.K. Choi
blank spaces magazine at word on the street toronto
And what a stand it was! We had such a great time meeting all of you who stopped by to say hi. It was a treat to meet people face to face who we've only connected with online!

We were able to make great connections with many people, offer some encouragement to those just testing the waters of the publishing industry, be the recipient of some great advice from the lovely managing editor of Vallum magazine (who shared the tent to our right) — and to top all of that off, we were able to launch the Just Words Volume 1 anthology that contains all the short stories, creative-nonfiction, and poetry from the first year of Blank Spaces! Whew! What a day! Our only real regret was that we didn't get a photo of our whole crew together—we were just too busy to think about it!

blank spaces magazine at word on the street

So, will we do it again?

Oh yeah!

We're looking for every opportunity (within reason and budget) to bring exposure to Blank Spaces, and the thousands of feet that trek through Word on the Street each year are pretty hard to pass up!

If you have suggestions for other literary events we should be part of, please let us know in the comments!

[You can see a complete album of the Blank Spaces crew shenanigans on Facebook]

Alanna Rusnak is an author, a publisher, and a seeker of the extraordinary. Living with her husband, three children, and an overweight cat (who's kind of an idiot), on a small patch of untamable land in Southwestern Ontario. Trying to do it all with some measure of grace. (She is also the founder and Editor-In-Chief of this pretty little magazine!) [author website, twitter, facebook, instagram]

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© Alanna Rusnak Publishing est. 2016 and Blank Spaces Magazine