MAGGIE B. JANSEN
At the age of fifty-five I took my first creative writing course at the University of Toronto's School of Continuing Education's Creative Writing program, which lead to the next, and the next. 400 words are now 45,700 and I am in the process of revising my memoir, Still, a Tree.
On September 5, 2018 an excerpt from my memoir-in-progress, "The Stepsister", was long listed for the 2018 CBC Nonfiction Prize. As one of 30 writers selected from 4000 entries, I was honoured to be chosen. Prior to this, I have had two pieces published in the Globe and Mail, read my work at The Platform and True to Life reading series in Toronto, formed a writer's group, and taken workshops in with Miriam Toews in Toronto, Lidia Yuknavitch in Oregon, Pam Houston and Lidia Yuknavitch in Lake Tahoe, and Natalie Goldberg in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
I write because I love to. And because I believe my stories might encourage those readers among us who may have lost hope.
I owe the courage and clarity to becoming a writer to recovery; twelve years of sobriety, and the encouragement and love of my family and my family of friends.
STILL, A TREE
I never thought my 400 words would be a memoir. One word at a time, and now I have written 45,700 words. My memoir, Still, a Tree, is a collection of vignettes linked to the timeline of my journey.