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Portal Blog

Hearing Voices

Over the New Year, we read 400 pages of submissions for the 2018 issue of Portal, a diverse range of voices on VIU’s campus. Each of the authors selected had a unique voice, something hard to define but easy to spot.

During one of the first Creative Writing classes I took, the professor started her lecture by stating the most important thing a writer can have is a unique voice. Easier said than done. Was that something that can be taught? Now that I’m entering my fourth year I suspect sharpening a voice is most likely a function of practice.

My voice is influenced by what I’m reading at any given time – I confess, maybe a little too influenced. I’m not entirely sure I do have a voice, maybe I suffer from impostor syndrome. Instead, I take cues from the likes of Alistair MacLeod, Patrick DeWitt, and recent addition, Camilla Grudova.

After reading pieces for the upcoming issue, I’ve added more to my list. If practice makes perfect, there are some perfectly talented writers of fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, interviews, scripts, art and photography about to be unleashed on readers in April.

As one of Portal’s fiction editors, I count myself lucky to work that serendipitously supports Portal’s mandate: “Prime words. Compelling art. Momentous beginnings. Portal is your gateway to accomplished short fiction, poetry, creative non- fiction, scripts, interviews, art and photography by Vancouver Island University students. Enter Portal‘s literary universe and discover worlds and futures ready to unfold, language and images — provocative, passionate or playful — that express the VIU from here. What makes Portal so portentous? It is “of ourselves and our origins”—a contemporary portrait of literary talent in the making, a portable guide to the VIU from here.”

I can’t wait for you to get your hands on the new issue so we can celebrate the voices of VIU.


-Caileigh Broatch, Fiction Editor

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