a poem that won a fox

I am pleased to announce that my writing has won me a fox. There is a shockingly tiny group of fox-winning writers out there. This is definitely going on my CV, right next to ostrich herding and singing lullabies to a sick lion.

Okay, it’s not a real fox. They belong in the woods. I won a felt fox by fibre artist Bella McBride. Our local CBC’s radio show The Shift held a contest for listeners to write in with a name and a story for the fox. Many of the entries were read on the air (including mine – squee!) and Candace Hare, director of the Nashwaaksis arm of the Fredericton Public Library, was the judge.

I listened to the show last Monday, shoulders tight and nails nibbled. Finally, they announced the winner – and it was me! I got an extra thrill as they discussed the highlights of my entry on air and giggled over all the parts I wanted people to giggle over.

My fox arrived by courier and is now presiding over my writing desk as muse and writing trophy. There isn’t much money in fiction writing, but there are wicked perks where you least expect them.

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Here’s my entry, which is a light-hearted bit of fun I hope you’ll enjoy reading as much as I did writing it:

Red O’Sullivan, the CBC Fox

Red O’Sullivan was an urban red fox

Who lived near the library in an old cardboard box.

He listened to the CBC on his phone

Sipping coffee and wishing for a show of his own.


Red worried a great deal about climate change

And found human indifference incredibly strange

So he started a podcast to vent his rants

And recorded it from home where he didn’t need pants.


The CBC staff liked his podcast, you see

And invited him over as an interviewee

He arrived on time in his orange fox fur

Only to hear, “You can’t go in there , Mr. Fox, Sir.


You are naked,” said the security guard.


“I’m a fox,” answered Red, nervous and swallowing hard,

“I’ve an interview at two. Please, let me through.”


“I can’t let you in naked. You need clothes, you do.”


“But this is my dream job – the first fox on air!

Is there possibly anything inside I could wear?”


“There’s a green coat and hat in the lost and found,

And this CBC t-shirt’s been lying around.”


They nabbed some suspenders and a pair of pants

From a fan happening by who enjoyed fox’s rants.

A scarf from the guard and his look was complete,

Red the fox went inside to his interview seat.


He answered questions in a confident voice,

Leaving his interviewers no other choice.

He was hired at once to the CBC team,

You can find him there now, he’s living his dream

In a lost and found coat and lovely green hat,

Sipping coffee and hosting a climate change chat.

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Submit Your Stories Sunday: Poems for Le Guin

Welcome to this week’s edition of Submit Your Stories Sunday! Every week I bring you a unique call for submissions to help you find a home for your stories or inspire a new one. Each call will contain a speculative element and will offer payment upon acceptance.


Ursula K. Le Guin Tribute Poetry Anthology

Eligibility: original poems which pay to tribute in some way to the late poet and writer Ursula K. Le Guin. Speculative elements are welcome, but not required. There are no limits to words, lines, or style.

Take Note: writers can submit up to three poems

What makes this call stand out: it’s a lovely way to pay tribute to a prolific writer

Payment: $20 per poem, reprints are welcome but the rate will be lower

Submit by: October 15th, 2018

Click here to go to the original call for details.

Writerly links worth sharing this week:

In the greatest foreshadowing fail I have come across, a writer who specializes in stories about ladies killing their spouses is charged with murdering… her spouse. Welp.

Last Thursday would have been Roald Dahl’s 102nd birthday. In tribute, Emmanuel Nataf put together this collection of Dahl’s “Gloriumptious” words. Best read with a smile on your face.

What I’m Reading:

I’ve been reading the Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction issue of Uncanny. Having guest editors makes it stand out from other Uncanny issues in terms of overall style, but Uncanny’s ideals of inclusivity and imaginative fiction hold true.

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cover art: And With the Lamps We Are Multitudes of Light by Likhain

My favorite story in the collection is A. Merc Rustad’s first-contact story The Frequency of Compassion. It is nothing short of a masterpiece. Rustad is easily one of my favorite short story writers publishing today. I get a rush of delight when I see their name in a table of contents.

I tried and failed to chose a favorite from the nonfiction included in the issue. As a mother who experiences a varying range of anxiety, A. J. Hackwith’s And the Dragon Was in the Skin resonated deeply. Each essay changed something in the way I see the world. If you’re a writer, read them. Devour them. Listen. They have the power to make us better writers. Better people.

Julia Watts Belser’s poem You Wanted Me to Fly hit me hard, the last line especially. As writers, we need to do so much better.

If you’re not in a place to support Uncanny magazine financially (Space Unicorns!), you can read half of the issue for free at the link above. The second half should be available on the Uncanny website in October.

Happy writing!

puddles of inspiration


“Puddles and mud and tiny bird footprints,

silt dusted leaves and ripples of sunlight.”

The poet felt his poetry muscles growing warm.

His daughter waited until he turned to dig out a pencil and paper before splashing through his inspiration in her red rubber boots. She smiled up at him as his eyebrows shot skywards. “You comin’ in?” she asked.

He could not deny the temptation. “Maybe I should write children’s books instead,” he said, and hopped right in.