• The Official Launch of Just Words Volume 3

    If you journey into the heart of downtown Toronto you'll find Creeds Coffee Bar tucked into a clever dry-cleaning shop on Dupont Street. It is a hip urban space with an industrial cozy feel and it was all ours for the launch of Just Words Volume 3—the third anthology of work by Canadian Blank Spaces contributors. Complete with a full service bar and guests who came from as far as Montreal, it was a recipe for an incredible night.

    We set up a small pop-up shop, displaying every back issue of Blank Spaces, along with t-shirts, pins, bumper stickers, magnets, notebooks, past anthologies, and of course, the latest anthology.

    It was wonderful to meet some of our contributors face to face and to hear them read their pieces. In a Facebook post, Toronto Book Awards finalist, Ann Y. K. Choi called it a beautiful and powerful evening. "Some authors were reading in public for the first time - their hands trembling as they stood by the mic."

    We are so proud of these writers—some of whom can call Blank Spaces the launching point for their literary careers—who faced those public speaking jitters and got up in front of the crowd. One such writer, Harvey Mitro, who read his beautiful piece on running, shared about the moment he found out his work had been accepted. He said he came home from work to find a red balloon tied with a note from his wife, telling him his story was going to be published! Hearing those little glimpses into people's lives was an affirming reminder that what we're trying to do with Blank Spaces is resonating a deep chord across Canada.

    A big part of the vision for this magazine is to foster a creative community that is encouraging and empowering, and if this launch event did nothing else, it certainly affirmed that mission. Watching contributors connect over specialty coffees and glasses of wine, exchange contact information, and offer one another accolades and encouragements, we could see that our hope of championing Canadian creatives is spreading out from our small team to each person Blank Spaces touches and that's an incredibly rewarding and humbling thing to realize.

    It is our hope that this community continues to grow, that someday we'll gather for Just Words Volume 10, that strong friendships are borne through the pages of Blank Spaces, and that more and more people are touched by our desire to foster community.

    We need to offer a huge thank you to Creeds Coffee Bar for allowing us to rent their amazing space; to Fateema Miller, Creeds's event coordinator, who set up the sound equipment, ran the bar, and was hugely encouraging throughout the night; to every contributor who allowed us to showcase their work in the anthology; to every person who showed up in person (or in spirit) to help us celebrate; and finally to the entire Blank Spaces team who pitched in with set-up, door prize ticket sales, and book sales. You are all treasures and made the night run smoothly!

    If you haven't ordered your copy of Just Words Volume 3, you can do that now by clicking the BUY NOW button below. (Complete your purchase by clicking on the shopping bag.)

    Profits from every sale of this collection help us further the work and mission of Blank Spaces.

    Check out our Event Album below!

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