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I’ve said it so many times in the past month—I can’t believe Read Alberta is one year old! What a blur. But above all what a pleasure and honour it’s been to be part of launching this beautiful bundle of Alberta book love into the world.
At a time when everyone has been feeling disconnected—with our meetings and our book launches and even our beer nights all via Zoom—Read Alberta has been a connecting point for me. My favourite part of working on the site by far has been getting to work with the talented writers and industry professionals who have generously contributed their time and expertise to articles and columns; as well as the publishers and authors whose work we’re here to celebrate.
From peeks into Alberta illustrators’ studios, to learning about issues that our libraries are grappling with, to probing interviews with Alberta authors and publishers, to exploring our literary history and applauding our bookstores’ ability to keep our books and authors visible in the present, Read Alberta has become a home base from which anyone can access the province’s bookish goings-on.
Our start-up team—Anna Boyar, Karyn Wisselink, and the amazing crew at the Book Publishers Association of Alberta (Kieran Leblanc, Patricia Veldstra, and Megan Bishop), have put so much work and passion into the creation of the site. The end of the year marks a changing of the editorial guard and I’m thrilled to announce that the site will continue on under the fresh editorial guidance of (drum roll please)…Peter Midgley and Emily Schultz.
Peter Midgley is no stranger to Read Alberta, nor the book community in Alberta. He was one of Read Alberta’s first interviewees when we launched in 2021, and has gone on to write many articles about Alberta’s publishers, including Stonehouse, Freehand, Athabasca University Press, University of Calgary Press, and Laberinto Press.
Emily Schultz has been a bookseller and library worker in Moh’kins’tsis (Calgary) and works in marketing for a group of indie publishers.
In our discussions, their ideas have been at a roiling boil and I can’t wait to read where they take us next!