feature conversation: sarah selecky (author & yogini)

As a lover of short fiction, I was excited to discover Sarah Selecky‘s lovely collection of stories, This Cake Is for the Party, last year. Then, somehow, I heard that she taught yoga and writing workshops in the Toronto area, and was a practitioner at Centre of Gravity. And then I saw her name acknowledged as an editor on Michael Stone‘s latest book, Awake In the World. I just knew that I had to have a conversation with her.

So I used my yogi sleuthing skills to track her down and ask for an interview. In this exclusive video conversation, we talk about the parallels between yoga, meditation and writing practice; our mixed feelings about “spiritual fiction;” and how Twitter can be a powerful tool for building community and sparking creativity. Sarah also talks about editing Michael Stone’s work (his essays and fiction) and about balancing the unique relationship between editor, writer and teacher.

Sarah believes in writing as a contemplative practice. She’s been teaching writing classes out of her living room for ten years. Her first collection of short stories, This Cake Is for the Party was a finalist for the Giller Prize and the Commonwealth Prize for Best First Book in Canada and the Carribean, and it was longlisted for the Frank O’Connor Prize. She has also published stories in The Walrus, Elle Canada, Geist, and The Journey Prize Anthology.

She spoke with me from Whistler, BC where she is currently a writer-in-residence.

Follow Sarah on Twitter (@sarahselecky) for daily writing prompts and bits of inspiration. She also started Year of the Short Story (#YOSS) and Write What You Want to Read (#WWYW2Read).

** Please note, the first video gets off to a rocky start and Sarah’s lovely face is, at times, quite garbled. It smooths out after a few minutes.