The first of our “how-to” episodes, this week we’re discussing that daunting beast, the novel! How do writers know what to write about? What does the writing process look like? And once you’ve finished the thing, how do you get it out into the world?


Our interview today features Cindy Zhe Chen, M.A., a graduate from the University of Windsor’s Creative Writing program and novelist!


Cindy’s book, White Anemone, can be accessed at


Stephen King’s book On Writing talks about the writing process in a way that is open, engaging, and at times hilarious.


For 20 writing tips from Stephen King, check out this Barnes and Noble blog post!


Khaled Hosseini told The Atlantic during an interview that “Everyone is an ocean inside. Every individual walking the street. Everyone is a universe of thoughts, and insights, and feelings. But every person is crippled in his or her own way by our inability to truly present ourselves to the world.” Writers try to capture that “ocean inside,” by observing, writing, refining.


“It seems miraculous, doesn’t it? That somebody can articulate something clearly and beautifully that exists inside you, something shrouded in impenetrable fog. Great art reaches through the fog, towards this secret heart—and it shows it to you, holds it before you.”


Zadie Smith is an accomplished British writer who uses polyphonic (multiple voiced) methods to explore modern day life. She is also a critic and professor.


“Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.”


Part of developing a good story is developing interesting characters. Writing exercises in observation and character development can be helpful in creating complex and unique people that readers will want to read about.


National Novel Writing Month is in November, but you can sign up to write your novel in a month anytime of the year!




Some great writing tips from The Guardian! One of which is to make writing a daily habit: setting aside time every day can make a world of difference in your writing!


Today’s harmonica segment: Your character walks in on their friend painting a goldfish. What happens next? You can tweet us the link or your very very short story @hardcoverradio!


Thanks for listening!

Blog all about it! This week’s about the genre of blogging and how it’s become more than just a way to share your feelings online.


But before we get to that… MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU!



Blogs, blogs everywhere! As of February 2014, 172 million Tumblr and 75.8 million WordPress blogs were available for worldwide viewing!


Check out the vlog brothers site where you can check out Hank and John Green’s video blog posts on everything from literature to video games to rants on current events – all in fluid conversational style.




Your harmonica challenge this week: find a Star Wars blog and tweet it to us @hardcoverradio!

Or if you like, write a blog post of your own! You can link us to it and tell us a bit about why you blog!


Thanks for listening!



Today, we’re talking about the good, the bad, and the ugly of page to screen storytelling (and vice versa!)







It’s hard to fit everything from the book into the film…


…but I wish Tom Bombadil had gotten a cameo at least.


Check out John Green’s AMA on reddit, where he talks about everything from his new book to reddit gold.


Some adaptations deviate from the storyline completely, as the Game of Thrones series is doing (WARNING: Spoilers!)


Can you name all of these adaptations?



Hedwig’s Theme from the Harry Potter films, written by John Williams!


Are you excited for the new Star Wars trailer?


The original films inspired an entire subculture of Star Wars novels, graphic novels, and novelettes!


What do you think would be the worst book to film adaptation? You can tweet it to us @hardcoverradio!

Talking Books showed up in the 1920s and have been around ever since. This week we’ll be talking about the  listening/ reading experience we now know as audiobooking!


You can volunteer with Librivox and add to the 6000 + books they’ve recorded so far!


What do you think of Fredrick Davidson reading War and Peace?


Audiobooks make biking and reading at the same time that much easier…



A Librivox recording of The Phantom of the Opera, some of which is read by Kristen Hughes.


You can check out Audible’s best seller list, including Gone Girl and The Game of Thrones series, and discover new books!


Your harmonica challenge this week is to find an audiobook version of your favourite book and tweet us about your experience @hardcoverradio.


Happy listening/ reading!

Today we’re talking Shakespeare with Janine Marley, M.A.!



Janine owes a great debt of gratitude to her Shakespeare professor, Dr. Mark Johnston, for filling her head with wonderful facts about the Bard. So much so, actually, that she’s never 100% sure if what she’s saying is straight from lecture or her own thoughts or a hybrid of the two.




The Stratford Festival is world-renowned for its quality Shakespearean productions (they also put on musicals and more contemporary shows)! This season features Hamlet, The Adventures of Pericles, Love’s Labour Lost, and many more!


If you’d like to hear more of Janine’s theatre thoughts, you can read her blog, A View From the Box. Make sure to check out her review of Twelfth Night, put on by the UPlayers of the University of Windsor this past March!


A scene from Tom Stoppard’s Shakespeare spin-off, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead:


The song at the end of the episode, “Hamlet,” is by Paisley Jura “Canada’s double bass toting indie darling.” You listen to more on her website!


And since you’ve waited so long for the whole song – here’s “Limelight,” by Rush. Lyrics inspired by As You Like It: “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances…”


You can let us know what you think of the episode in the comments or @hardcoverradio. Thanks for listening!

We attended a couple of readings this week and are bringing you the highlights!


The first reading we attended was hosted by Dr. Louis Cabri. Featured writers were:

Omar Kanawati, reading from a story set at sea…

Laryssa Brooks, performing her unsettling prose.

Jay Rankin, reading his Basho-inspired poetry.

Amilcar Nogueira, sharing some delightful wordplay.

Also featured at the reading was the university’s Writer-in-Residence, Madeline Sonik, and our very own Brittni Carey.


April 1st, the undergraduate were featured at the annual Creative Writing Gala, also held at the Green Bean Cafe (if you haven’t been, it’s quite wonderful!). Hardcover co-hosted the event with Dr. Susan Holbrook, Dr. Nicole Markotic, Dr. Louis Cabri, and Dr. Suzanne Matheson. The cafe was absolutely packed full of people listening to almost 50 students speak their prose and poetry; each reader had only two minutes to read, so it went quickly! Students also sold chapbooks of their amazing work. It was wonderful to be a part of this event!


You can listen to the full Gala recording here. Unfortunately, the sound quality isn’t as good as we would like to be, but the readers are amazing, so that makes up for it 🙂



11088689_10152682317001389_1048060470_n 11088693_10152682316176389_810224308_n 11100783_10152682314756389_1549688351_o 11101289_10152682316626389_308072286_n

11124405_10152682313961389_809763159_n 11131912_10152682318036389_1050810711_n 11106486_10152682319186389_851280609_n




The song featured at the end of this episode is by the super talented and super fun Richard Garvey. You can view his CBC page, or his Facebook page to hear more!

A few days late, but here’s our Women’s Day episode, featuring interviews of mystery writer Jayne Self and poet-professor Dr. Susan Holbrook!


Our episode title, “Time Worn Wings”, is an anagram of “Womens Writing”.


In poetry, there’s room for ambiguity, indeterminacy, and raw expression!


John Green on Sylvia Plath:


Some of the greats: Jane Austen, Emily Dickinson, Virginia Woolf, Harper Lee, Maya Angelou, and Sylvia Plath.


“Adventure Time” characters in both of their manifestations: Fionna and Cake, and Finn and Jake!

fionna and finn


Read more about Marvel’s re-imagining of Thor as a woman:


J.K. Rowling and Suzanne Collins have done really well in their respective genres: young adult, fantasy, and dystopian fiction. Harry Potter and The Hunger Games series have both been adapted into film, and continue to enchant and engage readers of all ages.


Jayne Self:


The HMS Malignant inspired Jayne’s award winning novel, Murder in Hum Harbour, as well as the name for Malignant Cove!

Some writers who have influenced Jayne: NJ Linquest, Linda Hall, Denise O’Leary, Dorthy Donne, Diana Gabaldon

Write Canada is Canada’s largest annual Christian writers’ conference. Join 200 authors, journalists, columnists, bloggers, and poets and hone your craft at this three-day conference. June 11-13, 2015.” (from the Write Canada website)

You can find Jayne’s books through Harbor Light, Amazon, Pelican Book Group. or at her website, Thanks, Jayne!


Speaking of murder mysteries…Agatha Christie is the master of the whodunnit!



Margaret Atwood’s Maddaddam trilogy is being adapted into a TV series (spoiler alert!):


Susan Holbrook:


Her book of poetry, Joy is So Exhausting


You can find her books through her publisher or at Biblioasis.

Look out for her new book, to be released in 2016. Thanks for being a part of the show, Susan!

Anagram of “Susan Holbrook”: “Shoals Book Run”

* Apologies: there was supposed to be an extended interview here, but due to technical difficulties, we can’t post it at this time…


A fascinating interview with Sylvia Plath:


Don’t forget to share your anagram with us on Twitter @hardcoverradio! Thanks for listening!

Can you imagine having to type up a 20-page paper and, in order to rearrange sections of text, having to actually take a pair of scissors and a bottle of glue and manually cut and paste your document together?

Before personal computers, typewriters were used to type up letters, finish last-minute assignments, and put together the great novels of the 20th century. So, in honor of all those students and profs, writers and editors, who spent long hours re-working their writings, we’ve titled this typewriter-centric episode Cut & Paste.


Malling-Hansen writing ball 2


The entirety of  “Stenographers” by P.K. Page, for your reading pleasure:

Ernest Hemingway once won a bet that he could write a moving story in six words. He won with this:

“For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.”

Send us a six-word story of your own – post on


Have a favourite film or TV scene involving a typewriter? Tweet it to us @hardcoverradio

Kids are introduced to typewriters. One tries to feed paper in through the side:


If you’re in the Oregon area, you may want to stop by their typewriter exhibit:

These Hemingwrite typewriters look pretty cool! Check out their website:



Contribute to a writing site inspired by The Infinite Monkey Theorem:


Jack Kerouac at his typewriter:












From the Museum of Obsolete Objects


Political use of typewriters:


Some of the many variations of typewriter:

Looking for a typewriter repair shop in the Detroit area?


Famous authors and their typewriters:


Typewriter art:

21st Century documentary on the typewriter:

Welcome to Hardcover! This episode, we’re discussing poetry and interviewing local poet, Benny Alexander.


To hear the second half of Benny’s interview:


In case you were wondering about our title:

rhyme scheme   n. the ordered patterning of end-rhymes in poetry or verse. (OED)

 As an example, here’s a breakdown of “Everything Is Free” by George Elliott Clarke.

(a) Wipe away tears,

(a) Set free your fears:

(b) Everything is free.

(b) Only the lonely

(b) Need much money:

(b) Everything is free.

(c) Don’t try to bind

(c) The love you find:

(b) Everyone is free.

(d) Your lover’s yours —

(d) Surrender force:

(b) Everyone is free.

(e) The sun melts down,

(e) Spreads gold around:

(b) Everything is free.

(f) The rain is spent

(f) Lending flowers scent:

(b) Everything is free.

(g) The love you live,

(g) The life you give:

(b) Everything is free.

*Lines ending with the same rhyme are labelled with the same letter. For example, “free” and “money” are both marked as (b).


Here’s some people and websites we talk about in the episode!


langston hughes

Langston Hughes (1902-1967):

Jazz poet, novelist, playwright, critic, essayist. A prominent figure of the Harlem Renaissance.

Check out one of his many poems:


Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen is one of the Canadian greats. Famous for his troubling of the sacred and the profane through sexual and religious imagery, Cohen’s lyrics are celebrated in tandem with his gravelly and raw musical accompaniment.


For current news, videos, and new projects by Leonard Cohen, here’s a link to his website:


Thanks, WikiHow!

and (brace yourself):


Marianne Moore (1887-1972) – Modernist poet



Don’t forget to share your couplet creation with us on Twitter @hardcoverradio


“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words” – Robert Frost