MacEwan University’s City Centre Campus bookstore buzzed with excitement on the evening of Nov. 16 as a crowd of friends, family and faculty gathered to support the launch of the Bolo Tie Collective’s first anthology.
The Bolo Tie Collective is a creative writing community that offers writing workshops, as well as a place where authors can share their writing and receive critical feedback. This is the club’s second academic year running, and to cap off another year of creative writing comes the release of the club’s first anthology.
The book is a collection of short stories organized into categories that include themes such as murder and horror, friends and family, fantasy, and science fiction.
The short stories were written and edited by MacEwan students. The collection’s creation has been a long process, but Shawn Hamm, lead editor for the project, reflects fondly on the months leading up to the launch.
“The whole thing has been kind of a learning process,” Hamm said. “(The process) has been full of mistakes and successes, and that’s what it’s built on. We learned which things take more time, and what matters and what doesn’t.”
Although the club initially started as a means to bridge the gap between the English and Communications departments, the anthology contains stories from students from a wide variety of programs.
“Anyone can be a part of it,” Hamm said. “We have students from biology and anthropology involved as well.”
Because the anthology is the first of its kind to be released by the club, members weren’t sure what to expect for turnout at the launch party. The event turned out to be a great success, as the bookstore was a full house, and eager attendees lined up outside the doors in hopes of purchasing a copy of the book.
“A lot of people came, so it was really exciting,” Ashley Bilodeau said. Bilodeau is one of the 45 authors featured in the anthology.
A line quickly formed leading to the bookstore’s tills as the books vanished from the shelves and fans began to have authors sign their copies.
“It’s nice to see so many friends and family members supporting the students,” said Iris Rohr, one of the editors for the collection.
The event carried a certain tone of pride from the club, and the countless hours of planning and production that went into the project came across clearly.
“I’m really happy with how we managed to clearly organize the book,” Hamm said. “It’s just a classy little unit, and I’m really excited for people to read it.”
For those who wish to purchase a copy of the anthology, it can be found on shelves at the MacEwan bookstore.