Year: 2018

Learning to Write

Selkirk College’s creative writing department is a huge supporter and contributor to the Black Bear Review. Over the past two years, our editorial committee has had the privilege of reading and publishing the work of many Selkirk College students…

Inside the Writer’s Toolbox

Many people have thought about writing the next great Canadian novel. They may even wake up at 2:00 am with a fabulous idea, reach for a pen and write it down on a nearby piece of paper. The ability to turn these ideas into literature comes with the knowledge of the elements and principles of writing. These fundamental aspects of writing act as the tools in a writer’s toolbox…

Podcasts and Prose

Books can never replace the experience of listening to a story being told. When removed from the page and shared out loud, stories take on a life of their own, changing with each new story-teller.  In the busyness of life, finding time to sit and read can be a challenge. Podcasts and radio dramas allow listeners to consume, and be inspired by, stories while stuck in traffic, mowing the lawn, or washing the dishes. Below is a list of podcasts and radio dramas that bring stories to life and captivate the imagination. Myths and Legends: Written and hosted by Jason Weiser, Myths and Legends is a weekly podcast that dives into the world of folklore and fairytale.  From tales of King Auther to Koschei the Deathless, Myths and Legends retells the beloved and obscure stories of both eastern and western cultures. Lore: In his podcast Lore, published author Aaron Mahnke takes listeners into the “darker side of history” by examining strange phenomena and urban legends. Through Mahnke’s captivating story-telling, this bi-weekly podcast proves that “sometimes, …

What are the Genres of Creative Writing?

The Black Bear Review boasts about accepting work in all four literary genres, but what does that mean? In simplest terms, genres are used to organize, categorize, and classify literature. The four primary genres of creative writing are fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, and drama. Fiction: The fiction genre includes all works conceived primarily out of the writer’s imagination. Although fiction may include some elements of reality (names of real-life towns or natural phenomena), it relies on make-believe events to drive plots that often parallel, rather than recite, real-life circumstances. Some examples of fiction form are the novel, short story, or novella. Creative Non-Fiction: Writers of creative non-fiction develop stories based on true to life events but often infuse their own personal views and experiences in their work. Creative non-fiction pieces go beyond fact to appeal to readers through story, experience, and imagery. Some examples of creative non-fiction forms are personal essays, book reviews, memoirs, interviews, and cultural criticisms. Poetry: Poetry includes writing meant to be heard out loud as well as read on the page. Although poetry can …

Meet Our Editors

If the Selkirk Saints only had one player on the ice they wouldn’t be very successful. Here at the Black Bear Review, we like to think of ourselves as Selkirk’s Literary Saints. A team dedicated to a common goal, the publishing of a professional community literary magazine. Much like the Saints, each of our editorial team members has a position to play. Kiala Löytömäki (Editor): Kiala Löytömäki is a third generation queer femme of Sami, German, English and Italian descent. They use the mediums of painting, poetry, writing, ink illustrations and textiles to weave together stories that bring forth messages of healing, pain, grief, beauty, and shadow. Their creations are an everlasting moment where past, present, and future collide and the cycles of birth/life/death are constantly turning. Liv Sapriken (Editor): Liv Sapriken lives in Crescent Valley, but spends much of her time inside her mind creating a world where she can travel from one universe to the next without leaving her bedroom. She is known as someone who can’t follow rules, but prefers to think …

Laurie Carr Cover illustration

Earning Back My Stripes

For a long time, I rejected my culture and everything that connected me to it. This might have been my way of repressing painful memories of what it was like to grow up in a hurting country or just what society had taught me, that assimilation and survival of the fittest are analogous. Now, a “hurting country” can mean many things. The Honduran people impeached our president when I was very young. That’s when I learned the word provision could be used to mean ‘all the food on the shelves that was jam-packed with preservatives, because “you never know when the grocery stores will be back in use again”’. Corruption made Honduras a hurting country. The idea that fair Latinos were worthy of promotion and hire, while  “coloured” Latinos were not,  also made Honduras a hurting country. So, I chose to pride myself in the fact that because of my mother’s Colombian nationality, I wasn’t fully Honduran. I wasn’t property of the hurting. I had a way out. Now when I look down at my …