From the first time she started talking to students in Pictou County after her first book was published, Sheree Fitch has held a special place in her heart for this area.
Sheree Fitch is excited to be this year’s writer in residence for Pictou County. ADAM MACINNIS – THE NEWS
Raised in New Brunswick, she would later move to Halifax, but her father always teased that someday she’d end up in Pictou County.
Sure enough, one day Fitch and her husband were driving through River John. Instantly they fell in love with the community and decided to make it their home. There at a pine table looking out at River John, Fitch writes longhand on paper.
Now Fitch is looking forward to spending a year encouraging aspiring writers – while penning some prose of her own in her free time – as the Pictou County Antigonish Regional Libraries latest writer in residence.
Fitch is most widely known for her children’s books, which include her popular debut collection of poems, Toes in My Nose to her latest, Singily Skipping Along, which is going to be released later this month. But her work is much broader and encompasses everything from adult poetry and a novel to plays and scripts.
“I can kind of go in any genre,” she said.
She’s looking forward to sharing that experience as she holds workshops, readings and one on one mentorship sessions with people throughout the area.
One of her guiding principles as a teacher of writing is one she picked up herself from a writing book which stated in it’s opening page “Everyone is talented, original and has something important to say.”
She makes it her aim to help them say that in the best form.
“It’s always inspiring for me to midwife other people’s creativity and see what they have,” she said. “That’s always humbling, because there are so many people who are just natural born story tellers. I’ve had the good fortune in a couple of cases to be able to help other people towards publication. It really is as exciting as getting your own book published to know you’ve been part of somebody else’s.”
She struggled herself for about eight years to get her first book published and is thankful for those who encouraged her along the way from her Grade 2 teacher who nurtured her desire to write to a couple of friends who realized the gift she had and made sure she didn’t give up.
She hopes to use her time as writer in residence to finally complete a collection of short stories that she has been gathering ideas for, for decades. At the moment the stories are heading in the direction of the literary humour genre.
“That’s where I’m kind of fitting in. I somehow can’t seem to take the world too seriously for too long,” she said. “In a world that makes no sense to me, making nonsense makes sense.”
For information on workshops, readings and how to set up a meeting with Fitch visit www.parl.ns.ca.