Making it Happen Part 1: Print

Two-Part Series on Artists Breaking Into Their Industries

Michelle Franklin tells us about starting out as a writer. Photo Rebecca Ugolini

Getting Novels Published
by Elysha del Giusto-Enos

Concordia creative writing grad Michelle Franklin credits “a stupid amount of tenacity” for helping her get her novels into print. It took 10 years.

Her latest novel, Tales from Frewyn: The Opera & The Reporter from Marridon is on shelves at independent bookstores like Babar en Ville (1235 Greene) where she will have a book signing on Thursday.

While she was seeking to publish her literary fantasy novels, Canadian publishers could not guarantee actually moving forward with her manuscripts if she gave them the rights, and they were not offering advances— so Franklin opted for small American publishers instead.

Because her publisher is small, she does a lot of promotion and social media herself. In the video above, she explains the state of the publishing industry and how new writers can break in.

Tales from Frewyn: The Opera & The Reporter from Marridon at Babar en Ville (1235-A Greene, Westmount) / Nov. 15 / 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. / Free (Free cake too)

Building a Magazine
by Fanny Arnaud

The second issue of Fiora Magazine will be on sale in mid-November. The brand-new fashion mag is made by and covers Montreal artists.

Elsa Jabre, 24, is a self-taught photographer and founding editor of Fiora.

Jabre and her team worked for a year on the first issue, released in August, and she personally invested the $2,500 needed to print its 60 copies.

“Since I was 14, I loved looking at fashion shows and magazines. I just love that, it’s part of my life, it’s always going to be there for me,” Jabre said.

Charlotte Lin, the publication’s co-founder, explains Fiora ’s mandate, “At Fiora, we want to showcase the multitude of local talents in a raw, fresh and unrestrained way. Our mission is to show people the real passion that inspires the beginning of every artist’s career.“

In 2008, Jabre was studying at Concordia University and worked as photo editor for The Link. After graduation she began working as a professional photographer for model agencies, and is sure fashion is her passion.

“I came from Marianopolis [college] creative arts, I was doing painting and I was thinking if I want to be a businesswoman I need something to help me because with art it’s not enough, you need the basics,” said Jabre.

With this in mind, she enrolled in economics at Concordia to become an entrepreneur, since building a magazine requires much more than a knowledge of exclusively fashion and art.

Jabre needed expertise in marketing, administration and management to start her own company—studying business gave her those basics.

The idea of creating a magazine initally came up while she was talking with a model.

She didn’t believe in it until co-founder and fashion photographer Charlotte Lin pushed her and offered up an extensive address book in 2012.

“She told me about the Fiora project right away but it actually didn’t happen for almost a year. She had many ideas and a great vision, but was facing difficulties putting things together,” said Lin.

The second issue was a smoother endeavour, taking only a month to produce.

The team now has six people coming from various professions and who work for the magazine in addition to their day jobs. They are mostly volunteers.

The content of the magazine comes from open submissions. Anyone based in Montreal can submit through their website and pitch an article, photo or video.

The mag mainly contains fashion photography and small features about local artists. Jabre paid attention to choose a high-quality paper to give to give it that professional, this-is-a-real-magazine a look.

She has just started looking for external funding from the government, and expects to cover the cost of the first issue by selling 300 copies of issue two.

For now the magazine can only be bought online, but the second issue will be sold on a few newsstands.

“The vision and direction of the magazine is something that I personally love and believe in. I think it will be a success because it is something we are lacking in the Montreal market,” Lin said.

Contributors have until November 18 to submit work for the second issue at or through their website. The call is for content to be relevant for their holiday issue.