Soliloquies, now in its eleventh year as Concordia’s student-published undergraduate creative writing anthology, is launching its latest edition – 11.1 – on the 18th at a massive party at La Sala Rosa.
For Editor-in-chief Gil Filar, the celebration marks the end of months of hard work and the beginning of an exciting era for the newly bi-annual publication.
As an editor on previous editions, Filar has seen the book grow to embrace a wider body of work and expand its presence in the literary community. “In the past,” he explained over tea, “it’s been mostly prose and poetry, but we’ve opened it up to drama in the last couple of years, which we started to get a few submissions for.” 11.1 also includes images of artworks made by Concordia students along with pieces by some of the school’s most celebrated writers.
“The foreword was written by the Poet Laureate of Canada, John Steffler, who is also teaching at the University.” Irving Layton award winners Joshua Swidzinski and Scott Inniss also contributed stories to the book. “The whole point is, if you win the Layton awards you’re guaranteed publication in Soliloquies, because we want to work with the Laytons here on in.”
Filar credits former editor-in-chief Dan Gillean with the idea to switch to a bi-annual format, a move that helped “set the ground work to move forward in the future.” Part of moving forward is increasing distribution, which in the past has been limited mainly to “launch parties and open mike nights.”
“We want Soliloquies to start getting the kind of attention that Concordia deserves, West Coast Line comes from Simon Frasier, Carousel comes from Gwelf” Seeing Soliloquies become synonymous with Concordia, Filar argues, should be the next logical step. “We have – supposedly – one of the most incredible creative writing programs in the country, in North America.” Regardless of whether or not that is true, he maintains, “if we aren’t the best, we should at least try and pretend we are.”
To that end, the all-night launch party is shaping up to be quite the bash.
“The event should be huge,” Filar promises. “We’re in collaboration with Art Matters [who are] doing their Info Party the same night.” DJs, dancers and bands will attend, along with Matrix, Conundrum Press, The Glomming, Blackheart, Lickety Split and spotlight readers to recite excerpts from 11.1.
With more then a week still to go before the launch, Filar hopes others will come forward to share their creative works.
“If you have Zines you want to sell or anything, please bring it forward,” said Filar. Those looking simply to pick up issues of Soliloquies will be pleased to know that any and all profits stemming from their five dollar price tag will go towards helping print upcoming issues.
As his team looks ahead to edition 11.2, Filar is calling on all writers and artists to prepare their work and deposit it in the English department’s Soliloquies drop-box before the Friday Nov. 23 at 5 p.m.
“You can submit five images [drawing, painting, photos, anything visual.] And, of course, there’s a wild card submission which is anything we’ve missed that adheres to the same guidelines as everything else.”
As per Soliloquies tradition, submissions should include three printed copies of any work with the artist or author’s name and contact information detailed only on the cover letter. That way, the editorial team “never knows whose story belongs to whom, unless for some reason we’ve read it. There’s no nepotism involved and it’s the same when editors contribute.”
Ultimately, the future of Soliloquies depends on the variety of works submitted.
“The more we get, the more we’ll put in,” Filar urges. “It would be great if we if we had a book that was 400 pages long. That would be amazing.” Regardless of the page count, Soliloquies will always be important to Concordia’s literary community because of the opportunity it presents.
“There’s a very good chance you’ll get published in an actual, aesthetically pleasing bound book. It’s a great starting off point for writers. If people submit, it’ll pay off.”
The Soliloquies 11.1 launch party takes place Oct. 18 at La Sala Rosa on Boul. St Laurent. No cover charge, but donations will be accepted. Email Gil and his team at