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Past Public Events
Saturday, October 29, 2011.10:00AM to 4:00PM
QWF presents: THE SELF-PUBLISHING WORKSHOP: How to get your manuscript into print. Atwater Library Auditorium, 1200 Atwater Avenue, Westmount, Quebec.

Monday, September 27, 2010, 7:00PM
Self-publishing: the perks and perils Location: Westmount YMCA, Westmount, Montreal, Canada. Why self-publish? Why not self-publish? Christina Manolescu, founder of Invisible Cities Network, shares some of the thrills and perils of the great self-publishing adventure. Join the discussion. Fresh ideas and experiences welcome.

Sunday March 16, 2008, 3:00 to 5:30 PM
Christina Manolescu will address the Association of Italian Canadian Writers' Literary Salon in Montreal on the subject of Self-publishing.

June 1 - 3, 2007.
The Novel BAGLADY will be displayed at the Independent Book Publishers Association's (PMA) Booth 3041 at Book Expo America, New York City and also at the AELAQ/Association of Atlantic Publishers' Stand at Book Expo Canada, Toronto on June 10 and 11, 2007. Visit BEA: http://bookexpoamerica.com Visit BEC: http://www.bookexpo.ca

Thursday, May 17, 2007
Image Visual Arts Centre, School of Art / McClure Gallery. POETRY AND PROSE READING. www.visualartscentre.ca. 350 Victoria Avenue, Montreal Tel: 514-488-9558. (Commuter Train, Vendome metro, Bus: 24, 63, 138). Producer/host Ilona Martonfi Tel 514-939-4173. ilona.martonfi@sympatico.ca Doors open at 7:00pm. Reading 7:30pm. At the door $5.00. Seven Poets, Prose Writers & Musicians featured, among them, Christina Manolescu, who will be reading from her book, Baglady. Photograph courtesy of Peter Kohl.

Saturday, February 10th, 2007. Time: 2 to 4pm
WARM Writers Writers Association for Resourceful Minds) presents: "Writing and Publishing My Memoir/Novel": A panel talk given by George Balas, Irene Even, Christina Manolescu. George Balas authored "Homecoming", Irene Even authored "A Life of the Twentieth Century", Christina Manolescu authored "Baglady". This event takes place at the Masonic Temple, Room 703, 2295 St Marc (corner Sherbrooke, metro Guy), Free to WARM members, $5 donation for guests. Reservations not required. Info: Jeanette Paul at (450)651-7044. Web: geocities.com/warmwriters.

Sunday, October 1, 2006: TIME 12.30pm - 2.30pm
Book signing, BAGLADY, Gryphon Tea Shop, Monkland. The Gryphon Tea Shop, 5968 Monkland Avenue, N.D.G. (Villa Maria Metro, #103 or #162 bus direction west on Monkland, get off at Royal Avenue.) Tel: 514-485-7377.

Thursday, September 28, 2006, 10am
Christina Manolescu and Mary Fitzpatrick will discuss the publishing of their illustrated novel, BAGLADY, at the Roxboro Library Book Club. Roxboro Library, 110 Cartier, Roxboro, 514-684-8247.

Christina Manolescu will be discussing some of the tasks in Self-publishing with host, J.J. Locke, on RADIO CKUT, 90.3FM. Monday, July 24, July 31, August 7, August 14 and August 21, between 11.30am and 12noon.

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Book Expo Canada 2006

MONTREAL GAZETTE ARTICLE, Pat Donnelly
Saturday, September 3, 2005


Creative individualists get a chance to network, trade tips.


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Are you ready to get serious about self-promotion? Christina Manolescu and Nancy (N.A.T.) Grant want to know. Because if you are, they've got the creative networking group for you. It's called Invisible Cities Network, and it's about to make a pitch for high visibility with a day-long public conference next Saturday showcasing the work of its members.

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The event is being billed as ICN's 2005 Book and Creative Arts Conference. This year's hot topic is The Art of Marketing and Networking. High-profile participants in this unique shmooze fest include the aforementioned Grant, who is a detective novelist by trade, Gazette cartoonist Terry Mosher (Aislin), shopping expert Sandra Phillips,filmmaker Peter Wintonick, musician Jean-Francois Fortier and journalist Marilynn Vanderstaay.

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The Invisible Cities Network began with a four-way chat over coffee in a Plateau cafe about 41/2 years ago. After that meeting, on an April Fool's Day, Manolescu and Cristina Perissinotto decided to found a company of kindred literary souls who would meet regularly and keep in touch by internet, all in hopes of making themselves better known through the dissemination of self-published works.

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That group now has an email list of more than 250 members. Perissinotto has since moved to Ottawa. But Manolescu has kept the flame alive, along with her many newfound friends. And she has retained the original title, Invisible Cities, chosen by Perissinotto, who picked it up from a book about a metaphysical journey, penned by Italo Calvino.

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When people object to the title, which seems to imply a studied anonymity, Manolescu tells them, "There are so many of us that seem invisible. And yet we are here."

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Unclaimed treasures, all. Many still suffering from the cruel sting of rejection slips. Previous ICN events have been held in cafes with limited seating capacity. The ticket price would include a chapbook of the work of the members. The conference, the organization's first major event, will also be a marketplace, with a wide array of self-published books, CDs and magazines for sale. Lunch and lunchtime entertainment are included in the $20 admission price.

Manolescu, a woman in her late 50s who was born in London, England, says she has spent her life "with a foot in each continent." She discovered the trend toward authorpublishing support groups while living in England in the 1990s, and decided to transplant the idea here, where resorting to vanity-press publication was still considered an act of foolish desperation. A former ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher as well as a writer, Manolescu said she gave up on traditional publishers long ago. "I had unhappy experiences with them and it wasn't just the rejection notices."

Finding bargains and best-sellers In an era when you're nobody until you have a Web presence and anything is fit to print - or blog - groups like ICN can provide artists with a local, supportive forum for their ideas, up-to-date information on local events via a bimonthly newsletter and access to online marketing via the group website. All this for the low, low annual fee of $5. And that membership fee is a recent, reluctantly agreed to, innovation.

Invisible Cities prides itself on being more of a shoestring operation than ELAN, the English-language Arts Network, another, similar organization recently formed to support English-language culture in Quebec.

"They are coming from a government agency standpoint," said Manolescu. "We're coming from a grassroots, completely independent standpoint."

Also, there's nothing pointedly English about ICN. "Our members are very bilingual and trilingual," she said. "We're very, very open to the cosmopolitan life we live every day in Montreal."

What they have in common is artsy individualism and a need to follow the advice of British novelist E.M. Forster ("Only connect!") "We're all mavericks," she said. "We have to be. If you sit quietly in your corner and don't connect, nothing happens. We like one another, we have fun together."

ICN's 2005 Book and Creative Arts Conference will be held at FACE auditorium, 3449 University St., on Saturday, Sept. 10 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $20, lunch included. Call (514) 807-4171, email christina@princechameleon.com or check out the website: http://www.invisiblecitiesnetwork.org pdonnell@thegazette.canwest.com


The Gazette (Montreal) 2005. Copyright © 2005 CanWest Interactive, a division of CanWest Global Communications Corp. All rights reserved
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Small press fair is a hit for self-publishers, October 2003

by Christina Manolescu

Few would dispute Montreal is a starburst of artistic expression, offering a cornucopia of film, street festivals, theatre, fine art, performance, dance and song. But what about the small press publishing scene? Where are the creators of art books, small books, magazines, comics, experimental fiction, illustrated poetry and other novelties? Where are the works of self-publishers and home grown publishing houses with special focus and local character?

With the greatest of effort, some do manage to obtain limited visibility in certain independent bookshops, such as The Double Hook, The Word and notably, Casa del Popolo's Distroboto, an ingeniously re-purposed public vending machine.

It's true to say, however, that this represents just the tip of the iceberg. Many of these publications are rarely, if ever, seen.

Enter Expozine, Montreal's second annual daylong event showcasing the talent and originality of the local micro publishing scene. In contrast to Toronto, whose small press fair has been established for over twenty-five years, for Montreal this is a new happening.

It's all due to the determination of organizers such as Ian Ferrier of Wired on Words, David Widgington, of Cumulus Press, Andy Brown, of Conundrum Press, Billy Mavreas, shopkeeper of Monastiraki, and Louis Rastelli, of Distroboto, who together thought the time had come for such an event in Montreal.

Thanks to their combined efforts, the public can now come to discover the works of the rarely seen independent presses, author-publishers, poets, digital, graphic and fine artists, cartoonists, singer-songwriters, music producers and more.

The public will also be able to sample a plethora of word and art creations in French, because in Expozine's lively cosmopolitan ambiance, Montreal's two famous solitudes mingle comfortably side by side.

"Thirty per cent of exhibitors were from French presses last year," says Widgington. "We're trying for more this year."

One of the benefits of a Montreal Expozine for small publishers is to showcase their works. "Not everyone engaged in small press activity has the means to participate in the big Salons du Livre or expensive book fairs that do go on," says Rastelli. "Also, our fair crosses many types of publishing from established publishers such as Vehicule Press to one-person operations who have just begun photocopying their own small publications. It also crosses many genres, from comics, graphic arts, literary, political, and music to non-fiction publications of all kinds."

Fellow organizer Widgington agrees. "Basically it's the underground alternative publishing scene in the city."

From its very debut in 2002 Expozine was a runaway success. Over 60 Montreal-area publishers exhibited their wares last year, and organizers estimate that close to 1,000 visitors attended the event throughout the day.

"We expect a few thousand people to visit this year," says Widgington. "This is a marked increase from last year, which was in itself a solid crowd."

Therefore, the beautiful grey stone monastery building, directly beside the Mont-Royal metro station, was chosen to allow for even greater participation all around. About 90 exhibitors are expected to host tables, and there will be much more breathing space for visitors to browse.

"Many of the folks who were there last year are returning this year," says Rastelli. "As a new aspect of this year's event, there will also be contingents from Quebec City, Ottawa, Toronto, Chicago and elsewhere."

Organizers hope to attract more French publishers and those from other cultures. "This may take years to develop," says Widgington, "but we hope eventually to achieve a huge cross-cultural, trans-neighbourhood, multi-faceted mix of people interested in books, zines and comics of whatever language, as long as they are independent and small and a fresh alternative to the mainstream."

According to Rastelli, most zines or chapbooks sell for one or two dollars, and there are dozens of alternative voices on display. "Presses such as Vehicule, Conundrum and others typically sell their books for less than the cover price at these events."

Best of all, publications can be bought directly from the author or publisher, and so useful networking exchanges can also be made. When Sandra Phillips and Stan Posner were promoting their familiar annual bestseller for bargain-conscious Montrealers and city tourists, they discovered more than even they had bargained for.

"It was at Expozine 2002 that we met the graphic designer we hired to design our brand new Drive I-95 Travel Guide," says Phillips, co-publisher of Travelsmart and Smart Shopping Montreal.

Leila Peltosaari, Publisher of Tikka Books, was also on hand with a stack of cookbooks especially created for students on limited budgets, appropriately entitled College Cuisine.

Invisible Cities, a networking support group for author-publishers, musicians and artists, hosted a display table for its members such as Barbe Silverman who represented the Montreal Science Fiction and Fantasy Association, a very active, eclectic group within the city.

"Last year's event was crowded, which wasn't a bad thing," says Max Douglas, an artist and self-publisher who will be exhibiting again this year. "I'm going more for the fun of it than anything else, but I do think it helps a bit to be present at events like this if you want to be part of the local community."

Cristina Perissinotto, assistant professor of Italian studies at Concordia and a published poet, was a visitor at last year's fair.

"I met Ian Ferrier, one of the organizers, and I met face to face with all these people, publishers," says Perissinotto. "I liked speaking to some of them about my new poetry book and the ins and outs of getting it published. In general, I found the fair was an excellent way to get to know the small and big publishers in town."

Montreal's 2003 Expozine 2003, 2nd Annual Small Press, Comic, and Zine Fair will be held on Saturday, October 25, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Relais Mont-Royal, 500A Mont-Royal East near Mont-Royal metro station. The fair is free to the public. For additional information you can visit the web site at www.expozine.ca.



Christina Manolescu is a Montreal teacher and author-publisher. Her original fairy tale, The Northern Isle of Dreams, was published by ‘Three Trees Press’ in Toronto and favourably reviewed in the children's literature section of the Montreal Gazette.

Her published work, including non-fiction and translation, has also appeared in local newspapers, educational and academic journals, technical publications, special interest newsletters, and closed captioning for feature films. Her self-published illustrated poetry and prize-winning fiction have appeared in print, on the web, and on cassette tape/CD under the imprint, Prince Chameleon Press: http://www.princechameleon.com. She has published the novels BAGLADY and WALDENSONG_SATURNALIA. Baglady-in-Waiting, a sequel to BAGLADY, is due in 2015.

She has been guest visitor and panelist for various organisations and primary schools both in Canada and the U.K. to stage readings and answer questions about her work. As an active member of the Small Press Group of Britain, she helped organise their annual small press fair in Westminster, London, UK, in 1994.

In 2001 she founded a Writers' and Self-Publishers' Support Group called Invisible Cities in Montreal. Their first Book & Creative Arts Conference was held in September 2005.

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The Invisible Cities Network offers workshop-seminars on Self-publishing. Please visit Self-publishing_Workshops