How odd to read in this morning’s Globe and Mail the story of UK publishing house Faber and Faber setting up a creative writing school in Toronto. Doesn’t Toronto already have a creative writing school in Humber? Do they need another?
On Toronto, Faber Academy Toronto head Patrick Keogh is quoted as saying: “There is something very organic about the way a literary culture has come together,” adding that the culture of writers and those “who have aspirations to be writers…naturally tie into what we were already doing in Europe.”
The article goes on to say that Keogh has interviewed a number of Toronto writers (many of whom have taught at Humber) and, in the Globe’s words, is “so confident the Toronto school will be a success, Faber is already looking into plans to expand the model to Montreal and Vancouver.”
But given what Keogh has said about Toronto’s “organic” literary community, not to mention its writers, why the need for Faber? And what of this model? How would it differ from Humber’s?
Unfortunately the Globe carried no details of the Faber model, an omission that leads me to think the model is little more than the Faber brand. Or maybe it is more than that. Maybe the model is that of a publisher expanding its traditional (and increasingly threatened) role to include literary agency, with authors in the role of teachers. Could the Harlequin Academy be far behind?