J. Michael Fay
Michael Fay studied creative writing with W. O. Mitchell, Alice Munro, and Richard Ford through grants from Alberta Culture.
Twice-elected president of the Periodical Writers Association of Canada, he was also the founder of the Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society in Calgary.
He has written five plays, including the award-winning Never Such Innocence Again. Michael lives in Minden, Ontario, with his wife, Dr. Fay Martin.
I first met Michael Fay online when he commented on a mutual friend’s Facebook post that he lived in Minden, Ontario. That’s the town near the lake where my family owned a cottage! So I wrote to Michael to mention this connection, and we quickly discovered we had also both lived in Calgary, Alberta, and The Beach neighbourhood in Toronto, which was where I was born and grew up! We also began discussing the new format of eBooks and the possibility of publishing long-form fiction and non-fiction individually – something no publisher would ever publish in print format. And thus was born the idea of IslandShorts and Michael’s story, Tenderness, was the first to be published as eBook-only. Since then Michael has published five long-form stories with IslandShorts. And in September, 2019, IslandCatEditions published an anthology bringing together those five stories into one edition, both in print format and as an eBook.
It all started with a small ad in the community newsletter: Writing Lessons, contact Michael Fay, and that is why eight of us were gathered around a large wooden table. We were there to learn W.O. Mitchell’s Freefall method as modified by Michael. Put your pen to paper and write, he told us, don’t worry about grammar, sentence structure or paragraphing – just write. And so we did, memories poured forth, the smell of freshly washed laundry, the sound of a train whistle on a cold winter night. For six days we wrote and on the seventh we rested while Michael studied every single word we had written and picked out the best phrase, sentence or paragraph that he read back in class. With Michael’s gentle encouragement we gained confidence, reality turned into fiction, short stories emerged and we were on our way to becoming writers.
~ Shirley Black, Calgary
Tenderness and other stories is the compilation of all five long-form short stories written by J. Michael Fay that were originally published individually in eBook format by IslandShorts. Now published by IslandCatEditions in a single volume, in print as well as eBook formats, Fay’s exquisitely crafted stories, first realized and begun during the 1970s and completed 40 years later, are available to a wider reading public to receive the recognition they definitely deserve.
For more information: Tenderness and Other Stories.
And for more information on the individual eBooks written by Michael Fay, click here.
Michael Fay was a guest three times on my Reading Recommendations blog: Nov. 22, 2013, Mar 19, 2016, Jan. 21, 2017.
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