A-R International: Sheree Fitch

Sheree Fitch
Authors-Readers International

I’m a writer, reciter, a speaker, a teacher, a sister, a daughter, a mother, a wife.
A listener, a seeker, a maker of nonsense, a reader, a leader, a lipslippery fool.
A doctor, a walker, a talk-talk-talk- talker, a giggle-glad Oma, an odd sort of soul.
Yearner and learner, an ever beginner!
Hope is my teacher, life is my school.

Sheree Fitch has been a groundbreaking force in the literary arts and literacy community throughout Canada and beyond since 1987.

Sheree is widely recognized as an innovative master writer, literary artist and inspirational speaker whose body of work explores the human condition. Her lyrical style gives her a unique literary voice in her writing both for adults and children.

Creating from “the land of the imagination in the country that is childhood,” Sheree’s singularity and voice, visions and award-winning books and storytelling have left their mark on two generations of children and families and influenced a whole generation of writers from Ecum Secum to the Himalayas in Bhutan and many places in between.

As a storyteller, Sheree has performed in many venues including the Canada Day Celebrations at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, the Washington National Cathedral, and the Library of Congress, She was part of a Cultural Arts exchange in Mexico and Cuba and has represented Nova Scotia at international schools in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, China, Belize, Thailand, and Vietnam, bringing rich experiences back to the Canadian literary community.

As an educator, she has been a writer-in-residence many times including twice in the country of Bhutan, helping to foster an indigenous literature for Bhutanese children. She is a four-time writer-in-residence for Nunavut healing and writing camp, Somebody’s Daughter.

Among her numerous awards Sheree also holds three honorary doctorates from Canadian universities for her contribution to Canadian literature, education and for her work as a literacy advocate and activist for social justice, especially issues affecting women and children.

She lives with her husband, Gilles, and many critters on Happy Doodle Do Hobby farm in River John, Nova Scotia where they run a seasonal book shoppe, Mabel Murple’s Books Shoppe and Dreamery.

I was very fortunate to be representing Nimbus Publishing and Vagrant Press when they published veteran children’s book author Sheree Fitch’s first novel for adults, Kiss the Joy As It Flies. Sheree was invited to attend Wordfest in Calgary, and it was my great pleasure to squire Sheree around town to attend talks and readings and promotions that had been set up for her. My part was mainly in making sure all my bookseller customers had a chance to meet this very popular author. That was the only time Sheree and I have met in person, but it was one of the most joyful days during my time as a sales rep. We laughed, we cried, we got serious … and then we laughed a lot again! This is the face I remember from my day with Sheree!
I had begun writing my own novels at that point, but had not yet published. Without having read a word, Sheree was extremely enthusiastic and encouraging of my efforts as we talked and I drove, and she then gave me the one most perfect piece of advice about writing I’ve ever heard from anyone … “Always write with joy! What you write does not need to be joyful, but you need to have joy in your heart whenever you do write!” Thank you, Sheree Fitch, for being in my life, and for continuing to be a mentor and role model, as well as a very fine author!

While Sheree Fitch is primarily known as an author of children’s books, she has recently published a book that is very much for adults dealing with grief.

You won’t always be this sad,” her mother, who also lost a son, reassures her, while a close friend encourages her to pick up the pen and write it all down. Capturing her own struggles as she emerges from shock in the wake of her son’s unexpected death at age thirty-seven, author and storyteller Sheree Fitch writes lyrically and unabashedly, with deep sorrow, unexpected rage, and boundless love. She discovers that she “dwells in a thin place now,” that she has crossed a threshold only to find herself in “the quicksand that is grief.” The result is a memoir in verse of immense power and pain, a collection of moments, and a journey of resilience.

Divided into three parts, like the memorial labyrinth Fitch walks every day, You Won’t Always Be This Sad offers words that will stir the heart, inviting readers on a raw and personal odyssey through excruciating loss, astonishing gratitude, and a return to a different world with new insights, rituals, faith, and hope. Readers, bearing witness to the immeasurable depths of a mother’s love, will be forever changed.

Here’s an interview with Sheree Fitch about her most recent book on the blog Edwards Book Club Reviews.

And here are two audio interviews with Sheree Fitch that were recently posted to the CBC website page about books.

For more information on Sheree Fitch, her books, writing, and bookstore, please see her website.

Also visit her publisher’s website: Nimbus Publishing and Vagrant Press

3 responses

  1. […] Katherine Govier has been busy with The Shoe Project, which she founded in 2011. “The Shoe Project recruits women with the desire to lead and coaches them to tell their stories – through a pair of shoes. TSP partners with museums, theatres and arts centres across Canada to create public performances where these brave and moving stories are presented to the public. Led by senior Canadian writers and theatre artists, TSP’s workshops, performances and publications lift the voices of women and refugees into Canada’s national.” Three other Canadian authors I have promoted in this Authors-Readers International series are also involved in The Shoe Project: Barb Howard, Marina Endicott, and Sheree Fitch. […]

  2. What an amazing name for a book shop 🙂 And I do like her advice to ‘write with joy’.

%d bloggers like this: