One of the great things about working where I work is that each week we buckle down and produce a newspaper. We spend an entire week gathering news, making advertisements, taking photographs, scanning photos, taking emails and putting it altogether. The incredible thing is, we get a lot of help from the community. That doesn’t happen 100% of the time, but we do get a lot of help from people in the area, such as our local community correspondents in places like Glenside, Conquest, Macrorie, Dinsmore, Lucky Lake, Elbow, Strongfield, Hawarden, Loreburn, and Milden. We even have people from the local care facilities for the elderly, along with the community hall here in Outlook as well as the local schools (Outlook High School, LCBI, Loreburn School) send their news and happenings to us. This helps bring about an aspect of community to the weekly newspaper.
On top of that, there is the news that’s gathered by our news reporter, who writes not only about news, but also agriculture, sports, and other human interest stories. In the winter, we’re kind of lucky to get the results from two of the area hockey teams with the Outlook Ice Hawks and the Conquest Merchants. Our news reporter lives in Conquest and I volunteer for the Ice Hawks public address during home games, so I also take photos (or sometimes give the camera to someone I trust) and keep track of the game and write it up for later.
One thing our news reporter has also done is read and write book reviews about books and authors who are in the area (this has included both of the books I have written). On top of that, we sell books by local authors at the place where I work, and from time to time, there are a good number of people who stop in and pick up a book or two (today someone came in just before closing and bought three, all new on our shelves).
It’s a rare thing to have authors from an area like this get exposure, and more than likely this is one of the only places that they do get exposure. One of the more prolific writers we have is Larry Warwaruk, who has written a good number of books, the latest being a young adult novel called Brovko’s Journey. There’s even a very prolific NaNoWriMo author in the Beechy area who has many of her books in our shelves. That being T. L. Wiens (I only wish I could hit the 87,000 words in a month as easy as she does). There are other authors who have just written their first novel as well. Some who wrote their novel based on night time stories they’d tell their children about fantastic worlds and a fight of good versus evil. Others wrote their novel because they like maps at the front of books. There are other novels that are much more true to life; life as a fighter pilot during the Second World War, or how life dealing with a loved one who is suffering from schizophrenia.
Each story that’s written by these novelists in this area are very different and each story is very different.
But it’s incredible that we’re able to offer so many local authors the opportunity to get their story out there, even if it’s only to a very small population like ours in the Lake Diefenbaker region.