Hello, everybody! This is Amanda Leduc waving happily at you from my desk, which is also the desk for the new Communications and Development Coordinator at the FOLD, who happens—how exciting—to be me. One of the first things I was asked to do when I came on board to the FOLD team was write a little blog post telling you all a bit about myself, and by way of first introduction, here is a handy third-person bio:
Amanda Leduc is a writer, mischief maker, and lover of pizza. She grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, and has lived in England, British Columbia, and Scotland. In her fantasy life she lives in France. Her essays and stories have been published and shortlisted for awards across Canada, the US, the UK, and Australia, and her novel, THE MIRACLES OF ORDINARY MEN, was published in 2013 by Toronto’s ECW Press. She is the Non-Fiction Editor and Schemer of Schemes over at Little Fiction / Big Truths. She holds a Master’s degree in Writing from the University of St. Andrews and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing and Philosophy from the University of Victoria, which up until very recently was a fancy way of saying she was pretty much unemployable. Despite this, she’s held a variety of jobs and roles over the years, including, most exotically, a picker of strawberries and the designated candy buyer/cookie baker for the staff in her office. In her spare time she bakes, takes pictures, plays the piano, violin, and cello, and also watches a little too much TV. Oh, and she likes reading. And writing. A lot.
Here are some other jobs that I’ve had: communications writer, editor, executive admin assistant, project co-ordinator, bookseller, book buyer, support worker, dogwalker (along a windy Scottish beach, no less), social media maven, writer, storyteller, believer in magic. Because believing in magic is, indeed, a job, and I’d even go so far as to say it’s a full-time one. The belief in magic—and the magic of stories in particular—is what led me to pursue a life in writing, and what’s inspired me to get involved in all kinds of bookish projects (like Bare it for Books, for example, or Steel City Stories, or Little Fiction, and now this lovely little corner of the GTA with the FOLD).
I think that stories are the most powerful thing we as human beings can give to the world, and I’m beyond excited to join the FOLD team and look at how we can bring diverse stories to an even wider audience—both for our inaugural festival and beyond. On a personal note, I’m especially excited to look at how we might champion stories of mental health, ability, and the LGBTTQ community, and in so doing increase awareness of the diversity among us that might not be easily identifiable.
I’m also eager to hear your suggestions and thoughts about what diversity in literature might mean to you, and I love emails, so if you have any questions about the FOLD or would like to start a conversation, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.