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Meredith J. Batt, Ronan Fernsel, and Peter Gillett featured in 'A TOAST TO HOPE.'

A Toast to Hope is launching at Quadrangle this Friday (March 1st 2024) at 6PM! Join the Facebook event!

Engen Books and Quadrangle are proud to reveal the next three authors to be featured in A TOAST TO HOPE, the collaboration anthology featuring stories by and about the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

Quadrangle’s mission is to create a community centre for 2SLGBTQAI+ individuals and organizations in Newfoundland and Labrador, a space that is a resource for building community resilience and connection, and that provides supports for existing initiatives of our 2SLGBTQAI+ community. As a registered charity, both working toward having a community centre, and taking up projects like this one contribute to Quad’s vision of contributing to sustainable, positive, community connections. All profits from this collection will go towards that goal.

The title of this year's collection will be A TOAST TO HOPE: Stories at the Centre of Us. It was named for one of the three stories blind-selected that were written by Lisa Timpf. Stories were selected by Ailsa Craig, Sulaimon Giwa, AJ Ryan, and, Sarah Thompson.

Engen is proud to announce that Meredith J. Batt will join the collection. Batt (they/them) grew up in Sackville/Moncton, New Brunswick and St. John’s, NL. They graduated with a BA in history from Université de Moncton in 20218 and work as an archivist at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick. They are the President of the Queer Heritage Initiative of New Brunswick, an archival initiative which collects the history of 2SLGBTQIA+ people across the province. They co-authored Len & Cub: A Queer History published in April 2022 by Goose Lane Editions. Their writing has appeared in Xtra! Magazine, Active History and the Canadian Historical Review. In October 2022, they received the Platinum Jubilee Medal for their work in preserving queer history and for public education. When they aren’t busy writing, they can be found biking the trails of Fredericton or paddling a kayak on the Wolastoq River. When asked about their feelings coming into the collection, Batt said "As queer, non-binary trans masc person from Atlantic Canada, I feel very proud to have my story included as part of A TOAST TO HOPE: STORIES AT THE CENTER OF US! We are a region with a rich history of storytelling and against all odds, queer folx have contributed greatly to our vibrant East Coast culture."

Engen is proud to announce that Ronan Fernsel will be featured in this collection. From Western Canada, Ronan was a finalist in the 2022 Audio Verse Awards for "best guest performer in a new production" in Tranthologies. We are proud to present this rising star's first published work. When asked, Ronan commented: "This is the first time my writing has been out in the world in any way, let alone published, so I'm pretty excited. And a little nervous. I'm especially happy to be part of a specifically queer project, and can't wait to read all the other stories."

Finally, Peter Gillett is a significant part of 2SLGBTQIA+ Canadian history, Peter Gillett was the first New Brunswick author listed as a nonbinary person in the provincial library system. Previous works include First Flight (Flights from the Rock), My Backwards Gender Journey (X Marks the Spot), Changes (Twilight Madhouse Volume 4), and two anthologies (In Darker Corners & Mind Full of Prose). When asked, Gillett said "It is an honour to be included in this collection."

Interested parties can click here to order A Toast to Hope: Stories at the Centre of Us from Engen Books. All profit from the collection goes toward Quadrangle's community efforts.

A Toast to Hope: Stories at the Centre of Us features fifteen stories from amazing 2SLGBTQIA+ authors.

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