Thoughts from the industry

Several industry professionals who were kind enough to judge student work for the SPINE Awards this year also gave us a few comments on the website itself.

Here are their thoughts.

“I enjoyed all the stories I read and am impressed by both the writing and the look of Spine. My enthusiasm is tempered only by the realization that before long you will all be taking work from me.”

Tim Falconer


The students have done an excellent job to make the site clean and inviting. Their enthusiasm for the project is infectious, and I congratulate them on a job well done.”

Bill Reynolds



“The design is welcoming and elegant, the photos punchy and the categories well defined, with cheeky headlines and lively content. I plan to dip in regularly.”

Sheree-Lee Olson


The zines are great! Easy to navigate and good clean modern look. I like the way Flint keeps their motif throughout with headers going back to the idea of heat. The sections on both Pulpfree and Flint are clear and inviting — I ended up reading several of the personal essays as well."

Rhonda Douglas


“Confession: Even though I write my own occasional blog, I generally feel overwhelmed by how much there is to read, especially online. That said, I’m truly grateful to have been invited to read the Spine Online blogs. I keenly enjoyed them, particularly the range of subjects and voices they offered, and the spirit and passion evident in many of them. Erin Chambers' blog on superhero women through history was a delight; Madison Joe's Injunity on how not to put up a tipi and its companion pieces were great for their humour, self-deprecation and honest perspective; Janet Goertzen's blog on overcoming a fear of math was both fun and informative, imbued with satisfying doses of skepticism and optimism. I liked Hoda Egeh's idea of revisiting life lessons learned as a child, and Jacob Rennick's, finding the holes in the English language: words we wish we had! I especially enjoyed the blogs in which the author allowed room to look at the flipside of his or her own perspective, or to question claims or generally accepted truths. I was also drawn by those built on a quest, which by their nature keep a reader coming back for more, to see where the writer will turn next and how that will go. This is one of the things the blog format does well, which ironically harkens back to a much older format that successfully hooked readers: the serial novel. In several cases I wished for the blogger to give me a detail or two for colour or background before sending me off to a link. In others I wished for more care with regards to typos, clean sentences and working links. I found the site as a whole compelling, and read through several entertaining and thought-provoking pieces in the ezines as well.”

Anita Lahey