Melanie Little

MelanieLittleInterview by Kari Lund-Teigen

Melanie Little is an award-winning author and editor. Her debut collection of stories, Confidence, was shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed Award and selected as a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book. Her 2008 novel-in-verse for young adults, The Apprentice’s Masterpiece, was a Canadian Library Association Honour Book, a gold medalist at the Independent Publisher Book Awards, and a White Raven selection for the International Youth Library in Munich.

She began her career as an editor by bringing Freehand Press to national prominence in its first year with the Giller-prize finalist Good to a Fault by Marina Endicott. Of Melanie Little as an editor, Endicott has said “she brings a truly ridiculous diligence to any task she undertakes.” After teaching creative writing at Dalhousie, Little returned to editing as the editor-at-large for Annick Press before becoming the senior editor of Canadian fiction at House of Anansi Press.

I wrote to Melanie to request an interview, mentioning a long-ago talk we’d had while she was the writer-in-residence at the University of Calgary. In that meeting, she was exceedingly kind and encouraging. That moment of encouragement meant a lot to me, and I wondered, as I often do, not how writers begin, but how they continue.

Little recently stepped down as senior fiction editor at House of Anansi Press to devote more time to her own writing. She graciously agreed to the interview (preferring, as I think many writers do, to conduct it via email). I sent her a list of questions, telling her to ignore those that were not interesting to her or that she did not feel like answering. True to form, she answered them all, with generosity and depth. [Read more…]