Tartan Turban Secret Readings #8

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Barrett and Welsh

577 Kingston Road

Suite #301

Toronto, ON M4E 1R3


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You are invited to the 8th session of The Tartan Turban Secret Readings curated by writer Jen Frankel, at Barrett and Welsh on Friday, 23rd February 2018 from 7 pm to about 10 pm. Jen writes in many different genres, but speculative fiction of any sort is what she loves best.

You can follow along via this FB event page which will continue to be updated with details.

We hope you will come, read, share and listen, but if life/the evening/your acrobatic gerbil has other plans for you, we completely understand.

Featured writers:

JF Garrard (The Undead Sorceress), Rati Mehrotra (The Markswoman), Jennifer Venner (Blue Suicide), and Alisse Lee-Goldenberg (Sitnalta, The Dybbuk Scrolls) will read in an evening curated by Jen Frankel. Watch this space for bios and links.

Jen Frankel is the author of the “Blood & Magic” series, the Vegan zombie comic novel Undead Redhead, YA science fiction Leia of Earth, and a short story collection Feral Tales, as well as co-editing the Dark Helix anthology Trump: Utopia or Dystopia. She is also an avid screenwriter and an award-winning poet (read her illustrated collection Moving), as well as a great lover of fish, birds, cats, and all other living creatures. She even has a soft spot for human beings, provided they behave at least as well as their pets. She lives and works in Toronto, but you can more easily find her online at

JF Garrard is the President of Dark Helix Press, an Indie publisher of Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Raw Non-Fiction. She also serves as a Marketing Consultant on the Editorial Board for Ricepaper Magazine, a Vancouver-based Canadian magazine which has showcased Asian Canadian literature, culture, and the arts since 1994. Recently she has been recruited to be a Slush Pile Editor for Amazing Stories, one of the world’s first science-fiction magazines. She is an editor and writer of speculative fiction (The Undead Sorceress, Trump Utopia or Dystopia Anthology, Ricepaper Issue 19.3), non-fiction (The Literary Elephant), as well as children’s books (Feeding The Kraken!, 3x Bilingual Series). She has been a speaker at various conferences on the topics of publishing, marketing, crowdfunding, geek topics (science fiction, anime) and healthcare.

Born and raised in India, Rati Mehrotra now lives and writes in lovely Toronto. Markswoman, her first book, was published by Harper Voyager in January 2018. Her short stories have appeared in Apex Magazine, IGMS, Podcastle, Cast of Wonders, and many more. Find out more about her at

Jennifer Venner studied art history at the University of Western Ontario and Northwestern University in Illinois, and creative writing at the University of Toronto. She is the author of the play Hearts Made Great (commissioned for the London Symphony Orchestra) and co-author of Kiss Love Sky for Frights of Spring III. Blue Suicide is her first novel. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Diana Tso is a playwright (Red Snow, Comfort), performer, poet, storyteller and educator. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in English Literature, and from the Ecole Internationale de Théâtre de Jacques Lecoq, in Paris, France.

Alisse Lee Goldenberg is an award-winning author of Horror, Young Adult Paranormal Romance, and Young Adult Fantasy fiction. She is currently working on three series: The Sitnalta Series, The Dybbuk Scrolls, and The Bath Salts Journals (co-authored with An Tran). She has her Bachelors of Education and a Fine Arts degree, and has studied fantasy and folklore since she was a child. Alisse is also a screenwriter and playwright living in Toronto with her husband Brian, and their triplets Joseph, Phillip, and Hailey. Feel free to follow Alisse on Twitter and check out her Facebook fan page. Also, check out her profile at Pandamoon Publishing.

We encourage you to support our featured writers by buying signed copies of their works at the reading. (Cash only please).

TTSR8 will be recorded on video by our official production sponsor partner for the evening, Laughing Cat Creative. We are deeply grateful for Laughing Cat's support of the literary arts.


Open mic sessions:
Anyone attending is welcome to read or perform (if you are a musician) in our 3 open mic sessions.

If you are a writer or musician who would like to perform in the open mic session, we ask that you listen in to at least one session to get the flavour of the evening and join in on your next visit.
To participate in TTSR #8 please contact Jen Frankel — the evening's curator — beforehand as this will allow her to line up the readers and manage the evening efficiently.

Open mic readers are given 4 minutes in total - you may read a work of creative writing (fiction/poetry/drama/screenplay) - or a work of reportage or creative non-fiction. This is not a lecture or motivational speaking series, so no academic or self-help works please.

Your reading doesn't have to fit into the evening's theme and it doesn’t matter if it’s not in English or French - one of our open mic readers read a stunning series of poems in Spanish based on interviews with jailed murderers in Mexico. Simply accompany your readings with an explanation of the context and a brief translation in English.

If you are reading at an open mic please read no more than:
4 pages of poetry or,
2 single pages of double-spaced prose, or
3 pages of a screenplay or play,
- up to a 4 minute maximum for any creative material, including a brief introduction to yourself and your work.
At the end of 4 minutes, there will be a simple buzzer to let you know your time is up, to save any reader the embarrassment of being stopped by a curator.

Don't let yourself be intimidated by these guidelines. They are designed to make sure the evening is enjoyable for all. The ambience at our readings is intimate, extremely informal and very supportive.

If you have published works that you would like to offer for sale, feel free to mention it when you finish your reading.


About The Tartan Turban Secret Readings:
Barrett and Welsh hosts a (not so) “secret" reading series on its rather lovely open-air office rooftop deck while it's warm, and in its large open concept studio space in cooler weather.

The Tartan Turban Secret Readings feature poetry, drama and prose readings that celebrate Canadian multicultural writing created by multicultural, minority and BIPOC writers. The idea is to provide a platform for minority writers who have very few such platforms while welcoming all writers who want to celebrate Canada’s multiculturalism, diversity and indigenous heritage, and have talent to share.

Curators change from reading to reading. If you would like to read or curate, contact Gavin Barrett or Mayank Bhatt who are co-curators for the series.

Readings ideally take place every 3rd or 4th Thursday or Friday, but this varies depending on what is convenient for featured readers and curators.
The series has moved indoors for winter.

The hope is to also intersperse the readings with musical performances from multicultural/minority/BIPOC musicians eventually. Maybe a tabla or bongo player may pop in to accompany the readers or to play between readings. Maybe one of you will invite a Metis fiddle maestro.

Please feel free to bring any of your friends of every minority whether "visible" or otherwise - non-minorities are warmly welcomed too. Feel free to suggest others you think might be ideal as curators, participants or happy listeners.

The sessions may be photographed, filmed and possibly streamed on FB/YouTube live. (if we can arrange for a production partner to organise this.)

Readings may be collected for a book for publication at the end of the year, so ideally everyone will be reading unpublished work.
Seating: For those wishing to attend, please note that our space can safely accommodate no more than 30 people, with seating provided for 25. Please bring your own folding chairs, mats, cushions should Eventbrite attendee signups rise above 25.

Barrett and Welsh does provide complimentary refreshments and light snacks, but in keeping with the community-centric spirit of the series, we encourage attendees to bring and/or share their own beverages and snacks (and to carry their own drinking cups/glasses).

Entry: We’ll have someone posted at street level until 7 pm to get people in. (Ground level entrance is auto-locked by security after that.) Please arrive before 7 and encourage your guests to do same. if they arrive later, they’ll need to text one of us to let them in and we’ll swing by in 10 min intervals (sorry!)

Accessibility: Barrett and Welsh’s offices are at the top of an office building that was once a large townhouse, so there are a couple of steep flights of stairs to get in. If you (or any guests) have mobility challenges, please be aware that you may need a helping hand up the stairs, as there is no elevator. Please let us know if we can be of assistance.

Want to receive updates about the next reading? Simply follow our FB group for updates on the next session and the link to the Eventbrite registration page for each reading. (we do ask that you register if you plan to attend). You can also sign up for our email list here.


About Barrett and Welsh: Barrett and Welsh is a minority-led, creativity-powered, change-making ad agency that puts ideas first to make ideas last. A certified B-Corp, it has speciality practices in inclusion communications (mainly multicultural/minority and persons with disabilities) and urban sustainable development (mainly transit).

About the series co-curators: Mayank Bhatt's first novel Belief was published late last year by M G Vassanji’s Mawenzi House press. The novel explores youth radicalisation and alienation, and the impact of terrorism on a family in the context of the failure of immigration and settlement framework in Canada.

Mayank Bhatt immigrated to Toronto in 2008 from Mumbai (Bombay), where he worked as a journalist. His short stories have been published in TOK 5: Writing the New Toronto and Canadian Voices II. In Canada, he has worked as a security guard, as the Chief Administrative Officer of the Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce and as an organizer for the Festive of South Asian Literature and Art. He lives in Toronto with his family.

Mayank co-curates the Tartan Turban Secret Readings with Gavin Barrett. (see organizer description below for more about Gavin).

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Barrett and Welsh

577 Kingston Road

Suite #301

Toronto, ON M4E 1R3


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