Archive for ‘Magazine’

December 17th, 2010

Excerpt from Snowed Under

by Leah Sandals, Learner, Magazine and Web Publishing

It was a blue-sky Alberta foothills day, with the kind of intense light that makes a Toronto-dwelling former Cowtowner chafe at the slushy afternoons she unjustly endures each winter.

A thick, one-metre-deep frosting of glittering snow layered the landscape, refracting the sun in a million directions. My eyes squinted at the dazzle as we reached the edge of a small valley, where bare, winter-elegant aspens stood.

With the outline of the Rockies in the distance, it was a perfect day for any number of outdoor activities: skiing, sliding or, that most gentle of pursuits, strolling leisurely, coffee in hand.

But it was not that kind of day for me, nor for my fiancé, sister, brother-in-law or nephew. Despite the postcard-worthy loveliness of this place, we had come on a sobering endeavour — to find, and then visit, the dead…

To continue reading, see Leah’s article published in Canadian Geographic.

Leah Sandals is a freelance writer and editor based in Toronto. Visit Leah’s website,, for more information.

The text above is Leah’s opening to her personal essay, which was written for David Hayes’ advanced course on magazine feature writing: ‘Advanced Feature Writing’ (CDJN 118).

November 26th, 2010

Excerpt from How “The Sims” turned me into a home wrecker

by Sofi Papamarko, Learner, Magazine and Web Publishing

One month before my 30th birthday, a well-meaning aunt cornered me at a family function.

“Have you found anyone special yet?”

I smiled defensively and informed her that I hadn’t. Not yet, anyway.

“So you haven’t caught the eye of anyone at all?” Her playful, teasing tones did little to conceal a telltale note of pity. When this woman was my age, she already had 2.5 children.

I was tempted to tell her the complete and unabridged history of my romantic disappointments. All of the it-was-fun-but-I’m-not-really-readies and the almost-but-not-quites and the you’re-really-great-can-we-still-be-friends and especially the I’m-in-love-with-someone-elses. I’ve had every plotline except the one I always dreamed I’d have. Wriggling away from concerned relatives at gatherings had become fairly easy to me, but nearing that milestone birthday, I could not escape my own mounting, internal panic. My friends were getting engaged, getting married, getting pregnant. I was sitting at home, eating Mini-Wheats for dinner (again) and streaming episodes of “Jersey Shore” on YouTube.

In journalism, typing -30- at the end of a piece means that it is over.


When I was younger, I figured I’d have everything together by 30…

To continue reading, see Sofi’s article published in Salon.

Sofi Papamarko is a freelance writer who lives in Toronto. Visit Sofi’s blog,, to read about her spectacular failures in dating and being a grown-up.

The text above is Sofi’s opening to her story, which was written for David Hayes’ advanced course on magazine feature writing: ‘Advanced Feature Writing’ (CDJN 118).