The Scarborough Scribblers are a writing group to be reckoned with. Their new anthology, Impromptu, shows the power of the hive mind at its best. To backtrack: the Scarborough Scribblers are a group of writers that meet in Toronto’s Albert Campbell Library to write. The anthologies are the brainchild of their organizer and facilitator, Maria Samurin, former librarian at the site. Impromptu is the second anthology put together by this dynamic group.
As the title suggests, the stories in Impromptu are the result of a series of writing prompts the group executes during their meetings. The plot and voice of each story is as diverse as their authors. Though it is hard to pick a favourite, of particular note were “In Defence of Eden” by Margaret Abela, for the sheer poetry of her prose and “KitshcyArt” by Brenda Dow, for creating the character of Constable-slash-artist Kitchener. “Spiders from Mars” by Larry Kosowan is an interesting take on the sci-fi, alien genre. Lastly, “A Chance Meeting” by Betty Stewart is a sort of “meet cute” love story that takes place in large part in Toronto’s transit system. Especially enjoyable are the short poems interspersed between the prose.
I was fortunate enough to have caught facilitator and author Maria Samurin in a talk she gave at the Bathurst Clark Resource Library for their author’s series. In it, Maria said the group spent hours editing each other’s work, and the results of that exercise really shows in their final product.
What’s next for the group? Maria says they plan to write a collaborative novel, for which they are currently in the planning stages.
You can pick up a copy of Impromptu by the Scarborough Scribblers from their website for free. Also available is their first anthology, Library Reflections.