new short fiction by thirteen writers <25

edited by Tom Abray & Neale McDevitt

featuring Pain Was My Portion, A Trestle Chapbook short story of by Elisabeth Harvor

168 pages

ISBN 0-9733499-0-5

quality paperback with flaps


Tendril Anthology Series - book 2

A murderous plot is hatched in a family home built of recycled outhouse wood. A soldier serving in Vietnam dives into a childhood tragedy after recognizing Gordie Howe during a prisoner exchange. A teenager is trapped in his dysfunctional home with his mother and her girlfriend, his homophobic father and a brother who thinks he's a tree. A young rebellious Tamil woman carries a secret that would scandalize her family and undo her pre-arranged marriage. An Edwardian mother is horrified to learn that her daughter visits the local cemetery with a dying house guest. Often poignant, with occasional gusts of the absurd, this collection showcases a baker's dozen of the next great wave of young literary talent.

Montréal launch photos


FEATURING thirteen writers <25: Paul Comrie, Veronique Dorais , Mark Freeman, Dashini Ann Jeyathurai, Julia Kelk, Sophie Levy , Richard W. Norman, Kara Sievewright, Sarah Steinberg, Oriana Vaughn , Bess Winter, Katharine Wrobel, and Elena Zoniadis .

Editors: Tom Abray and Neale McDevitt


Tom Abray grew up in rural south western Ontario. As a boy he played hockey (defence) and read The Three Investigators novels. When he was 19, he moved to Montréal to study English at McGill University. He went on to study education, also at McGill, and creative writing, at Concordia University. His short fiction and poetry has appeared in Canadian and American journals, in print and on-line.


A former member of the Canadian Weightlifting Team, Neale McDevitt turned to writing after finding it was easier on his knees. His stories have been published in anthologies and lit mags on both sides of the border, including Exile, Subterrain, B&A and Another Chicago Magazine. His first book, a collection of short stories called One Day, Even Trevi Will Crumble was published in November 2002 by Exile Editions. Neale has won a number of awards, including the 2002 Greensboro Award for Fiction and the 2001 CBC/QWF Short Story Competition. Better than all that, however, are the days Neale spends rolling in the grass with his new daughter, Charlotte.

The tendril anthology series places the apprenticeship of new young writers—24 years and under—on page one of Cumulus’ publishing program. The anthology series—whose innovative book design includes a distinct but inseparable trestle chapbook by award-winning author Elisabeth Harvor—embodies its raison d’être: to provide a device for the mentorship of emerging writers. Elisabeth Harvor’s story is set aside within the French flap of the front cover in a format commonly used by the novice writer. The series attempts to eliminate the distinction between emergence and establishment because the latter is not possible without the former.


A Trestle Chapbook : Pain Was My Portion by Elisabeth Harvor

Elisabeth Harvor has won many awards for her work, among them The Lampert Award for Fortress of Chairs; the League of Canadian Poets’ National Poetry Prize, and the Alden Nowlan Award. Her work has also appeared in The New Yorker, Prism International, Our Generation Against Nuclear War, and many other periodicals. Excessive Joy Injures the Heart, her first novel, was chosen one of the ten best books of 2000 by The Toronto Star. A new novel, All Times Have Been Modern, will appear in 2004. Let Me Be the One, her most recent book of stories, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award. In 2004, Elisabeth won the Marian Engel Award for a female writer in mid-career for a body of work.

Paul Comrie has written for various student newspapers, including one at the University of Malta, The Gazette at Dalhousie University and The Watch at the University of King’s College. He is in his fourth year of a B.A. Honors in English literature and is fascinated with Russian literature and adventure/travel writing. He has a finished novel, titled, Halcyon Days.
Véronique Dorais is a graduate student in English Literature at McGill University. She wrote her undergraduate Honours thesis on George Elliott Clarke’s Whylah Falls. Her poetry has been published in Montage and Scrivener. In June 2002 she was awarded the Lionel Shapiro Award for Creative Writing. This story is for her father.
Raised near Scotland and educated as a prep cook at a private girls school in Japan, Mark Freeman recently gave up a future in solar car racing to pursue writing self-help books for disaffected women in the workplace.
Dashini Ann Jeyathurai is a Malaysian- Indian writer and ASEAN scholar at Raffles Junior College in Singapore. Currently battling the A Levels, writing is the one thing that keeps her from wringing anyone’s neck. Her prose, poetry, commentary and book reviews have been published in several print and electronic publications such as Newsweek, Malaysian New Straits Times and Youthquake, among others.
Julia Kelk was born in Toronto, and studied English and Spanish at McGill University in Montréal. She has lived in Mexico City, Paris, and Dublin, and is currently teaching English at the Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla, Colombia.
Sophie Levy is currently a Ph.D. candidate in English and Women’s Studies at the University of Toronto. Originally from London, England, Sophie has lived in Canada for three years, and has published poetry in many Canadian journals, including Queen Street Quarterly, Filling Station, West Coast Line and echolocation. Her first book of poetry is Marsh Fear/Fen Tiger (Cambridge UK: Salt, 2002). Her short story Honey Says appears in the Women’s Press collection, Long Journey Home. Sophie teaches writing for the photojournalism program of Leave Out Violence (Toronto) and would like to see much more of Canada before her visa expires.
Richard W. Norman was born in Halifax, and attended Dalhousie University, Saint Mary’s University, the University of Malta, and the University of King’s College—all for his undergrad. He has had poetry published in the Antigonish Review and Fiddlehead. He was a finalist for the 2002 Malahat Review Novella Prize.
Kara Sievewright is a writer and printmaker who has published her own zines and illustrated books. She also writes for Broken Pencil magazine. She lives in the horror, the beauty and the mediocrity of East Vancouver where she works in organizations that fight for social justice.
Sarah Steinberg was born and raised in Toronto. She is currently studying creative writing at Concordia University in Montréal. About her story, she says, “read it. Or don’t. See if I care.”
Oriana Vaughn was born and raised in British Columbia. Her writing, which began at an early age, became more serious at fourteen as she began to use poetry writing as a method of therapy. In the near future, Oriana plans on working towards a Fine Arts degree.
Bess Winter grew up in Toronto, where she began writing at the age of eight. She has held several menial jobs, including shopgirl and film production assistant. Writing has always been her first love, followed closely by theatre, film, and the devil’s rock and roll. She is currently studying English and theatre.
Katharine Wrobel is a recent graduate of the University of Waterloo’s English program. She is the recipient of the Albert Shaw Memorial Award for Poetry (2001) and the Tom York Memorial Award for Prose (2001). She has been published online at Stiletto Magazine.
Elena Zoniadis has been writing fiction and non-fiction since she was very young. She lives in Oakland, New Jersey and has studied journalism at New York University. She has a stealth character and is occasionally difficult to find.

Montréal Launch Nov 29, 2003 @ Zeke's Gallery

Véronique Dorais reads from her story, Hearts and Hockey Cards.






Paul Comrie, in from Halifax, reaches for his beer to offer a cheers of thanks to editors Neale McDevitt (left) and Tom Abray (not in photo).




Neale McDevitt (left) and Mark Freeman chat over a beer about the future of the short story.

We were lucky that Sarah Steinberg decided, toward the end of the evening, to give us a taste of her story, We Could be Like that Couple From that Movie that was Playing Sometime.




Katherine Wrobel, Mark Freeman, and Bess Winter (not in photo) also came to Montréal specifically to attend the launch.

1998-2008 - cumulus press - hosted by koumbit