Why would an award-winning published author decide to expose other writers to a wider audience? Isn’t there something about jealousy among writers that would prevent such a radical movement? Not so for Nora Gold, a Canadian Jewish writer, who about ten years ago created an online literary magazine exclusively for Jewish fiction, called JewishFiction.net. A professor of social work at McMaster University who left the academy in 2000 to have more time for her own fiction writing, by 2010 Gold had already won a Canadian Jewish Book Award for her first book (Marrow and Other Stories), and later in 2014 his The First Novel (Fields of Exile) won the Canadian Jewish Literary Prize. His third book, the novel The Dead Man, published in 2016, garnered international acclaim and was published in Hebrew by Carmel. But in 2010 he began to notice that several writers he knew were having trouble getting their work published.
“In 2010,” he said The Jerusalem Report“I talked to these writers, who I knew they wrote very well, and I asked them what was going on. Basically, the publishing industry was undergoing a sea change due to the move to digital publishing. This may sound strange now because at this point digital publishing is a reality, but back then it caused a real crisis in the industry, and publishers were reluctant to take a chance on someone who was not known. One of the writers I spoke to was informed by an editor he had approached that in a decade or so all of this would probably subside, so until then he should keep his novels in a drawer. This writer told me: ‘I can’t wait 10 or 15 years. If no one is willing to publish my work, I’ll just stop writing. ‘ This made me worry about all the good Jewish fiction that was being written that had no way of going out into the world. And even if things got better in a decade, which I’m not sure has happened now, it meant that a lot of work would be lost in the meantime. I thought that although I am not an expert in digital technology, maybe I could do something to help these writers. So I created JewishFiction.net (the name taken from their website address, www.jewishfiction.net).