Tuesday, 12 February 2013


Hey there, booklovers!

It's been a while, yes, but we've been busy. Making mischief. Up to no good. Taking sexy pictures, and fun things like that. And now we're writing today to tell you, most excitedly, that we are exactly ONE WEEK away from launching Bare It For Books into the world at large.

That's right. In one week, we'll reveal our list of author participants in its entirety. In one week, our Indiegogo fundraising campaign will also go live, so when it does, be sure to head on over to Indiegogo, search "Bare It For Books", and find out about the cool swag you can score if you donate to the campaign.

We're pretty stoked over here at the BIFB headquarters, and we can't wait to have everyone share in our excitement. Here's to getting lusty for literature on a grand scale!

We also thought we'd take this little moment to talk a bit about the decisions that went into curating our 2014 list of nearly-nude authors. Because here's the thing: six months ago, when we conceived of the project, we thought that pulling together a list of people who wanted to get nearly-naked for literature would be easy.

That's right. No problem! we said. Look at how many writers have already responded and said yes! Putting a list together will be a piece of cake!

Turns out, though, that this couldn't have been farther from the truth. Because here's how things break down:

-- We were adamant that the calendar had to have equal representation of gender. So twelve authors meant, naturally, six men and six women.
-- We were also adamant that the calendar needed to try and be as diverse as possible. That meant people from all over Canada, writing in all manner of different genres, working in all manner of different mediums. And when you can only choose SIX men and SIX women, suddenly, sifting through genre and writing styles and regional representation becomes quite difficult.
-- We also had to leave room in case people needed to withdraw participation. And when that happened (and it did), sometimes we had to re-jig our calendar's representation in order to maintain a good mix of writers, genres, and styles.

Also, and perhaps most importantly -- we're all about informed consent here at Bare It For Books. It's not enough to think hey! Author X is pretty darned cute and writes poetry and lives in Area X and would therefore be PERFECT for the project. Author X had to be willing to take that step and bare it all for us, too! And let's face it -- getting down to the bare minimum, even for charity, is not everyone's cup of tea. So we had to be fully mindful of that, and respect people's wishes when they declined our little offer.

All of which is to say, folks, that pulling together a list of twelve Canadian authors who want to be in a risqué little calendar project is actually a helluva lot more difficult than it sounds. It's certainly more difficult than we thought it would be six months ago. And while we think we've done a good job of pulling a list together for 2014, and we are SO very proud of the authors who have jumped on board with the campaign already, we're fully aware of the fact that our authors lists can change, and grow, and showcase different aspects of Canadian literature as the months go on.

What we hope, ultimately, is that Bare It For Books will be able to grow and stretch into new territory with each new phase of the campaign. This might mean that next year, our author lists will look a little different -- maybe we'll add something else to the project to showcase a different side of Canadian literature. Maybe we'll ask some publishing people to get involved and pose, or maybe we'll add other visual elements to the calendar in addition to the nearly-nude photographs. We are open to all kinds of craziness, and it's our sincere hope that Bare It For Books can continue to change and grow and highlight exactly how diverse our literary landscape is, for as long as it is able.

Now we're back to polishing our last-minute campaign details, and getting everything ready for our Big Reveal on February 19th. In the meantime, we wanted to thank you all so much for your enthusiasm and support in these past few months. It's been a wonderful journey already, and we can't wait to share the rest of it with you.

Lots of literary love,

Amanda and Allegra

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas from Bare It For Books!

Good morning, booklovers.

Just a wee note to let you all know that we're thinking of you, books in hand, as we make our way through the holiday season and these last few delicious days of 2012. May your holidays be merry and filled with plenty of laughter and love and delicious books, and may 2013 be an exciting year for all of us!

Lots of love,

Amanda & Allegra


Monday, 22 October 2012

A Bare It For Books Giller Giveaway!

Greetings, our lovely word-hungry friends!

Here's some happy giveaway news for you again: we here at Bare It For Books are holding a Guess The Giller contest of our own. The winner of said contest will win all five shortlisted books!

To enter, please follow us on Twitter and tweet us with your Giller pick. (Both author and title, please!) That's all. The giveaway contest starts NOW and will go until 11:59pm on Monday, October 29th.

On October 31st, we will randomly choose a winner from those who correctly guessed the winning title and author. C'est simple!

So let's get guessing, folks, and happy reading in the meantime!

Amanda & Allegra

Friday, 5 October 2012

BIFB Giveaway!

Happy Friday, bookish friends!

We here at the BIFB headquarters are happy to announce that we've decided to celebrate this upcoming Thanksgiving holiday weekend with our first ever BIFB giveaway!

Here's the deal: from now until Monday the 8th at 12pm noon, tweet us at @BareItForBooks with the name of a CanLit author that you'd like to see baring at all for love of literature. Tell us in one tweet why you think they'd be a great fit for the project.

We can't guarantee that these writers will, in fact, eventually be a part of our calendar (we're very much about consent here at Bare It For Books), but hopefully this will get the discussion going. Remember: like we've said before, this project is as much about what our authors bare emotionally as it is about a fun little calendar. Why do you think a particular writer would be a good choice for a "bare it all" kind of project? How has a particular writer's work managed to reach and influence you through virtue of the naked nature of their prose?

We'll pick the winning tweet on Monday and blog the winner early next week. Up for grabs: a great cottage-inspired (in memory of--*sniff*--our lovely long weekends at the cottage) book and David's Tea prize pack! If you win, you get to dig into the following:

Clara Callan, by Richard Wright (paired with David's Organic Breakfast)
Fall On Your Knees, by Ann-Marie MacDonald (paired with David's Organic Cream of Earl Grey)
Late Nights On Air, by Elizabeth Hay (paired with David's Organic Evergeen)

It's a great prize pack, for sure. So there you have it, folks. Start tweeting. Who would you like to see bare it for books?

Monday, 1 October 2012

Some Serious Monday Thoughts

Good evening, you beautiful bookish people you. We've received a lot of comments and feedback regarding our little campaign in the last few days, and we just wanted to say a few more words about the project now, to give you an idea of where our hearts and minds are at with Bare It For Books.

First of all, if you haven't already, you should hop on over here to read Allegra's words on BIFB, as well as some of her exciting hints at what's to come in 2013. They really are exciting, these hints. Promise.

And second of all, there is this.

"A person who publishes a book willfully appears before the populace with his pants down." 

Wise words, these, from the Pulitzer-Prize-winning poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. Funny, yes, but ever so true. In order to connect with their readers, authors are constantly baring themselves--mentally, spiritually, emotionally--with every word that they put out there in the world. Consider the novel Annabel, by Kathleen Winter, which lies open the struggle of gender, the struggle of parenthood. Consider this article from Stacey May Fowles. Consider the hard truths of Linden MacIntyre's The Bishop's Man. In order to create pieces like this, authors have to open themselves to the public in all manner of ways. It happens all the time. 

In that sense, and in what we hope will be a fun, entirely playful, tongue-in-cheek kind of way, Bare It For Books is operating as a kind of physical extension of the psychological nakedness that writers experience every day.

But PEN Canada, and everything that they stand for, also has an important part to play in this little campaign. The ability to create and produce and celebrate a sexy little calendar isn't necessarily something that every country out there would freely get to do. As the members of PEN know all too well, there are scores of places in the world where "risky" books and "risky" projects like this wouldn't even get off the ground. How many writers are imprisoned around the world just for trying to say important, uncomfortable things?

This also happens all the time. Unfortunately.

So in this sense, the aim of Bare It For Books is twofold. We want it to be celebratory, yes. We want to be fun, and cheeky, and use our lovely little calendar as a way of encouraging and fostering the love of literature that's already so strong in this country. We want to pay homage to the difficult work that our writers and our artists undertake.

But we also want our readers and everyone who comes into contact with this project to remember how important it is that we continue to campaign for free speech in all corners of the world. For the ability to concoct fun little projects and act on them without fear of persecution. Once again, we're asking our authors to bare themselves in order to tell an important story.

We're so thrilled that the project has gotten a great response thus far. We can't wait to watch it all unfold in the coming months. We can't wait to share it all with you.

More soon. In the meantime, as always, lots of literary love to you all.

Amanda & Allegra

Monday, 24 September 2012

Happy times at Eden Mills

One of the first things that we did when we decided to make Bare It For Books official was get in touch with Andrew Simpson, the fabulous director of this year's Eden Mills Writers' Festival. We told him our idea, and asked if it might be possible to use the EMWF as an opportunity to spread the word about our little campaign. Andrew jumped on our bandwagon almost right away and offered us a table along the Publisher's Way. How exciting! How professional!

So Allegra and I got to work planning what we were going to include at our table. Information on the campaign, naturally. A sign-up sheet for our mailing list? Of course. Paper copies of the letters that we'd already begun to send out to authors? Absolutely. 

We also, with the help of our talented designer, Emma Jenkin, were able to cook up some BIFB swag to tote along. Bookmarks! Sexy bookmarks! How awesome is that?
Get lusty for literature, folks. Why not?
:And heck, why not another time? All three slogans now, plus our oh-so-cute Twitterish stickers:
Sexy, sexy bookmarks ...
Needless to say, the fact that we were toting official swag into an official event was pretty exciting. Even more exciting, though, was the response that we received at Eden Mills. So many positive vibes! So many people who instantly got excited about the idea. Plus, we got to meet such luminaries as Ami McKay, Trevor Cole, Angie Abdou and Julie Wilson. It was pretty much a perfect day.

Amanda on the left, Allegra on the right. BIFB duo in the flesh.

We had a lot of fun. Many thanks to Andrew Simpson, who so kindly donated a table to our cause. (And put some of our bookmarks to good use.) And thanks to everyone who came out, stopped at our table, and got excited about our little idea..
Here's to more excitement, and many more enthusiastic festivals in the future!. 

How It All Began

Hello world.

Here’s a question for you: have you ever picked up a book, looked at the author photo, and thought: dang, that author’s attractive?

We have. Lots. In fact, we’ve seen so many attractive authors over our time as diehard CanLit reading fans that back in the summer of 2012 we came up with a fun little idea: wouldn’t it be great if we could get some of these attractive authors to pose for a calendar? And wouldn’t it be fun if said calendar was a little risqué, a little sexy? What if we got our authors to pose ... in the nearly-nude? A la Calendar Girls? Would they be up for it? Would the CanLit world be game?

So we put some lists together. We sent out some emails. And what do you know – the CanLit world was more than game for a sexy author calendar. Turns out there are plenty of Canadian writers out there eager to bare it all in the name of literature, especially if PEN Canada is involved as our enthusiastic charity of choice. And just like that, Bare It For Books was born.

Here’s the deal: our calendar will feature 12-13 Canadian authors posing with books, some book-related props ... and nothing else. It will be a 2014 calendar, available for sale in October of 2013. It will be classy. It will be fun. It will be sexy as hell.

The proceeds from the calendar will be donated to PEN Canada. We’ll be launching the Bare It For Books campaign officially this coming January.We’ll also be launching a website at the same time, a website that will track our fundraising progress and include other fun BIFB projects that we’ll be rolling out over the course of 2013.

In the interim, we’ll be using this handy little space to blog about our journey leading up to the campaign launch. We hope you enjoy.

Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions, want to know more about the campaign, or would  like to get involved. Send us an email. Follow us on Twitter. Stalk our blog (we don’t mind. Really).

Show us some literary love, folks, and we’ll show it right back.

Allegra & Amanda