“All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
Hello. I’m Todd Besant and I’m a book publisher, editor, reader, writer, occasional author, introvert, stargazer, freethinker, kitchen dancer, podcast enthusiast, and car singer.
I write fiction, or, rather, attempt to write, micro-fictions, short stories, novellas, novels. I’ve had some stories published and won some reputable contests. But I’m fairly dissatisfied with my progress.
So I’m working to reboot my creative engine, and this site is part of that experiment. It features my published stories as well as the occasional rejection letter.
I’m the descendant of colonialist settlers and live on Turtle Island on Treaty 1 Land that is the territories of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, Lakota, Inuit, and Dene Peoples, and on the Traditional Homeland of the Métis Nation, in Winnipeg, MB, an inflexible colonial city mired in the still damp clay bed of a proglacial lake created during the Holocene Glacial Retreat.
I’m taller online, inordinately puzzled, comprehensively skeptical, increasingly alarmed, and as analogue as possible under the circumstances.
A more in-depth bio can be read here. If you wish to comment on any content, please read the site rules.
Versatile leader, publisher, editor, author, and writer dedicated to building and working in teams of committed professionals. A creative, analytical, and strategic thinker accustomed to an open communications style. Professional, flexible, system-oriented and process-driven, but goal-focused.
Relevent Professional History
Executive Editor, ARP Books (Arbeiter Ring Publishing Ltd.), Current
Owner/Arts & Culture Consultant, The Cultural Attaché, 2011 – 2016
Program Consultant, Artspace Arts Management, 2012 – 2013
General Manager, Virtuosi Concerts Inc., 2009 – 2011
How often do we tell our own life story? How often do we adjust, embellish, make sly cuts?
Third Person Pertinent
Todd is a colonial settler who lives and works on the bed of an ancient glacial lake in the heart of Turtle Island. He lives on Treaty 1 Land that is the territories of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, Lakota, Inuit, and Dene Peoples, and on the Traditional Homeland of the Métis Nation, in Winnipeg, MB, a static colonial city carpet tacked to the still damp clay bed of a proglacial lake created during the Holocene Glacial Retreat.
He has over 35 years of experience as a book publisher, writer, editor, not-for-profit board member, arts and culture administrator and manager, journalist, communications professional, bookseller, and occasional author.
Currently he is the executive editor of Arbeiter Ring Publishing Ltd. (operating as ARP Books).
From 2001 to 2009 he was the managing editor of Turnstone Press. In that time the company published many acclaimed books, including the Giller Prize finalist, Kilter: 55 fictions and Turnstone was a finalist for the Canadian Bookseller Association’s Small Press Publisher of the Year Award.
Todd is dedicated to book culture and is an advocate for publishers, authors, poets, writers, and other creators. Right now, he is the Board Secretary of the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) and a Board Member of eBound.
For more professional information, Todd’s kitchen sink CV/Résumé is here.
First Person Impertinent
I’m a blue-collar guy working in a white-collar world and I think mastering a craft or trade and blurring the line between work and life fosters happiness or, at least, contentment.
So given that I spend more hours of the day than I’d like teetering on vexation, I’m not meeting my standard.
But reading, writing, and thinking about stories and storytelling walk me off the ledge.
Stories are what people do, perhaps even what we are. And books–as objects and for the stories they hold–are vital to humanity. I’ve spent a good chunk of my life working and volunteering in book culture.
Sometimes it seems like a hard–and occasionally frustrating–way to make a living. But it’s a great way to make a life.
If you want to buy me a gift, I have fetishes about shoulder bags, notebooks and pencils, and sundry office supplies. As well, I’m keen on generous pours of strong dark coffee (black), American bourbon, Scottish Whisky, Irish Whiskey, Canadian Rye, hoppy microbrew ales, New Zealand Pinot Grigio, and Argentinian Malbec.
My sense of humour is dark, profane, occasionally grotesque, and deep, deep blue.
Contact me if you have time on your hands and you’re willing to buy the first round or if you want to offer me a lucrative and useful sinecure.