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Award-winning editor and writer from Rockland defies the odds

convulsive episodes and severe insomnia. He has been living with these conditions since high school and has undergone several different types of treatments over the years. “Freelance allows me to come here [to Rockland] and spend time with my family and still work from a distance,” he said. It provides Parisien with a flexible working schedule that allows him to take a step back if he is not having a good day, medically speaking. The editor-author does regular manuscript evaluations and editing for the publishing company Simon and Schuster in the U.S, while also tackling a wide range of projects with several different companies. “Generally speaking, I quite enjoy the variety

writers, all the editors – everyone has a dis- ability,” he explained. “So, it’s a verymuch for us-by us project.” Although his main focus is on editing, Parisien still delves into his own writing – ranging frompoetry, to fiction and also creative non-fiction, in genres generally inclined towards non-realist fiction, fantasti- cal andmagic realism. Parisien does not pur- posely stick to specific genres, but focuses more on what themes he wishes to relay, no matter what genre that may manifest itself into. “I’ma pretty emotional person so I want people to have some kind of empathetic response to what they’re reading,” he said. “In some ways, I want the stories to make them think about something.” For someone who

and I like to dip into a number of different approaches at once,” said Parisien. The young edi- tor won the Shirley Jackson Award for his work The Starlit Wood , an anthology of re-imagined fai- rytales he co-edited with Navah Wolfe for Saga Press. This work is also nominated for the Locus Award, the British Fantasy Award and the World Fan- tasy Award, which is the highest honor in this field. Parisien has a knack for creating or working on projects that are the first of its

is constantly reading, writing or editing and who largely does not consider the time he spends working as ‘work,’ since it is also his main hobby, Parisien’s next proj- ect surprisingly has nothing to do with work. Once back in Toronto from his trip back home to Rockland, Parisien will start working on a sleeve tattoo as a personal way for him tomark his milestone 30 th birthday, more so a milestone for him compared to most. “My 30 th birthday

Auteur, poète, éditeur primé, Dominik Parisien a grandi à Rockland, a fréquenté l’École secondaire catholique L’Escale et s’est penché dans lemonde littéraire en déménageant à Toronto pour travailler comme auteur et éditeur indépendant. Parisien est déjà connu, à l’âge de 30 ans, dans des genres tels que le steampunk, la science-fiction et la fantaisie - un âge auquel il ne pensait même ne pas se rendre à cause d’une condition médicale. M. Parisien a gagné plusieurs prix littéraires. —photos Alexia Marsillo


dipping his toes into the editing aspect of the industry and realized that was where his true passions really lied. “It’s still very much about storytelling, but a different kind of storytelling,” said Parisien. “I love work- ing with other people on their projects […] and to find the flaws in it and helping them improve it and putting all those things in one giant package with my vision for it.” Parisien works as a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, a setup that works perfect- ly for himgiven his severemedical condition in which he suffers fromchronic daily pain,

Author. Poet. Award-nominatedandaward- winning editor. Those are only a few titles in which to describe Dominik Parisien, who was born and raised in Rockland and attended L’Escale high school. He has now dived into the literary world by moving to Toronto to work both as a freelance writer and editor in the big city. Parisien has al- ready made a name for himself at the age of 30 in genres such as steampunk, science fiction and fantasy by having won the pres- tigious Shirley Jackson Award for edited anthology and being nominated for even bigger awards – all at an age he himself did not think he would live to. “I did some slight creative writing in high school. I was fortunate enough to have a creative writing class and a terrific teacher who pushed a lot of those creative aspects onme,” said Parisien. He then attended the University of Ottawa where he earned both his bachelor degree andmasters in English Literature, while volunteering for several dif- ferent magazines and catching his first break working as an assistant for Weird Tales , the world’s longest runningmagazine of fantasy and horror. Weird Tales is where he began

kind – as Starlit Wood is the first anthology of retold fairytales, his other renowned work, Clockwork Canada , is the first anthology of Canadian Steampunk and is nominated for the Aurora Award. Steampunk can be best described as retro-futuristic fiction that is set in the past but includes aspects of tech- nology or as Parisien describes it himself: “alternate history.” Parisien is currently working on a project that hits close to home – a disability project for amagazine that took over a series called The Destroy , in which the magazine has al- ready ran Woman , People of Color and Queer editions of the series before asking Parisien to edit the Disabled people series. “Every aspect of the creative process – all the writers, all the poets, all the non-fiction

was a very big deal to me… the fact that I managed to live until 30, because I didn’t think it would happen,” he said. The en- tirety of his sleeve tattoo will be comprised of illustrations from a book that changed Parisien’s life, titled Tainaron by Finnish writer Leena Khron. “It’s a book about metamorphosis and change and embracing the odd and the strange,” he commented. “It was quite trans- formative for me specifically withmymedi- cal condition, and it helpedme reframe a lot of it in amore positive light.” Parisien’s tattoo has come to represent his self-awareness and gratefulness at having defied the odds, both in his personal hardships and in the struggles that come with attempting to break through the competitive and elite literary world.

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