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  • UPDATE – Provincial announcement regarding public libraries and pickups


    We greatly appreciate the Province’s announcement that as part of the first phase of reopening libraries can begin to offer pick-up or delivery of materials. 

    There is a lot of work to do be able to offer these services while ensuring the safety of our employees and our customers. Our plan to resume our physical services needs to account for physical distancing requirements, provision of personal protective equipment, enhanced sanitary controls, and new protocols for employees and customers. We are working on offering holds pick-ups as soon as we can safely do so.  

    We will be communicating all new developments in our service offering to you on all our platforms, as soon as we have updates. 

    Thank you for your patience as we move through this rapidly evolving situation. 


    OPL branches, Bookmobile stops and Homebound delivery services are closed until June 30, 2020. The closure is in response to advice from Ottawa Public Health (OPH) with regards to COVID-19 (coronavirus) for the health and safety of our community. We will continue to monitor the situation and reassess as the situation evolves. Currently, please note:  

    • Due dates for all currently checked out materials have been extended and late fees suspended.
    • Book drops are not available since branches are closed. Hold on to OPL items and return them when branches reopen. 
    • Holds are suspended, and pick up expiry dates extended. This includes interlibrary loans (ILL).
    • Meeting room rentals are cancelled, and fees are being refunded; and
    • Computer bookings, programs, events and outreach activities are cancelled.
    • Expired cards, or those about to expire, have been extended. 

    You can use the Library online:

    We thank you for your patience and support, and we look forward to seeing you online and in person again soon.

Short Takes: Interview with a Short Story Writer

web image for 50+ Short Story Contest


As part of our 50+ Short Story Contest, we asked local author and contest judge Michèle Vinet a few questions about her work.

  • How long have you been writing fiction?

 I’ve been writing fiction since I was a child. It was a pleasant hobby for me. It still is.

  • Why do you like to write fiction and short fiction in particular—what does writing fiction bring into your life?

I write fiction to allow a certain detachment from reality and a particular flight of the imagination. A novel requires a long-haul effort, while the short story is much shorter. The challenges are similar, but the short story requires greater conciseness.

  • What are you working on now?

I am working on my next novel.

  • Do you feel that there are specific challenges in marketing and promoting short fiction compared to novels? How do you promote your short stories?

As it is for any publication, it's a matter of doing a thorough research and offering them to a publisher hoping that they will be accepted!

  • Do you have a favorite writing space or a place you go for inspiration?

I prefer bistros and cafés because I need to have life in front of me to work. For me, sitting in front of a screen does not work at all.

  • Do you have a personal favorite among short story writers?

I think the most famous short story writer is Guy de Maupassant. Reading his work can serve as training.

  • What’s your advice to short story writers who may not be published yet? What are the keys to success, in your opinion?

There are no keys to success. Writing and rewriting is a rigorous job. To write, you must have read a lot.

  • How do you combat writers’ block?

I don’t believe that writers’ block exists. When a writer is unable to work, it is because his ego is acting up. We must accept that we cannot control everything. You have to let it come and go. By letting go, there are beautiful discoveries to be made.


Are you interested in writing fiction? Then join one of our writing workshops offered during the 50+ Short Story Contest! Follow this link for a complete list of the writing workshops.

Michèle Vinet is the author of the novels L’enfant-feu, Jeudi Novembre, and Parce que chanter c’est trop dur. She has won several literary awards, including the Prix littéraire Le droit 2017 for L’enfant-feu, and the Prix Émile-Ollivier 2012 and Prix littéraire Trillium 2012 for Jeudi Novembre.

Michèle Vinet by OPL_BPO_Comms

Michèle Vinet est l’auteure de L’enfant-feu, Jeudi Novembre, et Parce que chanter c’est trop dur, et lauréate de plusieurs prix littéraires. *** Michèle Vinet is the author of L’enfant-feu, Jeudi Novembre, and Parce que chanter c’est trop dur. She has won several literary awards.