Collected Fictions Meetup

The Collected Fictions Meetup is a small monthly gathering of editors and writers in Montreal, working in independent publishing, content marketing, journalism and everything in between.

Founded by Rebecca West in 2016, the meetup aims to create a space for dialogue, knowledge sharing and inspiration in a rapidly changing field. What started as informal gatherings over coffee has evolved into slightly more structured events, with monthly themes and select readings for discussion.

Image: Dispatch Coffee


Rebecca West
Rebecca West is a freelance Copywriter and Editor based in Montreal, with a focus on projects at the intersection of tech, design and creativity. Her early obsession with reading led to an undergraduate degree in English literature from Concordia, followed by graduate studies at HEC in Communications and Marketing. In 2012, she started freelancing under the moniker Collected Fictions and has since built up a diverse network of clients amongst Montreal’s talented artists and innovators, such as Element AI, Moment Factory, e180, Dynamo, and EyeSteelFilm.

Simon Hudson
Connecting ideas, people, and media, Simon Hudson specializes in researching emerging topics and bringing them to a wider audience across all relevant media platforms. Formerly Managing Editor of Cloud & Co., Simon is currently Managing Editor at Montreal's hottest AI startup - Element AI.

Patrick Tanguay
Patrick curates ideas and patterns for his weekly newsletter Sentiers, and writes the Sentiers at Work monthly briefings on “technology and constant learning for organizations and careers.” In French he curates Repères for Atelier 10 / Nouveau Projet. He works as Thought Partner with select clients.

Previously he was Editor-in-Chief of the online magazine We Seek and its eponymous newsletter on the future of learning. He also co-initiated and edited The Alpine Review (now on hiatus), an award winning and critically acclaimed print publication.

Catherine Métayer
Catherine Métayer has recently relocated to Montreal after living for the past 7 years between Beijing, New York, London and Montreal. Her professional experience ranges from editing and writing to project management and curatorial work. She is the Cofounder of Collectif Blanc, a Montreal-based curatorial platform promoting design and publishing in print and will launch Palaver in 2015, a publishing initiative combining audiobooks with limited print editions. Catherine holds an honorific MA in Publishing from the University of the Arts London, with a specialization in print publishing and new entrepreneurship. The various symbols and transformations of the print medium, as well as new forms of curation and publishing are amongst her most favorite subjects.

Mark Mann
Mark Mann is a freelance writer who specializes in longform narrative journalism. He has written feature stories for Toronto Life, The Walrus, Report on Business, Reader’s Digest, The Toronto Star, The Dance Current, Torontoist, and Maisonneuve, as well as essays about art and culture for Momus and Blouin ARTINFO. His science and tech writing have appeared in Motherboard at Vice. His essay “Lucky Strikes” won a National Magazine Award and was published in The Best Canadian Essays of 2011 by Tightrope Books. He has told stories on CBC Radio, Lipstick Studios podcast, and at Raconteurs events in Toronto. As a member of the art collective CCC, he creates scripts for historically-researched site-specific audio walks. He has participated in artist residencies with Fogo Island Arts and the Banff Centre. He is the editor of GE Reports Canada.

Jory Mackay
Jory Mackay is an award-winning writer and editor based out of Montreal, Canada, currently writing for some of the web’s best and editor of The Startup. You can also find my writing on these fine publications: The Observer, The Next Web, Life Hacker, Business Insider and Quartz.

Steph Colbourn
Steph Colbourn is a podcast producer and the founder of Editaudio – a podcast production and consulting company based out of Montreal, Canada. Her mission is to work with entrepreneurs and businesses, from all over the world, to create high-quality, engaging podcasts. Each of her clients has secured a spot on iTunes front page in New & Noteworthy and has had a minimum listenership of over 50,000!

Dan Levy

Dan Levy
Dan levy is a journalist by training and a content strategist by accident. Over the past decade he’s built and led content teams at a number of global agencies and tech startups, including Bookmark (previously Spafax), Unbounce and Smooch, where he currently serves as Editorial Director. He holds a masters degree in journalism from Boston University and way too many mix tapes he made as a teenager.

Themes & Readings

Starting in May 2017, at each meetup one of our members has chosen a theme loosely connected to editorial or content marketing and select readings for discussion. Here are some of the topics we have covered so far.

The gig economy, precarity, & mental health

Is the Gig Economy Working? Many liberals have embraced the sharing economy. But can they survive it? By Nathan HellerProzac Nation Is Now the United States of Xanax By Alex Williams. June 10, 2017Inside The Gig Economy’s New Wave Of Women’s Clubs by Molly Bennet, June 6, 2017How to Maintain Your Sanity (and Be Productive) When You Work Alone All the Time by Jocelyn K. GleiThe Advantage Of Being A Little Underemployed (On the 40 hour work week vs being creative and doing knowledge work) by Morgan HouselHow Freelancers Are Reinventing Work Through New Collective Enterprises by Christopher D. Cook

Giving up, closing projects, knowing when to quit

Perhaps you should give up, by Dan Norris.Kill Your Old Ideas So You Can Be More Creative by Nick Douglas.Arianna Huffington's decision to step down makes perfect sense when you hear her best productivity advice + Arianna Huffington on letting go + “I gave up on” + short vid on Youtube.Don't Play with Dead Snakes — Kill Projects Before They Kill You, by Richard Daly.The Lost Art of Quitting, by Mike Fishbein.

AI applications in writing and publishing

Adventures in Narrated Reality: New forms & interfaces for written language, enabled by machine intelligence by Ross GoodwinAdventures in Narrated Reality, Part II – Artists and Machine Intelligence by Ross Goodwin[Art in the Age of Machine Intelligence]( ) by Blaise Aguera y ArcasWhy AI Can’t Write This Article (Yet): Machines are learning faster and better than ever, but they still have limitations by Walter Frick, Harvard Business Review.Maluuba - Our Year in Review infographic highlights our research work in 2016Romance Novels, Generated by Artificial Intelligence by Elle O'Brien

Editorial Independence within Branded Publications

Toward dumber by Seth Godin, July 20, 2017Can We Please Stop Using Branded Content? by Joe Pulizzi, October 6, 2015 The One Ingredient Your Content Marketing Program Is Missing by Joe Pulizzi, June 29, 2015Editorial Integrity for Long-Term Growth by Kathi Simonsen, October 25, 2016There are only two ways to tell your story: A Venn Diagram for Brands by Steve Bryant, September 13, 2017Copyranter: Everybody’s definition of ‘branded content’ is wrong by Mark Duffy, July 8, 2015

"Writing and …" - The modern landscape for media workers and the complementary skills needed (or expected) to succeed

Why we’re dropping the term ‘content marketing’ - Inside Intercom by John CollinsEditorial values cannot be an afterthought by Gregory CiottiWhy good, unique content needs to die - Moz by Rand Fishkin, May 22, 2015Link Building Case Study: How I Increased My Search Traffic by 110% in 14 Days by Brian Dean, last updated September 2, 2016How to start a blog in the most cluttered marketplace in history by Ali Mese, September 3, 2017

#MeToo - Gender bias and discrimination in our work

Push for Gender Equality in Tech? Some Men Say It’s Gone Too Far by Nellie Bowles, September 23, 2017Sarah Polley: The Men You Meet Making Movies by Sarah Polley, October 14, 2017Over half of women in advertising have faced sexual harassment: study by Susan Krashinsky, August 11, 2016Is Online Marketing Gender-Diverse? Insight from the 2015 Online Marketing Survey by Jackelyn Magwire, August 20, 2015Take the lead Video by TBWA\Africa, March 9, 2016

Publications, paywalls, memberships, subscriptions, oh my!

Inside Patreon, the economic engine of internet culture by Adi Robertson, August 3, 2017Members don’t want a gate around the journalism they’re supporting by Kristen Hare, December 5, 2017Former Gawker employees are crowdfunding to relaunch a that’s owned by a nonprofit and funded by readers by Shan Wang, December 11, 2017Asking members to support its journalism (no prizes, no swag), The Guardian raises more reader revenue than ad dollars by Christine Schmidt, November 17, 2017‘Stratechery as a service’: Substack aims to streamline the creation of independent subscription news sites by Ricardo Bilton, October 5, 2017Medium Targets 10 Million Paying Members in 5 Years by Rob Reid, October 31, 2017As ESPN Falters, Sports Startup Chases Fans Tired of ‘Old Fluff’ byJoshua Brustein, July 24, 2017


Steemit Civil Why does journalism need blockchain technology? by Maria Bustillos, October 27, 2017Steemit for Dummies (like me) - Everything you need to know in simple terms by "mindover", 2016Block Zero Podcast by Kevin Rose: Covering Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Cardano and other blockchain technologies

Working Out Loud

10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon, February 18, 2014Mozilla and Working Open [video] April 18, 2017Offscreen Mag Blog How Canada ended up on the cover of The Economist by Madelaine Drohan, November 4, 2016

Values in Editorial and Marketing

You are not a large corporation: A Manifesto for the Self-Employed by Paul JarvisBribes For Blogs: How Brands Secretly Buy Their Way Into Forbes, Fast Company, and Huffpost Stories by Jon Christian, December 5, 2017Hint: It’s About Your Brand - NiemanLab Predictions for Journalism 2018 by Millie Tran and Stine Bauer Dahlberg, December, 2017 Brands up their game in ethical advertising by Marcie MacLellan, December 10, 2015Marketing Strategies for the Ethics Era [paywall - MIT Sloan Management Review] by N. Craig Smith, July 15, 1995Value vs. values and rejecting perfection by Zachary M. Seward, November 7, 2008

Skilling Up

The Skills Companies Need Most in 2018 – And The Courses to Get Them by Paul Petrone, January 2, 2018, LinkedIn. Create a collaborative culture to embrace digital transformation together Freeformers, July 20, 2017The Future of Jobs: Employment, Skills and Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution World Economic Forum - Global Challenge Insight Report, January 2016.

Information overload and the responsibility of the writer

How Many Stories Do Newspapers Publish Per Day? by Robinson Meyer, May 26, 2016, The Atlantic. Skim reading is the new normal. The effect on society is profound. Maryanne Wolf, August 25, 2018, The Guardian.The Middle of Things: Advice for Young Writers by Andrew Solomon, March 11, 2015, The New Yorker.Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones, 2015, Bloomsbury Press.


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