Social Media

How The Novel Starts (YouTube channel)

What makes readers, agents, and publishers take a chance on a book? There’s plenty of advice out there on how to write a first chapter, but so much of it is generic. So, instead, I went looking for concrete examples in great books. On my channel, How The Novel Starts, I explore the opening chapters of popular novels, and figure out what writers can learn from them for their own work.


The Faith Project

The Faith Project is an interactive documentary that explores how seven young Canadians are shaped by the rituals they practice. This is intimate, personal storytelling that goes beyond the dogma and the headline controversies, exploring moments of beauty, wonder and tension at the heart of modern spiritual life. Download the free iPad app from the App Store, or stream it on the web. And be sure to check out the comprehensive educator resources.


Speaking of Faith

Speaking of Faith (now On Being) is public radio’s weekly conversation about religion, meaning, ethics and ideas, broadcast on over 200 NPR affiliate stations across the US. In 2008, we won a Peabody Award and a Webby Award. Some episodes from my time there:

The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi — A Peabody Award–winning profile of the exuberant 13th-Century Muslim mystic who is also the bestselling poet in America today. (53 min)

Mathematics, Purpose and Truth — A physicist turned novelist explores the nature of reality through the lives of two enigmatic mathematicians. (52 min)


Writing for NFB Education

Selections from the National Film Board blog

Islamic Horizons

At the Corner of Crescent and Sainte-Catherine — Profile on the Muslim community of Montreal and the challenges it faced during an ongoing public debate on the limits of pluralistic society. Cover story of the Nov/Dec 2007 issue of Islamic Horizons, the official publication of the Islamic Society of North America.