Through Not Around

An evening of stories about infertility,
pregnancy loss and infant loss

Through Not Around.png

Here at Firefly, we hear a lot of stories about infertility, pregnancy loss and infant loss.

It’s an incredibly widespread experience, shaping and changing the lives of people who live through it. And yet, it’s rarely talked about except in private conversations and hushed tones.

But sharing is healing. Bringing stories together lets us recognize our shared humanity, build on one another’s strength and feel less alone.

When the book Through Not Around was published last year, an anthology of true stories about infertility, pregnancy loss and infant loss, we were amazed how many Firefly community members were featured. Some of their stories we knew and some we didn’t. Each one was incredibly powerful in it’s own way.

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. To hold this topic with gentle hands, we’re inviting a handful of people who were featured in the book to read their work at the studio. And we’re inviting you to come hear their stories.

We’ll also have an open mic component, making space for a couple more stories of infertility, pregnancy loss and infant loss from the audience. If you have a story to share, get writing! Anything 800 words or less is welcome. We will put names of potential readers in a hat and pull as many as the evening allows.

Snacks and door prizes (copies of the book) have been donated by Dreamers Magazine! Thank you Dreamers.

This evening will be perfect for you if:

  • You’re ready to feel all the feelings! Many of these stories will be intense, sad and possibly scary. They won’t be the right fit for everyone. Think about whether this is right for you before coming.

  • You love the idea of celebrating new voices and making space for authentic, real-life stories.

  • You have survived pregnancy and infant loss, know someone who have, or simply want to hold space for this human experience.

  • You want to slide out of your day-to-day to connect with other people who love words.

  • You’re curious about our studio and want to spend some quality time inside its walls connecting with neighbours and Fireflies.

This won’t be a great night for you if:

  • You’re not ready to compassionately hold stories about loss and grief. There will be Kleenex.

  • You’ll be heartbroken if you can’t get your name on the open mic list. We’ll put names in a hat and choose a few, depending on time. Likely, no every name will be chosen.

  • You want to share a story that’s over 800 words.

  • You’re looking for feedback on your work. (Check out Firefly’s workshops or our coaching packages for that.)

  • You don’t identify with the heading: “Nicest people in Toronto.”

  • You need to have a gin and tonic in your hand and a lot of leg room to have a good time.

  • You don’t have a sitter. We don’t recommend this evening for kids.

All the details:

This event will take place Friday, October 4th. We’ll open the door at 7, and start the readings at 7:30. Writer M.K. Shaw — whose work is featured in the book — will host the evening. We’ll take a break part-way through and wrap up by 9:15.

We’ll be at our beautiful studio, 1898 Danforth Ave, unit 2. It’s fully wheelchair accessible and a short stroll from the Woodbine subway station.

We’ll be collecting $10 at the door to support our scholarship fund, helping underserved writers access our beautiful programming. If that’s too steep, we’ll gladly make an exception. If you can kick in a little more, our scholarship-ees will thank you!

We always seem to have the perfect number of people, but we may have more this time. Come early to grab a seat or beanbag. If we do overfill, we’ll need to close the doors.

See you there!