Room is Canada’s oldest feminist literary journal, and has published fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, art, interviews, and book reviews for forty years. Published quarterly by the West Coast Feminist Literary Magazine Society, also known as the Growing Room Collective, Room showcases writing and art by women (cisgender and transgender), transgender men, Two-Spirit and non-binary people. Works that originally appeared in Room have been anthologized in The Journey Prize Anthology, Best Canadian Poetry, Best Canadian Stories, and Best Canadian Essays, and have been nominated for National Magazine Awards. Visit Room‘s website.
Meghan Bell was the publisher of Room from 2015-2019, and is currently an editorial board member (since 2011) and one of the magazine’s graphic designers (since 2015). She has edited four issues of the magazine and assistant edited one. In her time at Room, Meghan has overseen multiple projects and initiatives, including:
- Co-founding the Growing Room festival in 2017 and acting as the marketing and development manager, securing funding for its first three years (including grants and sponsorships). Other responsibilities include: acting as a member of the programming committee, coordinating and designing the program guides, graphic design, securing venues, building and managing the festival website and ticket sales, budgeting, media relations, and crisis management. The third festival (March 2019) featured over 120 writers and performers in over ten days of events, with a total attendance of over 2,500.
- Project management and lead editing of Making Room: Forty Years of Room Magazine, including securing a grant from the Canada Periodical Fund for the project and coordinating an IndieGoGo pre-sale campaign that raised $10,615. Addition responsibilities included: graphic design, marketing, copy-editing, and author communication.
- Project management for Room’s print and web redesign in 2016, including securing a grant for the project.
- Securing distribution into US bookstores (including Barnes & Noble) and introducing digital subscriptions through Press Reader.
- Securing an affordable office space for the magazine in 2016.
- Launching Room‘s blog (original website content) in January 2013. Web traffic increased from less than 100,000 page views per year before 2013 to approximately 300,000 page views per year three years later in 2016. Meghan was also responsible for editing the magazine’s original website content from 2016-2019.
- Coordinating circulation and marketing strategies that doubled paid circulation from 2014-2018.
- Writing multiple grants and recommending strategic budgeting to slowly introduce paid staff positions at the magazine, which went from being entirely volunteer-run in 2013 to employing two full-time staff, three part-time staff, and multiple contract employees by the end of 2019. Total grant revenues at Room increased from approximately $30,000 per year to over $200,000 per year between 2013-2019.
Making Room: Forty Years of Room Magazine
Lead Editor, Project Manager, March 2017
“In the hashtag and hot-take era, it is a relief to wade through a female world as beautiful and broken and messy as this one.”—Rosemary Westwood, The Literary Review of Canada
Making Room: Forty Years of Room Magazine celebrates the history and evolution of Canadian literature and feminism with some of the most exciting and thought-provoking fiction, poetry, and essays the magazine has published since it was founded in 1975 as Room of One’s Own. This collection includes poems about men not to be fallen in love with, trans womanhood, the morning-after pill, the “mind fuck” of being raped by a romantic partner, and a tribute to the women who were murdered in the Montreal Massacre. In one story, a group of sexual assault survivors meet weekly and come up with a unique way to help police capture their assailant, while in another a dinner party turns to witty talk of racism, sexism, pornography, and time travel. One author recounts how she learned multiple languages in order to connect with her father, another reluctantly walks down the aisle in order to stay in Canada with the man she loves. For forty years, Room has created a space for diverse voices. As Amber Dawn says in her opening essay, “There is Room. We do fit.”
“. . . a true CanLit treasure trove . . . Together, these pieces make for an important piece of our public record, helping to chart the evolution of Room, Western feminism, inclusion, and CanLit.”—Natasha Sanders-Kay, subTerrain
Room Magazine (Print)
Issue 42.3 “Sports”, Editor, September 2019 (forthcoming)
Issue 40.2 “Our Rubble, Our Loss”, Editor, June 2017
Issue 38.2 “How We Relate”, Editor, June 2015
Issue 37.3 “Geek Girls”, Editor, September 2014
Issue 36.3 “Murder, Lust, & Larceny”, Assistant Editor, September 2013
Room Magazine (Online)
Editor, roommagazine.com (2016 – present)
BLOGGING / REVIEWS / INTERVIEWS
Regular contributor to roommagazine.com (2014 – Present)
Book reviewer for Room Magazine (2013 – Present)
Motion Sickness by Ursula Pflug (book review)
The Mystics of Mile End by Sigal Samuel (book review)
Violet Quesnel by Coby Stephenson (book review)
Vancouver Fringe Festival 2017 Reviews (theatre reviews)
Vancouver Fringe Festival 2016 Reviews (theatre reviews)
Love Bomb by Meghan Gardiner (theatre review)
Stationary: A Recession-Era Musical by Christine Quintana (theatre review)
ribcage: this wide passage by Heather Hermant (theatre review)
GRAPHIC DESIGN / TYPESETTING
Issues 38.2 (June 2015) – Present
Making Room: Forty Years of Room Magazine, March 2017
SOUND / VIDEO EDITING
Lit Mag Love, Episodes 1-7