Norfolk and Haldimand citizens asked to share their pandemic stories

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Norfolk County resident Les Anderson is asking Haldimand and Norfolk residents to help him document a very important time in history.

Anderson, who enjoys writing and has an appreciation for local history, is giving people an opportunity to share their COVID-19 pandemic stories in a book that will illustrate the experiences of people from all walks of life.

Some stories may be uplifting, some inspiring, and some will be very difficult to tell, he says.

“There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic is the story of the last (14 months),” said Anderson. “It has crossed through everyone’s lives leaving us to adjust to the new normal and perhaps rediscovering ourselves.

“Many people and businesses have suffered but one thing is for sure, the people of Haldimand and Norfolk counties are resilient and will bounce back from this.”

Anderson wants to hear from all age groups and various backgrounds. In July and August, submissions will be accepted in a variety of formats including short stories, poetry or songs.

“I’m hoping that we can create something that will document a very important moment of time in our history,” said Anderson.

He is still giving some thought on what to use for photographs and illustrations.

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“I’ve had a couple people offer to do some things, but right now mainly it’s just the stories that I’m working to get.”

Proceeds from the book will be donated to the libraries of Haldimand and Norfolk.

“Libraries are an important part of our community and we need to continue to support them in any way we can,” said Anderson.

“We value and encourage the contributions of local authors,” said Heather King, CEO for Norfolk County Public Library in a media release. “The opportunity to fundraise through book sales will help to enhance the services provided to our patrons.”

Paul Diette, CEO of the Haldimand County Library, agreed with the need to document local history saying, “This book will provide an invaluable resource for looking back on how life was impacted by this event.”

Anderson says writing can be very therapeutic and hopes that his book will assist local storytellers in the healing process and help them make sense of what has happened during the pandemic.

“People have experienced different things, everything from losing a family member or a serious illness in the family, to struggles in business, farming. I just think putting your experience or thoughts on paper can be helpful in that way, letting other people know how you feel and what you went through.”

You can get more information and review the guidelines for book submissions by emailing Anderson at mystory@bell.net.

The book will be released in paperback as well as an ebook format prior to the end of this year.

“The thought is to have it printed and ready for late October.”

cabbott@postmedia.com

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