Priests in the Attic

The Official Blog for Elaine A. Small

Monthly Archives: June 2011

Word Guild Writing Award

Elaine A. Small accepts her Word Guild Writing Award


I’m happy to announce that my book, Priests in the Attic-a memoir,  is a Winner in the “Canadian Word Guild Writing Awards”–General Readership Category.

The presentation took place on Wednesday, June 15th, 2011, at World Vision, in Mississauga, Ontario. My heartfelt thanks go out to The Word Guild for recognition of my book and its particular message:

“Priests in the Attic was conceived and written on wings of reverie and prayer…”

“In essence, this  memoir is a story of  triumph over the ongoing conflict between spiritual  and worldly desires. In this way it is everyone’s story as we all fight the temptations of a crass, secular, world designed to lure us away from God’s purpose and his distinct plan for each one of us, while here on earth.”

The Word Guild Writing Awards 2011

Media Press Release – Elaine A. Small, June 1, 2011


Book Festival-Signing, Ft. Myers, FL.,2011

Belleville – Elaine A. Small, of Dundas Street in Belleville, has been shortlisted in a national writing competition for her inspirational memoir, Priests in the Attic. Small, born and raise d in Winnipeg, left home at twenty to pursue careers as an x-ray technician, professional singer, European fashion buyer (Eaton’s, Holt Renfrew, The Bay–Toronto), real estate agent/investor and a B&B operator of Tara Hall, Wellington, Ontario. A graduate of York University- BA Honours; MA, 2001- Small continues to write daily at her home in Belleville, while working on her new book, “Life Writing and the Power of Reverie.”

“There were seventeen priests at my father’s funeral.” So begins Small’s literary memoir, Priests in the Attic, an eclectic tale that starts in the crib and develops into a burning desire for stardom. In the telling, her memoir wears its forthright heart on her sleeve as it describes her early life as a minister’s daughter. Growing up in a family of ten (eight children) Small’s memoir follows her surging/stumbling progress through careers, loves, losses, joys and sorrows, in waves of emotion powered by reverie–the sudden infusion of joy, sadness or both–brought on by old memories.


Priests in the Attic is a finalist in the  “Book Category” of The Word Guild Canadian Writing Awards.

The winner will be announced on June 15 at a black-tie Awards Gala at World Vision’s headquarters in Mississauga, Ontario, to which the public is invited. The Gala is the premier event honouring the work of Canadian Christian writers. It will be hosted by British Columbian author and speaker, Grace Fox.

“I am incredibly excited to be shortlisted for this award,” Small said. “Many readers have told me that Priests in the Attic has inspired them to recall their own life challenges and finally accept their unique experiences and difficulties in juggling careers, hearth and home, during the evolving social issues of the 1960s and 1970s.”

The Word Guild, the organization that sponsors the awards, consists of nearly 400 writers and editors across Canada who write from a Christian perspective and publish work in a variety of genres.

All shortlisted Book Category finalists are in contention for the Grace Irwin Award. This is the second year for the $5,000 Award which will be presented to the best book entered in The Word Guild’s awards.

EMC Interview – Trenton, Canada

by Kate Everson

EMC Lifestyles – Quinte West – When Elaine Small was just a girl growing up in Winnipeg, she thought nothing of having several priests living upstairs. Her father was a minister and there was no seminary so the young men boarded with the family.

“I thought everyone had priests in the attic,” she says smiling.

Five years ago, she decided to make that the name of her book, a memoir of her life.

“It’s a metaphor,” she says. “A spiritual thread runs through my head.”

Elaine adds that the power of writing her life story was a healing process. Through a technique called reverie, she recalls not just facts but feelings associated with events. Memories triggered by the five senses bring back deep feelings and allow her to experience the emotional truth.

“It’s an amazing experience,” she said.

Elaine says by writing about personal events we can re-create them in our mind. We can correct the attitude and see it differently.

“We can re-right the story,” she says.

She adds that no one remembers a situation the same way. Each person has her own individual point of view.

For example, she recalls feeling terribly guilty over something that happened with her sister when she was young. But her sister has a totally different take on the same event.

“In retrospect, we are able to address events with humour,” Elaine said.

Elaine has changed the names of many of the people in her memoirs, but says the facts are true. She tells about her exciting life singing in nightclubs in Toronto in the 1960s, yet seeking somehow to regain her faith despite tumultuous times. The book is well-written and engages the reader in every page. Elaine studied writing for two years at Humber College taking correspondence and summer classes. Her book was published last October and she has already acquired a list of fans, including some from Wellington where she had a bed and breakfast for 15 years. She now lives in Belleville with her husband Richard.

Elaine will be reading excerpts and talking about the process of writing through reverie at a special event at the Quinte West Public Library on Saturday, June 25, at 2 p.m. in the multi-purpose room. She will also be signing copies of her book.

Priests in the Attic is also available at local bookstores, Greenley’s and Chapters in Belleville, as well as online at . Elaine is offering ten per cent of the profits of her book to the Alzheimer Society.