Community Spotlight: Lionel Walfish
The initial meeting between Lionel Walfish and Story Street Labs took place long before Story Street Labs even existed. On September 1st, 2015, Lionel signed up to our first prototype and has not stopped sharing stories with us ever since. Beyond being a marvelous storyteller, Lionel has also emerged as one of our community's most valuable members and a positive influence to many others.
Please allow us to kick-off our new Community Spotlight feature with this brief Q&A with Lionel Walfish:
Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
As a young child, I was extremely fortunate to have a mother who believed that the arts are an essential part of a child’s education.
By the age of thirteen, live theatre, ballet and opera were common events in my young life.
I was born in Montreal, and my formal studies took place there. I wrote my first stories in my mid-teens. Interestingly, I was not allowed comic books at home (although I did sneak a few in and hide them under my bed.).
Further studies brought me to New York City and Paris, spending two unforgettable years in each of those fabulous international cities.
Returning to Montreal, I worked as a copywriter in advertising and with CTV Canada as a script reader and writer.
I next moved to Toronto where most recently I have been concentrating on writing short stories (my first love). I am also working on my autobiography.
How did you discover your love of writing?
I was always kind of a creative kid.
When I would read a children’s poem written by an adult author, I would think “Hey, I can do that. I’ll write about my dog”.
My Mom always encouraged me to go even further, she being a very artistic woman herself. (fashion designer).
What stories or authors influenced you?
My reading history began with the likes of Dr. Seuss and progressed to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island and, of course, The Hardy Boys. If I were to name the most influential writers in my life, they would have to be O. Henry and Guy de Maupassant.
Can you say more about your love for short stories?
I think that it was more about wanting to read about as many ideas as possible within a shorter period of time, which is not to say that I do not love a great novel.
Out of all the stories you've shared with us, which ones are your favorites?
I find that there is a certain economy of words, in both these stories, and that, I believe is the true test of my writing skills.
Who are your favorite authors at Story Street Labs?
What a wonderful web-site Story Street Labs is. The format is beautiful and allows authors full expression and feedback. I particularly enjoy Mimi Dey’s sophistication and honesty in her work. She writes it like it is and I love that. I also admire the stories of Kobus Myburgh. In his ‘20 Kilometres,’ this author takes you on a speed race to beat all races. Good one, Kobus!
View Lionel Walfish's Profile at Story Street Labs.