Friend to the Arts

Photo: Invisible Cities Network

An editor and publisher by trade, Christina Manolescu’s name graces acknowledgement pages in books from poetry collections to biographies and thrillers, and her websites have become vital resources for artists of all kinds. The LaSalle resident’s years of helping writers revise, sculpt and design their books has led her to recently release a self-publishing workbook accessible to anyone.

The lifelong love of teaching has intertwined with all of Manolescu’s various projects, and helping others to help themselves is what has always inspired her. In 1993, she founded Prince Chameleon Press and offered her services as a Publishing Consultant while producing English workbooks for elementary school classrooms. They were a mix of audio recordings and children’s literature, a multi-media concept that was ahead of her time.

Her publishing house opened its doors to other avenues. Aspiring writers would call upon her to review their stories. These calls led her to develop a methodology that anyone can follow to publish their own work.

« To see an author hold a copy of their novel and be near tears is wonderful. The emotions and feelings are so strong, » she says.

She has been a tireless advocate for self-publishing and has helped over a dozen writers bring their novels, poetry collections and more to print. Through workshops, events and one-on-one coaching, her passion for people to tell their stories has led her to offer the 88-Page self-publishing workbook she developed free of charge and available on her website.

Where her heart lies

In 2001, with the help of co-founder Professor Cristina Perissinotto, she formed the Invisible Cities writers’ group to reach out to emerging and actual self-publishers in Montreal.

« To us, ‘Invisible Cities’ expresses the notion of artists of all disciplines toiling in obscurity, often in isolation, who nonetheless exist and are real, » Manolescu explains.  It morphed into meetings where everything from films to cabaret performances to readings could be performed and workshopped in a supportive environment.

« Remarkably generous with her time, Christina has been supportive of all types of talent, serving the artistic community with kindness while developing and promoting her own unique gifts as a storyteller, » explains Kimberly Bourgeois, a writer/singer-songwriter and ICN member.

Under her leadership, the Invisible Cities Network (ICN) has evolved into a grassroots movement, supporting independent artists of all disciplines for the last 15 years.

« She made everyone feel visible, worthy, important, and appreciated, » says long-time member and poet Jack Locke.

Manolescu is currently writing follow-ups to her book Baglady which tells the story of an older woman’s fall into poverty and homelessness. Manolescu points out that the poverty rate for unattached women of 65 and older is 43 per cent.

Always out to help, her Baglady books are her way of bringing a light to the issues facing our aging population.

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