Hi, my name is Chase Degenhardt, and I’m the founder of LitWorld.
Like most of you, I’m a lover of all things books. Like many of you, I’m also a writer.
I’ve been writing since around 2011, when I started a memoir about my fighting career during an injury layoff. I finished that, and then wrote a short story collection, Nowhere, which is slated to be released sometime this winter.
In 2017, I had “finished” this short story collection—which is to say that I got to a place that many writers get to. I knew the collection wasn’t at that published quality level, but I didn’t know how to improve it. I’d had a few friends look at it, but they never seemed to give much in the way of advice. I knew I needed some outside help.
I found that help almost completely by accident. I googled my favourite author, Guy Gavriel Kay. When the search results popped up, there was an ad up near the top. The ad said “Guy Gavriel Kay appearing in Calgary”. I lived in Edmonton, a three hour drive away. I thought, “I’m going to that” and I clicked the link immediately.
Something amazing happened. I met my hero, and if anything, he was even more amazing than I had imagined him to be. He was insightful, wise, thoughtful, and funny. He spoke well. He was kind to everyone, even a young writer who was so nervous about meeting him that he was quite literally shaking (me).
Not only that, but I met a number of other amazing people. Writers and readers and aspiring writers and people of all stripes who were unified by the love of books. At that event and in the years to come, these amazing people transformed my life.
I had the life-changing experience of meeting my hero and finding an incredible community.
But it happened by accident. And I wondered afterwards, how many other people are there out there like me?
How many people would love to meet their heroes? How many people would love to find a community of others who love books? How many young writers would like to find mentors and friends? How many writers would love to interact with the people who’s lives they changed?
And how could I make that happen for people?
That’s why I created LitWorld.