Gooood morning WCDRers and welcome back to another episode of Member Spotlights! Once again, I am your host, Dale Long. Today we showcase M-E Girard. I caught up with her after her book launch for Girl Mans Up, in September.
Dale Long: Thank you for being in the “hot seat” for us today, M-E.
You were a natural, by the way, and reinforced my belief that pitching face to face is much more productive that via e-mail.
Marie-Eve Girard: Thank you! I was really trying to make the launch “not boring” and worth people taking the time to come by.
As for the face-to-face pitching thing: I’ve never pitched in person, but I think that’s really the best way to get someone to pay attention and want to read. If you’re good at engaging someone, then yeah, it’ll probably pay off more than a cold query—which is how I got my agent. An in-person pitch is definitely one of the ways to skip the slush pile.
Dale Long: I loved your response to Ruth Walker’s great question; “was it hard to get published”. If I paraphrase it like this;
“When asked if getting published, M-E Girard said, the work to get to the publishing stage was absolutely hard, the getting published, wasn’t. She said she was in the right place at the right time.”
Would you say that was accurate? It’s what I took from it. And it is encouraging and endearing.
Marie-Eve Girard: I feel like I could clarify that. It’s like, the actually getting a book published, when looking at it from a macro lens, is definitely hard. For so many reasons that I could list. Writing a good book is hard; staying with it when you hate it is hard. All that. But when looking at it from just my experience, in hindsight, it wasn’t hard in the sense that I had my strategy, I did my work, and things fell into place at the right time so that I didn’t have to feel the effects of how hard it really is for a person to get published. I think I put myself in a place where I planned for the barriers to getting my book out (Canadian, debut, queer YA, etc), and I had a strategy to hit the right people, gain access to authors/mentors/facilitators, but the fact that it worked out ultimately, I feel, was out of my hands because of the whole timing & luck thing.
Does that make sense? Read More…
Writing doesn’t have to be a solitary act!
We want you! Whether you’re ready to call yourself a writer, or if your career as a writer is already established, you can benefit from being part of the Writers’ Community of Durham Region (WCDR). We have plenty to offer those who live in the Durham Region, but if you don’t, hang on before clicking away! While we are known for our RoundTable meetings (in Whitby, Ontario), there are many other benefits to being a member of our writing community.
Check out this 4-minute video of a RoundTable meeting!
Every month, we celebrate with a RoundTable meeting at the Centre For Food (Durham College) Whitby, and we love everything that encompasses: writing, books, sales, contests, raffles, workshops, announcements, speakers, celebrations, networking, workshops, blue pencils…and breakfast.
Be sure to get your submissions ready for the October 25th 2015 deadline for our short story contest Phoenix, judged by Alissa York.
Got a pricy retreat or workshop you’d like to take to develop your craft? Members can apply for our yearly grants & scholarships, with substantial sums awarded to a variety of writers, from beginner to advanced!
Looking to develop your craft? We sponsor quality one-day workshops on a variety of topics, and every month, RoundTable attendees can also register for one of our mini-workshops. We organize one-on-one and pitch sessions with some of the best industry professionals (editors and agents). Of course, these are at a discount to members! Browse our events/workshops calendar to take advantage of what else is available to you.
Attend one of our events, such as Words of the Season, where you can go up to the mic and read your work aloud, or simply be part of the audience to enjoy the show. Participate in literary events, like the Word on the Street, where we have a booth every year. Check out our events/workshops calendar to see what else is going on.
Keep up to date with our literary newsletter, The Word Weaver. Members receive their copies directly to their inboxes and can pitch to contribute articles—whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned writer, your voice can find a spot in our newsletter!
If you’re looking to keep up to date with what’s going on with the organization, to find out about writing-related events going on, or to get news updates about our members, sign up for our informational newsletter The Buzz! (Enter your email at the top of the sidebar to sign up for this free WCDR newsletter.)
Obtain feedback on your work: Meet critique partners and/or beta readers at meetings or online in the forums; register for blue-pencil sessions at the RoundTable meetings; find a writing circle; register for a pitch session or one-on-one with industry professionals; read your work at Words of the Season; find quality, reputable editors.
These are just a few of our membership benefits. To find out more, please visit our membership page.
We want you to know we do welcome writers in all stages of their craft. If you’re looking to get motivated to take your writing more seriously, give us a try! If you’ve published before and you’d like opportunities to network with fellow authors, give us a try! If you’re a freelance writer, a nonfiction writer, or a blogger, give us a try!
Meet the board of directors of the WCDR. After all, they all started out as members–some even as quite recent members of the organization. The Writers’ Community of Durham Region encourages writers at all levels; offers opportunities for support, education and networking; and promotes the value of writers and writing. And that just happens to be our mission statement.
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