Meet the Authors – Chapters Oshawa – Sharon Lennox and De

May 6th – Mini-Workshop: How to Write Great Dialogue

How to Write Great Dialogue

Facilitator: Trevor Cole

Trevor Cole Photograph

Overview: Writing dialogue is not as easy as people think. The quickest way to determine whether a story is written by a good, experienced writer or a neophyte is to look at a few lines of the writer’s dialogue. Poorly written dialogue will ruin an otherwise well-conceived story. This mini workshop will give people insights into how to write dialogue that works.

BIO: Trevor Cole is an award-winning journalist and novelist. Way back when, he started in radio, writing ads for local businesses in Simcoe, Cornwall and Ottawa, Ont. He made the move to magazine journalism in the mid-eighties and ended up at The Globe and Mail, where he stayed for nearly fifteen years. As a journalist, he has won nine National Magazine awards and still writes for magazines such as Report on Business Magazine, Macleans and Toronto Life.

In the fall of 2000, surprising every right-thinking person, Trevor quit his full-time job at the Globe and Mail to write novels. His first two books — Norman Bray in the Performance of His Life and The Fearsome Particles — were both short-listed for the Governor General’s Literary Award and long-listed for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Norman Bray was also short-listed for the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for Best First Book in the Canada-Caribbean region.

Trevor’s third novel, Practical Jean, was nominated for the Rogers’ Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and won the famous Leacock Medal for Humour. His latest novel is Hope Makes Love, published by Cormorant Books. He lives in Toronto.

Catch the Buzz! News, Events, Online Pitches and more….

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Catch the Buzz is published weekly or bi-weekly to keep WCDR members and subscribers informed about upcoming RoundTables, Master Classes, writing events, writing contests, online pitches, and much more.

And now you can view Catch the Buzz on the WCDR website!

April 2, 2017 Catch the Buzz

Got News?

Do you have news about writing-related events, contests, pitches, etc. you’d like to see in Catch the Buzz?  Don’t be shy…tell us all about it!

Barbara Kyle – Your Inner Actor: How Writers Can Use Actors’ Techniques to Deliver “Deep Character” and Create Powerful Scenes – October 28, 2017

Your Inner Actor: How Writers Can Use Actors’ Techniques to Deliver “Deep Character” and Create Powerful Scenes

Facilitator: Barbara Kyle

Barbara Kyle


Date: Saturday, October 28, 2017

Time: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Location: Venue TBD

Room: TBD

Cost: $85 for members, $95 for non-members

Shakespeare was an actor. So was Dickens. And so are you when you give life to your characters on the page. In the “Your Inner Actor” master class, acclaimed novelist and former actor Barbara Kyle shares insights on how successful writers use actors’ techniques to write from the inside out, and to craft meaningful plots that lead to the central character’s transformation, whether from weakness to strength, or from ignorance to wisdom, however hard-won the victory may be.

The “Your Inner Actor” master class focuses on techniques to:

  • plumb your characters’ deepest motivations to propel the plot
  • craft emotionally authentic dialogue
  • “turn” a scene around characters’ desires and actions to yield the richest drama
  • build maximum power in your story’s pivotal “big scenes”: the inciting incident, the turning points, and the climax
  • plus, an interactive session on “Making an Entrance” shows how to design the most dynamic introductory scene for your protagonist

You’ll take home techniques that will guide you to create the kind of story that publishers want and readers praise.

About Barbara Kyle

Barbara Kyle is the author of the acclaimed Thornleigh Saga series of historical novels (“Riveting Tudor drama”– USA Today), and of thrillers, including Beyond Recall under pen-name Stephen Kyle, a Literary Guild Selection. Over 500,000 copies of her books have been sold. Before becoming an author, Barbara enjoyed a twenty-year acting career that included leading roles in three TV series and stage productions in Canada and the U.S. Barbara has taught writers at the University of Toronto and is a popular presenter at writers’ conferences. As a writing mentor, she has launched many writers on the path to published success. Her latest book is Page-Turner: Your Path to Writing a Novel that Publishers Want and Readers Buy. Visit

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Member Spotlight on Heather Hamilton-Senter

A Conversation with Heather Hamilton-Senter

Marissa: Your bio speaks to being a singer, actor, and photographer. How did that path lead you into writing?

Heather Hamilton-Senter
Heather Hamilton-Senter

Heather: I’m a graduate of the Ryerson Theatre program and a member of Canadian Actors’ Equity. Singing was always my first love, followed closely by drawing, reading, and writing (all neck and neck), and I always knew that someday I would write a book. My university English professor tried to convince me to switch from the acting program because he felt my true calling was writing!

I worked for several years in the Toronto theatre scene, but when I married and had children that life became more difficult and I ‘retired’. I keep my hand in the game by directing community theatre. Once my youngest was in school full time, I knew it was finally time to write my book.

Prior to that, I won a national award in digital art and that led to work as a photographer, which eventually segued into work as a book cover designer. I became immersed in the self-publishing scene as a designer first. I had a prominent YA agent, but we parted ways amicably when we realized my book was too niche for traditional publishing. It was perfect for indie publishing though, and I was already educated and ready.

Marissa: I love that your books play with Arthurian legend. What drew you to that topic/genre?

Heather: My mom is from Ireland, and I grew up immersed in fairy tales and British mythology. One of my most treasured possessions was an illustrated book of Arthurian legends, and I guess it just stayed with me. The line between fantasy and reality often felt blurred in my family. I remember quite clearly being in Belfast, and my mom’s cousin—who was an author and known authority on Irish history—dragging me around the countryside looking for a certain fairy well, which was believed to have healing properties, so he could use its water to cure his mother’s blindness. Unfortunately, it didn’t work, but it felt so real in the moment!

Marissa: Congratulations on becoming an Amazon Best Seller! What sets your books apart?

Heather: Thanks! For the Arthurian series, I believe it resonates with people because of my ability to make unexpected connections between various world mythologies and even urban legends. I believe I present them in a way that is truthful to their origins, but twists them into something new. While that series is categorized as YA, it really crosses over to adult fantasy and urban fantasy. My most recent series is aimed at the paranormal cozy mystery audience.

Marissa: From writer to Indie Publishing champion, what drew you to helping others navigate the waters of self-publishing?

Heather: I just find it all so much fun! If someone can score a million dollar deal in trad pub, that’s fantastic, and I applaud them. But I come from other Arts disciplines where there is no shame or stigma to working independently, and it suits my personality. Over the past few years, however, I’ve seen far too many people go into self-publishing without researching it sufficiently or arming themselves with the right tools. I started a small press which published a cookbook last year, and an upcoming children’s picture book, but it’s not really my intention to publish others. I just want people to go into this venture with their eyes open, because while great rewards are very possible, it can also go very wrong if you’re not prepared!

Marissa: Your covers are compelling and represent their genre well. What motivated you to pursue cover design?

Heather: Again, it goes back to the multi-disciplinary nature of my background. My mother and grandmother are accomplished artists, and the lavishly illustrated fairy tale books I grew up with were huge influences. As a teen, I even dreamed of becoming a fantasy cover artist like Michael Whelan, but I had to make a decision about which path to follow in university, and I chose theatre. It’s so amazing that this new indie publishing world has allowed me to achieve not one, but two of my childhood dreams!

Marissa: You have a Master Class coming up in March for the WCDR. What will writers take away from your workshop?

Heather: The workshop assumes that they already know how to write a good book. Writers will take away with them a blueprint for getting their book ready for publication, through publication, to how you keep the book afloat in a sea of content afterwards. The main focus is marketing for the indie author, but marketing your book begins with the choices you make long before you hit the publish button. Beyond that, I’m happy to digress into whatever area of indie publishing the attendees have concerns about or are stuck on.

Marissa: What three key pieces of advice would you give writers on their path to publication?


  1. Whether you are interested in traditional or indie publishing, you need to understand that at its heart, all publishing is a business. While our art is important, putting a book out into the world is a matter of navigating an entire ecosystem that is based on one or another business model.
  2. Education, education, education. Whichever path you choose, be smart. Attend conferences, network with other authors and industry professionals. With the internet, writers now have no excuse not to be fully educated on the realities of their chosen profession.
  3. Be subjective about your art while you are creating it, but learn to be more objective once you are sending it out into the world. Don’t think you can create your own cover if you’re not a designer, or format your book if you know nothing about formatting. Hire whatever professionals you need to do the things you cannot do professionally. 

Visit Heather’s Website

Learn More About Cover Art Designs

Learn More About Indie Publishing

Don’t forget to check out Heather’s Master Class:
Navigating the Indie Publishing Landscape

Sign up is now available:

Date: Saturday, March 18, 2017

Time: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Location: Durham College – Whitby Campus

Room: 11-11

Cost: $85 for members, $95 for non-members


Sue’s Widget Build – do not publish

Got your groove on? Itching to compete for the famed Gavel Trophy? Click here to register for the WCDR Summer Slam Auditions (July 4th). Summer Slam happens at our July Breakfast. (Must be a member to compete).

Click here for information on our WCDR and Len Cullen Scholarships and Grants program for 2012.


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Our March Speaker, Suzanne Derochers
Click here to read more.
Click here to register

March After Breakfast Mini-Workshop

Dorothea Helms addresses Ad Writing and Humour Writing in “Write Funny for Money”

Click HERE to read more.

Learn about the world of publishing with Cynthia Good, March 4, 2012. Click HERE to register NOW.



Jessica Westhead

Just in time for our November 30th deadline for Whispered Words, we have gifted short story writer Jessica Westhead coming to speak to the WCDR at our November 12 breakfast.

Click here to read more about Jessica and her talk.

Click here to reserve your place!


Join James Dewar for a one hour exploration of publishing contracts and copyright law. James is the publisher and editor of Piquant Press, and has also been a freelance writer for many years. He offers an experienced perspective from both sides of the publishing business.

Click here to read more!

Speaker: Camilla Gibb
Her book Sweetness in the Belly has been our RAW book club book for 2 months now. On June 11, 2011, Camilla will be our breakfast speaker. She was born in London, England, and grew up in Toronto. She has a Ph.D. in social anthropology from Oxford University. Sweetness in the Belly was a national bestseller, a Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist, and winner of the Trillium Award. Her novels have been translated into fourteen languages and published to rave reviews around the world.

Click here for more.

Click here to reserve for the June Breakfast.

There are no Blue Pencil Sessions OR After Breakfast Workshops in June. The June meeting is our ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING. Our breakfast speaker will come on at 9:00 in the morning and the business portion of the meeting will take place after the networking break. See you there!

Is 2011 the year you will finish your book?

A Novel Approach is now taking registrations for the coming year. Click here to learn more about this year-long support system to help you get that book finished.


Do you want input on your writing?

Book a blue pencil session at a WCDR breakfast. Click HERE for more information.



Finish Your Book in 2011

A Novel Approach begins again in January.

Click HERE for more information.


Night of Local Literary Readings

November 12, 2010 in Oshawa

Click HERE for more information.




Workshop September 19th

Write to Win

Write to Win is a one-day immersion in the art of entering writing contests…and increasing your chances for winning. Two ’seasoned winners’ — Ruth E. Walker and Dorothea Helms — will share terrific tips that will help you develop your own winning strategy.

Click here to read more




Script Writing Workshop

with Jessica Outram
Saturday October 30, 2010

Click here for more information



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Saturday March 6th
Write to Win!
with Ruth Walker and Dorothea Helms

Click here to read more

Saturday February 27th
Slush Pile Survivor Workshop
with Skyla Dawn Cameron and Shelley Kinsman

Click here to read more

Saturday February 20th
17 Ways to Edit for Energy
with Gwynn Scheltema

Click here to read more

February 20th

17 Ways
to Edit
for Energy

with Gwynn Scheltema


Click here for details

THIS Saturday, February 6th

Postcards from the Heart

With Ruth Walker

Click here for details.

Speaker: Bill Howell, writer for CBC Radio and Poet.

Bill Howell was a network producer-director with CBC Radio Drama in Toronto for 27 years (1977-2004), a Program Executive Producer for 23 years. His plays have garnered multiple ACTRA and international awards, and his series are still heard around the world. Bill is also one of the original Storm Warning poets.

Click here for more.

Click here to reserve for the February Breakfast.

February’s After-Breakfast Mini-Workshop:

“If It Didn’t Happen, Why Do I Remember it So Clearly?”
Facilitator: David Drane

The workshop explores the difference between fact and fiction in writing and ways to make the routine memorable through creativity.

Participant will create an interesting piece of writing based on a routine event in their lives.
Click here for more.


Words of the Season – Spring 2017

Words of the Season Spring 2017 image

Pull out your laptops, limber up those fingers and start writing…Words of the Season is all about YOU and your performance, be it poetry, prose or song.  

The undeniably vibrant, witty and entertaining Maaja Wentz will once again host the event.

Maaja Wentz Photograph
Maaja Wentz

La Rosa Ristorante
3050 Garden Street
Unit 102
Whitby, ON

Arrive as early as 6:00 pm.  Socialize, eat, enjoy a beverage – food and drink available for purchase.

Performances start at 7:00 pm.

Fully accessible venue.

Please note that all questions with ** beside them must be answered.

Your Name (first and last)**

Your Email **

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Your Bio:

Words of the Season – Winter 2017

Words Of The Season Returns
La Rosa Ristorante,
3050 Garden Street
Unit 102
Whitby ON

6:00 pm – 6:30 pm arrive

7:00 pm start

Food and drink available for purchase. Fully accessible venue.

If you’d like to read your prose, poetry or sing a song you’ve written, please complete the registration form. Hurry- spots fill fast!

Please note that all questions with ** beside them must be answered.

Your Name (first and last)**

Your Email **

Please leave this field empty.


Your Bio:


February 11th – Mini-Workshop: Writing a Steamy Sex Scene

Writing a Steamy Sex Scene

Facilitator: Christine d’Abo

Christine d'Abo
Christine d’Abo

Overview: A good sex scene in a romance novel has the ability to engage the reader, show character growth and to help move your plot through the dreaded “sagging middle.” This will be a hands-on session that will address how to layer sex scenes into a novel, provide practical examples and suggestions for writers looking to craft a hotter sex scene, and help writers determine the difference between erotic and other forms of romance.



Bio: A romance novelist and short story writer, Christine has over thirty publications to her name. She loves to exercise and stops writing just long enough to keep her body in motion too. When she’s not pretending to be a ninja in her basement, she’s most likely spending time with her family and two dogs. You can visit Christine’s website at

June 10th – Mini-Workshop: Finding Form

Finding Form

Facilitator: Elise Levine

Elise Levine
Elise Levine

Overview: Crafting an innovative shape for your fiction or nonfiction — one that vividly meshes with your approach to voice, character and plot — can elevate your ability to directly engage with your reader. In this mini-workshop we’ll consider some fresh approaches to form that will allow you to rethink and renew your approach to story.

Bio: Elise Levine is the author of the story collection Driving Men Mad and the novel Requests and Dedications. Her work has also appeared in The Journey Prize Anthology, and Best Canadian Stories. Originally from Toronto, ON, she now lives in Baltimore, MD, and is Director of the MA in Creative Writing at Johns Hopkins University.

March 11th – Mini-Workshop: The Art of Blogging

The Art of Blogging

Facilitator: Kerry Clare

Kerry Clare
Kerry Clare

Overview: There was once a period in which blogging was meant to be the answer to everything, but then the blogging bubble burst and we all learned that blogs are meant to be instead small, focused and meaningful. Which is perhaps all the more reason to make a blog a part of your writing life. In The Art of Blogging, you’ll learn about the history and tradition of blogging, about how blogging is not about tradition at all and instead about forging your own path, about the necessity of imperfectionism, and how a blog can fit comfortably into your daily routine, enhancing your writing life.

About Kerry Clare:For more than fifteen years, I have been blogging about books, writing, reading, my family, and curious adventures and diversions. I’m a reader, National Magazine Award-nominated writer, an editor, a writing instructor & a world famous would-be pickler.

My debut novel, Mitzi Bytes, “a grown-up Harriet the Spy for the digital age,” will be published by Harpercollins Canada in early 2017.

I read and write in downtown Toronto, where I live in a drafty attic with my husband, Stuart, and our daughters, Harriet and Iris. I have the best part-time job in Canadian literature, editing the fantastic books website 49thShelf, and I also teach The Art of Blogging at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies.