Master Classes

Alexandra Leggat: The Art & Craft of Postcard Fiction – May 27, 2017
Barbara Kyle: Your Inner Actor – October 28, 2017


The Art & Craft of Postcard Fiction with Alexandra Leggat

Alexandra Leggat photo
Alexandra Leggat

Facilitator: Alexandra Leggat


Date: Saturday, May 27, 2017

Time: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Location: Durham College, Whitby Campus, 1610 Champlain Avenue (just east of Thickson Road)

Room: 11-11

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

Overview:  Writers of masterful fiction, John Steinbeck, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ray Bradbury et al, believed that to write well, one must learn how to write short. No matter what form or genre you write, the practice of writing short pieces sharpens a writers skills and enables them to tackle any type of writing with a sharp eye.

Throughout our workshop we will be honing our writing skills by first ridding our creative minds of any unnecessary clutter with a timed free-writing spree. Imagine horses being let out of the barn, kicking and bucking and running full out in an open field. Then we slowly reign ourselves in.

From this we are going to set the writing aside for a few minutes to discuss the process of free writing. Then we begin the journey of creating from the seeds you gravitate toward on the page in front of you. Step by step you are going to build a story that will initially exceed the perimeters of a postcard. As our day progresses, with feedback from your classmates, you will stretch, mould, sculpt, clip, mould, sculpt, your creative writing into a succinct, compelling work of postcard fiction that is submission ready.

By the end of our time together you will have sharpened your eye, enhanced the awareness of your particular strengths, and become even more in tune with your instinct and intuition and the beauty of the creative and editing process.

Note: Lunch not included; please bring your own lunch or be prepared to drive to a local coffee shop. Some vending machines are on the premises, but we cannot guarantee what items will be available.

About Alexandra Leggat

Alexandra is the author of the novel The Incomparables (Anvil Press), three short story collections; Animal (Anvil Press), short-listed for The Trillium Book Award, Meet Me In The Parking Lot (Insomniac Press) and Pull Gently, Tear Hear (Insomniac Press), short-listed for the Danuta Gleed First Fiction Award and the poetry collection This is me since yesterday (Coach House Books) which was noted as a Time Magazine upcoming poets feature. Her articles, reviews and creative non-fiction have been published by The Globe and Mail, Toro Magazine, The Danforth Review and Celtic Times. In Spring 2016, Alexandra started her own small publishing house Two Wolves Press. She teaches creative writing courses at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies, with new courses starting at the Scarborough campus Winter 2017. She is at work on her next novel We Are Not The Fischers, to be published Fall 2017. She lives in West Hill with her two Alaskan Malamutes Lupa and Giacomo.

Your Email (required)
Please leave this field empty.

Your Name (required)

Your Telephone (required)

Are you a WCDR Member?

Your Message/Comments


Feather pen

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

Barbara Kyle

Facilitator: 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

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Telephone (required)

Are you a WCDR Member?

Your Message/Comments

Please leave this field empty.



WCDR-Sponsored Master Class Testimonials:

Eve Silver – The Perfect Marriage: Plot & Pacing

Eve Silver knows her business, and her tailored lessons demolished more than one roadblock in my current WIP. We distilled plot to a logline, then spun it out into a full three-act structure. Eve even offered everyone with on-the-spot, individualized critique of a short scene! Will definitely be on the lookout for more workshops of this calibre!  Anne MacLachlan

Alissa York – Inspiration, Perspiration, Celebration!

“…Organized, thoughtful and wonderfully helpful!”

“Very engaging, respectful, and gave good information.”

“The biggest plus was learning from an author – someone who’s been through it all.”