Jenny Madore – October 13th Guest Speaker


Jenny Madore at the October 13th Monthly Network Meeting!

Jenny Madore head shot

Writing for a Living – Profitable Tips for Writing Novels

Whether you focused on publishing traditionally, independently, or a hybrid combination of both, non-fiction or fiction, there are certain practices that propel your writing and raise earnings. This workshop discussion covers what you write, why, how fast, and for what audience. We will discuss the power of genres, niche markets, and hot cells both in the planning stages and in production. I will share my tips and tricks for practical marketing/branding suggestions you can put to work, regardless of genre or market. And, of course, how to make money doing it.

If you’re serious about writing books for a living and ready to step your career up to the next level, this is a meeting you won’t want to miss.

About Jenny Madore

Under the name JL Madore, Jenny has published seven full-length novels and one five-part serial since attending Heather Hamilton-Senter’s WCDR Master Class spring 2017. In that time, her income has increased 1000% over the sales for the two years prior, she’s been awarded best new release on Amazon 3 times, been #1 in her genre sub-category countless times and has learned a ton about what it takes to build momentum as an author.

Heather Tucker – September 8th Guest Speaker


Heather Tucker at the September 8th Monthly Network Meeting!

headshot of Heather Tucker
Heather Tucker

Sparking Creativity Through Play

“Ask yourself frequently, ‘Am I having fun?’” – Stephen King

Writers ‘work hard’ at honing their craft. Taking time to ‘play’ is as necessary as mastering dialogue or using proper grammar.

Play wakes up the brain, sparks imagination and unleashes creativity. It frees the writer to take risks, conquer fears and discover new possibilities in their stories. For the writer, play helps us quiet the editor, tap into our unique voice and unearth sensual details that bring our stories to life.

In this ‘playshop’ participants will:
• put crayons to paper
• learn strategies for incorporating creative play into their writing life
• play together with plot twists, settings and dialogue to unearth fresh, quirky details that make stories memorable
• de-stress, relax and have a little fun

About Heather Tucker

Throughout an eclectic career Heather Tucker has gathered stories— from working as a nurse in Ethiopia, Columbia, France, Belgium and Northern Ontario, to her experience as a teacher, bereavement counsellor, public health and psychiatric nurse.

Heather worked extensively developing educational resources until discovering that playing with words was more fun than working with them.

She is the winner of the Writers’ Union of Canada, the New York Literal Latte and the WCDR short prose competitions. Her debut novel, The Clay Girl, was the American Booksellers Association debut pick, a finalist for the Atlantic Book and Kobo Emerging Author Award and was voted by readers into the top ten on the Canada 150 best books list.

November 4th – Mini-Workshop: Eva Stachniak on Setting in Historical Fiction

Setting In Historical Fiction

Facilitator: Eva Stachniak

Photograph of Eva Stachniak
Photo credit: Mark Reyners Roberts

The Mini-Workshop will look at how to create scenes set in the past which are vivid and convincing to the reader. Eva will talk about where to look for relevant historical details which will bring your scenes to life, how not to be bogged down by too much research, and how to transport your reader into the past in ways that intrigue and delight. Drawing from what Eva has learned from her favourite historical fiction writers and from her own writing experience, she’ll share her favourite tips and techniques of creating settings in historical fiction that are accurate, authentic, and alive.

About Eva Stachniak

Eva Stachniak is the award-winning and internationally bestselling author of The Winter Palace and Empress of the Night, two novels about Catherine the Great The Winter Palace was a Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year and made The Washington Post’s most notable fiction list. She holds a PhD in literature from McGill University. The Chosen Maiden, set in the world of Ballets Russes and inspired by the art and voice of Bronislava Nijinska, has been published in Canada, US, Germany and Poland.

Born and raised in Poland, Eva moved to Canada in 1981 and lives in Toronto.

Register for the Mini-Workshop when you register for the November 4th RoundTable.  

September 9th – Mini-Workshop: The Infinite Power and Responsibility of Storytelling

Photograph of Author Shannon Webb-Campbell

Writers will explore first person storytelling and poetics, the dangers and excitements. This is a chance to share truth in a personal way – as a form of criticism with poetic veneer. We will dismantle truth, discuss the importance and healing power of telling untold stories, the responsibility of storytelling, and how to be careful not to appropriate.

About Shannon Webb-Campbell

Shannon Webb-Campbell is a mixed Indigenous (Mi’kmaq)-settler poet, writer and critic. She is the author of Still No Word (Breakwater, 2015) and Who Took My Sister? (BookThug, 2018). She was Canadian Women In Literary Arts critic-in-residence 2014, and is a board member. She holds a MFA in Creative Writing from University of British Columbia, a BA from Dalhousie University, and currently is working towards a MA in English Literature at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. Her play The Landless Band opens at LSPU Hall in St. John’s, Newfoundland Spring 2018. She is a member of Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation.

Register for the Mini-Workshop when you register for the RoundTable.

Shannon Webb-Campbell – September 9th RoundTable

Shannon Webb-Campbell at the September 9th RoundTable & Mini-Workshop!

Shannon Webb-Campbell photograph
Shannon Webb-Campbell

RoundTable Discussion: The Power and Hazards of Story, and What it Means to Write What We Know in Our Bones, Bodies and Hearts

Writing is powerful medicine. Stories are a means of passing down knowledge. Stories are sacred witness and ceremony and thus come with a sacred responsibility.

A story isn’t merely a story; it’s a telling and retelling, a living and breathing entity. All stories are acts of ceremony and harbour responsibility. Stories belong to particular cultures, peoples, lands and spirits.

Cultural appropriation is about consent, or the lack thereof.

This past spring, Twitter blew up over the “appropriation prize” debacle, fuelled by Hal Niedzviecki editorial called “Winning the Appropriation Prize” in Write Magazine, a quarterly published by the Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC). As some of the top editors and journalists of Canada’s media outlets lauded the idea of creating a literary prize-celebrating writers who seek to explore people, culture and narratives that are not their own, CanLit exposed its colonial underbelly.

As writers, how can we hope to understand profound experiences from another cultural group if we haven’t even bothered to ask whether it’s appropriate to share their stories in the first place?

In this Roundtable discussion, we will acknowledge the power and hazards of story, and what it means to write what we know in our bones, bodies and hearts. As writers, we carry our ancestors and generations of voices. Stories are transformative. Stories are complex, and at the heart of the problem with appropriating stories and voices are knowledge of location: where a story belongs; and ownership: who it belongs to and who is the rightful teller.

Every storyteller has a responsibility to their stories, where they come from, and whom they belong to. Questions we need to ask ourselves as writers include: Who am I to write this? What are my intentions writing this story? Who is my intended audience? Am I the appropriate teller for this story? What is my responsibility to my writing?

Easy answers are not the end game. Questions are the things – and often what propels writers to commit words to a page. This conversation invites writers to question, reflect, and expand the conversations around cultural appropriation, all the while finding their own voices, and treating the power of story with the respect it deserves.

Mini-Workshop: The Infinite Power and Responsibility of Storytelling

Writers will explore first person storytelling and poetics, the dangers and excitements. This is a chance to share truth in a personal way – as a form of criticism with poetic veneer. We will dismantle truth, discuss the importance and healing power of telling untold stories, the responsibility of storytelling, and how to be careful not to appropriate. Register for the Mini-Workshop when you register for the RoundTable.

About Shannon Webb-Campbell

Shannon Webb-Campbell is a mixed Indigenous (Mi’kmaq)-settler poet, writer and critic. She is the author of Still No Word (Breakwater, 2015) and Who Took My Sister? (BookThug, 2018). She was Canadian Women In Literary Arts critic-in-residence 2014, and is a board member. She holds a MFA in Creative Writing from University of British Columbia, a BA from Dalhousie University, and currently is working towards a MA in English Literature at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. Her play The Landless Band opens at LSPU Hall in St. John’s, Newfoundland Spring 2018. She is a member of Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation.

 
Register

January 2017 Guest Speaker – Joel Sutherland


The Path to Publication with Joel Sutherland
January 14th RoundTable Speaker

Joel A. Sutherland
Joel A. Sutherland

 

The path to publication is filled with ups and downs, zigs and zags, plenty of ‘no thank yous’ and the occasional ‘yes please.’ The one constant is that no two paths are identical — every writer must find his or her own success story (please pardon the pun) — but much can be learned from the trials and tribulations of others. Joel will share the story of his own path to publication, from cranking out short stories to working with a micro press on his first novel to writing eight books over six years for Scholastic Canada…while balancing writing with a full time job and raising three young children with his wife (and trying not to lose his sanity). haunted-canada-6
 

BIO: Joel A. Sutherland is the author of Be a Writing Superstar and Haunted Canada volumes 4 to 6 (from Scholastic Canada). In 2017, Scholastic Canada will publish his young adult novel Summer’s End, the first two books in a middle grade series called Screamers, and Haunted Canada 7. His short fiction has appeared in many anthologies and magazines, including Blood Lite II & III (Pocket Books) and Cemetery Dance Magazine, alongside the likes of Stephen King and Neil Gaiman.

He has served as a juror for the YA category of the Bram Stoker Award, the John Spray Mystery Award, and the Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy. His Haunted Canada books have won the Silver Birch Award and the Hackmatack Award.

summers-endJoel is the Children’s & Youth Services Librarian for the Georgina Public Library, and appeared as “The Barbarian Librarian” on the Canadian edition of the hit television show Wipeout. He has a Masters of Information and Library Studies from Aberystwyth University in Wales.

July 9th 2016 – Summer Slam


Announcing our Slam performer for Summer Slam 2016
Britta B.

Britta B.
Britta B.

A proud and recognizable resident of Toronto’s Regent Park, Britta B. is an artist, spoken word poet, public speaker, special events host, mentor and arts educator.

Britta features as a lead cast member in the musical, The Journey, based on the revitalization of Regent Park. She provides ongoing mentorship for “at-promise” youth, facilitates spoken word and leadership programming, and oversees a self- care project with UNITY Charity for youth residing on the Fort Chipewyan reserve. Her spoken word performances have featured in over a dozen cities across North America including New York City, Vancouver, Detroit, Montreal, and New Orleans.


Slam auditions will take place
at The Brock House
918 Brock St. N, Whitby
Monday July 4th
7:30 PM
(registration at bottom of page)


What’s a slam?

A poetry slam is when a group of writers get together, read their work out loud, and have judges in the audience vote on the winner. Here, the judges will be voting on the finalists, who will then compete at the WCDR’s July breakfast meeting. The WCDR’s Summer SLAM looks like this:

STEP ONE:

SEVEN finalists will be chosen at the July 4th Auditions that will be held in the evening at a location in Whitby.

FIVE JUDGES will base their decisions on the following THREE CRITERIA:

  1. Quality of the writing
  2. Quality of the Performance
  3. IMPACT on the audience

(See Secrets of SLAM at the end of this announcement)

STEP TWO:

THE LUCKY SEVEN will perform at the WCDR JULY 9th ROUNDTABLE

Once all seven performers have completed their performances at the July 9th WCDR SUMMER SLAM Roundtable Meeting, all audience members will be given a ballot containing the name of all SEVEN slammers and asked to secretly circle the one name they think should win……

Ballots will be collected and tallied by an independent group of WCDR members not involved in the competition.

It’s WINNER TAKE ALL!

STEP THREE:

While the ballots are being counted we will enjoy the performance of a professional Toronto area SLAM POET Britta B.

STEP FOUR:

the WCDR SUMMER SLAM TROPHY and $100.00 in PRIZE MONEY will be awarded.

THE 10 RULES OF the 2016 WCDR SUMMER SLAM:

  1. You are only allowed to perform ONE piece of material. It can be anything: Poetry, Fiction, Memoir, Shopping Lists… anything that you think will connect with the audience.
  2. The piece you read/perform must have been written by you.
  3. You must perform the piece by yourself. No other humans or other life forms are allowed on stage during your performance.
  4. Your performance of the piece must be THREE MINUTES or less in length. (This includes EVERYTHING you say. The clock starts when you start talking. All performers are given a 10 second grace period, BUT once you go 10 seconds over the 3 minutes you are penalized for every 20 seconds you go over)
  5. Only your voice and body may be used in the performance. No props of any kind are allowed. (except the microphone, mic stand and anything containing your reading material. See note on memorization)
  6. No costumes. No nudity.
  7. No musical accompaniment.
  8. Although some singing is permitted, the singing must not exceed 25% of the performance. Judges have final say in this regard.
  9. You are not permitted prompting from anyone.
  10. No racist, sexist or unusually profane language is allowed.

NOTE: The organizers and judges have the right to disqualify or penalize contestants who contravene these rules.

SECRETS OF SLAM:

  1. The MAIN GOAL is to MAKE AN EMOTIONAL IMPACT
  2. MEMORIZING your piece is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
  3. MOVE YOUR BODY
  4. USE YOUR VOCAL RANGE
  5. TIMING is CRITICAL – Your performance MUST BE 3 minutes or less
  6. PRACTICE with a MICROPHONE
  7. Five Judges select the final seven at the AUDITION, but the AUDIENCE PICKS THE WINNER at the July 9th Roundtable.

Want to participate? Click on Register:
Register

April 15 – Blue Pencil Bonanza

Bule Pencil Bonanza

 

 

Did you submit for Saturday’s Blue Pencil? Next Steps: Each of the tables has been arranged and your facilitators have your pages to critique.

Note:
It’s your job to print off and bring copies for your tablemates if you submitted. If you’re sitting at a:
table of 8 people: Childrens/MG/YA, Paranormal/Horror, Romance, Sci-Spec fiction, Mystery/Suspence and YA/NA – bring 7 copies including yourself
table of 10 people: Historical, Contemporary, Short story, Memoir – bring 9 copies including yourself
Questions? email Jenny Madore.

 

 

Plan on being at the RoundTable on April 15th! It will be a fun, interactive meeting where you can get quality feedback on your work in progress and in your genre. Divided by genre, each table will be facilitated by a WCDR member professional. Submit for feedback or simply observe, it’s up to you, no pressure. Participating in any way in the critiquing process will strengthen your writing and give you a broader understanding of how readers interpret words on the page.

Please be assured, all critiques will be kind and constructive. The WCDR is your safe place.

Submission is a member’s only opportunity, but guests are welcome to observe.

Submission: 1st three pages (doubled spaced, 12 point font). Must upload .doc or .pdf at time of registration.

Please note: Because we need to organize the submissions in time to be reviewed, the deadline to sign up to participate will be April 7th if you want to be critiqued. You can, of course, sign up to attend the RoundTable and not be critiqued up until the normal cut-off date of the Wednesday beforeTentative List of tables at Blue Pencil Bonanza:

    • Short Story
    • Young Adult/New Adult
    • Memoir
    • Literary Fiction
    • Paranormal/Horror
    • Suspense/Thriller
    • Science Fiction/Speculative Fiction
    • Childrens/Middle Grade
    • Romance
    • Historical Fiction
    • Non-fiction
    • Humour
    • Query/synopsis

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

Your Name **

Your Email **

Are you a WCDR Member? **

Do you wish to participate or observe at a Blue Pencil Table? (Note - Blue Pencils are for members only. Guests can only be an observer at a Blue Pencil Table)**

Please select a Blue Pencil Table (only one per person)**

Upload Blue Pencil sample doc or docx Max file size: 1 MB

Please let us know if you have any additional comments:

March 12 – Blue Pencil Bonanza (No Speaker)


Bule Pencil BonanzaPlan on being at the RoundTable on March 12th! It will be a fun, interactive meeting where you can get quality feedback on your work in progress and in your genre. Divided by genre, each table will be facilitated by a WCDR member professional. Submit for feedback or simply observe, it’s up to you, no pressure. Participating in any way in the critiquing process will strengthen your writing and give you a broader understanding of how readers interpret words on the page.

Please be assured, all critiques will be kind and constructive. The WCDR is your safe place.

Submission is a member’s only opportunity, but guests are welcome to observe.

Please note: Because we need to organize the submissions in time to be reviewed, the deadline to sign up to participate will be March 4th if you want to be critiqued. You can, of course, sign up to attend the RoundTable and not be critiqued up until the normal cut-off date of the Wednesday beforeTentative List of tables at Blue Pencil Bonanza:

  • Contemporary/Literary Fiction
  • Memoir
  • Young Adult/New Adult
  • Romance/Erotic Romance
  • Paranormal/Horror
  • Science Fiction/Speculative Fiction
  • Investigative Nonfiction & Freelance articles
  • Short Story
  • Historical Fiction
  • Poetry
  • Query/synopsis
  • Suspense/Thriller

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

Your Name **

Your Email **

Are you a WCDR Member? **

Do you wish to participate or observe at a Blue Pencil Table? (Note - Blue Pencils are for members only. Guests can only be an observer at a Blue Pencil Table)**

Please select a Blue Pencil Table (only one per person)**

Upload Blue Pencil sample doc or docx Max file size: 1 MB

Please let us know if you have any additional comments:

May 14 2016 Guest Speaker – Martha Webb


This will be a special “ask the editor” roundtable. Members are offered the opportunity to submit questions please send your questions to RoundTable Coordinator Jackie Brown.

Martha Webb
Martha Webb

Martha is a literary agent, director and full partner at The McDermid Agency. Her list focuses on literary fiction, narrative non-fiction (including investigative journalism and memoir), and ideas-driven nonfiction, such as popular science and popular philosophy. Her clients include award-winning fiction writers Michael Crummey, Nino Ricci, Jessica Grant, Joan Thomas, Alison Pick, and Pasha Malla, journalists Robyn Doolittle (author of Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story) and Deborah Campbell, indigenous lawyer and activist Caleb Behn, restaurateur Jen Agg of The Black Hoof, Andrew Westoll, winner of the 2011 RBC (Charles) Taylor Prize, graphic memoirist Sarah Lazarovic, and Karen Le Billon, whose first book French Kids Eat Everything sold into thirteen countries and translated into ten languages. She also represents many debut novelists.
She holds an MA in Literature from the University of Edinburgh, and has been with the agency since 2005.

http://mcdermidagency.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This will be a special “ask the editor” roundtable. Members are offered the opportunity to submit questions please send your questions to RoundTable Coordinator Jackie Brown.