Editor in Residence: One on One Payment

Editor in Residence – One on One

Limited number of spaces

Robyn Read, Acquisitions Editor for Freehand Books, will work one on one with WCDR writers the week of May 30th.

Participating writers are asked to submit 20 manuscript pages one month ahead of time (Monday, May 2nd) through email as a Word document or PDF. Writers are asked to provide a cover letter, or a pitch in the body of the email itself, and to please specify in the subject lines of their emails, WCDR Editor in Residence.
Robyn will read the manuscript excerpts prior to the meeting and in the hour-long one-on-one interview will provide thoughtful and personalized feedback on the work of each author, as well as discuss how to pitch their work (cover letter, submission package, presentation, agents, etc.) in that meeting.

Please note: Robyn will be providing feedback on the manuscript autonomously, as a submission-package-in-progress, and not as a submission to a specific press.

Time: One hour sessions
Date: Week of Monday, May 30, 2011
Place: TBA
Cost: $75 for WCDR members

$75 – WCDR MEMBER – Editor in Residence One on One Member

Group Intensive payment

Approaching A Publisher: Small Group Intensive

Limited to 8 writers

You only have a few minutes – sometimes moments – to capture the attention of an editor.

Your query letter has to make an instant impression and inspire the editor to turn to the first page of your manuscript – and the first page of your manuscript has to be strong enough to convince the editor that, above all other submissions in the slush pile, this is the one to keep reading.

This two-and-a-half hour evening intensive will be limited to 8 writers who will have previously submitted their one page query letter and the first page of their manuscript to Robyn two weeks ahead.

Over the course of the evening, Robyn will provide oral feedback on all query letters and first pages, addressing them one by one. Writers will benefit not only from direct feedback on their own work, but will learn from the feedback on other writers’ submissions. She will also be addressing how to synopsize/pitch one’s work as one of the most important parts of the cover letter.

Time: 6:30 p.m to 9:00 p.m.
Date: Monday, May 30, or Tuesday May 31st as assigned, 2011
Place: Stouffville – Nineteen on the Park Board Room
Cost: $85 WCDR member, $95 non member.

$85 – WCDR MEMBER – Approaching a Publisher – Intensive

$95 – NON MEMBER – Approaching a Publisher – Intensive

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.  

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.


WCDR Grants and Scholarships Information Night

Grants and Scholarships Information Night
Trinity Irish Pub & Restaurant
75 Consumers Drive
Whitby, ON

Thursday, February 25th
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Are you a WCDR member planning on applying for some of the $2,600 WCDR Grants and Scholarship money? Do you have questions? Dawn and I have set aside Thursday night (Feb 25th) to meet up and go over the application process. 7pm at Trinity Pub in Whitby. Let us know who is coming and we’ll reserve space. Email me at, president@wcdr.org

Only one more week until the Feb 29th deadline. Just fill out a simple application and submit a 5 page sample of writing based (in some way) onthe prompt: And then, all was quiet.

Good luck,

Station Gallery Art Talk and Workshop

 Station Gallery

Free Art Talk: The Expanded Landscape


Free Workshop: Setting: Not Just a Pretty Place


Location: Station Gallery at 1450 Henry Street in Whitby

Date:  Thursday, October 15, 2015

7:00-8:00 pm    The Expanded Landscape

This art talk by Chai Duncan, Curator of the Latcham Gallery (Stouffville), will explore the concept of landscape: the role it has played and the evolution it has undergone in the world of art in general, and more specifically in the construction of Canadian cultural identity.
8:00-9:00 pm    Setting: Not Just a Pretty Place

This workshop by Cryssa Bazos and Gwen Tuinman will explore the often overlooked 
components of setting. The talk will focus on how writers use setting to drive character development, to heighten conflict, and evoke an emotional response. The session includes time for the workshop plus quiet writing time in the gallery. 

Registration is closed!


February 27, 2016 WCDR Master Class: Inspiration, Perspiration, Celebration! Alissa York


Alissa York
Alissa York


Facilitator: Alissa York

About the workshop

Date: Saturday, February 27, 2016

Time: 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Location: Trent University, Oshawa Campus, 55 Thornton Rd South, Oshawa, Room 115

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

Overview: In this immersive day-long workshop, acclaimed author Alissa York leads writers through a series of exercises and discussions designed to refresh their vision and refine their craft. The focus is on fiction, but the only prerequisite is a passion for the written word.

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 Alissa York


Alissa York’s internationally acclaimed novels include Mercy, Effigy, (short-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize) and, most recently, Fauna. York is also the author of the short fiction collection, Any Given Power, stories from which have won the Journey Prize and the Bronwen Wallace Award. Her essays and articles have appeared in such periodicals as The Guardian, The Globe and Mail, Quill & Quire and Eighteen Bridges. York has been teaching and mentoring writers since 2007, working with the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies, The Banff Centre’s Wired Writing Studio, the Toronto Public Library and Diaspora Dialogues. She has lived all over Canada and now makes her home in Toronto with her husband, artist Clive Holden. Her new novel, The Naturalist, is due out in 2016.


Want to register?

To register, please fill out and submit the form below. Once you submit the form, you will be automatically taken to a new page where you can pay for the workshop via PayPal.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Telephone (required)

Are you a WCDR Member?

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April 10, 2016 – WCDR Master Class: The First Three Pages – How to Hook Agents and Editors with Ann Weisgarber

About the workshop

Date: Sunday, April 10, 2016

Time: 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Location: Trent University, Oshawa Campus, 55 Thornton Rd South, Oshawa, Room 115

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


The fate of a novel can depend on the first three pages. They have to snap their fingers in agents’ and editors’ faces, shake them by the shoulders, and spark a fire so high that readers leap to the fourth page. Anything less and some agents and editors will put the manuscript to the side and move on to the next one.

In this workshop we’ll look at your first three pages as agents and editors might. We’ll study the essential elements such as who, what, where, when, conflict, voice, and dialogue to see how you can make the pages shine.

We’ll discuss word choices, the importance of theme, and the arc of a tightly-plotted novel.

Audience: The workshop is suitable for established writers, beginners, and for those in-between.

Requirements: Bring two copies of your first three pages.

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 Ann Weisgarber


Ann Weisgarber
Ann Weisgarber

Ann Weisgarber’s most recent novel, The Promise, was shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, the Spur Award for Best Western Historical Fiction, and the Ohioana Award for Fiction. The Women’s National Book Association selected it as a Group Read for book clubs and libraries. Her first novel, The Personal History of Rachel DuPree, won the Langum Prize in American Historical Fiction, the Stephen Turner Award for Best New Fiction, was shortlisted for the Orange Award for New Writers, and was longlisted for the Orange Prize.

Ann has a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Wright State University in Ohio and a Master of Arts in Sociology from the University of Houston. She lives near Houston, Texas.

Want to register?


To register, please fill out and submit the form below. Once you submit the form, you will be automatically taken to a new page where you can pay for the workshop via PayPal.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Telephone (required)

Are you a WCDR Member?

Your Message/Comments