WCDR News

Annette McLeod – March 10th Guest Speaker


Annette McLeod at the March 10th Monthly Network Meeting!

Annette McLeod

Outlining

Using plot beams, this interactive workshop will show you how to simply lay out the bare bones of any story, whether a screenplay, novel or shorter work. With the participation of attendees, we will start from scratch and have a complete story outline before the coffee is cold! Find out the importance of a catalyst, how to set up rising suspense before paying it off, and how even diehard pantsers can stop thinking of “plot” as a dirty word.

Mini-Workshop: Outlining Your Characters

Using the information gleaned in the morning presentation, the interactive after-breakfast workshop shows you how to create a character-driven story, even as it adheres to your outline. Using various “roles” including protagonist, antagonist, ally and more, find out how the characters in your story relate to each plot point, and why you should care.

About Annette McLeod

Freelance writer Annette McLeod is a contest-winning short story writer, produced playwright and former National Editor at Sun Media. Among her trade magazines gigs, she also blogs for CBC Parents and Toronto Storeys. Visit her online at Nettie Writes


New Breakfast Off

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Join Us For Breakfast!

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There’s always something interesting cooking at the WCDR’s monthly breakfasts. Enjoy an industry speaker, great networking opportunities, and a fabulous breakfast spread! Everyone welcome.

We work hard to make our breakfasts fun, informative and charged with energy. They must be to inspire between 100 and 170 writers and editors to get up early and be in Ajax by 8:30 on Saturday mornings! Take a look at our past breakfast speakers to see the calibre of visitors we’ve had addressing the group.

Click here to view our breakfast speakers.

Advance Payment

Because of the large number of people who attend our breakfasts and the change to a sit-down breakfast, our prices and policies have changed. Click here to download our full Breakfast Registration Policy.

We offer the following price options:

  • Members can pay in advance online – $20
  • Members can pay at the door – $25
  • Guests must pay in advance online – $25

In all cases, you must register in advance to attend the breakfast.

Registration closes at 9 a.m. on the Wednesday before the breakfast date. (FEB. 8th).

Breakfast menu options

The Ajax Convention Centre is now offering a variety of meals to choose from ahead of the breakfast. When you register using the form below, please select one of the following meal options:

Begin with a selection of assortment freshly baked Plain & filled Croissants, and Danish, served with Preserves & Sweet Butter. A family style terrine of steaming mushroom veloute flavoured with thyme. Placed at the table ramekins of Canadian mustard and bowls of warm caramelized onions.

Choice #1 “The Plate” Three for the Fair – Thick slices of Peameal served on that smishy bun, topped with a fried egg and a slice of aged Cheddar, a brunch Salad of baby spinach, frishe, Red onions, winter radishes and julienne of Carrot, Cider Vinigrette.

Choice #2 – the Cereal Offering – Polenta ala Crema – Warm and buttery Cornmeal cereal, topped with Madera soaked Prunes and Candied walnuts, served with a large warm flaky croissant.

Choice #3 – the Light Offering – A bowl of Greek yoghurt with fresh pineapple topped with Marmalade and Mint, served with warm Cranberry Cornbread.

Choice #4 – the Vegan/Gluten and Dairy-Free Offering – Warm Mushroom Polenta, topped with sweet chilli Roasted Butternut Squash & Beets.

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED!


WHEN: the second Saturday of every month except August
TIME: 8:30 to 11:00 am
WHERE: Ajax Convention Centre
at
550 Beck Crescent
Ajax, ON L1Z 1C9
(905) 428-9993
WHO: Everyone is welcome!
COST: $20 members pre-paid; $25 members paid at the door; $25 guests (must pay at time of registration)
HOW: To confirm your space, please leave a message at 905-686-0211 or by email at breakfast@wcdr.org, by the latest Wednesday 9:00 a.m. prior to the breakfast. (If you’re on our “regrets only” list, please make sure to let us know if you can’t make it by that same time: Wednesday 9 a.m. prior to the breakfast.)
Members who always attend the breakfast can request to be added to the REGRETS ONLY LIST. These members will inform us when they are UNABLE to attend the monthly breakfast meeting.

We look forward to seeing you there!
Breakfast Coordinator


How To Get There

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Master Class with Andrew Pyper – February 17, 2018

Testimonials

Coming in February...Andrew Pyper. FIRST. BIGGEST. BEST.

Photograph of Andrew Pyper Facilitator: Andrew Pyper Date: Saturday, February 17, 2018 Time: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM Location: Durham College - Whitby Campus, 1610 Champlain Avenue, Whitby (just northeast of Highway 401 and Thickson Road) Room: 11-11 Cost: $85 for members, $95 for non-members

THERE'S SOMETHING MISSING: Taking Your Story From Good to Great

We all become attached to the ideas we have. We see them as we see ourselves: unique, engaging, worthy of being heard. But in turning these ideas into books - and ultimately taking them to market - these attachments can be our downfall. In this workshop, we will use collective story-storming techniques and employ some of the homourous, often hard-won lessons that author Andrew Pyper has learned from the mistakes and failures of his publishing experience to take your story from something that interests you, to something that can interest a wide readership. Rejection and failure isn't always just a matter of other people not "getting" what you're doing, but a signal of a more fundamental problem. The good news? You can use these responses as building blocks to take your story to the next level, from good to great.
About Andrew Pyper
Andrew Pyper is the multiple award-winning author of eight internationally bestselling novels. His most recent novel, The Only Child, is currently being developed for TV with producers Random Hill and ABC Studios. Among his earlier works, The Demonologist, a #1 bestseller in Canada, is being developed by ImageMovers (Robert Zemeckis’ production company) with director Pierre Morel (Taken) attached. The Demonologist was the winner of the International Thriller Writers Award for Best Novel. Among his earlier novels, Lost Girls won the Arthur Ellis Award, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and appeared on both the New York Times and Times (UK) bestseller lists, and Pyper has adapted the book for television with Lin Pictures and Warner Bros. TV. The Killing Circle was a New York Times Crime Novel of the Year, and The Wildfire Season a Globe and Mail Best Book. Pyper holds a BA and MA in English Literature from McGill University, and a law degree from the University of Toronto.

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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.

Beadle Literary Agency Online Pitch

Beadle Literary Agency logo

Beadle Literary Agency

October 15th - October 25th

Megan Beadle

Photograph of Megan Beadle
Megan Beadle
Megan Beadle is the founder of the Beadle Literary Agency, a boutique Toronto agency. With a librarian mother and a diplomat father, Megan fell in love with books and stories at a young age.  After an undergrad at Queens University and a publishing degree from Ryerson, she started working at the Canadian Manda Group selling books to specialty retailers, Amazon, Costco and national accounts for publishers such as the Hachette Book Group, Disney & Hyperion, Abrams Books, Sterling Publishing, the Literary Press Group (a conglomerate of Canadian Publishers), Diamond Book Distributors, Independent Publishers Group, and others. She was learning a lot about the industry and making important publishing contacts, but she knew there was a job out there that would be a better fit. When she lost someone she loved, she realized there was no day like today to follow her dreams.
So she decided to learn how to be a literary agent from some of the best in the world:  she quit her job and trained with the McDermid Agency in Toronto, the Anna Jarota Agency in Paris and the Andrew Leonie Literary Agency in London to discover just what she needed to do to start her own company and sell author's work to the best publishers. Now she runs the Beadle Literary Agency and represents some amazing authors, among them, the dungeon master extraordinaire, Matthew Mercer, the fashion blogger, Jacey Duprie of Damsel in Dior, the talented author / illustrator, Adam Snowball, and children's authors' Jenny Lee Learn and Judith Henderson. She is inspired by the growing list of talented authors and wonderful publishers she gets to work with every day and can't wait to see their collaborations in print soon!
What Megan is looking for:

Megan is looking for the magic that happens when a literary agent falls in love with a manuscript or proposal.

Megan is seeking narrative non-fiction, lifestyle or cooking with a strong platform, genre fiction (fantasy and sci-fi especially), upmarket fiction, literary fiction, YA and middle-grade. She's open to poetry.

Megan is NOT currently looking for:

Children's books or plays.

Submit to this online pitch

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.  

Edward Greig


Photograph of Edward Greig email icon website icon     Facebook Logo           Bio:  I've spent the majority of my career in the advertising and communication fields as a creative director, designer and commercial writer. Dominion of the Spirit, my third novel, was inspired by anecdotal stories passed down to me through previous generations of the Greig family. These remembrances form the nucleus for this post-Victorian era, Great War novel. Craft:  Writer, Commercial Writer Genre:  Principally historical fiction Dominion of the Spirit Book cover for Dominion of the Spirit

Dominion of the Spirit is a story of lives forever altered by the vagaries of fate and the irrepressible growth of a nation. As old-world traditions give way to the reality of a tumultuous new century, the Brighton family is forced to confront the spectre of a lost dynasty and those tragic circumstances endemic of a World War. Caught in the unalterable tidal currents of history, Thomas Brighton, a first generation Canadian, must overcome his personal demons by redefining the substance of his life in a convulsively changing time.

 

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