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.

Member Spotlight on Heather Tucker


Member Spotlight on Heather Tucker

Heather Tucker
Heather Tucker

Goooood morning WCDRers! And welcome to the new Member Spotlights. I am your host, Dale Long.
Today, we have Heather Tucker in the spotlight.

 
MS: Welcome to the spotlight Heather. With your book launch looming, What drives you to write?
HT: What drives me? A Dodge Caravan?
MS: Nyuk nyuk nyuk
HT: Actually, escaping into my writing keeps me calm and sane. I so appreciate the interest and support, but admit that I find the public aspect of promoting The Clay Girl a little stressful. When I write I disappear into another universe.
MS: I like that, “when I write I disappear into another universe.” Where did The Clay Girl come from? What was the spark?
HT: Ten years ago I wrote a short story, On the Way to Sydney I Met a Walrus. A judge in a contest made a remark, “Oh, I want to know where this little girl came from and where she is going.” For a long while I sat on an imagined train and watched her. I knew Hariet Appleton was going to take me on a hell of a journey but her optimism was so alluring I had to follow.
MS: But where did she come from?
HT: In one of my short stories there is a line, ‘There are worlds in worlds, The Clay Girllike crawling inside a conch shell and discovering the ocean you heard, and finding never-ending beaches with great turtles dropping whole universes in the sand…’ That weird line, in a way, reflects the landscape inside my head and that’s where I met Hariet. So, I suppose she’s a composite of every wounded, imaginative, traumatized, resilient child from my professional and personal life.
MS: Real life is a rich source of inspiration, isn’t it? What is the best part of finishing a novel and what is the worst part?
HT: Hope that lingers long after I close a book is, for me, the best part of a story. I love hero tales: stories where characters conquer mountains, overcome hardships and emerge stronger and wiser. When I stopped ‘working’ with words and began ‘playing’ with them I knew I’d be telling stories where, despite the circumstances, readers would be left feeling hope, both for the characters and for themselves. So the best part of finishing is the feeling that I have not reached the end but rather an optimistic beginning for an ongoing adventure.
And the worst part is, I write novels that are way too long. So I either have to cut off arms and legs or make them into two or three books.
MS: I have the same problem only those are my characters actual arms and legs.
Well, that’s all the time we have for today. Thanks for spending time in The Spotlight.
HT: It was my pleasure. Here is my favourite author photo because it reflects what fuels my creative process, I get out into nature and I walk, hike, muck about. And I play with mud and crayons and glue… I spend time with people who mentor other writers (WCDR is rich. rich, rich with them). I laugh until it hurts. Or as you know, play with puppies.
14397440_846763162126737_1861852853_n Make sure to visit Heather at the launch of her book, The Clay Girl, Sunday, October 2, 1 PM – 3 PM at Blue Heron Books.

Heather Tucker


Heather Tucker
Heather Tucker

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Bio: 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 and Literal Latte short prose competitions, a four time winner of the WCDR Short Story competitions, a finalist for the PRISM International Non-Fiction contest, Malahat’s: Novella Prize, Constance Rooke Creative Non-Fiction Prize, Open Season Award and Far Horizons Award. Her debut novel, The Clay Girl, will be released October 2016

Craft: Writer

Genre: Literary Fiction

The Clay Girl

The Clay Girl

The heart-wrenching story of Ari, a young girl sculpted

by tragedy, kindness, cruelty, and family — both the one
she’s born into and the one she creates. Shuttled from
place to place after her father’s suicide, Ari faces love and
loss with the help of the only constant in her life, Jasper,
an imaginary seahorse.

WCDR Member Paeans and Kudos – April 2016


 

Ruth Walker

  • Had two queries to one U.S. and one Canadian agent
  • Had a request for the first thirty pages of her manuscript to a U.S. agent/editor

Sue Reynolds

  • Featured in Shabe Sher in Toronto April 26th

Phil Dwyer

  • Short listed for creative non-fiction/carte blanche contest about his mother in law and her loser boyfriend. (Phil hopes it doesn’t win)

Heather Tucker

  •  Her short story “Butterfly as Metaphor” was the Australian Book Reviews story of the month

 

Pro-Panel & Holiday Celebration at the December 9th Monthly Network Meeting

December 9th:
Pro-Panel and Holiday Celebration!

Meet this year’s panel of extraordinary writers…

photograph of WCDR pro-panel comprising Heather Tucker, Phil Dwyer, Ingrid Ruthig and Jackie Brown

What do Heather Tucker, Phil Dwyer, Ingrid Ruthig, Connie Di Pietro and Jackie Brown have in common?  Well, other than the fact that they’re all accomplished writers, they all have secrets and writing tips to share with their WCDR brothers and sisters!

Please note that due to circumstances beyond her control, Jackie Brown is not able to participate in the December 9th pro-panel.

Heather Tucker

Throughout an eclectic career Heather 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, New York Literal Latte and WCDR short prose competitions. Her debut novel, The Clay Girl, was the American Booksellers Association Indie Introduce pick and a finalist for the Atlantic Book and Kobo Emerging Author Award.

Phil Dwyer

Phil is the author of Conversations on Dying (Dundurn, 2016), an examination of the end-of-life experience of one of Canada’s palliative care pioneers. He is an Alumni of Humber School for Writers. His journalism, essays, travel writing and fiction have been published in more than 15 international titles, including The Financial TimesThe Times (of London) and the Globe and Mail.

In 2014, his short story Allergies Stephanie won first prize in the WCDR short story contest judged by author Sarah Selecky, and in 2016 his non-fiction story Answers Mostly D: A Cautionary Quiz, was short-listed in the Carte Blanche/Creative Non Fiction Collective’s annual contest. In 2017 his non-fiction piece Where The Spine Meets The Head, was a finalist for the CBC’s non-fiction prize.

He has workshopped short fiction with Alissa York at the UofT and non-fiction with Charlotte Gill at Banff. He’s a member of The Writers Union, The Canadian Authors Association, and is a member and former board member of the Writers’ Community of Durham Region.

Ingrid Ruthig

Ingrid is the author of This Being (Fitzhenry & Whiteside), winner of the League of Canadian Poets’ 2017 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. Since 2000, her poetry, fiction, essays, and book reviews have appeared across Canada and internationally, in publications such as The Best Canadian Poetry anthology, The Malahat Review, The New Quarterly, Quill & Quire, and National Post, among others, and her poems featured by the Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate. For eight years, she co-edited/co-published the literary journal Lichen, and later was an associate editor of Northern Poetry Review.

She is also author of an artist’s bookwork and a chapbook of poems, and editor of several other titles, including David Helwig: Essays on His Works (forthcoming in 2018). She has received several OAC grants and was recently awarded a 2018 Hawthornden Fellowship for her poetry.

Connie Di Pietro

Connie is partner and editor at ID Press Publishing. She has two anthologies published, Purgatorium: The Element of Horror and coming out later this month Allucinor: The Element of Romance. Their third anthology Nefariam: The Element of Crime will be opening up for submissions as well, later this week.

REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED! (Please note that registration has closed early, as the maximum number of registrants has been reached.)