Workshop Recap: “The Work of Wonder: Reimagining What, How, and Why We Write” with Daniel Scott Tysdal

Curious to know what goes on at WCDR-sponsored workshops? Wondering just what you missed? Workshop participant and WCDR member Jay Stewart gives us a recap on Daniel Scott Tysdal’s recent WCDR-sponsored workshop. Look for more Workshop Recap posts in the future!


The Work of Wonder from Daniel’s workshop was that I was able to get any sleep at all the night after I attended.

Directly after the workshop, I attended another function that received less than an appropriate level of my attention. My mind was still Daniel_Scott_Tysdalcycling through the various kernels of inspiration and wisdom from the day. Upon arriving home, I almost immediately fired up the laptop and emptied my thoughts into timelines, character back-stories and scenes. It was close to 4 a.m. when I finally petered out.

Through the use of simple, but not easy exercises, Daniel was able to help everyone in the class to either re-imagine or create characters. We were also led through exercises where we able to enhance a character with a 3D Perspective (desire, detail & design).

The strategies for inspiring wonder portion of the day are what kept me up throughout the night. Here we looked at points of discovery and decision for our characters and the various ways of creating these situations within our stories. This sent me into a flurry of creativity that night as I looked at old stories in new light and set me on the path to laying down the building blocks of at least one novel length piece.

I cannot say for sure that the other participants of the workshop were affected as much as me, but based on the in-class writings that were shared, I know many of them made breakthroughs and added dimension to their work. This included rookies like myself and veterans of years of writing with multiple books under their belts.

Should the opportunity to work with Daniel again arise through WCDR, I will be back in line to participate and I would strongly recommend that others do as well. All in all, this was a great investment of a portion of my WCDR Grant and it has already paid dividends in the quality and quantity of the work I am producing.

Jay Stewart
2014 WCDR Grant Recipient

jay stewart


Jay Stewart is a lifelong Torontonian, avid reader, daydreamer and accomplished Territory Representative. With no formal training in the field, Jay started writing as part of a Toronto District School Board course at the end of the summer of 2013. He credits WCDR for helping him, “take it to the next level,” through the workshops and roundtables provided as well as the courses offered by it’s members.