Sunday, July 5, 2015

Writing workshops this summer: "How to Write Great Characters" and "Writing Your Life & Other Personal Stories"

How to Write Great Characters    
Offered in two locales:
Saturday, July 11, 2015
10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Burlington Public Library, Centennial Room, 2331 New Street, Burlington, (Map here.)
And
Saturday, July 18, 2015
10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Forest Heights Library, 251 Fischer-Hallman Road, Kitchener, Ontario (Map
 here)
Whatever you're writing ~ fiction or nonfiction ~ readers will care about your story only if they care about your people. In this workshop, you'll learn techniques for creating fictional characters and depicting real people. You’ll learn how to breathe life into the page so that your characters start telling you how the story should go.
In Burlington on July 11, our guest speaker will be Jean Rae Baxter. Jean writes for both an adult audience and for young adults. She is the author of seven books: two short story collections, four young adult historical novels, and a literary murder mystery, Looking for Cardenio. Her fifth historical novel, Hope’s Journey, will be released by Ronsdale Press in September. Jean's books and short stories have won her many awards and critical recognition in Canada, the United States and Israel. Visit her website at www.jeanraebaxter.ca.

What past participants say:
Hi, Brian. I just wanted to thank you for the “Writing Great Characters” workshop on Saturday.  I have been stalled in my writing, and I realized at the workshop it was because I didn't have a clear picture of my character's personality and motives.  Your exercises and handouts have inspired me and I'm happy to say I spent the rest of the weekend writing.  Writer's block conquered (for now, ha)! Looking forward to all the upcoming workshops!  ~Marina Unger
Fee: 40.71+ 13% hst = 46 paid in advance
or 43.36 + 13% hst = 
49 if you wait to pay at the door
To reserve a spot now, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

Writing your life and other personal stories
Saturday, August 15, 2015
12:30 – 3:45 p.m.
Midland Public Library, 320 King Street, Midland, Ontario (In cottage country. Map here)
Have you ever considered writing your memoirs or family history? This workshop will introduce you to the tricks and conventions of telling true stories and will show you how to use the techniques of the novel to recount actual events. Whether you want to write for your family or for a wider public, don't miss this workshop.
Fee:  34.51 + hst = 39 in advance or 37.17 + hst = 42 if you wait to pay at the door
To reserve a spot now, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

Workshop leader Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing instructor for more than 25 years. He publishes Quick Brown Fox, Canada’s most popular blog for writers, teaches creative writing at Ryerson University and has led workshops everywhere from Boston to Buffalo and from Sarnia to Charlottetown. Along with Cecilia-Anca Popescu, he is the co-author of Bloody Christmas, a memoir of love and revolution, which is currently under consideration with a literary agent. But his proudest boast is that he has helped many of his students get published.

See Brian's full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Niagara on the Lake, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Love letters ~ Where your fellow writers are getting published, a call out for a contest and Writers looking for partners and readers

Hi, Brian.
 Just thought I’d share the news that I tied for second place in the U.S.-based Screamin Mamas Creative Nonfiction Contest.  I won with a story I wrote many years ago and that I refreshed and refurbished for this competition.  It all goes to show:  never throw anything away and never give up!
Sally
Note: The Screamin Mamas are now looking for entries for their Valentine’s Day Contest: Looking for light romantic comedy. Can be historical or contemporary - something to lift spirits and celebrate the gift of innocent romance that might be found in the everyday life of a busy Mom.  800 to 2,000 words. Deadline Sept 30. Guidelines here.

The Golden Heart Award
Hey, Brian.
Just wanted to let you know I’m a 2015 Golden Heart finalist with book one of my series, Murder, Curlers, and Cream. This is my second time at being a finalist, and the thrill is no less exciting! Murder, Curlers, and Cream also recently won RWA’s Golden Pen contest, making that over 2 dozen contest wins and finals. Click on my website to learn more about my series and check out my makeover page. www.arlenemcfarlane.com
Thanks, Brian.
Arlene McFarlane 
2011/2015 Golden Heart Finalist
2012/2013 Daphne du Maurier Finalist

Hello again, Brian.
My short story “Broke” was on CommuterLit this week. You can read it here. Thank you for all your help through your workshops over the years.
Angela Michalak

Hi, Brian.
Wait for it! Drum roll, please. At last, appearing today for the first time, my short story, "A Handsome Woman." You will find it here.  Please feel free to share the story by passing along the link to all your world-wide friends on Facebook and other social media. Any and all comments are appreciated by the editor of CommuterLit, as well as by the author.
Enjoy.
Mike
For information on submitting to CommuterLit, see here.

Writer to Writer
Hi,
I’m Looking for a fellow writer in the Ottawa area for early reader stories, to listen to each other's stories and give constructive feedback.  Knowledge of requirements of stories for children to read, roughly Grades 2-5 would be an asset. 
Thanks,
Cathy

Hi,
I’m looking for a writer to collaborate (write) about the true story of a ten-year search for two missing Ontario boys. Send an email to: roserandel@gmail.com
Regards,
Madena

Hi, Brian.
I'm looking for critical readers who I can exchange my novel for feedback (and I can also read for others).  My novel is a contemporary tragedy about an eighteen-year-old who is struggling through a combination of drug addiction, mental illness, and family demands.  
His mother’s stranglehold on what is “the truth” and his grandfather’s attempts to reinforce what is real, will startle the reader, who then follow the protagonist’s escape into vivid and haunting dreams.  Needless to say, this is a mature-themed novel.
I would really appreciate it if you could post this request in your newsletter.  I can be reached at rmatattoni@gmail.com
Thank you for putting together all the great resources, 
Richard Tattoni

See Brian Henry's schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Niagara on the Lake, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Fall Colours Writing Retreat, Sept 19 – 21, at Arowhon Pines resort in Algonquin Park


Algonquin Fall Colours Writing Retreat
Saturday – Monday
September 19 – 21, 2015
Arowhon Pines Resort, Arowhon Pines Rd, Little Joe Lake, Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada

Give yourself three days of writing time. Three days of instruction, inspiration and creativity. Award yourself with time away from distractions, with no dishes to do and wonderful food at every  meal, as you sit with your feet up and write in the most beautiful wilderness setting in Ontario. This is where the Group of Seven got its inspiration (Tom Thompson is buried just a couple of lakes over); it’s a wonderful place for you to find your inspiration, too.

The retreat will feature both instruction and guided writing exercises, plus one-on-one critiquing and coaching from Brian.  You’ll also have lots of time to relax, rejuvenate, and reconnect with your creativity. 

All writing levels welcome. Whether you are just beginning or have a novel in progress, please join us. 

From Stacey D Atkinson's website
The setting: Arowhon Pines is a peaceful, quiet resort nestled in the woods on Little Joe Lake, inside Algonquin Park. There are no motorboats on the lake, except for the resort’s own pontoon boat which takes guests on occasional wildlife tours.

The resort is without TV and is far from the roar of traffic. The cry of a loon is the loudest noise you’re likely to hear all day.

Rates include charming accommodation (cabins have a mix of queen beds for one person or couples or twin beds for two people rooming together; rooms also have private bathrooms and each cabin has a lounge with fireplace to share with your fellow writers). 

Three all-you-can-eat gourmet meals per day are provided, featuring an abundance of fresh food prepared by master chefs and an inspired kitchen staff. (Bring your own wine or beer!)

All activities included. When you’re not writing or for spouses who accompany you, there is plenty to do: canoe or kayak a series of lakes or hike trails to see wildlife (moose, loons, beaver, turtles, fox, deer), swim in the lake, sail, stand up paddleboard, play tennis, relax. For indoor activities there is a games room with table tennis, shuffleboard, books, board games. Your stay also includes access to all Algonquin Park programs and activities including a car pass for you to fully enjoy the park.


Guests can arrive as early as 8 a.m. to fully take advantage of the facilities (though breakfast is not included on arrival day and check in time is not guaranteed until 3). Each guest will get a day pass for Algonquin Park. The formal retreat will begin at 2 p.m. On Monday morning, we’ll have our last formal get-together ending at 12 noon. Check out time is at 1 p.m.  Most guests have lunch while the bellhops load the car. But once you’ve had lunch, don’t feel you have to rush off!

Participants are welcome to bring spouses, partners or friends, as there will be plenty to do while the you are writing – canoeing, swimming if warm enough, tennis, reading and just plain resting and unwinding, enjoying the fall colours.

Instructor Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing instructor for more than 25 years. He publishes Quick Brown Fox, Canada’s most popular blog for writers, teaches creative writing at Ryerson University and has led workshops everywhere from Boston to Buffalo and from Sarnia to Charlottetown. But his proudest boast is that he has helped many of his students get their first book published and launch their careers as authors.

Check out reviews of Brian’s weekly courses and Saturday workshops here.

Accommodation fee: 540 per person double-occupancy for the two nights or 676 single-occupancy for the two nights. Plus 15% service charge (in lieu of tipping, no extra tipping allowed), then 13% hst to these rates.
Seminar fee (special introductory price): 106.19 plus hst = 120
Full receipts issued.
Space is very limited.

For more information or to register, email: brianhenry@sympatioc.ca

Who can attend the retreat?
Everyone interested in developing their writing skills is welcome to attend, whether you're aspiring writer or an accomplished author or simply enjoy writing as a hobby. There is no requirement for you to have been previously published or even to have an intention to publish.

I'm a poet / playwright / other writer. Is this retreat for me?
The retreat is open to anyone who enjoys writing. Instruction will focus on narrative writing; i.e., stories, whether fiction or memoir. But if you’re an essayist or poet or whatever, you’re entirely welcome.

Should I bring my work in progress?
Yes, if you have an on-going writing project, bring it with you! If you’re not currently working on anything, don’t worry, we’ll get you writing.

Should I bring my laptop?
Yes, if you prefer to work on your laptop. During the day, we’ll have use of tables by power outlets in the dining room for writing. If you prefer to work on paper bring that.


Can you cater to specific dietary requirements?
Yes, just let the staff at Arowhon Pines know about your needs.

I want to stay longer or arrive early. Is it possible to do that?
If you want to arrive early and stay longer, that is fine. Just arrange it with the resort. There is plenty to see and do in the park, and Arowhon Pines is a lovely place to base from.

Can I bring my spouse (or partner or friend)?
Certainly. Just let them know you’ll be spending most of your time writing, (though you will have some free time every day), and make sure they enjoy superb food, the beauty of the fall woods, and relaxing on the deck or the dock or out on a canoe as they glide past a moose munching on water lilies….

For more information or to register, email: brianhenry@sympatioc.ca

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

New mystery from Dundurn Press: Shroud of Roses by Gloria Ferris

Hi, Brian.
I wanted to share the good news that the second book in my Cornwall and Redfern Mystery series, Shroud of Roses, will officially be released on July 18, 2015 by Dundurn Press. But it’s actually already available!

I appreciate your workshops I’ve attended over the past (can it be five years?) and must partially definitely credit them with my success! I know I enjoy reading your newsletters with news of your other students’ writing successes.

I hope to see you again at another workshop soon!
Gloria Ferris 
Follow me on Twitter @GloriaFerris

Order your copy of Shroud of Roses here.
For information on submitting to Dundurn Press see here.

See Brian Henry's schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Niagara on the Lake, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Writing Personal Stories class, Thursday mornings, Oct 8 – Nov 26

Image from MEMYSELFANDELA
Writing Personal Stories
8 weeks of sharing and writing
Fall session
Thursday mornings, Oct 8  Nov 26
9:45 – 11:45 a.m.
St Cuthbert's Anglican Church, 1541 Oakhill Drive, Oakville, Ontario (Map here.)

If you've ever considered writing your personal stories, this course is for you. We’ll look at memoirs, travel writing, personal essays, family history ~ personal stories of all kinds. Plus, of course, we’ll work on creativity and writing technique and have fun doing it.

Whether you want to write a book or just get your thoughts down on paper, this weekly course will get you going. We'll reveal the tricks and conventions of telling true stories, and we’ll show you how to use the techniques of the novel to recount actual events. Weekly writing exercises and friendly feedback from the instructor will help you move forward on this writing adventure. Whether you want to write for your family and friends or for a wider public, don't miss this course.

Instructor Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing instructor for more than 25 years. He publishes Quick Brown Fox, Canada’s most popular blog for writers, teaches creative writing at Ryerson University and has led workshops everywhere from Boston to Buffalo and from Sarnia to Charlottetown. With Cecilia Anca Popescu, he is the co-author of Bloody Christmas, a memoir of the 1989 Romanian Revolution, which is currently under consideration with a literary agent. But his proudest boast is that he has helped many of his students get their first book published and launch their careers as authors.

Read reviews of the Writing Personal Stories course here, and to read reviews of other courses and workshops, just scroll down.

Fee: 140.71 plus 13% hst = 159
To reserve your spot, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca


See Brian's full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Niagara on the Lake, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.