Writer's Craft Class
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“Bless thee, Bottom … Thou Art translated!”: A Workshop on Poetry Across the Disciplines with poet Amanda Jernigan and singer Daniel Cabena
Robert Frost famously defined poetry as that which is lost in translation. But what happens when poetry is translated not between languages but from the page to the voice? Or from one voice to another? What is lost? What is gained? In this workshop we will experiment with these sorts of translation, passing our poems from one form into another, from one voice to another. (How do you hear your poem differently when you read it aloud? When someone else reads it aloud? When you imagine it’s in the voice of a queen, or a fool, or a tow-truck driver, or a unicorn …) We will talk about and experiment with contrafactum — the practice of devising new words for old tunes. Participants should come prepared with a poem by someone else that they would like to experiment with; they should also expect to do some writing of their own. Introduced by Barb Carter
Autofictions: Pushing our Truths to Tell Better Stories with Brent van Staalduinen
Our lives are full of great fictions and great truths, and the lines between them are hazy. Some people fear this uncertainty, but the writer should not: every memory and experience is valuable, and can seed great writing. In this workshop, participants will discover how the elements of great fiction are synonymous with the best ways to use and tell their own truths, and explore new ways to craft them to make their stories better. Bring pen, paper, and some of your own truths to explore.
Childhood and Intuition as Literary Inspiration with Kathleen Winter
The participatory lecture, titled Childhood and Intuition as Literary Inspiration, will use anecdotes and illustrations from Kathleen’s own experiences. She will talk about the role of childhood memory, walking, and intuitive use of a small daily notebook. Kathleen will invite participants to write a short piece (about 500 words) that can stand alone or go on to become the seed for a longer piece to be completed independently after your time together.
Crafting the Poem with Evelyn Lau
introduced by Barb Carter
In this workshop, renowned poet Evelyn Lau will help students appreciate the editing process required to craft a polished poem. Evelyn will workshop six poems supplied by workshop attendees. With the help of the participants, Evelyn will give an editorial assessment of the poems and make suggestions for how the poems can move forward. All attendees of the workshop will benefit from the discussion and will come away form the workshop with a keener understanding of the editorial process.
Creative Nonfiction with Jael Richardson
This nonfiction workshop explores the creative side of creative nonfiction and will help writers, both established and emerging, turn the story they know into a story everyone will love reading. The workshop will include short writing exercises that will help nonfiction writers think not only about the story they’re telling but the way it needs to be told. Introduced by Susan Scott
Editing Bootcamp with Katia Grubisic
Bring your sorry syntax, your lousy line breaks, your dopey dialogue or pathetic pace, and we’ll boot them into shape. In this short, intensive literary editing workshop, participants will learn tricks and tips to make substantive improvements to their work and fine-tune their close reading and critiquing skills. All genres welcome; please email a short draft/work-in-progress of no more than one page (prose should be double spaced; poetry can be single spaced) by November 1, 2018, to firstname.lastname@example.org
First Word, First Sentence, First Paragraph with Robert Rotenberg
This seminar focuses on the crucial first sentence and paragraph of a novel. Participants are invited to bring with them examples of their own writing (first page only) and examples of first paragraphs of one novel that they admire. Bring pen and paper and leave your defences at the door.
Interactive Possibilities of Creative Nonfiction with Betsy Warland
In 2007, I decided to write with a very different set of assumptions. I began my new manuscript without the goal of a print book. In 2012, I decided to create an online salon comprised of my work-in-progress excerpts, guest artists and writers’ works, readers’ comments, and images. Oscar’s Salon ran for nine years. Was liberating! I loved every minute of it. Attracting considerable readership, in 2016, a publisher sought me out and Oscar of Between – A Memoir of Identity and Ideas was published by Caitlin Press. This workshop will inspire you to think outside-the-box regarding new ways to: write; encourage readers to discover and interact with your work; and find new paths to publication.
On Character with Sharon Bala
In the domain of fiction, character is king. Long after we’ve forgotten the plot twists and turns, the particulars of settings, and even the narrative styles, of our favourite books, it is the characters we remember. In this workshop we will investigate the difference between what Forster called flat and rounded characters, talk about arcs and epiphanies, and learn how to create imaginary humans who feel true enough to be real. Introduced by Pamela Mulloy
On Character with Alison Pick
Good character development is a critical part of writing both fiction and nonfiction (and can also be surprisingly relevant to poetry!). This workshop will help you get to know the characters you are writing about in new and fun ways. Come prepared to brainstorm, to play games, to write hard, and to learn how understanding your characters deeply can take your writing project to a whole new level.
The Art of the Shelfie: Marketing Yourself as a Writer with Amanda Leduc
Once upon a time, marketing and publicity rested solely in the hands of the publisher. Today, self-promotion is a necessary survival skill—something that can often strike fear into the heart of a writer who is used to disappearing behind their computer screen. But marketing yourself as a writer needn’t be terrifying! Join writer and Twitter devotee Amanda Leduc for a candid information session as she takes you through some of the dos, the don’ts, and the dares of making a name for yourself online and IRL.
Writing Raw: How to Explore Personal Material That Is Touchy, Dark, Intimate, Tangled, Problematic, Risky, Taboo or Downright Radioactive with Mike Barnes
Having written about mental illness and, now, about dementia caregiving, I’m well-acquainted with the rewards and perils of exploring raw personal material. “Raw” in any of its many senses: intimate; painful; exposed; unprocessed; undiluted….
It’s easy to get swamped by the dilemmas: Why am I writing this? What do I write (which parts)? How—what genre? structure? language? What are the costs—to me, to others? Should I share it—with whom, and how? This workshop will use a collaborative approach to explore some of the ways this tricky, transformative work can be done.