Enjoy some SiN on October 5Saturday, September 28, 2013 by: SooToday.com Staff
STORIES IN THE NORTH
Writing workshops to be offered
THESSALON - Four area writers will be offering a full slate of workshops here in October when Stories in the North (SiN) Literary Festival Committee offers the second of their twice-yearly author/workshop events.
"Workshops have been in big demand so this year we’ve doubled the number of workshops and there’s something for everyone,” says Elizabeth Creith, a member of the SiN committee.
Workshops will be held at two locations in Thessalon on Saturday, October 5.
Morning sessions start at 10 a.m. and afternoon sessions start at 2 p.m.
Stories in the North encourages anyone with an interest in writing to sign up for these workshops.
The two morning sessions will focus on both brainstorming ideas and character development.
Discover Your Stories will be led by Angie Gallop who’s been working with writers and writing groups for more than twenty years.
Gallop’s been published in numerous publications and anthologies including The Toronto Star, Toronto’s NOW magazine and The United Church Observer and she’s also taught writing, served on various Ontario Arts Council juries and been awarded grants for her own writing projects.
"I’ve always relished seeing people become excited about their own stories,” Gallop said.
Her course will lead participants through a series of brainstorming exercises that will help them compile a slate of stories created from their own inventory of life.
Using recipe cards, participants will create a stack of cards and from those will explore character, setting and actions which will lead to their most potent stories.
Participants will also discuss strategies on making time and space in their lives for writing.
Those who have the ideas but are seeking help with character development may want to sign up for Bruce McFee’s workshop, One Room...Two Characters.
Through group discussion and this former actor's unique approach to creating a language for behaviour, participants will create an exciting and dramatic two-person scene that will be shared at the end of the class.
McFee says participants in this workshop will be encouraged to consider what manipulative tactics and words their characters might choose to get their own way in the scene.
They’ll do this by choosing from lists for possible scenarios and settings or by creating their own.
Writers will have the freedom to explore any issue they may be passionate about in an atmosphere of pure creativity and fun.
McFee’s performance background - on stages from coast to coast and in dozens of feature films including Hairspray and Police Academy - will be evident as he leads participants in learning a new way of attacking a scene, one that is driven by dialogue and confrontation.
The two afternoon sessions will feature two authors with recently published books.
Mining for the Good Stuff will have Mary-Lynn Murphy leading participants as they find the answer to the question: How do we find characters and stories that sound true?
Murphy believes “the best learning results from practice, sharing and discussion” and she will use prompts and exercises to initiate writing with a specific aim as she helps participants dig for authentic voices, evocative detail, and fresh language.
Participants can expect to be challenged as they generate elements and then pass the hat for others to use those ideas.
By the end of the session, participants will not only know their character and be able to use concrete details and images to describe them and their emotional states, they will also have banished the nasty critic on their shoulders.
Murphy’s first novel, Finding Grace, was published in May by Scrivener Press and her poetry has been published in various Canadian literary magazines.
She’s also an instructor at Sault College in the Language and Communication and General Arts and Science programs.
The second afternoon workshop will be led by Thessalon’s Gordon Graham, whose recent book, Writing White Papers for Dummies sold 1,434 copies in the first three weeks - after he worked hard to promote it.
How to Promote Your Book: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is a session that will help participants brainstorm a personal promotion plan for their book or dream project.
Graham will share the story of his own book to help stimulate participants to get thinking about creative ways to promote their own projects.
Participants will brainstorm various promotions they could try and will use resources and the material they glean to craft a personal promotion plan.
They’ll also understand how to start building a platform for themselves as writers.
Graham says the reality today is that every author must do the bulk of their own promotions, and the best way is through the platform they’ve built and nurtured before they publish.
Graham has worked with companies like Google and he’s given more than 50 workshops to writers and taught courses in two universities.
His Dummies book has 20+ five-star reviews on Amazon and has been named one of the top seven books in its field.
The worst part about this day of workshops is that writers will only be able to choose one from each of the morning and afternoon sessions.
There’s no previous experience required to attend any of the workshops and there’s no age restrictions.
Space is limited in each class.
To register for workshops, call Angie at 705-842-2451 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those who prefer reading to writing may want to join in later that night for a special evening of reading and music when author Charlie Smith and musician Jeff Wiseman entertain.
Tickets will be available at the door at the IOOF Hall in Thessalon.
For information on Stories in the North and their events, visit their new website at www.storiesinthenorth.com.