Tag Archives: workshops

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


events

My main event for this week is on Saturday, which is my writing group’s 8th annual conference. It is always a incredible day of words, writers, writing, networking and meeting new authors.

This year to celebrate Canada’s 150 – we have made the theme Canada – no surprise there! The sessions will be all things Canadian and a fun interactive workshop will be the first session to set the mood. It is a full day (separate sessions can be booked if preferred) testing your writing skills, learning and embracing the written word.

I am presenting one of three short workshops in the first hour but my main presentation is later in the day. My workshop will be creating a Canadian character. I have worked hard to make the session interesting, informative but also fun! Wish me luck.

Conference logo 2017

If you can come on Saturday there is still time to register – here is the link: http://wfscsherwoodpark.com/node/3090

Other events:

Edmonton Poetry Festival- April 16–23. Here is the schedule link: http://www.edmontonpoetryfestival.com/schedule/

In Picton, ON, and the surrounding area, the Prince Edward County Writers Festival takes place April 20–22, featuring Steve Burrows, Joy Fielding, Wallace Edwards, Merilyn Simonds, Zoe Whittall, and others.

Frye Festival, Greater Moncton, NB –  April 22 to 29 Authors including Riel Nason, Jennifer McGrath, and this is the link: http://www.frye.ca/index.php/en/festival-frye/auteurs-2017

Remember to add your local events

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


events

This week I have two events. Firstly, tonight I will attend a meeting of the Diversity Committee, who are co-hosting an event with one of my other organizations I volunteer with, the Arts & Culture Council. The event is a celebration of Canada’s 150 but also to bring the artistic and cultural diversity of our locality to the public. There has been a hive of activity to bring together numerous groups and individuals for this event and it is logistically demanding. Luckily with so many volunteers assisting in this venture the workload has been spread, making it easier to cope with. We are on countdown to 11th June for Heritage Day of Strathcona County.

Heritage Day 2017

My next event is on Tuesday, which is the regular meeting of my writing group, the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County. I always look forward to these meetings not only because it is fun to exercise a writing prompt, I create and hear the responses but to share my work and get valuable feedback as well as network. There are a few core people that never miss the meeting but lots of ‘new’ and ‘irregular’ visitors as well so we never know how many people to expect. Sometimes it is five other times nineteen. It makes the evening a lot of fun.

Writeres Foundation of Strathcona County

Do you attend a regular writing group?

What format does it take?

Other events:

From April 5–9, over a dozen Canadian writers will gather for the ImagiNation Festival at the Morrin Cultural Centre in Quebec City, QC.

The 18th Annual North Shore Writers Festival happens April 7–8 at North Vancouver City Library in North Vancouver, BC.
Book Cover GritLit

The fantastic gritLIT Readers and Writers Festival takes place April 7–10 in Hamilton, ON; the lineup is yet to be announced.  UPDATE HERE: http://www.gritlit.ca/

An Interview with C.S. Lakin..


Amicable – definition : characterized by or showing goodwill : friendly.

Today’s word certainly describes my next interviewee, C.S. Lakin. One look at her web site will show you how generous she is with her experience and support for other authors and struggling writers. Susanne is also a prolific author in several genres.

C S Larkin

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer and why?

I’m sure most authors say this, but I’ve written since I could hold a crayon. I even “published” a neighborhood magazine back when I was about eight called “The Stone Canyon Gazette.” It was in those ancient prehistoric days before copy machines and electric typewriters. I organized a handful of neighbor kids and we hand wrote ten copies of each issue on construction paper, including drawing the same drawings ten times. We charged ten cents. The mothers complained I had too many entries in the magazine and didn’t feature the other kids enough. Already hogging the limelight! After that I helped my mother with her scripts, collating and offering ideas. I got my first rejection letter at age twelve from the producer of Woman from Uncle regarding my script idea. (I was raised in the TV industry.)

Who is your favorite author and why? 

Patricia A. McKillip is my favorite author. She is an amazing fantasy writer and is a master at wordsmithing. I try to write as well and as beautifully as she does but I’m sure I fail miserably. When you read her fairy tales, you feel shifted into a different dimension of time and space. I like a lot of writers, but not any as much as her.

What has been your greatest moment as a writer?

I actually had a most exciting experience that few ever had—my book was a finalist in a big contest—the Zondervan First Novel contest at Mount Hermon in 2009. I knew I was one of three finalists, but only learned I had won when my name and book were announced in front of an audience of 400. It was very thrilling. Although Someone to Blame won, it was not the first novel I’d written. In fact, it was my sixth. Shortly after that, I contracted with AMG Publishers for my fantasy series, the first three books I’d already completed. I’m hoping there will be many more to come!

What genre do you read and why?

I’m very picky. I’d make a terrible book reviewer as I tear things apart. Being a professional copy editor and writing coach makes it hard for me not to want to redline all the books I read. And I find mistakes in almost all books, even highly acclaimed releases. I mostly read NY Times best sellers, to study what makes them popular (since that’s what I’m aiming for with all my commercial mysteries). I also read a lot of literary fiction, international authors, classics. I don’t read Romance in any form—not my thing. Otherwise I like anything from historical (not romance) to sci-fi to westerns. I’m a big fan of Walter Moers (who draws really hilarious pictures in his books), and I’d say my favorite books I read in the last year are The Art of Racing in the Rain (Stein), The City of Dreaming Books (Moers), The Thirteenth Tale (Setterfield), This Body of Death (Elizabeth George) and The Shadow of the Wind (Zafon).

What genre do you like to write in and why?

I mostly write fantasy/sci-fi and intense psychological suspense. I suppose both genres bleed a bit into each other, since my fantasy plots always contain mysteries and intense relationships, and my contemporary suspense novels often use evocative language and metaphor. I think my leaning toward literary fiction and poetry seeps into everything I write.

What do you want readers to know about your newest book? 

Conundrum is 95% autobiographical. I didn’t really want to write it, but I felt compelled to explore my father’s mysterious death as well as deal with my mother’s cruel betrayal of my family. I felt it important to show that sometimes survival depends upon cutting out family members who are toxic and intent on destroying you, and that it’s the healthy thing to do. I also wanted to show a person cannot just survive but thrive by doing so, however painful. So many people tolerate family members in their lives who are like a cancer, and they feel guilty thinking about separating from them. I wanted this to be a very life-affirming story, and a heartfelt journey about a young woman trying to understand the father she never knew. In the process I felt I got to know my father a bit (he died when I was four) and as my character journeyed, so did I.

What has been your greatest challenge as an Independent Author?

I think handling over twenty years of rejections and frustration over not getting published. Not really a writing problem. I had agents that loved my writing; they just couldn’t sell my novels. As far as the craft of writing goes, I always have minor roadblocks in trying to hone the craft and push myself to be a better writer. Mostly what has helped me is prayer and waiting on God. For example, I’m working on plotting book #11, intended for Harm, a modern-day story of Jacob in a dysfunctional family. Yet, as much as I want to start digging in and writing the book, there are some key elements missing to the themes and I know God is working with me on this. I’m waiting for him to help me finalize the last bits and get that aha moment of the pieces all fitting together. Like all my books, I know there is a reason I’m meant to write it and a message it means to impart. I could just start writing, but I send his hand holding me back. Wait, he says. Not ready yet. I am thinking there is something I’m going to see, some revelation, that is going to smack me in the face and then I’ll have my green light. Writing as a believer is way different than writing when in the world. It’s all about God and what he wants out there. We want to produce much fruit, but Jesus also says without me you can do nothing. Zilch.

How do you come up with your titles? Do you have your title first or the story first?

Most of the time I already have a title in mind, since I start with a basic plot idea and theme. Often I just have the title, and that inspires the entire book, as was the case with Conundrum, Someone to Blame, and Intended for Harm (which comes from the Bible: Genesis 50:20).

Contemporary Fiction – link: http://www.cslakin.com/mystery.php

someone-to-blame-

conundrum

A Thin Film of Lies

Innocent_Little_Crimes

Fantasy series link : http://www.gatesofheavenseries.com/

A wolf

MapAcrossTime

Land-of-Darkness

wentwater-cover

Crystal-Scepter

Time Sniffers – link: http://www.amazon.com/Time-Sniffers-Shadow-World-ebook/dp/B005WFDOA6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1324772759&sr=1-1

TimeSniffers

Connect with C.S. Larkin

Website – http://www.livewritethrive.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/C.S.Lakin.Author

Twitter – https://twitter.com/LiveWriteThrive

Annual Writers Conference…


Peruse – definition: 1) a. to examine or consider with attention and in detail ; study; b. to look over or through in a casual manner 2) read; especially : to read carefully or thoroughly.

Over the last several months I have been working on the Conference Planning Committee of my writing group, the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County. This is our fourth conference and it is always well received. Here are the details – just in case you are planning on coming.

http://www.wfscsherwoodpark.com/fp/chapter-8-discover-your-next-chapter

Conference 2013 LOGO_0

Tips for choosing a conference:

A writer‘s conference gives you the opportunity to learn and network both of which are valuable to the novice and experienced writer. You should consider –

* does the content fit your needs at this stage of your writing? * do the benefits outweigh any costs that might be paid? * what do you hope to gain from your attendance / participation? * does it offer more than bragging rights – are you going just to say you’ve been to a conference or rub elbows with so-and-so? * does it offer a range of opportunities?

When deciding if a conference is worth the time and effort, a writer must look at, not only the cost of going but the benefits gleaned from the experience. Writing is a lonely activity, for the most part, and a chance to make a connection with others who share your passion is a great opportunity but also a big investment. By investment we are not only referring to the fees accompanying conference registration but also the time it takes to attend a conference. Both must be considered thoroughly – would your money be spent wiser elsewhere, or would it be time better spent, say, writing?

The content offered by a conference will either meet your needs or it won’t, depending upon the stage of your writing and the expectations you have for your writing future. “Never stop learning” should be a component of every writer’s life and it drives your decision when you select the workshops you might attend and the value they have to you. Consider if they are introductory, mid-level, or advanced – or are they general enough / specific enough to offer you something to ‘take home.’

The whole purpose in attending a conference should be to further your writing journey. If you are going, just to say you’ve been, or perhaps a chance to slip your unsolicited manuscript into the hands of an unsuspecting editor, think again and reconsider your actions and your reasons for attending. What do you pay? A writer only has to peruse the listing of the many conferences hosted throughout the year and the country to realize that costs vary, with some be out of reach for the emerging writer, or someone on a tight budget. Consider again, the benefits in relation to the cost.

Check out the conference programs and who is hosting the function. A conference about speculative fiction or sci-fi fantasy may intrigue some writers but not everyone writes in this genre and although the fundamentals of writing and character development or plotting apply to any genre, a whole conference geared toward this particular style of work, might not benefit all writers.

If you have to make choices, it might be more appropriate to find a conference geared directly to the type of writing you do or one that offers a range of events, displays, and workshop choices. Most include a trade area with vendors who sell their products and services. Don’t look at this as just an opportunity to spend your money. Consider the value in the research and network aspects of it – meet new people, explore ideas, invest in your experience – it might open up doors to the future of your own writing career.