When Words Collide 2016 – Branding: Steena Holmes

Who are you? That's not an existential question but an essential one when you're an author trying to be heard amidst the 'noise' that is the Internet. When you're fighting for a foothold in the overcrowded publishing universe. Pick me, pick me! Steena's presentation...

2016 When Words Collide

Oh, boy, I've been waiting all year for this. When Words Collide, a mega celebration of all things writing and readerly, starts on Friday morning with Master Classes. I cannot wait until the gong sounds. Here's a link to the agenda. The price is so damned reasonable -...

Productive & Motivated

Last month was a whirlwind. I'd entered the first thirty pages and a too-long synopsis to the Toronto Romance Writers contest, The Catherine. I was a finalist in my category, and the judges comments were incredibly helpful. With less than a week to get my pages...

…About the Word ‘Black’

I attended a writing workshop a few weeks ago and the speaker talked about 'black moments', alluding to the despair and hopeless experienced by a character. That pissed me off. Such a lazy, unimaginative descriptor. Why is 'black' or the concept of 'not white', a...

Taylor Mali – Poems, Inspiration & Opportunities

Slam poet and longtime educator Taylor Mali looks back on his journey from the birth of the poem "What Teachers Make," through its resulting impact on a surprising number of newfound teaching converts—all the way through his official registration of 1000 new teachers....

Agent Pitches & Elizabeth Gilbert on Writing

Last week, I did a pitch to an agent during a writers' conference. I'd sweated like a stevedore over preparing my first query letter and honed my first page to what I thought was not cringe-inducing. All bright and eager, I sat myself down in front of the cool, pale...

Becoming redeemed, writerly speaking

I've gutted my manuscript from 129,000 words to 60,000 by cutting out one major story line. Let me tell you, that was like opening a vein with no sutures in sight. For six weeks, I didn't touch the draft, because it was worse than starting over. It's like a bag of...

Poe Wisdom – Originality

This daguerreotype of Edgar Allen Poe was made four days after he tried to commit suicide after his wife's death, by overdosing on opiates.The remedy for his grief didn't work, but helped augment his reputation as an odd duck. No one could deny that the man had a way...