Festival of Authors, On Writing, Ontario Writers' Conference

Ontario Writers Conference FESTIVAL OF AUTHORS! April 6th 2018

It’s that time of the year again! Another Festival of Authors is upon us! Come to Pickering, Ontario on the evening of Friday April 6th for the Ontario Writers’ Conference FESTIVAL OF AUTHORS at CREATIVE MATH & MUSIC (1064 Salk Rd., Units 5-7 Pickering, ON, L1W 4B5)! Just a hop, skip, and a jump east of Toronto and well worth the trip.

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From the 2017 OWC Festival of Authors – emcee TED BARRIS. Ted will be returning to emcee the 2018 Festival.

The OWC website promises…

  • entertaining interviews and inspiring author readings (see below)
  • opportunities to mingle with Canadian Authors, fellow writers and avid readers
  • voting for the winners of our Story Starters Contest
  • exciting prizes!

7:00pm – 10:00pm FRIDAY APRIL 6th!

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From the 2017 Festival, Ted Barris interviews Ann J K Choi, author of the incredible Kay’s Lucky Coin Variety.
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Enjoying some Wayson time at the 2017 Festival. Wayson will be returning for the 2018 Festival. Make sure to say hello to the OWC’s longstanding patron when you’re there!

Host and interviewer extraordinaire TED BARRIS will be on hand to interview the following CAN LIT authors:

GREG GILHOOLY

KATHERINE ASHENBURG

BRAD SMITH

BARB HUNT

You can go directly to the ONTARIO WRITERS’ CONFERENCE FESTIVAL OF AUTHORS WEBSITE to read AUTHOR BIOS and learn all the details! ALSO, tickets are $20 each and are available for purchase at the website or at the door on the evening of the event.

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Me, with Wayson Choy and Ann Y K Choi, at the 2017 Festival of Authors.
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Wayson Choy and Ann Y K Choi – Ann meets a hero. It was such a lovely moment seeing this introduction. Festival of Authors 2017.

Don’t miss out on the 2018 event! It promises to be incredible. Come to Pickering on the 6th of April for your yearly dose of CAN LIT done right!

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LAST WORD? CAKE…
Ann YK Choi, Festival of Authors, On Writing, Ontario Writers' Conference, OWC, Wayson Choy, WCDR, Writers Community of Durham Region, Writing Life

On the Horizon – Events of Writerly Interest

Every now and again I write a catch-all post to include some of the things on my writerly horizon. The ones in my immediate future may be of interest to those of you in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area for visitors from elsewhere on the globe).

Event #1 – Ontario Writers’ Conference FESTIVAL OF AUTHORS

Originally birthed at the Ontario Writers’ Conference, this legacy event of the now defunct annual conference promises to be an exciting evening out for writers and readers alike. The event takes place at Creative Math & Music (1064 Salk Rd., Units 5-7 Pickering, ON, L1W 4B5) on Friday March 31st, 2017 from 7;00pm-10:00pm. From the OWC website:

The Festival usually features:

  • entertaining interviews and inspiring author readings (see below)
  • opportunities to mingle with Canadian Authors, fellow writers and avid readers
  • voting for the winners of our Story Starters Contest
  • exciting prizes !

Announced thus far for the festival is the amazing TED BARRIS as emcee and award winning debut novelist ANN Y.K. CHOI. You can read more about the festival, including bios for both announced authors at THIS LINK FOR OWC FESTIVAL OF AUTHORS. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Ted Barris, and of seeing him in action as an author interviewer and interviewee. An evening with Ted Barris is worth the price of admission. And I am right in the middle of reading Ann Choi’s KAY’S LUCKY COIN VARIETY from Simon & Schuster Canada. It’s a lovely coming-of-age story that takes place in Koreatown in Toronto in the 80s. I’m thoroughly enjoying it and hope to have it completed by the Festival on the 31st. Here’s a brief synopsis of the book from Goodreads:

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A bittersweet coming-of-age debut novel set in the Korean community in Toronto in the 1980s. This haunting coming-of-age story, told through the eyes of a rebellious young girl, vividly captures the struggles of families caught between two cultures in the 1980s. Family secrets, a lost sister, forbidden loves, domestic assaults—Mary discovers as she grows up that life is much more complicated than she had ever imagined. Her secret passion for her English teacher is filled with problems and with the arrival of a promising Korean suitor, Joon-Ho, events escalate in ways that she could never have imagined, catching the entire family in a web of deceit and violence. A unique and imaginative debut novel, Kay’s Lucky Coin Variety evocatively portrays the life of a young Korean Canadian girl who will not give up on her dreams or her family.

Keep watching the OWC website further further author announcement. And get your TICKETS soon, as they just may sell out!

Even#2 – WCDR Words of the Season

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This is a regular feature of the Writers’ Community of Durham Region. It’s an evening of readings from WCDR members and it features fiction, poetry, memoir, non-fiction, etc. Taking place this time around in Whitby, Words of the Season will happen on Tuesday April 4th, 2017. This is an open event and anyone is invited to attend. Simply show up at:

La Rosa Ristorante
3050 Garden Street
Unit 102
Whitby, ON

Arrive as early as 6:00 pm. Socialize, eat, enjoy a beverage – food and drink available for purchase. Performances start at 7:00 pm. Fully accessible venue.

Maaja Wentz will be emceeing this event. Members read, but anyone can come and listen. And stay for a meal.

I will be one of the readers this time around, reading from an upcoming novel.

Event #3 – April WCDR Roundtable Meeting

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WCDR Blue Pencil Extravaganza

This mostly monthly breakfast menu for the Writers’ Community of Durham Region is always lively…and always filled with approximately 100 writers from Durham and the rest of the GTA–an amazing feat in itself for a Saturday at 8:30am.

The APRIL meeting will feature what the WCDR is calling a BLUE PENCIL BONANZA. Foregoing the usual format of a GUEST SPEAKER, April will be set up as a hands-on critiquing meeting. Each table will feature a different genre and a professional in that genre will facilitate the table through a critique of sample pages submitted by members at the time of registration. Meeting attendees could either choose to participate by submitting their work ahead of time OR observe at the table of their choosing. Please note that NON-MEMBERS will not be permitted to submit samples. This is only open to WCDR MEMBERS.

This event takes place:

BISTRO 67 – Durham College, Centre for Food
1604 Champlain Avenue, Whitby ON

REGISTER TODAY!

ALL DETAILS ARE HERE.

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE:

The May 6th WCDR Roundtable Meeting will feature Guest Speaker TREVOR COLE. He will talk about “the early days of organized crime in Canada, before the First World War, when the Italian criminal underworld was known as the Black Hand. He’ll describe how it dovetailed with the beginnings of prohibition and led to the rise of Rocco Perri as the most powerful bootlegger and mob boss in southern Ontario.”

If I wasn’t leaving the continent on the very day this event is happening, I would most certainly be there. I hate to miss it.

Mr. Cole will also facilitate the AFTER-BREAKFAST MINI-WORKSHOP on May 6th >>>

How to Write Great Dialogue with Trevor Cole
Festival of Authors, Ontario Writers' Conference

FESTIVAL OF AUTHORS – The Ontario Writers’ Conference Gala Author Reading Event that is OPEN to the Public!

If you missed the boat on this year’s ONTARIO WRITERS’ CONFERENCE, I can’t help you. It’s a fantastic event for writers. Incredible, even. And it gets better every year. Being so handy to Toronto, it’s an incredibly convenient writers’ conference for Ontarians to attend too. Not even just Ontarians, but anyone. It takes place in early May every year…so if you missed the registration deadline this year just don’t forget to mark your calendars with a reminder for next year’s conference.

The good news is–though you missed the conference boat–you can still make it onto the Festival of Authors boat! That boat doesn’t leave shore until the moment it begins on Friday, May 2nd (THAT’S THIS COMING FRIDAY!). Tickets for this gala reading festival are AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR!

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DETAILS:

WHERE: Deer Creek Golf & Banquet Facility, 2700 Audley Road North, Ajax, Ontario
DATE: Friday, May 2nd, 2014

TIME: 7pm-10pm

PRICE: $20

CLICK THIS LINK TO BUY TICKETS ONLINE THROUGH PAYPAL

All are welcome at this PUBLIC EVENT! The exciting evening features:

– entertaining interviews and inspiring author readings
– opportunities to mingle with Canadian and fellow writers, presses, lit magazines and publishing reps
– vote for the winner in our Story Starters Contest
– exciting prizes and much more!

All this in a café-style atmosphere with a cash bar and sweet endings.

Featuring a panel of wonderful authors, interviewed by our talented Master of Ceremonies, Ingrid Ruthig!

The lovely and talented writer and artist, INGRID RUTHIG, will be interviewing the festival’s reading authors this year. To find out more about Ingrid, you can visit her site here: INGRID RUTHIG – WRITER|EDITOR|ARTIST

This year’s reading authors are: CATHERINE BUSH, KAREN CONNELLY, and KATHRYN KUITENBROUWER

(Click on the names to visit each author’s personal site)

This is a not-to-be-missed literary event! Get your tickets ASAP…there will only be a limited amount available at the door!

 

Festival of Authors, InspiraTO Festival, Kevin Craig, Ontario Writers' Conference, Playwright, The Reasons, Theatre, Writing Life

The Progression of a Play, a Conference and a Novel

I know my 3rd novel just released under a week ago! I know I should be promoting it like crazy. I feel guilty for not doing more. But I have my reasons.

Yesterday was the last day for registrations for the 2013 Ontario Writers’ Conference. I’m the registrations coordinator. I spent most of my ‘free’ time copy/pasting info to create attendance sheets for all the workshops, master classes, etc. AND last night I attended the first rehearsal for my 2013 InspiraTO Festival play, PERFECT TIMING. The play is being directed by Kim Sprenger. I won’t announce the actors yet, as I’m not sure that’s appropriate.

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I venerate actors so much it’s ridiculous. I can’t help it. Having said that, I don’t think I venerate actors enough. After a short greeting at the rehearsal last night, the two actors for my play began a run-through of the lines and it was brilliant. I am always amazed by the way actors can immediately interpret a role. They were both just SO perfect. The female character is extremely off-the-wall and out there. If you’ve seen any of my previous 5 plays, this won’t come as much of a surprise to you. (-: But last night, watching the ‘sedate’ male character come to life on the stage…I realized just how much talent is involved in bringing every nuance of a character to the role. My droll little character got a serious injection of hilarious in the more than capable hands of _____________. (Really…once I know it’s okay, I will definitely let you know who the performers are.)

As the night progressed, each actor added little bits of stage business that infused the play with life. And the director seemed to know each infinitesimal moment that something could be tweaked just right. She’d say, “maybe you could just…” and sure enough, it would be the PERFECT addition.

I honestly don’t know how they do it.

I felt like an idiot just sitting there and laughing. I arrived with the notion that the writer is the bottom of the totem, that I should be seen but not heard. Apart from the laughter, I think I did a pretty good job. I was observer. And I was in awe of all three of those present. I could tell that PERFECT TIMING was in perfect hands. These 3 are going to knock it OUT OF THE PARK! Brilliant people!

Enough of plays! I feel a plug for my novel is now in order. Speaking of brilliant, I was blessed to have an exceptional editor for my 3rd novel, THE REASONS. Helen Hardt was a complete blessing during the editorial process. Like Kim Sprenger knew just how to tweak my play, Helen Hardt knew just how to tweak my novel. I suppose that’s what an editor is, really…the director of the book. Anyway, I am extremely pleased about THE REASONS. It’s been getting some excellent feedback this week. The 5-stars are appearing! It’s such a quirky book, I was afraid what would happen to it once it saw the light of day. It’s dual narrated, and one of the narrators just happens to be certifiably insane. I took chances with this one. I’m beginning to hear that they have paid off!

If you click on the book cover below, you will be taken to my AMAZON page, where all three of my books will be listed. If you purchase The Reasons, you will be saving me from my guilt! I should be promoting this more…my publisher, MUSA PUBLISHING, is fantastic. They deserve my full attention and I certainly wish I could give it to them. (You can also purchase the book directly from the publisher…at this time it seems to be the first book listed on their home page, in the FEATURED BOOKS section.)

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So with registrations closed for the 5th ONTARIO WRITERS’ CONFERENCE, we are on the home stretch. The conference is, at the time of this writing, eight days away! Friday night’s FESTIVAL OF AUTHORS will be a splashy gala with wonderful authors reading and entertaining. The amazing TED BARRIS will be interviewing the readers this year. Festival attendants are in for a great surprise. Ted’s a fascinating interviewer…highly respected! If you’re not registered for Saturday‘s conference, you CANNOT come. Sorry. You missed the deadline. The good news is, tickets are available at the door for the Festival of Authors! ($20 each)

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I think it’s okay to mention here that this will be my last year on the Board of Directors for the Ontario Writers’ Conference. Having served on the board since its inception, the conference is–and will always be–a passion of mine. I just felt it was time to move on for now. A great board is one that changes. I will definitely be attending the conference next year…as a registrant. I’m looking forward to it…seeing the conference from the other side. (-: Speaking of board changes, I have put my hat in the ring to serve–once again–on the Board of Directors for the WRITERS COMMUNITY OF DURHAM REGION. This community is another passion of mine. With any luck, I will get a board position. It’s time for change–for me. I felt the perfect transition from serving on the OWC board would be to serve on the WCDR board. Wish me luck!

This concludes my regularly scheduled convoluted post about all the things going on in my writing life!