It’s been a while since I’ve been on the Board of Directors for my beloved writing community, the Writers’ Community of Durham Region. No time like the present! I am now serving on the Board as their new Membership Coordinator. I look forward to another exciting year of writerly magic from the WCDR community!
If you live in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) and don’t yet know about this dynamic community, it’s time you did yourself a favour and checked them out. It’s really worth the drive to Durham Region to participate in all the events they have going on throughout the year. They’re just a short drive east of the city. Toronto residents are more than welcome to attend functions and become members.
While you’re here, let me tell you a bit about the upcoming WCDR MONTHLY NETWORK MEETING taking place in September! That’s SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 8TH. This meeting is open to anyone who wishes to attend. It’s great for networking and the guest speaker is always an industry professional offering up solid advice for writers of all levels. It takes place in Whitby, Ontario—right off the 401 Thickson Road off-ramp.
9:00 to 12:00 am
Durham College (Whitby Campus) 1610 Champlain Avenue, Whitby ON
Everyone is welcome!
$15 members pre-paid; $17 guests and walk-ins $18
It’s easy to register onlineand it will save you a couple of dollars if you do so. The guest for the September meeting is HEATHER TUCKER. Heather’s book THE CLAY GIRLreleased in 2016 to critical acclaim. It’s a brilliant addition to the CanLit landscape. Heather is a tour-de-force with a long list of awards to her name. She’s going to be speaking at the September meeting under the topic Sparking Creativity Through Play (Click the link for a full description). We hope to see you there!
I look forward to the upcoming year on the Board of Directors. If ever you have questions regarding this great organization–of which I’ve been a part of since 2003–please feel free to contact me through my Contact Me page here, or directly through the contact form on the WCDR website. Check the organization out! I promise, you’ll love them as much as I do.
Just a quick post to let you know I’m having a book giveaway contest over at my TWITTER ACCOUNT. To enter to win a signed copy of PRIDE MUST BE A PLACE, all you have to do is RETWEET my PINNED TWEET and FOLLOW ME if you’re not already doing so. You have until April 20th, 2018 to enter!
Also, while I have you, I will be at the APRIL WCDR NETWORKING MEETING in Whitby, Ontario, and I will have copies of PRIDE MUST BE A PLACE for purchase.
The April Network Meeting is on:
Saturday, April 21st – Monthly Network Meeting with Megan Beadleon Agents – Find One. Sign One. Scholarship winners will also be announced.
Registration is not yet open, but if you keep checking back on the WCDR website…it should be opening soon. If you’re in the GTA, you should come check it out. April sounds like a pretty good meeting to try out the organization. Hope to see you there!
Don’t forget to head over to Twitter to enter the giveaway!
Looking to purchase an e-copy of Pride Must Be A Place? You can find it here:
I’ve mentioned this in the past, but it’s always good to throw out a reminder to WCDR members that they should take advantage of allthe benefits membership opens up to them.
For those who have not yet heard of one of Canada’s most vibrant writing communities, the WCDR stands for Writers Community of Durham Region. Durham Region is JUST east of Toronto, Ontario. The group for writers is over 300 strong. Membership is open to all, whether or not you live in the area…though if you do live in the area you would more easily get to participate in many of the writing events that take place there. They have an almost monthly Roundtable Breakfast Meeting in Whitby, reading events, workshops, small writing circles, etc, etc, etc.
By taking part in some of the member benefits, writers can gain experience, knowledge, connections, publishing credits and more. One of the best benefits is the Wordweaver Newsletter that the organization puts out. It is ONLY open for members to submit to, and it’s a paying publication. This benefit gives new writers a great opportunity to gain publication credits, as well as helps to offset the cost of membership.
Another great benefit that WCDR members have is access to the great array of writing grants. Their Grants & Scholarships Program is open only to members and they are always free to apply to.
As well as all of these things, there is always a discounted member fee on the workshops and writing programs on offer through the WCDR. And it’s always a good idea to upgrade your writing skills by attending workshops.
So, if you happen to be a WCDR member and you’re not taking advantage to all the benefits the organization has to offer you, start doing so today. Hit any of the links above for more information on the things I listed, or navigate the WCDR at your own pace to discover everything there is to know about the organization. It’s a powerhouse on the Canadian writing landscape. Take advantage of it.
This brings me to the fact that my upcoming trip is fast approaching. 19 days before I depart for Belgium! I will be spending a week in Brussels in lieu of attending the Muskoka Novel Marathon this coming July. I wanted to shake things up a bit this year. I still plan to marathon a novel, but I thought I would try it on my own this time, see how my self-discipline is holding up. ALL writers desperately need self-discipline. It’s the thing that makes the difference between success and failure sometimes. Skill is only part of the equation. You can have all the skill in the world and do all your writing in the form of Twitter tweets and Facebook updates and Instagram posts. When the chips are down, what you really need to do is get BUM IN CHAIR and write. And that’s just what I will be doing in Brussels.
But I’m not crazy. I’m not going halfway around the world to lock myself in a room to write. NOT ONLY. I booked two days in which to see the world around me. A walking tour of Brussels and a walking tour of Bruges. And in between I hope to write not ONE but TWO novels in a week. If I can write the better part of one in 72 hours, I don’t see why I can’t stretch myself to write 2 in 7 days. I’m sure the math doesn’t work that way, though…but it’s not going to prevent me from trying.
Another thing about Brussels. It was the impetus for me to finally consider applying for a WCDR writing grant. I always thought I’d leave the grants and scholarships alone…leave them for others to use. After arranging my writing schedule for the trip, I thought, why not? So I applied. And I was awarded a grant this past Saturday. SO it is with much appreciation to the organization I have already come to love so much over the years that I thank the WCDR for their contribution to my solitary European writing retreat. I will be writing with the knowledge that the organization stands behind my efforts. For that I am grateful.
I’m sure I’ll be back to tell you how it went. I won’t say I’m not nervous. I get this nervous every year before I head to the Muskoka Novel Marathon too. What if I sit down and I have nothing to write? What if the muse does not appear? What if I become too distracted to write? What if? What if? What if? You can’t live your life by what ifs, though. I will get to Belgium, I will sit down in a strange place and I will open my laptop and I will write.
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:
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
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:
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
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
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 >>>