CAA-NCR meetings are free for members of Canadian Authors Association.
We ask non-members to pay a fee using the link below. E-transfers also accepted at: NCRadmin@canadianauthors.org
Finding Your Story, Finding Your Voice, with Tim Wynne-Jones
Writing middle-grade and/or young adult fiction
Saturday, January 13, 2024 10:30 a.m. via Zoom Free to members of Canadian Authors. Non-members $20.00
Books for kids are about getting a grip; books for adults are about letting go. That’s my elevator-pitch answer to a question I get a lot. It’s overly simplistic but a start to understanding the differences in writing for young readers. I’m not big on rules – what you can and can’t do in any given genre – but in writing for kids, either young or teenage, there are some important fundamental considerations, two in particular: Story and Voice. A young reader wants a good story, with all it entails: some difficulty to overcome, believable motivation, high stakes, a well-crafted narrative arc and real agency for the protagonist. But even more importantly, I believe, there must be an authentic voice – the world seen through the eyes and intelligence of a kid, whether they be twelve or seventeen.
In this workshop, there will be a number of short writing exercises to examine these issues. There will be lots of time for questions. And, of course, we will also look at the obvious concerns: word-count, the inescapability of gate-keepers, the use of profanity, graphic violence, sex — all those does and don’t — the guidelines you can choose to bend, if your story demands it.
Tim Wynne-Jones has written three adult novels, nine young adult novels and three middle-grade novels, four short story collections and a whole lot of picture books. His collection of short stories Some of the Kinder Planets won the Governor General’s Award as well as the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award. The Maestro won a second Governor General’s Award and was short-listed for the Guardian Prize in the UK. The Boy in the Burning House won the Edgar Award and the Arthur Ellis Award and was short-listed for the Guardian Prize, as well. Blink & Caution won another “Arthur,” as well as a second Horn Book Award. The Emperor of Any Place received seven starred book reviews and was short-listed for the Governor General’s Award. The Starlight Claim won the John Spray Award of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. His work has been published in Japanese, Korean, Danish, Dutch, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Catalan and Hebrew.
The Writer’s Life, with Brenda Chapman
Monday, October 23, 2023 7:00 p.m. Meeting Room A, Beaverbrook Branch, Ottawa Public Library 2500 Campeau Drive, Kanata, ON, K2K 2W3 This event is free to everyone.
Brenda Chapman will share stories about her life as a writer of short stories, and mysteries. She will speak about the steps she took to become a published author, and how she approaches her work now that she has completed more than twenty novels. The life of an author these days also involves social media and book promotions. Chapman will discuss how to balance getting the creative work done with maintaining social connections.
Brenda Chapman is a Canadian crime fiction author with over twenty published novels. In addition to short stories and standalones, she has written the lauded Stonechild and Rouleau police procedural series, the Anna Sweet mystery novellas, and the Jennifer Bannon mysteries for middle grade. Blind Date is the first in her Hunter and Tate mysteries. Her work has been shortlisted for several awards including four Crime Writers of Canada Awards of Excellence.
Find a Poem, with JC Sulzenko
Tuesday April 11, 2023 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. via Zoom Free to members of Canadian Authors. Non-members $10.00
“Found poems take existing texts and refashion them, reorder them, and present them as poems. The literary equivalent of a collage, found poetry is often made from newspaper articles, street signs, graffiti, speeches, letters, or even other poems . . . A pure found poem consists exclusively of outside texts: the words of the poem remain as they were found, with few additions or omissions. Decisions of form, such as where to break a line, are left to the poet.” —poets.org
JC Sulzenko, author of Bricolage A Gathering of Centos, will lead a treasure hunt to find and then craft poems in the words/worlds around us.
JC Sulzenko writes in a number of genres and creates poetry and stories for young and adult readers alike. Her poems appear in a number of chapbooks and anthologies and have been broadcast on radio and television. She also creates found poetry as A. Garnett Weiss.
Getting Your Writing into the Hands of Readers, with Scott Overton
Wednesday, January 25, 2023 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. via Zoom Free to members of Canadian Authors. Non-members $10.00
As writers we want the same thing: to get our stories or poems into the hands (or e-readers, or phones, or tablets) of readers. How can we do that? These days there are more options and opportunities than ever. Scott Overton will share his experience with getting his novels, short stories and audiobooks out there.
As the host of a radio morning show for most of his 30+ years in broadcasting, Scott Overton entertained and informed thousands of groggy people as they faced each new day. He brings those same skills and perspectives to his writing, which includes science fiction and fantasy, mainstream and thriller fiction, and even a children’s book. Scott’s debut novel Dead Air was first published by Scrivener Press. His short stories have been published in On Spec, Neo-opsis Science Fiction Magazine, AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review, the anthologies Tesseracts Sixteen: Parnassus Unbound, Doomology: The Dawning Of Disasters, Canadian Tales of the Fantastic and elsewhere. Scott’s a member of the Canadian Authors Association, SFCanada, and a past President of the Sudbury Writers Guild.
Writing Effective Query Letters, with Carly Watters
Monday, November 14, 2022 12:00 noon to 1:30 p.m. via Zoom Registration is limited to 10 participants. First come, first served. Free to members of Canadian Authors. Non-members $55.00
In this action-packed and entertaining 90-minute webinar, you’ll get answers to the following questions:
- What is the true purpose of the query letter?
- What should query structure look like?
- What do query letters look like from successful authors and bestselling books?
- How do I make my query letter stand out?
- What are the dos and don’ts?
- What are comp titles?
- How do I personalize a query letter?
- How do I find the right agent for me?
Carly Watters is a SVP and Senior Literary Agent at P.S. Literary and the sitting VP of PACLA, the Professional Association of Canadian Literary Agents. She began her publishing career in London as an assistant at the Darley Anderson Literary, TV and Film Agency. Carly joined Toronto-based P.S. Literary Agency in 2010 and has sold over 100 books during her career. She represents award-winning and bestselling authors in the adult fiction and non-fiction categories, and select children’s books.
Poets of Beechwood Cemetery Tour
Sunday, October 16, 2022 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Beechwood Cemetery, 280 Beechwood Avenue, Vanier, ON Plenty of public parking available This event is free for everyone.
Following up on the Byline article about the Poets of Beechwood by LD Cross, we have planned a guided tour of this beautiful and historic cemetery, one that has been designated a National Historic Site. Join us to learn about the poets of Beechwood and more.
Writing with Humour, with Melissa Yi
Tuesday, October 25, 2022 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. via Zoom
Whatever your genre—fiction, non-fiction, memoir, blog posts, or children’s books—your work will benefit from some smiles or laughter. Even if you are writing about the most serious of topics, you can enrich the experience for your readers by injecting some humour. Join Melissa Yi to learn how to give your work a boost.
BIO: Melissa Yi is an emergency physician and award-winning writer. In her latest crime novel, WHITE LIGHTNING, Dr. Hope Sze’s romantic getaway at a Windsor Prohibition hotel’s Comic-Con morphs into a ghost-ridden historical crime scene with potential links to Al Capone. Previous Hope Sze thrillers were recommended by The Globe and Mail, CBC Books, and The Next Chapter as one of the best Canadian suspense novels. CBC called Melissa’s Best of Fest-winning Fringe theatre show, I Am The Most Unfeeling Doctor in the World (And Other True Tales from the Emergency Room), “hilarious” and “poignant.” Melissa also uses humour in real life in the emergency department, in Hope Rises theatre workshops, and with her own children. http://www.melissayuaninnes.com/