Friday, March 11
Get settle, break the ice, set the scene
The Writing Process
What is a writing process? How does one go about developing one that works for both writing as a whole, and for individual projects? Explore the idea of process as it relates to writing in this master class by Helen Humphreys.
Terry Fallis, a two-time winner for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, will lead a masterclass on what it takes to be funny with only words on the page. The workshop will explore the challenges humour writers face, the types of humour that most lend themselves to the written form, and the various techniques used by successful comic writers. There will be a writing exercise to help move the humour from theory to page. Oh yes, and there should also be a few laughs along the way.
How to Create a Sense of Place
Creating a vivid sense of place is vital in both fiction and non-fiction, as it allows the reader to feel as if they are really living in the world the writer has created. In this workshop, we will look at a number of craft elements that can be used to achieve this vivid sense of place—elements that can also be used to bring characters to life. We will do many writing exercises in order to learn by doing. Also, if you like, bring a piece of your own writing that describes place, up to a maximum of 500 words. We will be workshopping these in small groups, so bring 4 copies for others in your group.
Saturday, March 12
Build your structure, get moving, add drama
The M.A.S.S. of Your Novel
It’s a common belief that there are five major constituents to the novel: character, plot, setting, conflict and structure. I like to think that behind the scenes, there are four less tangible but important forces at work: Motivation, Anticipation, Suspense and Stakes. This M.A.S.S. intensifies our reading experience, helps to hold the reader in the story’s thrall, while drawing us inexorably forward. In the workshop we will look at each of these forces, with writing exercises to explore their workings.
Reading for Performance
Participants will have opportunity to revisit exercises from the first workshop, and to bring their work created then for edits and one-one refining before learning about the structure and elements of how to present via spoken word. The collection of poems will be constructed by the collective, the poet(s) and participants as a collaborative co-creation. (50-50 writing and performing — highlights on rehearsing pieces after they are finished writing them)
Craig Davidson and Andrew Pyper
Building Excitement: From High Concept to Scenes that Thrill
In this two-hander, two-part workshop, we will first take participants from elevating the current concept of their story to the most high-concept version it can be, workshopping loglines and ideas “on the fly” in an energetic, interactive pitch session. In the second part, we will explore the ways that this new, high-concept understanding of their narrative will help identify its DNA and shape the way to build individual scenes of suspense (or revelation, or horror, or a twist) by focusing on the way in, the turn, and the button.
Sunday, March 13
Nourish your practice, explore new perspectives, share with the world
A Session in The Courageous Writers’ Academy
Do you want to learn some solid professional writing and editing techniques to bring more aliveness and clarity into your scenes? Come on in! Would you also like to learn some essential flow and mindfulness techniques to help you build a writing practice with more ease and less procrastination, no matter how difficult your story is? Check—you will also receive that here, as well as a supportive communal experience.
Join Karen Connelly for a full session from The Courageous Writers’ Academy, her online self-edit and self-care institute. A new Academy session begins in April. This is a sneak-peak into this unique writers’ support and educational mentorship.
Walking the Poem
Awarding-winning poet and writing teacher Stuart Ross offers a relaxed, supportive, and productive workshop for poets at all levels – from absolute beginners to Nobel Prize winners, and everyone in between. Walking the Poem focuses on creating new poems and then, through a variety of fun and absorbing writing experiments, exploring and celebrating the hidden possibilities of those texts. As each poem multiplies and transforms, you will find that your work can surprise even you. Arrive with an open mind and leave with a bunch of new poems and some great writing strategies for your future poetry adventures.
Brenda Leifso and Alayna Munce
How to Get Published
The secret sauce to getting published is (cue the anti-climax) — there is no secret sauce, just practical, actionable ingredients poets and fiction writers can add to the mix in order to increase their chances (spoiler alert: being a good human is ingredient #1!). Brick Books’ new co-owners will share the ingredients they’ve found important from both an author and a publisher perspective.
This class is structured with plenty of time to answer all of your burning questions at the end of the formal presentation.