Saturday September 7, 2019: Writing Workshops

Inspiring Children to Write with Marie-Louise Gay
A Workshop for Teachers and Librarians
9:30 – 11:00 a.m.

Guelph Public Library – Main Library, 100 Norfolk Street

A workshop for teachers and librarians based on Marie-Louise’s book Any Questions? Participants will discuss the creative process and investigate tools that inspire children to write and develop stories. Through short writing exercises, storyboarding and play-acting, participants will explore ways to help children realise that they have stories just waiting to be written down, or illustrated.

Target audience: Teachers and librarians
Attendees should bring: Notebooks and writing materials

Presented in partnership with the Guelph Public Library

Time Travel for Everyone with Alix Ohlin
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Guelph Civic Museum – Programming Room, 52 Norfolk Street

Every story lives in at least two points in time—the moment of the action and the moment of the telling.  Writers get to travel widely in time, and the various choices made can have wonderfully powerful effects on the reader.  This workshop is designed to help participants think through some of those choices and effects—when to speed up, when to slow down, how to move around in the past, present, and future.  Participants will read some published stories and do guided writing exercises. 

Target audience: No previous writing experience is required, just a willingness to read, write, and share.
Attendees should bring: Please bring a pen and paper or laptop if preferred.

Writing for Children with Marie-Louise Gay
12:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Guelph Public Library – Main Library, 100 Norfolk Street

Writing a book for young children who cannot yet read is deceptive. How difficult can it be to write a story with fifty, two hundred or six hundred words? A manuscript barely 2, 3, or 4 pages long? Or writing for children who are beginning readers.

The difficulty lies in conveying emotion, developing characters and a plot, creating an arc and captivating children with so few words. But also, creating a child’s voice or visualizing a child’s point of view when our own childhood is far behind us. Participants will be doing short writing exercises to inspire and stimulate their inner child.

Target audience: This is a workshop for aspiring writers interested in writing picture-books and first novels.
Attendees should bring: Notebooks and writing materials.

Presented in partnership with the Guelph Public Library

Taking the Next Step: Finding Self-Confidence as a Writer with Cecil Foster
1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Guelph Civic Museum – Programming Room, 52 Norfolk Street

So, you think you have an idea for a book, but you wonder who would want to read it. Or maybe you’ve finished the manuscript but now have the darn thing hidden away. What do you do next?

This workshop will encourage participants to explore how to push through doubt and commit to doing the work needed to finish a manuscript. Participants will learn how to move their project forward, to find the confidence to want to be published, and to open themselves and their work to criticism and feedback with the ultimate goal of being published. Writers write to be read, and confidence is required in order to put oneself and one’s work out into the world.

Target audience: Unpublished writers who yearn to be published but might not have the self-confidence to share what they have written.
Attendees should bring: Participants should bring synopsis of manuscripts or idea proposals. They should also bring minds open to critical dialogue.

Expand Your Universe with Anakana Schofield
2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Guelph Public Library – Main Library, 100 Norfolk Street

At the end of this workshop participants will be able to expand their ideas, literary visions, and enhance their literary departures through exercises that explore different cross-disciplinary realms. 

Writing and reading are solitary activities. They are (usually) not performed in collaborative spaces, therefore the writer’s imagination must become its own collaborative space. This workshop will encourage participants to furnish his or her upstairs chamber with a bit more variety and a few more open windows. To sustain a writing practice one must be interested in what one is doing and must read towards that which one wants to write. Participants will work according to Borges’ adage that “every writer… is fated to have a personal universe” and will encounter examples of innovative fiction and literary movements, working autonomously to discover techniques and entry points that may help unravel their conceptual ideas.  

Target audience: All. This workshop will not address genre novel or plot concerns. Participants can work in any language.
Attendees should bring: Pen, notebook, and an open mind. All work will be generated in the workshop through exercises and responses to prompts. No need for samples. 

Presented in partnership with the Guelph Public Library.