We opened our fourth workshop with a chat about writing routines and practical goals– whether you prefer to set yourself a word count limit, or spend a set amount of time writing every day.

My routine sees me writing every weekday morning, in the same cafe, for one hour, like clockwork. I also write at [...]

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I had an eye-opening moment in last week’s workshop.

We’d discussed action and setting, and read the wonderful Underwear Incident from Natale Ghent’s Gravity Brings me Down. (I think I almost succeeded in bringing maximal Nataleness to it in my interpretation, but for a few points where the giggles [...]

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YA Workshop Notes, Week 3 : Plot

On October 26, 2011 By

Last week we discussed the one thing I’ve had to work hardest at in my own writing: plot.

Despite all my hard work, I’ve come to the conclusion that most of us worry too much about plot. There are very few musts as far as plot is concerned.

Plot Musts Have one.

So yes, make [...]

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We got a lot done in week two.

We began with a discussion of first drafts, and how they’re supposed to be difficult and awful, but you have to finish them anyway to find out what your story’s about, and of course because it’s the only path to the next draft. I won’t share those [...]

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Monday night marked the kickoff of the 8-week YA writing workshop I’m leading for the Quebec Writers’ Federation.

I opened the class with a reference to this Ira Glass video I love, about storytelling, and how our amazing taste mingles with our aspirations to both guide our work and inspire self-doubt.

These videos (there [...]

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Fall YA Workshop for all levels!

On September 12, 2011 By

From the voice that brought you writing advice like “get some sleep” and “don’t worry if it takes a long time” comes a writing workshop for aspiring and practicing Young Adult writers Writing YA: Making the A Stand for Awesome.

Yes, it’s a QWF workshop by [...]

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Timely Writing Advice

On September 7, 2011 By

Writers: some of you are like “woo, outline, then fast but complete hair-pulling first draft, followed by hard-working but clearly sequential 2nd, 3rd (&4th, etc…) drafts.” You can schedule your manuscript to take 4, 6, 12, 18 or 24 months to complete.

I am more like “write 6 paragraphs, reread, edit, write 6 more paragraphs, [...]

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Eden Mills Writers’ Festival

On September 2, 2011 By

I’ll be reading at the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival on Sunday, September 18th, in the Young Adult venue, at 1:30, with Scott Chantler and Natale Ghent. Then we’ll sign books and answer questions at The Bookshelf outside Jenny’s Place.

I’m hoping I’ll also get to hear the second set of readings at [...]

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I made this for dinner tonight and it turned out so great, I had to write it down so we can do it again. Normally, I chase my pasta around the bowl, trying to make sure there’s a noodle in every bite. This dish had me chasing the broccoli instead!


salt, to taste 1 [...]

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