Emily and TPL’s Book Buzz

My novel The Restoration of Emily is the featured book for June at Book Buzz, the Toronto Public Library’s Virtual Book Club. Join the discussion – about the writing process, frozen shoulders, and architectural metaphors – here.

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At 1:30 p.m. on Saturday June 2, 2012, I will be leading a special Grey Cup 100th Anniversary Edition of the free Heritage Toronto “Hidden Treasures in North Rosedale” walking tour.

In honour of this year’s 100th anniversary of the Grey Cup, special guest Michael Januska, author of the forthcoming history book Grey Cup Century (Dundurn) will address the group about the 1st Grey Cup game, played in 1909 between teams from the University of Toronto and the Parkdale Canoe Club at Rosedale Field, now Rosedale Park, pictured here adorned by a football team from St. Andrew’s College school, which bordered the park back in the day.

For more fun, historical facts about this site and others on the tour, join my co-leader Ed Freeman and me at 1:30 pm on Saturday June 2, at the southeast corner of Beaumont Road and Glen Road in North Rosedale.

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Winning at IFOA

At the Humber School for Writers event at this year’s International Festival of Authors in Toronto, I was pleased to host a short reading by the HSW/IFOA Author for a Day contest winner, Kate Belcher. Kate is a British expatriate, ex-museum curator and ex-clown who placed second in the 2010 Toronto Star Short Story Contest, and was a 2011 CBC Literary Awards finalist. She is currently finishing a children’s novel about a boy who accidentally triggers a nightmare invasion. You can read more about her and her writing here.

Kate’s reading was followed by a talk about writing craft by Suzanne Desrochers, Humber School for Writers alumna, and author of the bestselling novel Bride of New France. Suzanne was remarkably poised and coherent for someone who had given birth to her second child only six weeks before. She had interesting stories to tell about her path to publication, including that she abandoned navel-gazing type contemporary stories in favour of historical fiction, which she researched by taking a master’s degree in history. She is now following up that degree with a Ph.d., beginning work on her second novel, and caring for her young children. Which makes her either an inspiration or a superhuman. Click here for more info about her.

The final part of the event was the flash assessments of manuscript pages submitted in advance by some of the people in attendance. To do this, I was joined by the gracious and thoughtful Kate Cassaday, an editor of Harper Collins Publishers. We did our best not to bruise too many egos in the process – and we did not spend our entire time looking as skeptical as we do in this pic, while entertaining a question from the audience, I think. Our hope was that everyone who attended the event could consider themselves a winner.

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The Word Doctors Are Back

Again this year, I’m going to be hosting and assessing first pages of manuscripts at “The Word Doctors Are In” Master Class event presented by the Humber School for Writers at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto.

This year’s event takes place on Sunday October 23, 2011, from 11 am to 1 pm in the Brigantine Room in the Harbourfront Centre. Author Suzanne Desrochers (Bride of New France) will speak about her approach to writing fiction, the winner of the Author for a Day contest will read the winning entry; and HarperCollins Editor Kate Cassaday and I will evaluate manuscript first pages submitted in advance by attendees.

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Enter the Author for a Day Contest

Again this year, the Humber School for Writers and the International Festival of Authors are presenting the Author for a Day contest (administered by lucky me).

Submit two pages of fiction or narrative non-fiction by October 7, 2011 for a chance to read at the October 23, 2011 “Word Doctors Are In” Master Class event at the IFOA at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, followed by a literary lunch with the event speakers.

Entries (maximum 600 words) should be cut and pasted into the body of an email, identified by genre, and sent with name, address, phone number, and proof of contest entry fee payment to authorforadayifoacontest@gmail.com by October 7, 2011. The $15 contest entry fee can be paid to the Harbourfront Centre Box Office at this link.

The winning entry will be chosen by Humber School for Writers faculty.

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Upcoming: Wordshop Marquee at WOTS

This Sunday, September 25th, I’ll be doing some hosting and speaking for the Humber School for Writers at the Wordshop Marquee tent at Toronto’s free Word on the Street festival. I’ll host various author and editor speakers (see full lineup here) starting at 2:00 pm.

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