2022 MasterClasses

MasterClass 1:
Process, Prompts and Possibilities
Danielle Daniel

Saturday, June 4 – 10:00am
Maitland River Community Church, Wingham

We will dive deep into process, explore how various writing prompts can enliven our writing and allow random possibilities to transform our stories. Plotters, this is the other side. Join us! Bring a pen and a notebook and let’s fill some pages. There will be time allotted at the end of our session for a short Q&A related to craft and publishing.

MasterClass 2:
Exceptional Faults: Finding the qualities (and flaws) that make your writing unique
with Martha Schabas

Saturday, June 4 – 2:00pm
Maitland River Community Church, Wingham

In 1959, the French novelist and theorist Maurice Blanchot wrote: “All art draws its origin from an exceptional fault, each work is the implementation of this original fault, from which comes a risky plenitude and new light.” In this masterclass, we’ll plumb the idea of “exceptional faults,” exploring what makes your perspective distinct and inimitable, and how to capture that on the page. Come prepared to write.

Photo by Liz_Beddall

MasterClass 3:
“Who are these people and what is happening to them?” Character and Plot in Short Fiction
with Alexander MacLeod

Saturday, June 4 – 4:00pm
Maitland River Community Church, Wingham

Character and plot. For many readers and writers, these are the two most important narrative elements in any short story.

Some people read and/or write primarily for characters. They feel that a story, at its core, has to be about someone or about a collection of figures. A family saga, for example. Others prefer plot. For them, narrative is what happens, and, in the end, a good story – a mystery for example – is essentially a sequence of unfolding scenes or events. What is a writer to do with this back and forth, chicken and egg kind of problem? We’ve been talking about it since at least the year 4 (in Horace’s Ars Poetica) and the issue doesn’t seem to be getting much closer to resolution.

Rather than trying to quiet these tensions, this masterclass instead explores the vital interdependence of plot and character and it asks us to think deeply about the way characters are produced and /or revealed by what happens to them. Using some key exercises, we will try to reflect on the way these two narrative elements can be strategically combined to produce powerful and memorable scenes. We will also try to branch out a bit to see how, especially in short fiction, good characters and good plotting absolutely require key contributions from the more poetic elements of our writing such as pacing, tone, rhythm, diction, imagery and sentence structure.

Photo by Heather A. Crosby Gionet

MasterClass 4:
Publication 101 from a #1 Bestselling Author
with Heather Marshall

Sunday, June 5 – 10:00am – Virtual

Aspiring-to-be-published writers spend hours upon hours (okay, days) scouring the internet for tips, tricks, and clues on how to get their book baby to market in the highly competitive world of traditional publishing. But there’s a lot still in the Publishing Black Box that is seemingly unknowable until you’ve passed through to the other side.

In this masterclass, Heather Marshall (the instant #1 bestselling author of LOOKING FOR JANE) will break down the ins and outs of navigating the publishing process. Topics covered include how to produce the best possible manuscript, how to query and secure a literary agent, the process of submitting the manuscript to publishers, and the business aspects of a writing career. Participants will leave the class with a clearer picture of what the publication process looks like and what they can do to set themselves up for the best possible chance of success!

MasterClass 5:
Breaking Through the Rawhide Ceiling: I Didn’t Know What I Didn’t Know

with Chelsea Vowel 

Sunday, June 5 – 3:00pm – Virtual

Chelsea will talk about coming into the publishing industry with absolutely zero background knowledge or contacts, the various things she has learned along the way, and how to protect your spirit in spaces that were never meant for Indigenous writers. Chelsea will share for 60 mins, followed by a 30 min Q&A.

Photo by Zachary Ayotte-LOWRES