Announcing Old Embers Rekindled – My Fire is not Out Yet! By Gary E. Johnson

About the Book:

Old Embers Rekindled – My Fire is Not Out Yet! is a new collection of poems integrated with selected photographs that are meant to complement each other generally. The book features seven sections: Fore Thoughts, Foundered Love Unbound, Down Time, State of Agitation, Metaphysics, Love Before Death, and After Thoughts.

Fore Thoughts can be considered a prologue, touching on The Word and The Picture which is the interplay in the book. The theme of Foundered Love Unbound for the most part is about disenchanted or unrequited love. Down Time speaks to the isolation and the loss of a normal life during the pandemic. State of Agitation is mostly a short rant about what’s going on in the world today. Metaphysics deals with abstract concepts such as being, time, and space. Life Before Death portrays the thoughts and feelings of an older man trying to understand his mortality. The idea behind After Thoughts was to take some time to pause for reflection over a few poems and some random thoughts (or mostly they were added because they didn’t make it into the main body of the book).

Author’s Note: I hope the reader enjoys the interplay between the words and pictures as much as I enjoyed putting them together.

You can buy Old Embers Rekindled – My Fire is Not Out Yet! here.

About Gary:

Over his lifetime, Gary Johnson sporadically wrote poems as time and events allowed, which resulted in his first collection of poems enter light-exit light and everything in between.

In the last five years with more time on his hands, he has put together this second collection in Old Embers Rekindled, which combines his love of poetry and his photography. Each photograph also includes a small accompanying interpretive verse in the overall context of each section of poems: Foundered Love Unbound, Down Time, State of Agitation, Metaphysics, Life Before Death, and After Thoughts.

“We will continue to strew our seed and spawn our ideas For our future progeny to follow”

When he is not writing or creating photo art, he is growing garlic and cut flowers along with his wife Cathy for her Perennial Petals farm business. Find Gary here.

Announcing Approche de la Déesse by Patricia Keeney

About the Book:

Approche de la Déesse is a selection of poems in French translation in a bilingual English/French edition. The poems are inspired largely by a long love affair with Greece – both modern and ancient – and by the throb of mythology. The poems have been rendered with precision and sensitivity by my translators, who have proven as dedicated as they are talented. The publisher, Alidades, has done a superb job of presenting the poems in a special edition. Approche de la Déesse is available from Alidades.

About Patricia:

Patricia Keeney is an award-winning poet, novelist, theatre and literary critic. The author of ten books of poetry and two novels, her writing has been widely translated. Her latest poetry volume, Orpheus in Our World (NeoPoiesis) connects ancient Greek lyrics with contemporary theatrical dialogue. Her latest novel, One Man Dancing (Inanna) is a story of Africa, politics, art, and personal survival set on the world stage. Her forthcoming novel, Emptiness and Angels: A Story of the Divine Feminine combines Biblical mystery, feminist satire, and spiritual quest. Keeney is a long time professor of literature, humanities and creative writing at Toronto’s York University.

Find Patricia here.

The Critical Lens with Romance Writer LaQuette

Romance writer LaQuette took February’s event attendees on a journey through the critical lens. LaQuette encouraged everyone to push past any defensiveness they may feel and to think about someone else’s perspective. There were no attacks or preaching. The event was an opportunity to listen and learn. LaQuette gave powerful examples from literature and film to illustrate each point and help everyone better understand.

When learning about diversity and different perspectives, there are terms that have now become common use. LaQuette explained POC (Person of Colour), Othering, Colourism, and Problematic among others. She encouraged everyone to ask themselves:

“What are my blindspots?”

“What are my biases?”

“Where does your information come from?”

LaQuette does not want anyone to shy away from including diverse characters in their works, as long as they are three-dimensional characters. If they are poor, why are they poor? Is being a poor person of colour, living in a ghetto, the only traits described? The why’s behind character creation are important. Know what you’re writing and why you are writing it. Characters should be created based on a collection of individual experiences. LaQuette reminded everyone that a story shouldn’t consist of “I can’t find love because I’m black/gay/trans/disabled/etc.” The character should be a whole person. LaQuette also reminded everyone that marginalized people need to see themselves having joy for no other reason than they exist.

Upcoming Events:

Terry Fallis: The Role of Humour in Writing

Two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour –

Author of five #1 bestsellers – Creative Writing Instructor

Terry will discuss the role humour plays in his writing—not just in his novels, but how a sense of humour can sustain you in the rollercoaster life of a writer. He’ll offer up tips on injecting humour into your writing and thoughts on why so few writers, even if they’re funny people, seem to avoid humour in their writing. Sign up here.

Announcing 365-Day Writing Challenge: A Year of Writing Prompts by Elise Abrams

About the Book:

Looking for a way to keep your creativity flowing every day of the year?

TAKE THE 365-DAY WRITING CHALLENGE

With 365 writing prompts, one for each day of the year, you’ll never be short on inspiration. Use this book to jumpstart your writing routine, break through writer’s block, or simply explore new ideas, genres, settings, and characters. With a year’s worth of prompts at your fingertips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a more prolific and confident writer.

365 DAYS, 365 WRITING PROMPTS

Are you ready to take the challenge?

Get ready to explore new ideas and develop your writing skills with this amazing resource.

Start your writing journey today and see where these prompts take you!

About Elise:

Elise Abram is a retired high school teacher, former archaeologist, and current editor and author of books for all ages from children’s picture books through young adult and adult audiences. Though she mainly writes urban fantasy, she has dabbled in many genres. This book represents her 25 years of experience teaching high school English, particularly writers craft.

Find 365-Day Writing Challenge: A Year of Writing Prompts on Amazon

Find Elise on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and eliseabram.com and emsapublishing.com

Tugging at the Heartstrings with Jenny Holiday

Jenny Holiday visited the WCYR Zoom Room on Sunday, January 22 to talk about effective romance and writing it – both for writers of the genre and those who integrate it into their fiction.

As a former Toronto Romance Writers’ (TRW) member, I can honestly say that I’ve heard several romance writes speak on their subject, but none with as much openness and honesty as Jenny (except for maybe Molly O’Keefe, who just happens to be one of Jenny’s inspirational authors).

The biggest difference Jenny shared was that she doesn’t follow a step-by-step plan (such as those described in Save the Cat! Writes a Novel, Romancing the Beat, etc.), just one basic idea: what do the characters learn? That one line in and of itself prompts her to think about conflict, motivation, and desire.

She also provided great little nuggets of wisdom regarding point of view (POV) character arcs:

  • Force them outside of their comfort zone,
  • Change their circumstance, and
  • Show vulnerability.

Of the many insights she gave for helping show a character’s vulnerability, she mentioned not relying on accidents and misunderstanding but to use them, maybe once, as a way in. Then, each consecutive vulnerable moment should happen on purpose.

LESS IS MORE! She didn’t scream it like this, but Jenny did underscore its dramatic importance. Don’t pile on the big heartfelt moments all at once. Instead, parcel them out in smaller moments that don’t necessarily revolve around the main conflict of the immediate scene. By having something happen on the sidelines that is observed without another person noticing, our characters have rich opportunities to learn and discover more about each other.

Lastly, Jenny rounded out her talk with take-away pointers for non-romance writers who might want to include it as a sub-layer in their stories. She encourages us to identify a purpose for having a romantic element and not to include one if you don’t need it. It’s important to avoid clichéd elements and using them in a superficial way – write real. Consider the “shippers” when you write. Shippers? you might ask.

This was a new (but important) term for me too. Potentially a derivative of the term “relationshippers,” this refers to readers who seek romantic parings that might not actually be there… or, at least, not right away. You can hook a romance reader into journeying along with your characters by making them charismatic and giving them unresolved tension. Shippers will pine for a romance when there isn’t any and try to will it into being. By keeping them on the hook, especially within a series, they will gobble up every little nuanced nugget you offer them.

So, whether you’re planning on writing romance, dabble in it, or are looking to add a realistic layer to your preferred genre, Jenny gave us the courage to play in the writer’s sandbox with only one rule in mind: if it’s romance, it’s gotta have a happy ending… at least for now.

Upcoming Events

LaQuette will help us to address diversity in our writing from a critical lens, regardless of our chosen genres. Writing outside of your personal, generational, or cultural experience can be a treacherous road to travel for today’s author. Even with the best intentions, it’s easy to create problematic or harmful content when you’re unaware of what you don’t know. Learn how to use literary theory and criticism to view your work through an alternative lens. By using literary frameworks, you can gain insight into alternative perspectives that can help you identify and eliminate problematic and harmful content before you publish. Sign up here.

Announcing The High Priestess: Persephone’s Return by Val Tobin

About the Book:

Someone wants Jaycie Nevil to remain in Hades. Could it be the god of the underworld?

A student mage who doubts her abilities, Jaycie strives to achieve success in her program. When she receives life-changing news, and the boyfriend she relies on accidentally traps her on the wrong side of the veil, her entire existence is jeopardized.

Meanwhile, hiding from a criminal organization and the authorities, human Kelsey Davis has reached the end of her tether. When her downward spiral hits rock bottom, a vampire finally takes action to force her recovery. While their two nights at a spa are close to heavenly, their return to the cabin they share brings a fresh hell.

With tragedy and horror invading all their lives, who will survive this fool’s journey?

About Val:

Formerly a software/web developer, author Val Tobin now spends her time writing novels. She completed a master’s degree in parapsychology in 2016. Also a Reiki Master/Teacher and Angel Therapy Practitioner® with advanced training, certified by Doreen Virtue in Kona, Hawaii, Val has participated in paranormal investigations in the US and Canada. Val contributed a story to Doreen Virtue and Grant Virtue’s book Angel Words, published by Hay House. She has published over a dozen novels, a box set of her Valiant Chronicles series, and several short stories.

Excerpt from an advance review:

“… Tobin’s world building is impeccable. Her characters are three dimensional, well-developed and relatable, and they grow as their stories deepen in complexity as the series progresses.

“Clearly an accomplished writer, Tobin’s prose is confident and her stories tight and well-paced. She skilfully weaves the Tarot cards and their associated themes into each story in a way that is never heavy handed. This series stands with the best of urban fantasy …” — Tahlia Newland, Managing Editor, AIA Publishing

Find The High Priestess: Persephone’s Return on Amazon, Books2Read and BookBub.

Find Val on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn

December Open Mic and Year End Celebration!

We were together! In-person!

We hope everyone had a wonderful winter holiday, full of family, friends, and good cheer. We’re also happy that so many of us included the WCYR Open Mic as part of their December celebration. At the Newmarket Public Library’s meeting room, we were able to come together. The afternoon was full of gifts, prizes and catching up with those we haven’t seen in a while.

It was also full of writers reading from their work. Though we had to move to a hybrid even because of the snowy weather, everyone who wanted to read could share. Whether at the podium or from the laptop, WCYR members were able give guests a sample of their work.

We have to thank Erika MacNeil for being our dynamic, superstar Open Mic MC. We also thank all the volunteers who traveled through the snow and wind to make it to the library and help us put on a fun year-end celebration.

We look forward to seeing everyone in the new year, in-person and online. Don’t forget about WCYR and WCDR Write-Ins, Sunday, Monday and Thursdays!

What’s Coming Up

“Do you want to sharpen your skills in writing dialogue?” WCYR poses the question.

Yes, I do,” you respond and then read on to find out more.

In this members-only interactive and safe two-hour workshop, participants will learn through prompts and discussion the workings of dialogue and to relax and have fun with it. Participants are welcome to bring a piece of dialogue they are working on to share. Sign up here.

LaQuette will help us to address diversity in our writing from a critical lens, regardless of our chosen genres. Writing outside of your personal, generational, or cultural experience can be a treacherous road to travel for today’s author. Even with the best intentions, it’s easy to create problematic or harmful content when you’re unaware of what you don’t know. Learn how to use literary theory and criticism to view your work through an alternative lens. By using literary frameworks, you can gain insight into alternative perspectives that can help you identify and eliminate problematic and harmful content before you publish. Sign up here.

Web3 with Maaja Wentz

Maaja Wentz took us on a journey through artificial intelligence (AI) and Web3, and what those changes could mean for writers, in the December 1st member-run workshop.

Before we began, Board Chair Mit Gopaul welcomed attendees and sent out an open call. The WCYR is looking for presenters at all levels. Whether it’s your first presentation or your 100th, the WCYR will help you succeed. Please send us a message and let us know if you are interested. You can leave a comment below, email us, or fill out the contact form.

Maaja began with outlining how her presentation would proceed so we would all know what we’d be getting into: nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and Smart Contract; AI text generation; AI art for writers; and should you make an NFT? Many people find these topics confusing. Maaja explained them clearly and we learned how these technologies could benefit us as writers.

At the beginning of the presentation, Maaja gave us the clearest explanation of an NFT that I’ve ever heard. An NFT is like the certificate for a painting that proves ownership or shows the chain of provenance. A person can buy an NFT that will let them into a metaverse/shared universe that a writer has created. Maaja encouraged us not to listen to fads, as eventually they will disappear. Instead, find where the value is, as that will be most beneficial in the long run.

The writing opportunities will come from the creation of communities, games, and various metaverses/shared worlds. Maaja introduced the group to Sitka World, a community of writers where the profits are split between writers and readers, so readers will help promote the work. In a shared universe, you might buy the NFT that gives you the right to write about a particular character. As a writer, you can also create your own world, though exploring an established one might be a good idea. Sitka World is a well-developed creation in a brand-new area.

Many of us have used AI editors like Grammarly and AutoCrit. They analyze texts and some will even learn a person’s writing style. Writers can use AI tools for prompts, inspiration, and to break writer’s block. AI writing apps can be especially helpful with content creation, and many of them have free trials you can play with. Don’t be afraid to discover what AI can do for you!

You can find Maaja at Free Stories – Maaja Wentz.

What’s Coming Up

Are you interested in writing romance novels or adding some romantic elements to your fiction? Join Jenny Holiday to explore what makes a romance a romance and how a romance is different from a love story. We will cover the one rule of romance plus take a look at tropes, point-of-view, character arcs, and sub-genres. Learn how to navigate romance in terms of your craft and how (and whether!) to wade into the sometimes-wild world of romance fandom. Sign up here.

“Do you want to sharpen your skills in writing dialogue?” WCYR poses the question.

Yes, I do,” you respond and then read on to find out more.

In this members-only interactive and safe two-hour workshop, participants will learn through prompts and discussion the workings of dialogue and to relax and have fun with it. Participants are welcome to bring a piece of dialogue they are working on to share. Sign up here.

British Christmas in WWII

By Wendy Poole

I enjoy researching. For me it is very rewarding to have that “aha” moment. It may only last momentarily before I think, but what if…, and once again begin another search for confirmation or a bit more information on a topic. And then sometimes, you just have to say to yourself enough; it’s time to get back to telling your story. And those little bits get lost or forgotten until maybe you think, oh I have that information, somewhere…

That’s what this blog post is about. Sharing some of that information with you. Some of it is from my debut novel, Remembering – A Time of Great Purpose, and some of it was tucked away, perhaps waiting to be found as many of us begin to celebrate Christmas.

In December 1940, British families who were determined to celebrate the holiday “no matter what” decorated short Christmas trees and placed them inside their bomb shelters.

Air raid shelter friendly presents, such as flasks and sleeping bags, sold well that year, even gas masks for dolls. War bonds became a popular gift, as a way to support the war. Family members found time to make their gifts. Mums knitted with spare bits of wool, made sweet treats for their children, and Dads carved sailing ships and built dollhouses. For some families, it was wrapped up second-hand gifts or “make do and mend” gifts. Food items were now rationed; those that weren’t were expensive to buy. Mothers wondered how they would make a traditional Christmas meal for their family.

In Britain, rationing of bacon, butter, and sugar began in January of 1940 and three months later, all meat, cheese, eggs, and milk was rationed. Tea and margarine were added in July of that year. Every household had a ration book. Fruit and vegetables were not rationed but having a garden “to grow your own” was encouraged. Government recipe leaflets would often have the phrase “if possible” beside their listed ingredient choices.

Mock meat recipes (and there are many recipes online if you are interested) for turkey, chicken, beef, sausage, and veal, often had a vegetable gravy on the side. In many homes, these were now a part of the Christmas meal, plus any vegetables that could be had and perhaps carrot cake for dessert. Interestingly, I found out that my favorite cake and muffin was created during World War II. This site gives lots of history on its origin.

Finally, for many families in Britain, Christmas 1940, was one of firsts. For some it was their first Christmas without their children because they had been sent abroad to live. For others it was the loss of family members who had died in the summer and fall bombings. London was not bombed that night. BBC’s Christmas sermon broadcast was from the ruins of Coventry Cathedral. Christmas Eve church bells were silent, as they were now only to be used as a warning signal of invasion. Christmas trees were decorated with paper chains, had no lights, and the presents under the tree were tied with string.

Rationing did not end immediately after the war, but eventually it was over. It is interesting how the hardships we are facing today and for the past couple of years seem daunting, but as England eventually recovered, so will we.

Announcing Frozen Foes & Dominoes: D.E.M.ON. Tales Book 6, by MJ Moores and Nanci Pattenden

About the Book:

Frost Bitten…

The wonder twins Dodge and Yoli are, unfortunately, the D.E.M.ON. agency’s only hope for discovering the source of a Yeti-iceman’s rampages at a ski resort north of the city. They can’t keep him in permanent puddle-stasis or something else just might blow up in their faces. With the best of the best grappling with portal rifts and a mounting death toll, the young partners need to set their differences aside to handle inter-species and inter-agency diplomacy… neither of which is all it’s cracked up to be. When cold clues heat up on this frigid mission, rules might not be the only things broken when Yoli falls prey to the iceman’s “pet.”

Can the “B” team discover the source of blizzard-man’s terror before Blue Mountain avalanches into a deep freeze?

Dive into the sixth installment of D.E.M.ON. Tales, where Men in Black meets Supernatural in a tongue-in-cheek blend of action and humour.

A bit about MJ and Nanci:

Nanci Pattenden and MJ Moores have been writing critique partner for almost ten years. The two women began writing very different genres: Nanci historical mystery and MJ sci-fi/fantasy. However, over the years they have rubbed off on each other. Nanci now dabbles in urban fantasy, and MJ has fallen for the Victorian era writing YA steampunk. They have now teamed up to write a tongue-in-cheek local urban fantasy novella series called D.E.M.ON. Tales. Nanci and MJ are active volunteers for the Writers’ Community of York Region and, when permitted out in public, enjoy attending book events to ply their wares.

Find Frozen Foes & Dominoes at Goodreads and Amazon

Find Nanci on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and at nancipattenden.com

Find MJ on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and at mjmoores.com

Find them both at hammeredwords.weebly.com

Announcing How I Invented the Internet by Marilyn Carr

About the Book

Despite growing up in Deep River, Ontario, the company town for Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories that only exists because of science, Marilyn Carr was firmly neither a science, technology, engineering, nor mathematics person. When How I Invented the Internet begins, she has just wrapped up a master’s degree in library science, which at least involved the word “science.” So how did she accidentally end up in a tech career? It’s complicated.

How I Invented the Internet is a coming-of-work-age memoir set in 1980s and ’90s Toronto. Along the way, our heroine muddles through a series of baffling jobs, patronizes questionable social venues, cobbles together a dating life with more downs than ups, and makes dubious housing choices. It’s a romp through the era of aspirational yuppies, outrageous shoulder pads, and the wonders of office automation. You will never look at your computer the same way again.

About Marilyn

Marilyn Carr’s resume is mostly distinguished by too many hours spent in frequent flyer lounges. She is astonished that, as a management consultant and software industry analyst, people actually believed what she said. She has authored hundreds of pieces of business writing, including eBooks for software giants like Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP, which have been downloaded many thousands of times, even though none of them is very funny. As a keynote speaker, she has entertained and enlightened audiences at international conferences on topics like how to avoid fatal accidents on the information highway and how to become a software billionaire (hint: start with at least two billion). Marilyn is a class of 2020 MFA graduate from the University of King’s College, her third master’s degree, but who’s counting? (She is.)  She blogs about the absurdness of everyday life at www.marilyncarr.com. Her first memoir, Nowhere Like this Place: Tales from a Nuclear Childhood was published in November 2020. It was a finalist for the Penguin Random House MFA prize and was on the longlist for the Leacock Medal. She is currently working on the third installment of her memoirs, If it’s Shreveport, It Must be Tuesday.

Find her on Facebook and Goodreads.

Find How I Invented the Internet on Amazon, Indigo and at Iguana Books.

Join Us for National Novel Writing Month!

National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow!

In this month-long goal to write 50,000 words, word-crafters across the world unite.

Here at the WCYR we like to celebrate with our own Mini-NaNo.

What’s that, you may ask?

Well, whether your plan is to write the full NaNo or just set your own personal goal for the month, the WCYR is here to support you. Every year, for the past seven years, the WCYR has held a Mini-NaNo, where you get to choose your own goal (anywhere from 1,000 words to 50,000+ words) for the month of November.

This is a member perk 🙂

On our writing support Facebook page, Word by Word, we work toward helping you achieve your personal writing goal by:

  • Holding a declaration draw, where you can state your writing goal for the month of November, along with your form/genre(s) of choice, and automatically get entered to win a $5 Amazon gift card to put toward an e-book, or a discounted print book from one of our published members.
  • Holding a survival draw, where you state how close you made it to your goal (same prizes as above) at the end of the month.
  • Having an opportunity to discuss plot bunnies or characters that don’t listen, or celebrate a great session of writing.
  • Sharing fun/funny/encouraging memes, and taking silly polls to bolster your spirit.
  • Checking in once a week with a general update on how it’s going.
  • Sharing favourite quotes from your work-in-progress (WIP) that can be turned into fun graphics.
  • Joining us at our weekly write-ins for face-to-face support and comradery. Online: Sunday mornings, and Monday and Thursday evenings; In-Person: Monday’s 10am – 12pm at Cardinal Press Espresso Bar on Main Street in Newmarket.

We are always looking to include more In-person Write-Ins during the month of November so if you want to offer a single day or a weekly opportunity because you know you’ll be at a local café or coffee shop please reach out to Nanci Pattenden (nanci@nancipattenden.com) and she will help spread the news on WCYR’s social media. It doesn’t matter if you live in/around Newmarket either 😉 Members of the WCYR live everywhere from Orangeville to King Township to Innisfil to Thornhill, Sutton, Uxbridge, and beyond. Members and non-members alike are encouraged to participate in our in-person write-ins.

We hope you’ll join us for some fun and personal accountability this NaNoWriMo season.

What’s Coming Up

Are you confused about when to show and when to tell? How much to say and what to describe to the nth degree of detail or pull back because you’re adding too much backstory or general information? Do you find yourself relying on the same sensory detail over and over again? If so, then this is the workshop for you. LEARN MORE.


There’s a whole new world of computer-generated art and text made possible by the latest advances in artificial intelligence. Want to cut through the hype and see what this means for your artistic practice? Interested in the possibilities of A.I. for illustrations and artistic experiments? Want to learn what NFTs and blockchain smart contracts can mean for novelists? LEARN MORE.

Announcing Dead Man’s Doll by Diane Bator

About the Book:

Christmas blooms in Sugarwood in the form of a brightly lit tree in town square, colourful ornaments, and a snowstorm. It’s just Audra Clemming’s luck that she literally stumbles over the local butcher in Miss Lavinia’s shop. Then a witch doctor arrives in town. Can Audra solve the mystery before the killer turns their sights on her? Dead Man’s Doll was released in October 2022.

About Diane:

Diane Bator is a mom of three, a book coach, and the author of over a dozen mystery novels and many works-in-progress. She has also hosted the “Escape With a Writer” blog to promote fellow authors, is a member of Sisters in Crime Toronto and a board member of Crime Writers of Canada. When she’s not writing and coaching authors, she works for a professional theatre.

Find Dead Man’s Doll at Books 2 Read

Find Diane on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and at dianebator.ca

Announcing The Shape of Stories: A Comprehensive Guide for Fiction Writers by Elise Abrams

About the Book:

In the magnum opus of her teaching career, seasoned English teacher, author, editor, and publisher Elise Abram curates a collection of lesson plans and techniques related to the craft of writing. Abram’s method uses mentor texts to demonstrate elements of the art of storytelling, including crafting believable characters, gripping plots, and finding your author’s voice. Each lesson includes a number of writing exercises, exemplars, and self-assessment checklists to help you assess your progress as you complete the assigned tasks, building upon previous lessons as you hone your writing chops.

  • Use mentor texts to read like a writer
  • Practice showing and not telling
  • Construct believable characters
  • Pen plots that keep the reader turning pages
  • Experiment with different points of view
  • Blog and journal about your experience
  • Self-edit your work

Learn about the elements of storytelling from past and present masters of fiction as you study their techniques and apply what you learn to your own writing. Discover your writing style as you complete the activities in this course as you learn how to shape stories worthy of publication.

About Elise:

Elise Abram is a retired high school teacher, former archaeologist, and current editor and author of books for all ages, from children’s picture books through young adult and adult audiences. Though she mainly writes urban fantasy, she has dabbled in many genres. This book represents her 25 years’ experience teaching high school English, particularly writer’s craft.

Find The Shape of Stories: A Comprehensive Guide for Fiction Writers at Teachers Pay Teachers and Amazon

Find Elise on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and eliseabram.com and emsapublishing.com

Getting Unstuck with Sue Reynolds – Open House!

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the first event of the season and our first in-person event in two years!

We were excited that September’s event featured the fantastic Sue Reynolds. Sue brought her experience and insight to the sunny Sunday afternoon. The pandemic affected many writers in different ways. Sue came to help us get unstuck.

When we are conscious of being stuck, it is easier to change. Procrastination, perfectionism and similar compulsions get in our way. There is pressure, stress, especially as your mind wanders to the commitments you’ve made, the to-do list waiting to be done. Many writers want to make sure the time we take for writing is “worthwhile.” It happens to everyone. We fall into the productivity myth. Though we have been led to believe the opposite, procrastination is not a character flaw. Be kind to yourself. Procrastination can come from what disempowers you. Sue gave us a few minutes to consider what disempowers us.

What made you want to be a writer? Sue wanted us to reflect and remember. She gave us a minute to jot into our notebooks/laptops, what that was. Sue also led us through a reflective writing exercise, where we make note for ourselves on what we’re thinking/writing about. Reflective writing can be a lot of “telling,” but can transition in and out of “show” as our own thoughts do.

The exercises and prompt writing that Sue led us through showed us many different ways to get unstuck. We were able to get our creative juices flowing, whether towards a work-in-progress or a new project.

You can find Sue at Inkslingers – Writing Workshops, Retreats, Mentoring

Upcoming Events

Non-Fiction Architecture: Structuring Books with Tim Falconer – October 16, 1:30pm to 4:00pm

Detailing Your MS (Manuscript not Mustang) with MJ Moores – November 20, 1:30pm to 4pm

Web 3 for Writers: Computer-aided Writing and Art with Maaja Wentz – December 1, 7pm to 9 pm (Members Only)