Our busiest workshop schedule ever continues with workshops we can officially call “spring.” Those highlighted below are still open for registration. Click a workshop title or instructor photo for more details—or to register online.
All spring workshops will be held via Zoom. You do not need a Zoom account to attend. If you are unfamiliar with Zoom and would like a preliminary introduction, here’s an overview of the platform.
4-week workshop: Mondays, Mar 29, Apr 5, Apr 12, Apr 19 (7:00pm to 9:00pm)
Learn how to craft page-turning mysteries and thrillers for the young adult audience using techniques like plotting backwards, building suspense, giving your characters agency, motives and motivation, utilizing red herrings, plot twists, clues and reveals for maximum impact, and incorporating an emotional or coming-of-age change in your main character's arc.
Free workshop open to Indigenous participants.
4-week workshop: Tuesdays, Apr 6, Apr 13, Apr 20, Apr 27 (6:30pm to 8:30pm)
In a time when so many of us are working to reclaim our Indigenous methodologies, shalan joudry feels that it’s imperative that we practice oral storytelling and deep listening to oral story. Through this 4-week workshop series, she will work with Indigenous writers, storytellers, poets and other narrative crafters to share about her experiences, tips, tools, and philosophy about storytelling. Shalan will share her background in this art form, why and how she turned to oral storytelling, but also discuss the importance and role of written work. Weaving between conversation and times for activities/exercises, participants are also encouraged to bring paper and a pencil to the sessions.
4-week workshop: Tuesdays, Apr 6, Apr 13, Apr 20, Apr 27 (7:00pm to 9:00pm)
Ever tried writing with handcuffs on? After spinning in a circle twenty times? No?! Well, get on over here and take a tour of writerly self-torture devices—figuratively speaking (mostly)—from the formal (rhyme & pattern) to the conceptual (restriction & found text) to those in the weird between (misheard lyrics & algorithmic poetry). This workshop combines easy-to-understand poetic theory, extremely difficult writing exercises, and reflections on the pain of writing (artistic ethics, writing beyond the ego, etc.). You’ll leave with new tools & techniques for creativity, with tactics for combatting writer’s block, and with a new appreciation for the phrase “can’t punch your way out of a paper bag.” New and experienced poets welcome.
4-week workshop: Thursdays, Apr 15, Apr 22, Apr 29, May 6 (6:00pm to 8:00pm)
In this four-week memoir-writing workshop, you’ll take a singular, transformative moment from your life and unpack it using the literary tools of creative nonfiction to discover the deeper meaning and creative possibilities to be found in reflecting upon one’s life events. This workshop is suitable for writers of all levels and experience.
5-week workshop: Mondays, Apr 26, May 3, May 10, May 17, May 31 (7:00pm to 9:00pm)
In this five-week workshop, we’ll explore the romance genre and the tools required to finish a viable story. There will be an introduction to basic writing tools and techniques you’ll need to get started, as well as an overview on the three-act structure. A bibliography of the resources used by the instructor will be included.
Free workshop open to Newcomers to Canada.
6-week workshop: Tuesdays, May 4, May 11, May 18, May 25, June 1, June 8 (7:00pm to 9:00pm)
Join us for a free creative writing workshop for newcomers to Canada: explore different kinds of creative writing and try out new forms of expression. Creative writing not only builds English writing skills, it also provides a fun and stress-free opportunity to deepen understanding of both self and language. This course offers 6 self-contained mini-workshops on creative forms, including writing exercises and a chance to share and collaborate with other learners. Attending all workshop dates is not required, but participants who attend at least 4 of the 6 lessons will get the most out of the experience. Participants will be sent a schedule of the topics in advance.
4-week workshop: Thursdays, May 6, May 13, May 20, May 27 (7:00pm to 9:00pm)
Does poetry help us discover the world or discover ourselves? What does/can poetry do? In a time when so many of us are feeling trapped, insular, and perhaps withdrawn from the world, it’s important to practice poetry to inspire new ways of being, recalibrate and encourage poetic possibilities. Open to emerging and established poets, this workshop will explore experiences, tips, tools and philosophy about poetry through the work of Billy-Ray Belcourt, Lee Maracle, Liz Howard, Kaie Kellough, Dionne Brand, Ben Lerner, Susan Musgrave, and others who delve in the poetic.
Free workshop open to Two-Spirit, LGBTQIA+, non-binary, and other rainbow writers.
3-week workshop: Mondays, May 10, May 17, May 31 (7:00pm to 9:00pm)
This workshop will focus on developing a specific and intentional writing practice. We'll address writer's block, building good writing habits, figuring out what works for you, finding your voice, and other topics. Writing exercises will be included, so come prepared to write! The exercises will focus primarily on poetry and flash fiction but will be useful for writers in any genre. Although geared toward newer writers, this workshop is open to writers at any career stage who are just beginning to develop an intentional writing practice.