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August 2011- Archives

Autobiography Challenge: Lorna Crozier, death merchants and more!

What mode of public transit is poet Lorna Crozier's life sorely lacking? What CBC Bookie Award winner has a popcorn addiction? Read all the sordid details in the latest slew of writerly celeb entries to the Canada Writes Autobiography Challenge. (Oh, and don't worry - they're not eligible to win...

Mark Kingwell: "Good editors save you from yourself"

In today's installment of our "Writers/Editors" series: writer and philosopher Mark Kingwell on the editors who've set him up, paid him well, paid him terribly, and gifted him with better writing....

More from: Writers on Editors

Autobiography Challenge: Meet your judge!

Kirstie McLellan Day knows a thing or two about writing autobiographies. She's penned bestselling memoirs with a slew of famous Canadians, including hockey greats Bob Probert and Theo Fleury - and has a new memoir with Ron MacLean coming out this October called Cornered. In a few weeks, Kirstie will...

Feist's writing tip: write for yourself

Her upcoming album, Metals, is already drawing comparisons to Carole King and Leonard Cohen.  Who better, then, than singer-songwriter Leslie Feist to give us some words of writing wisdom? ...

More from: Writing Tips

From Di Brandt:

Rhythm and light  The most important things in poetry are rhythm and light. Read your poems-in-progress aloud to yourself. Pace them out. Breathe them. If there's a snag in the rhythm, the energy flow, then you know you're not there yet. You may need another two or ten or thirty...

More from: Writing Tips

Ken Sparling: The "X" Factor, part 2

About the Writers/Editors series: Our new 16-part series, "Writers/Editors," looks into the symbiotic relationship between writers and their editors. Twice a week for the next two months, we'll be running essays by editors and writers on the highs - and, sometimes, the lows - of this unique coexistence. In today's...

More from: Writers on Editors

Autobiography Challenge: Sean Cullen, Shakespeare, jellyfish and more

We asked Ian Ferguson, Trevor Cole, Katie Malloch and Sean Cullen to try their hands at the Canada Writes Autobiography Challenge. It warms our cockles to see that the old adage still holds true - Canadians truly do not take themselves too seriously. (Oh, and don't worry - they're not eligible...

Jonathan Goldstein on the brutal editing that made him a writer

The host of CBC Radio's WireTap and the author of I'll Seize the Day Tomorrow pays tribute to the editor who saw promise in him when the esteemed publication "Dorkenspiel" didn't....

More from: Writers on Editors

From Lee Maracle:

Subway Stories I am never not making up stories: I watch people on the transit, look at the lines of their faces, see how they sit, check out what they wear, what they are carrying, how they decline to engage others, or how they interact and begin to imagine what...

More from: Writing Tips

Canadian writers: this one's for you

See the blank squares in the collage up there? One of them is for you. As the editor of Canada Writes, I'm thrilled to roll out the welcome mat to writers across the country. Welcome home....

Autobiopraphy Challenge: Your turn to vote!

Would your autobiography be a heartbreaking work of staggering genius? Would it be about roughing it in the bush, or travels by night? Would it maintain a sense of the ridiculous? Take the challenge for your chance to win an iPad 2!...

Stuart McLean: A question of belief

Best-selling author, award-winning journalist and humorist, and host of CBC Radio program The Vinyl Cafe, on the hardest part of writing. ...

More from: Writing Tips

From David Hayes:

Writing pictures: how to craft a scene Whether you're writing fiction or nonfiction, scenes are the backbone of narrative. They are where you provide action and dialogue to show rather than tell your story. One tip I tell students is to think cinematically. Ask yourself, how would a director handle...

More from: Writing Tips

From Molly Peacock:

Find Just Twenty Minutes!One thing I hear from writers is that they don't have time to write.  But I give an assignment when I teach a "sonnet studio" workshop where I ask the writers to write a fourteen-line poem.  I give them twenty minutes.  Just about everyone finishes.  What if...

More from: Writing Tips