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Features Blog
May 2013- Archives

Be clever and make an insightful joke: An interview with Kate Beaton

Canada Writes is talking to some of Canada's best known cartoonists and graphic novelists on the different techniques, challenges, and advantages of working with both text and drawings.Author Kate Beaton talks about getting to know her subject, old fashioned humorists, and her advice for aspiring artists....

Announcing the winner of Hyperlocal

We asked you to tell us your stories of changing neighbourhoods, and you did. We received hundreds of wonderful stories from across the country which are all featured on our interactive story map. Then you voted for your favourite finalist stories from the Hyperlocal competition to help us crown Canada's Choice (congratulations again, Wayne!). Today, Canada Writes—along...

Hyperlocal: A winner, an NFB interactive, and the Canada Malting Silos

The NFB's Jennifer Moss talks about making the final interactive story for the winner of Hyperlocal....

Don't get married: An interview with Chester Brown

Canada Writes is talking to some of Canada's best known cartoonists and graphic novelists on the different techniques, challenges, and advantages of working with both text and drawings.Author Chester Brown talks about his creative process, and why he thinks Byron Katie and Colin Wilson are the two wisest people on the planet....

Caption This Comic: Carl the Illegal Gardener

Looking for inspiration for our comics writing challenge?  Today we received this piece from Stephanie McGrath of Halifax. Find out how to participate in the Caption This Comic Challenge! ...

PHOTO GALLERY: Michel Rabagliati's workshop

The author of the graphic novels The Song of Roland and Paul Joins the Scouts takes us on a tour of his work space and talks about the objects that inspire him. ...

Broken Social Scene Story Contest Finalists

A shout out to our writing community across the country:  check out the finalists for House of Anansi's Broken Social Scene Story Contest. See any familiar names?...

Caption This Comic: Mike Duffy takes a bath

Looking for inspiration for our comics writing challenge?  Yesterday we received this timely piece of social satire by Todd Devonshire of Saskatoon. Find out how to participate in the Caption This Comic Challenge! ...

Hyperlocal: Canada's Choice

Over the last week, you've been voting for your favourite finalist stories from our Hyperlocal competition to help us crown Canada's Choice. Thousands of votes and hundreds of comments later, you have made your choice. The winner is......

Announcing the winners of the Lawmakers/Lawbreakers Twitter Challenge

Last week we looked at characters in crime fiction and gave you the task of presenting us with original descriptions of compelling sleuths and villains. You did not disappoint. During our 12-hour challenge we received more than 1,400 entries....

Lawmakers/Lawbreakers All-Stars Part 4

We'll be announcing the winner of our Lawmakers/Lawbreakers writing challenge on Tuesday, May 21. In the meantime, we're rolling out the All-Stars as chosen by our intrepid readers at the Crime Writers of Canada (Cathy Ace, Peggy Blair, Sean Chercover, Elizabeth Duncan, Owen Laukkanen, Chevy Stevens)...

Lawmakers/Lawbreakers All-Stars Part 3

We'll be announcing the winner of our Lawmakers/Lawbreakers writing challenge on Tuesday, May 21. In the meantime, we're rolling out the All-Stars as chosen by our intrepid readers at the Crime Writers of Canada (Cathy Ace, Peggy Blair, Sean Chercover, Elizabeth Duncan, Owen Laukkanen, Chevy Stevens)...

Unhanged Arthur: The Raffle Baby by Ilonka Halsband

This week, we are publishing excerpts from the manuscripts up for this year’s Unhanged Arthur for Best Unpublished First Novel.  In this excerpt of The Raffle Baby, Ilonka Halsband introduces us to Emma Shaw and gives us a tantalizing glimpse into her troubled life. ...

Lawmakers/Lawbreakers All-Stars Part 2

We'll be announcing the winner of our Lawmakers/Lawbreakers writing challenge on Tuesday, May 21. In the meantime, we're rolling out the All-Stars as chosen by our intrepid readers at the Crime Writers of Canada (Cathy Ace, Peggy Blair, Sean Chercover, Elizabeth Duncan, Owen Laukkanen, Chevy Stevens)...

Lawmakers/Lawbreakers All-Stars Part 1

We received more than a thousand descriptions of sleuths and villains for the Canada Writes Lawmakers/Lawbreakers challenge. A  big thank you to the Crime Writers of Canada and their members Cathy Ace, Peggy Blair, Sean Chercover, Elizabeth Duncan, Owen Laukkanen and Chevy Stevens for reading all the Tweets that came in over the 12-hour period....

Unhanged Arthur: Sins Revisited by Coleen Steele

This week, we are publishing excerpts from the manuscripts up for this year’s Unhanged Arthur for Best Unpublished First Novel.  In this excerpt of Sins Revisited, Coleen Steele tells the story of an Emergency Task Force officer who finds himself in 1939. ...

Unhanged Arthur: A Cold Black Tide by William Hall

This week, we are publishing excerpts from the manuscripts up for this year’s Unhanged Arthur for Best Unpublished First Novel.  In this excerpt of A Cold Black Tide, William Hall takes us into the middle of a daring jewelry heist in 1940's London. ...

Lawmakers/Lawbreakers Twitter challenge is now closed

Thanks to everyone who participated! Stay tuned to Canada Writes for selections of the top tweets and, of course, to find out who is going to win the challenge....

The marrying kind

Louise Penny on how she came up with the much beloved Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, and where she gets her ideas for her villains and their crimes.(This interview has been transcribed and condensed from audio for publication)...

Gail Bowen's Top 8 sleuths and villains

We asked crime writer Gail Bowen to share with us some of her favourite sleuths and villains. Here are eight characters (and then some) from the world of crime fiction that keep her captivated.Favourite sleuthsNero Wolfe and Archie GoodwinHere is the opening paragraph of The Gifted, the 14th Joanne Kilbourn novel. I believe...

Lawmakers/Lawbreakers Twitter Challenge

And we’re off…You have until 9 p.m. ET (or 6 p.m. PT) to Tweet your character descriptions of credible sleuths and/or memorable villains. You must do it all by using #canadawrites.The success of crime fiction often hinge upon the creation of a remarkable sleuth or reprehensible villain. These complex characters...

Announcing the finalists for Hyperlocal: vote for your favourite!

We asked you to tell us your stories of changing neighbourhoods, and you did. We received hundreds of wonderful stories from across the country, and they're all on our interactive story map. Today, Canada Writes—along with our Hyperlocal collaborators, the National Film Board of Canada—bring you the finalists for the challenge. ...

Seven deadly writing tips

The Crime Writers of Canada slay us with ways to make your crime and mystery stories killer. 1. Three keys to a believable story"You want your readers to find your story believable within the terms of its world. That means:Matching plot and setting. The plot of my novel A Deadly Little List wouldn’t take...

Tips for creating lawmakers and lawbreakers

Crime writers Catherine Astolfo and Donna Carrick with tips on creating credible sleuths and memorable villains....

Happy Mother's Day from Canada Writes

In advance of this special day, we asked you to send us your #mommymemos....

Send us your #mommymemos

This Sunday is Mother’s Day—and in honour of mothers everywhere we want to hear from you about their ways with words. ...

Studying the skeleton

During the beginning of May, Canada Writes will be looking at compelling characters in crime fiction. We’ve recruited some of the Crime Writers of Canada to offer us insider advice on how to create memorable sleuths and villains.Mystery author Cathy Ace takes a page from Leonardo da Vinci and looks beneath the...

Networking, mentorships, and the psychology of villains

Canada Writes has once again partnered with the Crime Writers of Canada to present a series of mystery, murder and mayhem. As part of the series, we are presenting Q&As with the regional chapters of the CWC so aspiring crime writers across the country can get a glimpse into the activities and advantages of...

What makes characters tick?

During the beginning of May, Canada Writes will be looking at compelling characters in crime fiction. We’ve recruited some of the Crime Writers of Canada to offer us insider advice on how to create memorable sleuths and villains.Chevy Stevens writes about building a life for her good guys and bad guys. ...

Don't forget the parties

Canada Writes has once again partnered with the Crime Writers of Canada to present a series of mystery, murder and mayhem. As part of the series, we are presenting Q&As with the regional chapters of the CWC so aspiring crime writers across the country can get a glimpse into the activities and advantages of...

Three-dimensional criminals

During the beginning of May, Canada Writes will be looking at compelling characters in crime fiction. We’ve recruited some of the Crime Writers of Canada to offer us insider advice on how to create memorable sleuths and villains.Owen Laukkanen writes about crafting evil characters you want to hang around with...

Sympathy for the devil

During the beginning of May, Canada Writes will be looking at compelling characters in crime fiction. We’ve recruited some of the Crime Writers of Canada to offer us insider advice on how to create memorable sleuths and villains.Former criminal defence lawyer and novelist Peggy Blair on the need to have...

Virtual coffee clubs

Canada Writes has once again partnered with the Crime Writers of Canada to present a series of mystery, murder and mayhem. As part of the series, we are presenting Q&As with the regional chapters of the CWC so aspiring crime writers across the country can get a glimpse into the activities and advantages of...

Dueling protagonists

During the beginning of May, Canada Writes will be looking at compelling characters in crime fiction. We’ve recruited some of the Crime Writers of Canada to offer us insider advice on how to create memorable sleuths and villains.Former private investigator and crime novelist Sean Chercover lets us in on how your villain is...

Crime goes local

Canada Writes has once again partnered with the Crime Writers of Canada to present a series of mystery, murder and mayhem. As part of the series, we are presenting Q&As with the regional chapters of the CWC so aspiring crime writers across the country can get a glimpse into the activities and advantages of...

Montrose Apartments by Esi Edugyan

The Giller Prize winner on changes to the apartment building where she lived as a young bohemian in Victoria....

Writing crime in the Tor/SO

Canada Writes has once again partnered with the Crime Writers of Canada to present a series of mystery, murder and mayhem. As part of the series, we are presenting Q&As with the regional chapters of the CWC so aspiring crime writers across the country can get a glimpse into the activities and advantages of...

Killing with conviction

During the beginning of May, Canada Writes will be looking at compelling characters in crime fiction. We’ve recruited some of the Crime Writers of Canada to offer us insider advice on how to create memorable sleuths and villains.Elizabeth J. Duncan writes about her preference for villains who kill with conviction....

Characters in Crime

For the next two weeks, Canada Writes will be looking at compelling characters in crime fiction. The success of books in this genre often hinge upon the creation of a memorable sleuth or reprehensible villain. These complex characters are the heart of the story. We love them and we hate them....

The change and the stuff that should stay the same

Shawn Micallef on the loss of messy urbanism amid Toronto's looming skyscrapers.http://hyperlocal.cbc.ca/mediadetail/11109023-The%20change%20and%20the%20stuff%20that%20should%20stay%20the%20same?offset=2...

Poetry in motion

When Colleen Simard first set eyes on Winnipeg's Arlington Bridge as a child, she thought it was a mountain. ...

Since Cheryl came to town

Andreae Callanan speaks with her visually-impaired neighbour Anne Malone about how she experiences the neighbourhood with her guide dog Cheryl at her side. http://hyperlocal.cbc.ca/mediadetail/11097749-Since%20Cheryl%20came%20to%20town?offset=7...

CBC Live Chat: Hyperlocal

Watch the replay of our #hyperlocalCBC live chat below. Host Lauren O'Neil (from CBC News Community) spoke with several Canadians who participated in the Hyperlocal project and opened the floor to CBC viewers who had a story to tell about their own neighbourhoods....

Growing a garden

Mark Leger with a video on the the South End community garden that he helped start more than 10 years ago.  http://hyperlocal.cbc.ca/mediadetail/11120779-Growing%20a%20garden?offset=1...

Castle Downs wish list

If blogger Jason Lee Norman had his way, his Edmonton neighbourhood would be replete with smooth roads, trees and block parties. http://hyperlocal.cbc.ca/mediadetail/11108833-Castle%20Downs%20wish%20list?offset=4...

Garden Story

Willow Yamauchi on how the hippie inside of her can't help but dig the communal spirit of her neighbourhood's community garden.  http://hyperlocal.cbc.ca/mediadetail/11108911-Garden%20Story?offset=4...

Adventures in gastronomy

Trevor Pritchard on how access to good food and drink is possibly the best consequence of high-speed gentrification.http://hyperlocal.cbc.ca/mediadetail/11107509-Adventures%20in%20gastronomy?offset=5...

On becoming a destination

Zoey Duncan on how her neighbourhood of Sunalta has attracted the sorts of places worth inputting in your GPS.  http://hyperlocal.cbc.ca/mediadetail/11095853-On%20becoming%20a%20destination?offset=8...

Demolitions and disappointment

Paul Dechene bemoans the loss of history and architecture in the race for Regina to become more modern. http://hyperlocal.cbc.ca/mediadetail/11095643-Demolitions%20and%20disappointment?offset=9...