Sunday September 22, 2013 at Queen's Park Circle, 11am - 6pm
Come have a sample of informative lectures for aspiring and experienced writers, hosted by Toronto Humber School for Writers, whose alumni have gone on to publish over 950 books in the last twenty years.
Kim Moritsugu is the author of five novels, her most recent being the mystery novelette And Everything Nice. She also leads a walking tour for Heritage Toronto, teaches creative writing at The Humber School for Writers, and writes The Hungry Novelist food blog.
Antanas Sileika is the Director of the Humber School for Writers. He is a freelance writer and novelist. His most recent novel, Underground, was chosen as one of the Globe 100 and was optioned for a film.
Click on a segment below to learn more.
It was always hard to get published, and it’s getting harder still in the brave new world of bloggers, self-publishers, e-books, and dwindling sales. This session provides an expert to help pilot you through those perilous waters.
A former president and publisher of Penguin Books, Cynthia Good, Director, Creative Book Publishing Program, Humber has been in the publishing industry for over twenty-five years. Under her leadership the roster included such writers as John Ralston Saul, Michael Ignatieff, Michael Adams, Alice Munro, Mordecai Richler, Timothy Findley, Stuart McLean, Peter Robinson, Guy Gavriel Kay and many others. After twenty years with Penguin, Ms. Good resigned in 2000 and went on to create The Creative Book Publishing Program at Humber College.She lives in Toronto, Ontario.
What ideas, tricks, and strategies have editors grown tired of seeing? Do they hate being accosted in elevators and having a stranger turn to them with a book pitch? Does one more faulty comma on a manuscript drive them around the bend? Or does none of this matter? Find out what doesn’t work in your idea for a book or in a manuscript pitch, and by corollary, find out want does work from these two leading industry professionals.
Patrick Crean of Patrick Crean Editions has worked in publishing for more than four decades. As founding publisher of Thomas Allen Publishers, where he worked for a dozen years, he cemented his reputation as a discerning literary editor. Under Crean, Thomas Allen became the only wholly Canadian-owned company to publish two Scotiabank Giller Prize–winning novels Esi Edugyan’s Half-Blood Blues and Austin Clarke’s The Polished Hoe.
Craig Pyette is a senior editor in the Knopf Random Canada Publishing Group, where he has worked for the past decade. Books he has edited for Random House Canada have won the Writers' Trust of Canada Rogers Fiction Prize and have been nominated most notably for the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing, the Trillium Award, the Toronto Book Award, the National Business Book Award, the Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist, and, for three consecutive years, the Governor General's Literary Award for Nonfiction.
Is humour a viable genre of writing or are humorists always relegated, as Woody Allen says, to the children’s table? Do people laugh at you when you speak and then tell you that you should write a book? And is it even possible to talk about humour, let alone write about it when it all seems so intuitive? Come and find out from two masters of the genre.
Trevor Cole’s first novel, Norman Bray in the Performance of His Life was shortlisted for a Governor General's Literary award and the Commonwealth Writer's Prize for Best First Book (Can-Carib region) as well as longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. His second novel, The Fearsome Particles, won his second Governor General's award nomination and his second appearance on the long list for the IMPAC. Practical Jean was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and won the 2011 Leacock Medal for Humour.
Terry Fallis is the author of The Best Laid Plans, a satirical novel that won the Leacock Medal for Humour and is in development for a six-part television series. In 2011, The Best Laid Plans was crowned the winner of CBC Canada Reads as the “essential Canadian novel of the decade.” McClelland & Stewart published the sequel to The Best Laid Plans, called The High Road, in September 2010. It was a finalist for the 2011 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. McClelland & Stewart published Terry’s third novel, Up and Down, in September 2012, and it debuted on the Globe and Mail bestsellers list.
What’s fair in writing about family? Does fair even matter? Can you go after Dad for his shortcomings? And what if a fictionalized character arouses the anger of a person who claims the character is based on him? Today’s panelists have had to deal with intensely personal matters in their work. How much could they reveal? Is everything material for the writer?
Helen Humphreys is the author of four books of poetry, six novels, and two works of creative non-fiction. Her first novel, Leaving Earth (1997), won the City of Toronto Book Award and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her second novel won the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. Her most recent work of non-fiction is Nocturne, a memoir about the life and death of her brother, Martin.
Priscila Uppal’s memoir, Projection: Encounters with My Runaway Mother, has to do with her parents, in particular her mother, whom she did not see for many years. Uppal is a professor of Humanities and English at York University. She is the author of nine books of poetry, and two of fiction, among other literary and academic works.
In this session, a publisher and writing teacher will listen to one minute of your prose and let you know what they think of the writing and the story. Aspiring writers should bring one anonymous page of an adult novel, memoir, or short story to the session and drop it in a box. The aspiring writer should also, in one sentence at the top of the page, describe what the submission is from. Pages will be chosen by lottery (no guarantees that yours will be picked) and read aloud by host and author, Antanas Sileika. Jack David, Kim Moritsugu, and Janice Zawerbny will each react to the opening lines. This is a rough and ready exercise, not for the faint of heart! Put your email address at the top of the page, and a Humber writing teacher will email you a comment about the piece whether or not your piece is chosen.
Jack David, Publisher, of ECW Press, has spent decades in the literary trenches, publishing academic articles about Canadian writing and then opening up his press, ECW, to publish books ranging from wrestling guides to novels. He is a great friend of students and has always been willing to consider any literary project.
Kim Moritsugu is the author of five novels: the romantic comedy Looks Perfect (shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award), the domestic comedy Old Flames, the literary mystery The Glenwood Treasure (shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Best Crime Novel Award), and the domestic novel The Restoration of Emily (published in May, 2006). Her most recent novel is And Everything Nice. She also has a blog called The Hungry Novelist.
Janice Zawerbny is currently Senior Editor for Canadian Fiction at the House of Anansi. Shehas worked as an editor inthe Canadian publishing industry for more than twenty years. She was, most recently, Editorial Director at Thomas Allen Publishers. Some of her recent authors include Tamas Dobozy (Winner of the Writers’ Trust Award for Fiction), RussellWangersky (Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist), Ray Robertson (Trillium Book Award finalist) and Ken Coates (Winner of the Donner Prize).
No one can tell you exactly how to write a bestseller, but some writers do manage to do it. What’s it like to break out with a book after a long toil in the trenches of writing? Cathy Marie Buchanan has been on the bestsellers list for weeks with her second novel, Painted Girls, a historical novel set in the time of Degas. Her first novel made the New York Times bestsellers list as well. How did she do it? Learn from the writer herself.
Cathy Marie Buchanan is the author of The Painted Girls and The Day the Falls Stood Still. The Painted Girls has garnered rave reviews and has been showered with special attention—becoming everything from a People Magazine pick to a book “People Are Talking About” by Vogue to an inclusion in Entertainment Weekly’s Must List. The Painted Girls debuted on the New York Times bestsellers list and is a #1 national bestseller in Canada. The Day the Falls Stood Still, her debut novel, is a New York Times bestseller.
Will the world beat a path to your door if you have written a poem, story, novel, or non-fiction book? Absolutely not! You must make yourself known in this media-heavy world. It’s simply not enough to exist on paper (or online) alone. The two speakers below will help you take your work out into the public. Before it can be critiqued, it has to be noticed!
Elizabeth Ruth is the author of the acclaimed novels, Matadora, Smoke, and Ten Good Seconds of Silence. Recently, Elizabeth delivered professional development workshops across the country teaching writers 'How To Be Your Own Publicist.' Elizabeth teaches at U of T and mentors within the Humber School for Writers.
Monica Pacheco is a literary agent with Anne McDermid & Associates Ltd. Her clients include actress/writer/director Sarah Polley (Didi and the Bean, forthcoming from HarperCollins Canada); Yves Meynard (Chrysanthe trilogy, Tor 2012); Madeline Ashby (vN: The First Machine Dynasty, Angry Robot 2012, sequel iD: The Second Machine Dynasty, June 2013); Bram Stoker Award-winning author David Nickle and Journey Prize nominee Irina Kovalyova.