2017 Creative Ink Festival


Friday March 31


1:00pm Grand Villa 2  – Ghost Stories: Writing spooky, creepy tales for the twenty-first century

Join horror writer KT Wagner for an interactive presentation on both the history of ghost stories and ways to apply unique twists to the subgenre for modern readers. Bring your writing materials. There will be exercises and handouts, as well as some suggestions for markets.


1:00pm Firenze  – How to Swim Through a Sea of Rejections

Danika Dinsmore (M), JM Landels, Theresa Bazelli, Frank Talaber, Tom D Wright

Rejections are tough. How do you keep going when they start piling up and you feel like quitting? How do you know when something shouldn't be sent out any more? Join authors, editors, slush readers and publishers as they discuss how to deal with those rejection letters.


1:00pm Venezia  – How to Get an Agent

Brenda Carre (M), Kristi Charish, Barb Ferrer, Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Where should you start looking? What should you look for? What should your expectations be? Do you even need an agent? ThereÕs lots to talk about, join our experts for a talk about agents.


1:00pm Lobby Board Room  – Blue Pencils: Rissa Johnson


2:00pm Grand Villa 2 – Drawing creative courage from our milestones with Donna Barker

Life's milestones can be powerful change agents: births, deaths, marriage, divorce, big birthdays... If you've been struggling to get your story out of your heart and onto paper, you'll learn how to embrace — or even create! — events to rev up your creative courage and get your book written. This is a highly interactive workshop so be prepared to share your ideas.


2:00pm Firenze – Designing Character Backgrounds

JP (Jo-Anne) McLean (M), Adam Dreece, Kristene Perron, Mel Anastasiou, Tom D Wright

You have an idea for a character, now you have to figure out how to flesh out the character. Come listen to our panelists discuss how to do this.


2:00pm Venezia  Humour-How Do We Do It?

Brenda Carre (M), Rissa Johnson, Randy McCharles, Holly Schofield, Frank Talabar, 

Whether itÕs short stories, novels, poems or comics, how do you effectively add humour to your work? Are you hilarious in real life but find it a challenge to translate that to the page? Join panelists as they discuss how to bring out the belly laughs with your work.


2:00pm Lobby Board Room – Blue Pencils: Ellen Michelle / Kristi Charish



3:00pm Grand Villa 2 – David vs Goliath: Writing the mismatched fight scene with JM Landels

Everyone loves an underdog, and having the little guy triumph in your story is gets your audience cheering along.  But how do you make the reader believe it when your 90 lb weakling takes down the musclebound bully, or your wee slip of a girl lays out an armoured knight, a gang of street thugs and a pack of wolves?  In this fun and interactive session, author and editor JM Landels brings her years of sword fighting and martial arts (mostly against larger opponents) to the writing table to demonstrate techniques that actually work, and discuss the realistic use of equalizers like swords, guns, horses and office furniture. 


3:00pm Firenze – Author etiquette in a world of social media

Theresa Bazelli (M), Samantha Beiko, Adam Dreece,  Michele Fogal, JP (Jo-Anne) McLean 

Does social media make you anxious? Not sure how much to share? Worried about ending up with your foot in the mouth or unintentionally alienating readers? Join this panel to learn how to engage with readers and peers online, the basic do's and do not's of social media engagement, and how to recover gracefully if you do mess up.


3:00pm Venezia  – You're Here! Make the Most of It

Barb Ferrer (M), Brenda Carre, Pat Flewwelling, Rissa Johnson

Are you ready to get the most out of your festival experience? Not sure how to do it? Overwhelmed? Join experienced convention and conference attendees for tips on how to best utilize your time, avoid burn out and to professionally take advantage of networking opportunities. (Tip #1: DonÕt miss the Meet and Greet!)


3:00pm Lobby Board Room – KaffeKlatch-Ken Scholes


4:00pm Grand Villa 2 – Character Development Bootcamp with Danika Dinsmore

Why do readers connect with some characters more than others? Probably because the author has blown some life into them, made them believable, added enough dashes of humanness (even if the character isn't human). Most of this class will be actual writing. You will work on developing your own specific character through a series of creative exercises and walk away with the knowledge of how to repeat this process for future character development. It doesn't matter whether you're in the story idea phase or on your third draft, you just need to be prepared to write!


4:00pm Firenze – Perspectives on Self Publishing and Hybrid Publishing

Neil Enock (M), Samantha Beiko, Adam Dreece, Brian Hades, Tod McCoy

As self publishing continues to grow, how can authors compete in a saturated marketplace and be heard among the "noise"? What does today's self published author need to know? What is Hybrid Publishing? What are the advantages to this route?


4:00pm Venezia  – Growing up a Reader

Mel Anastasiou (M), Barb Ferrer, Tyner Gillies, Barbara Gordon, Eileen Kernaghan

Join the panel for a discussion about what books and stories while growing up had the most influence. Did any of them shape who you are today? Which ones have stuck with you? Have you reread any of them? What books are timeless, that every generation should read?


4:00pm Lobby Board Room – Blue Pencils: Holly Schofield


5:00pm Grand Villa 2 – An Hour with Author Guest of Honour, Ken Scholes

Blurb coming soon!


5:00pm Firenze – Is the Okal Rel Saga OptimisticSF? With Lynda Williams and Ellen Michelle Koehler

Reality Skimming Press branded itself as OptimisticSF. But is the founding saga by owner Lynda Williams OptimisticSF? Given one-page summaries of the saga's darkest moments, Lynda will workshop the question with the audience. Reality Skimming Press will pay $30, each, for the best three blog articles submitted by attendees (individually or as a group) within two weeks of the event. Attendees may also be able to pick up a copy of a first edition saga book, free, while supplies last. 2nd editions will be on sale in the dealer's room.


5:00pm Venezia  – Writing Dark Stories

KT Wagner (M), Colleen Anderson, Pat Flewwelling, Tyner Gillies

At itÕs heart, horror is a feeling evoked in the reader.  From splatterpunk to psychological horror, how does the horror writer achieve this effect? What elements combine to create successful horror stories? In 2017 what are horror publishers and readers looking for?


5:00pm Lobby Board Room – Pitches - Sandra Kasturi / Chizine Publications


6:00pm Grand Villa 2 – Live Action Slush Early Edition (Friday)

Randy McCharles (M), Reader: Krista Wallace, Colleen Anderson, Brian Hades, JM Landels

Our panel of editors and publishers listen to anonymously read story openings and comment on why they would or would not wish to consider the complete work. Bring the 1st page of your manuscript to be anonymously read aloud and receive comments from our panel of authors and editors. This event is both fun and educational!


6:00pm Firenze – Where Should Art Boldly Go? with Tom Wright and Manny Frishberg

The onset of social media and the explosion of news websites has turned a spotlight on our art, creating tension between pulling back to be safe and avoid controversy, versus pushing our art to take on things that make our audience uncomfortable.  Where would we be if Star Trek in the 1960s had not dared to show that first inter-racial kiss on TV? Should we push back against social boundaries, and if so how and how much?


6:00pm Venezia  – Writing Workshops

Tod McCoy(M), Theresa Bazelli, Barb Ferrer, Barbara Gordon, Holly Schofield

Clarion, Odyssey, Viable Paradise, online workshops, how do you choose? There are so many workshops out there for writers, how do you know which one suits you the best? Come here from writers who have attended many different workshops to hear their reports to find the ones that appeal to you.


6:00pm Lobby Board Room – Blue Pencils: Frank Talaber / Danika Dinsmore


7:00pm Grand Villa 2 –WELCOME GOH KEYNOTES Eileen Kernaghan, Ken Scholes


8:00-9:00pm Grand Villa 2 – DEALER ROOM MEET AND GREET


8:00pm Firenze – Friday Night Readings




Saturday April 1


9:00am Grand Villa 2 – Q and A With Brenda Carre: Writing the story of your heart from beginning to end

Sometimes that story just means so much to you that you just can't finish. Sometimes it means so much that youÕre even afraid to start. Sometimes you're just plain blocked and can't write at all. Brenda Carre will share some attack skills to get from beginning to end of a magnum opus, a multi book series or the story that is trying to eat your mind. You will also have an opportunity to raise your own questions about moving your work in progress along.


9:00am Firenze – Creating Tension

Mel Anastasiou (M), Kristene Perron, Randy McCharles, Trevor Melanson

Top Agent Donald Maass says there should be tension on every page. How do we accomplish that? How do we get our readers hooked on the anticipation of what will happen next? How do we keep them invested in what happens to our characters? What happens in our world of the novel?


9:00am Venezia  – Crossing Genres

JM Landels (M), Kate Austin, Christel Bodenbender, Adam Dreece, Holly Schofield

What are the dangers and treasures of switching genres? What's the impact on reputation, on your audience, and yourself as a writer? Are there places you shouldn't go? Is it best to venture out, or to stay in one's hobbit hole?


9:00am Lobby Board Room – Pitches - Ellen Michelle / Reality Skimming Press


10:00am Grand Villa 2 – Getting Started with Scrivener with Katherine Prairie

For writers, Scrivener offers a different way of working, one that allows the freedom to focus on the story and keeps research and writing together. Join thriller writer Katherine Prairie for a practical look at Scrivener that highlights its best features and tools, as we step through a new writing project. Whether youÕre new to Scrivener or you already have a project on the go, youÕll come away with a better understanding of this remarkable writing tool.


10:00am Firenze – Book Publishing Express with S.M. Beiko

So you've written a novel--NOW WHAT? Learn about the ins-and-outs of the traditional book publishing industry with ChiZine Publications co-publisher S.M. Beiko. Make your book shine when it comes to submitting to publishers and agents. Don't know how to submit? Beiko will take you through developing a query letter and pitch, and discuss different approaches to breaking into the book publishing world. Tried it all and want to strike out on your own? Beiko will also go in depth about the road to self publishing, from manuscript evaluation, to finding an independent editor, hiring a book designer, a cover designer, all the way to print-packaging or the ebook-only market. Beiko is on hand to answer all of your burning questions about the 'next steps' for the story you have to tell, using her 7 years of trade industry experience, plus her knowledge as a professionally-published author. There's something for every writer looking to take the next steps in their careers!


10:00am Venezia  – Stress Management for Creative People

Ken Scholes (M), Devon Boorman, Frank Talaber, Tom Wright

The artistic lifestyle is not and has never been easy. Who has not been bedeviled by money, time and family issues? Not to mention the challenges of self-promotion and the pressure to perform. How do you get a handle on this? Come and find out!


10:00am Lobby Board Room – The Hour Stories with JM Landels, Sue Pieters and Mel Anastasiou

A writing circle can be one of the most positive and powerful sources of feedback and encouragement in the otherwise solitary occupation of writing.  Using the The Hour Stories created by Dale Adams Segal, you will generate approximately 1000 words of either a new story or a section of your work-in-progress.  The Hour Story cards are excellent tools to promote deeper insight, unstick a writing block, or take your story in a new and exciting direction.

length: 120 minutes


11:00am Grand Villa 2 – Unlock Your Writing Soul with Adam Dreece

NO MORE ONE DAY. Today, now. Adam Dreece was a "one day I'll write a book or get something published or..." and then Life kicked him hard. And when he got up, it did it again. He got the message. He unlocked his writing soul, and has become a prolific author and inspirational speaker. Come hear how the dyslexic, chronic pain 'enjoying', severe asthmatic, full-time father of three gets his words to the page, and how you can too.


11:00am Firenze – Adding Mystery to Your Fiction

Roxanne Barbour, Tyner Gillies, Manny Frishberg, Rhea Rose

Most stories have a mystery element to them. How do you choose appropriate mystery elements? How do you keep the mystery going without giving it away to the audience? Should you give enough clues for the reader to figure it out? Bring your mysterious questions to our panelists and they will answer, or not, itÕs unknown.


11:00am Venezia  – How Long is Your Chapter?

Christel Bodenbender (M), Randy McCharles, Frank Talaber, Tom Wright

It's not the size... No seriously, how long should a chapter be? Should it have titles? Where do you put them?


11:00am Lobby Board Room – Pitches - Samantha Beiko / Chizine Publications     


12:00pm Grand Villa 2 – Prepping for Self-Publication with J.P. (Jo-Anne) McLean

So youÕve decide to self-publish! Congratulations. This workshop will provide you with the basics you need to consider and prepare before you hit that ŌPublishĶ button. Jo-Anne will cover ISBN choices, distribution, and exclusivity. SheÕll talk about summaries, author bios, key words, and categories. YouÕll leave with a resource sheet and a better understanding of what to expect before, during and after you self-publish.


12:00pm Firenze – Writing Fight Scenes

TG Shepherd (M), Devon Boorman, Sandra Wickham, JM Landels, Tyner Gillies

Join panelists for tips on writing effective fight scenes. Learn what to include, what to avoid, how to make them fit your story and dispel some myths and fallacies about fighting. Maybe, if thereÕs a request, some of the panelists might demo a bit of fighting. Just saying.


12:00pm Venezia  – Writing the Future

Barb Ferrer (M), Rob Boffard, Michele Fogal, Sadiq Somjee, Tom Wright

How do you create a credible near future? What things are likely to change, what will stay the same? How do you incorporate changes in the environment, economy, politics and culture into a believable future? 


12:00pm Lobby Board Room – Blue Pencil: Ken Scholes


1:00pm Grand Villa 2 – Project Management Tools for Creative Inkers with Sadiq Somjee

This workshop style presentation will provide you with basic tools to complete your book or any other creative project. Sadiq will share key concepts from his many years of experience working as a professional project manager. He will provide tools, techniques and templates to decompose your work, develop a plan and help you follow through with the execution. You will leave with completed worksheets and a project management framework.


1:00pm Firenze – Real Life Superwomen

TG Shepherd, Sandra Wickham, JM Landels, Kristene Perron

What do you get when you put an MMA fighter, a pro fitness competitor, a mounted combat expert and a stuntwoman together on one panel? A rousing discussion about the realities of being a "strong woman" and how that compares with their portrayal in fiction. Join authors Lisa Gemino, Sandra Wickham, JM Landels, and Kristene Perron as they KAPOW the stereotypes and share the truth about the lives of superwomen.


1:00pm Venezia  – No Spoilers Allowed

Brenda Carre (M), Rob Boffard, Neil Enock, Randy McCharles

Sometimes, we donÕt want our readers to know who the bad guy is until near the end of the story. How do you effectively hide your villain? How can you do it with them in plain view, without the reader catching on, yet when they are revealed, it makes sense?


1:00pm Lobby Board Room – Kaffeeklatch-Eileen Kernaghan


2:00pm Grand Villa 2 – Writing for Comics with Bevan Thomas


2:00pm Firenze – Feeding Your Muse

Ken Scholes (M),Mel Anastasiou, Devon Boorman, ER Brown, Rhea Rose

The creative process can often be a tricky one, and it is easy to fall into ruts or hit a blank wall. Our panelists will discuss how to develop ideas, create compelling subject matter, and what do next when you find yourself stuck, not knowing what to do for your next piece of art, writing or other creative project.


2:00pm Venezia  – I Have Too Many Ideas!

Frank Talaber (M), Kate Austin, Adam Dreece, Trevor Melanson, Tom Wright

Often as writers, the problem is not finding an idea, itÕs having too many ideas and not knowing which one to follow through on. It can actually cause stress and block you from writing at all. How do you choose which idea to run with? How do you manage all the different ideas?


2:00pm Lobby Board Room – Blue Pencil: Samantha Beiko


3:00pm Grand Villa 2 – Reading and Q & A with Author Guest of Honour, Eileen Kernaghan

Come join our Author Guest of Honour, Eileen Kernaghan for a reading and Q & A session. You never know what you'll find out!


3:00pm Firenze – Beyond Social Media

 (M), Mel Dawn, Samantha Beiko, Danika Dinsmore, Neil Enock

Creative Book Promotion going beyond Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all of those social media resources. What can be done to promote yourself and your work in other areas of the internet or in person?


3:00pm Venezia  – Beta Readers: How to Find Them, How to Be a Good One

Donna Barker (M), Krista Wallace, Tod McCoy, Trevor Melanson, Andrea Westaway

Where and how do you find beta readers? How do you know if theyÕll be a good beta reader or not? How do you be a good beta reader to someone else?

*Stick around for the Meet and Greet to perhaps discover your new beta buddy!


3:00pm Lobby Board Room – Pitches- Brian Hades / EDGE Publications



4:00pm Grand Villa 2 –CLOSED


4:00pm Firenze – Romance Writers of America - Author Panel


Kate Austin, Roxanne Barbour, Michele Fogal, CJ Hunt

The romance genre is a billion dollar industry with more diversity than most people think. Hear from published authors (traditional, indie and self-published) who span the gamut of heat levels and cross an array of sub-genres and niches, to find out what writing romance might have to offer you.


4:00pm Venezia  – Easter Eggs

Adam Dreece (M), Rob Boffard, Frank Talaber, Andrea Westaway 

Wait, she didn't really put that in there, did she? What hidden secrets and nuggets are actually embedded in the stories? Is it a good idea? Or can it distract from the story and compromise your entire endeavour?


4:00pm Lobby Board Room – TBA


5:00pm Grand Villa 2 – Keynote at the Banquet: How EditorÕs Think with Brian Hades, JM Landels and Sandra Kasturi

What do editors appreciate in an author, both in their attention to craft and their professional interactions? For example, it is important for writers to understand the various services editors offer to writers such as developmental, substantive and copy editing. Come and listen to these experienced editors share their experiences and insight on how to find and develop an effective relationship with an editor.


6:00pm Grand Villa 2 –CLOSED


6:00pm Firenze – Storytelling on the Fly

Krista Wallace (M), Colleen Anderson, Brenda Carre, Kristene Perron

Writers know that nasty little editorial voice that wants to control every idea, every sentence, every word. Come and share some laughs with these writers as they send that nasty voice away kicking and screaming. With only a few prompts, they will create a story together, one sentence at a time. It WILL have a beginning, middle and an end. It WILL NOT make much sense. There WILL be mirth.


6:00pm Venezia  – Myth, Fable and Folktale Retellings, Twists, and Mash-ups

KT Wagner (M), Adam Dreece, Barbara Gordon, Eileen Kernaghan, Bevan Thomas

In what ways can and do we use traditional stories to explore modern environmental, social, technological and political issues?




7:00pm Grand Villa 2 – Blue Stories - How to get the Law Enforcement details right in your Fiction with Tyner Gillies

Have you had trouble getting the fine policing details right in your story? Tyner, an RCMP patrol sergeant with over thirteen years policing service is here to help you. In this class you'll learn some of the common mistakes writers make, and the policing details you need to give your story that realistic punch. We'll discuss equipment, arrest procedures, the concept of Reasonable Probable Grounds, and basic forensics. Bring your questions!


7:00pm Firenze – Creating believable characters

ER Brown (M), Kristi Charish, Pat Flewelling, Randy McCharles, TG Shepherd,

How do you convince your readers that your imaginary friends are real..at least in the story?


7:00pm Venezia  – Real world politics in fiction. Using words as weapons.

Theresa Bazelli (M), Donna Barker, KT Wagner, Lynda Williams, Tom Wright

From the avant-garde painting movement to punk music, art has always engaged in the political. Join us in a discussion on how writing can be a useful tool for examining real world issues, and for engaging in activism.


8:00-9:00pm Grand Villa 2 – Group Autograph Session


Sunday April 2


9:00am Grand Villa 2 – Awesomeness with Neil Enock (TBA)


9:00am Firenze – Plotting for Those Who DonÕt  with Manny Frishberg

ŌPantsers,Ķ writers who canÕt or wonÕt plan out their stories in advance, are a fundamentally different breed that the generally more numerous plotters. Knowing how they do it (the plotters, IÕm talking about – IÕm an inveterate pantser, myself) can be useful even if you donÕt ever actively practice it. At its heart is the Secret Structure of All Stories, revealed here for the first time on Canadian soil.


9:00am Venezia  – TBA


9:00am Lobby Board Room – Blue Pencil: Tom Wright


10:00am Grand Villa 2 – Creative book promotion strategies - what works, and what doesnÕt with Rob Boffard

Selling books can be tricky - especially when every other author is trying to do the same. What can you do to creatively promote your book, and set you apart from the crowd? From ridiculous publicity stunts to deep-dives into data to figure out what readers want, this talk will break down what makes a good promo strategy. Books donÕt become successes by themselves, and this talk will help you take the next step in your publishing career.


10:00am Firenze – Best Advice I Ever Received

Ken Scholes (M), Eileen Kernaghan, Adam Dreece, Barb Ferrer

Save time and effort by coming out to listen to professional authors and artists share the best advice they've received about writing and the publishing industry. Take away lessons that have been passed down to them, as well as ones from their own experiences.


10:00am Venezia  – How to Market Yourself

JP (Jo-Anne) McLean (M), Samantha Beiko, Devon Boorman, Neil Enock, Frank Talaber

Whether you're a writer or artist, indie or traditionally published, marketing yourself is vital to a successful career. What are the best tools out for getting your product out there? What should be avoided? What should your marketing budget look like? Are there any unique ideas left?


10:00am Lobby Board Room – Pitches - JM Landels/ Pulp Literature


11:00am Grand Villa 2 – Understanding Literary Publishing Deals and Legal Agreements with Jeff Young

This seminar will provide attendees with an opportunity to understand the legal and business ramifications of entering into Publishing Agreements, Literary Option Agreements and the like, as well as to ask legal questions that would otherwise only be available through private consultation.


11:00am Firenze – How to Create A Writing Routine (and stick with it)

Donna Barker (M), Samantha Beiko, Tyner Gillies, JP (Jo-Anne) McLean, Kristene Perron,

Do you find yourself procrastinating your writing? Having a hard time getting into a groove of writing consistently? What are the best ways to create a writing routine and to keep it going?


11:00am Venezia  – Research

Krista Wallace (M), Kristi Charish, Neil Enock, Barbara Gordon, Bevan Thomas

Research is not just for non-fiction writers. Every piece of fiction, no matter the genre, will contain details which, if not accurate, will throw a reader out of a story. But how do writers do research? When do they start? When do they stop? How do they wade through the quagmire of overwhelming information and choose just the right pieces to weave into their stories?


11:00am Lobby Board Room – Blue Pen: Katherine Prairie / Adam Dreece


12:00pm Grand Villa 2 – Finding and Refining Your Ideal Reader with Jill Flanagan

Knowing who your audience is the key to everything. It's the key to marketing and writing. Some writers will say, "But my novel appeals to everyone." Nope. Not true. If you try to appeal to everyone, you won't get rabid readers. You need to be loved by many, but also hated by some. You need to find your tribe of readers. Jill will take you through creating your Ideal Reader Avatar. It will be a two-step process. In this part, we will explore who your ideal reader is. You're all writers, so we're going to get creative and treat the Ideal Reader like a character we're creating. But, it'll be a new take on character creation. The second part will be refining your Ideal Reader so you get it just right. We will be using information and data from Amazon, Facebook, and maybe a couple more resources to refine your Ideal Reader.


12:00pm Firenze – Building and Nurturing a Writing Community

Ken Scholes (M), Barb Ferrer, Randy McCharles, Tod McCoy, KT Wagner

Writing may be a mostly solitary activity, but there are numerous benefits of community, both to your well-being and the quality of your writing. The panel will discuss the various ways writers form community, both in-person and on-line, from critique groups, to writing circles, retreats, and support and education organizations. If you can't find what you want and need in the way of a writing community, create one! We will discuss strategies for establishing and maintaining community as well as ideas for linking to related arts and literacy organizations.


12:00pm Venezia  – How to Kill Characters

Kristene Perron (M), Manny Frishberg, Lisa Gemino, Trevor Melanson, Tom Wright

Killing off characters may be a skill George RR Martin has perfected, but how do you do it effectively? Are there wrong times or reasons to kill off a character? What are the right reasons? How do you make it have an impact on the reader? How do you write an effective death scene? We donÕt have George, but we have a panel of pros to help answer all these questions!


12:00pm Lobby Board Room –Blue Pencil: Eileen Kernaghan


1:00pm Grand Villa 2 – Hands on Calligraphy with Barbara Gordon

Get back to the real basics of writing: calligraphy with a quill. Not just for Hogwarts students, hand-cut pens were used from antiquity to 1800s in the Western world. An introduction to the basics of cutting a feather into a pen and opportunity to try your hand with a quill, dip pen or fountain pen. Materials supplied.


1:00pm Firenze – Valuing Your Work

Brenda Carre (M), Samantha Beiko, Rob Boffard, Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Description: Are you a professional writer? Or do you aspire to be a professional writer? That means working for money, not just for fame and glory. Join a group of professional writers to learn more about turning your words into money. What kind of paying work is available to writers? How much can you or should you charge? And when is it okay not to charge for your work?


1:00pm Venezia  – Raise the Stakes

Kristene Perron (M), Mel Anastasiou, Danika Dinsmore, TG Shepherd, Tom Wright

Writers are always told to Ōraise the stakes!Ķ in their stories. How do you do that successfully, without it seeming contrived? What makes for high stakes that work for the character and for the reader?


1:00pm Lobby Board Room – Teenage Writers

Holly Schofield (M), Lisa Voisin, Lynda Williams, Rissa Johnson, Kristi Charish

-- a FREE open session for young authors just to come and ask questions.



2:00pm Grand Villa 2 – Thanks for Attending! Eileen Kernaghan, Ken Scholes


2:00pm Firenze – Build an Empire On the Fly

Brenda Carre (M), Roxanne Barbour, Rob Boffard, Bevan Thomas, Sadiq Somjee

Our panelists will create an empire from the ground up. They'll design everything they can think of: geography, races, culture, laws, history, etc, while our moderator will toss problems (like insurgent dissidents and earthquakes) their way. An artist will be on hand to sketch scenarios and to contribute to the discussion.


2:00pm Venezia  – Polar Borealis Magazine: A Market for Beginning Writers with R Graeme Cameron

Are you a beginning short story writer struggling to compete with professional authors? Consider Polar Borealis Magazine, a semi-professional paying-market SF&F fiction zine aimed at beginning writers, especially those seeking their first sale. Polar Borealis editor and publisher R. Graeme Cameron will explain what he is trying to accomplish and the sort of story he is looking for. He will also reveal how the worldÕs worst business plan makes it ridiculously easy to publish a magazine. If Graeme can do it, anybody can do it!


2:00pm Lobby Board Room – Pitches: Brian Hades – EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy



3:00pm Grand Villa 2 – Skeleton Keys with Michele Fogal
Sneaky craft tools that trick your brain into getting your story finished 
ItÕs inevitable that life will blindside your creative process, no matter how perfect it is. This workshop focuses on creating a custom set of master keys to fit any locked door you encounter. Find simple tasks that feel so easy, they might even be fun!


3:00pm Firenze – After the Critique

JP (Jo-Anne) McLean (M), Colleen Anderson, Katrina Archer, Holly Schofield, Lisa Voisin

YouÕve had your worked critiqued by a first reader, workshop or critique group, now what? How do you apply all the input youÕve been given? WhatÕs the next step?


3:00pm Venezia  – Readers Want to Know!

Brenda Carre(M), Lynda Williams, Tyner Gillies, Rhea Rose

You always hear the phrase "write what you know." Do you find yourself writing what you know and applying it to your stories and do you just make everything up.  For example how can you write what you know if writing futuristic settings, or paranormal fantasies? Is it just the character relationships that the phrase "write what you know" relates to?


3:00pm Lobby Board Room – Blue Pencils: JM Landels / Tod McCoy


4:00pm Grand Villa 2 – GET REAL: How Creative Nonfiction Technique can Help Your Fiction with Ace Baker

In this workshop, Ace Baker will present a plethora of creative nonfiction techniques for you to test out in your fiction. He'll show you work from the masters of nonfiction and give you techniques to try with your next short story or novel. Practical ideas with plenty of handouts!


4:00pm Firenze – Imposter Syndrome (and the benefits of being terrified)

Donna Barker (M), Devon Boorman, R. Graeme Cameron, Adam Dreece, Tom Wright

If youÕve ever felt like youÕre not good enough to create art, that youÕre just playing at being talented, then youÕve experienced Imposter Syndrome. Join panelists as they discuss why it happens, what you can do about it and how to make it work for you, not against you.


4:00pm Venezia  – Historical Fiction Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Eileen Kernaghan (M), Barbara Gordon, Barb Ferrer, Neil Enock

Would you like to write something in a medieval setting but arenÕt sure about the details? Are you interested in writing historical fiction but donÕt know exactly where to start? Or maybe youÕre on your way already with a historical fiction piece but want to make sure youÕre on the right track? Our historical fiction authors are here to help!


4:00pm Lobby Board Room – Blue Pencil: Tyner Gillies / Colleen Anderson


5:00pm Grand Villa 2 – Live Action Slush Procrastinators Edition (Sunday)

E R Brown(M), Reader: Krista Wallace, R. Graeme Cameron, Randy McCharles, Tod McCoy

Our panel of editors and publishers listen to anonymously read story openings and comment on why they would or would not wish to consider the complete work. Bring the 1st page of your manuscript to be anonymously read aloud and receive comments from our panel of authors and editors. This event is both fun and educational!


5:00pm Firenze – Plot Twists

Barb Ferrer (M), Mel Anastasiou, Rob Boffard, Trevor Melanson

We love to read them, we love to include them in our stories, but how to do them successfully?


5:00pm Venezia  – What's your POV?

Brenda Carre(M), Christel Bodenbender, Michele Fogal, Lynda Williams, Rhea Rose

What is Point Of View? How do you decide which POV to write in — what are the advantages/disadvantages of each. What are the rules? Can you switch POV? Common POV mistakes.