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The Fridge Whisperer Talks Virgins, Knives and the Art of Brunoise

One of the great things about having Chef Deb Rankine sit on the Ontario Writers’ Conference board of directors is that it never gets boring. If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading her daily blog on the Fridge Whisperer,you’re missing out. Here’s a blog post she wrote a few weeks ago while preparing to…

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The Ontario Writers’ Conference: Five Years and Counting…

Writers are some of the bravest people I know. I don’t personally know any soldiers – or policemen. I’ve known a few firefighters and they are brave, running into a burning building while everyone else is running out. But they don’t do what they do alone. Writers do. We face that blank page or computer…

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The Impact of the 2011 Ontario Writers’ Conference Lingers On…

Last year, the Ontario Writers’ Conference presented their Cornerstone Award to The Griffin Trust for excellence in poetry. Internationally acclaimed writer Carolyn Forché was on hand to accept the award and delighted conference participants with a reading.   Patrick Meade was in attendance and remembers it well: “It was quite inspiring to hear Carolyn Forche at…

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Turn One-Two-Three into Publish Me

“What did she say to you?” My friend, Kevin Craig, spotted me leaving a blue pencil session with literary agent Carolyn Forde at the 2010 Ontario Writers’ Conference. Not sure what clued him in. Could it have been the dazed grin on my face? My feet barely grazing the ground? I think he noticed hope blooming. Converting…

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No Ask, No Answer

If you met me while planning our fourth OWC in five years, you might wonder if I was always such an outgoing, promotional creature. It’s been a long journey from the university student who shook so badly that she couldn’t get through a presentation to where I am today. And, you know, that conference tagline—word…

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2011 Conference Reaction

An OWC committee member recalls a conversation with a 2011 conference delegate: “The young woman … was over the moon. When she was leaving at the end of the night, she said that she felts the day changed her life. She connected with people and will follow those connections to get more into the writing…

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“WRITING AND COMMUNITY” by Susan Lynn Reynolds

Many years ago, soon after the publication of my first novel, I ran into a serious writer’s block. This wasn’t a small barricade across the road with a few sketchy banditos standing there discouraging me with some rusty artillery. This was a solid concrete barricade that stretched from horizon to horizon barring my way. This…

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A letter from a 2010 OWC Participant

Dear Ontario Writers’ Conference organizers, This is my first adventure into the writer’s realm in the Durham region. As the day approached, I was becoming quite anxious since I had a Blue Pencil Session booked. I thought this session would answer the question that has been swimming in my head for way too long. Am…

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“CONFESSIONS OF A WRITERS’ CONFERENCE VIRGIN” by Deborah A. Rankine

You’d think being on a writers’ conference organizing committee two years running, I’d have an insider’s edge on how to prepare for a blue-pencil session or a myriad of networking opportunities with potential agents, editors and publishers. A head’s up, if you will, to polish my pitch so seamlessly that industry movers and shakers leapfrog…

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“WHITE HOT TRUTH” by Danielle LaPorte

You need to keep your art focused. You need to have a point to your story. If you’re going to get naked, it better be relevant to your mission. TRANSPARENCY AS A TEACHING TOOL 1. Be on the other side of the dark side. Which is to say, be on the light side, the logical,…

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Wayson Choy
“MENTORING WRITERS” by Wayson Choy

If you have been published before, it seems inevitable you will soon mentor someone else’s promising talent. Talent is always promising the world something. How can you resist? In the 1950s, before I was ever published (that’s not counting high school annuals), I found my most demanding mentors in my first writing classes at UBC….

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