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Story Starters Contest in the News!

Did you spy the OWC in last week’s This Week? Entering your piece? Eager to browse inspired submissions? Visit our January contest page for rules, art, and a good read!

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Deborah Kimmett
The OWC is proud to announce our Closing Speaker!

The Ontario Writers’ Conference is delighted to announce that the very talented Deborah Kimmett will be 2013’s closing speaker! Deborah Kimmett is packing 30 years of writing in her Spanks. Kimmett performs regularly on CBC Radio, on The Debaters, LOL and DNTO. And as well as Winnipeg Comedy Festival. She has written for TV, radio…

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QUERY LETTERS: A Conversation with Literary Agent Drea Cohane of the Rights Factory

Barbara Hunt: I recently heard you say that you spend vast amounts of time sifting through the query letters you receive and it’s a disappointment to realize that most writers are leery of drafting said query – and it shows! That said, how important is the query letter in the process of securing an agent or…

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Story Starters Contest (JANUARY SUBMISSIONS CLOSED)

Story Starters Contest  (JANUARY SUBMISSIONS CLOSED) In its 5th year, the Ontario Writer’s Conference continues to celebrate all art forms. This year we are very excited to include visual arts into the conference with our very first Story Starters contest. On January 1st, February 1st and March 1st, our website will feature an extraordinary work by…

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The 2013 Ontario Writers’ Conference: working vacation? Why not!

As the OWC’s gatekeeper of venue and accommodations, I pride myself in vetting pricing that keeps our conference costs low, the savings passed on to delegates in their conference package pricing. Such was the case this past week when we pitted five area hotel/motel chains against one another to get our out-of-town conference attendees the most bang…

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5 Reasons to Support the Ontario Writers' Conference
5 Reasons to Support the Ontario Writers’ Conference

One You’ll achieve that warm, fuzzy, feel-good sensation you get when you support a volunteer-based, not-for-profit venture. Two You’ll get to enjoy the sound of praise (about yourself or your organization) in a three-minute tribute at an all-participant gathering during the conference (at the Platinum Sponsorship level) or be dazzled by the sight of your…

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An Evening with Douglas Gibson

The Ontario Writers’ Conference presents ongoing writing opportunities and public readings throughout the year in support of writers, readers and the annual Ontario Writers’ Conference itself.   OWC Presents… An Evening with Douglas Gibson This November, Douglas Gibson returns to Durham Region in a one-man show, bringing his collection Stories About Storytellers to life. Prepare…

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OWC 2011: Andrew Pyper Explains How to Avoid the “Six Demons” from Possessing Your Soul

Looking back at OWC’s fabulous lunch speaker from last year, author Andrew Pyper.  

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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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