Sunday, March 30, 2008

Leacock Memorial Medal Winner Will Ferguson to Read at Toronto Reference Library April 10

Past workshop participant Vivian Carter passes on the news that her brother, Canadian author and memoirist Will Ferguson, will do a reading from his novel Spanish Fly at the Toronto Reference Library, Beeton Auditorium, April 10, 7 p.m.

Spanish Fly was recently nominated for the 2008 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour. Will Ferguson has won the Stephen Leacock medal twice before, for Happiness and Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw: Travels in Search of Canada. Will's memoirs include I Was a Teenage Katima-Victim: A Canadian Odyssey, and Hitching Rides with Buddha: A Journey Across Japan.

Drop in to his site:

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Gail Rudyk's Self-Published Memoir: "The Perils of Miss Pepper"

Click on image to enlarge.

Here's the whimsical cover of workshop participant Gail Rudyk's self-published memoir, "The Perils of Miss Pepper." The cover and inside illustrations are by Pat Wheeler. An interview with Gail on her self-publishing experience is part of the online introductory course. Gail, who is also an artist, is now at work on a second volume of her memoirs.

Guildford Book Festival Award-Winning Story by Chris Hazelgrove

Former online workshop participant Chris Hazelgrove, of England, won the 2007 Guildford Book Festival Short Story Competition for "End of Summer," which was fiction based on memoir. Congratulations, Chris! Chris had previously made the top ten in the 2006 Writers' Circle of Durham Region 24-Hour Writing Contest. To read "End of Summer" online, click under "Links" in the sidebar.

A note from Chris:

Yes -- 'tis part of the Guildford Book Festival, various components of which are sponsored by BBC (Southern Radio) or other august bodies. The writing 'stars' of their firmament are considerable, so I feel particularly buoyant about this. And haven't they presented the story beautifully, with that picture of a lone child on the beach?

It HAS taken me about five years so far learning the craft of writing through courses, books and application, but once the nuts and bolts are learned I found I became far more fluent and found it more gratifying. My debt to you is enormous; thank you SO much for the encouragement you gave me.

There are loads of contests about, but I suspect many organisations are just in it for the entry fee and then choose a friend as winner -- in fact met someone who runs just such a website! DO encourage your wonderful group to go for the Big Ones! What is there to lose -- and you might just be what they are looking for.


Flyer for Spring Memoir Writing Series at Angus Glen Library

Click on image to enlarge.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Kory Shillam Publishes "Under the Lilacs"

Two-time former online course participant Kory Shillam, 90, has self-published a children's novel based on some of her memoirs (see cover above).

Says Kory: "Under the Lilacs began as a story for young people, but by the time it was finished I discovered that people of all ages enjoyed its humour and pathos. The book, which was originally written as two novellas, is presented in two parts beginning in 1929 and ending in 1932.

The story is about Milly and her little brother, Freddie, who live with their mother in Kitsilano, a portion of Vancouver. Milly is desperate to find her father whom she has never seen. Her life becomes even more complicated when the man in the felt hat moves into the house next door. The two story parts take Milly from age thirteen to sixteen."

My recent interview with Kory on her self-publishing experience is part of my advanced online workshop.

To purchase a copy of Under the Lilacs ($21.95) from the author, please contact her at the following email address:

Stories by Tilya Gallay Helfield and Jane Boruszewski Published Online

Poignant wartime stories by workshop participants Tilya Gallay Helfield, and Jane Boruszewski of New York, have been published on the website for Kristen den Hartog and Tracy Kasaboski's memoir The Occupied Garden. See under Links.

DRW Workshop Participant Ruth Zaryski Jackson to be Published in Anthology

Congratulations to workshop participant Ruth Zaryski Jackson, whose short memoir about Sadie, the grandmother figure in her life, has been accepted for inclusion in the Grandmothers anthology being published by Hidden Brook Press, and who recently shared with me that her evocative photo (above) will grace the book's cover.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

"Why I Write Memoir," by Allyson Latta (Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre newsletter)

Check out the February 2008 issue of the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre newsletter for my short essay on writing memoir:

or click under Links in the sidebar.