Teaching

2017 Winter – Turning your Life into Story… and into publication

Facilitated by Sue Reynolds

Place: OSHAWA – Trent University in Oshawa, Room 105, 55 Thornton Rd S, Oshawa, ON L1J 5Y1
Times: 7:00 – 9:00 pm.
Dates: Monday nights, January 30 – March 27 (please note – there is no class on Feb. 20)

This 8 week course shows participants how to find the germs of story in personal experience (their own or those of their family and friends) and transform them into short fiction.
Through the study of existing short stories and learning writer’s craft techniques, authors will experiment with their own tales.

Homework can be submitted privately for individual feedback each week.
By the end of the course writers will produce one or two polished stories and, if they choose, “put a stamp on it” – i.e., identify a contest or journal they think is an ideal market for their story and send the piece off.

Susan Lynn Reynolds is a writer, teacher and psychotherapist. She teaches writing through workshops in the community, in college continuing education programs, and in social services settings. She writes and has won awards for her YA novel, short stories, poems and non-fiction.
She has been leading writing groups since 1998 and has been certified to lead workshops in the Amherst Writers method since 2002. She is licensed to work with groups doing expressive writing for wellness as well.

She has been leading writing workshops for female inmates at Central East Correctional Centre for 12 years, a program for which she received the June Callwood Award for Outstanding Volunteerism.

To REGISTER

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Registration for Non Members




$220.00 + HST

Registration for Writers’ Community Members




$198.00 +HST

 

Write Around the World – with AWA and me

writing picture 02 sml

Come Experience the AWA Method in Action

Sunday morning,
October 23rd,
10:00 to 1:00
at Trent University in Oshawa,
55 Thornton Road South, Room 116, Oshawa, ON L1J 5Y1

This Sunday participate in “Write Around the World” – a weekend writing event held in support of Amherst Writers & Artists, the organization that trained me to be a writing workshop facilitator back in 2002 and that has trained over 1400 facilitators worldwide. (For more information on the kinds of work AWA facilitators are doing, please click here.)

I will be leading a writing workshop conducted in the AWA method at Trent University in Oshawa on Sunday morning from 10:00 to 1:00. We’ll produce several pieces that morning and participants can choose one to enter with AWA where it will be published on their website. The piece can be one page of poetry or one page of double spaced prose.

There is no fixed cost to this event, but I ask that you either get sponsorship or sponsor yourself. (No donation is too small!) All proceeds will be donated to AWA and you will receive a tax receipt.
 

“Whether your purpose for writing is artistic expression, communication with friends and family, the healing of the inner life, or achieving public recognition for your art —the foundation is the same: the claiming of yourself as an artist/writer and the strengthening of your writing voice through practice, study, and helpful response from other writers.” ~Pat Schneider, founder of AWA, in Writing Alone and With Others

 

Please use this registration form to let me know you are coming.

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You can use this button to donate, or you can bring cash or a cheque the day of the workshop:

 

This button will open a portal with a donation of 1.00 and a quantity of 1. Change the quantity to the number of dollars you would like to donate, hit “Tab” or “Enter” so the dollar figure adjusts to the new quantity, and then click the yellow and blue Paypal button to go to the Paypal Portal and complete your payment.

Thank you so much!

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Pen In Hand, Ink On Page – Friday Morning Edition Winter 2015

Whether you have an ongoing project (like a novel, group of short stories, or book of memoirs) or just need some stimulation to get you writing, this faciliated writing space is designed to create time to devote to your work.

Each week this group will focus on some aspect of the writing craft, as well as writing in class to prompts designed to support you in your writing process. Leave each class with new pieces of writing begun to inspire you through the coming week and new understanding of techniques designed to improve your skills as a memoirist, non-fiction or fiction writer.

Each week there is also OPTIONAL homework, where you will get one on one feedback on your work.

6 Weeks – January 9, 16, 23, 30, (NO CLASS February 6th) February 13 and 20

Time: 9:30 a.m. to noon

Because it’s winter, if we have to cancel because of bad weather, we will replace cancelled dates at the end of the series, so please also keep February 27 and March 6th available as replacement dates if necessary.

$180 plus HST
(50% deposit required upon registration)

Location: Uplands Writing Retreat, halfway between Port Perry and Uxbridge.

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Please register me for Pen in Hand Winter 2015

January 9, 16, 23, 30, (NO CLASS February 6th) February 13 and 20

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Radical Restoration for your Artistic Body and Soul

First published in “SURFACING” – the Arts magazine for Durham Region

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABy Susan Lynn Reynolds

When I was first hired to be the writing teacher for a combined yoga and writing retreat three years ago, (and every year since) it seemed like a dream come true. Go south for two weeks in the middle of winter to spend my time doing yoga, enjoying the southwestern coastal area of Costa Rica, and facilitating a writing group every day? Where do I sign up!

It proved to be far better even than I’d imagined. First of all, it turned out that the yoga teacher, Esana Lotfy, teaches yoga the same way I facilitate writing groups. For both of us, effective practice for all participants starts with loving kindness and compassion. It’s crucial that participants not “should” themselves in their process, whether it be beating up on themselves because they think they “should” be more flexible, or whether they think they “should” write differently, more grammatically or somehow just “better” than they do.

“Shoulding” all over oneself is the first step toward injury in yoga, or toward a really bad case of writer’s block. Continue reading

Intimacy and Solitude – Writing to Transform

with Sue Reynolds

intimacy and solitude picture sml

Our language has wisely sensed the two sides of being alone. It has created the word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone.
— Paul Tillich

Few things in life give us greater heights of joy or depths of frustration, sorrow and anger than do our adult relationships; but satisfying connection is the single most important predictor of health for us as human beings.

This six week course will use focused explorations and writing as a way to explore participants’ relationship to the dual concepts of intimacy and solitude.

writing picture 02 sml

Participants do not have to have previous experience with writing – just a strong desire to engage with the powerful questions that can transform their understandings and experience of both Self and Other.

Facilitated by Sue Reynolds
_____________________________________

 
Susan Lynn Reynolds is a writer, a writing instructor, and a practicing psychotherapist. Her specialty is the therapeutic use of journaling and expressive writing.

6 Weeks – Wednesday October 9th to November 20th, 7pm to 9:30pm  $180

(Please Note:  there will be no class the night of October 23rd).

Cost: $180.00 for the course plus $23.40 in HST.
 

Please click here to go to the Blue Heron site to register

Writing Stories from our Lives

 
A community outreach writers’ evening in York Region

I’m delighted to have been asked to lead a special May evening event for the Writers Community of York Region.

On Friday night, May 10th, I’ll be leading an evening workshop on “Writing Stories from Our Lives”. The first part of the event will be covering the philosophy and practices of memoir writing, and the end of the evening will be targeted towards how to turn life stories into fiction. The evening will be interactive as well – that is, you’ll actually do some short writing exercises.

If you have a story—or many stories—from your life that you’ve been longing to put onto the page, come out for this evening of writing lessons to help get you started, or help you continue with your project.

 

   
DATE: Friday, May 10
TIME: Doors open: 6:30 p.m.

 

Workshop:  7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

 

There’ll be lots of opportunity for refreshments and networking before and after the workshop.

 

 

LOCATION:

 

Newmarket Community Centre and Lions Hall

200 Doug Duncan Drive, Newmarket

 

 

COST:

 

$25 – WCYR is extending this special Members’ workshop event rate to Non-members also

 

REGISTER: http://wcyork.ca/york/evening-event-may-10th-stories-from-our-lives/

 

 
   
   
   

Here’s the promotion:

Humans are the Story Species. It’s one of the few characteristics we share across cultures, across genders, across ages — we understand our lives and ourselves through the stories we tell.

And we all have stories to tell from the living we have done: times of laughter and celebration; moments of closeness and transformative intimacy; and times of difficult challenges overcome or endured.

And sometimes the best way to tell the truth is through fiction. The final segment of this evening will be notes on how best to take the material of your lives and use it to create great short stories, poetry, or longer works of fiction.

If you have a story—or many stories—from your life that you’ve been longing to put onto the page, come out for this evening of writing lessons to help get you started, or help you continue with your project.

 

 

Sue Reynolds has been facilitating writing groups and helping writers write and get published for nearly 20 years now.

She was awarded the June Callwood Award for Outstanding Volunteerism for her work teaching writing to incarcerated women in the Ontario Jail system.

She’s a former president of the Writers’ Community of Durham Region, past Vice Chair of the national Canadian Creative Writers and Writing Programs, and is one of the top creative writing teachers in Canada – LinkedIn just acknowledged her as one of the top 1% most endorsed for Creative Writing in Canada.

 

Sue’s workshops are engaging and very popular – why not sign up now and reserve your spot?

 

 

Master Class on a Writer’s Voice

OWC headerI’m delighted to have been asked to teach a Master Class at the Ontario Writers’ Conference. I’m tackling an ambitious project there – my workshop will be on the writer’s voice. Here’s the blurb from the conference:
 

Voice Lessons

Think Hemingway. Think Austen. Think Faulkner.

A Writer’s Voice is possibly the most ephemeral, and arguably the single most important element of a writer’s craft. Voice is a writer’s literary fingerprint. Voice makes the difference between writing that’s effective, elegant and memorable, and journeyman writing that, although it may convey the message, is limp and lacklustre. Voice is crucial (particularly in the Canadian literary market) in convincing a publisher to sign on a new author.

How do you develop that distinctive fingerprint for your own narrative? How do you develop an equally transparent clarity of voice for your characters?

This interactive Master Class will clarify participants’ understanding of voice and the elements that contribute to it. Through study of examples and experimenting with the elements in exercises, writers will identify what elements of voice are already working well for them and which techniques can be employed to strengthen their voices.

 
 
OWC logo
 


Go to the Ontario Writers’ Conference website to register.

 

Life Writing: Journalling as a Spiritual Practice

Journaling picture

Time: 10:00 to 4:00
Place: Utica Memory Hall (map below)
Cost: $85
$75 for WCDR, WEN, WHEN, PWAC members

Many people keep a journal. For some its a diary of day to day events. For others its a place where they can express feelings that they are afraid to share elsewhere. Other writers use it as a record of creative projects, or memoirs, or family events. Some use it as a place to record dreams, whether they occur in wakefulness or while sleeping.

No matter what the reason for keeping a journal, those who do so acknowledge the profound effect it has on their lives. The journal is a place for solace and revelation. Time spent journalling allows space for reflection. Journal writing connects the dots and helps us to see the larger picture.
But those who journal often confess that they feel that theyre not doing it right or that theyre embarrassed by the nature of the entries that they make too negative or too whiny. And what should they do with this very personal writing later on?

Join Sue Reynolds for a day of investigation into the art and science of journal writing. Participants will explore exercises that can take their writings beyond everyday entries. Writers will leave the workshop having experienced number of different techniques that can allow them access to their own inner wisdom.

This is a wonderful gentle way to begin with one of the best writing teachers I have taken a workshop with. She provides such a gentle supportive environment and creates a safe space to express yourself. It really helped me to incorporate journal writing into my daily life. – Clare Bolton

Sue and the sparkling water
Susan Lynn Reynolds has been journalling for over 20 years and has studied with some of the leaders in the field of writing as a spiritual practice and for
therapeutic benefit. She is a published author and poet and leads many workshops in various forms of writing.

To register, pay through credit card or PayPal below, or call Sue: 905-243-4836

$85.00

$75.00 Member Price for Journalling workshop

Map to the Utica Memory Hall here

Large scale map

Get it Down to Give it Up

How to write it down so you feel better when you’re done –

Get it Down to Give it Up –
Expressive Journaling Techniques

Many of us head to our journals instinctively in times of trouble. Sometimes we get sick of writing about the same old situation over and over again, wondering if were ever going to get beyond our negative obsessions.

Twenty years of research has proven time and time again that writing down what disturbs and dismays you is good for you both physically and mentally. People who express themselves by writing in a journal have stronger immune systems, fewer illnesses, and lowered blood pressure. Writing in a journal also reduces symptoms of many chronic illnesses such as arthritis, asthma, etc.

Expressive writing can also signifcantly, positively improve mood states including depression and anxiety, as well as ameliorating the symptoms of many other “mental disorders.”

This workshop will provide techniques and exercises to be engaged with in class as well as taken home for future use, to use our journals to best effect for expression, insight and resolution. For those of us who are writers, our problems tend to rise over and over again in our poetry and our fiction as well as our journaling – this workshop will also touch on how to mine our journals for material that can be transformed into powerful fiction and poetry.

Certified in the AWA method of leading creative writing workshops, Susan Lynn Reynolds, BSc. Psych, has taught creative writing for 12 years. Writing for therapeutic benefit is both the subject of her award-winning undergrad thesis and her current program of study for her Masters degree.

Sue leads writing groups for criminalized women both in jail and in the community, a program that earned her the 2007 June Callwood Award for Outstanding Volunteerism.

Date: Saturday, March 15
Location: Uxbridge Public Library
(Downstairs Meeting Room Handicapped accessible from the parking lot).

Time: 10:00 to 4:00
Cost: $90.00
$80.00 for WCDR/HWEN members

Light snacks provided
– break for lunch

To register, please email: susanreynolds@trentu.ca

Please feel free to share this information with anyone you feel might be interested – the benefit of this method comes from engaging authentically with the process of writing, not the document produced.

www.goforwords.com

Friendship Anthology

  • DATE: Saturday, January 30, 2010 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m
  • Location: J P Fitzpatrick’s south room
  • AMC Theatre complex – right opposite the doors of the theatre
  • click here for website of J P Fitzpatricks

Friendship: A Call for Submission workshop and Publishing Opportunity with James Dewar & Sue Reynolds

“No love, no friendship can cross the path of our destiny without leaving some mark on it forever.” Francois Mauriac

conversation friendsHow many times have you seen a call for submission and thought “I should write something and enter that!”?

But the due date comes and goes, and you’ve let another opportunity slide by. You know you have something to say about that theme, but the act of sitting down to put it in words eludes you. Procrastination is always about fear or distaste. Procrastination in writing is almost always about fear.

jack friendsThis workshop will give you a series of techniques for responding when a call for submission shows up in your inbox. From laying out a set of doable steps, to generating raw material, to refining your work and finally, actually sending it in, this workshop will give you a blueprint to make sure you don’t miss another writing deadline.

And the work produced in this workshop will be your beta test. Workshop presenters Sue Reynolds and James Dewar have been hired by Hidden Brook Press to edit an anthology of prose and poetry focused on the theme of friendship. Everything produced in this workshop will be focused on that theme, so that by the end of the day, you will have produced several raw pieces suitable for refining and submitting to this particular anthology.

Reynolds and Dewar have a number of fundamental beliefs about creating writing:

  • Everyone is innately creative
  • The most powerful tool a writer has is a deadline.
  • A writer’s most powerful support is community

dog friendsDrawing on these beliefs, they have created this workshop to encourage writers to commit to a time to produce work for this anthology. The day will consist of an exploration of the theme of friendship in all its facets and complexities – support, understanding, betrayal, jealousy, love and many more. Writing on the spot exercises will explore the themes through the forms of memoir, fiction and poetry. The last part of the day will cover submission guidelines for this particular anthology.

“Assumptions are the termites of relationships.” Henry Winkler

Please note: Participation in this workshop does not guarantee inclusion in the collection; however, it does guarantee a close reading of your submission and editorial feedback. Participation in the workshop is not a requirement for consideration for publication in the anthology.

CLICK HERE for Friendship Anthology Call for Submission Guidelines.

COST: $95 ($85 if you are a member of WCDR, HWEN, WEN, PWAC or a participant over age 59)

Pre-Payment required

Call 905-243-4836
or e-mail: sue@goforwords.com

$95.00 Non-Member Price
$85.00 WCDR, HWEN, WEN, PWAC Member

Click on the appropriate button for the workshop you want and complete your transaction in the sidebar to the left. Your name and information will be transmitted with this transaction, but if you want to contact Sue and James with further questions or suggestions, please fill in the form below.
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About the Editors

Sue 200Susan Lynn Reynolds is a writer and an accredited writing instructor in the Amherst Writers and Artists method. She has been teaching creative writing for over 12 years. Her novel Strandia won the CLA’s national YA Novel of the Year Award, and she won the Timothy Findley Creative Writing Prize three times for her short stories and poetry.Her area of specialty is the therapeutic use of journaling and memoir, and her thesis on that topic received the Canadian Psychological Association’s Award of Academic Excellence in 2006. She has been leading writing workshops for female inmates at Central East Correctional Centre for five years and received the 2007 June Callwood Award for Outstanding Volunteerism for that program. She is currently working on her Masters.

James Dewar 01 copyJames Dewar has co-edited three poetry anthologies and is a freelance editor for Metroland Newspaper group. He has edited and published six poetry chapbooks for emerging talents through CreativeJames Publishing and is working with Sue finalizing 3 more exciting projects for Piquant Press. In addition to teaching advanced creative writing at Durham College he also teaches a year-long workshop, A Novel Approach, with Sue, that guides writers to complete a novel in one year. His poetry has been published in several anthologies and literary journals. His first book of poetry, The Garden in the Machine, was published by Hidden Brook Press in 2007. He has been VP of the Writers’ Circle of Durham Region for 2 years. He particularly enjoys organizing and hosting his own reading series, Hot-Sauced Words, in Toronto, now entering its fourth year. James is also proud of his recent wins at spoken word poetry challenges.

Friendship – Call for Submission Workshop

FRIENDSHIP – A Call for Submission Workshop
From Workshop to Anthology Publishing Opportunity
Saturday, June 20th, 2009

How many times have you seen a call for submission and thought “I should enter that!”? But the due date comes and goes, and you’ve let another opportunity slide.

Workshop presenters Sue Reynolds and James Dewar have been hired by Hidden Brook Press to edit an anthology of prose and poetry focused on the theme of friendship.

Reynolds and Dewar have two fundamental beliefs about creating writing:
• The most powerful tool a writer has is a deadline.
• A writer’s most powerful support is community

Drawing on these beliefs, they have created this workshop to encourage writers to commit to a time to produce work for this anthology. The day will consist of an exploration of the theme of friendship in all its facets and complexities – support, understanding, betrayal, jealousy, love and many more. Writing on the spot exercises will explore the themes through the forms of memoir, fiction and poetry. The last part of the day will cover submission guidelines for this particular anthology.

This workshop will not only provide writers with the opportunity to produce work for this collection, but will also give writers skills to help create and prepare a submission for any of the themed calls that are regularly presented by literary journals and magazines.

Please note: Participation in this workshop does not guarantee inclusion in the collection, however, it does guarantee a close reading of your submission and editorial feedback.

Please note:
Participation in the workshop is not a requirement for consideration for publication in the anthology.

DATE: Saturday, June 20, 2009
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m
Location: TBA – Port Perry area
COST: $75 WCDR members: $85 non-members
Pre-Registration required:

To Register:

FRIENDSHIP Call for Submission Workshop – WCDR member $75.00

FRIENDSHIP Call for Submission Workshop – WCDR non-member $85.00

Please call Sue at 905-243-4836 or contact her through the form below.

Write Your Memoirs

Write For Your Life!

a workshop on how to write compelling memoirs

Presenter: Susan Lynn Reynolds

May 2nd, 2009
10:00 to 4:30 p.m.

Oshawa

Is there something about your life you’re longing to share? Were you part of a historical event that you could cast a personal and illuminating light on?

Have you dreamt of creating a memoir or autobiography for your children or grandchildren, letting them know what the world was like when you were growing up or starting out? If you’ve ever wanted to put your memories down on paper but don’t know where to start or how to finish, this course is for you.

Using the techniques of Writing Practice, Susan Lynn Reynolds will be leading an all day session that will distill your memories into writer’s ink and help you begin setting them down on paper and crafting them into a cohesive memoir.

This workshop will focus on techniques for getting original memories down in all their sensuous detail, and riveting your reader in the process. There will be discussion on how to recognize the possibilities for short fiction in your writing as well.

Participants will leave the workshop having written and read their work, having listened to the lives of others and had their own work and lives listened to.

Material covered will include:

– the difference between an autobiography and a memoir
– how to determine your readership
– a format for accessing your memories
– the difference between the creative and the editorial process
– at least 4 writing exercises
– how to organize your work into a finished presentation for your family, an agent or a publisher
– assigned homework and follow-up critiquing
– a series of take-home exercises to keep up the momentum gained in this workshop

Susan Lynn Reynolds, BSc. Psyc., has been a published author since 1991. Her first novel, Strandia,won the Canadian Library Association’s National Award for YA fiction in 1992. She is a three-time winner of the Timothy Findley Creative Writing Prize for her short fiction and her poetry. She is an accredited writing facilitator in the AWA method and has been leading writing and creativity groups for 12 years. Currently she teaches writing every week in the Lindsay provincial jail where her focus is on writing for therapeutic benefit. This program she pioneered won her the 2007 June Callwood Award for Outstanding Volunteerism.

Cost of Workshop: $75.00

What to Bring:
A notebook and a fast writing pen and your memories

To Register:

Write for Your Life – Memoirs – WCDR member $75.00

Write for Your Life – Memoirs – WCDR member $85.00

Please call Sue at 905-243-4836 or contact her through the form below.

Moving ForWords Program

In August 2007 with the assistance of the Luke4 Foundation, the Elizabeth Fry Society of Peterborough and the Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre, Sue began leading writing workshops for women in the community of Peterborough. Although the groups are specifically targetted towards women who have been criminalized, any woman who is interested in using writing as a coping strategy for dealing with difficult issues is welcome.

Below you will find the poster that went out into the Peterborough community in advance of the workshop beginning:

Life Writing – Journaling as a Spiritual Practice


Many people keep a journal. For some it’s a diary of day to day events. For others it’s a place where they can express feelings that they are afraid to share elsewhere. Other writers use it as a record of creative projects, or memoirs, or family events. Some use it as a place to record dreams, whether they occur in wakefulness or while sleeping.

No matter what the reason for keeping a journal, those who do so acknowledge the profound effect it has on their lives. The journal is a place for solace and revelation. Time spent journalling allows space for reflection. Journal writing connects the dots and helps us to see the larger picture.

But those who journal often confess that they feel that they’re not “doing it right” or that they’re embarrassed by the nature of the entries that they make – too negative or too whiny. And what should they do with this very personal writing later on?

Join Susan Lynn Reynolds for a day of investigation into the art and science of journal writing. Participants will explore exercises that can take their writings beyond everyday entries. Writers will leave the workshop having experienced number of different techniques that can allow them access to their own inner wisdom.

Where: Whitchurch-Stouffville Library
When: April 18th, 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m.
Cost: $50.00 ($45.00 for WCDR members)

Susan Lynn Reynolds has been journalling for over 20 years and has studied with some of the leaders in the field of writing as a spiritual practice and for therapeutic benefit. She is a published author and poet and leads many workshops in various forms of writing.

To Register, please call: 905-642-READ (7323)

Toll free: 1-888-603-4292

Email: Catherine Sword or reach her through the website at:

www.whitchurch-library.on.ca

Expressive Therapeutic Journaling


Get It Down, Give It Up! Writing for healing

Many of us head to our journals instinctively in times of trouble. Sometimes we get sick of writing about the same old situation over and over again, wondering if we’re ever going to get beyond our negative obsessions.

Twenty years of research has proven time and time again that writing down “what disturbs and dismays you” is good for you both physically and mentally. People who express themselves by writing in a journal have stronger immune systems, fewer illnesses, and lowered blood pressure. Writing in a journal also reduces symptoms of many chronic illnesses such as arthritis, asthma, etc. Expressive writing can signifcantly, positively improve mood states including depression and anxiety.

This workshop will provide techniques and exercises to be engaged with in class as well as taken home for future use, to use our journals to best effect for expression, insight and resolution. For those of us who are writers, our problems tend to rise over and over again in our poetry and our fiction as well as our journaling – this workshop will also touch on how to mine our journals for material that can be transformed into powerful fiction and poetry.

Certified in the AWA method of leading creative writing workshops, Susan Lynn Reynolds, BSc. Psych, has taught creative writing for 12 years. Writing for therapeutic benefit is both the subject of her award-winning undergrad thesis and her current program of study for her Masters degree.

Sue leads writing groups for criminalized women both in jail and in the community, a program that earned her the 2007 June Callwood Award for Outstanding Volunteerism.

To register, please contact: Catherine Sword, Librarian

Saturday, September 20, 2008

11:15 am – 5:15 pm.

$84 ($73.50 for WCDR members)

Drop-Dead-Gorgeous Book Design

How to design and layout your self-published book

February 21 2009
9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Durham College Uxbridge Campus
Testa Building
2nd floor

Computer Lab

“You can’t judge a book by its cover” is an old piece of wisdom – but lots of people do!

Without the credibility of a commercial publishing house behind it, a self-published book arguably needs professional quality layout for both its interior and the cover even more than a publishing industry trade book does, so as to hold its own in the marketplace. Print-on-demand companies offer layout and design services as add-ons to the publishing process, but these services can cost from $1000 to $2000 or more.

This workshop is designed to provide participants with the skills needed to prepare both their own interior manuscript and professional cover design incorporating appropriate graphic elements of colour, type and image (such as photo or illustration), so that their self published book is visually competitive in the market place.

Participants are welcome to bring a manuscript they are working with and an image they think they might want to use for the cover. If participants don’t have these elements yet, working files will be provided.

Instruction is hands-on with participants working on a computer throughout the day. Class members will also be provided with a book to take home with all the notes from the day’s lessons – beautifully designed of course!

Sue Reynolds was a graphic designer in the book publishing industry for 16 years, and has assisted several authors to self publish their trade books and chapbooks in a professional and visually pleasing format.

Class size is limited to the number of computers in the lab, so early registration is recommended.

$100 for WCDR Members/ $110 for non-members

Fee is due upon registration.

To Register, click here: Register for Drop-Dead-Gorgeous Book Design

Tell Us A Bit About Your Project

To make sure we are best able to tailor this course to the needs of the participants, please fill in the form below. Please note, if you have not begun work on your novel and it’s still in the idea stage only, that’s a fine place to begin.

Register for “A Novel Approach”

A Novel Approach first payment due before January 12 for both WCDR members and non-members $500.00 Cdn.

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A Novel Approach Prepay entire amount (with 10% discount) for non-WCDR members $1150.00 Cdn.

.
A Novel Approach Prepay entire amount (with further 10% discount) for WCDR members $1035.00 Cdn.

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Click on the appropriate button for the workshop you want and complete your transaction in the sidebar to the left. Your name and information will be transmitted with this transaction, but if you want to contact Sue and James with further questions or suggestions, please fill in the form below.
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A Novel Approach

A Year Long Workshop to Get Your Novel Written

If you’ve been saying for years “I’ve got to get that book written!” this is your opportunity to make it happen.

Starting January 12th of 2009, A Novel Approach is your weekly commitment to work on your book. We will hold a bi-weekly workshop every second Monday that targets various key aspects of writing a novel. In class we will be doing on-the-spot exercises working with storylining, plot, character development, narrative structure, story development, etc.

Then in the off-week between classes, you will continue the work begun in class, supplemented by take home exercises, with a goal of producing 12 pages (3,000 words approximately) before the next class.

By New Years Day, 2010, you will have the first draft of your novel finished and ready to begin shopping it to agents and publishers. (If you do the math: 12 page times 26 weeks is approximately 78,000 words or 300 pages, a solid first draft of a novel.)
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Your commitment:

    – to come to as many of the 26 bi-weekly workshops as possible.
    If you can’t make a class, to check the website for the assignments
    and information afterwards. (In the event of a snowstorm
    cancellation, class will be held on-line).
    – to produce at least 12 typed manuscript pages every two weeks. You are certainly welcome to produce more, but in order to achieve your goal, you should be producing at least 6 typed pages per week. (Note: even if you simply type up the in-class exercises you will be halfway to that biweekly goal.)
    – to post your writing on the private website for the group.
    This will not be accessible to the public.

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Our commitment:

    – to give you exercises to spark your imagination, your creativity
    and your fingers on the keyboard

    – to give you bi-weekly take-home exercises to help you produce
    your novel week by week

    – to provide a members-only website where you will post your
    work- in-progress and have the opportunity to interact with your
    fellow students between workshop dates. We will be encouraging
    interaction between colleagues on this journey, but the emphasis
    is on the process of producing the novel, and not on formalized
    feedback on each other’s work.

    – to provide you with support and inspiration in the long middle
    stages of your novel when the beginning is behind you and
    the end is nowhere in sight

    – to accompany you on your journey by working alongside you
    producing our own novels at the same time

    – to give you feedback on your manuscript in March, June and October

    – to celebrate the completion of your first draft with you and
    your colleagues on January 4th of 2010

Regarding the “A Novel Approach” website:

    – it creates an opportunity for you and your classmates to watch each other’s novels grow over the course of the year

    – it provides a simple way of sharing manuscripts

    – it is password protected – only members of the group are able to access it

    – only you are able to edit or change your work

    – it provides a central place to reference the information from past classes

    – all homework assignments will be listed on the website for those who missed a class or those who would like to revisit an assignment

    – it provides a location for a back-up copy of your work in progress. This makes it possible for you to work on your manuscript 24/7 from anywhere in the world you have Internet access (PLEASE NOTE: Students should always have two copies of their manuscript – one on the website, but also one on their own computer or USB)

    – it has a chat feature where participants can converse

    – it provides an alternate way of hosting a class in the event of a snowstorm

The Specifics:

When: Monday evenings from 6:30 to 9:30

In-Class Dates (every second Monday):
January 12 and 26
February 9 and 23
March 9 and 23
April 6 and 20
May 4 and 18
June 1, 15 and 29
July 13 and 27
August 10 and 24
September 14 and 21
October 5 and 19
November 2, 16 and 30
December 14 2009
FINAL DATE: January 3, 2010

Where: Uxbridge/Port Perry/Brooklin area
Exact location will be decided based upon number of participants and announced the second week of January.

Cost:

$1150 (or $1035 for WCDR members) if the entire amount is pre-paid.

If participants would like to pay by installments, the total cost is $1300, payable as follows:

$500 payable upon registration
$350 due April 6th
$300 due July 13th
$150 due October 5th (Note: if a WCDR member, this October payment will be waived).

To Register for this workshop CLICK HERE.

To give us an idea of where you’re at with regards to your novel so far, please fill out the form available by clicking HERE.

Workshop leaders:

Susan Lynn Reynolds, BSc. Psych., is a writer and an accredited writing instructor in the Amherst Writers and Artists method. She has studied with Natalie Goldberg, Pat Schneider, Barbara Turner Vessalago, Orm Mitchell and Richard J. Ray, and has been teaching creative writing for over 12 years. Her 1992 novel Strandia won the CLA’s national YA Novel of the Year award, and she has won the Timothy Findley Creative Writing Prize three times for her short stories and poetry.

Her area of specialty is the therapeutic use of journaling and memoir, and her thesis on that topic received the Canadian Psychological Association’s Award of Academic Excellence in 2006. She has been leading writing workshops for female inmates at Central East Correctional Centre for four years, a program for which she received the 2007 June Callwood Award for Outstanding Volunteerism. She is currently working on her Masters degree and continues to teach advanced creative writing at Durham College and to lead writing workshops on various topics, including memoir, life writing and erotic writing.


James Dewar wears many hats. He enjoys the challenging and often hectic demands of a career as a freelance website designer, writer and editor. He serves as Vice President of the Writers’ Circle of Durham Region where he takes pleasure in developing ways to help writers gain confidence in their writing and presentation, but is often found attending symposiums and workshops due to his belief that learning is essential to productive creativity.

James has edited and published 6 chapbooks for emerging talents and is working on two new projects. While enjoying his emergence as a popular featured performer on the Toronto poetry scene, he attends many readings in support of other writers although he has decided to give up his usual Monday evenings teaching Advanced Creative Writing classes at Durham College to co-facilitate this course. He is currently working on his second novel and is enthusiastic about the opportunity to both inspire other writers to finish their novels and work on completing his own as well.

Teaching

A Novel Approach – Write your novel in a year

Drop Dead Gorgeous Book Design

Get it Down, Give it Up – writing for therapeutic benefit

Memoirs

Life Writing – Journaling as a Spiritual Practice

Sanctuary Sundays – a once a month one day retreat in the Uxbridge/Port Perry area

If you feel like you need to carve out a space from your “normal” life to get some writing done, consider a writer’s sanctuary day of creativity, community, and quiet.

The morning will be spent doing a series of writing exercises to lubricate the machinery and get the creative writer in you feeling more relaxed, focused and perhaps even a little experimental.

After the lunch (included) there will be a silent afternoon to work on your own, on a computer or by hand, as you choose, on whatever project is preoccupying you as a writer these days. (If you don’t have a laptop you will be provided with a computer and your word file can be emailed to you at home at the end of the day.)

Uplands is a peaceful rural location, so if you want to get out for a walk and think, that is also possible. The afternoons are your time to work in silent communion with other writers, feeding off the combined creative energy in the space.

Writing is over at 5:00 for those who need to get home, but if you wish to stay, there will be an opportunity to sit a while longer, to share some of what you’ve been working on and to debrief, discuss issues of craft, etc.

You can attend one or more Sanctuary days, as you choose. Space is limited to 6 writers each day.

Place: Uplands, between Uxbridge and Port Perry
Dates for 2008: April 27, May 25, June 29, September 28, October 26, November 30, December 28
Cost: $50. per Sunday, lunch included.
To register: Call 905-243-4836 or email susanreynolds@trentu.ca

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In the summer of 2013 I was invited to do a TEDtalk on “Shining the light on our Changing Communities”. I talked about the therapeutic writing program I do with incarcerated women. You can view the talk here.

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