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.

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Go to the Ontario Writers’ Conference website to register.


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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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