2008 Archives

Scholastic’s "Write It" Resources for Aspiring Writers

Scholastic’s “Write It” online writing resource for teachers and students in grades 9 to 12 offers a unit on memoir writing and includes several accessible, well-designed writing samples and lesson plans. Though developed for student writers, these are excellent for anyone wanting to write about life experiences:

The main site for the unit is

Write It: Memoir

Here’s a clickable link to the pdf of a short memoir by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and an exercise:

“Living to Tell the Tale”

Explore the “Write It” site for other tips, writing samples and exercises on memoir.

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

Adele Simmons releases 2009 photo/poetry calendar

Adele Simmons sets off her poetry with vivid photos in a chapbook and striking 2009 calendar (7″ x 8.5″) titled Seasons of Rhyme. A special feature is her song for Earth Day, “Pennywise,” complete with piano music and guitar chords. Seasons of Rhyme 2009 is available for $20. Contact Adele to order: (905) 263-4211 or AdeleCLCreative@sympatico.ca

Adele, who is also a freelance editor, announces as well the release of first-time author Erla Wilson’s memoir Precious Memories, which Adele guided through the self-publishing process. The book launch took place in Whitby in early October. This memoir tells Erla’s “stories of nurses’ training at Oshawa General Hospital,
pioneer work with mentally handicapped children, farming, wartime, family and faith.”

Friday, November 14th, 2008

Workshopper Gail Rudyk to be published in Australia

Congratulations to workshopper Gail Rudyk of Richmond Hill, Ontario! Two of her short memoirs have been accepted for inclusion in an Australian anthology published by Life’s Inspirational Moments. The new anthology, tentatively titled Caring Moments, is a follow-up to Stolen Moments (pictured above). Set to appear in it are Gail’s stories “The Red Coat” and “Unforgettable.”

Here is some information from the publisher:

“Life’s Inspirational Moments focuses entirely on raising awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease and supporting those who have to live with it. One of the ways we have chosen to do this is through our collections of true-life stories. While the disease itself is heart-breaking, our aim in these books is not to focus on the sadness but on the love, humour and strength of human spirit.”

For more information, visit www.lifesinspirationalmoments.com

Gail recently read a version of “The Red Coat” to the Memoir Writers Social hosted by Days Road Writers’ Workshops and held in Unionville on September 17, 2008.

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Memoir Writers Social Raises $1,000 for Alzheimer Society of Toronto

Blacksmiths Bistro was the scene of a lively party on September 17 when close to 40 people gathered for the Memoir Writers Social. The evening, as I told the audience, was to be a celebration of memory and writing — a chance for some of my workshop students to meet (or meet again) and mingle and discuss memoir, and a fundraiser for an organization that helps those whose memories are failing, the Alzheimer Society of Toronto.

My mother has Alzheimer’s, and I know that the families of several of my students have been touched by the devastating disease as well. We’re far from alone. According to the Society, in 2008 in Canada, 1 in 13 individuals over age 65 has Alzheimer’s or a related disease, and in individuals over age 85 the condition affects 1 in 3. Some 36 percent of Canadians know someone who has Alzheimer’s. Through events like the Memoir Writers Social, funds can be raised to help those who suffer from it, and someday to find a cure.

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Friday, September 19th, 2008

Memoir Writing Contest Winners Announced

The winners of the Days Road Writers’ Workshops “Summer Days” Memoir Writing Contest were announced last night, September 17, 2008, at the Memoir Writers Social in Unionville, Ontario. There were 31 submissions in all, most from Ontario, a few from other provinces, two from the U.S. and one from England.

First-prize winner Mary McIntyre of Stouffville was awarded $75 plus an author-signed copy of A Memoir of Friendship: The Letters Between Carol Shields and Blanche Howard, for her beautifully descriptive story “Scugog at Dark,” a childhood memory of time at her family’s cottage.

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Thursday, September 18th, 2008

"The Wisdom of Old Souls" book launch

DRWW workshopper Ruth Zaryski Jackson sends news of two book launches for the anthology The Wisdom of Old Souls, which contains her first published memoir. The first takes place Saturday, September 20, in Kingston at Chapters on Princess Street. The second takes place September 27, in Oshawa at the Stellar Literary Festival. Click on this link for details about festival: Stellar Literary Festival

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008