2009 Archives

Allyson’s interview with Markham Village Writers

My interview with Donna Marrin, founder of Markham Village Writers, has been published.

I hope you will visit their new site. The interview appears at http://markhamvillagewriters.com/focus-on

Friday, November 13th, 2009

Tilya Gallay Helfield to be published in journal "carte blanche"

Tilya Gallay Helfield’s short memoir “Stars” will be published on-line in the November edition of the literary journal carte blanche on November 18, 2009 at www.carte-blanche.org.

“Stars” is one of the chapters in a collection of creative nonfiction stories that she has been working on. Other short stories and essays written by Tilya have appeared in The Fiddlehead, TV Guide, Viewpoints, Monday Morning, Winner’s Circle Anthology and on www.theoccupiedgarden.com.

Tilya is a talented visual artist and writer who has participated in some of my online memoir workshops.

Congratulations, Tilya.

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Remembering Jane

Polish-born Jane Boruszewski, of Syracuse, NY, took part in several of my online courses through Ryerson University in Toronto between 2004 and 2006, sharing short memoirs and fictional stories based on her life experiences. She was enthusiastic about the writing process, and her sweet nature and determination to write inspiring and often beautiful stories about some of her difficult life experiences – especially in a language that was not her first – endeared her to me and to others in these groups. Between 2003 and 2007, she was delighted – as were her supporters here in Canada, with whom she kept in contact – to see several of her stories appear in OASIS Journal.

OASIS Journal editor Leila Joiner will dedicate this year’s issue to Jane’s memory. The story posted on the Days Road Writers’ Workshops blog earlier today was one of Leila’s favourites among Jane’s contributions.

Jane will be missed by all of us who knew her.

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Monday, September 28th, 2009

Pay It Forward: Life Writers Ink success stories

Formed by an enthusiastic group of novice writers who came together through some of my online workshops, Life Writers Ink is a small group of women from a range of ages and backgrounds who meet regularly to encourage and critique one another’s creative writing endeavours. Several “Lifers,” as they’ve dubbed themselves, have met with success recently in some notable ways:

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MARY McINTYRE published a personal essay titled “30,000 Lasting Impressions of Georgian Bay” in Lifestyles This Week, a Parry Sound publication. The essay developed out of a writers’ retreat this summer organized by three Life Writers Ink members at a cottage on Otter Lake, near Parry Sound. One of their activities was a boat tour. To read Mary’s reflections on this experience, visit:


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Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Words Alive Literary Festival, September 20, 2009

Don’t miss the Words Alive Literary Festival in Sharon, Ontario, tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There’s a fabulous lineup of author readings, workshops and so much more. I’ll present a workshop there myself in the early afternoon. Visit wwww.wordsalive.ca for the full festival schedule and directions. Hope to see some of you there.


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Saturday, September 19th, 2009

A Right Time for Everything

by Pat Irwin Lycett, Guest Blogger

I’ve been writing all my life, never with a view to publishing (still don’t, except in newspapers, usually letters to the editor).

Three years ago I read about the Writers’ Circle of Durham Region in the Oshawa paper; tried the number listed, to no avail, gave up for a number of reasons. One year later, in May, I came across the number again and made contact. There really is a right time for everything!

In July, same year, WCDR announced that Fred Ford was planning a Wednesday night class, Writing Is Hard Work (WIHW), to be held every second Wednesday from 6:30 to 8:45 at the Pickering Library. We began meeting in September. There were about twelve of us, some poets, most writing fiction; that lasted until Christmas, when a few melted away. Some new folks were added from a waiting list, and we’re now finishing our second year with a tight group of seven, including Fred. We’ve grown quite close, and we love one another’s fictional characters.

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Friday, July 31st, 2009