So far this year, I’ve scheduled two opportunities to present ideas about writing to others, and the first is coming up very soon. I’ll be in Coquitlam on February 20th presenting ideas to a group of teachers as part of their CTA (Coquitlam Teachers Association) district-wide professional development day, CREATING CULTURES OF LEADERSHIP.
A colleague, Greg Sutherland, and I will be presenting ideas about reading and writing strategies (he’ll handle the reading and I’ll handle the writing, but of course the two are greatly connected). In my portion of the offering, I’ll be discussing “dissections”–reading as a WRITER. The goal is to show teachers nearly 30 techniques I’ve gleaned from a single short story that can help their students (and themselves) become better writers–tools in the toolbox for their creative writing. Along the way, I’ll show them what to look out for instead of piling on the who, what, where, and when questions into handouts for their pupils.
From the CTA to the ACT in September…
On the third Tuesday of September this year, I’m privileged to be able to present ideas to the Golden Ears Writers at the ACT (Arts Centre and Theatre) in Maple Ridge, BC.
My focus? Before the break, I’ll be going over ideas about what poets think about as they begin to transform an idea into a poem. I’m going to show them several of my award-winners and explain how each has a slightly different area of emphasis, allowing them to peek inside my mind for a while (scary, I know) to see just what goes into the creation of a poem.
After the break, I’ll be discussing short fiction techniques, including many that have allowed me to elevate the level of my short stories in just a few short years. Since a student of mine convinced me to start writing short fiction three years ago, I’ve won the Storyteller Award, have made the finals in Red Tuque’s “Tales of the Mysterious” contest (final thirteen still being judged at the moment, and all will be published in an anthology), have sold work to McGraw Hill (to be published as part of their iLit series) and have had work nominated by a literary journal, Pulp Literature, for the Journey Prize, the Pushcart Prize, and a National Magazine Award (results pending).
I owe much of that success to the very techniques I’ll be teaching about during these two sessions. It’s been a goal of mine for 2015 to get out and PRESENT some writing-related workshops (instead of merely attending plenty!), so this month, I’ll get to check another writing-related goal off the list.
Teachers and writers, I’ll look forward to seeing you soon!