Writing workshop coming to town

If you’re someone who dreams of writing the great Canadian novel, or longs to see a news article or short story in print, now’s your chance to learn the ins and outs of the trade.
The Manitoba Writers’ Guild is offering a workshop for writers May 23-24 at the Fort Frances Public Library, with freelance writer Melinda McCracken facilitating it.
Starting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, McCracken will give information about writing, cover some theory, and put participants to task with writing. She’ll also offer some constructive criticism to help local writers hone their skills.
The following day, McCracken will provide practical information about marketing your work, how to approach a publisher, and what grants are available to writers.
It’s a chance, noted Carlene Rummery, communications/projects co-ordinator with the Manitoba Writers’ Guild, for budding writers to benefit from the knowledge of an experienced one.
McCracken has worked as a freelance writer since 1961, and has written for numerous publications, including the Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, Maclean’s, Chatelaine, and Rolling Stone.
She also has published poems, written plays, and radio dramas, and given several public readings of her works.
She is an author/editor of several books, and has taught through the Manitoba Arts Council’s Artist in the Schools and University of Winnipeg’s Continuing Education Department.
And so far, Rummery was pleased to say there’s been quite a bit of interest in the Fort Frances area. As of Monday, nine people had registered, with the Manitoba Writers’ Guild hoping to get 12-15.
But more won’t be turned away.
Rummery said through the workshops (others are in Thunder Bay, Kenora, and Dryden), the Manitoba Writers’ Guild is trying to provide support to writers in Northwestern Ontario who often feel disconnected.
It also gives the guild a chance to introduce itself to potential new members, she said, since Ontario didn’t have a provincial writers’ guild and the national organizations usually required people be published.
“I think one of the most important things that they’re going to take home from it is that they’re not alone,” Rummery added, noting the guild had several members in Northwestern Ontario.
“That’s probably one of the most valuable things that will come out of it,” echoed Margaret Sedgwick, chief librarian at the public library here, who felt networking with others would be very beneficial to local writers.
“Writing is such a solitary activity.”
With funding from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Writers’ Guild was able to provide the workshops at membership rates ($26.75).
Registration forms are available at the library. Or for further information, call the Manitoba Writers’ Guild toll-free at 1-888-637-5802.