We're at the mid-point of August, which means we have about six weeks to go before the world premiere of Joe Powers, Writing Instructor. The fact that I can even say such a thing still feels kind of surreal to me, but there it is.
For those who may have missed it before, starting in September I will be offering a writing class through the University of New Brunswick. The primary focus will be on horror, but I will spend some time on mystery and noir as well.
I feel I should state at this point that I am fully aware I don’t know everything there is to know about writing. Nobody does, and there are surely plenty who have been around and know as much as or more than I do. I still write and submit work to editors, and frequently get shot down just like everyone not named King or Koontz. And I'm certainly not above - or opposed to - learning more myself!
I don’t profess to have all the answers. Only some of them. For beginners, I can help with getting started, establishing rituals and practices that will serve you daily. For those more advanced writers, I can share some insights on the submission and publishing aspects, dealing with editors, and such. For anyone with a desire to write and a tendency toward the darker side of fiction, I can share some of what I’ve learned about what does and doesn’t work, and what’s most likely to catch the eye of a prospective editor or publisher.
Again, this is by no means a comprehensive and exhaustive how-to; such a course would be impossible to offer. There are a million variables in the writing game, and some of the specifics that work for me might not for someone else and vice versa. And even if such a course were possible to teach, I'm pretty sure I'm not the guy to teach it. I can, however, cover many of the basics that are more or less universal and will help writers to improve their craft.
The first round starts on September 26th, and space is limited. For anyone in or around the greater Fredericton area interested in taking the course, or if you know someone who might be interested, here’s a link to the course website. To sign up just click the “register now” button at the bottom. Hope to see some of you there!
We're all in this together, all the writers and authors and dabblers and up-and-comers. Unlike in most other industries, where it's every man or woman for him/herself, writers are a different breed with a different approach - by supporting and promoting each other, the craft itself is placed atop the priority list, exposure is increased, and everybody benefits.
I have been invited - and happily agreed - to get involved in yet another cool event. Over the course of this weekend I will be participating in the book launch of Ice Burns, the newest release by Charity Ayres, fantasy author.
Charity and I go back well over a decade together, but even if we didn't I would still freely and happily share with you what a skilled and talented author she is. During that time she's gone from book lover and fledgling writer to English teacher and honest-to-goodness novelist. She is passionate about her craft and immerses her readers in carefully crafted characters and stunning worlds. Ice Burns is her fourth novel, a fantasy epic not to be missed.
The four-day event takes place online through Facebook from Friday, August 12 through Monday, August 15 on a special page established for the release party. Along with myself guests include fellow authors Jim McDonald, Krista Walsh, Kate Sparkes, DL Wainright, Jenna Wood, Toi Thomas, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Adrian Smith and, of course, the lady of the hour herself.
For anyone interested in stopping in, here's what my participation schedule looks like:
Saturday 10:30 - 11PM: Panel discussion: "SciFi/Fantasy Novels and Short Stories"
Sunday 8:00 - 8:30PM: Q&A Session: "What it takes to be a writer"
9:00 - 9:30PM: Panel discussion: "Fiction that turns dark: Horror, Dark Fantasy, Strange Tales"
10:00 - 10:30PM: Panel discussion: "What have movies/television done for Fantasy/SciFi?"
10:30 - 11:00PM: Author Spotlight
Of course there are numerous other scheduled events and giveaways throughout the weekend. Feel free to drop by the Facebook page Release Party: Ice Burns, and visit Charity's author page as well.
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Photo credits: Biff Mitchell