Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Writers mentoring program launched - finally

After a couple of years of thinking about it, research, and tentative explorations, I'm finally ready to promote: Take Five - a writing mentorship program that starts Sept 2009 in the Surrey/Delta/Langley area of BC.

This pilot project will match five new/emerging (unpublished) writers with five experienced (published) ones who for five months will help them refine their craft, develop marketing skills, and connect with the writing community.

The writer/mentor pairs will meet collectively once a month for workshop sessions presented by the mentors. Between meetings, the individual mentor/writer pairs will work together in person/via email to help the writer develop a specific piece of writing, move it closer to publication and explore potential markets.

Individual writers will pay $100 for the five-month program - which will be used to pay for meeting space and other costs associated with the group meetings. Mentors will be asked to volunteer their time for this pilot project. Remuneration for mentors will be explored for subsequent sessions of Take Five.

At the first group session in September, the writers and mentors will draft a workplan, which will be used by each mentor/writer pair during the five months of the program.
Applications are now open to:
1. Published writers who would like to support a local writer in this way, and

2. Local writers who would like to be paired with a mentor to help develop and refine your writing and marketing skills.
Deadline June 15.

Mentor/writer pairings will be confirmed by August 15, in consultation with mentors to ensure pairings reflect the writers' interests and skill level. I am hoping that at least one writer in this first session will be a Grade 11 or 12 student.

If there is enough demand - and enough experienced writers willing to serve as mentors - this program will be offered again in March 2010.

I've posted all the info. and the application forms at my website at Now let's see what happens.

I'm pretty sure we won't have any problems coming up with five eager writers. Attracting four (count me in!) willing volunteer mentors might be the challenge. But I feel sure local authrors will come through.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

When a picture is worth more than a thousand words

Non writers often want to know, "Where do ideas for stories come from?"

Here's one example in my files:

This is said to be a picture of a house built into the cliffs of Portcurno Beach on the south coast of Cornwall.
Despite my best efforts, since I ran across this photo a couple of years ago, I've been unable to confirm that it was in fact taken there, or indeed find anything more about it other than the location noted on the photo.

But as many good pics do, this one has become embedded in my mind (and is now on the desktop of my new mini laptop), and has gradually prompted the idea of a story that links a (fictional) young evacuee child from London (Vera Prentice) with the (real) eccentric Rowena Cade who built the Minack Theatre, which sits on the cliffs high above Porthcurno Beach where Vera is billeted in this house with (fictional) brother and sister Billy and Morva Carne.

I do know that a (fictional) mute seagull also features in this story somehow. But other than that, it's just the ghost of a story distracting me from other projects currently on the go.

Speaking of ghosts... now there's a possibility...

Which might mean that this picture is worth many more than one thousand words.

(This image came from browsing the Francis Frith collection which says it contains "120,000 old photos, maps and books from every village and town in the UK - a GREAT resource for ideas and research. And nostalgia. )

Monday, March 09, 2009

While I'm away...

An interview with me appears on the 'Darby Speaks' blog here:

This blog celebrates KC Dyer's new book A Walk Through a Window published recently by Doubleday Canada. A thrill for time travelers who love a good yarn and a little Canadian history enroute!

Check out the blog for a chance to win a copy of my book, and a bag of wine gums!

I am also the featured author on Orca's website here.

Which is more publicity than I deserve, seeing as I'm out of the country poking around England - this week in the ancient city of Winchester, and next weekend further north in York.