L3 Writers’ Conference, 21 April

2016 L3 Writers' ConferenceThis Thursday, Barrie’s single largest literary event of the year, the L3 Writers’ Conference, kicks off at 7 pm at Barrie North Collegiate. This annual event is organized and produced by the students of the iDeology program.

Spoken word artist Shane Koyczan is headlining this year’s conference under the theme, Poetry is Therapy, in support of youth mental wellness. Also on the bill: Ian Keteku, IFthePoet, Holly Painter, and Barrie’s Poet Laureate – that would be me – leading things off.

Tickets are available in advance at the wonderful used bookstore, Rivendell Books in Wellington Plaza, for $25 (students, $20). Tickets will also be available at the door. Start time is 7 pm but the doors open at 5.30. Barrie North Collegiate, 110 Grove St E, Barrie. See the L3 Writers’ Conference website for details.

Barrie Workshop: How to Get Published: 18 May

Barrie’s Culture Department is hosting a free workshop on how to get published on 18 May 2016. Topics range from placing pieces in magazines and journals, all the way to landing an agent and book contract, with some self-publishing, zine and micro press publishing thrown in. Though free, registration is required. 

Join Alana Wilcox of Coach House Books, Bruce Meyer and me on 18 May!

How to Get Published

When writers start their careers, most do so by publishing in literary magazines and work their way up to small presses. Literary magazines, despite financial pressures of the time, are still proliferating in Canada and they are constantly seeking new work from new writers. The initial segment of this informative workshop will feature Dr. Bruce Meyer, Barrie’s former Poet Laureate and author of 47 books, as he explains how authors can start up and after a few magazine publications produce their own chapbook to sell at open mic readings – in the manner that Margaret Atwood began her career.

If you’ve already spent months, or years, sweating and swearing over a book and now you’re ready to draw the interest of agents and/or publishing houses, then you will enjoy listening to Alana Wilcox, Editorial Director of Coach House Books, as she simplifies the process for you. Alana will speak to what the publishing landscape currently looks like and what publishers are looking for. Alana will address considerations such as, how do you approach a publisher and more importantly how do you win them over. Damian Lopes, Barrie’s current Poet Laureate will be adding his expertise to the evening, so don’t miss the opportunity to connect with three dynamic professionals.

You won’t be told it’s impossible to get published, or that it’s easy. You will, however, gain a realistic understanding of how the process works and how you can maximize your chances for success.

This workshop will be held on Wednesday May 18, 2016 from 6:30 – 9:30 pm in the Sir Robert Barrie Room, located on the second floor of City Hall. There is no charge to register for this workshop however you must contact us at [email protected] or call 705-739-4299 in order to reserve your spot.

Barrie Proclaims National Poetry Month

Barrie-Poetry-Month Barrie’s mayor, Jeff Lehman, has officially proclaimed April to be National Poetry Month in the city. Further, he has accepted the challenge of Calgary’s mayor, Naheed Nenshi, to have a poet read at an upcoming Council meeting.

On 11 April, as the city’s poet laureate, I will be presenting a poem as part of the Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge. Come out in support, or listen in at home.

Upping the ante, derek beaulieu, Calgary’s poet laureate, and I have issued a friendly National Poetry Month – Poet Laureate Challenge to poets participating in the Mayor’s Challenge, to encourage poetic connections and small press publishing.

There’s lots going on in Barrie for National Poetry Month, including the L3 Writers’ Conference on 21 April, so come on out!