How to Make Yourself Write - June 21 Kingston writing workshop with Brian Henry

“How to Make Yourself Write”
 ~ A creativity workout ~
Saturday, June 21

1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Lions Club, 935 Sydenham Road, Kingston  
(Map here.)

Let's get motivated! 
This workshop is designed to help you find the time and the inspiration to write. 
No more staring at a blank screen. Come to this
workshop and give yourself a kick-start, and 
then learn how to keep going. 
This creativity workout will get your words 
flowing and help you make the breakthrough 
into the next level of writing!

Fee: 32.74 + 13% hst = 37 paid in advance by mail or Interac
      or 35.40 + 13% hst = 40 if you wait to pay at the door

To register, please make out a cheque to Brian Henry and mail it 

to: Brian Henry, 110 Reiner Road, Toronto, ON M3H 2L6
Or if you do on-line banking, you can pay by e-transfer.
To reserve a spot now, email

For more information phone 

the Ontario Writers Network at 613-0547-1419

MAKE YOUR WRITING DRAMATIC: workshop in Kingston on Nov. 16th

How to Make Your Writing Dramatic workshop, Saturday, Nov 16, Kingston

“How to Make Your Stories Dramatic”

Saturday, November 16
1:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Lions Club
935 Sydenham Road, Kingston Ontario (Map here.)

This workshop is geared to both beginners and more experienced writers.  We’ll look at the most important part of all stories whether fictional or true: the fully dramatized scene.  You'll learn some of the most successful tricks of the trade to make sure that you'll never write a lifeless scene again.

We’ll look at both dialogue and action scenes. You’ll learn how to write great dialogue and how to mix it with your narrative so that the interaction between your characters comes alive. But the most difficult scenes of all are climactic action scenes; such as love scenes, chase scenes and fight scenes. Primarily using fight scenes as our examples, you’ll learn how to ramp up the tension you need for one of these high-octane performances. 

Workshop leader Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing teacher for more than 25 years. He teaches creative writing at Ryerson University and has led workshops everywhere from Boston to Buffalo and from Sarnia to Charlottetown. But his proudest boast is that he has helped many of his students get their first book published and launch their careers as authors.

Fee: $32.74 + 13% hst = $37 paid in advance by mail
or $35.40 + 13% hst = $40 if you wait to pay at the door
To reserve a spot now, email 

WRITERS' DIGEST ARTICLE: 7 ways to write a stand-alone book with series potential


Categories: Brian Klems' The Writer's Dig Tags: Brian Klemsonline editor blog.
Readers love a good series, and so do authors. For readers, it’s fun to get to know characters well, comforting to know more or less what direction each book will take, and delight in knowing there are more to read and more on the way. For an author a successful series means a reliable paycheck and cumulative royalties, and a predictable path for the writing and publishing of each new book.
Topps BooksAuthor Kurtis ScalletaGuest column by Kurtis Scaletta, who is the author of three middle-grade novels published by Knopf Books for Young Readers, and the Topps League chapter book series published by Abrams/Amulet.

But publishers would rather publish a stand-alone book and see how it does before committing to a series, so the first book becomes a tough balancing act. How do you learn to write a stand-alone book with series potential? Here are 7 ways to accomplish that.

1. Begin with a strong stand-alone book.

This should be your highest priority, even if your dream is to launch a series. Pick your strongest idea and write the best book you can, as if it will be the only one. In other words, don’t sacrifice the story for the series. Address the series potential in revisions.

2. Establish a structure and format that is both predictable and extendable.

As you feel your way through the first book, keep in mind that you are also creating a template that can be reused. When I set out to write the first installment in a baseball series for kids, I decided that each book would have two stories: one centering on one player for the minor league team, and one on the protagonist who works as a bot boy. A detective series might have one major, serious case and a minor, humorous case in every book. This doesn’t have the be a rigid formula. It’s more of a theme with endless variation that helps you succeed athow to write great fiction.

3. Give yourself a wide cast to work with. Even if you aren’t sure how they will play in, give your minor characters some personality.

It was easy for me to do this, since I had an entire team and ballpark staff to introduce. If your series involves a more solitary character, think about neighbors, drinking buddies, or exes that can drop in to every book. Any one of them might have a problem that develops into a future full-blown story.

4. Adopt what could be a running joke or minor theme in your books, something readers will look forward to seeing in each subsequent volume.

I decided that every book in my kids’ baseball series would feature a ballpark promotion, something to add life to the setting of each book which often (but not always) criss-crosses with the other storylines. Explore your environment for similar threads, such as frequent malfunctions and problems in the detective’s office building, and preposterous excuses by the incompetent superintendent.

5. Give the reader a feeling that the hero has accomplished something but still has a lot to do.

Avoid the “cliffhanger” ending that undoes all of the work the protagonist accomplished in the first book, just to repeat it in a second book. However, make it clear that the hero’s ambitions still have a long way to go.

6. Create ‘thumbnail’ sketches of two or three future installments in your series.

Can you embellish a few things in the first book to lay the groundwork for those stories? Can you describe interests and or problems of the characters than can trigger future stories?

7. Set up a few possibilities for series-long narrative arcs.

My baseball series includes a gradual climb out of the basement for a minor league team and a story of growing friendships between two dissimilar bat boys. Some detective stories are against a background of “real life” narratives as the hero searches for love, raises children, or grapples with personal issues. The books might still be read out of order, but give additional rewards to those who read them in chronological order … and who read them all!
Most of these will give a book texture and depth if it is fated to be a stand-alone book, but will allow you a smooth transition into a series. In fact, the vitality that comes from planting seeds for future books can make for a richer reading experience that makes readers want more.
Follow me on Twitter: @BrianKlems
Read my parent humor blog: The Life Of Dad
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Saturday, July 20 "Build Your Book" Workshop with Brian Henry

“How to Build Your Story”
Saturday, July 20
1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Lions Club, 935 Sydenham Road, 
Kingston - map here.
(Note this is not the same Lions Club we were at for the workshop in March)
This workshop will show you how writers plot a novel. You’ll also get the best tips
on writing short stories, where to get them published and how to win contests. Best yet,
you’ll see how to apply the story-building techniques you’ve learned to your own writing.
Fee: $32.74 + 13% hst = $37 paid in advance by mail or Interac
or $35.40 + 13% hst = $40 if you wait to pay at the door
To register, please make out a cheque to Brian Henry and mail it to:
Brian Henry, 110 Reiner Road, Toronto, ON M3H 2L6
Or if you do on-line banking, you can pay by e-transfer.
       To reserve a spot now, email

'Scene of the Crime' mystery writers festival

The acclaimed summer mystery writing/reading festival, called 'Scene of the Crime', will return to Wolfe Island again this year!  

From the Organizers: Good morning everyone,

ANNOUNCING: You can get next year’s festival for this year’s price. Only $65 for the day -- including all meals and author events, plus a mere $30 if you want to attend the workshop as well.  Or a combined price of $90.00.  FYI, award-winning author and editor Barbara Fradkin is giving the writing workshop.

We’re sorry to say that as of January 1st, 2013 – and for the first time in eight years – we’re raising our prices. We hate to do it, but new and rising costs are forcing our hands.  
Registration after January 1st will be $80 for the day (including meals, etc.), The workshop remains at $30, with a combined price of $100.

So go on the website and get your registration now. It’s a bargain, you can do it right online, and it makes a great Christmas gift.

Hope to see you there.


Violette Malan, PhD

SHADOWLANDS "Fabulous urban fantasy" - Alternative Worlds
Look for the Dhulyn and Parno novels, at your bookstore or online

Sounds FUN!!!

For all the information about the festival, go to main page at

Recent article about the 2012 festival: