The Wild Writers Literary Festival is held once a year in Waterloo, Ontario. I enjoyed my first festival so much last year, I decided to attend again this year. This year I signed up for three workshops.
“Facing Your Fear of Poetry”
The facilitator, Sarah Tolmie, is an associate professor at University of Waterloo.
The workshop began with us breaking into groups of four in order to braid long ropes together. Although no one understood why we were doing this exercise, we had a lot of fun with it. You can see the results in the picture.
Afterwards we discovered that weaving together the braids was a metaphor for the process of creating poems. We then discussed what we had learned through the activity. For example, weaving together the strands made them connected, and, therefore, stronger. As well, you need to get the blood flowing to your brain in order to be able to create. So if you are ever sitting in front of a blank screen, then go out and do something, and, according to Tolmie, preferably something complicated.
“Ten Tips for Writing Great Creative Nonfiction”
This was my favourite workshop of all three. One reason is that I am starting to write more and more creative nonfiction.
The other is because the facilitator Ayelet Tsabari, author of a memoir in essays called “The Art of Leaving”, was very generous in sharing her tips to writing great creative nonfiction.
Tsabari began by saying that everybody has a story. (This is something I have always said. I really enjoy talking to people about their story as opposed to the latest TV shows or movies.) However, if you want to write great creative nonfiction, you need to tell your story well. Tsabari shared some tips about how to do so. She gave many great suggestions including discussing that often puzzling term called “Voice”, which she defined as your distinct personality, or what sets you apart from other writers. She also tackled the controversial issue of “show and tell”. According to Tsabari, you need to not only show but also tell; however, you need to know when to do each. In the picture you can read one of the author’s examples of showing from her own work.
A member of the “Creative Nonfiction Collective Society”, a national organization, gave a brief talk at the beginning of this workshop. The society will be announcing a contest soon, and they will host a conference in Toronto in May 2020.
“Self-Care for Writers 101”
This workshop was facilitated by Inkwell Workshops, a Toronto based organization.
A panel of writers discussed self-care for writers, which is a topic that needs to be addressed more often. For example, after writing, particularly on a difficult topic, you need to do something you enjoy. For me, that would mean taking a walk or chatting with a friend. How about you?
I am looking forward to next year’s Wild Writers Literary Festival. As well, I am considering entering the Creative Nonfiction Collective Society’s contest and may even attend their 2020 conference.
Shoe’s Sunday Stories
@Copyright 2019 Linda Schueler