Youth do 4 X 10

Youth do 4 X 10
Four plays, 10 minutes each.

Annual NOWW Awards Party

Annual NOWW Awards Party
Guest Speaker - Denise Chong

We are honoured to welcome Denise Chong to Thunder Bay

We are honoured to welcome Denise Chong to Thunder Bay
The Girl in the Picture. All welcome. Free Admission.

Finlandia Hall Saturday, April 29, 7:30 and Sunday, April 30, 6:30

Finlandia Hall Saturday, April 29, 7:30 and Sunday, April 30, 6:30
Wonderful Theatre. Ten plays, each ten minutes long. You vote for the winner.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Yowzers - What a theatrical weekend

Cathy Grandfield writes.

Dear Joan

We are having three shows next weekend in honour of 10x10's Fifth Anniversary:

• GALA SHOWCASE Saturday April 29 (7:30 pm) $30

• YOUTH GALA Sunday April 30 (1:00 pm) Free Admission

• SHOWCASE MATINEE Sunday April 30 (4:00 pm) $15

All shows will be performed on the Finlandia stage (in the main hall above The Hoito). Tickets are available at The Hoito, The Growing Season, and on our website:

The 10x10 Showcase features ten plays by ten playwrights, each ten minutes long. At the Saturday Gala, there will be a champagne reception with live music before the show to celebrate our fifth anniversary. The Sunday Matinee will be the same show without the reception.    

New this year is our first Youth Gala, which will be presented Sunday at 1:00 pm before our 4:00 pm Matinee. The Youth Gala has been prepared by All the Daze Productions in partnership with 10x10. They will present a one-hour show featuring four fun plays written, directed, and acted by young people ages 8 to 18. These plays are also ten minutes each. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Write NOWW: Reviews

Fri Apr 21st 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Ryan Machett and friend
CommuniTea and Coffee108 Frederica St E, Thunder Bay, ON P7E 3V5
Critical Conversations about writing reviews with guest panelists Melissa Gaudette, Ryan Mackett and Michael Sobota.

Workshop: The Business of Writing

Sat Apr 29th 10:00am - 3:00pm
Mary J.L. Black Library901 Edward St S, Thunder Bay, ON P7E 6R2, Canada

H. (Heather) Leighton Dickson
Join hybrid author H. (Heather) Leighton Dickson and award winning author Jean E. Pendziwol for an extended workshop covering the mysterious and essential elements necessary for navigating a journey to book publication. Space is limited and registration is required.  Fee: 10$ for NOWW members; 40$ for non-members. To register


Workshop: The Business of Writing 

Sat May 27th 10:00am - 3:00pm
Dryden Public Library36 Van Horne Ave, Dryden.
Jean and Heather will travel to Dryden to present the above workshop. Fee. Registration required. To register 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Two local winners in the Canadian Shorts Contest

Local writers Marion Agnew and Joan M. Baril will both have stories in the upcoming anthology Canadian Shorts 2017 which should be out this summer. Stay tuned for more.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

What a story collection! Celebrating Room's 40th Anninversary

Got my copy this week and just started reading. I can't put it down! Started with the poetry and now the stories. A treasure from one of Canada's best literary magazines. Joan M. Baril

Making Room: Forty Years of Room Magazine celebrates the history and evolution of Canadian literature and feminism with some of the most exciting and thought-provoking fiction, poetry, and essays the magazine has published since it was founded in 1975 as Room of One’s Own

This collection includes poems about men not to be fallen in love with, trans womanhood, the morning-after pill, the “mind fuck” of being raped by a romantic partner, and a tribute to the women who were murdered in the Montreal Massacre.

 In one story, a group of sexual assault survivors meet weekly and come up with a unique way to help police capture their assailant, while in another a dinner party turns to witty talk of racism, sexism, pornography, and time travel. One author recounts how she learned multiple languages in order to connect with her father, another reluctantly walks down the aisle in order to stay in Canada with the man she loves. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Congratulations Jean and Phil. This looks wonderful.

On the shelves August 1. Looks like a real Thunder Bay experience.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Three book excerpts at the next reading.

Fiction or Non- fiction:  Chapters / Segments

From novels to memoir to other creative non-fiction chapters; these readings
​from local and regional writers will leave you wanting to read on. 

Featured Readers:

  • David Belrose
  • Bill Heath
  • Lyle Nicol
Mary J. Black Library:  Community Room
Tuesday April 11, 2017
7:00 p.m.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Thunder Bay Public Library Interviews Paul Gooding

Paul Gooding enjoys poetry from the Victorian to the modern age, especially Tennyson, Frost, and Andrea Cohen. He’s the contact person for the Writers’ Circle, who meet on the last Wednesday of the month in the Waverley Auditorium. For more information on Writers’ Circle, please call him at 807-345-8513.
Shauna Kosoris: How did you get involved with Writers’ Circle?
Paul Gooding: Through a library ad. I was put in touch with Irene Warmenhoven, who edited the first anthology, Voice of Thunder, in 1998. I believe that they had existed prior to the first anthology.
For new members, it doesn’t matter if you’ve written a little or a lot, you can bring what you have and we’ll celebrate and read it. Everyone is welcome. There are no authorities. Everyone has their own thoughts on the piece. Everyone is welcome.
It’s wonderful that Writers’ Circle is so supportive. Other than that support, what is the most positive thing you have gotten out of being a member?
I think it’s the experience of seeing my work in print to a wider audience. To more than just fellow writers. The Writers’ Circle books were placed in the Thunder Bay depot of local works. That was instigated by Ken Boschcoff. I don’t know where it is located but it is the mayor’s collection of books.
That’s very exciting! You were on the editing team for Thunder on the Bay, the Writers’ Circle’s 4th anthology. Who else worked on that with you?Thunder on the Bay was edited by Joan Baril, Michele Tuomi, and I. Martin Hicks assisted in editing as well (he’s since passed on). L. Keith Johnson was the guiding light to that one. Each time we met he kept a record of who came to the meeting. He was a massive contributor to everything.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis wins Canada Reads

I read Fifteen Dogs and okay. it was okay but not terrific although a lot of people in my book club and writers' groups loved it. One local writer foud a depth to the book that I didn't find. He stated that the lives of the dogs, after they gained human powers, mirrored the lives of humansity in its variety, tragedy and uncertainly. Sort of existential dogs. Well, yeah, maybe. I thought it was a gimmick book based on the idea that the Greek Gods gift the dogs with powers they never had before and so they burst out from captivity at the vets and try to set up a society of their own. And so on.

In fact I was not thrilled with the entire list this year. I read The Right to be Cold, a memoir by environmentalist Sheila Watt-Cloutier and I thought it was a strong book but not perhaps the best of Can Lit this year. Actually I am not sure that Canada Reads has a mandate to pick the best for the contest. I liked the give and take of the discussions but I thought, where was Wonder by Emma Donaghue, Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood, The Birthday Lunch by Joan Clark, Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson and several others that I read in the past twelve months.

Sunday, March 26, 2017


Join Hybrid author H. (Heather) Leighton Dickson and award winning author Jean E. Pendziwol for an extended workshop covering the mysterious and essential elements necessary for navigating a journey to traditional book publication.

The Workshop will focus on children's, YA, non-fiction and adult books. We'll explore everything from query letters, genres, #MSWL, agents, foreign rights and #pitmad, to author platforms, imprints, editors and more, We'll even fill you in on what a "hybrid" author stands for.

The workshop is sponsored by the Norhwestern Ontario Writers Workshop and will take place on Saturday April 29 from 10:00 to 3:00 at the Mary J. Black Library,  901 Edward St. S. The cost is 10$ For NOWW members and 40$ for non-members. (Which includes a one year's membership to NOWW.)  Please bring a brown bag lunch.

To register go to the NOWW website ( . Space is limited and sorry, no walk-ins.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Yes! Ma-nee Chacaby's memoir A Two Spirit Journey on short list for Lambda Prize.

Lambda Literary Awards (also known as the "Lammys") are awarded yearly by the US-based Lambda Literary Foundation to published works which celebrate or explore LGBT themes. Categories include Humor, Romance and Biography. To qualify, a book must have been published in the United States in the year current to the award. The Lambda Literary Foundation states that its mission is "to celebrate LGBT literature and provide resources for writers, readers, booksellers, publishers, and librarians - the whole literary community."[1] The awards were instituted in 1988 - Wikipedia
Many Canadian nominees this year and listed here. 
  • Lesbian fiction category: Tears in the Grass by Lynda A. Archer 
  • Lesbian memoir/biography category: A Two-Spirit Journey: The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder by Ma-Nee Chacaby
  • Transgender fiction category: Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl's Confabulous Memoir by Kai Cheng Thom and Small Beauty by jia qing-wilson
  • LGBTQ Children's/Young Adult category: Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard 
  • Transgender nonfiction category: You Only Live Twice: Sex, Death and Transition by Chase Joynt and Mike Hoolboom
  • Transgender poetry category: even this page is white by Vivek Shraya
  • Lesbian mystery category: Under Contract by Jessica L. Webb
  • LGBTQ SF/F/Horror category: The Devourers by Indra Das and Kissing Booth Girl by A.C. Wise
  • LGBTQ graphic novels category: The Case of Alan Turing by French authors Arnaud Delalande and Eric Liberge, translated by David Homel 
  • LGBTQ anthology category: The Remedy by Zena Sharman and Building Fires in the Snow: A Collection of Alaska LGBTQ Short Fiction and Poetry edited by U.S. scholar Martha Amore and Lucian Childs
  • LGBTQ drama category: Freda and Jem's Best of the Week by Lois Fine
See all the finalists at the Lambda Literary Awards website.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Francophones! A contest for you!

AFNOO (Association des francophones du Nord-Ouest de l’Ontario) recently launched a French writing competition open to the residents of the Northwestern Ontario region:
For all details and rules of this contest please visit evenements/concours150
The deadline for submissions is April 14, 2017 at 5:00 pm EST.
Whistler Independent Book Awards (March 1 to April 30 submissions)
''Once upon a time in Northwestern Ontario...''
This writing contest is to promote the unique history of the Northwestern Ontario region and celebrate the 150th anniversary of Ontario. The competition is open to every resident of the Kenora, Rainy River, and Thunder Bay districts. Texts should be between 1000 and 1500 words and involve noticeable landmarks, historical events or characters from the region's past.


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Rough notes from a Richard Wagamese Workshop. Thunder Bay. May 9, 2015

Richard Wagamese – workshop, Saturday, May 9, 2015 – rough notes.

Held at MJB library, with about 30 participants

Wagamese said he read a lot and copied copiously from the books whenever he found a section he liked. He copied into a big notebook by hand. He tried to find out the titles of good books and took down the names in a small spiral notebook that he carried everywhere. He stayed up late copying.

He has no degree in writing and never attended a writing course. He did not finish high school. A homeless youth, he found the public library a blessing where he could read at a carrel and was never disturbed. He went every day to read and copy. He could not take the books out because he had no library card.

"To write – go to the energy." He compares the spontaneity of children, their energy and their “guess what happened” and the key word, the answer, “what?” When you say “what” you are agreeing to a story. Children pour the tale out unselfconsciously, usually in one long sentence with and, so and but to keep the thing going. “What” is the magic word, the key to the story.

The child just strings words together. She can’t stop talking. The child ponders, wonders, questions.

Wagamese works with oral stories. He never rewrites. The oral gets you away from the concept of failing, bad negative thoughts about writing, judgment rules.

"You have to be out of your head to be a writer, that is out of the judging brain. You must go by heart and emotion." He has his students do oral story telling for two days. 

At this point, we did a exercise by writing down ten words and making sentences of out neighbours first three. Then the first five. We also took a key word, circled it and crated other words radiating from it like a sun. Then made a sentence using all the words.

“As soon as you stop and think, stop. Writing should not be a struggle.”

 Wagamese writes four or five hours in the morning but if he stops to think he stops. He goes to another activity such as breathing, stretching. Later he fixes the stuff up but he may decide to leave it alone. Later, taking these ideas and blowing them up gives you a feeling of energy. He makes word maps (see sun above).

He is insistent that the more you practice the better you become at attaining this spontaneity. He seldom revises. You want your language to be unfiltered, open and flowing. “Open the lens of understanding. See life with a wide child-like lens.”

If he has an idea for a novel he tells the story by speaking it out loud to his dog on walks. He does this for 6 weeks, over and over. As he is speaking, his logical brain is organizing, his abstract brain is creating and his psychological brain is pushing the enemy (self doubt) out.

He believes story telling is spiritual. Speaking out loud is better than silent thought. He discovered the title, Quality of Light, by speaking out loud on a walk when he saw mist on the river. Through oral story telling we can write without struggle.

He believes we all come from an oral tradition. He says once we all sat around a fire and listened to stories. We are geared to out loud. We are geared to story telling. Every time we ask a question, we are asking for a story.

When he is writing his characters take over. They start to dictate the story.  

Tell your story of bad things that happened. He wrote about being homeless in Miami and later he remembers that Muhammad Ali gave him a meal. Patted him on the head. He was fifteen but before he wrote that down he had just remembered his sad plight and had forgotten the boxer. So write the sad things and look for the light.

When you tell a story, certain steps occur. 1. Telling– the energy of telling sparks 2. listening gives it energy. 3. hearing which is different than listening because it has emotional, mental, spiritual or physical reactions connected to it and so in turn 4. You are incorporating the story which gives energy to 5. Tell it again to someone you know and so a circle from tell to tell.