I joined NOWW for the first time in 2018.
I write poetry, which I perform with percussion instruments. I also write short stories. My work is mostly fiction. I am interested in YA and in writing for adults.
I really enjoyed the book ‘ Small Island’ by Andrea Levy as it tells the story of Jamaican immigrants to London, UK and my parents were Jamaican immigrants. I have lived in Thunder Bay and in Canada for eight years. I also enjoy the work of Octavia Butler the Black sci fi speculative fiction writer. Nalo Hopkinson, a speculative fiction writer who I enjoy reading. I enjoy the writing of Audre Lorde who writes from a Black feminist perspective. I enjoy the use of African American dialect of Zora Neale Hurston. Of course the writing of Nobel laureate for literature Toni Morrison and also writers such as Maya Angelou, her poem ‘ Still I Rise’ is iconic. The writing of Alice Walker. The writing of James Baldwin and the writing of Frantz Fanon, the Caribbean psychiatrist and political philosopher is inspired g and informative.
I have taken part in NOWW readings in the past and will be doing a reading on November 10, 2020.
One way to learn more about me would be to read my book of poetry ’Spectrum’. The book talks about race and identity. I use many of my own experiences of being a Black woman living in Ontario. The book is available locally in Indigo. The Groggy Toad Coffee shop, and The Bodymind Centre. It is also available on Amazon.
When I was young I used to be able to do the limbo dance and It was my party trick.
I am interested in calligraphy and like to practice this sometimes
I was born and grew up in the UK to Jamaican parents. I use patois in my poetry and storytelling. I have always loved fairytales. I have received a grant from the Ontario Arts Council to study fairytales and folklore with a view to incorporating these aspects into my own writing. I use percussion instruments and some African and Caribbean dance in my poetry and storytelling performance. I admire the Jamaican folklorist Louise Bennett who lived in Canada.
I enjoy walking in the beautiful nature of Northern Ontario, yoga, music and film.
My first collection of poetry ‘Spectrum’ was published in May 2020 during the COVID19 lockdown. The book seeks to raise awareness of what it is like to be a Black person. The poetry focuses on race and identity. My first piece of published writing was a short story published in 1996. It was about Black hair. I am currently researching fairytales and African Caribbean folklore and hope to produce some stories and poetry around that.
‘Spectrum’ Amazon link,
I am very inspired by the Jamaican folklorist Louise Bennett. I like her use of Jamaican patois and how she describes this as a language in its own right. My favourite writers tend to be Black women writers whose written characters have strength and resilience. This is because I recognize their struggle, as it mirrors my own.
I like to incorporate the magic of fairytales and folklore in my writing. Writers such as Toni Morrison, speculative fiction writers Octavia Butler and Nalo Hopkinson also incorporate lyricism and imagination in their work. I do recommend these writers. I am inspired by the wish to improve understanding between groups. To promote anti racism themes. I also like to bring more awareness of African and Caribbean folklore and worldview to the public. I am inspired to write by the people I meet, experiences I have, and the natural world.
I enjoy participating in things like Nanowrimo and Camp Nanowrimo.
I have just taken delivery of a world poetry anthology I collaborated on with four other authors from South Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and India. The book contains some of my new poems including ‘Xenophobia’ and ‘Minneapolis.’ The book is available on Amazon and is entitled, "Mercy and Poetic Healing.’ The book is available on Amazon.
‘Mercy and Poetic Healing’ Amazon Link
This is an exciting year for the Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop. We have many new events and programs being offered, including our Peer-to-Peer Review.
This provides you an opportunity to gain insights into your own work while also supporting other writers by providing them some thoughts and suggestions of your own.
Commencing at the start of November and again in April, NOWW will accept submissions from writers wishing to receive feedback on their work. Guidelines will be posted in October.
Shortly thereafter, anyone who has submitted their own work for review, will then receive an email containing a fellow writer’s submission. All who enter to receive feedback, will also provide feedback to another writer. This means that each writer is also a reviewer.
Responses will be completed on a short form to ensure consistency of review for all who enter. We look forward to connecting writers and developing a system for critique and review that is available to all and helps us grow and improve in our craft.
The Peer-to-Peer Review will work as follows:
Day 1: Peer-to-Peer Review Opens
Day 1-7: Submissions may be sent in to the Peer-to-Peer Review Program.
Day 8: Submissions will be mailed to the reviewer. Each participant will receive a submission.
Day 9-29: Reviewers will read and consider a submission and complete the Peer-to-Peer Response Form which they will then email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Day 30: Participants will receive an email containing the Peer-to-Peer Response Form for their work.
1. Entries must be written in English.
2. Only electronic submissions will be accepted, preferably in Microsoft word, RTF or PDF files.
3. Submissions will only be accepted until Midnight, Eastern Time on the 7thnight. Any submissions received after this time will not be eligible for the Peer-to-Peer Program that month.
4. Only one submission per Peer-to-Peer Review Month. You may submit once in November and once in April per year.
5. One submission of poetry is not to exceed 150 lines, in 12-point font, single-spaced. Note that if you are using specific formatting, pdf is the preferred document type.
6. One submission of playwriting, fiction, creative nonfiction, YA, etc. is not to exceed 5 pages, double-spaced, in 12-point font.
7. Submissions can be of any format: poetry, playwriting, fiction, creative nonfiction, YA, etc. in any style and of any theme.
8. If you submit something to be reviewed, you are required to be a reviewer for someone else.
9. You will return only the Peer-to-Peer Response Form. If you would like to discuss the submission further with the writer, please contact NOWW.
10. If you have difficulties with returning the Peer-to-Peer Response Form, please contact NOWW in advance of the deadline.
11. There is no fee to participate in the Peer-to-Peer Review Program.
12. Pleasedo notinclude your name on your submission.
13. Provide your name and Title of Entry in the body of your email.
14. Email entries to: email@example.com
To participate in the Peer-to-Peer Program you must be a member in good standing of the Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop.
By Holly Haggarty
Nowadays, poets mostly write free verse. Some exceptions might be birthday cards, kid lit and rap, but awards are rarely meted out to metric verse. Historically, the 20th century was the moment when free verse was finally freed from the formal rules of style, thought to be stodgy and confining (by esteemed poets such as William Carlos Williams and Marianne Moore). So, no more counting metre and listing rhymes.
No beat, no couplets? You might wonder, how then is free verse rhythmic? What are its rhythms? Is it rhythmic? Is it only saying that makes it so? Is there really any difference between poetry and creative non-fiction—don’t both interrupt conventional syntax while engaging figures of speech? Is poetry just a chopping of line?
O brother, put me in your pouch as you would a fresh, sweet locust-pod. For I am frail as a flask of glass, as a fine grey egg, or a slender rod, O brother; and I am the golden ring you wear on your finger so gladly. For God takes everything from you tomorrow, and gives me everything.
O BROTHER, put me in your pouch
As you would a fresh, sweet locust-pod.
For I am frail as a flask of glass,
As a fine grey egg, or a slender rod,
O brother; and I am the golden ring
You wear on your finger so gladly. For God
Takes everything from you tomorrow, and gives me everything.
(D. H. Lawrence, “The Child and the Soldier”)
Gerard Manley Hopkins, T.S. Elliot and William Carlos Williams all claimed that free verse seeks the inherently poetic rhythm of speech. If that’s so, is this a rhythm that may be heard, felt, shared, learned, known?
Let’s think about this some more.
Holly Haggarty is an artist who loves to play with image, rhythm and word. Her poetry has been presented in many formats, as written, spoken and visual word, in local, national and international venues. Recently, her work has been included in the literary journals The Artery, Understory and Feathertale, as well as in the academic anthologies, Poetic Inquiry: Enchantment of Place (Vernon Press) and Ma: Materiality in Teaching and Learning (Peter Lang). She serves as poetry editor for Cloud Lake Literary.
NOWW's 3rd Annual Flash Fiction Contest
Closed as of September 25th.
Can you pack a whole story into just a few paragraphs? Of course you can!
The NOWW Flash Fiction Contest is now accepting short-short story entries of 500 words max. Quick and to the point.
The top three stories will earn cash prizes ($75/$50/$25) and publication in our blog this fall.
Two members of the NOWW board will judge the contest.
What is Flash Fiction?
Flash fiction stories are, well, short. Sometimes called “micro-stories”, “postcard stories” (if a postcard is part of the contest) or “short-short stories”, flash fiction challenges the writer to fit a complete story into very few words. While there isn’t a paint-by-numbers formula for flash fiction, there is a certain art to it. It’s not about trying to squeeze a 3,000-word story into 500 words.
Here are a few links to help you get a better idea of the craft—and to get the creative juices flowing:
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/may/14/how-to-write-flash-fiction (Another how-to written by David Gaffney)
https://www.masterclass.com/articles/writing-101-what-is-flash-fiction-learn-how-to-write-flash-fiction-in-7-steps (This article actually lists only six steps – perhaps to prove the point?)
http://flashfictiononline.com/main/ (Example pieces)
NOWW’s Flash Fiction Contest is a great way to challenge yourself and get the creative juices flowing.
By the way, this blog post is 446 words, so you have a little more room than this to write your beginning, middle, and end. Think you can do it? Let’s find out! Start writing today!
A Useful Guide for Aspiring Authors
Welcome to our NOWW Blog, made up of a collection of stories, reviews and articles written by our NOWW Members.