by Jane Crossman
My favourite events on the NOWW calendar are almost upon us. On this special weekend in May there are three NOWW events for writers and lovers of writing in northwestern Ontario.
First, on Friday, May 12th, author Denise Chong, will do a reading and discuss how her book The Girl in the Picture came into being. The girl in the picture is Kim Phuc who was photographed running down a road in Vietnam after being burned by napalm. Denise will lead us through the development of the book from its inception to publication, complete with a slide show. This event takes place at the Baggage Building Arts Centre on the waterfront from 7:00-8:30 p.m. and admission is free.
The second event is a workshop facilitated by Chong and entitled Writing memory: Writing Truth. Deborah de Bakker has attended one of the author’s workshops and felt it was outstanding. I have found that workshops led by distinguished writers are invaluable. For example, last year, Michael Christie emphasized the importance of detail and well-rounded characters in fiction writing during his superb, interactive workshop. The workshop this year is on Saturday, May 13th from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. at the Mary J.L. Black Library and there is a small charge. Pre-registration is required at the NOWW website (nowwwriters.ca) so don’t delay if you haven’t already done so.
The Literary Awards Party (May 13 starting at 6:00 p.m.) is our opportunity for writers and friends of writing in northwestern Ontario to socialize at the Prince Arthur Hotel complete with a buffet dinner and cash bar. During the evening we will celebrate the accomplishments of writers in northwestern Ontario, honour past recipients of the Kouhi or Burnford (now Phillips) Awards, present the Elizabeth Kouhi Award for 2017 and give out prizes for the 2017 writing contest. The evening also features the People’s Choice play from this year’s 10X10 Showcase, several door prizes, and a book buying and signing opportunity with our keynote speaker, Denise Chong.
Chong is an internationally acclaimed writer, a two-time finalist for the Governor General’s award for non-fiction, and has been awarded the Order of Canada. I have found that in recent years, the keynote speeches have been both inspirational and highly entertaining.
Please attend as many of the three events as you can. I have no doubt that you’ll be glad you did.
Jane Crossman is a Professor Emerita at Lakehead University and while on sabbatical has taught in England, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Her passion is creative writing. Since 2000, Jane has been a member of the Thunder Bay Writers Guild. She has had short stories published in The New Writer, Quality Women’s Fiction, Odyssey, Lexikon, Fireflies, Artery, NOWW Magazine, Fuel and was shortlisted for the Ian St. James Award (UK). Jane lives, loves and laughs in Thunder Bay and each year spends time in Ireland and Arizona.