Thursday, May 6, 2010

Globe and Mail to publish Dolores Kivi's essay "The Glasgow Photograph"

Dolores Kivi, a freelance writer based in Thunder Bay, writes with wonderful news that The Globe and Mail has accepted her essay "A Soldier's Portrait" for publication in its "Facts and Arguments" section on Friday, May 7, 2010. (See the online version here: A Soldier's Portrait.)

Says Dolores: "One should never hesitate to carry out a potentially kind deed even if it involves a bit of work. In 2005, with pending major surgery, I had realized that I had two photographs of Second World War soldiers - soldiers to whom I had written for several years but had never met either before or after the war. As a nurse I realized that no surgery is without risk and it seemed a shame for my children to probably be tossing out perfectly preserved (in my album) studio photographs because they meant nothing to them.

"With a lot of luck, because they had uncommon names for this area and because I knew the soldiers had originally come back to what is now Thunder Bay, I started searching for descendents. Both had stories to tell me but for one the story was exceptional and the photograph was - if I may be so bold as to say it - far more than the word 'appreciated' can convey.

"I wrote the first drafts of the story last year after I had spoken to the principal descendant, and received encouragement to write it; he saw the draft before submission."

Former workshopper Dolores Kivi pens a weekly column for Thunder Bay's The Chronicle-Journal for COPA (Council on Positive Aging). This will be her second "Facts and Arguments" essay. Read as well her essay "About Writing" (archived on this blog April 25, 2008) by clicking here: About Writing, by Dolores Kivi.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Sabino Springs Writers' Retreat, Tucson, Arizona, January 2011

Journeys and Discoveries: Writing From Your Life
Sabino Springs Writers’ Retreat

Tucson, Arizona

January 22 to 28, 2011

Join editor and instructor Allyson Latta for this unique one-week retreat open to travel-loving writers of all ages. At Sabino Springs you’ll enjoy a series of entertaining and stimulating workshops and the opportunity to explore your own creative writing, while taking in sunshine, desert and mountain scenery, and irresistible Arizona culture.

Interested in developing your memoirs, or using life experiences to enrich your fiction or other writing? This retreat could be the inspiration you need.

Relax in shared accommodation at the luxurious Casitas, with views of the Santa Catalina Mountains and the fairways of the Arizona National Golf Club. Condos are over 1200 square feet and feature two bedrooms, two bathrooms, state-of-the-art kitchen, dining area, great room with queen-size pullout couch, and outdoor patio. There’s also a heated outdoor pool, hot tub and fitness centre. Our workshop venue is a 15-minute walk away at host Gail Rudyk’s welcoming Southwestern-style home.

Registration fee covers 7 nights’ accommodation, most meals, 12 hours of workshops, 1 private consult with Allyson, a Q&A session with a Tucson-based literary publisher, group activities such as an evening Reading Salon, and transportation for planned sightseeing.

Optional excursions include a tram-ride and hike in picturesque Sabino Canyon, a visit to Tanque Verde Dude Ranch, a trip to Colossal Cave Mountain Park, a guided tour of San Xavier del Bac Mission and historic downtown Tucson, lunch at the charming Arizona Inn and gardens ... and more. Use free time to focus on your own writing, commune with other writers, and re-energize in these beautiful surroundings.

Space is very limited and some workshop spots may be reserved by local writers. Accommodation availability is based on booking order. Contact Allyson at  for rates, Program, and Detail Sheet. For more about Allyson, visit the site for Days Road Writers Workshops.

Early-bird registration special: Register before August 15, 2010 [new date], and receive a written critique of one piece of writing (max. 2,000 words).

Writers' Community of Durham Region member discount: 10% off registration fee

Friday, April 16, 2010

Memoirist Mary McIntyre's poem accepted for publication

Guest post by Mary McIntyre

I fit my grandmother-sized brain into the head of an angry, frustrated teen. Why do that? you might ask. The exercise was in response to the Writers' Circle of Durham Region's broadcast email from Susie Berg of Pearson Educational Publishing. In the fall of 2009 the publisher was looking for poetry for their May/June edition of applied language arts, English 9-10, Poetry Module, "Live Lines." The topic: teens in family conflict, and the poem had to appeal to 15-year-olds, most of them boys, and could have no profanity. I threw on a "hoodie," slammed shut my office door, shoved iPod ear pieces into my ears, slouched in front of my computer, and wrote a poem titled "Ugly Like A Scar."

After a couple of months I received by email from a Pearson representative a permission request to include my poem in the textbook. It was then that I realized the scope of the edition: 45,000 copies (approx. 80 pages), 1,500 teacher guides, audio rights downloadable to MP3 player – 1,500 users (classrooms), and electronic rights, student password-protected website – 1,077 users (classrooms).

On receiving the news, I emitted a grandmotherly whoop of satisfaction, and as a former teacher, thought about the impact my poem might have on troubled teens. Then I switched gears and thought about the impact the publication offered to me as an emerging writer.

I solicited members of my writing group, Life Writers Ink, and Allyson Latta, Writing Coach, and Deborah Windsor, President of The Writers' Union of Canada, to learn about how I should handle the offer. With their help, I concluded the negotiation to my satisfaction.


MARY MCINTYRE has been published in Parry Sound's The Beacon newspaper, and won first prize in the 2008 Days Road Writers' Workshops memoir contest, for her short story "Scugog at Dark." In her forthcoming book, Washburn Island: A Memoir of Childhood, the strong ties of a British immigrant family are torn apart by a violent tragedy at Washburn Island, Lake Scugog, where several generations of her family summered for over thirty years.

Mary has participated in a number of Allyson Latta's workshops, live and online, since 2004.