Welcome to the April 2013 edition of INK STAINS, HB Creativity’s online newsletter giving details of upcoming Creative Writing Courses, alumni news — particularly heartening during the awards season — upcoming opportunities for writers, interesting blogs and websites.

Upcoming Courses

Live 8 Week Novel Writing Workshop Series

Our new live 8-week novel writing workshop series will begin on May 1, 7.00 pm. (One place remaining). Together we will workshop all the aspects of plot, narrative style, tense, point of view, dialogue and marry these explorations to a genuine understanding of where the work fits in in terms of genre, and therefore the publishing world. Classes are small (5 maximum) so attention to each participant’s work will be generous. This is the workshop series for you if you have an idea for a novel, a partial draft, or a full draft that needs dedicated work, rewriting and indepth, focused feedback. You will benefit from a supportive atmosphere, traveling with others along the same voyage, while experiencing quality advice and in-class editing. Call 693-0118 or email for more details or to register.

Guided Online Writing Course

Estimated duration of the course is 8-12 weeks. Start when you like, work at your own pace and receive extensive evaluation and advice based on your writing. The Guided Online Writing Course is designed for writers who want a significant portion of a draft of their novel, or non-fiction project, completed by the end of the course. Feedback will cover all the aspects of plot/structure, narrative style, tense, point of view, dialogue, and we will work hard on plot development to make sure that you are keeping reader interest. Call 693-0118 or email for more details or to register.

Together with these workshops, we are planning our first writers’ salon for Sunday, May 12. Contact me for details.

Alumni News

The last twelve months have seen many exciting developments in the writing careers of HB Creativity alumni. Linda Abbott (The Loss of the Marion, Flanker Press), Tara Nanayakkara (Priya’s World, Inanna Publications), Eric Colbourne (Disappeared, Michael Grass House) all hit the shelves running with impressive sales and enthusiastic reviews. And, some especially well-deserved good news, Lesleyanne Ryan (Braco, Breakwater Books) is a finalist in the prestigious Altantic Book Awards, in the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award category!

Lesleyanne will be touring Atlantic Canada as part of the awards programme between May 9 and May 16. Don’t miss a chance to see her read from this highly-acclaimed first novel descibed by Mark Anthony Jarman as “a bombshell of a book.” See the Atlantic Book Awards.

Upcoming Opportunities

1. The Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador (WANL) in partnership with the Literary Arts Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador is calling for submissions to one of the country’s most lucrative literary awards for unpublished writers: the Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union Fresh Fish Award for Emerging Writers. If you have a manuscript near to completion, don’t miss this opportunity! The Deadline is June 14th, 2013. A list of rules and regulations can be found at Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador.

2. Poets, short fiction writers and emerging novelists, plan now for the next deadline of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters Awards on the last Friday of November (22th November) 2013. Keep tuned to the website.

Resources and Ideas

Here’s a very useful website from author Brian Grove: The site covers submissions and breaks down lists of publishers who are accepting manuscripts by country and book type (e.g. fiction, non-fiction, poetry etc.) A fundamental skill of an author or would-be author is to know the market, so putting aside a little research time a week to get to know these publishers’ sites and sampling their books is a smart thing to do.

Two really well thought out literary blogs:

1. Valerie’s Journal: Chronicles of a Debut Novelist. Valerie describes her thoughts and influences and posts some interesting articles about writing, including interviews with some of the great debut novelists featured above.

2. Kate Robbins: Into the Highland Mist. This website draws the through-line from person, to formative literary experience, to the fiction the author produces. From the same blogger a recommendation to peruse this book about the physical effects and ways of describing emotions:

Workshop Facilitator: Paul Butler is the award-winning author of nine novels including the just released Titanic Ashes (Flanker Press). Titanic Ashes reached # 2 in the Halifax Chronicle Herald’s bestsellers list and was given highly positive reviews by such magazines as Quill & Quire and Historical Books Review. Previous novels include Cupids (Flanker Press) Hero (Nimbus), 1892 (Flanker Press), NaGeira (Flanker Press), Easton’s Gold, Easton, and Stoker’s Shadow.