Dear HB Creativity Alumni and Friends,

Welcome to the August 2013 version of INK STAINS with alumni news, upcoming workshops, opportunities and details of the new Instant Hook Literary Award funded and administered by HB Creativity. The winner will receive a cash prize of two hundred and fifty dollars ($250.00) plus a sodalite keychain (sodalite is reputed to be the writer’s stone). Two runners up will receive a free one hour tutorial on any aspect of their work.

Live 8 Week Novel Writing Workshop Series

Our new live 8-week novel writing workshop series will begin on September 4, 7.00 pm. Together we will workshop all the aspects of plot, narrative style, tense, point of view, dialogue etc., and marry these explorations to a genuine understanding of where the work fits 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 workshop series is 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. Places will begin to free up during August. Contact me for availability. 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 709 693-0118 or email for more details or to register.

New! Live & Online Combo Novel Writing Workshop Series

Coming Winter term 2014. Check back for details and dates. This exciting new novel writing workshop series combines the in-depth feedback of the online course with the buzz and camaraderie of the live workshop. We begin with a live workshop during which we will discuss your project, clarify its strengths and its challenges and set achievable goals. Through the following eight weeks you will submit eight short sections (2,000 words) and receive in-depth notes. You will also exchange select extracts with the class. The process will workshop all the aspects of your novel’s plot, narrative style, tense, point of view, and dialogue. At the halfway stage there will be a video conference which will gather and analyse the class consensus regarding the direction of your work. At the finish there will be a live workshop in St. John’s. 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 in-depth, focused feedback. You will benefit from a supportive atmosphere, traveling with others along the same voyage, while experiencing quality advice and editing. Call 709 693-0118 or email for more details or to register.

Alumni News

Debbie (Kate) Robbins soon-to-be-released novel, Bound to the Highlander, is already a finalist in a literary competition! This racy and enthralling must-read has been shortlisted by TARA (the Tampa Area Romance Authors chapter of the Romance Writers of America RWA!) The contest, open to published and unpublished authors, will announce a winner in September. Bound to the Highlander is due for ebook release by Irish publisher Tirgearr Publishing in October.

Mary Pike has won the Percy Janes first novel award for her novel Never-Ever-Land set in an Engish language school in Korea. Congratulations Mary, a well deserved accolade to a dedicated and talented writer!

Congratulations to David Kennedy who has had a wonderfully creative year already, having published three books in 2013: The Little Girl Whose Arm Was A Star (a fairytale); Ancient Steel: Scry Tharg Rises (a sci-fi novel about a Corner Brook man with cancer who becomes a 4000 year old galactic swordfighter); and the bay the moon the heart (a book of poems). All these fine books (hard copy and electornic) are available on


Introducing the Instant Hook Literary Award (2013):

Entrants are encouraged to submit the first 250 words or less of an unpublished novel. As the competition title suggests, the goal is to create an opening that demands reader attention, and makes the reader wish there was more. For the sake of this competition, though, there will be no more; the word limit will be strictly adhered to, so the aim is to create an opening so intriguing, so compelling that it will promise a wealth of ingenious, absorbing, beautifully-written prose to come on its heels.

Sound like fun? Good, because, prize aside, this is the point. The idea is that, whether you are a winner or not, the excercise will make those creative juices run and give you something to work with for many weeks, months, and years afterwards.

Here are the rules; please read carefully!

  • The awards are open to any resident of Canada who is over 18 at time of entry.
  • The submission must be sole-authored, from the very beginning of a novel, and no more than 250 words.
  • The novel opening can have been written for the competition or may be part of a manuscript already completed. But it cannot have been published, and cannot have been accepted by a publisher at time of entry.
  • These awards are open to new or established, already-published, authors (it does not have to be a first novel).
  • This is a blind-judged competition. HB Creativity must not have seen any part of this novel prior to entry; it must not be a work for which I personally have provided tutoring or editing services. I cannot absolutely guarantee I will not recognize a writing style, but I must not recognize the writing, the characters, or the plot.
  • Please use 12 Times New Roman font and double space your entry.
  • Send your entry by mail only (no emails please) to Paul Butler, HB Creativity, 41 Cornwall Ave, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, A1E 1Y4 (make sure you have “Paul Butler, HB Creativity” as well as the address) with a postmark date no later than December 2, 2013. Winners will be announced in February 2014.
  • Please do not put your name on your entry! Enclose in a separate envelope your name and contact (email and phone), plus the title of your entry. This envelope will be opened after the winners have been decided. Along with your name and contact please indicate whether you wish to receive our monthly INK STAINS news bulletin (whether or not you wish to receive INK STAINS will not affect the judging of the competition).
  • Do not send your only copy. Copies without sae cannot be returned. If you do not want your entry returned, it will be shredded and recycled.
  • There is no cost to enter.
  • Copyright remains with the author. We may ask for permission to publish an extract of the winning works on this website but this will not be done without the author’s express permission. Withholding permission will in no way invalidate the entry or disqualify it from winning a prize. By entering you merely give permission for me to use your name and the (provisional) title of the work.
  • One winner will receive a cash prize of $250.00, plus a sodalite keychain donated by Open Earth Designs. Sodalite is the stone reputed to give inspiration to writers. Two runners-up will receive a free hour tutorial by phone, in-person (depending on location) or over Skype.

Other Opportunities

1. Piper’s Frith Application Deadline Looms

Writers who want to take part in Piper’s Frith: Writing at Kilmory Resort have until Friday, August 2 to apply. Selected applicants will have the chance to work with renowned writers Joan Clark, Jessica Grant and Don McKay.

The 5th annual writing experience happens September 23-28, 2013. Piper’s Frith offers intensive workshops and mentorship — all in a spectacular setting on Newfoundland’s Burin Peninsula. Piper’s Frith is hosted by the Literary Arts Foundation of Newfoundland & Labrador, with support from Piper’s Department Stores. the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation’s CEDP fund, and the Newfoundland & Labrador Teachers’ Association.

The cost of $690 includes program fees, meals, five nights’ accommodations and social events (transportation is not included). For details and to apply online, visit Contact: Leslie Vryenhoek, 709-579-0853

2. Residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, plan now for the next deadline of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters Awards on the second last Friday of November (22nd November) 2013. Keep tuned to the Arts and Letters website for details.