March – April INK STAINS

Dear HB Creativity clients,

Welcome to the “early, early” spring edition of INKSTANS with news of releases and launches, details of upcoming writing workshops, and reminders of deadlines to plan for.

After a very long winter it’s great to finally feel that warmer weather might be on the horizon!

The question is how will this change your writing? Will your Ibsen-inspired tome about societal diseases and dysfunctions suddenly morph into a comic romp full of belly laughs and hilarious scrapes? Will your doom-laded political allegory full of images of war and environmental catastrophe melt into a sunny and uplifting love story? Writing might be easier if our mood and environment stayed the same for 12 straight months.

But life, if not art, benefits from change. And sometimes the two go together.

Take a look at Kate (Debbie) Robbins’s NTV interview for a dose of optimism and fun. As you can see Kate Robbins, whose new book, Promise to the Highlander, will be available in May, is enjoying the process and reaping the rewards of success. Keep up with her blog.

Author and musician Dan Rubin will launch his new novel A Fire on the Sea at the Arts and Culture Centre (AC Hunter Library, 3rd floor) on Wednesday night, April 16th at 7 PM. The new book is an imaginative adventure story set on Canada’s west coast about a hundred years in the future. The launch event will be a “story time” for adults and young readers. Join us and settle into a comfy chair, to be transported to a world of sailing ships, survival on a rocky coastline and communication with whales. This free event is sponsored by the library. Copies of the new book will be available for signing by the author. For more information, or interviews, call 709.335.2340

News and Upcoming Courses

The Online Novel Writing Course will be full to capacity until early May (unless by prearrangement) but spaces will open up from May 10th. See full description below.

On May 5, 2014, I will be in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and available for individual tutorials and consultations. Email me at if you wish to book an appointment.

Don’t forget to plan your next submission to the Instant Hook Literary Awards. Details regarding how to enter will be posted by September 2014 and the deadline will be December 1, 2014 (postmark date).

Course Description: Online Novel Writing Workshop Series (accepting from May 10)

This is the same tried and tested online series that has helped in the completion of a number of critically and commercially successful novels. There are eight units. Each participant presents eight short chapters of up to 2,000 words and receives in-depth feedback both in the text and in separate mini evaluations. These notes will cover plot direction, character development, prose style, theme, imagery, tense etc. Skype users can avail of live tutorials to discuss issues relating to plot, their working synopsis, or how their writing style and structure measures up to their ultimate vision of the work-in-progress. Luddites need not worry, however. Extra email discussions are encouraged and can easily explore the same questions. Further, once you are aboard and I have had a chance to sample your style, you may be put into contact, if you wish, with a small number of online participants whose writing in some way complements or contrasts with your own, thus helping you to further hone your own artistic goals.

Getting Started on the Online Course: The online novel writing workshop series is a carousel. Writers join with their work-in-progress, work away for the duration of the course, either complete a manuscript or take a break to join again later; in short, people come and go all the time. If you wish to sign on to start on or soon after May 10, send me an email at