Stories in the North is the home baking literary festival in Thessalon.

Wasn’t that a party? Latest author event a success

Wasn’t that a party? Latest author event a success

We’re still coming down from the “high” of our latest author event. How fun was THAT?

First off, we started out with 24 people enjoying a very informative workshop with Brian Henry. Brian’s workshops are always filled to the brim with oodles of information for all levels of writers from plotting your novel right through to what’s selling and how to attract agents.

Of course, we had a fab selection of morning treats to go with our delicious “Looming Deadline” coffee which is a blend created just for Stories in the North by St. Joseph Island Coffee Roasters! After all, we are known as “the homebaking literary festival”!


That’s Brian Henry talking to the workshop participants.


…and here’s some of the participants…


…and a few more. Workshops are almost always held in the basement of Zion United Church. It’s a perfect, intimate setting for such events.

Our baking may just have been outdone by the wonderful lunch we had catered by Fred Falls and his able assistants from the Zion Ladies Auxiliary. Cream of broccoli soup, gourmet chicken sandwiches and the best roast beef dip sandwiches ever, all topped off with a yummy carrot cake! Whew…lucky the workshop presenter was Brian Henry — who was able to keep us all alert after that big lunch!

Despite all our hard work…there’s always room for a little fun. Check out Angie and Brian trying to pose for a photo.

angbri4   angbri3 

angbri2   angbri1

With just a couple of hours to spare, we got ready to welcome guest author Paton Lodge Lindsay  at the IOOF Hall. Paton did a wonderful job of setting the stage so to speak. (Dear Paton: We can hear you now and our words about setting the stage are in NO way a pun!)

Paton’s poster-size book covers and a natural setting only added to the evening of readings.


Paton, as you know, recently published her second book, The King’s Ransom and it’s already as popular as the first, King of Algonquin Park.


The book continues the true tales of Emmett (Trapper) Chartrand and Paton’s life in the wilderness with him. She did a wonderful job of entertaining the audience with her stories.

Of course, we could never forget our fabulous musicians who played between each of Paton’s reading sets. The O’Shraves are a local family with a world of talent! The group features Julie Schryer and Pat O’Gorman and their children, Zachary, Benoit and Áine playing everything from guitars, fiddles, keyboard, pipes and even bagpipes! You’ll often hear of them playing locally so be sure to watch for them. They’re not to be missed.

The O’Shraves also gave us a great show at the end of the night with a finale that included lots of clapping, toe-tapping and a cheer-filled standing ovation from the audience at the end! We were so busy listening, we didn’t snap photos of the O’Shraves on this evening but you can see a couple of video clips on our Facebook page.


Here they are in a photo they supplied for our advertising.

And we always have to say thanks to people like the Elizabeth Rebekah Lodge who prepare us the great spread, John Jackson who takes care of the bartending and Tom Carnahan who takes care of lighting and sound whenever we need him. We also send a shout-out to all who stayed behind to help with the clean-up.


That includes these three guys who ALWAYS help us out! Thanks Mark, Gerry and Gerry!

And finally, Ontario Arts Council; you make it possible by seeing our events are worthy of funding. Thank you! Your grants make it possible for us to not only bring talented writers and musicians to Thessalon, it also makes it possible for us to pay them. And everyone should be paid for their work!

So anyway…now that it’s all said and done…like we said before;

“Wow. What a night!”

We can hardly wait till our next event. If you want a little heads up on reading, be sure to check out Lauren Carter who is not only the author of Swarm, she’s another local, having been raised in Blind River, ON.

Watch also for our upcoming Summer Silent Auction and a possible Summer Open Mike Event.

And keep on reading and writing!

SiN announces Short Story Contest!

SiN announces Short Story Contest!

Algoma area writers, get your pens and keyboards ready – you’ve got less than a month!

For what?

Why, to write your entry for the Stories in the North Short Story Contest!

That’s right. We’ve already announced the details of our3rd Annual Short Story Contest so if you haven’t heard yet, you might want to get started.


We have a theme:

For this year’s contest, writers will have to apply four of the five  words listed below to their story.

The five words are:

  • flash
  • secret
  • red
  • expletive
  • frog

How we picked those words:

It was totally random. We asked five people at our recent workshop with Brian Henry for a word. We didn’t tell them why. We simply said, “Quick! A word.” So these are what we got.  Just think about all the ways you could apply these words or add these events/features/things into your story. Sound fun?

So other than that little detail, the sky’s the limit with your story. It can be any length up to 5000 words and any genre will be accepted.

Who can enter:

Anyone living in the Algoma or Manitoulin area for all or part of the year is eligible to enter.

There are two divisions: young writers, aged 18 and under; or adults, aged 19 and over.

First Prize in each category is $50.00, second is $30.00 and third is $20.00.

Be sure to follow all the submission rules:

  • Stories must be typed in Times New Roman, 12 pt, double-spaced, with one-inch margins.
  • Your title and page number should appear on every page.
  • Send four copies and one cover sheet with the story title and your name, address, phone and email on it.
  • Indicate “adult” or “young writer”.
  • Do NOT put your name on the story itself.
  • An entry fee of $5.00 should accompany each story. Make cheques payable to Stories in the North.

Where to send your stories:

Stories should be mailed (make sure you have the right number of copies!) to:

Stories in the North Short Story Contest
c/o Box 369
Thessalon, ON
P0R 1L0

Stories must be postmarked by May 31, 2015.

Entry to this contest includes release of first publication rights only for the winning stories. All other rights remain with the author. For stories that don’t win, all rights remain with the author.

Winners will be notified by email or mail and will then be announced on the Stories in the North website and Facebook page. A judging panel has been selected to judge all entries. Their decisions will be final.

Got any more questions?

Send them to SiN member Pauline Clark at clark.pauline@sympatico.ca with “Story Contest” in the subject line.

(And be sure to check out Brian Henry’s super-awesome website for writers of all levels. It’s Quick Brown Fox and there’s tons of writing information on it! There may even be something that inspires you to write a story for the SiN Short Story Contest.

You think?

We’re back! Join us April 25

We’re back! Join us April 25

Brian Henry will teach us how to build our stories followed by an evening of wilderness tales and foot-stompin', step-dancin' fun as Paton Lodge Lindsay teams up with the O'Schraves He gave the best publishing workshop many of us had ever … [Continue reading]

A Look Back at November’s Open Mike Night

A Look Back at November’s Open Mike Night

We're a little slow at reporting on our last event and late or not, we'd be doing an injustice if we didn't share the details of that event with you. It was our November Open Mike Night! First of all, some people wonder why we spell "mike" as we … [Continue reading]

What’s SiN Doing Now?

What’s SiN Doing Now?

What’s Stories in the North up to now? First up is….(drum roll, please)….OPEN MIKE! That’s right. We are holding an OPEN MIKE NIGHT so save the date. It’ll be Friday, November 14th beginning at 7 p.m. (downstairs) at the Royal Canadian Legion … [Continue reading]

Evening Show with Waubgeshig Rice

Evening Show with Waubgeshig Rice

Stories in the North is still coming down from the excitement of our recent event. We've been sharing photos of the weekend with you for the past couple of days. Here's a look at the grand finale...the evening show! As you know, our evening shows … [Continue reading]

Workshops with Waub and John

Workshops with Waub and John

Did you attend the recent Stories in the North workshops with Waubgeshig Rice and John Degen? If so, you just may see yourself in today's post. As promised, we're sharing more photos from that weekend. Today's photos are all about the workshops. … [Continue reading]

A Weekend With Waubgeshig Rice

A Weekend With Waubgeshig Rice

Well, folks…it’s hard to believe it’s been over a week since the Stories in the North author event. To all of you who attended: wasn’t that a blast? We had SO MUCH fun right from the start of the weekend when we hosted some of our special … [Continue reading]

Silent Auction a Great Success!

Stories in the North is pleased to report this year’s annual silent auction was our most successful yet. We raised more than $1,200 for local story contests, open mikes and visiting author events. Bravo to committee member Ali Doi, who worked hard to … [Continue reading]

Save the Date! Sept. 27th: A day of workshops and readings

Save the Date! Sept. 27th: A day of workshops and readings

We're proud to present our next visiting author Waubgeshig Rice. Originally from Wasauksing, an island across from Parry Sound, Waub developed his passion for storytelling while listening to his elders' stories. He started writing as a teen and some … [Continue reading]