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

SiN presents: author Gail Anderson-Dargatz on June 25th

SiN presents: author Gail Anderson-Dargatz on June 25th

You’ve been waiting and we’ve got details on author Gail Anderson-Dargatz. And yes! She’s coming to Thessalon.
Stories in the North is excited to bring Anderson-Dargatz, a two-time Giller nominated novelist, to town on Saturday, June 25.

photo of Gail Anderson-Dargatz

Anderson-Dargatz will be in Thessalon to teach writing workshops and to share with us at an evening of reading and music.

The event gets off to a start with morning and afternoon workshop sessions at Thessalon’s IOOF Hall. (Across from the post office on Main St.)

Anderson-Dargatz’s workshops are always lively exchanges and these will be no exception.  The morning session starts off with an exercise Dargatz has used in her courses at University of British Columbia (Yes, she teaches!). In the “Blind Cat” exercise, participants will be asked to engage their senses to come up with a very short piece of writing, which they’ll be able to read aloud later in the day.

“I am consistently amazed at the quality of writing that comes out of this deceptively simple exercise.,” says Dargatz. And with an obvious talent for foreshadowing, Dargatz says participants will see how that exercise ties into her own evening reading.

And that’s just a warm-up.

The theme of the first workshop is Writing Home. Here’s Anderson-Dargatz’s description:

We’ve all heard the phrase “write what you know” but writing fiction from real life isn’t easy. We worry about what mom will think. We worry if we have the right to tell the story, or write about a given location. We get stuck in reality — what “really happened” — and our fiction flounders because of it. In this workshop we’ll explore all these issues and more with the goal of writing powerful fiction that has the authority that can only come from “writing what you know.”

Writers should come equipped with a notebook or tablet in hand, prepared for a writing exercise that will excite and inspire you.

The second workshop, titled, Get Your Book Noticed will be of interest to anyone who ever hopes to publish a book. Here’s what Anderson-Dargatz says about this workshop:

Thousands of books are published each year, through self-publishing and traditional publishers. How do we get an agent or editor to notice our book? Or, if we self-publish, how do we get our book noticed by readers? We’re told to promote our writing on social media sites. But most of us aren’t comfortable with promoting our work at all. And how do we connect with readers in the ocean of Facebook and Twitter posts? 

During the workshop, Gail will talk about approaches that have helped the many writers she’s worked with find a home for their books. She’ll also talk about what helped her own novels become national and international bestsellers. Writers will then divide into groups and, under her guidance, come up with strategies for promoting their own writing. Writers will then share their ideas with each other, and leave the session with tools to promote their books to agents, editors, and readers.

To register for workshops; contact Pauline Clark at 705-842-3132. Cost is $60.00 for both workshops and lunch. Individual workshops are $25.00 each (without lunch). Workshop times are as follows:

  • Writing Home – 9:30 am to noon
  • Get Your Book Noticed – 1:30 to 4 pm

Gail Anderson-Dargatz is perhaps best known for her first novel, The Cure For Death By Lightning, which garnered her the UK’s Betty Trask Award and a nomination for the Giller Prize. This year marks the 20th anniversary for the book, which was the first to be published under the Penguin Random House New Faces of Fiction program. A Recipe for Bees soon followed with nominations for the Giller and the IMPAC Dublin Award. She’s written several other novels which have been published in several languages worldwide and have received other accolades. Her newest novel, The Spawning Grounds, is slated for release in September. You can find copies of some of her books at Thessalon Public Library.

Cover of Cure for Death by Lightningcover of the book, The Spawning Grounds

After nearly a decade of teaching within the optional-residency creative writing MFA program at the University of British Columbia, Gail now mentors writers around the world through her own on-line forums.

She also hosts the Providence Bay Writers’ Camp for adults on Manitoulin Island. She divides her time between Manitoulin Island and the Shuswap-Thompson region in BC.

The evening show takes place at the IOOF Hall on Main Street, Thessalon (across from the post office). Doors open at 7 pm with show-time at 7:30 p.m. Anderson-Dargatz will read from some of her works throughout the evening and the show will also feature musical entertainment by popular local singers, The Crossroad Magdalenes who appeared at SiN’s last event with author Lauren Carter.

Admission for the evening show is $10. This event will once again feature the ever-popular spread of hors d’oeuvres and  finger foods served by the Elizabeth Rebekah Lodge. A cash bar will also be available.

Look for Anderson-Dargatz’s books at the Thessalon Public Library. You can also follow her at www.gailanderson-dargatz.ca and on Twitter @AndersonDargatz.

And be sure to follow Stories in the North on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/storiesinthenorth/ and Twitter @storiesnorth where you might just find the occasional giveaway for show tickets.

Open Mike Night in Thessalon is Friday, May 13: It’s your bad luck if you miss out.

Open Mike Night in Thessalon is Friday, May 13: It’s your bad luck if you miss out.

The ever-popular Open Mike night, an event SiN likes to describe as “a talent show of a different sort”, takes place Friday, May 13 downstairs at the Royal Canadian Legion in Thessalon. Start time is 7 p.m.

Open Mike is Friday May 13th in Thessalon.

Open Mike is Friday May 13th in Thessalon.

There are still openings in each of the four categories; Poetry, Music & Lyrics, True Stories and Fiction.

In the music category, we’ll accept song parodies.

Call Pauline Clark at 705-842-3132 to register. Cost to enter is $5.00 and you may enter more than one category.

Audience members pay $7 at the door.

There will be a maximum of five entries in each category. If numbers are short in a particular category, SiN reserves the right to add more entries to another, more popular, category to round out the show. All works must be performed live and must be original. Each contestant gets five minutes to strut their stuff. Run over the time limit and we’ll pull you off the stage. (Don’t worry! We’ll make it fun. Though we do recommend you practice before the show, stopwatch in hand.)

Once every participant in a category performs, the audience will have the opportunity to vote by secret ballot for their favourite. (That’s why it’s a great idea to bring lots of friends!) Ballots will be counted and winners will be announced at the end of the evening. The winner in each category receives a $50 cash prize. There’ll also be a door prize or two.

If you know of someone who’d like to be a sponsor for one or all of our contestant cash prizes, please be in touch. SiN will promise lots of name-mentions and our forever thanks!

The Open Mike Night is always a blast as we gather to entertain and be entertained. You’ll be amazed.

The Legion bar will be open during the event. Light snacks and coffee will be available.

Mark it on your calendar now! Or just remember; Friday, the 13th!

Short story contest winners announced

Short story contest winners announced

The day you’ve been waiting for has arrived! We’re announcing the winners of the Stories in the North 2015 Short Story Contest. Before we get to the winners, we’d like to thank everyone who entered. As for the contest itself, it ran in early … [Continue reading]

Mark Your Calendar: Sept 26th

Mark Your Calendar: Sept 26th

We are thrilled to announce our upcoming author event on Sept. 26th with Lauren Carter. Lauren grew up in Blind River and has ancestors who lived on Manitoulin Island. Her first novel, Swarm, was long-listed for Canada Reads 2014. It's a great … [Continue reading]

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 … [Continue reading]

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 … [Continue reading]

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]