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

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 do and not as “mic” since “mic” is short for “microphone”. While some might say the latter is the proper word, we’ve googled it and found that both are acceptable. And frankly, we like “Mike” better. We like the way it “writes”. So Mike it is.

And so, as we said, we held our fall Open Mike Night earlier in November. While our categories weren’t totally full, we were thrilled with the number of entries we had. There were only a couple of spaces not filled and we certainly had enough entrants to make for a full evening and a super show. We also had a crowd on hand that we’re sure will attest to that fact. It was so great to see many performers and audience members back again — and to welcome newcomers as well!


Here’s Boniface Idziak who has read his works a couple of times previously and returned again, as a contestant. Emcee Gerry Clark always entertains the crowd as he leads us through the rules, the introductions, and even some filler material (in the way of jokes and on this occasion, a game of Know Your Doctors). Stories in the North committee members do everything from collect bios from performers, “man” the door and prep the snack table to collect and count the ballots after performers in each category have performed. These volunteers also watch the time and send up warnings as time runs out on contestants. They dole out a few door prizes too.


Much thanks to Paton Lodge Lindsay who donated copies of her books, King of Algonquin Park and The King’s Ransom. The King’s Ransom was hot off the press that week. (A big congratulations to Paton on getting this second book published. Watch for her reading and signing in the next few months. You’re sure to see her out and about somewhere in the district.)

Gerry with book

Here’s Jerry, one of our repeat guests with his autographed copy of King of Algonquin Park.

gab & bern

And here’s Gabrielle (left) with her door prize, St. Joseph Island Coffee Roaster’s Looming Deadline coffee created just for Stories in the north. Her friend, Bernice (right) won the copy of The King’s Ransom.

When all was said and done, or should we say when the contestants were all done, the winners were announced. Newcomer Sue Roy won in the Words & Music category. Special thanks to both Sue and audience member Perry MacDonald for providing us with a little after-show music.


Winner in the Poetry category was Greg Laurenceson from Elliot Lake. Here he is with his wife.

Greg was just one of the several contestants who travelled from Elliot Lake to participate in and/or watch our show. Here’s the rest of their group!El Lakers

They are such a talented bunch and they’re loads of fun too! It’s always a pleasure to have them at our events.

Two Stories in the North members were winners as well. Pauline Clark won in the Fiction category while Angie Gallop won in True Stories. The winner in each category received a $50.00 bill. Stories in the North thanks Heather Blois for donating the prize money.

We also send a shout out to Royal Canadian Legion (Thessalon) Branch 182 for again allowing us to hold our event downstairs at the Legion. It’s the perfect venue for Open Mike and we appreciate that they let us go in, rearrange furniture, set up our food and sometimes stay long after the event ends! We also thank Tom Carnahan for looking after lighting and sound. It helps makes for a great show.

We managed to snag photos of a few other guests. Here’s a peek at some of them. See anyone you know?


Heather & friends


After a busy fall, Stories in the North is ending the year off a little quieter but we’ll be back at it early in the new year. Watch for announcements of our next author event coming in Spring 2015. We haven’t finalized details yet but we expect other activities in 2015 will include a spring Open Mike, the return of our short story contest and our annual silent auction fundraiser.

We welcome good/unusual/collectable/desirable donations of goods for the silent auction event so be sure to think of us when you’re making room for your new Christmas gifts or generally just cleaning out. Simply contact any member or message us here or on Facebook and we’d be happy to take your item(s).

In case we aren’t in touch before year’s end, may each of you have a wonderful Christmas season and a Happy New Year and please know that we appreciate the support of each and every one of you whether it’s participating in our workshops, attending events, donating to our silent auction or following us here on our blog, on our Facebook page and on Twitter.

Thanks again!

Please feel free to join in conversation by sharing your thoughts on Open Mike. Have you ever attended an Open Mike? What’s your favourite category? Would you want to see a comedy category and would you enter it?

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 (Branch 182) in Thessalon. Rumour has it the ever-entertaining Gerry Clark will be emceeing.
As in the past, we will have FOUR categories for you to enter your original works; Fiction, Poetry, True Stories, and Words & Music. In that last category either words OR music MUST BE original and MUST BE performed live! Keep in mind we will accept song parodies!

Each contestant has 5 minutes to perform their piece. (We aren’t above dragging you off the stage!) We recommend you practise. (You’ll be surprised at how quickly five minutes goes by.)

There will be a $50 CASH PRIZE in each category as determined in secret vote by the audience.
Entry fee for competing is $5.00 and all contestants must pre-register AND must be at the Legion BY 7 p.m.
But don’t forget! We NEED an audience too so bring your friends and come out and enjoy a really good show. The Legion bar will be available and we’ll have a few snacks (and coffee for those who prefer it) too! Audience admission is $7.00.
To register, call Pauline Clark at 705-842-3132.

Next up, Stories in the North is also participating in NaNoWriMo again!

What’s NaNoWriMo?

It’s short for Nation Novel Writing Month, an event that’s held around the world. In fact, this year NaNoWriMo organizers expect that 400,000 writers, 2,000 classrooms, and 200 countries will be participating.
Like NaNoWriMo, we here at SiN also believe this is a great opportunity for all aspiring writers to finally get going on their novels. The belief is that if you spend just that one month pushing yourself to write 50,000 words (that’s 1667 words a day), you’ll have the beginnings of a great novel by midnight November 30th.
Now, we aren’t policing the 50,000 words—we’re simply challenging you to spend some time writing whatever it is you want to get written whether it’s your life story, that unfinished novel or a bunch of poetry. You don’t ever have to show them to anyone—unless you want to.

So how can you participate?

You CAN go and register at www.nanowrimo.org and sign up for all their peptalks and inspirational writings as well. You CAN join Stories in the North members at Thessalon Public Library on Thursdays during library hours (that’s from 1 to 5 pm. AND from 7-9 p.m) where we’ll supply a quiet writing space and lots of Looming Deadline coffee (brought to us by St. Joseph Island Coffee Roasters). Or you can write in the comfort of your own home. Whatever you do, we’d love if you share your successes AND your challenges too with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/storiesinthenorth or OR following the NaNoWriMo message in the COMMENTS section on our website at www.storiesinthenorth.com.
We also hope to plan a windup party where those who want to read from their works will be able to do so – but more on that later.

And what else are we working on?

Well, we CAN’T really tell you yet but we ARE already planning our next author visit. Watch for details early in 2015!


Be sure and tell us in the comment section: Which event are you most excited for?

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]

75+ Reasons to Check Out The SiN Silent Auction

75+ Reasons to Check Out The SiN Silent Auction

Do you like shopping? Do you like finding one-of-a-kind treasures? Do you like supporting fantastic non-profit groups like Stories in the North? Those are a few reasons you might want to stop in to Thessalon's Northern Credit Union to see … [Continue reading]

Third Place Winner in the SiN Short Story Contest

Hello again faithful readers! We're excited to share with you the final entry of our top three short story contest entries. Congratulations to Virginia Funk. Thanks to Virginia, the other winners and to each of you who entered. We appreciate that … [Continue reading]

Second Place Prize Winner in the SiN Short Story Contest

Hello everyone: It's time to share another winning story with you. This one is by faithful SiN supporter Peggy Lauzon. A big congratulations again, Peggy. Here's her story: Bad Hair Day By Peggy Lauzon “Just a trim,” my mother … [Continue reading]