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 and on Twitter @AndersonDargatz.

And be sure to follow Stories in the North on Facebook at and Twitter @storiesnorth where you might just find the occasional giveaway for show tickets.


  1. How can tickets be purchased for the evening event prior to June 25?

    • Angie Gallop says:

      Hi Fran: We don’t sell advanced tickets. (It has proven to be too much of a headache for the price we charge.) Just show up at the door. We are always able to accommodate whomever shows up. The worst thing that may happen is that we run out of snacks! So come early for the snack bar…