SiN with Gail Anderson-Dargatz

Another event over. Another great author connection made. This one with Gail Anderson-Dargatz.

We are thrilled and honoured to have connected with this talented Canadian author. It was wonderful having Gail with us for a couple of days sharing her knowledge, wisdom and especially her stories.

Gail Anderson-Dargatz already had so many fans in Algoma (going back to 20 years ago when A Cure for Death by Lightning was released in the New Face of Fiction program). We’re pretty sure she’s gained a whole bunch more fans now that she visited Thessalon. Not only is she a two-time Giller nominee and recipient of numerous other writing awards, she’s a very nice person and a fabulous writing teacher.

Cover of Cure for Death by Lightning  Recipe cover  cover of the book, The Spawning Grounds

We captured a bit of the weekend through photos and if you were present for any part of the weekend, ‘we’ll bet you’re still floating from the experience. That’s the case whether you’re a reader, a writer, or just someone who enjoys a great evening of stories and music.

SiN members and a number of volunteers welcomed Gail and her family Friday evening. The family is en route to Providence Bay where they’ll spend the summer. Gail will also host two week-long writing camps there. (Who wants to go next year?)

Saturday’s lineup of events, which included writing workshops and an evening show, took place at the more than 100 year-old IOOF Hall (also known as the New Ontario Lodge)  in Thessalon where the amazing Rebekahs served lunch to the hard-working writers and then an elaborate spread of finger foods for the evening show.

Here’s Gail leading the morning workshop. She kept everyone’s attention with her wealth of information for writers.

And she’s got a great sense of humour too (see photo 3).

photo of Gail Anderson-Dargatz photo of Gail Anderson-Dargatz photo of Gail Anderson-Dargatz

Workshop participants enjoyed the two sessions with the author.

a photo of participants in the writing workshop

Just before lunch, Gail gave participants a chance to do a little writing exercise she developed. (See the book, Writer’s Gym)

And then lunch…nothing like a well-fed writer!

lunch at the Stories in the North workshop

Amanda, who’s a member of the locally renowned BBC book club, told us she reads anywhere, any chance she gets. We believe her. We caught her doing it before lunch had ended! Not that it’s a problem–who doesn’t want to take the time to read more?

Workshop participant on a break

These flip chart pages may not make sense to everyone but if you took part in one or both sessions with Gail, these photos may help you remember everything that was discussed. Gail’s biggest advice for us: “Write crap. Lots of it!”

Notes from Gail Anderson-Dargatz workshop Gail Anderson-Dargatz workshop notes

When it was time for the evening show, we lit the candles and dimmed down the lights. Our Rebekah caterers started setting out the food….

audience at Gail Anderson-Dargatz reading

…and a couple of great volunteers from the BBC book club stationed themselves at the door.


Emcee (and SiN co-founder) Angie Gallop got the show started with a great introduction for Gail.

Stories in the North emcee Angie Gallop Gail Anderson-Dargatz reading

After the first of three readings from Gail, our very talented musicians, The Crossroad Magdalenes came on stage.

(Rumour has it they have a CD in the works. We can’t wait!)

The Crossroad Magdalenes

Did you KNOW they wrote a song especially for Gail Anderson-Dargatz based on her book, The Cure for Death by Lightning?

The duo, both teachers, wrote a song for Lauren Carter (author of  Swarm) who was guest author at our show last fall. You can hear that song here and as soon as we can get a video of Gail’s song, we’ll be sure to share it with you!

Here’s a group of people enjoying the evening of reading and music.

people at the reading

These people are not only family of musician Christina Foster, they also quickly became fans of Gail!

Fans of the musicians

We snapped a photo of Christina and Rob Foster chatting with Dr. Eric Haapala (left) during intermission.

Our musicans with Dr. Erik Haapala

These ladies came from Sault Ste. Marie and told us, “We’re having a blast!”

Sault ladies

Here’s another Saulite, Jena (on the right) with our new friend/Gail-fan, Rosanna from Sudbury.

Rosanna & Jenna

How about those fab Rebekah Lodge bartenders? They even got into the reading!


And here’s one of our unofficial members, Gerry Clark talking with Kathy Gallop.

Gerry Clark & Kathy Gallop

After the show, Angie Gallop (yes, Kathy is her Mom!) hosted an excellent question and answer session with our writer and musicians. The audience got an inside look at the writing processes for writers and musicians and saw many similarities. Gail also gave some insight on her works and her life as a writer.

After the show Gail took some time to chat with fans and sign books. We always encourage our authors to bring lots of books because everyone loves an autographed book. Right?

Gail Anderson-Dargatz chatting with a fan Gail Anderson-Dargatz signing autographs

We managed to get The Crossroad Magdalenes and Gail together for a photo…

The Crossroad Magdalenes with Gail Anderson-Dargatz

…and then we got our BBC book club gals, Marla and Jennifer with Gail as well.

BBC volunteers with Gail Anderson-Dargatz

…and lastly, we got three SiN members into a photo…

SiN members with Gail

That’s (from left) Pauline, Gail, Angie, and Elizabeth.

There you have it. Be sure to check out Gail’s website at

A big shout out to Ontario Arts Council for funding us! Without them, this wouldn’t be possible.

Stories in the North (SiN) is taking a bit of a break while we regroup and take a look at where we’re headed. If you have any ideas, thoughts or would like to be a part of this, please get in touch. We’d also love to find one or more sponsors for our Open Mike Nights so that we can continue with those.

Thanks again for your support.