Here's an intriguing one ... enter a writing contest to win a new home. For 125 bucks and 200 passionate words about why you are more deserving than the anticipated 7,500 other entrants, you could win a rural paradise in upstate Vermont. The current owner won it for only 100 bucks 35 years ago - and now she is looking for her retirement fund and the right new owner. Hmmm ... how about five of us do $25 each?
You'll find co-conspirators at the Wakefield Writers Festival La Peche,May 8-10.
John and Mary meet. What happens next? If you want a happy ending, try A. (Alternatively, there’s B, C, D, E or F.) And that’s just the beginning of Margaret Atwood’s “Happy Endings”, one of 14 engaging short pieces (http://bit.ly/1GbOVPY) in a recent MicDotCom article. You don’t have to be young to identify with Mic – it’s for the inquisitive who like substantive news that sparks interesting conversation and nurtures healthy scepticism for conventional wisdom.
It’ll probably improve your diet too.
Healthy food for thought at the Wakefield Writers Festival – La Peche.
The young girl had lived all her 11 years in desert Rajasthan. She had never seen a lake, nor a high hill—nor a cable car running from the shores of one to the top of the other.
Nonetheless, metaphor captured perfectly her first visit to the big city: “The boat ride was like swimming, and the cable car like flying.”
It’s more than just words at the Wakefield Writers Festival – La Peche, May 8-10.
Thousands of British students mark World Book Day by going to school in costume as their favourite fictional characters. But one 11-year-old found himself in a bind when he dressed as Christian Grey, the S&M-loving billionaire hero of erotic thriller 50 Shades of Grey.
We won't send you home at the Wakefield Writers Festival – La Peche, May 8-10.
Robby Novak is an 11-year old with brittle bone disease. He’s also the universally acclaimed Kid President, committed to “making grown-ups less boring, the world more awesome, and people dance.”
But behind the hype I see a genuine interest in nurturing creative writing. Check out The Kid's activity page full of fun, short exercises.
And kids...why not do one as inspiration for your submission to the Writers Festival? Full details on youth writing on the Events page.
And adults...why not be awesome and give some kid that gentle push of encouragement?
Simplistically paraphrasing Hemingway, you just need to sit at the keyboard and bleed. And entering a contest... well...actually, you might find Annie Daylon's rationale for putting your hat in the ring inspiration enough to start writing.
Then it's another small step getting your contest season organized. Check out White Mountain Publications' Canadian Writers' Contest Calendar. The 2015 Quebec Writing Competition—Wakefield's own Allegra McKenzie was the 2014 winner—closes May 31.
It's no contest at the Wakefield Writers Festival - La Peche.
Each word is a footprint. So everything written is a journey? Ah yes…The Writers Journey…a highly successful scriptwriter’s guide by Hollywood executive Chris Vogler. Hey, wait a minute, isn't that a rip-off of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey? Well…yes. And that's not all. What about the heroine's journey? Campbell says a woman doesn't need to make the journey, as she is the destination. Not for these chick protagonists.
Step Lively. At the Wakefield Writers Festival - La Peche, May 8-10. writersfete.com
Not only what, but why? And not just titles, or authors or genres....but what's at the heart. Maybe you even have a plan.
Mark Facebook Zuckerberg does: to read a book every two weeks in 2015. What's behind his plan? Web comments range from the cynical“(the ultimate Amazon/Facebook integration strategy”) to the humorous (“he is avoiding reading the Facebook bug reports”) to the empowering (“why not start with the Koran, the most read book in the world?”).
The American Library Association encourages reading banned/challenged books to further appreciate the diversity of obstacles to freedom of expression. A “challenged” book is under pressure to be censored or removed from circulation, while a “banned” book has actually been taken off the shelf in some jurisdictions. The most challenged/banned books in the first decade of the 20th century? The Harry Potter series.
Planned? Or banned? Or...? You've probably got your own agenda.
We think you'll like ours.
Physically I mean. And not just reading, but scouting. For books. For reading culture. For that sublime turn of phrase.
How about the 36th annual Salon du Livre de l'Outaouais beginning 26Feb at various locations around Gatineau? This year's theme, “Lire de tout...partout!” couldn't be more universal with interesting roundtables, book signings and activities for young and old.
Or your neighbourhood bookstore? Though under threat by the Internet Goliaths, some independents, like Ottawa’s Books on Beechwood, are alive and well. In Seattle, 15,000 local Amazon employees are flocking to the independents—and in a nice ironic turn, a former Amazon senior editor who won big on Jeopardy jumped the corporate ship and started his own neighbourhood bookstore.
How about a writers festival? Charlotte Gray loves them, and shares some of the magic on her blog.
Some go to bars; some go to bookstores. You don't have to choose at the Wakefield Writers Festival-La Pêche, 8-10 May.
Stephen Lewis has a complaint. Five of them, in fact—about Canadian politics—all clearly articulated in “A Socialist Takes Stock,” the 2014 Symons Lecture delivered at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown. (http://bit.ly/1HxmC3d)
After more than two decades abroad supporting sustainable development in such areas as poverty and the HIV/AIDS pandemic, Lewis has returned to Canada. And he just celebrated his 77th birthday, content in his troisième âge.
But Lewis remains outspoken. His bottom line is the sanctity of respect in expressing different ideologies, principled democracy, and human rights as an emblem of a civilized society. In the Symons Lecture he resoundingly condemns the “nadir of indignity” to which Canadian politics has fallen.
Come argue with us at the 2nd annual Wakefield Writers Festival – La Péche, May 8-10, 2015. writersfete.com
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