Wednesday, 1 August 2018

We Writers Never Stop! Next Meeting on August 7!

One of our members forwarded this photograph to stimulate some ideas! Members will either use it to create an opening sentence for a possible story, or for a full story or for our ten minute on-the-spot writing challenge which we participate in during some of our meetings.
We also have a word challenge this month. Members write a short story ahead of the meeting incorporating all of the words which were selected in the previous meeting, and read it out to the group.
This month's words are alive; scant; uncontrollable; skunk; topography; wince. 
Examples of previous word challenge stories are included in this blog. Check them out!

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Next Meeting is on July 3!

We are grateful to James Dewar and Sue Reynolds from Stone's Throw Publications who gave a great presentation at our June meeting.
James and Sue guide writers in the editing, design and printing of self-published books. To date they have assisted in the publication of over one hundred books.

Our next meeting is on July 3 at 1pm in the large boardroom in the Uxbridge Arena.
If you are a writer or a wanna-be writer, please join us.
You might be interested in participating in our word challenge for July. We write a short story, poem (or lyrics) or memoir using all of the pre-selected words and read our piece during the meeting for all members to enjoy.
The words we've chosen for July are:
bullet-proof; disreputable; chandelier; hubcap; spaniel; patter; theatre.
If you would like to read examples from previous months, check out our "word challenges" page.
Hope to see you on July 3.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Special Guests from Stone's Throw Publications coming on June 5!

We are looking forward to welcoming James Dewar and Sue Reynolds to our meeting on Tuesday, June 5. Stone's Throw ( is located in Port Perry and provides services to those writers who wish to self-publish. These services can include substantive editing, cover design, lay-out for printing and ebook, and some marketing support. 
This should be a great meeting.
Members will also be sharing their "word challenge" stories using the words selected in May. These are: bookseller; lighthouse; brink; oboe; westward; notch and waves. 
Hope to see you there!

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Ed Wilkinson to be Special Guest at May 1st Meeting!

Uxbridge Writers' Circle members are looking forward to welcoming Ed Wilkinson, Publishing Consultant and Canadian Agent for Arcturus Publishing (, at our next meeting.
Ed has had an impressive career in the book business, working in senior positions at Coles, Smithbooks, Chapters and Indigo as well as at Arcturus. He has attended over 80 book fairs in various parts of the world.
We are looking forward to his sharing some of his experience and insight, giving us a valuable glimpse of the publishing world.
Membership in the Writers' Circle is open to writers of all genres. We meet at 1pm on the first Tuesday of every month in the Uxbridge Arena. Please contact if you like to join us.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Dorothea Helms is coming on April 3!

The Uxbridge Writers' Circle members are excited that Dorothea Helms (aka The Writing Fairy) will be joining us on April 3 to share some of her wisdom and, we hope, to scatter some fairy dust. If you are not a member and are interested in attending, contact Vicky Earle at
We members will bring our questions and are sure to be motivated to write on!
Depending on Dorothea's schedule, we might have time for our word challenge. April's words are: private; heritage; labyrinth; neon; rat.
What a great way to launch into spring!
To check out our blog; go to

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Ted Barris Inspired Us!

We were honoured to welcome Ted to our meeting on February 6.

Ted has a great website at where you will find an extensive biography.
Ted has authored 18 bestselling non-fiction books and has received numerous prestigious awards (please go to his website for more information on Ted).

Ted shared some of his experiences as a writer, which inspired us all. I made a few notes to share with members who weren’t able to attend.
  • ·         Writing is half the battle, selling is the other half
  • ·         The key to non-fiction is to have an uniqueness which illustrates your strength in a particular subject/area of interest
  • ·         Focus on something in your writing which demonstrates your expertise and knowledge – even in fiction
  • ·         Prove yourself repeatedly in a realm of expertise
  • ·         Radio is still surviving – connect to talk shows. Each day they are looking for material. Getting exposure on radio will build your credibility and profile, and increase your media literacy
  • ·         Every author should have a website. It helps to develop a profile. Wordpress is a good tool for website development and management
  • ·         Fire Canoe: McClelland and Stewart saw an article in the paper and followed up with Ted
  • ·         When pitching an idea for a book: provide sample chapter, table of contents, who you are and why you are the person suited to write the book
  • ·         Present an idea that’s unique
  • ·         Are there any days of significance/anniversaries/celebration which can be a hook for your story?
  • ·         I don’t like to write a manuscript unless I know where I’m going with it
  • ·         Each chapter has a different focus, but they are usually in chronological order – more or less in sequence
  • ·         Start your book with a “bang”
  • ·         If you have an outline, it can provide the publisher with some confidence or reassurance that you know what you’re doing
  • ·         Legitimate publishing is desirable, but self-publishing might be more reachable and feasible. Friesen has a wing of their printing company that offers self-publishing services
  • ·         Believe in good quality and building a readership using a legitimate publisher
  • ·         I have never had an agent but use a lawyer’s services for my contracts
  • ·         Have used the services of the The Writers’ Union of Canada and of the Professional Writers’ Association of Canada – they provide some guidance on the content of contracts, for example
  • ·         Smaller publishing companies look for new writers
  • ·         Agencies look on new writers favourably
  • ·         There are grants available to writers, including through the Canada Council
  • ·         I pay a student to transcribe the interviews I conduct (usually with veterans and their families)
  • ·         I still use paper a lot. My desk has transcripts, a laptop, reference books, dictionary, Roget’s Thesaurus
  • ·         It is imperative that a writer no plagiarize
  • ·         Archives in Ottawa: due to staffing cuts, it is best to visit. It is not possible to search on-line and phoning them is no longer helpful
  • ·         If you are contemplating writing a book, it might be best to consider getting an article/story published first. This serves as a stepping stone to credibility. Think smaller and then bigger
  • ·         Review the magazine(s) to identify style, how they handle articles/stories – and tailor to their readership
  • ·         Be braver!!

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Ted Barris: Special Guest at February 6 Meeting

Ted Barris has kindly accepted the Uxbridge Writers' Circle invitation to come to our next meeting. He is well known and highly respected, especially in this community. Ted is the recipient of numerous awards for his writing and we are excited that he will be sharing some of his experiences as a writer with us. As always, non-members are welcome to join us. Our meeting is scheduled for 1pm in the large boardroom, Uxbridge Arena. Please email
See you then!