Creative Writing Weekend with Douglas Arthur Brown and E. Alex Pierce
Dates: Friday, October 16th – Sunday October 18th, 2015
Times: Friday: 7:30 – 9:00 pm, Saturday: 9:30 – 4:00, Sunday: 9:30 – 4:00
Location: Clansman Motel, North Sydney
Maximum Participants: 16
To register contact:
The weekend starts on Friday evening with a meet & greet reception and readings by Douglas Arthur Brown, E. Alex Pierce and workshop participants at the Cape Breton Fudge Company, Pitt Street, Sydney.
Saturday’s program includes two modules. Note: Half the group will work with Alex in the morning and the other half with Douglas then switch for the afternoon.
Module I: Exploratory Writing
In advance of the workshop, participants will submit their work (1500-2000 words). The deadline for receiving submissions is September 30th. For the purposes of this module, work that has been previously submitted to Douglas for editorial discussion and feedback is not eligible. The aim of this exercise in exploratory writing is threefold: 1.) to ease the writer out of their comfort zone when approaching new work, 2.) to provide effective approaches to substantive edits required by editors/publishers, 3.) exploring the challenges of writing commissioned work where the structure of the work is determined by the editor/publisher and not the author. Upon registration each participant will choose one theme from a list supplied by Douglas, then decide whether the work is character driven or plot driven (in the case of non-fiction writing, is it about the person or the event), first person or third person narrative, and a series of elements that must be included within the writing.
Module II: The Aubade
Landscape & Memory: Writing the Aubade is a workshop that challenges writers to work across genres and expand the limits of their usual genre whether it is fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, or drama. Writers will draw on their relationship to landscape and its place in memory as they discover the setting for the encounter they will explore. The aubade, a dawn song of lovers parting at daybreak is a poem type that appears in nearly all poetries and cultures: the aubade must contain certain prescribed elements (a watchman, a window, the dawn) but it does not follow a prescribed form or rhyme scheme, and for this reason is easily adaptable to drama, fiction, and non-fiction writing. Alex will help you explore the aubade in all its possibilities, and writers will create unique forms of the aubade in the genre that suits them best. Our work on the aubade will open a discussion on the balance of lyric and narrative in each individual writer’s voice. Participants will work independently Saturday evening on the creation of their aubade project for presentation on Sunday.
On Sunday morning and early afternoon, participants will present the aubade project they created during the Saturday workshops. After the presentations of work-in-progress Douglas and Alex will lead a Q & A on all topics concerning writing.
About the Instructors
E. Alex Pierce is a writer and editor who lives on Nova Scotia’s South Shore. She is owner of E. Alex Pierce Writing & Editing, and Senior Editor at Boularderie Island Press. For ten years she taught creative writing (playwriting and poetry) at Cape Breton University and is currently Director of the Shelburne County Arts Council’s Mentorship Program She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College (NC), and has been a participant the Writing Studio and Wired Writing at the Banff Centre and in the Poetry Colloquium at Sage Hill. She has worked with such editor/mentors as Don McKay, Barry Dempster, Daphne Marlatt, and Jan Zwicky. Pierce has been published in Arc, The Fiddlehead, CV2, The New Quarterly, The Literary Review of Canada, and The English Journal (USA). Her work has been anthologized in Words Out There: Women Poets in Atlantic Canada (Roseway); Best Canadian Poetry 2008 (Tightrope); and in Undercurrents: New Voices in Canadian Poetry (Cormorant). Her book, Vox Humana, was published by Brick in 2011, with a second printing in the fall of 2012. Pierce conducts manuscript review workshops across Canada and tours frequently for readings of her work.
Douglas Arthur Brown is the author of six books. His latest novel Seeds was released in November of 2013. The Globe and Mail called his novel, Quintet, a masterfully written book. It was the recipient of the 2009 Thomas Head Raddall Fiction Prize, and short-listed for the Dartmouth Book Award. The Magic Compass – a children’s Christmas advent book – is part of The Atlantic Collection, a project by the Nova Scotia Department of Education that placed the book in every elementary school in Nova Scotia. Douglas won a Nova Scotia Established Artist Recognition Award in 2009 sponsored by the Nova Scotia Arts and Culture Partnership, NS Department of Culture. He was awarded The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for his contribution to Canadian culture. Douglas’ short stories have appeared in various literary magazines and his work is in included in four anthologies. Douglas was also the publisher and managing editor of the Canadian literary magazine, Pottersfield Portfolio for several years.
7:30 – 9:00 pm
Meet & Greet with readings by Douglas and Alex
9:30 – 10:15
Introductions & Overview of weekend
10:15 – 12:30
Workshop with Alex Group One
Workshop with Douglas Group Two
12:30 – 1:30
1:30 – 3:45
Alex repeats morning workshop with Group Two
Douglas repeats morning workshop with Group One
4:00 – 4:30
Participants work on their aubade
9:30 – 11:45
Presentation of aubade creations with Alex
11:45 – 12:45
Continuation of aubade presentations 12:45 – 3:00
Q & A
3:15 – 4:00 pm