A Day with the Horrorista

Susie Moloney bills herself as a “horrorista” on her Facebook page, but she is much, much more than that.

To start with, she’s a great workshop leader. The morning workshop was about backstory. Even if the character’s backstory doesn’t end up as part of the story on the page, the author has to know it in order to create a full character instead of a cardboard cutout. Susie gave us prompts and exercises to use in creating backstory for a character. One of the really fun parts of this and the afternoon’s workshop was hearing the read-around. The variety of characters and circumstances in the room was impressive.

The afternoon workshop, “The Six Rules of Writing”, gave us an intensive workout in creating story, using five simple prompts with five to ten minutes of writing time for each prompt. At the end, again, participants who wished to read their work aloud had the opportunity. Of course the stories weren’t polished, but, again, the variety and imagination impressed all of us, and also Susie.

The evening featured Susie reading from her work, not only her most recent novel, The Thirteen, but also The Dwelling and part of a short story from an upcoming collection. Susie is an excellent reader and performer, holding her audience spellbound as she read. 

Alternating with Susie’s readings was great jazz music by the Jeff Holmes Band, a quartet of talented musicians who treated us to classics such as Black Coffee.

Oooh, did we mention coffee? Among the door prizes were copies of The Thirteen and The Dwelling along with a pound of Stories in the North’s own Looming Deadline coffee blend, made for us by St Joseph Island Coffee Roasters.

A few pictures from the evening:

Patricia Wynter with her door prize, our new Stories in the North coffee-blend, Looming Deadline.

Patricia Wynter with her door prize, our new Stories in the North coffee-blend, Looming Deadline.

Kathy Gallop receives a copy of The Thirteen thanks to the luck of the draw

Kathy Gallop receives a copy of The Thirteen thanks to the luck of the draw.

Pauline Clark hands Bernice Walker a copy of The Dwelling

Pauline Clark hands Bernice Walker a copy of The Dwelling.

Susie Moloney, looking gorgeous and hanging out with members of the Jeff Holmes Band. Those lights are dancing from the energy level of the evening.

Susie Moloney, looking gorgeous and hanging out with members of the Jeff Holmes Band. Those lights are dancing from the energy level of the evening.

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“Finding Grace” book launch

Local author Mary-Lynn Murphy will be launching her brand-new novel, Finding Grace, on Saturday May 11th at the Sault College Native Student Centre (Enji Maawnjiding).

Finding Grace is a “stark yet humorously whimsical coming-of-age story set in Northern Ontario and Toronto”, hot off Scrivener Press. Mary-Lynn will be reading from the book, and poet and singer Mark Dunn will provide music for the evening. This sounds like a perfect literary beginning-of-summer treat.

The show starts at 7:30, with free admission and free refreshments. (The parking is free in the evening, too – ignore the signs.)

Everything is happening in Room G1200. To find the venue, take the Willow Avenue Entrance #1 (most southerly entrance) and drive all the way to the end, J, the South Parking Lot.

Finding grace

Spring Workshops and Show with Susie Moloney: She’s Come a Long Way Baby!

Susie MaloneyVisiting Author Susie Moloney Coming to Thessalon on May 4th, 2013 

Stories in the North is proud to announce it will be hosting Susie Moloney on Saturday May 4th, 2013 for a day of workshops and an evening performance of her work alongside jazz stylings from the Jeff Holmes Band.

Formerly a resident of Manitoulin Island, Moloney has worked her way from menial jobs to support her family as a single-mom to life as a successful novelist, (and mother!) who splits her time between Winnipeg and New York City. Tom Cruise’s production company scooped the rights to one of her novels and she has been published around the world.

Now you have a chance to spend a day with Susie and learn from her experiences. She has put together two great workshops for us:

10 am-noon

Back Story: Even the bad guy had a mama

For a character to be rich, full-bodied, and blood-pumpingly real, s/he has to have a rich, full-bodied, and blood-pumplingly real history. In this one-and-a-half hour workshop, participants will come with a character in mind, and work out a history, or “back story” that not only suits the character, but provides evidence for their actions in the plot. If someone was actually raised in a barn, would they leave the condo door open?

2-4 pm

The Six Rules of Writing

There are six hard and fast rules to becoming a good writer: read, read, read, and write, write, write. In this two-hour workshop, participants will write multiple scenes using fun, fast writing prompts. Bring your lap top if you have it, if not, bring a pad and a pen full of ink. Get ready to read your scene aloud.

Our workshops are popular and the size of the group is limited to 25, so sign up asap by e-mail or by calling 705-842-2451. Leave a message for Angie, with your name, e-mail, phone number and workshop preferences.
Workshop location: Zion United Church, 224 Main St. Thessalon.
Price: In advance = $25 or $40 for both. At door = $30 or $50 for both.

Jeff Holmes Jazz Band and Evening Reading

When the workshops wrap up, the fun has just begun. Be sure to come back in the evening. (Or stick around, Tina’s on Main has comfy couches and welcomes those who want to hang out.) Susie will be reading selections from her novels alongside the four-member Jeff Holmes Jazz Band. We include a fabulous snack buffet in our ticket price and offer a cash bar. What a fabulous opportunity to network with other writers in our area.
Time:Doors open 7 pm
Location:1OOF Hall, 146 Main St., Thessalon.
Price:$10 at the door or $8 in advance (For the advanced price, get on the guest list via e-mail or by calling 705-842-2451.

In the meantime:
Check out Moloney’s latest book, The Thirteen focuses on a group of suburban witches who lure a “good girl” protagonist back to her hometown in an attempt to recruit her.  Check out the hilarious book trailer. You can get your hands on a copy at our fabulous Thessalon Union Public Library.

Hollywood-calibre performance and sexy senior tales at Open Mic Night

Click photos for slideshow

It was a full house at the Thessalon Legion as Stories in the North crowned a crop of new winners during its March Open Mic night.

Six writers from Elliot Lake provided fresh competition and walked away with half of the prize money – plenty to gas-up the van for the trip home.

Who knew Elliot Lake was home to a successful actor? It’s no surprise Bruce McPhee, who has appeared in a number of Hollywood movies including the role as police chief in Hairspray, took the fiction crown for his rousing Shakespearean rant to winter.

Fellow Elliot Laker Gloria Hansen won the True Stories competition for her tale of a sexy encounter that had everyone laughing so hard they were in tears.

Rounding out the winner’s list was Thessalon’s own Victoria Shaw for her hilarious and truthy ode to motherhood. And, incumbent Al St. Pierre was back to defend his title in the Words n’ Music category with a new song for the crowd to enjoy.

Pauline Clark, with the odd joke interjected by husband Gerry, was the emcee for the night.

As a special treat, Stories in the North served ‘Looming Deadline’ its new special coffee blend created in partnership with the St. Joseph Island Coffee Roasters.

In a special bonus performance, Serene Boileau and Samantha Giguere played guitar and sang a piece to advertise their upcoming “Thessalon’s Got Talent” event, Apil 25th at the IOOF Hall. Doors will open at 6 pm and the $5 entry fee will support the Rebekah’s efforts to send a local Grade 11 student to the United Nations Pilgrimage for Youth conference in New York.

The next Stories in the North event will take place May 4th as supernatural-thriller writer Susie Maloney conducts a day of workshops and performs her work alongside the Jeff Holmes jazz band. If you want to check out Maloney’s books, you can borrow them at the Thessalon library.

Open Mike: Win $50 on March 22

Open MicDid you realize we give away real money ($200) at our Open Mike Nights? You get to vote for your favourites and see who wins the $50 prize in each of four categories: poetry, fiction, true stories, and words with music. So enter or just come out. We always have a hilarious, fun time.

Who? You! Register and take a shot at Open Mike glory. Or, come on out for a fun night. Vote and be a part of the choosing of our new champions.

What? $50.00 cash prize in each of 4 categories:
Poetry, fiction, true story, & song. Contestants have 5 minutes to wow the audience.

Where? At the Thessalon Legion (downstairs), 18 Algoma St. W. behind the Main Street Pharmacy.

When? Friday, March 22nd, 2013. Show starts at 7:30 p.m.

Why? We promise you’ll have a great time. And, you may just be inspired to enter the next time.

How? To register, call Angie at 705-842-2451
$5.00 registration fee. Audience members pay $7.00. You can pay your registration/ticket fee at the door. Participants get in with their registration fee.

Bonus! Cash Bar – Complimentary Coffee & Snacks included

Mark Your Calendars! Oct. 27

Author Jamie Zeppa has had an incredible writing journey

Join us for a day with Sault native Jamie Zeppa. Learn about her writing journey and share yours.

In 1988, Zeppa decided to postpone her master’s degree and apply for a two-year teaching position in Bhutan, even though she had none of the credentials.
At first, she was horrified by her new living conditions — the only way she could get hot food was to light a propane stove, of which she was terrified. But eventually she became passionate about the country and fell in love.
In 1996, her essay about her first month in Bhutan won the CBC-Canadian Literary Memoir Award — after it was faxed to Canada, re-typed, rushed to the CBC in a taxi and slipped under the door minutes before deadline. After that, her writing career took off with her latest book Everytime We Say Goodbye winning her a spot in the Knopf Canada New Face of Fiction program in 2011.
On October 27th, Zeppa is coming to Thessalon to teach two workshops and perform her work in an evening show. Sign up now to explore the Art of the Sentence and the Effect of Narrative Voice on your stories. Workshops will take place from 10 am to noon and 2 pm to 4pm in the basement of Zion United Church. Sign up in advance = $20 per workshop and $40 for both. Sign up on the day = $30 per workshop or $50 for both. To sign up, send a cheque to P.O. Box 124, Thessalon, P0R 1L0. To talk to somebody: Angie Gallop at 705-842-2451 or angiegallop@gmail.com.
Don’t miss the evening show! Jamie will read selections of her work alongside music from Bruce Beyer and Wayne Nott. You’ll have a chance to mix and mingle with other local writers as we always offer great snacks, a cash bar, and fun door prizes. Doors open at the IOOF Hall 146 Main St. Thessalon at 7 pm. Tickets $8 in advance and $10 at the door.
Stories in the North would not be able to do any of this without the support of the Ontario Arts Council. We are extremely grateful for the encouragement and financial support the Ontario Arts Council has given to our writing community for the past five years.

Mark it on your calendars! May 12th!

That’s the date for the next reading and set of workshops presented by Stories in the North.

Our guest author for the day will be Elizabeth Creith. Elizabeth was a regular on CBC Sudbury for many years, and also a featured writer/broadcaster on Richardson’s Roundup. She recently completed a book based on the “Shepherd in Residence” pieces she did for the roundup, to be released in April by Scrivener Press.

In the morning Elizabeth will teach “Make ‘Em Laugh”, a workshop on writing humour. Humour arises out of observation of an experience which may not, at the time, have been funny at all. Elizabeth will show how viewpoint, word use, comparison, simile, metaphor, detail, elision and timing all contribute to the creation of humour, and teach the rudiments of using these tools. Participants should come prepared to write, and with one or two incidents from their own experience they’d be prepared to share with other participants. Twenty participants.

In the afternoon, Elizabeth’s alter-ego, the Writer’s Dominatrix, will teach the technical aspects of writing. “You know what I mean” doesn’t cut it when your only means of communication is the printed word. Elizabeth will discuss and explain word use, punctuation and grammar with humour, and provide memory aids to help you avoid some of the most common writing errors. Twenty participants.

To register for workshops, call 705-842-3817 and leave your name and phone number and which workshop you’d like to take. Workshops are $25 each in advance, $40 for both. If you register on the day of the workshop, cost is $30 each, $50 for both.

The doors of the I.O.O.F. hall will open at seven for an evening of music, humour and delicious snacks provided by the Rebekahs. The show starts at eight; Elizabeth will read from “Shepherd in Residence” and other published works. We’ll have musical guests as well – still to be announced! Tickets will be available in advance. Watch this space for more details!