Tag Archives: Stories in the North

The Story Contest…

…deadline has passed, and we had a decent response to our very first contest. We’re so excited that so many of you wrote your stories and sent them in to us. The judges have them now, and we’ll be announcing the results here and on our Facebook page on August 31st. Stay tuned!

Aside from the fun and the glory, we have fabulous prizes.

First place winners in each category recieve $50 and publication on the Stories in the North website.

Second place winners will receive $30 and publication on the Storiesin the North website.

Third place winners will receive $20 and publication on the Stories in the North website.

In addition, each winner will receive a copy of a handmade, limited-edition book containing all the winning stories.

Bear in mind that publication on Stories in the North is a paid publication credit, and can be used towards qualifying for grants through the Ontario Arts Council. The Arts Council supports Stories in the North and we’re ever so happy and grateful that they do. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to bring in our guest authors, give workshops, or run writing contests, NaNoWriMo events or Open Mike nights.

If you didn’t have time to get it together for this contest (and really, we know summer is busy, busy, busy!), we’ll be doing it again in 2014. Start thinking about it now!

Sssssshh! Silent Auction!

Stories in the North has a silent auction running from now until noon on August 2nd. It’s at the Northern Credit Union on Main Street in Thessalon. We have some great summer reading, a pack of books with Thessalon connections, a genuine Japanese kimono in silk and cotton, gardening kits, a pamper-yourself spa basket and more goodies.

To bid, just drop in to Northern Credit Union during open hours and add your bid, name and phone number to the sheet. The proceeds go to support Stories in the North and help them produce their author events and Open Mike nights.

Don’t forget about the short story contest! There’s still time to write your up-to-5000-word masterpiece and submit it. The postmark deadline is July 31st, 2013. Get the details on our Writing Contest page!

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.

And the winners are…

The Open Mike is over, and the winners, as judged by an enthusiastic audience, are:

Fiction: Angie Gallop
True Stories: a tie between Pauline Clark and Ali Doi
Poetry: A tie between Dawn Nash and Cindy Crawford

The quilt was won by Donna Blois. Congratulations to Donna, Angie, Ali, Pauline, Dawn and Cindy.

In spite of several registrations for Words and Music, in the end the category had a grand total of NO performers at all! This makes Words and Music an easy $50 for anyone caring to register – at least so far – for the next open mike, which will probably be in February.

Pre-registration for the next open mike is fine. Email elizabeth.creith@bell.net.

Open Mike, Saturday October 1st!

Hear ye! Hear ye!

Stories in the North will be holding an Open Mike evening on October 1st, 2011. (That’s a Saturday night.) We’ll be holding it, as usual, downstairs at the Legion in Thessalon.

This time we have an added attraction. We’ll be making the draw for the quilt – yes, this quilt – for which we have been madly selling tickets for months. Open Mike night will be the last opportunity to buy a chance on this lovely quilt.

Doors open at 6:30, and the festivities will start at 7 p.m. We have four categories, with a $50.00 prize offered for the winner of each category. The categories are:

Poetry: rhymed or not, traditional or experimental – your call!
Fiction: Wow us with your best story!
True stories: If it happened in real life, tell it here!
Words and music: We’ve changed this one a little. Previously we were looking only for original songs. Now we will also take parody.

There is a $5.00 entry fee for each spot. You are limited to five minutes, including whatever introductory remarks you make.

Who decides the winners? The audience does, by popular vote; feel free to pack the hall with your loyal supporters! Admission is $7.00. There will be snacks and a cash bar.

To register call 705-842-3817. Please leave your name and phone number, the category you want to enter, and a good time to call you. You can also email elizabeth.creith@bell.net.

At the moment we have two spots available in poetry, fiction and true stories, and three in words and music.

Sssssssshhhhhhhh!

Don’t tell anyone, but the Silent Auction was a huge success. We had dozens of great items up for bid, and all of them sold. The money we raised will go to bring authors and workshop leaders to Stories in the North. We want to thank everybody who bid for their support, and we’d also like to thank Northern Credit Union for allowing us to set up our tables there for the month of July.

Missed out on the auction? You still have a chance for a great item at a bargain price! We have a gorgeous quilt to be raffled off. Proceeds go to the benefit of Algoma Manor. This quilt was made by Dr. Blois’s mother and her quilt guild especially for us, and for this purpose.

Stories in the North will be set up at the Station Mall on August 17th to sell tickets. You can see the quilt there, but just to whet your appetite, here’s a picture. At $2.00 each, tickets on this baby are a bargain!

Once again, thank you all for your generous support.

Saturday…

…is the big day.

We have a few spots left for the two workshops, Writing with Courage at 10 a.m. with Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, and Screenwriting at 1:30 p.m. with Shane Belcourt. Lunch included.

Even if the workshops aren’t your thing, don’t miss the performance at 7:00 p.m. at the Oddfellows’ Hall on Main Street in Thessalon. It’s going to be a fun night, with poetry and music and good food and a chance to hang out with the artists.

Check out the article in the Sault Star!

Between the workshops and the performance, check out Tina’s on Main for good food and Forestland for a great selection of clothing and gifts and gourmet goodies.

Open Mike June 25th!

We’re doing it again – another Open Mike night with food, fun and fabulous fifty-dollar prizes in each category.

Our entrants are starting to get wise! As of this writing, we have only a few spots left, and they’re all in songwriting. Most of the people performing in this round signed up at the end of the last Open Mike. Yikes! We did not expect that!

To register for this, or any other open mike, call 705-842-3817. Please leave your name and phone number, and a good time to call you. You can also email elizabeth.creith@bell.net. There is a $5.00 entry fee for each spot.

As before, the Open Mike will be held at the Thessalon Legion, downstairs. There will be food and a cash bar. Doors open at 6:30, show starts at seven. How do we decide the winners? We don’t – you do! It’s audience choice all the way, so pack that hall to increase your votes.

Admission is $7.00 per person.

Summer Writing Workshops

Stories in the North has two fantastic writing workshops coming on July 16th.

Writing with Courage with Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm
10:00 a.m. to noon

Everyone has a story they are afraid to write. Memoir, personal essay, fiction rooted in truth, sometimes there are moments, incidents or whole subjects that are difficult to write. Bring yours to this workshop.

As the owner of Kegedonce Press, Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm has worked with dozens of writers dealing with difficult subjects. She is also an
accomplished writer and performance poet. She taught creative writing at the En’owkin Centre in the late 90s and currently teaches in the Emerging Aboriginal Writers Program at the Banff Centre.

Screenwriting 101 with Shane Belcourt
1:30 – 3:30 p.m.

What if you could turn your story into a script? Learn how in this interactive workshop led by multi-award-winning writer-director Shane Belcourt. >From idea to finished script, Shane will show you the tools to creatively critique and advance a script to completion and bring your great idea to the screen.

The workshops will be held in the Zion United Church basement in Thessalon.
Cost for a single workshop, either morning or afternoon, is $50.00
Register for both workshops for $75.00 and save!
Lunch is included for all workshop participants.

To register, call Elizabeth Creith, 705-842-3817. If you get the answering machine, please leave your name and phone number and say which workshop you would like.
Cheques can be made out to Stories in the North and mailed to
Elizabeth Creith
#4479 Highway 129
Thessalon, Ontario
P0R 1L0

Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm

kateri akiwenzie-damm is an Anishnaabe writer of mixed blood from the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation. She has lived and worked at Neyaashiinigmiing, Cape Croker Reserve on the Saugeen Peninsula in southwestern Ontario since 1994.

When kateri is not writing she keeps busy with her consulting company DammWrite! Consulting and Communications, working with First Nations groups and projects. She is also the Managing Editor of Kegedonce Press, a small publishing company she set up in 1993 to publish and promote the work of Indigenous writers, artists and others in the publishing field.

In 1996 kateri taught creative writing courses to university students at the En’owkin International School of Writing in Penticton, British Columbia. She is currently working on a spoken word CD and a collection of poetry. kateri is also working on publishing arrangements for an international collection of erotica by Indigenous writers and artists. She recently completed work as the editor of a collection of fiction by Indigenous writers from Canada, the United States, Australia and Aotearoa kateri’s other interests include tracking with the Ndakinna Wilderness Project, learning the Anishnaabe language, studying dreams, and traditional gathering and harvesting.

kateri’s writing has been published in various anthologies, journals, and magazines in Canada, the U.S., Aotearoa, Australia, and Germany. She has given readings at events and venues across Canada, the U.S., Australia, and Aotearoa and on national radio in Canada and Aotearoa. Readings have been broadcast nationally in Canada on WTN. Spoken word pieces of her poetry have been recorded and distributed on various audio-cassette compilations. Solo and collaborative pieces of her work have been shown in exhibits at art galleries in British Columbia. Among the journals in which her work has been published are trout, a south pacific journal of the arts (see below), The New Quarterly, Winter 2000, University of Waterloo, and Rampike Literary & Arts Magazine.

Shane Belcourt

Shane Belcourt is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, and musician based in Toronto. His feature film, Tkaronto, has played many international film festivals, most recently winning the “Best Director” prize at the 2008 Dreamspeakers Film Festival and 2008 Talking Stick Film Festival, and has since been sold to a national distributor (Kinosmith Films) which released the film across Canada during the fall of 2008.

Shane’s two short films, The Squeeze Box and Pookums have been picked up and sold to national Canadian TV networks and are featured on Isuma.tv. Shane was also the recipient of the 2007 IFC Mentorship Award and one of 22 filmmakers chosen for the 2007 TIFF Talent Lab. More recently Shane co-wrote and directed Boxed In, a short film produced by the NFB that will be included in the Canadian Pavilion at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Shane was selected to Telefilm’s Feature Aboriginal Storytellers Program to further develop his next dramatic feature film, A Better Place. In January 2010, Shane was been selected to be the Filmmaker in Residence by the Winnipeg Film Group. Currently, Shane is working as the writer-director for a personal short animated documentary about growing up the son of a Métis rights leader, Red Car, Blue Hood along with writing his next micro-budget feature film, “Hard Feelings.”

Shane makes films under the banner of “Brokenslate Pictures” and/or “The Breath Films”, and makes documentaries and video projects for the web under “The Breath Films”. Shane teaches filmmaking workshops throughout the year with Aboriginal youth and youth at risk through various Aboriginal outreach programs, as well as teaching a directing class at LIFT twice a year in Toronto.

The envelope, please…

Okay, it’s not the Oscars, but last night was Stories in the North’s second Open Mike Night.

Our contestants were:

In fiction, Gail Joy, Douglas Ord, Tom Johnson
In non-fiction, Tatiana Johnson, Ruthanne Fecteau, Elizabeth Creith, Joyce Conway
In poetry, Elizabeth Creith, Ruthanne Fecteau
In songwriting, Al St. Pierre, Gail Joy

And the winners were:

In fiction, Gail Joy
In non-fiction, Joyce Conway
In poetry, Ruthanne Fecteau
In songwriting, Al St. Pierre

We had great snacks – cheese and cold cuts, chips and dips, homemade squares, devilled eggs, salsa. Who needs dinner? Heather behind the bar served the drinks. There were four door prizes, and a good time was had by all – or at least so we believe.

Spaces for the next Open Mike – and we haven’t even thought about a date yet! – are filling up. Six have been taken already. The categories for the next event are Fiction, True Stories, Poetry and Songwriting. For True Stories we are asking people to stick to the story and leave op-ed pieces and opinion essays at home.

We have a strict five-minute time limit for all entries. Entry fee is five dollars per category, one entry per category per person.

Watch this space for a date. Call 705-842-3817 to register.