Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Having a Place to Write: The Tarragon Theatre

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Writing is a solitary activity. You spend hours alone at your computer, lost in a world of your creation. That's why having a community and contact with other writers can help. For me this came when I was fifteen and was part of the Tarragon Theatre's Young Playwrights Unit.

At the time I was more interested in screenwriting than playwriting, but over the course of the workshop I grew to love the simplicity of the form and what could be done with it. A few of us, aged 15 to 19, met every day of that year's March Break week and then for many Saturdays after that. Canadian playwright and author Don Hannah (http://www.playwrightsguild.ca...) ran the unit and was so inspiring and kind. He was the best type of teacher, the kind who encourages you and believes in you and your work.

My play, called Rainfall, was a one-act play and featured four characters -- Raine the main character, her best friend Katrina, her boyfriend Dylan, and her mother, Marian. After the unit, I turned that play into what would become my novel, Pretty Bones. Having been part of a creative enviroment mattered a lot to me at that age, since there wasn't a creative outlet at my high school beyond Art class.

Here are some other places in Toronto where you can be part of a writing group (or pursue another creative interest):

- Signing up for a writing class at U of T's Continuing Ed. which has some great classes. See the list here: http://learn.utoronto.ca/cours...

- Signing up for one of Hart House's Creative Classes, also at U of T. Classes range from film and theatre to photography. http://harthouse.ca/learn-disc...

- Join a writing group or book club at the Toronto Public Library: http://www.torontopubliclibrar...

I'll be back tomorrow with an interview with Toronto-based children's author, Sharon Jennings.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Aya Tsintziras

Aya Tsintziras is the author of the YA novel Pretty Bones, which was selected for the Canadian Book Centre's Best Books for Kids and Teens in Spring 2012. She has a BA in Political Science from the University of Toronto and is currently pursuing a Masters of Journalism at Ryerson University.

Go to Aya Tsintziras’s Author Page