Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

atsintziras's blog

Having a Place to Write: The Tarragon Theatre

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.

To Outline or Not to Outline: That is the Question

Before you sit down to write, do you plan what will happen in the scene or chapter, or do you just go for it and let the words come out? This is a common question discussed among writers – I’ve seen it phrased as are you a “plotter” (an outliner) or a “panster” (someone who just writes without a plan). I think I’m somewhere in the middle, and there are definitely pros and cons for both.

That Elusive Inspiration: Ways to Find It

A pretty common question for writers is how they find the inspiration for their work. It's one of those questions authors are basically always asked in interviews. Sometimes inspiration finds you and everything seems to come together -- your story, plot, characters, even your motivation to keep writing. But other times, you have to find inspiration, and if you've ever experienced writer's block, you know how awful it can feel when you really want to be creative but it just isn't happening.

Here are some things that have worked for me to get inspired to write.

1.) Reading books in my genre (YA). This is probably the easiest way to get inspired -- if you're a writer, chances are you're an avid reader. Great books make you want to be great, too.

BORN WEIRD: ANDREW KAUFMAN'S INSPIRING BOOK LAUNCH

Last night I went to Toronto-based author Andrew Kaufman's book launch for his fourth novel, Born Weird, at the cozy pub Dora Keogh on the Danforth. About halfway through the event, Andrew was interviewed by CBC's Nora Young, and had some inspiring things to say about his new novel in particular and writing in general.

Deep Breaths and Downward Dog: What Yoga Has Taught Me About Writing

I've been going to yoga classes 3 times a week at the amazing studio The Yoga Sanctuary (http://www.theyogasanctuary.ne...) since May, and I've learned that yoga is definitely a mind and body activity. During this morning's class, it occurred to me that yoga is part therapy and part exercise. I always leave class feeling much better than when I came in. Today's class left me feeling inspired with these poetic words from my teacher:

"We are human beings, we falter, we get distracted but we always have the option of coming back."

Author Visits: Going back to my high school

They say you can never go home again, but it turns out you can go back to high school.

Steps to a Successful Book Launch

Happy Monday!

Today I'm writing about how to plan your book launch. These five steps are all based on my experience with my own launch in September 2011.

1.) Pick a location. The most common choices are bookstores or a bar/pub. Pick a place where you'll feel the most comfortable (and it helps if it's TTC accessible!) I chose Type Books on Queen West (http://typebooks.ca/), an amazing bookstore, and Becky Toyne (an Open Book columnist!) helped me with my launch and did a great job.

2.) Send out invites. Whether by email or Facebook event, this is the best part -- sharing the good news with your friends and family that your book is being published and you want to celebrate with them.

Finding a Writing Routine

Most of the time it feels like there are never enough hours in a day, and that feeling is amplified when we try to find the time to write. Figuring out a writing routine can take a while, especially if your schedule has changed, if you're working around a day job, or even if you are a full-time writer. But writers write, and there are some ways to make sure you do.

Coming-of-age novels: In praise of The Torn Skirt

The Catcher in the Rye, On the Road -- these are coming-of-age novels typically discovered in high school. The kind of books that illuminate life and make you, the reader, feel alive. My own favourite coming-of-age novel was The Torn Skirt by Toronto-born Rebecca Godfrey, the kind of writer who can only be described as brave and poetic.

A Love Letter to YA

Sometimes it feels like we don't choose what we want to write but it chooses us. I think it's the same with whatever genre we end up writing in -- things just fall into place. I was reading young adult (YA) books before it was even officially a genre. I grew up devouring Ann M. Martin's The Babysitters Club series, sitting on the floor of Chapters (back when Indigo was Chapters!) and trying to decide between two books before my parents smiled and agreed to buy me two more for my collection. They would probably be considered middle grade books now, but I also loved Kit Pearson's A Handful of Time about a girl time travelling after discovering a watch and The Daring Game about a group of boarding school girls who secretly meet at night.

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