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WritersNL’s 2023 Annual Conference & AGM

WritersNL’s Annual Conference & AGM:
2023 Schedule + Event Details!

Mark your calendars now to join us for WritersNL’s jam-packed Annual General Meeting Weekend!
Keep scrolling for event details + registration links.

Friday, November 24:

Friday, November 24, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. – WritersNL’s Member Mixer
📍 In-person @ The Foran Greene Room, St. John’s City Hall
👥 Open to WritersNL Members only. No registration required.

Ahead of WritersNL’s 7 p.m. “A Publishing Journey” panel, join us in The Foran Greene Room for a one-hour mixer starting at 6 p.m. Coffee, tea and pastries will be served. All WritersNL Members are welcome to attend.

Please note: our 7 p.m. “A Publishing Journey” panel requires pre-registration (see below).

Friday, November 24, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. – A Publishing Journey: Getting Your Book Out Into The World
📍 In-person @ The Foran Greene Room, St. John’s City Hall
👥 Open to WritersNL Members only. Pre-registration required.

With more publishing options than ever before, today’s authors have a LOT to consider when the time comes to get their book into readers’ hands!

WritersNL’s “A Publishing Journey” panel on Friday, November 25, 2023 will explore publishing options through the experiences of Newfoundland and Labrador-published authors from self-publishing, traditional publishing, literary agents, and more.

Our panellists – Terry Doyle, Kate Sparkes, Andrew Peacock, and William Ping – will talk about their various and diverse book publishing experiences. “A Publishing Journey” will be moderated by author Kelley Power, who will aid attendees in asking YOUR publishing-related questions directly to our talented and knowledgeable panel of authors.

🔗 Register here:

ABOUT OUR PANELLISTS (alphabetically by last name):

Terry Doyle is from the Goulds. His books, DIG and The Wards, were nominated for The Danuta Gleed Literary Award, the ReLit Award, the Winterset Award, the Allistair McLeod Short Fiction Award, The Newfoundland and Labrador Book Award for Fiction, the Margaret Duley Award, and the John and Margaret Savage First Book Award. In 2017 Terry won the Percy Janes First Novel Award.

Andrew Peacock‘s first book Creatures of the Rock won the 2015 Newfoundland Book Award for best non-fiction book in the province and was long-listed for the Leacock Medal for the best humour book in Canada. He has published a children’s book, One Brave Boy and His Cat, a collection of short stories called Bifocal and an eerily prescient novel, VIRAL that deals with what would happen if a pandemic struck Newfoundland.

William Ping is a novelist and journalist, born and raised in St. John’s. His debut novel Hollow Bamboo was published by HarperCollins in 2023 and was shortlisted for the First Novel Award. He has previously been published in ‘Us, Now,’ Hard Ticket and Riddle Fence. William is also known for his contributions to CBC News, where he can most often be heard reading the news. William is a Fellow of MUN’s School of Graduate Studies and has been the recipient of MUN’s Thesis Excellence Award, the Cox and Palmer Creative Writing Award, and the Landfall Trust Award.

(Moderator) Kelley Power writes fiction under the shade of lazy maples at her home in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Her debut short story collection, TOMBSTORIES, was released in August 2021 and her horror short fiction has appeared in the Newfoundland-set Terror Nova trilogy. Kelley also manages corporate affairs at Newfoundland and Labrador’s newest publisher, After Books Inc., established in early 2023. Two of the company’s inaugural non-fiction titles — Admit Strangers by Michael Connors and Close Calls with Nature, edited by Gord Follett — launch in November 2023.

USA Today bestselling Fantasy author Kate Sparkes is best known for the Bound Trilogy and the All the Queen’s Knaves series. She independently publishes and also writes Urban Fantasy set in Newfoundland under the name Tanith Frost.



Saturday, November 25:

Saturday, November 25, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. – “Telling it Crooked and other Métis Approaches to Story” with Métis author and storyteller Michelle Porter
📍 Virtual via Zoom
👥 Open to WritersNL Members + the general public. Pre-registration required.

In this talk, Michelle will take the audience on a journey through three story genres and talk about how learning more about Métis music traditions changed the way she writes.

🔗 Register here:

Michelle Porter is the descendent of a long line of Métis storytellers (the Goulet family). Her first novel “A Grandmother Begins the Story” was published in May 2023 and is a finalist for the Writers Trust Atwood-Gibson Award for Fiction. She is the author of two books of nonfiction, “Approaching Fire” and “Scratching River,” and one book of poetry, “Inquiries.” She’s been living in Newfoundland and Labrador for fifteen years and teaches creative writing at Memorial University. She’s originally from the Métis Homeland and grew up in Alberta. She’s a member of the Manitoba Métis Federation, where her ancestors are from.

Saturday, November 25, 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. – Water as a Collaborator: How Waterways Support Our Writing – A workshop with writer, artist, and publisher Whitney French
📍 Virtual via Zoom
👥 Open to WritersNL Members only. Pre-registration required.

Join us for a creative writing workshop that is open to all disciplines of writers compelled by water.

Led by writer and arts educator Whitney French, this session invites us to connect with our bodies & use water as a collaborator for our writing practice. Drawing from sounds, memories, and literary works from other notable writers, we will have an opportunity to generate new work and share with a small group. Water as Collaborator is a workshop for those excited to reflect on the power, messages, and histories that water contains.

All writers of all levels are welcome!

🔗 Register here:

Whitney French is a writer, multidisciplinary artist, and publisher. She edited the anthology ‘Black Writers Matter’ a collection of creative nonfiction, the winner of the Saskatchewan Book Award for Publishing 2020. As a Hurston Wright Foundation fellow, Whitney French is a self-described Black futurist, with writings in ARC Poetry, GEIST, the Puritan Magazine, WATER Magazine, CBC Books, and Quill and Quire. She has lectured and presented in a number of spaces including Spellman College, the Festival of Literary Diversity, Wayne State University, SOHO House, Aga Khan Museum, and Howard University. Having worked as both a developmental and acquisitions editor, French is now the co-founder and publisher of Hush Harbour, the only Black queer feminist press in Canada. Whitney French is a certified arts educator. Currently, she lives in Toronto.

Saturday, November 25, 6 p.m. – Pitch Wars
📍 In-person @ Emera Innovation Exchange Conference Centre in the Signal Hill Campus of Memorial University in downtown St. John’s
👥 Open to WritersNL Members + the general public. No registration required.

This highly anticipated event gives WritersNL Members a chance to present a two-minute pitch of their project to a panel of local publishers, putting their work in front of influential eyes and ears in Newfoundland and Labrador’s publishing industry. A smashing success since its inception in 2019, this event has helped numerous WritersNL Members to secure book deals.

Doors open at 6 p.m., and the on-site bar will be available as soon as doors open, so please consider joining us early to hang out with and get to know members of your fellow writing community! (Unable to attend in person? Catch the excitement via livestream on WritersNL’s Facebook page.)

This year’s Pitch Wars will be hosted by CBC’s Krissy Holmes.

(Interested in applying to pitch your project? Click here for full Pitch Wars details, including submission guidelines, notes for interested Pitchers, and more. Deadline for applications: 5 p.m. on Monday, November 13, 2023)


Sunday, November 26:

Sunday, November 26, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. – Financial Planning for Writers with NLCU’s Peter Bishop
📍 Virtual via Zoom
👥 Open to WritersNL Members only. Pre-registration required.

Whether you are a budding writer or a seasoned professional, financial planning is a critical step to creating a healthy financial future. In this session, Peter Bishop, Wealth Management Advisor at NLCU, provides a comprehensive overview of key considerations such as tax efficiencies, cash flow, and debt management when developing a financial plan that suits your lifestyle and income.

🔗 Register here:

Peter Bishop has built a lifelong career in the financial services industry. He spent 18 years in various roles at several banking institutions before joining NLCU in 2002. For the past 21 years, he has specialized in wealth management advice and service at NLCU, and is licensed to offer mutual fund investments and insurance product solutions. A father of two children, Peter and his wife live in Grand Falls-Windsor.

Sunday, November 26, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. – Santiago Guzmán: Taking Your Prose or Verse to Centre Stage: Adapting Novels and Short Stories to Drama
📍 Virtual via Zoom
👥 Open to WritersNL Members only. Pre-registration required.

Have you ever wondered what it takes to write a play? How do you adapt your own work into theatre? In this workshop, Santiago will guide writers in adapting a section of prose or verse into theatrical language.

Participants will bring less than a page of prose from their novels, short stories, or verse, and through the principles of playwriting, Santiago will teach how to adapt text for the stage.

🔗 Register here:

Santiago Guzmán (he/they) is an award-winning playwright, dramaturge, performer, and director originally from Metepec, Mexico, now based in St. John’s, NL. He is the Artistic Director of TODOS Productions & the Interim Artistic Director for Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre.
Santiago’s work as a writer aims to put local, under-represented narratives and characters on the frontlines, whilst inviting audiences to appreciate the vibrancy of Newfoundland and Labrador from a diverse perspective.
Their work has been supported, developed and/or produced by theatre companies and festivals such as TODOS Productions (NL), Resource Centre for the Arts Theatre Company (NL), White Rooster Theatre (NL), Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland (NL), Poverty Cove Theatre Company (NL), Rising Tide Theatre (NL), Neighbourhood Dance Works (NL), Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), Eastern Front Theatre (NS), PARC (pan-Atlantic), Ship’s Company Theatre (NS), Theatre New Brunswick (NB), Boca Del Lupo (BC), Paprika Festival (ON), Stratford Festival (ON), Lemontree Creations (ON), Banff Playwrights Lab (AB) and the National Theatre School of Canada’s Art Apart Program (QC). He is a member of Playwrights Canada Press’s inaugural editorial committee.
Santiago’s play Urn received the Senior Dramatic Script Award of the Newfoundland and Labrador 2022 Arts and Letters Awards & was shortlisted for the NLCU Fresh Fish Award 2022. Santiago was the inaugural recipient of the John Palmer Award 2022 through the Playwrights Guild of Canada for being a change-maker in the theatre industry with his advocacy in the arts regarding equity, diversity, and anti-racism. Most recently, they were inducted into the YWCA’s St. John’s Circle of Distinction with the Inspired Innovation Award.
Santiago’s work is very gay, very brown, and very real. Representation matters.

Sunday, November 26, 2 p.m. – Annual General Meeting
📍 Virtual via Zoom
👥 Open to WritersNL Members only. Pre-registration required.

Interested in attending WritersNL’s 2023 AGM + the election of our next Board of Directors? Make your voice heard by joining the AGM on November 26!

Members’ involvement in the AGM is essential to keeping our organization strong and well-connected to its membership base.

We sincerely appreciate your attendance and input on what being a member of WritersNL means for you.

Update 11/23: Every attendee at our Annual General Meeting will have their name added into a random draw for 4x prizes of $50 each.

🔗 Register here: