Cryssa Bazos is an award-winning historical fiction author and 17th-century enthusiast with a particular interest in
Cryssa Bazos is an award-winning historical fiction author and 17th-century enthusiast with a particular interest in the English Civil War. Her debut novel, Traitor’s Knot is the Medalist winner of the 2017 New Apple Award (historical fiction), a finalist for the 2018 EPIC eBook Awards (historical romance) and the RNA Joan Hessayon Award. Her second novel, Severed Knot, was longlisted for the Historical Novel Society 2018 New Novel Award and is a B.R.A.G Medallion Honoree.
James Dewar’s short fiction and poetry have been published in several anthologies and literary journals. His poetry collection, The Garden in the Machine, was published by Hidden Brook Press. His short story, Strychnine Blues, was featured in That Dammed Beaver, a 2018 collection of Canadian Humour from Exile Editions, edited by Bruce Meyer. He teaches fiction and poetry workshops throughout the Metropolitan Toronto area and internationally (www.anovelapproach.net & www.inkslingers.ca). Over the last decade he has helped judge writing and poetry contests for the League of Canadian Poets, Ontario Writers Conference, Canadian Authors Association and other writing organizations. He edits poetry and prose in a mentorship capacity and also enjoys his role as the publisher of Piquant Press and Stones Throw Publications. He is currently finishing a novel and refining a second book of poetry.
Heather Whaley is an orator who is best known as a musical storyteller singer-songwriter for both adults and children. She tells and sings traditional and original stories, ballads and songs, and has performed and toured nationally and internationally in many festivals and venues including schools, libraries, cafés, festivals, pubs, theatre, and for special community events since the mid 90’s.
Discovering the artform of traditional storytelling 27 years ago opened a new word for Heather as a writer. Like many aspiring authors, she submitted to publishers for several years in the 80’s and 90’s, without telling a soul. Her dream was to become a children’s author, and to write mood pieces and poetry for magazines. After realising her audiences were at her fingertips to listen to oral storytelling, she studied and practised retelling classic tales and adapting many folktales, fairytales, legends and ballads to suit her voice. She also began including her song writing, chants, rhymes and poetry, and crafted spoken word, memoir and family stories to tell, often focusing on thematic material for upcoming gigs.
One of Heather’s most recent tour sets True Tall Tales from a Thunder Bay Girl featuring stories ‘Muskoka Mosquitos’ and ‘Sucker!’ resulted after performing at the FLAME Cottage Bistro in Vancouver, and earning her third place during the Frazer University Liar’s Contest, much to the discretion of a juror and many others who felt “Sucker” should have won first place! With confidence abiding, she brought resounding laughter and revived childhood memories at the Gladstone Hotel during the 40th Toronto Storytelling Festival in March 2019, and again at Enabling Gardens in Guelph in August to over 100 seniors. Heather has also performed her family immigration set When They Came (now called From the Ears of a Twisted Tongue) in Orillia for their first Canadian Storytelling Night concert in 2013. The stories and songs were inspired, and evolved, out of being hired to create a storytelling presentation for Reading the Image to grades seven and eight students during the month of November 2012 at the Whitby Station Gallery, where she performed three times a week as their first storyteller in residence for a youth program.
In 2010 Heather was a runner up for the very first WCDR Story Slam with her piece That Kind of Love and recently performed a longer version for MAW Vocal Arts at the Burdock Music Hall in April, 2019. She has told A Load Off My Chest (original title ‘Breasts’ which was first told at the Stellar Festival in Oshawa around 2008) at Harbourfront Centre, Daniel’s Spectrum and the Hard Rock Café in Toronto; the Abilities Centre in Whitby, and at House Concerts to women at various shelters and facilities during Breast Cancer month in October.
Sprinkled with pathos and humour, her original stories and songs are all true to life …except for the stories she leads you to believe are true!
Heather is a regular voice and storytelling advocate with Durham Storytellers, the Toronto Storytelling Festival and Storytellers of Canada, as well as on speaker platforms such as 1001 Friday Nights of Storytelling, moMondays and MARSTalk. She also produces live concerts and is currently Artistic Director for StoryFusion Cabaret! a concert series, which she pitched in 2014 to Storytelling Toronto through grant application – and also dabbles in online radio as a graduate of SC-Radio-CC (Storytellers of Canada) radio producer training. Her own show Story Chat and a special Healing Stories segment have been aired several times and are available on demand.
Heather loves sharing what she has learned over the years, and drawing people in to simply enjoy and be with her in the moment.
Writers' Community of Durham Region
Lisa Wray is a Manager of Publicity & Events at Harlequin, the world's largest publisher of romantic fiction. A graduate of
Lisa Wray is a Manager of Publicity & Events at Harlequin, the world’s largest publisher of romantic fiction. A graduate of the Centennial Book & Magazine Publishing program and the University of Toronto, she has a decade of experience working in book publishing and creates publicity campaigns for bestselling authors such as Robyn Carr, RaeAnne Thayne and Lori Foster, among many others. She has had the opportunity to work on a variety of exciting projects including Harlequin on The Bachelor, Netflix book-to-film adaptations, and running the Harlequin booth at BookExpo America/BookCon.
Lisa will outline the current state of publicity, influencers, and events and share strategies and tools you can act on for your current and upcoming book campaigns. This presentation will benefit anyone, new or senior to the field of book publicity & events, and will include real-life book publicity examples from authors who are doing it best!
Writers' Community of Durham Region
The annual Blue Pencil Bonanza is a fun, interactive meeting where you receive quality feedback on your work in progress. Divided by genre, each table will be facilitated
The annual Blue Pencil Bonanza is a fun, interactive meeting where you receive quality feedback on your work in progress. Divided by genre, each table will be facilitated by a WCDR member professional. Submit pages for feedback or simply observe, it’s up to you, no pressure. Participating in any way in the critiquing process will strengthen your writing and give you a broader understanding of how readers interpret words on the page. Please be assured, all critiques will be kind and constructive. The WCDR is your safe place.
Note: Submission is a member’s only opportunity, but guests are welcome to observe.
Writers' Community of Durham Region
Venturing into the world of indie-publishing isn't for the faint of heart. There is tremendous money to be made, but it's not as easy as loading your book and watching
Venturing into the world of indie-publishing isn’t for the faint of heart. There is tremendous money to be made, but it’s not as easy as loading your book and watching your bank account grow. At this Monthly Network Meeting, you’ll learn the 5 M’s of Indie Success: Myths, Market, Manuscripts, Management, and Mindset. Together, we’ll discuss the wildly changing world of indie publishing and set you on a path to avoid some of the common mistakes and misconceptions.
Under the name JL Madore, Jenny has published seven full-length novels and one five-part serial since attending Heather Hamilton-Senter’s WCDR Master Class spring 2017. In that time, her income has increased 1000% over the sales for the two years prior, she’s been awarded best new release on Amazon 3 times, been #1 in her genre sub-category countless times and has learned a ton about what it takes to build momentum as an author.
(Saturday) 9:30 am - 12:00 pm