Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Library Writer in Residence Programs

Any Gentle Readers out there also aspiring writers?

Apprentice Writer's suggestion of the day for you:

Investigate whether your public library runs a Writer-in-Residence program.

The Toronto Public Library does, and the current author holding the position is Deborah Cooke, also writing as Claire Cross, also writing as Claire Delacroix. Her oeuvre includes historical romance, chicklit, paranormal, fantasy, and dystopia. Her residence program includes panel discussions with industry experts to which the public is invited, blogging about various topics related to publication, and perhaps most enticing for us amateur scribblers, a manuscript critique opportunity (first fifity pages).

The author currently holding the position for the Richmond Hill Public Library is Barry Dempster, whose oeuvre includes poetry, short stories, and novels. His residence program includes a series of workshops, and also the tempting manuscript critique opportunity (first ten pages and synopsis).

Apprentice Writer had the good fortune to have her manuscript excerpt accepted for critique by Ms. Cooke, and spent an excellently helpful hour in the resident writer's library office, high above the North York public performance space and beneath Mel's Bells (an inside joke for Torontonians - Mel Lastman was a mayor of North York, a Toronto burb, and the library is in the same tower as the former North York City Hall which is crowned by a bell tower). Ms. Cooke provided a large amount of micro- and meta- comments about Apprentice Writer's manuscript, and the question of what to do with it now that it's complete. The most memorable of which was "This is good," and "You are not wasting your time," to AW's great relief.

Apprentice Writer now has renewed energy to work through another revision, and see the many-times-read words with fresh eyes. More importantly, she has completed (!) her query letter for sending out into the cold, harsh world of publication reality. Report forthcoming.

If you'd like the opportunity to speak with a Toronto-based author, editor, and/or literary agent, consider attending the public lecture tomorrow night. For info as well as a link to Ms. Cooke's blog, click here.

For info on the Richmond Hill program, click here.

At best, you could receive specific, helpful input on your work. At least, you would spend time with authors -who remain, in AW's opinion, some of the smartest and most interesting people anywhere.



Wylie Kinson said...

Hey m,
Missed you tonight at the panel discussion! It was informative and the TRW was well-represented.
Glad Deb made you feel good about the next step. It's a harsh world out here in query land!

M. said...

Wylie - Aargh! Would so have loved to be there. Thursday nights my DH works late. I just don't think I'd get much out of it (and maybe, impede other audience members' enjoyment) dragging three juniors along.