Spring is here, hibernation season is over, and the month of April is chock full of sales, contests, workshops and reading.
Imajin book sale, April 1-15. April kicks off with Imajin Books’ annual spring sale that opens on April 1 and runs through April 15. Most Imajin books will be priced at US99¢ or US$1.99. Click here to see the entire Imajin sale inventory for your summer reading.
Imajin Shower Me With Books Contest, April 15-30. Enter to win one $25 Amazon.com gift card, one $25 Amazon.ca gift, or one $25 Kobo gift card. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, country of residence and gift card preference. The draw will be held between May 1 and 7, and winners will be notified by email.
How to Develop Your Novel, starting Tuesday April 10. My novel-writing course Novel Writing II: How to Develop Your Novel starts up again at George Brown College. Classes are every Tuesday, 6:30-9:30 p.m., through June 26. That means 12 three-hour classes to bring your novel-in-progress closer to the submission stage. Two hours of each class will be devoted to critiquing students’ work. Prerequisites are the college’s Novel Writing I or an approved equivalent. Register by clicking here.
Location and time: George Brown College, St. James Campus, 200 King St. East, Toronto, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Contact: 416-415-5000, ext. 2092.
Arthur Ellis Shortlist Event, Wednesday April 18. The Arthur Ellis Shortlist Event is a big date on the calendar of Canadian crime writers. That’s because the finalists for Crime Writers of Canada’s annual Arthur Ellis awards for excellence in crime writing are announced at it, and no less than five shortlist events will be held in major cities across the country: at the Vancouver Central Library, Owl’s Nest Books in Calgary, Indigo at Toronto’s Yonge-Eglinton Centre, Chapters Rideau in Ottawa and Halifax Central Library.
I’ll be joining guest authors Alison Bruce, Pamela Blance, Mel Bradshaw, M.H. Callway, Sharon Crawford, Lynn McPherson, Lorna Poplak and Ann Shortell at the Toronto event. We’ll be pitching our newest works to the audience, and author Elizabeth J. Duncan will emcee the proceedings. Special guest Maureen Jennings will announce the finalists for the eight Arthur Ellis Awards, which will be presented at the awards gala on May 24.
Location and time: 2300 Yonge St., Toronto. 7-8:30 p.m. Open to the public.
Richmond Hill Library, Monday April 23. I’ll join mystery writers Sharon Crawford, Nanci Pattenden, Mel Bradshaw and Cynthia St. Pierre on an interactive crime-writing panel at the Richmond Hill Public Library, Richmond Green Branch. We’ll discuss why we write crime fiction, self-publishing and the current publishing landscape and, of course, our own intriguing works. We’ll also give impromptu critiques of the first page of short stories or novels submitted from the audience; we will randomly select the pages that will be critiqued.
Contact: 905-780-0711. This is a drop-in event, so no need to register or buy tickets.
Location and time: 1 William F. Bell Pkwy, Richmond Hill, Ont., 4-5:30 p.m.
Noir at the Bar, Thursday April 26. Author Rob Brunet will host another of his great Noir at the Bar evenings. Noir at the Bar is popular in the U.S. with those who like their crime fiction served dark, and Rob took the idea to Toronto in 2014. Several authors–including my hubby Ed Piwowarczyk–will give short readings of their gritty crime fiction. There’s no cover charge, and there’s plenty of time out to buy drinks and socialize.
7 p.m., Wallace Gastropub, 1954 Yonge St., Toronto.
Whitby novel workshop, Saturday April 28. I’ll be holding a 3-hour workshop—suitable for all skill levels—on the craft of writing a novel at the Whitby Public Library. We will be looking at creating a cast of characters, deciding on which character’s eyes readers will be looking through, the four-act plot structure, and much more. AND the second half of the work workshop will be devoted to critiquing the FIRST PAGE of novels-in-progress. This page may be crucial in getting your novel published because literary agents and publishers often read no further if it doesn’t spark their interest.
Participants will need to register with library staff by dropping off a copy of your first page on or before Saturday April 21. Place your first page in an envelope marked Attention: Central, Reference Dept., and drop it off at the Central, Brooklin or Rossland branch. (Format: Times New Roman font, 12-point type, 1.5 spacing, one-inch margins. Include the title of the novel.)
The workshop is free but group size is limited to 16, so register early.
Contact: 905-668-6531 ext. 2020, email@example.com