April 22, 2017
Book Printing at Asquith Press
On April 22nd we visited Asquith Press, located at the Toronto Reference Library. If you don't get out to Yonge and Bloor much, or even if you do, you might not realize that the library is actually located on Asquith Ave.
We met with our book printer/tour guide, Tony bright and early on the Saturday and got to watch our book print.
May 09, 2017
Introducing Our New Website
If you've visited gravelbar.ca in the past, you've probably noticed that some things have changed. Aside from the new design (and our new logo), we've added some new content. Visit our books page to read about our two published anthologies, Impromptu and Library Reflections and to find out where you can get your free copy.
If you'd like to meet the Scribblers in person, the events page will tell you where to find us.
Over the next few months, we'll be adding individual pages for each of the Scarborough Scribblers. You'll be able to visit them to learn more about the authors and read their work.
July 14, 2016
Marketing and Self-Promotion for Writers
Recently I experienced a little of the non-writing aspect of writing which is known as promotional work. Part of every aspiring writer’s schedule may be taken up with book signings, readings, blogging, updating social media and web pages, perhaps presenting seminars and tutorials, but these things are not what a writer likes best. A writer enjoys writing. So while it's interesting to learn these aspects of 'being creative,' it may not seem like fun to everyone. Writers who do not enjoy talking and writing about their craft or greeting strangers should probably just stick to reading new work to fellow writer friends at the library, coffee shop, or pub.
For those who prefer writing and mailing away manuscripts to prospective publishers, remember that they will probably ask you to help promote your own book, hence signing, smiling, and shaking hands. For those who want to maximize their time at the keyboard, however, there are other ways to get exposure for their work so readers can appreciate their wit and imagination. All that is required is an envelope with a postage stamp or an upload button on a computer.
Free contests may require new, unpublished work only, (that which hasn't been submitted elsewhere.) If you read the fine print you should be able to make sure you still own the rights to your work. Free websites may also permit you to present your work online, (but you may not be allowed to submit it for publication in two venues simultaneously.) Whether or not you choose to increase your exposure to the readers of the world, remember that if you want to improve your writing, the best way is to write. Any other activity related to writing can take away valuable time and your pure enjoyment of writing.
May 27, 2016
Writing Seminar with David Bester
It was a Thursday afternoon in the Spring of 2016 when I visited a writing group at the Kennedy and Eglinton Library to attend a seminar with writing guru David Bester. There were 15 people there who all seemed over the age of 50. I realized this meant that combined, there were over seven hundred years of life experience in that room from all around the world. It seemed like a special opportunity.
David Bester spoke about the method he uses in his workshops, summarized on his website; "Discover your unique voice, and banish the fear..." He encourages a safe and friendly learning environment. It's based on something called the Amherst Writers and Artists method.
When each of us read aloud our own writing exercise, he suggested that others could comment about, 'what I remembered most about the piece was….' This resulted in a friendly response to the work. I was then ready to participate in the next section without feeling any apprehension about my own writing.
So next we learned from David about 'Character and Plot Arcs'. I found it helpful to learn how the characters in my own story could influence its outcome. After some more writing exercises I felt like a new chapter had been started in my own writing adventures.
As an added benefit to my friends at Albert Campbell Library, 'The Scarborough Scribblers,' I have also begun to think about creating a friendly and unthreatening atmosphere for sharing with others in the group. No more Mr. Brutality with a coloured marker pen.
Note: The seminar, entitled "Creative Writing Workshop" ran on Thu May 26, 2016 from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
May 22, 2016
Library Reflections: An Anthology (2016) is a collaborative work, consisting of short stories written by ten Scarborough Scribblers. Our stories are set in libraries of all shapes and sizes. We hope that you’ll visit a few and say hello by leaving a review.
You can get a free eBook online. If you’d like a print copy of library reflections, contact us. We’ll even autograph it for you if you like.
May 22, 2016
Welcome to the Gravel Bar
I’m very excited to welcome you to gravelbar.ca, home of the Scarborough Scribblers.
Last week, we didn’t have a website. Last month, we didn’t have an anthology. Last year, we didn’t even have the Scarborough Scribblers. In just one short year, we went from a group of strangers sitting quietly around a table to a tightly knit writers group. We got to know each other, became friends. We shared our writing, critiqued each other’s work. In the process, we grew as writers and collaborated on an anthology.
We’ve come a long way in the past year, and today I welcome you to gravelbar.ca..