WFNB’s 2017 WordSpring Festival Happens in Saint John

The 2017 WordSpring Festival is happening May 26th, 27th and 28th, 2017 at the Hilton Saint John and Saint John Free Public Library. It is the annual literacy festival for the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick (WFNB).

Below is a list of activities and events of what is happening throughout the festival, workshop presenters and their details, the keynote speaker, sponsors, along with registration details! Hope to see you there!

Friday May 26, 2017

2:00 pm–4:00 pm
York Bistro & Pub, Hilton Saint John (main level)
Meet & Greet: Informal gathering of writers who want to share their work.

4:00 pm–5:00 pm
Meeting Room 3, Saint John Free Public Library, 1 Market Square
Seminar with Roger Moore. What Text Do I Choose for My Public Reading?

6:00 pm–7:00 pm (supper on own)
Henry Meinhardt Memorial Reading Room
Saint John Free Public Library (main level), 1 Market Square
Registration, membership renewal, booktable set-up, orientation.

7:00 pm–9:00 pm
Henry Meinhardt Memorial Reading Room
Saint John Free Public Library (main level), 1 Market Square
WFNB author readings, book sales. (Reading slots are limited, so register soon.)

Saturday May 27, 2017 (all Saturday events are in Hilton Saint John)

8:00 am–8:45 am
Kennebecasis Room Foyer
Coffee & tea, registration, membership renewal, booktable set-up.

8:45 am–10:15 am
Kennebecasis Room
Rebekah Chassé Workshop
Finding Your Reading Voice (see page 3)

Belleisle Room
Kate Merlin Hanson Workshop, Part 1
How Do I Get Published? (see page 4)

10:15 am–10:30 am
Coffee, tea & sweet breads.

10:30 am–11:30 am
Kennebecasis Room
Bill Toner/Rebekah Chassé Workshop
How to Use a Mic aka Can You Hear Me?

Belleisle Room
Kate Merlin Hanson Workshop, Part 2
How Do I Get Published? (cont’d)

11:30 am–12:15 pm
York Bistro & Pub (main level): Buffet lunch (included in registration fee).

12:15 pm–1:15 pm (followed by 15 minute break)
Kennebecasis Room
2017 Annual General Meeting. All WFNB members are welcome.
Includes election of directors and executive.

1:30 pm–3:30 pm
Kennebecasis Room
Joan Hall Hovey Workshop
Finding Your Writing Voice: Mining Your

Belleisle Room
Roger Moore Workshop
Meeting Your Metaphor

3:45 pm–5 pm
Kennebecasis Room: Blue Pencil Café (for WFNB members only)
You must pre-register for this session by May 8. See registration form for details.

6:00 pm–7:00 pm
Kennebecasis Room Foyer: Literary Soirée
Reception with cash bar and hors d’oeuvres.

7:00 pm–7:30 pm
Kennebecasis Room: Literary Soirée Keynote speaker: Sharon McKay

7:30 pm–10:00 pm
Kennebecasis Room: WFNB Writing Competition Awards Ceremony
Short readings by 1st- and 2nd-place winners of 2017 Writing Competition,
with Nancy Bauer & M. Travis Lane as special guests.
Dancing with Dames: We got the music, you got the moves! Join us for an eccentric,
free-flow evening of belly-dancing, line dancing, Latin whatever. Castanets optional.

Sunday May 28, 2017

8:00 am–9:00 am
Kennebecasis Room Foyer: Complimentary continental breakfast.

9:00 am–noon
Kennebecasis Room: Open mic readings. Sign up at registration.

Workshop Presenters and Details

Roger Moore (BA, Bristol; MA, PhD, Toronto) is a longtime member of WFNB, League of Canadian Poets (LCP), and The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC). He is an award-winning poet and short story writer and has published widely. His oeuvre includes 30 books and chapbooks, with more than 130 poems and 14 short stories appearing in some 25 Canadian literary magazines.

Roger is also an academic with a strong teaching and research record. He was the first person to receive the Excellence in Teaching Award at Fredericton’s St. Thomas University (1996). He went on to be named the Atlantic Association of Universities Distinguished Teacher of the Year (1997). Roger received a 3M National Teaching Fellowship (2000) and is a Life Member of the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. His teaching style is that of the facilitator who works with participants to open their minds and allow them to discover and develop skills and knowledge for themselves.

Joan Hall Hovey has always been drawn to the dark side of the human psyche in her writing. She was born and raised in Saint John, NB. She initially worked at secretarial jobs, married, and had a family, but never lost her dream of becoming a writer. Her first short story, The Dreamer, was published in April 1980. She wrote her debut suspense novel after being inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, Shirley Jackson, Ruth Rendell, and others. That novel, Listen to the Shadows, was published by Kensington/Zebra Books, NY, in 1991, followed shortly thereafter by Nowhere to Hide, which won an Eppie Award. Since then, she has gone on to publish countless short stories as well as six more suspense novels, one of which won the Bloody Dagger Award. Her latest release is And Then He Was Gone. Joan has taught many writing workshops, including ones at University of New Brunswick. She is past Regional Vice-President of Crime Writers of Canada.

What Text Do I Choose for My Public Reading? with Roger Moore

Not all prospective readers realize that the choice of text is of paramount importance and that many factors are involved when choosing material for a public reading. This interactive seminar involves working in small groups of three to four participants. It shows how much participants already know, how to organize that knowledge into an action plan, and how to develop the skills required for self-analysis and material selection.

We examine, among other topics, the different types of readings and how to match material to the event. We learn how to rehearse ahead of time, and how to assess varied audiences and locations. We also discuss ‘winging it’ at the actual event, should circumstances require a change of mind or selected text.

Roger – an acclaimed teacher (and artist: see self-portrait) – draws on knowledge already in the minds of seminar participants, allowing group members to grow in confidence and to better understand their own inner workings.

Meeting Your Metaphor with Roger Moore

This interactive, exploratory seminar examines the metaphor. It will be of interest to all those who write on a daily basis, whether they be poets or writers of prose.

Specifically, the workshop examines how to identify dead metaphors and facile language, and offers techniques to create live, vibrant metaphors. Roger will enable participants to discover for themselves the pitfalls of using dead language. By extension, he will encourage each person to take the first steps along the path to true individual creativity.

Through the use of creative writing exercises and small group (three to four people) readings and discussions, participants will be encouraged to discover – and polish – their own distinctive poetic and metaphoric voice.

This workshop will open doors, but participants must walk through those doors. As Fred Cogswell once said, “Writing is a long apprenticeship.” It is up to us, as writers, to work long,hard hours honing our talents and developing our skill with words. While others can off er suggestions, nobody can do that hard work for us.

Rebekah Chassé grew up in Drummond, NB, home to the Salmon River Trestle Bridge that was built between 1908 and 1911 and is one of the longest, highest train bridges in eastern Canada.

This fact is appropriate to her current profession as a ‘bridge’ between the New Brunswick cultural scene, which she loves, and the New Brunswick government, for which she works. As a long time Program Consultant with the NB Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, Rebekah has ably guided hundreds of local artists and arts groups (including WFNB) through the challenges of writing grant proposals for provincial funding. As an acclaimed actor, she has played major roles in the Bard in the Barracks’ Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, King Lear, The Tempest, Love’s Labour’s Lost and Macbeth, to name but a few of her many theatrical appearances. Rebekah also serves as a media reviewer for CBC Radio in Fredericton.

Bill Toner has been performing for decades, playing a diversity of music types, including Celtic folk and soft rock, and making the occasional appearance as an actor. During that time, he has handled the production of live sound for his band and solo performances using a variety of systems, including his own.

He has been involved in multi-track recording and editing and has a solid grounding in the principles of sound reinforcement.

Bill is not only a sought-after performer and recorder/editor, but also is an experienced computer specialist with a deep understanding of wireless communication and digital systems.

Finding Your Reading Voice with Rebekah Chassé

Would you like to find your reading voice and improve the spoken delivery of your text?

Techniques from the Suzuki Method of Actor Training can help you make your readings more animated, engaging, and effective.

In this session, you learn about breathing, pacing, intonation, and diaphragm control. You use excerpts from your own work to discover how to score your writing – that is, where to pause and breathe.

Equally important, you discover how to make the work live in a time and place, connecting well with your audience. This workshop requires standing and moving around the room. Please dress for comfort!

How to Use a Mic aka Can You Hear Me? with Bill Toner and Rebekah Chassé

This workshop is for anyone with little or no understanding of sound systems who wants to use a microphone for public speaking.

The session covers the following topics:

• How to recognize different microphone types and why that matters
• How to use a podium mic, handheld mic, and clip-on mic
• What (not) to wear
• What feedback is and how to stop it
• What to do when turning it up doesn’t work
• Why people in the corner are the only ones complaining
• How to do your own PA set-up (time permitting)

You will leave the session with simple but valuable guidelines that will help you to appear more professional and to sound clearer to your audience.

Finding Your Writing Voice: Mining Your Psyche with Joan Hall Hovey
What can you offer, and what backstories can you provide from your own life that will feed the mystery narrative and genre traditions? In this workshop, we discuss how to write from the psyche. In other words, you learn to mine your memories – the good ones and the not-so-good ones – to find your voice, ideas and inspiration. Tools gained in this workshop will demonstrate how you can give your mystery, thriller or crime story a flavour that is unique to you and that will distinguish your work from all the others in your chosen genre.

Kate Merlin Hanson of Moncton is a writer and former New Brunswick school library worker. She feels very strongly that we need to tell our New Brunswick story to our children and the world. To this end, she obtained her publishing certificate from Ryerson University and founded Chocolate River Publishing in 2015.

Kate’s publishing house has produced Bay of Fundy’s Hopewell Rocks; Follow the Goose Butt, Camelia Airheart!; Through the Eyes of Mary; and Maya and Mitaine: From Saint John to Paris (a translation of the Bouton d’ors title). This spring, Chocolate River will launch Henrietta’s Nightlight and Deer Island Mystery in addition to Take Off to Tantramar and its translation Allons à Tantramar.

Kate also understands the submission process from the writer’s perspective, as she wrote regularly for national, regional, and local magazines; and her book Trails of Greater Moncton was published by Goose Lane Editions.

How Do I Get Published? with Kate Merlin Hanson

Have you ever wondered how to get your manuscript out of the slush pile and into the hands of a traditional publisher? Kate (a former botanist) currently owns and operates Chocolate River Publishing but also spent years on the other side of the submission process as a non-fiction and YA fiction author, and as a journalist. This workshop allows her to share with us her wide range of insights and experience.

First, Kate offers tips on finding web resources that will help you to research which publisher might be the best fit for your manuscript. Next, she touches on how to craft your pitch or proposal so it will capture your selected publisher’s attention. Even if you plan to self-publish, the process of compiling a solid book proposal will strengthen your final manuscript and give you insights about possible markets.

Our KEYNOTE SPEAKER for Saturday evening is Montreal-born author Sharon E. McKay, a Young Adult writer, activist, and Canadian War Artist (CFAvet, Afghanistan, ’09 & ’13). Sharon has published 12 YA fiction books and 14 non-fiction books, including End of the Line and Prison Boy, both of which won prizes at the Atlantic Book Awards. She also has been shortlisted, or won, awards in every other eligible book category in Canada and many in USA and around the world. Sharon has been published in Canada, Germany, USA, England, Denmark, France, Romania, Australia, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Bhutan. Three of her novels are currently optioned for movie development.

Sharon is the mother of adult sons and lives on PEI with her husband David MacLeod. Interesting sidenote: Sharon and David are the inventors of sidewalk chalk, which was first sold along with her book, Chalk Around the Block. She “didn’t make a penny off of it!”


The deadline for WordSpring registration is May 19th. Visit for more information or to sign up.

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