Co-Executive Director of the TWC Shelley Lepp writes about her experience balancing work, parenting and other anomalies of life over the past year in the April edition of The Bridge.
We’ve rounded up resources that are available to all writers. We hope you find it helpful to explore more ways to celebrate your authentic voice and share your innate creative genius.
Piquant Press: Piquant Press publishes up to two books of poetry a year, with the long term goal of identifying and publishing “clever, daring” writers who make intimate statements about our society.
Brick Books: Brick Books publishes full-length poetry collections of the highest quality by both new and established writers. They encourage submissions from Indigenous poets, racialized poets, poets from LGBTQ+ communities, and poets with disabilities.
Talon Books: Talon’s mission is to publish work of the highest literary merit by world class authors from the mainstream and the margins of Canada’s three founding nations, as well as from both visible and invisible minorities within Canada’s cultural mosaic.
Agora Publishing: Agora makes book publishing accessible to all writers across Canada and internationally. This includes university and community college professors as well as teachers who seek to self-publish books for their courses. Agora is a not-for-profit corporation that was founded in 1997.
Resources for Writers
Quick Brown Fox: A monthly newsletter full of helpful information for writers created by Brian Henry, a book editor, writer and creative writing instructor at Ryerson University.
Contact: [email protected]
Submissions and Contests
Canadian Writers’ Contest Calendar (Book): Each edition contains approximately 80 pages of detailed information on Canadian writing contests, awards and prizes, organized month by month according to their deadline dates.
Voice and Vessel Writing Studio: Voice & Vessel offers online writing workshops, coaching, and other support for creative practice. They have a spreadsheet for finding opportunities and tracking your submissions.
Dreamers Magazine: A publication dedicated to “writing from the heart.” They accept submissions and host a wide variety of contests.
Pottersfield Press: Pottersfield specializes in books about Atlantic Canada but also publishes a wide range of fiction and nonfiction titles. They have a yearly contest for writers who can provide a manuscript of 30,000 to 150,000 words, covering a wide variety of categories that use the nonfiction medium to tell a story or put forward an idea.
Open Minds Quarterly: Open Minds Quarterly is a literary journal that features explorations of life in a mad world. More specifically, it welcomes writing and art from people with lived experience of what is variously called mental health challenges, mental illness, madness, neurodiversity etc.
Globe and Mail: The daily First Person essay is a great forum for you to share your own experiences, viewpoints and writing flair with other Globe readers. The Globe is looking for writers from all walks of life to submit.
The Writers Union of Canada: The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) is the national organization of professionally published writers. They have a list of mentorship opportunities in the country:
Sister Writes: Participants receive mentorship from professional women writers and editors for the duration of The Writing Workshop program. Sister Writes is a creative writing and literacy program dedicated to honouring the wisdom and experiences of women in downtown Toronto.
Diaspora Dialogues: Diaspora Dialogues has a variety of long form and short form mentorships. They support voices from Canada’s diverse communities with their one-on-one programs. In honour of Black History Month in February, they launched a Black Playwrights Mentoring Program that matches four emerging playwrights with four of Canada’s top dramaturges to develop their first full-length play for mainstage production.
Black Playwrights Mentoring Program: https://diasporadialogues.com/
The Toronto Writers Collective is pleased to announce that the Azrieli Foundation has generously committed new multi-year funding, totaling $115,000 for the next two years, to continue to scale the impact of the TWC, Canada’s largest and fastest growing community-based creative writing program. The support from the Azrieli Foundation follows their initial multi-year funding that has propelled the TWC’s growth more than threefold since 2018.
In March 2020, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the TWC started hosting online workshops, forging new connections and bridging isolation for writers across the GTA, the country and beyond. With an additional $5,000 of emergency Covid-19 funding from the Azrieli Foundation in May, the Toronto Writers Collective successfully pivoted to meet the challenges by using technology to bridge the gap between writers and workshops.
The TWC and its online presence continues to grow in an uncertain time, when the personal connection our programs provide has become an essential service. Thanks in large part to the Azrieli Foundation, we’ve been able to meet demand and expand our workshops to those on the front lines of the pandemic. Since the TWC went virtual on March 30, we have facilitated more than 400 online workshops reaching over 800 writers, building resilience in the communities we serve.
For over 30 years, the Azrieli Foundation has funded institutions as well as operated programs in Canada and in Israel. It invests in multiple priority areas, with the common thread of education running throughout its funding. The Foundation supports Holocaust education, scientific and medical research, higher education, youth empowerment and school perseverance, music and the arts, architecture and quality of life initiatives for people with developmental disabilities. Visit www.azrielifoundation.org for more information.
The Toronto Writers Collective gives voice to those who are unheard by building community and connection through deep listening and storytelling. Writing together, we create an inclusive society that honours the lives of all its citizens. Our workshops are targeted toward the communities we serve, including (but not limited to) Indigenous people, the homeless and under-housed, immigrants and refugees, seniors and the 2SLGBTQ+ communities. We believe everyone is a writer. Visit www.torontowriterscollective.ca for more information.
Outreach and Communications Coordinator
Toronto Writers Collective