Saturday, December 5, 2015

Six Reasons Why NOT to Write (and what to make of them)

Tues JAN 12
Note: Meet at Wentworth Room, no earlier than 7.20p.m.
the LINC classroom is unavailable due to renovation.
7.30p.m.-9.00p.m., WENTWORTH ROOM, 1st floor, Central Branch, Hamilton Public Library 

A young man once asked the great mythologist and story-teller, Joseph Campbell, whether or not he should become a writer. Campbell's response to the young man was this - "Can you endure ten years of disappointment with nobody responding to you?" The reasons why NOT to write are profuse, pervasive, and persuasive. Join novelist and poet, Janet Turpin Myers, for a free-ranging discussion about some of the best justifications (excuses?) for not writing - and (hopefully) develop arguments to silence these naggings of negativity.

JANET TURPIN MYERS has been writing all her life, despite being advised as a teenager to pursue office work rather than writing.  Her poetry has appeared in Hammered Out and Tower Poetry. Her debut novel, Nightswimming was published in 2013 by Seraphim Editions. Her short story, Crashing, won third place in Hamilton's gritLIT Short Fiction competition. The Last Year of Confusion was published in May 2015. She is a graduate of McMaster University, and a happy resident of the ravines and forests of north Burlington's beautiful escarpment lands.

Monday, November 2, 2015


Ellen S Jaffe is on for Nov 10 with  her experiences and thoughts on "Teaching Writing" Do come for the last LitChat of the year.
Many of the nominated writers for the awards on December 8 had participated and shared various literary topics at LitChat. We would like to support them at this event organised by the Hamilton Arts Council.
We will resume in January 2016 with Janet Turpin Myers.

Monday, October 12, 2015


the LINC classroom, 4th floor, Central Branch, Hamilton Public Library   
Can creative writing be taught?  Can it be learned? What is the difference between writing courses for "writers" and for people who don't primarily identify as writers (e.g. seniors, people with various health and living problems)?   How can this second group of people benefit from writing workshops? And can books on writing be helpful?  Ellen S. Jaffe will talk about her experiences teaching writing in schools and community settings, and hopes other people will share their experiences of both learning and teaching -- remembering that we also learn when we teach.

Ellen S. Jaffe, a poet and fiction writer, has also written a book on the craft of writing, Writing Your Way: Creating a Personal Journal.  She has taught writing to children, adolescents, and adults in schools and various community and health-oriented organizations, everywhere from Fort Greene, Brooklyn to Moose Factory, Ontario -- and including Toronto and Hamilton, and has received Artist in Education and writing grants from the Ontario Arts Council.  Her most recent poetry collection is Skinny-Dipping With the Muse, Guernica Editions, 2014.  Ellen grew up in New York City, came to Canada in 1979, and has lived in Hamilton since 2000.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

the LINC classroom
4th floor
Central Branch, Hamilton Public Library
Christine Miscione's work has appeared in various publications, such as Exile: The Literary Quarterly, Lemon Hound, and The Puritan. In 2011, she was the recipient of the Hamilton Arts Award for Best Emerging Writer. In 2012, Miscione’s story, Skin Just, won first place in the Gloria Vanderbilt/Exile Editions CVC Short Fiction Contest. Her debut short story collection, Auxiliary Skins, was released in 2013, and debut novel, Carafola, in 2014. Recently, Auxiliary Skins won the 2014 ReLit Award for short fiction.

Sunday, July 19, 2015


7.30p.m. -9.00p.m.
the LINC classroom on the 4th floor, Central Branch, Hamilton Public Library
(the Hamilton room is undergoing renovations)
Jeffery Donaldson teaches poetry and poetics in the English department at McMaster.  Author of five books of poems, he has published a critical volume entitled Missing Link:  the Evolution of Metaphor and the Metaphor of Evolution with McGill-Queen’s University Press in April. 

Monday, May 18, 2015


Hamilton Room,
Central Branch, Hamilton Public Library
Following up on Krista Foss's The Travel Journal Raw Material Checklist and Wish You Here postcard idea (theme, vignette, echo) from the LitChat we had in May, share with us your story in any form you prefer.
Discuss the relationship between traveling and writing, and books of famous/favourite writers who travel.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Trippin’ Out: Transforming your Travel Stories into Memorable Non-fiction

Hamilton Room, Central Branch, Hamilton Public Library

Using examples from some favourite authors and her own experiences, novelist and intrepid cyclist KRISTA FOSS explores how a well-kept travel journal, or just a good memory, can be the raw material for unforgettable non-fiction essays and books.  Bring your own adventure stories and a pen!   

Krista Foss’s first novel Smoke River was published by McClelland & Stewart in May 2014 and is shortlisted for the North American Hammett Prize for literary excellence in crime writing. Her short fiction has been a finalist for the Journey Prize twice  as well as published in several literary journals.  She is a die-hard Hamiltonian and cycling nerd with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. She is currently working on essays inspired by the two months she spent cycling in Nepal.

Friday, March 13, 2015

WRITING FROM THE FAMILY The Perils and Pleasures of Fictionalizing Your Family

Hamilton Room, Central Branch, Hamilton Public Library

Novelist and cultural critic Hal Niedzviecki explores the tradition of using family as your muse. Do you end up with more powerful, believable characters? Can you avoid cliche in the process? Will your parents ever speak to you again?
Suggested reading:
Please read the story
Sometime Next Sunrise by Hal Niedzviecki
from the short story collection Look Down, This is Where it Must Have Happened (city lights)
available free at
in advance of attending.
Please bring your own favourite examples of works by authors who are fictionalizing their real life families.

He is the author of eight books including the collection of short stories Look Down, This is Where it Must Have Happened (City Lights, April 2011) and the nonfiction book The Peep Diaries: How We’re Learning to Love Watching Ourselves and Our Neighbors (City Lights, 2009). The Peep Diaries was made into a television documentary entitled Peep Culture produced for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He is the current fiction editor and the founder/publisher of Broken Pencil, the magazine of zine culture and the independent arts, (Hal’s writing has appeared in newspapers, periodicals and journals across the world including the New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, Playboy, the Utne Reader, the Globe and Mail, the National Post, Toronto Life, Walrus, Geist, and This Magazine. Niedzviecki is committed to exploring the human condition through provocative fiction and non-fiction that charts the media saturated terrain of ever shifting multiple identities at the heart of our fragmenting age.

Home page and blog: http://www.alongcametomorrow

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


7.30p.m. -9.00p.m.
Hamilton Room, Central Branch, Hamilton Public Library 
RADHA S MENON is the winner of Toronto Fringe New Play Contest 2015. Born in the East and brought-up in the West and founder of Red Betty Theatre, Radha S Menon worked as an actor in theatre and television. Her work has been produced at many festivals by theatre companies in Canada and the U.K. The Washing Machine, finalist of the Woodward/Newman International Playwriting Prize 2012, had sold out crowds at Next Stage Festival 2012. Ganga’s Ganja was awarded an honourable mention for the Herman Voaden Playwriting contest. A short play, Marooned curated for multi-disciplinary Lost Soles Festival was produced at London Design Festival 2013 at Covent Garden. Award-winning play Rukmini’s Gold  had a staged reading at Tristan Bates Theatre (London, U.K) in February in development with Kali Theatre’s Talkback 2015 directed by Trilby James.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Literary Collage: The Virtues of Themed Story & Poem Collections

TUES FEB 10 (Note change in room location)
ROOM A, 4th floor Central Branch, Hamilton Public Library
Having recently edited two themed short story anthologies for Seraphim Editions--In the Wings: Stories of Forgotten Women, and Engraved: Canadian Stories of World War One--BERNADETTE RULE invites you to consider (and bring examples of) what is gained when stories or poems are collected on a single theme.  Rule has had seven collections of poetry published.  In 2015 Seraphim will bring out her new poetry collection, Earth Day in Leith Churchyard: Poems in Search of Tom Thomson. Rule won the 2014 Short Works Prize for Literary Non-Fiction for "A Layer of Ghosts" (Hamilton Arts & Letters #6) She also hosts Art Waves, an arts-interview program on 101.5 The Hawk every Sunday from 7p.m. to 8p.m.