Upcoming Events

Hey, everybody! Join us for Word Up’s next event. We’ll be hosting In-Person AND Online due to the  pandemic.

Join us at the Barrie Public Library, 60 Worsley St in Barrie. We’ll continue to start at the usual 7 pm and feature one or two guest authors for panels or readings, followed by the ever-popular and always inspiring Open Mic.


October 14th, 2021

Horror Writers Panel

There is no better time than to be told scary stories, with Halloween just around the corner!

Join our two horror authors at the Barrie Public Library, or on Zoom. Those who attend in person will be entered into a draw to win one of their signed books.

To join In Person, you must register here: https://barrielibrary.libnet.info/event/5603156

Join Zoom Meeting

 https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89692694556?pwd=amJkeG4rLzVMMjFzaFNhaWVrV2pzQT09 

Meeting ID: 896 9269 4556 | Passcode: 860004

David Demchuk

Award-winning author David Demchuk has been writing for print, stage, digital and other media for more than 40 years. His debut horror novel The Bone Mother, published in 2017, was nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Amazon First Novel Award, the Toronto Book Award, the Kobzar Book Award and a Shirley Jackson Award in the Best Novel category. It won the 2018 Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic in the Adult Fiction category. It was listed in the Globe and Mail’s 100 best books of 2017, came in at #22 in the National Post’s top 99 books of the year and became a #1 bestseller on Amazon.ca.. His troubling new novel RED X was published by Strange Light in August 2021. He is represented by Barbara Berson of the Helen Heller Literary Agency.

A hunted community. A haunted author. A horror that spans centuries.

Click here to see more

Come for a chance to win a copy of this book!

Gemma Files

Gemma Files is a Canadian horror writer, journalist, and film critic. Her short story, “The Emperor’s Old Bones”, won the International Horror Guild Award for Best Short Story of 1999. Five of her short stories were adapted for the television series The Hunger.

In 2000 her award-winning story “The Emperor’s Old Bones” was reprinted in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror Thirteenth Annual Collection (ed. Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow). In 2010 her Shirley Jackson Award-nominated novelette “each thing i show you is a piece of my death” was reprinted in The Best Horror of the Year, Volume Two (ed. Ellen Datlow). Her short story “The Jacaranda Smile” was also a 2009 Shirley Jackson Award finalist.[2] Her first novel, A Book of Tongues, won the 2010 Black Quill award for “Best Small Press Chill” from Dark Scribe Magazine; it was followed by the sequels A Rope of Thorns (2011) and A Tree of Bones (2012), together comprising “The Hexslinger Series”. A Rope of Thorns was considered a “powerful sequel” to A Book of Tongues by Publishers Weekly.[3]

Her book, We Will All Go Down Together (about a coven of witches and changelings), was given a favorable review by National Public Radio (NPR).[4]

Her novel Experimental Film (2015) won the Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel and the Sunburst Award for Best Canadian Speculative Fiction (Novel) in 2016.

If you come in person, you gain a chance to win one of her books!

You must Register for Events on the Barrie Library Site in Advance.

Click here to see Barrie Public Library Events


Thursday, November 11th

Special Remembrance Day Panel

Click here to Register to join us In Person: https://barrielibrary.libnet.info/event/5623625

Remembrande Day hand made poppies, author reading, playwrights

Join our two panelists, Trudee Romanek, Bright Daybreak, and Danielle Kostrich, We Must Have More Men. Both have written well researched, insightful plays based on world wars. You’ll not only learn about some of the people Barrie’s streets are named for, but gain a deeper insight into the hearts and minds of the soldiers who fought for our freedom.

Trudee Romanek

Trudee Romanek is a playwright and award-winning author of more than a dozen books. Her WWII drama Bright Daybreak was recently presented at Stage One Lunchbox Theatre’s New Canadian Works Festival in Calgary. She is a co-creator of Ghost Watchers: An Augmented Reality Theatrical Adventure for Theatre by the Bay. In July, as the ‘Something from Nothing’ playwright for Theatre on the Ridge, she created the one-act comedy Half Baked, and her comedy “I” on the Prize has been selected for their Snapshots Festival. Trudee also co-hosts Stage Whispers, a podcast about theatre in Central Ontario.

Danielle Joy Kostrich

Danielle Joy Kostrich is a local playwright, actor and educator. She is the co-author of We Must Have More Men! Barrie and the Great War (2016 & 2017), and writer of The Cenotaph Project (2019) — two plays that focus on the experiences of Simcoe County residents during the First and Second World Wars. She received an Emerging Artist nomination at the 2019 Barrie Arts Awards, and was a juror for the 24-Hour Playwriting Contest for the City of Barrie’s Culture Days in 2020. She sits on the board of directors for Theatre by the Bay.


Thursday, December 9th

Day of Bruce!

Two local authors join us to talk Short Stories and to share their work.

Bruce Meyer

Bruce Meyer is author of more than 68 books of poetry, short fiction, flash fiction, and non-fiction. His most recent collections of short stories are Down in the Ground (Guernica Editions, 2020), The Hours: Stories from a Pandemic (Ace of Swords, 2021), and Toast Soldiers, that he will be giving the first reading from) published Crowsnest Books (2021). Toast Soldiers is 250 pages of powerful short stories about characters who find themselves confront moments of challenging discoveries from which they cannot turn away.

Click to learn more about this book and to purchase it.

Bruce Hanson

Bruce Hanson is the award-winning author of a collection of short stories, Tall Pine Tales, a YA mystery novella, Double Cross and a children’s picture book, Elephants in My Stew. His stories have been published in several anthologies.

Bruce has travelled a distance from, beginning his carrier in Electrical Engineering, which included a short stint working on the Space Shuttle’s Canadarm. He has trained with Second City Toronto, appeared on the Cottage Life television show Cottage Cheese, and has worked as an extra for TV and film including Flashpoint, Warehouse 13 and John A.: Birth of a Country.

Look for new authors to be added to this event


Upcoming Events in Development

writers planning events for writers in planner

Look for updated info on panelists and featured authors as they are added to future events. We can hope that this pandemic is coming to a close, so we can meet in person. So stay tuned!

Want to Get Involved. Have Ideas? Lets us know.

Look here for details.


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