Upcoming Events

Hey, everybody! Join us for Word Up’s next event. We’ll be hosting the next event In-Person at the Barrie Public Library, Downtown Branch, and Online as well.

We’re Live and In-Person!

Barrie Public Library – Downtown Branch | 60 Worsley St, Barrie, ON L4M 1L6
No need to register. Masks are no longer required. Review their Stay Safe Policy.

Thursday, March 9th @ 7 pm EST

International Women’s Day Writers’ Panel

To Join the Zoom Meeting:


Meeting ID: 817 3606 7728 | Passcode: 055889

Barrie’s first female Poet Laureate Victoria Butler, Victoria Butler, poet and collage artist Caitlin McKenzie and Managing Editor of Block Party, Isla McLaughlin discuss gender equality, women’s empowerment and the writing process. Stick around for Open Mic, where we get to experience local talent, and you get to share your work.

Victoria Butler is a writer from Barrie, ON. She was the Poet Laureate of said hometown from 2018 until 2022 and was the first woman to carry the title. She is currently completing her Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing at the University of Toronto. Her first book, Little Miracles, was published with Black Moss Press in September 2021. Butler lives with her cats, Zelda and Navi, and too many candles.

Caitlin McKenzie is a queer neurodivergent poet and collage artist based out of Barrie, ON. Her work can be seen in publications such as Pink Plastic House Magazine, The Northern Appeal, Aurora Mag, and Acta Victoriana. Their upcoming zine, Wifehood, is being published by Ethel Micropress in July 2023. You can find more of their work at their own tiny Instagram zine @therememberingroom.

Isla McLaughlin (she/they) is a writer and friend. She is the Managing Editor of Block Party, a Toronto-based magazine and chapbook press. She studies Creative Writing and Arts & Media Management at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Her debut chapbook, girl, online, was published by Gap Riot Press in August 2022, and launched at Fertile Fest hosted by KFB. Isla has poetry and prose published in various journals and magazines both in-print and online.

Thursday, April 13th @ 7 pm EST

Flash Fiction Writers Panel

We’ll be talking with the profoundly published Bruce Meyer and multidisciplinary artist and writer Lynn Hutchinson Lee about writing Flash Fiction. Join us to learn why they think it’s beneficial for writers of all genres to use micro and flash fiction writing to hone their skills. As always, Stick around for Open Mic, where we get to experience local talent, and you get to share your work.

Bruce Meyer

Bruce Meyer is the author of more than 70 books of poetry, short stories, flash fiction, and non-fiction. His most recent works of flash fiction are Sweet Things (Mosaic Press), the forthcoming Zebra Crossing (Mosaic Press), and the landmark anthology, This Will Only Take a Minute (co-edited with Michael Mirolla, Guernica Editions) which featured work by 80 Canadian flash writers. He lives in Barrie, Ontario, teaches at Georgian College, and as a current recovering transplant patient encourages everyone to sign their donor card.

He has a new book of poems forthcoming on April 22 in Toronto, called Church Grammar.

Click to get your copy now

Lynn Hutchinson Lee

Lynn Hutchinson Lee is a multidisciplinary artist/writer living in Toronto, Ontario. She worked and exhibited widely as a visual/installation artist for several decades before switching her focus to writing.
An excerpt from her unpublished novel Nightshade was first place winner in the 2022 Joy Kogawa Award for Fiction. She won the Editors’ Choice for best flash in Guernica Editions’ anthology This Will Only Take a Minute: 100 Canadian Flashes. Her writing appears in Room; Wagtail: the Roma Women’s Poetry Anthology (Butcher’s Dog, U.K.); Food of My People and Cli Fi: Canadian Tales of Climate Change (both from Exile Editions, Canada); Romani Women in Canada: Spectrum of the Blue Water (Inanna, Canada); Stone to Stone: Writing by Romani Women (forthcoming, Propertius Press, U.S.); and elsewhere. She is currently co-editing the anthology Through the Portal: Stories from a Hopeful Dystopia, forthcoming from Exile Editions, 2024.

Upcoming Events in Development

Look for updated info on readings and panels with featured authors as they are added to future events.

For 2023, we’re Planning Writers Panels and Workshops!

  • Got a great idea! Please share.

If have event ideas or you’d like to get involved, let us know!

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