Our mission at Word Up is to bring pro and amateur writers in Simcoe County together in an encouraging environment to perform their original work. Writers can learn from pros to further their vocation.
Poets, spoken word performers, rappers, comedians, song writers and anyone who loves the magic of language is welcome to join us. We meet monthly at Unity Market in Barrie to read, (on Zoom during the Pandemic) to perform and to share our art.
Each month we bring in a little extra inspiration in the form of published authors of all genres. Check out our Calendar to see who’ll be here next!
Our volunteer Organizers
Founding Member Linda Laforge
When writer portrait artist Linda Laforge isn’t making people laugh drawing caricatures, she’s creating in her studio with pod casts or old movies playing as background noise. Linda is the author of Ashes, a dystopian science fiction set in Barrie, Ontario. Her work contains themes of loss and spirit, with concerns for social and ecological balance.
Colleen Winter is the award-winning author of the Gatherer series. She was short-listed for the 2020 Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Prize in Speculative Fiction, has received two Writer’s Reserve grants from the Ontario Arts Council, won first prize in the CAA Leacock/Simcoe Erotic prose contest, received a SLS Fellowship from the Unified Literary Contest, and is an alumni of the Humber School of Writers. She is the past-President of the Writer’s Community of Simcoe County and is a current organizer of Word Up Barrie. When she’s not putting pen to paper, she spends her time exploring the world through hiking, climbing, and cross-country skiing.
Founding Member Bruce Meyer
Mr. Meyer has MC’d most of our Word Up events and occassionaly still attends to read from some of his newest publications.
Past and first Poet Laureate of the City of Barrie, Bruce is a prolific Canadian poet as well as an educator, currently at Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario. His broadcasts on “The Great Books” for CBC‘s This Morning are the network’s best-selling audiocassette series. He has published over 45 books, mostly of poetry.
Founding Member Aaron Reynolds
Aaron Reynolds won the 2011 Dennie Prize for Prose Fiction while obtaining his Bachelor of Arts English degree at Laurentian University. He was a contributing writer, copy editor, and proofreader for luxury lifestyle publication PIE Magazine. While working for PIE he interviewed leaders in the fields of business, science, and art, like Chris Hadfield, Christine Magee, David Allen, and Mr. Brainwash. As a freelancer, Aaron wrote stories for The Barrie Examiner on local issues and individuals, and produced copy for blogs, websites, and social media.