Upcoming Events

Hey, everybody! Join us for Word Up’s next event. We’ll be hosting online due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 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.


July 8, 2021

Characters with Disabilities in Fiction

If we want our stories to be well-rounded, it’s important to include disability along with other types of diverse characters. Since some of our greatest real life heroes are not able-bodied, like Rick Hanson and Terry Fox, we can aim to develop thoughtful stories that acknowledge and include them. Join our panel to discuss how to best do this with our insightful, award winning authors.

Emma Pivato

Emma Pivato’s mystery novels in the Claire Burke series is an extension of her advocacy work promoting the inclusion of people with severe disabilities into normal society. In this series, the man character, an interior decorator discovers a dead body, and that her severely disabled, wheelchair-bound daughter Jessie forms a bond with the victim’s husband Jimmy, the main suspect.

Shortly before she retired from her professional work as an academic and psychologist (a B.A. in Philosophy and Psychology, an M.A, in Philosophy, and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology) in 2015, she published her first mystery novel and has been writing ever since.

And Along Came Alexis is available in October. Click here to pre-order.

along came alexis, book cover, by emma pivato
Click here to learn more about the author!

Cammie McGovern

Cammie McGovern is the author of HARD LANDINGS, a memoir about the transition her oldest son, who has autism, made into adult services. Author of three books for young adults, SAY WHAT YOU WILL, A STEP TOWARD FALLING, and JUST BREATHE, and three books for middle-grade readers, JUST MY LUCK, CHESTER AND GUS, and FRANKIE AND AMELIA, all featuring young people with a variety of disabilities at the center. She has been widely honoured for her work advocating for people with disabilities. Her books have been called “joyful, inspiring and unforgettable,” by Katherine Applegate. In addition to writing for The New York Times, Ladies Home Journal, Redbook, and other magazines, she has also written three adult novels and is one of the proud founders of Whole Children/Milestones, a resource center for children and young adults with disabilities and their families. She lives in Amherst, MA with her husband and three sons.

Click to learn more about Cammie and find her books.

Seeley Quest

seeley quest is a trans disabled writer, performer, facilitator, and environmentalist, in Montreal since 2017.  Sie was active with the Sins Invalid project 2007-15, and a bookseller twelve years in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Hir playscript “Crooked” is in the anthology At the Intersection of Disability and Drama, hir digital game narrative debuted for Canada’s National AccessAbility Week 2020, and work featured in Toronto’s Buddies in Bad Times’ Rhubarb Festival 2021.  Sie inaugurated a poetry and prose workshop for disabled writers 2021 with the Quebec Writers’ Federation, has blogged for QWF on disabled writing, and has pieces forthcoming in the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, and Canadian Theatre Review. A white person with mixed class, gender, and medicalized experiences since childhood, not on social media, find hir at https://questletters.substack.com

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.


March 11th

How to Build Suspense

Building the right amount of tension in your novel or short story can be tricky. Do you show the conflict on the opening line? When do you throw in your red herrings and how many is too many? Join our experienced, award winning panelists to discover just what the stakes are for your work.

Trevor Ferguson

Trevor Ferguson is the author of sixteen novels and four plays. The latter have been produced in both Montreal and New York. The film of his novel, The Timekeeper, was released in 2009. His thrillers, under the name John Farrow, have received extraordinary acclaim around the world, and are published in twenty-four countries. His most recent novel is Lady Jail (John Farrow, 2021, Severn House/ Canongate, U.K.) He lives in Victoria, BC.

Purchase the book from Amazon.ca

Jessica Hamilton

Jessica Hamilton was born in Australia but grew up in Canada. She has lived and worked in the Czech Republic, Taiwan, India and Japan. She studied writing at the Humber School for Writers as well as George Brown College. She lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband, son and daughter. What You Never Knew is her first novel.

Judy Penz Sheluk

A former journalist and magazine editor, Judy Penz Sheluk is the author of two mystery series: the Glass Dolphin Mysteries and the Marketville Mysteries. Her short crime fiction appears in several collections, including The Best Laid Plans and Heartbreaks & Half-truths, which she also edited.

She splits her time between Alliston and Goulais River, Ontario, with her husband, Mike, and their golden retriever, Gibbs.

Find more about her here.


February 11

Creating a Romantic Element: Keeping the Sexual Tension Heated

Writing romance not your thing, but you have to write a scene for your story or book? Join three experienced romance writers for tips on how to make your writing more steamy.

Rosanna Battigelli

As a teenager, Rosanna Battigelli loved reading historical, suspense, and romance novels, and dreamed of writing for Harlequin one day. She is thrilled that her early dream has come true, with two Harlequin Romances published in 2018 and one in 2020, and two more that will be released in March and July of 2021. Rosanna’s first romance, Swept Away by the Enigmatic Tycoon, is set Parry Sound and Georgian Bay, places she loves to visit. Captivated by Her Italian Boss takes place in Calabria, Italy, where Rosanna was born. Her third book, Caribbean Escape with the Tycoon, is set in the Caribbean and was written after going on a cruise. Rescued by the Guarded Tycoon features the hero’s cousin from the first book and takes place again in Parry Sound with scenes in Toronto. Rescued . . . will be released in March 2021. Rosanna’s fifth book, Falling for the Sardinian Tycoon, is set on a private island off the coast of Sardinia. It will be released in July 2021. The books are available at amazon and Chapters

MJ Moores

MJ Moores is a hybrid author who has traditionally e-published 2 non-fiction industry guides and 1 marketing guide. She has completed her self-published Sci-Fi/Fantasy series The Chronicles of Xannia, and now plays in the sandboxs of Romantic Suspense, Steampunk Superheros, and lite Urban Fantasy. Her writing articles have appeared in Authors Publish Magazine, Indyfest Magazine, Easy Writer, and in the Writers Guide: The Writing Spiral published by Sunshine in a Jar Press. MJ taught high school English, was a genre writing coach, freelance writer, and is currently an acquisitions editor for DAOwen Publications. She loves nothing more than helping writers through this crazy journey.

Learn more about here here: http://mjmoores.com

Tracey Richardson

Tracey Richardson is an Essex County girl and University of Windsor graduate who has called Owen Sound, Ont., home for the last 30 years. A now-retired daily newspaper journalist, Tracey is the author of 13 romance novels published by Bella Books. She is a two-time Lambda Literary Awards finalist as well as a first-place Rainbow Romance winner (Romance Writers of America) for contemporary romance. She is also a Word By Word (short story) second-place recipient and a finalist numerous times for the Golden Crown Literary Society. Tracey is a founding member of the Ascribe Writers group in Grey-Bruce. In her spare time, Tracey enjoys spending time with her wife and dogs as well as activities such as hockey, golf and other outdoor pursuits. And reading. Always reading!

Visit her website at www.traceyrichardson.net


January 14, 2021

Ready to give 2020 a hard kick? Start the New Year off with a solid plan to write that book or develop your writing skills. Word Up is changing things up this year. Join us on Zoom for a Panel with three skilled writing instructors and mentors who offer methods to stay motivated and techniques for better writing.

Sherry Coman

Sherry Coman is a writer, educator and story editor with more than thirty years experience in theatre and film as the author of her own plays, screenplays and fiction and as the consultant on story editing and film production for clients ranging from young new filmmakers, to emerging playwrights and established international film producers. As a playwright, she has been produced in Canada, the US and Great Britain and in 1991 was nominated for the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn prize.

wpoet writer and writing teacher James Dewar

James Dewar

James Dewar teaches fiction and poetry workshops in Canada and internationally. His short fiction and poetry have been published in several anthologies and literary journals. He edits poetry and prose in a mentorship capacity and enjoys his role as the publisher of Piquant Press. He is currently working on a novel and a new collection of poetry.

James has performed his work live on CBC Radio, on several university radio stations, particularly the HOWL Radio show on CIUT 89.5 FM in Toronto.

He has been producing and hosting the Hot-Sauced Words Poetry Performance Series in Toronto since 2006.

ink slingers writing school

Susan (Deepam) Wadds

Winner of The Writers’ Union of Canada’s 2016 short prose contest, Susan Wadds’ short fiction and poetry have been featured in literary journals and anthologies, including Room and carte blanche magazines. The first two chapters of her novel, “What the Living Do,” won Lazuli Literary Group’s writing contest, and was published in Azure’s winter 2017 issue.

A graduate of the Humber School for Writers, Susan is certified in the Amherst Writers and Artists (AWA) method of writing workshop facilitation. She leads writing workshops and retreats virtually, in Canada, and internationally.

Write Your Way In, writing classes

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