An Evening with Dorothy Thompson

Dorothy Thompson at book launch at Lindsay branch library.

On May 23, 2013, the Kawartha Lakes Public Library hosted Dorothy Thompson, author of Threads From The Loom Of Time, as part of the Local Author Series. Chief Librarian Linda Kent introduced Thompson to a crowded, eager roomful. Thompson captivated the audience with passages read aloud from her book and photos of her ancestors.

Threads From The Loom Of Time is a fictionalized account of the life and times of Thompson’s ancestors. Her book could be considered part of a genre with the freshly-coined term “faction”, meaning fiction based on facts, for Thompson’s book is made up of the stories about her grandparents handed down through the generations.

Her story also covers a fair bit of history in Ontario. Ever heard of The Battle of Crysler’s Farm? When Thompson’s Casselman ancestors emigrated to Canada, they owned land along the St. Lawrence. They sold this land to a man named Crysler.

Another of Thompson’s ancestors was Elizabeth Ware, who Florence Nightingale helped get a job as a nurse, and who then went on to become the first woman to be named head of a hospital. At the age of 52 she married Richard Thorton and moved to Muskoka. She always envisioned the land they owned in Muskoka as vacation land. When she got too old to see that dream happen herself, she sold the land to a developer interested in creating a resort. You’ve perhaps heard of it: the Deerhurst Resort.

Then there was Thompson’s grandmother, Beatrice, who was stillborn, but her father, a brilliant man who was a doctor, a surgeon, a dentist and many, many other things, wouldn’t give up. Beatrice recovered miraculously, and with a gift of accurate premonitions and a startlingly near-perfect memory. In one such premonition, Beatrice saved her family from fire.

These were just a few of the interesting details about Dorothy Thompson’s family. There are many more stories like this in her book, Threads From The Loom Of Time. You can purchase the book at Kent Bookstore, or borrow it from the Kawartha Lakes Public Library.

Read more about Dorothy Lenore Thompson.

$900 fiction prize and $600 poetry prize in the Second Annual Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Literary Exellence

the puritanThe Second Annual Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Literary Excellence recognizes the single best piece of short fiction and poem submitted to The Puritan. Submissions will be read and judged by the editors of The Puritan in a double-blind judging process. Fiction submissions are capped at 12,000 words, and submissions of poetry must be no longer than 3 pages in length.

The cost per each submission is $10 CAD, payable via The Puritan’s PayPal account. Payments should be made under the SAME name attached to the story or poem submitted. Please submit by classifying your work as “Thomas Morton Prize” in our submission category tab. Submissions will be cross-referenced with receipts of payment, and eligible submitters who follow these instructions will receive an email confirming BOTH the receipt of payment and literary submission.

The contest deadline is September 30th, 2013, and the winner will be announced in October. The winners will receive their prize of $900 for fiction and $600 for poetry and a prize package of books from various Canadian publishers (Coach House Books, House of Anansi, ECW Press, Porcupine’s Quill, Freehand Books, Goose Lane Editions, Cormorant Books, Brick Books, Mansfield Press, Pedlar Press, and Tightrope Books) worth approximately $600. Winning entries will also be published in The Puritan (Issue XXIII: Fall 2013).

General Submission Guidelines

Submissions should fall under one of five (5) categories: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, interviews, and reviews. Unless we are soliciting your work, all submissions must be previously unpublished (this includes self-publishing). Only e-mail submissions are accepted (save those trees for maypoles). Send all questions and messages to puritanmagazine [at] gmail [dot] com; use the manager above to submit work for consideration.

For further information and submission guidelines, please see The Puritan’s website.

First Prize is $1500 in Boston Review Poetry Contest – deadline June 3

Sixteenth Annual Poetry Contest

DeadlineJune 3, 2013
Judge: Linda Gregerson
First Prize:

Complete guidelines:
The winning poet will receive $1,500 and have his or her work published in the November/December 2013 issue of Boston Review. Submit up to five unpublished poems, no more than 10 pages total. Any poet writing in English is eligible, unless he or she is a current student, former student, relative, or close friend of the judge. Mailed manuscripts must be submitted in duplicate, with a cover note listing the author’s name, address, email, and phone number. No cover note is necessary for online submissions. Names and other identifying information must not be on the poems themselves. Simultaneous submissions are not permitted, submissions will not be returned, and submissions may not be modified after entry. Failure to comply with any contest guidelines may result in your submission being disqualified. A non-refundable $20 entry fee, payable to Boston Review in the form of a check or money order or by credit card, must accompany all submissions. All submitters receive a complementary half-year subscription (3 issues) to Boston Review. Mailed submissions must be postmarked no later than June 3, 2013.

The winner will be announced in the fall on the Boston Review Web site. All poems submitted to the contest will be considered for publication in Boston Review.

Please enter online using our contest entry manager. This requires payment using a credit card.

Or mail submissions to:

Poetry Contest, Boston Review
PO Box 425786
Cambridge, MA 02142

Local Author Series — Dorothy Thompson [Lindsay]

The City of Kawartha Lakes Library presents Dorothy Thompson as part of the Local Author Series on Thursday, May 23 at 7 pm.

Dorothy Thompson’s book Threads From the Loom of Time is the history of Huntsville, Muskoka, as seen through the eventful lives of two grant land pioneer families from disparate backgrounds.

In the early 1860’s, the government of Upper Canada advertised free grant lands in the district of Muskoka and anyone could apply. Two intrepid families, the Casselmans and the Wares, took up the challenge and became neighbours on the twin sister lakes, Fairy and Peninsula. In 1901, their granddaughter, Beatrice Casselman was born with the gift of second sight in the burgeoning pioneer town of Huntsville. She was an eager receptacle for both her paternal and maternal grandfather’s family histories, taking us back to the 1700’s in Germany and the 1800’s in England and Ireland. Beatrice spent a lifetime collecting the stories of the early settlers. Now her daughter has taken the family histories and her mother’s memories of her remarkable life and woven it into a compelling epic celebrating the courage and determination of the people who built the new world.

Copies of the book can be ordered from the Kent Bookstore.

Read more about Dorothy Thompson

Social Media Workshop for Writers and Authors [Oshawa]

Get the Word Out: Social Media for Writers and Artists

with Heather M. O’Connor and Anne MacLachlan

Date: May 27-June 24, 2013

Time: 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

Venue: Trent University – Oshawa Campus, Computer Lab

Fee: $125 [$110 for writing association members-WCDR, WCSC, WCYR, SOH etc.]

Social media: the online cocktail party where writers, agents, publishers and readers mingle, connect, share advice and resources, do business. Are you ready to join the party?

Get the answers you need at this 5-week workshop:

  • Two skilled facilitators
  • Lots of hands-on help in class
  • Online support between classes

Who should attend?

  • Intermediate users hoping to develop a writer-specific audience and applications
  • Social media novices needing lots of support

What’s getting covered?

  • Facebook, Twitter, blogging, YouTube, Pinterest and more
  • Why writers use these platforms and HOW
  • Ways to develop your craft, connect with the writing community and to promote your writing

For example:

  • Open and customize a Twitter account
  • Learn how, when and what to tweet
  • Find out where to find writers, agents and publishers
  • Attract Twitter and blog followers

What else?

  • Discover social media settings, tools, resources and apps that measure your progress and help you work faster, safer and more efficiently

Learn how to meet, who to greet and how to make a killer impression in the writers’ world of social media. By the time you’re done, you’ll have the foundation for your social media platform. You’ll also have the resources and tools to continue building your social media presence in the arts community.

This program takes place in the university computer lab. Laptops are optional.

Calling All Authors in Kawartha Lakes!

I’ve started a list of Kawartha Lakes authors, but I don’t think I have everyone yet. If you know of an author to add to the list, please contact me.

This list will soon be expanded so each author has his/her own page, which will include a biography and bibliography.

Authors in neighbouring regions (Peterborough, Haliburton, Durham and Muskoka) will also be added eventually.

Thanks, everyone!


Looking for a Writer’s Retreat? [Ontario]

lakeHave you ever wanted to go somewhere peaceful and quiet to write? On a deadline and need to get away from the interruptions of daily life? A writer’s retreat is just the thing! Check out these writer’s retreats in Ontario for some time away, be it a weekend, a week or a month at a time:

Don Harron (aka Charlie Farquharson) book signing – May 25 [Kinmount]

charlie farqCanadian funny guy Don Harron will be signing books at Harmony Farm in Kinmount on May 25 at 1:30 P.M. Reservations are recommended. For more information please call 705-488-3300.

Harron is known for his character Charlie Farquharson, a role he played on the country music show, Hee Haw, and again on The Red Green Show.

The following works were written as “Charlie Farquharson,” with titles spelled in the character’s idiolect:
Charlie Farquharson’s Histry of Canada (McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1972)
Charlie Farquharson’s Jogfree of Canda (Gage, 1974)
Charlie Farquharson’s K-O-R-N Filled Allmynack (Gage, 1976)
Olde Charlie Farquharson’s Testament: From Jennysez to Jobe and After Words (MacMillan of Canada, 1978)
Yer Last Decadent: 1972-1982 (MacMillan of Canada, 1982)
Cum Buy The Farm (MacMillan of Canada 1987)
Charlie Farquharson’s Unyverse (MacMillan of Canada, 1990)
Charlie Farquharson’s History of Canada: ReeVised and More Expansive (MacMillan of Canada, 1992)
Charlie’s A Broad: Travails In Fern Parts (MacMillan of Canada, 1994)
My Double Life (Dundurn 2012)

[contest] Young Writers Could Win Up to $100 – deadline June 30


Open to Young Writers
Ages 9 to 21 from any Country

Deadline: June 30, 2013

Finalists Announced:
September 20, 2013

Winners Announced LIVE at the Junior Authors Writers Conference on October 19, 2013 (You do NOT have to be at the conference if you win. You will be contacted by email or phone and will get your prize.)


Category 1 — Ages 18 – 21*
*You can be no more than 21 years old as of June 30, 2013.

Category 2 — Ages 15 – 17

Category 3 — Ages 12 – 14

Category 4 — Ages 9 – 11

The first place winning entry in each category will be published on the Junior Authors Contest website and the author of that entry will receive a signed copy of Polly Wants to be a Writer: The Junior Authors Guide to Writing and Getting Published by Laura Thomas. The top six writers in each age category will receive Amazon Gift Cards in the following amounts:

1st place – $100
2nd place – $25
3rd place – $25
4th place – $25
5th place – $25
6th place – $25

For complete rules, go to the Contest website.

via Jim Denney

An Evening With Virginia Winters

Last night the City of Kawartha Lakes Public Library (CKLPL) hosted Virginia Winters as part of the Spring session of the Local Authors Series.

The evening began with an introduction by Diane Lansdell of the CKLPL, and then Virginia Winters took the stage and spoke about her newest book, how she writes, writing advice, and the book she’s currently working on.

Virginia Winters has always had a love for literature, but she began writing in 1998 after being disappointed in the latest offering from a favourite author. She thought she could do better. Though the result was terrible, she’d been bitten by the writing bug and decided to learn to revise and make her story better. The final product was her debut novel, Murderous Roots, published by Write Words, Inc. in 2010.

Despite what you may think about authors, or even how other authors might work, Virginia doesn’t sit in front of a keyboard for eight hours a day. She rises early and begins her day with a cup of coffee, the Globe and Mail, Facebook and Twitter. Then, once caught up with reality, she reviews the writing she completed the day before and plunges in. On a good day, she’ll accumulate 1000 words, but when the writing is not flowing, she finds other writing-related tasks: submitting a manuscript, or working on a short story. Though she stops writing at noon to carry on with her daily life, the book is always on her mind no matter the task at hand. She enjoys reading every afternoon, usually mysteries, literary fiction, nonfiction for research and books about writing.

Virginia makes a daily commitment to write and in this way has been able to see three novels to publication. While she is happy with her publisher in general, she didn’t feel the covers of her first two novels adequately represented the books, so for her third book in the Dangerous Journeys series, No Motive For Murder, she designed the cover herself.

At last night’s event, Virginia read a passage from No Motive for Murder, a book for which she received the following compliment from an audience member: even though the book is part of a series, No Motive For Murder reads well on its own. A reader doesn’t have to read all the books in the series to understand what’s going on in the story.

At the moment, Virginia Winters is not working on the next book in the Dangerous Journeys series. Her latest project has an art historian for a protagonist and involves theft, art history and restoration, centring around a painting lost in 1945 in the last days of the War.

Visit Virginia Winter’s website and find her on Facebook.

Read our biography of Virginia Winters.