I can't believe that my time as e-Writer in Residence has come to an end. It feels like it passed in a blink. There were so many amazing moments, and I feel privileged to have been a part of this program. Thank you, Toronto Public Library for giving me this opportunity to connect and work with young authors.
First up was the launch event for the Young Voices Magazine, an eye-opening opportunity to hear young authors share their poetry and prose and to view incredible artwork created by young artists. I've read the magazine cover-to-cover more than once and I am in awe of the talent presented on the pages.
Next up was the Young Voices Writers Conference where I led a workshop on worldbuilding. The creativity and enthusiasm among conference attendees was energizing and fun.
I had the opportunity to visit the Teen Writers' Group at the North York Central Library where some extremely talented young writers worked with me on writing exercises on worldbuilding and setting and then read their wonderful words aloud. Next up was the Teen Writers' Group at Brentwood Library where I was given a warm welcome. Enthusiasm and imagination soared as we focused on story beginnings and endings. Again, the attendees were generous in sharing their writing, and I had a wonderful time.
I'm thrilled to say that I received dozens of engaging email submissions from many teen authors—poetry, short stories, essays, novels—and I enjoyed the opportunity to read their pages and offer critique. Here's what Zoie from Zoie's Bookshelf had to say about working with me as e-Writer in Residence:
I had always known that the TPL Teens blog had an e-writer in residence, but it was only until this season that I had truly taken advantage of that fact. I decided that this time around I would send my writing for Eve Silver to critique, as I was working on a story that I would really like some pointers on to see what worked and what didn’t. Also, it would be pretty cool to have a published author comment on something that I had written.
As expected, I was a bit nervous to send it in. This was a story I had been working on for a while, and it was very close to my heart. Not to mention that I hadn’t shared so many chapters of it to anyone before, and it was scary to just have it out there for someone else’s eyes.
Luckily, my experience with Eve was nothing short of motivating. Her kind words and helpful advice really got me to believe that my work was actually worth something, and after reading through her overall impression of the chapters I had sent in, as well as the footnotes she so graciously tagged on, it got me thinking about all the different ways I could improve and shape my writing.
It was uplifting to see that she liked my writing and my characters, and that she believed it had potential. Sending in my work to the e-writer in residence was the push I needed to make the changes that were necessary to construct this story to the best it could be. For me it was definitely the write choice. (Pun intended!)
I wrote/coordinated numerous blog posts and contests during my time as e-Writer in Residence. Thank you to HarperCollins Canada, Katherine Tegen Books, and authors Morgan Rhodes and Kelley Armstrong for donating the awesome giveaway prizes.
Here's a quick reference for some of the blog posts:
Publishing and Industry Posts:
- Interview with author Kelsey Sutton and Agent Beth Miller
- Resources for Teen Writers
- What type of publishing is right for you? (Guest post)
- The Industry—Part 1: How do I find an agent?
- The Industry—Part 2: What's a query letter?
- What libraries mean to me.
- What does writing mean to you? (Guest post)
- Reflection on the Writing Life
Writing Prompts and Inspiration Posts:
- Video Advice from Rick Riordan, Neil Gaiman and Stephen King
- Writing Prompt #1
- Writing Prompt #2
- Writing Prompt #3
- Flash Fiction
- Writing Advice from Five Awesome Authors (Guest Post)
Mechanics of Writing:
- Top Five Grammar and Punctuation Mistakes I See in Submissions
- Two More Grammar and Punctuation Mistakes I See in Submissions
- Ten Tips for Editing Your Own Work
- Great Beginnings
- Zoie from ZOIE'S BOOKSHELF reports on Sarah Henstra's Writing Workshop (Guest post)
And as a final farewell, I'm running my last contest! Have a question you meant to ask and didn't get a chance? Have a comment you want to share? Did you have a favourite blog post? Did you send in your work for critique and want to leave a comment about the experience? Now's your chance!
One lucky commenter will receive the entire The Game series: Rush, Push and Crash!
1. To enter, just leave your comment below.
2. You must live in Toronto to win this contest.
3. You must provide a valid e-mail address so you can be contacted if you win a prize, and you must be able to come to a TPL branch to pick up your prize (see privacy statement below for more information).
4. One entry per person per Contest - you can leave more than one comment, but only your first comment will count as a contest entry.
5. Contest ends Thursday December 17, 2015 at 11:59 pm.
6. Winner will be contacted on the following Friday.
Personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the Public Libraries Act, s.20 (a) and (d) and will be used to administer the Library's TPL Teens contest. Questions about the collection or management of personal information should be directed to library manager Jayne Delbeek-Eksteins- 416-396-8858.