2018 Creative Ink Festival Panels


Adding Mystery to Your Fiction

S.G (Sandra) Wong (M), Dwayne Clayden, Kevin Harkness, Randy McCharles, Brie Wells

Most stories have a mystery element to them. How do you choose appropriate mystery elements? How do you keep the mystery going without giving it away to the audience? Should you give enough clues for the reader to figure it out? Bring your mysterious questions to our panelists and they will answer, or not -- itÕs unknown!


Best Advice I Ever Received

Adam Dreece (M), Brenda Carre, C.C. (Chris) Humphreys, John Mavin, Jonas Saul

Save time and effort by coming out to listen to professional authors and artists share the best advice they've received about writing and the publishing industry. Take away lessons that have been passed down to them, as well as ones from their own experiences.


Beyond Social Media

JM Landels (M), Tod McCoy, Kristene Perron, Jonas Saul, Sylvia Taylor

Creative Book Promotion goes beyond Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all of those social media resources. What can be done to promote yourself and your work in other areas of the internet or in person?


Creating Believable Characters

Krista Wallace (M), Kevin Hearne, Brenda Carre, Adam Dreece, Kevin Harkness

How do you convince your readers that your imaginary friends are real É at least in your story?


Creating Tension

Mel Anastasiou (M), Dwayne Clayden, Tyner Gillies, Jonas Saul, Lisa Voisin

Top Agent Donald Maass says there should be tension on every page. How do we accomplish that? How do we get our readers hooked on the anticipation of what will happen next? How do we keep them invested in what happens to our characters? What happens in our world of the novel?


Designing Character Backgrounds

Brenda Carre (M), Chadwick Ginther, Kevin Hearne, JM Landels, Randy McCharles

You have an idea for a character, now you have to figure out how to flesh out the character. Come listen to our panelists discuss how to do this.


Feeding Your Muse

Mel Anastasiou (M), C.C. (Chris) Humphreys, Michele Fogal, Jim Jackson, KT Wagner

The creative process can often be a tricky one, and it is easy to fall into ruts or hit a blank wall. Our panelists will discuss how to develop ideas, create compelling subject matter, and what do next when you find yourself stuck, not knowing what to do for your next piece of art, writing or other creative project.


Find Your WriterÕs Voice

Adam Dreece (M), Kevin Hearne, Linda DeMeulemeester, Susan Pieters

What does that even mean? How do you find it and when will you know if you have found it? How do you make it one that stands out from all the rest?


The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Collaborative Writing

Sandra Wickham (M), Kevin Hearne, Megan Fennell, Leslie Ann, Chadwick Ginther

Ever thought about writing with someone else? What does that entail, exactly? How do you go about it? What do you need to clarify from the start and how do you keep things rolling along without fallout? Our panelists discuss the pros, cons, pitfalls, roadblocks and rewards of collaborative writing.   


Great dialogue Breathes Life into a Story

Brie Wells (M), Linda DeMeulemeester, Tyner Gillies, T. G. Shepherd, John Mavin

How many lines of dialogue from your favorite novel or movie can you recite? Good dialogue sparkles. It has an eavesdropping quality to it, like overhearing a conversation and straining to hear more because it's simply too seductive to ignore. How can an author develop his ear to write dialogue that makes each character distinct and propels the plot in varied ways? In this panel, we will examine tools and tips in writing good dialogue.


The Grey Side of Anti-Heroes

Michele Fogal (M), Joshua Pantalleresco, T. G. Shepherd, Bevan Thomas

We should hate them, but we love them. They have major flaws; they sometimes do the right thing for the wrong reasons or vice versa. How do you create an anti-hero that will draw in your readers and never let them go? (Discussion of what an anti-hero is may also come up!)


How Editors Think

Manny Frishberg (M), R. Graeme Cameron, Tod McCoy, Ellen Michelle, Rhonda Parrish

What do editors appreciate in an author, both in their attention to craft and their professional interactions? Come and listen to editors share their experiences and insight on how to find and develop an effective relationship with an editor.


How to Create a Killer Opening

Adam Dreece (M), Tyner Gillies, Dwayne Clayden, Sue Pieters

We hear it over and over again. Your opening needs to GRAB people. How exactly do you do that? How do you get your first pages to jump out at editors, agents, publishers and readers?  


How to Create a Writing Routine (and Stick With It!)

Lisa Voisin (M), Brenda Carre, Mel Dawn, Farida Somjee, Jane Whittingham

Do you find yourself procrastinating from your writing? Having a hard time getting into a groove of writing consistently? What are the best ways to create a writing routine and keep it going?


How To Finish What You Start

Mel Anastasiou (M), Chloe Cocking, Jim Jackson, Randy McCharles, Jane Whittingham

Whether you're an artist, writer or crafting aficionado, everyone can have problems finishing what they started. Panelists share tips on the best ways to maintain your momentum and make it all the way to the end.


How To Get An Agent

Janine Cross, Jim Jackson, Sylvia Taylor

Where should you start looking? What should you look for? What should your expectations be? Do you even need an agent? ThereÕs a lot to talk about. Join our pros for a talk about agents.



How Not To Be "That" Person.

Brenda Carre (M), Manny Frishberg, Kristene Perron, Brie Wells

This is a panel about best practices for panelists, moderators, audience members and more. How to avoid the biggest social mistakes authors make in the business. This includes dealing with agents, publishers, editors, fellow writers, readers, etc. Basically, this a panel about good manners for writers.


How to Swim Through a Sea of Rejections

Sylvia Taylor (M), Richard Graeme Cameron, Holly Schofield, KT Wagner, Jane Whittingham

Rejections are tough. How do you keep going when they start piling up and you feel like quitting? How do you know when something shouldn't be sent out any more? Join authors, editors, slush readers and publishers as they discuss how to deal with those rejection letters.


Is All Procrastination Fear?

Sylvia Taylor (M), Chloe Cocking, Michele Fogal, Jane Whittingham

Do you sit down to write but find yourself roaming social media? Or do you get the sudden urge to do laundry or make phone calls instead? Do we procrastinate because writing is too hard? Or is it out of fear and if so, what are we afraid of? Or is it a lack of motivation or ideas? Join the panelists as they discuss procrastination and how to deal with it.


LetÕs Chat about the Works of GoH, Kevin Hearne!

Andrea Westaway (M), Chadwick Ginther, Sandra Wickham

Fans of Kevin Hearne, letÕs get together and talk about Oberon, Atticus, A Plague of Giants, Oberon, Star Wars, Oberon, or maybe how much we love Oberon. An open conversation led by a team of panelists.   


Levels of Editing

Todd McCoy (M), Eileen Kernaghan, Ellen Michelle, Trevor Melanson, Holly Schofield

LetÕs talk about developmental edits, line edits, professional editors, alpha and beta readers. What are the differences? Which happens at which point in the process? How much do you do on your own? How do you know whether to pay for editing, whether youÕre self-publishing or seeking traditional publishing? Our panelists will attempt to answer these and any others you bring.  


Live Action Slush - General Edition

Manny Frishberg (M), Mel Anastasiou, Randy McCharles, Rhonda Parrish, Susan Pieters, Krista Wallace (Reader)

Our panel of editors and publishers listen to anonymously read story openings and comment on why they would or would not wish to consider the complete work. Bring the 1st page of your manuscript (please leave your name off the page!) to be read aloud and receive comments from our panel of authors and editors. This event is both fun and educational -- donÕt miss it!


Live Action Slush - YA/MG Edition

Randy McCharles (M), Susan Pieters, Sylvia Taylor, Krista Wallace (Reader)

Our panel of editors and publishers listen to anonymously read story openings and comment on why they would or would not wish to consider the complete work. Bring the 1st page of your YA or MG manuscript (please leave your name off the page!) to be read aloud and receive comments from our panel of authors and editors. This event is both fun and educational -- donÕt miss it!


MG and YA

Brie Wells (M), Linda DeMeulemeester, Holly Schofield, Michelle Vandepol, Lisa Voisin

All of us were affected in our youth by the books we read. ThatÕs probably part of the reason we want to write them now. How can we successfully write those life changing stories for young people?


NaNoWriMo, is it Ri(ght)Mo(nth) for You?

Sylivia Taylor (M), Donna Barker, Lisa Voisin, Andrea Westaway

For many writers, November become a sprint to finish 50 000 words, inspired and pushed on by National Novel Writing Month. There are some writers on the other end of the spectrum with harsh criticisms. Should you try it? How best to accomplish it or should you avoid it? Join panelists who have tried it to hear their experiences and input.


Plot or Character: Which Comes First?

Brenda Carre (M), Manny Frishberg, Trevor Melanson, Kristene Perron

What is most important to a good story: a fast moving and/or engaging plot to carry you away, or characters that you can identify with, or at least care about? You can have one without the other, but when should you? And, does plot emerge from character needs and desires, or are they born to serve the plot?


Podcasting 101

S.G (Sandra) Wong (M), Joshua Pantalleresco, Andrea Westaway

Are you interested in starting a podcast? What does it take? How do you begin? How do you build an audience and keep it? If youÕre podcasting fiction, what are the differences authors need to keep in mind when writing for the spoken word?


Productivity Hacks for Writers

Michelle Vandepol (M), Donna Barker, Theresa Bazelli, Adam Dreece, Andrea Westaway

Most of us would like to write more in the time we have. What hacks exist to help writers increase their productivity? From time savers to rituals to devices, apps, websites and software, join our panelists for all their best tips on how to get more quantity and quality out of your writing.


Publishers Panel

Mel Anastasiou (M), JM Landels, Tod McCoy, Sylvia Taylor

Publishers and editors discuss industry trends, their working relationship with authors and agents, the impact of ePublishing on their business, and audience questions.



C.C. (Chris) Humphreys (M), Eileen Kernaghan, Susan Pieters, S.G (Sandra) Wong

Research isnÕt just for non-fiction writers. Every piece of fiction, no matter the genre, will contain details which, if not accurate, will throw a reader out of a story. But how do writers do research? When do they start? When do they stop? How do they wade through the quagmire of overwhelming information and choose just the right pieces to weave into their stories?


Romancing the Monster

S.G (Sandra) Wong (M), Jo-Ann Carson, Chloe Cocking, J. C. McKenzie

In dark fantasy, paranormal romance and urban fantasy, often the love interest isnÕt human. What is so appealing about these characters? Why do writers write them? Why do readers love them, or hate them? Are there limits to the type of monster that can be romantic? Can we get tired of these characters and are there still ways to make them unique?


Silence Your Inner Critic

Jim Jackson (M), Adam Dreece, Michele Fogal, Lisa Voisin

How do you shut off that voice that tells us weÕre not good enough, not talented enough, not enough to write? Should we? Or does it serve a purpose? Join panelists as they discuss why this happens, what you can do about it and how to make it work for you, not against you.


Starting is The Hardest Part

Chloe Cocking (M), Donna Barker, Michele Fogal, Tyner Gillies, Jane Whittingham

Have you always wanted to write but could never even think how to get started? Whether itÕs blogs, news reports, reviews, short stories or novels, how does one get the pen (or keyboard) rolling?  


Storytelling on the Fly

Krista Wallace (M), Adam Dreece, Manny Frishberg, JM Landels, Kristene Perron

Writers know that nasty little editorial voice that wants to control every idea, every sentence, every word. Come and share some laughs with these writers as they send that nasty voice away kicking and screaming. With only a few prompts, they will create a story together, one sentence at a time. It WILL have a beginning, middle and an end. It WILL NOT make much sense. There WILL be mirth.


Write What You Know or Write What You Want

Brenda Carre (M), C.C. (Chris) Humphreys, Chloe Cocking, Manny Frishberg, Eileen Kernaghan

The advice used to be to write what you know. In these days of the internet research, does this still apply? Has it ever? Should you write things you donÕt know about? How outside your own personal experiences do you or should you feel comfortable writing?


Writing For The Busy: Understanding your limitations but working within them

Krista Wallace (M), Mel Dawn, Tyner Gillies, Trevor Melanson, Jane Whittingham

All of us have busy lives but if we are ever to get the words onto pages, it takes planning, time management and dedication. Fear not, responsibilities are not the end of your writing career! Is it possible to work around those responsibilities by prioritizing and using time management to open little worlds into written words.


Writing Fight Scenes

Kristene Perron (M), Kevin Hearne, C.C. (Chris) Humphreys, Tyner Gillies, JM Landels, TG Shepherd

Join panelists for tips on writing effective fight scenes. Learn what to include, what to avoid, how to make them fit your story and dispel some myths and fallacies about fighting. Battles may break out among panelists.



Writing Workshops

Tod McCoy (M), Brenda Carre, Manny Frishberg, Tom Wright

Clarion, Odyssey, Viable Paradise, online workshops -- how do you choose? With so many workshops out there for writers, how do you know which one suits you best? Come hear from writers who have attended many different workshops to find the ones that appeal to you.