01 RAW News


I’ve recently taken over as interim Web Liaison for the Writers’ Community of Durham Region. Because of this, I’m able to really dig into the WCDR’s website and work with the rest of the board of directors to make the website more accessible, more resource-packed, and more informational.

One thing that became apparent as I now have my hands in the WCDR’s main website and this one (the RAW site), is that there’s no need to have such a separation between the two. So, I’ve got a new plan for Reading as Writers.

The focus of this site will be this, the literary blog. It’s generated some great discussion over the last year, since I took over as RAW Coordinator (a fancy title for editor and primary contributor of this blog and resource site). This needs to continue! The start of the online critique groups RAW Critters is also a component of the Reading as Writers website. As for the rest, it really belongs on the main WCDR website. So, over the next several months, I’ll be moving the resource content of this website over to the main WCDR website. Some of the content is repeated anyway.

I will also be closing the RAW Twitter account because…well, I’m currently tweeting for both accounts and it’s just not practical. Things sort of worked out to put me in a position to manage all online components for the WCDR together, so now I’m just organizing everything.

I’m hoping for this literary blog to become even more focused, now that the WCDR’s main website has its own informational news blog. “5 Questions, 1 Speaker” will continue monthly, with RAW blog topics directly tying to what the WCDR’s monthly RoundTable speakers plan to cover during their presentations. Last month, this proved to be quite successful with speaker Guy Gavriel Kay beginning his talk at the RoundTable meeting by referring to the discussion that was sparked by my post on October 21st, 2013. I’m still hoping to welcome more WCDR members to the blog with guest posts related to the concept of reading as a writer.

So, while the website might end up looking bare, nothing is really going to change. I’m just getting a head start on my virtual spring cleaning. And please, drop by the WCDR’s main website to see what’s going on. I’d love to hear suggestions on how to make the website more useful, so send any feedback and suggestion my way! webmaster@wcdr.org


Stay tuned for Harrison Wheeler’s return to the blog, with Pt. 2 of Graphically Speaking. (Pt. 1)


Hello visitors,

As you may have noticed, this site has not been updated in a few months. RAW is going through a revamping and new content will be on hold until the new-and-improved website is launched. Please stay tuned for some exciting changes in the WCDR’s Reading As Writers book club and resource site!

Thank you!

Our current featured author is Dave Bidini. We have chosen his recent book – On a Cold Road, which was selected as a finalist for Canada Reads. If it’s good enough for them, it’s a pleasure for us!


Click to go to our ‘e-discussion’ page and join in!

The New Quarterly has just put out it’s contests page and details a whackload of writing contests focusing on Canadian writers and writing. Check it out and see if one feels right for your and your work. Contests include poetry, essay, and fiction. Good luck!


Click to go to TNQ contest page…


Ready to start looking for an agent and need some reminders about what not to do? Here’s a solid list of don’t to read in order to avoid the path of the giant slushpile!


Click to read 11 Mistakes Writers Make!


Recently I read a telling post about the 7 bad habits of successful authors and it struck me – you don’t have to be successful as a writer to have the bad habits attributed to one. Go figure. That said, I think it clearly speaks volumes about the writerly types that we all are…

Click to read 7 Bad Habits of Successful Authors

Dave Bidini caused quite a stir when he came into the WCDR breakfast. He took us on a wild ride - dropping the f-bomb,  then discussing a section in his book where a musician plays the guitar with with John Henry (ouch!), but after all – Bidini’s a rocker, so we got what we came for. He was a great speaker and I picked up a copy of his book hoping it would be more of the same. It’s safe to say I’m not disappointed. I’m loving On a Cold Road – how about you?


Discussions are about to start, and RAW has three shiny new faces that are stepping up to facilitate online chats on Bidini’s book about life on the road as a hardworking Canadian Band. I’m excited to get started – so let’s begin with introductions shall we? In order of their facilitating appearance, please meet:


M.E.Girard is a fiction writer and a YA Fiction buff, with a penchant for short fiction as well. You can check out her blog at: http://www.megirard.com/


Tobin Elliott writes horror, and says he writes ugly stories about bad people doing horrible things. Check him out (if you dare) at: http://tobinelliott.wordpress.com/about/


Dale Long, a fiction writer, also likes to scare the living daylights out of readers and is currently writing a gothic horror. You can go visit him at: http://drlong67.wordpress.com/about/


So discussions will start sometime this week…but feel free to start ranting now. No really…do it now.  On a Cold Road by Dave Bidini…what did you think RAW readers?





A cookbook that you can eat after you’re done reading the recipes inside? A  self-discovery book made of mirrors? What kind of crazy books are these?


Click for 10 Crazy and Unusual Book Designs




In celebration of  National Poetry Month, Tim Lilburn, Governor General’s Award-winning poet talks about the power of writerly obsession.  Check out this bit he did for the Canada Reads site on writing poetry.


Click for the Poetry Month writing tip from Tim Lilburn…

Is writer’s block an authors worst fear? Maybe not…what about getting it on the page and having it disappear? That’s what happened to a blind woman in the UK who wrote the beginnings of her novel to find out her pen had run out and the pages were blank. Find out how the help from a local police station left her gobsmacked.


Click to read this lovely story about the hunt for lost words…

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Next Books & Bevvies Night:

Date: Saturday, February 22, 2014
Time: 7 - 10pm
Place: Trinity Irish Pub (Whisky Lounge), Whitby, ON