25th Trillium Award

Durham Region

 
Share |
Focus on: Durham Region
A Guide to Durham Region?s Literary Scene
Javascript is required to view this map.
 

Durham Region is home to one of the most active writers' organizations in the province, the WCDR, which hosts the annual Ontario Writers Conference and is the inspiration for many similar writers' groups in other areas. Blue Heron Books and the region's public libraries offer venues for writers and artists to mingle, meet and inspire. Its rich literary history — think Hardy Boys and Anne of Green Gables — seems to infuse the atmosphere for today's writers with an incomparable energy. Follow Open Book: Ontario's Focus On: Durham Region throughout the month of December to find out more about the talented, diverse and supportive writers who make their homes here. With special thanks to the City of Pickering for permission to publish the photos in this series.

Durham Region News

On Writing, with Steve Burrows

Steve Burrows has travelled the world to pursue his twin passions of birdwatching and journalism. Now that he's settled in Oshawa, he's preparing for the release of his debut novel, the murder mystery A Siege of Bitterns (Dundurn Press). Inspector Domenic Jejeune is the Canadian detective abroad at the heart of this new series — an enigmatic man, his skill as a detective is matched by his love of birdwatching, and the two pursuits don't always align. In today's On Writing interview, Steve introduces us to JeJeune and explains how birders and writers are driven by a similar quest, one that must be guided by a particular set of goals and rules. Watch for the publication of A Siege of Bitterns this coming spring.

At the Desk: Allison Baggio

For each book we readers eagerly open, there's a writer who's spent countless hours researching, organizing, writing and rewriting. The place where all this happens is unique to every writer, and we love nothing more than to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the site where it all happens! In Open Book?s At The Desk series, writers tell us about their creative processes and the workspaces that inspire them.

Allison Baggio, who makes her home in Whitby, is fascinated by the ways in which our bodies tell stories. In her books, the body is a conduit for the spirit, a tangible manifestation of the experience of life. And it doesn?t always play by the rules. In Allison?s coming-of-age novel Girl in Shades (ECW Press), young Maya can see colours around people?s bodies and even sometimes read their thoughts. Allison first turned to this theme In her collection of short stories, In the Body (ECW Press), which includes stories on organ transplants and life after traumatic injury. Today Allison talks to Open Book about the desk where she writes — and the one where she doesn?t.

Allison Baggio is one of our featured authors in this month?s Focus On: Durham Region — The Recommended Reads.
_________________________________________________

Focus On: Durham Region - The Recommended Reads

By Ginger Pharand

The Durham Region boasts poets, novelists, fiction and nonfiction writers, filmmakers, songwriters — if it involves words, you can find someone writing it here! Home to the WCDR (Writer?s Community of Durham Region), which hosts the annual Ontario Writers Conference and Blue Heron Books, where artists, readers, even dogs are welcome!

Durham Region authors include Trillium Award-winning poet Jeramy Dodds and Trillium Award and Toronto Book Award winner Rabindranath Maharaj. But the region is also home to Ingrid Ruthig's textworks, the young adult writer Wesley King with his topsy turvy universe of villains and heroes and Allison Baggio tuning readers in to the body as barometer of the soul.

Somewhere among the 14 books below, every reader can find the next must-read selection for December. And any one of these titles would look great wrapped for the holidays!

Follow Open Book: Ontario's Focus On: Durham Region throughout the month of December to find out more about the talented, diverse and supportive writers who make their homes here.

Here Be Writers: Charting One Writer?s Journey in Literary Durham Region

By Ingrid Ruthig

HC SVNT DRACONES. ?Here be dragons?, which came to signify mysterious unexplored territories, first appeared on the 16-century Hunt-Lenox Globe. Uncharted turf sometimes isn?t at the map?s edge, but right next door. During my years living in Toronto, what lay beyond the city?s eastern boundary remained largely a mystery. Then in 1988 I moved east, to a town named after a World War II battleship, one in a string of small towns that pearl this part of Lake Ontario?s shoreline. The lake marks the southernmost edge of the Regional Municipality of Durham, a 2,500-square-kilometre area that stretches north to Lake Simcoe. Yet my knowledge of my new home remained minimal, because I continued to visit friends and work in Toronto. That changed when I began to write.

Any journey, literal or figurative, takes time. When family life shifted my notion of time and community, a new sense of direction also began to build. I tackled my absence from work and staying home with two youngsters by challenging myself to write. Not one to do things by half measures, I searched out resources and found a newspaper announcement for a workshop sponsored by an organization called the Writers? Circle of Durham Region (WCDR). I signed up. Then I joined the WCDR. Well, one workshop led to another, which led to more writing, to researching and submitting work to literary journals, to noticing that someone local was publishing one, which led me to approach Ruth Walker, co-editor of the fledgling Lichen Literary Journal. I mentioned I?d seen a copy, admired the initiative, and if extra hands were ever needed, mine were willing.

Focus On: Durham Region!

Durham Region is home to one of the most active writers' organizations in the province, the WCDR, which hosts the annual Ontario Writers Conference and is the inspiration for many similar writers' groups in other areas. Blue Heron Books and the region's public libraries offer venues for writers and artists to mingle, meet and inspire. Its rich literary history — think Hardy Boys and Anne of Green Gables — seems to infuse the atmosphere for today's writers with an incomparable energy. Follow Open Book: Ontario's Focus On: Durham Region throughout the month of December to find out more about the talented, diverse and supportive writers who make their homes here.

On Writing, with Stephanie McLellan

Stephanie McLellan is an author whose latest book is Hoogie in the Middle (Pajama Press), a children?s book that tells the story of Hoogie, who is part of a family of monsters and is the middle of three siblings. Released in May 2013, the story follows Hoogie?s journey as she strives to get the attention she craves from her family and gradually learns that it's her uniqueness that makes her special and loved. Today, Stephanie tells us about how her own middle child was the inspiration for Hoogie, how being a mother makes her an effective children?s writer and she gives a list of her many favourite children?s books.

The Proust Questionnaire, with Alison Baggio

Alison Baggio has recently released In the Body (ECW Press), a collection of 12 short stories and the novella ?As She Was.? Alison will be reading at the Starlight Lounge in Waterloo in November as part of the Indie Lit at the Starlight Lounge event. In her answers to Proust Questionnaire, Alison tells us her chief characteristic, where she'd like to live, her favourite virture and much more.

The Gutter Series: Between Projects, Poetry Edition with Antony Di Nardo

In celebration of National Poetry Month, Open Book is launching a new series — The Gutter Series: Between Books, Poetry Edition. (The gutter, as any good book geek knows, refers to the inner margins of two facing pages — literally, the in-between.)

Writing a book is a lengthy process and even the most prolific authors need time to work. We rarely have a chance to chat with writers who haven't published in the current season, and we're curious about life between launches.

In "Pendulum," our final installment of the series, Antony Di Nardo describes the skeleton clock that marks with a rhythmic tock the arc travelled between one writing project and the next.

Antony Di Nardo's most recent books are Alien, Correspondent (Brick Books, 2010) and Soul on Standby (Exile Editions, 2010).

On Writing, with Mike Brophy

Mike Brophy is a hockey analyst for Rogers Sportsnet and one of Canada's most respected voices in the sport. He is also the author of the recently-released My First Goal: 50 Players and the Goal That Marked the Beginning of Their NHL Careers (McClelland & Stewart).

Mike talks with Open Book about 35 years of hockey coverage, the Beatles and the book that made him laugh out loud.

Open Book:

Ten Questions, with Allison Baggio

Debut novelist Allison Baggio is the author of Girl in Shades (ECW Press).

Allison Baggio talks to Open Book about her mentors and influences and how Girl in Shades came to be.

Open Book:

Tell us about your book, Girls in Shades.

Five Things Literary: Ajax & Whitby, with Ingrid Ruthig

As part of our mapping of literary Ontario, we're highlighting five things about literary life in communities throughout the province. What do our cities, towns and villages have to offer writers, readers and the curious? Follow Five Things Literary to find out.

Today's feature on literary life in Ajax and Whitby was contributed by Ingrid Ruthig, author of Slipstream.
_________________________________

The Trillium Ten, with Rabindranath Maharaj

Open Book: Ontario is celebrating the 24th Annual Trillium Book Award with The Trillium Ten/Trillium Dix interview series. Find out what this year's Trillium Book Award finalists were doing when they heard the news about their nomination, where in the province they most love to write, who their favourite Ontario authors are and more by following our series. Winners of the Trillium Awards will be announced on Friday, June 17th.

Ajax-based novelist Rabindranath Maharaj is nominated for the English-Language Trillium Book Award for his novel The Amazing Absorbing Boy (Knopf Canada), which follows the adventures of a 17-year-old immigrant from Trinidad as he struggles to adapt to a new life in Toronto and the "big mall of a country" that is Canada.

Get to Know Literary Ontario, with Donna Bright of the Ajax Public Library

Donna Bright, Chief Librarian at the Ajax Public Library, talks to Open Book about the role her library plays in collecting and documenting the community's local history. One of the ways the Ajax Public Library has made the shift to creating content rather than just collecting it is through the Durham Authors Database, a networking site for Durham's vibrant writing community that was launched this fall.

Get to Know Literary Ontario, with Barbara Hunt of the Ontario Writers' Conference

Barbara Hunt, President and Chair of the 2011 Ontario Writers? Conference, gives Open Book a sneak preview of this year's conference plans. Writers of all levels of experience — including Andrew Pyper, Wayson Choy, Robert J. Wiersema and Alison Pick — will meet in Ajax on April 30th for a full day of workshopping, networking and celebrating.

Now in its third year, the OWC is a much-anticipated event for writers across the province and is recognized as one of Ontario's outstanding Literary Landmarks. For photos, videos and reflections from last year's conference, please visit the Ontario Writers' Conference Scrapbook on Open Book: Ontario.

On Writing & Mixed Media, with Ingrid Ruthig

Writer and visual artist Ingrid Ruthig talks to Open Book about her creative process and the slippage between poetry, text and visual art. Her most recent exhibit, a textwork called Slipstream created in response to her poem of the same title, will be showing at the Aurora Cultural Centre from January 22 to April 9, 2011. The opening reception takes place on Saturday, January 22, from 1–4 p.m. All are welcome to attend. Please visit Ingrid Ruthig's website for details.

Durham Region Events

Series of Fortunate (literary) Events: Books and Brunch with Helen Humphreys

When

Sunday, February 22, 2015 - 11:00am

Where

Wooden Sticks Golf Club
40 Elgin Park Drive
Uxbridge, ON
L9P 1N2

Details

Join Blue Heron Books for the first Books and Brunch event of 2015 when they celebrate The Evening Chorus, the latest release from multi-award winning author Helen Humphreys. Humphreys will be interviewed by bestselling author Ted Barris.

Tickets $25 (includes full brunch) and are available at Blue Heron Books, 62 Brock St. W. Uxbridge, ON L9P 1N1-- www.blueheronbooks.com -- 905-852-4282.

Tickets are also available in a passport to the entire Series of Fortunate (literary) Events:

February 22: Books and Brunch with Helen Humphreys

Series of Fortunate (literary) Events: Books and Brunch with Ian Hamilton and Susan Philpott

When

Sunday, March 29, 2015 - 11:00am

Where

Wooden Sticks Golf Club
40 Elgin Park Drive
Uxbridge, ON
L9P 1N2

Details

Join Blue Heron Books at the second Books and Brunch event of 2015 for a thriller double header with authors Ian Hamilton and Susan Philpott. Hamilton will be discussing The King of Shanghai, the latest novel in his highly successful Ava Lee series which is being made into a television mini-series. Philpott will be discussing her debut novel, Blown Red.

Tickets $25 (includes full brunch) and are available at Blue Heron Books, 62 Brock St. W. Uxbridge, ON L9P 1N1-- www.blueheronbooks.com -- 905-852-4282.

Series of Fortunate (literary) Events: Books and Brunch with Lori Lansens

When

Sunday, April 26, 2015 - 11:00am

Where

Wooden Sticks Golf Club
40 Elgin Park Drive
Uxbridge, ON
L9P 1N2

Details

Blue Heron Books is pleased to host author Lori Lansens, author of Rush Home Road and The Girls, for its April Books and Brunch event as they celebrate the release of The Mountain Story, Lansens fourth novel.

Tickets $25 (includes full brunch) and are available at Blue Heron Books, 62 Brock St. W. Uxbridge, ON L9P 1N1-- www.blueheronbooks.com -- 905-852-4282.

Tickets are also available in a passport to the entire Series of Fortunate (literary) Events:

February 22: Books and Brunch with Helen Humphreys

Series of Fortunate (literary) Events: An Evening with Susanna Kearsley and Genevieve Graham

When

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 - 7:00pm

Where

Wooden Sticks Golf Club
40 Elgin Park Drive
Uxbridge, ON
L9P 1N2

Details

Join Blue Heron Books for an evening of historical fiction with Susanna Kearsley and Genevieve Graham. Kearsley will discuss her new release, A Desperate Fortune, a time-traveler historical romance that take the reader back to the 1700's. Graham's novel, Tides of Honour is a shorter journey, only taking the reader back to the early 1900's.

Tickets $25 and are available at Blue Heron Books, 62 Brock St. W. Uxbridge, ON L9P 1N1-- www.blueheronbooks.com -- 905-852-4282.

Advanced Search