Memo to Readers: Power of Personal Papers

Memo to Readers: Power of Personal Papers

DATE Since it was first published, The Diary of Anne Frank continues to be a bestselling non-fiction book, attracting thousands of readers each year who discover Anne’s spirit. Clara Callan won both the Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award. Message in a Bottle. The Notebook. The Bible. Dracula. Griffen and Sabine….

All these titles are bestselling fiction and non-fiction books. All are joined by one basic element: the epistolary form. Using personal papers is not a new technique but it can be a powerful addition. And like any power tool in writing, it needs a thoughtful approach.letter-700386 web size

Let Ruth take you through this form’s limitless possibilities. From grocery lists and memos to diaries and love letters, the epistolary form has been an effective and economical way to convey information and capture the imagination of your reader.

A workshop participant: “I never realized how powerful this could be in my manuscript. Thank you!”

Time: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Venue: TBA (Durham Region)
Fee: $90 [$80 for WCDR, WCYR, WCSC, SOH, CAA and other writing associations]


Memo to Readers ($90)+HST
Memo to Readers ($80)+HST

PLEASE NOTE: When you hit the “Add to Cart” button, the PayPal order will show up at the top of the column to the right. To be taken to PayPal to finish your purchase, click on the yellow PayPal button. You can use a credit card on the PayPal site – you do not have to have a PayPal account

HST # 821104853RT0001

Mail in registration: Print the attached form and mail to Writescape c/o 101 Morningside Drive, RR3 Havelock, Ontario K0L 1Z0.  Remember to email us at to tell us you are sending your registration and payment by cheque.

Glentula – Summer


Glentula, nestled in five acres of mixed Ontario forest, is the home of Gwynn Scheltema and Don Anderson. “Glentula” means “peaceful hollow”. “Glen” meaning “valley or hollow” comes from Don’s Scottish heritage. “Tula” is from Gwynn’s roots in Zimbabwe, Africa, based on the Ndebele word for “peace” or “quiet”. Glentula is the perfect place to write.

The front shade garden offers a gazebo beside the rock garden, the tea stone sunken bench under the maples, or a muskoka chair on the pink granite surround of the camp-fire pit. Wander the garden paths, have a swing or just enjoy the dappled shade beneath the tall trees.

In the back garden. the large deck overlooks a flower edged lawn, with views down over the footbridge to the water of Burnt Point Bay on Lake Seymour, a campfire and entrance to the magic wood with its surprises.

Lake Seymour is part of the Trent River Waterway System, between the locks at Hastings and Healy Falls. At the water’s edge, sit in the gazebo there, lie in the hammock or sunbathe on the dock. Enjoy watching pleasure craft, explore the river mouth and beaver dam, or just enjoy the quiet lap of lilypads as kingfishers, osprey and heron dive for fish. Then wander back to the house through the woodland trails.

Montage with words -- The many lovely faces of GlentulaDirections to Glentula

From the South West (1½ hours from Oshawa)

  • Take Hwy. 401 east to Hwy 115. Proceed north on Hwy 115.
  • After approx 45 minutes, at Peterborough, Hwy 115 becomes Hwy 7. Continue east on Hwy 7 to Havelock (35 mins.).
  • At Havelock follow map below.

From the East (3 hours from Ottawa)

  • Take Hwy 417 west to Hwy 7 just west of the Scotiabank Place.
  • Proceed west on Hwy 7 to Havelock.
  • At Havelock follow map below.

From the North West (45 mins. from Peterborough)

  • At Port Perry take Hwy 7A east to Hwy 35.
  • At Hwy 35 turn south for a kilometre, then east on the continuation of Hwy 7A to Hwy 115.
  • After approx 15 minutes, at Peterborough, Hwy 115 becomes Hwy 7. Go east to Havelock (35 mins.)
  • At Havelock follow map below.

From the South East (45 mins from Brighton)

  • Take Hwy 401 west to Brighton.
  • Take Regional/County Rd. 30 north to Campbellford
  • At the lights at the bridge in Campbellford, turn west on Bridge Street (RR 30 cont) to Village of Trent River (15 mins)
  • At Trent River, follow the map below

map to glentula

Master Class in Character: More than Flesh and Bones

Master Class in Character: More than Flesh and Bones

From your POV character to secondary characters to antagonists, all the people in your fiction are important.

They need to rise up from the page and connect with your readers: excite them, horrify them, disappoint them, delight them. In short, characters must have emotional impact.woman in goldElderly woman

Join author Ruth E. Walker to explore and experiment with:

~ how characters enhance the themes in your stories
~ when and where dialogue is a game-changer
~ the subtleties of description for greatest benefit
~ how to deepen character motivation and desires


This workshop is not geared for writers just starting out. Bring your in-progress characters and a willingness to stretch them and you over the course of the day.

Ruth Walker reveals the inner lives of her characters with a quiet and purposeful grace.” Rabindranath Maharaj

“Walker’s prose is skillful, vibrant, and peopled with characters we can believe we know.” reader

“No matter what I was doing throughout my day, I had Sheila and Sigmund on my mind.” Kevin Craig


The Many Worlds of Fantasy

The Many Worlds of Fantasy

with Heather M. O’Connor and Anne MacLachlan

Date: Wednesdays, March 18, 25, April 1, 8, 15

Time: 7:00-9:00 pm.

Location: Trent University, Oshawa Campus

Fee: $125 ($110 for members of WCDR, SOH, WCSC, WCYR and other writing organizations)





Explore the worlds of fantasy, both fictional and professional, in this 5-week, hands-on workshop.

Learn how to create convincing fantasy settings. We’ll use world-building techniques and activities to:

  • discover a brave new world
  • layer in realistic depth and detail 
  • build your world, week after week
  • extend your new realm around the corner and across the seas

We’ll also explore the fantasy writer’s world. Discover a treasure trove of:

  • markets and publishers
  • conferences, workshops and networks
  • writing resources

To register:

  1. Select your workshop using the Add to Cart button.
  2. Find Your Shopping Cart on the right.
  3. Click on the yellow Check out with PayPal button to pay securely using a credit card or PayPal account.

$125 – The Many Worlds of Fantasy

$110 – The Many Worlds of Fantasy (members of writing organizations)

Excellent companion to Here Be Dragons! Plot and character in fantasy fiction. Register for both workshops and save $20.

$220 – Register for The Many Worlds of Fantasy and Here Be Dragons

$190 – Register for The Many Worlds of Fantasy and Here Be Dragons (members of writing organizations)

On-demand Workshops

On-demand Workshops

Gather your group. Pick your topic and your date. And we’ll bring Writescape to you.

From beginning writer to seasoned professional, we’ll customize sessions to suit your programming themes and audience needs. Choose from Writescape’s Workshop Catalogue 2016 to help you and your colleagues hone writing craft and develop new skills and techniques.

“I came away with an understanding that will stick with me … great handouts and examples.”

From two-hour evening sessions to week-long programming, you tell us what you need and when you need it. Writescape will supply professional workshop leaders, hands-on exercises and practical handouts, and a creative, supportive atmosphere for an excellent learning experience.writing-828911_960_720

“…a safe place to be vulnerable with my writing and to risk trying something new.”

Writescape facilitators have delivered workshops and presentations across the Greater Toronto Area, as well as Ottawa Region, Durham Region, and Northumberland, Kawartha, Haliburton, Muskoka, Simcoe and Niagara regions, Southwestern Ontario and into the U.S.

startup-594090_1920 (1)Step 1: talk to your group or colleagues about what you need

Step 2: choose your program from our Workshop Catalogue 2016

Step 3: contact:
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We focus on your needs and deliver inspiration, expertise and support. We make it happen.