Congrats to the Winners of Creepy Capreol Jr. Writing Contest

Creepy Capreol Anthology will soon be joined by Creepy Capreol Jr. Edited by Mat Del Papa

Creepy Capreol Anthology will soon be joined by Creepy Capreol Jr. Edited by Mat Del Papa

A contest was recently sponsored by Northern Life, in conjunction with local author and Sudbury Writers’ Guild member Mat Del Papa for young writers. The challenge was to write a short story with a horror theme related to Capreol. The winners were recently announced at the Sudbury Wordstock festival.

Winners will be published in the up coming edition of Creepy Capreol Jr. edited by Mat Del Papa.

Congrats to the winners.


Teen Category

Arvin Khoshboresh – The Boy that Cried Puppy
Elecksa Desjardins – The Stranger
Fiona Symington – The Kind You Never Hear About

Pre-teen Category

Liam Siemann – Mommy’s Here
Ted Leblanc – All I See is Red
Kael Perras – Deadland

Manitoulin Writers’ Circle – News

Margo Little of the Manitoulin Writers’ Circle has a few events she would like to share with Sudbury and area writers:

Invitation to Open Mic Afternoon on the Waterfront
As part of Gore Bay Harbour Days Sat. July 25, 2015 an open mic featuring water-themed flash fiction, poetry, reflections or memoir will be held at the Gore Bay Harbour Centre. Bring your water-themed material to read from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Hosted by Gore Bay Museum and Manitoulin Writers’ Circle. Below is a list of water imagery prompts to wash over you and inspire you. A book sale will be held at the same time so feel free to add your titles to the table.

Starter ideas for Water-Themed readings
1) This life is like a swimming pool. You dive into the water, but you can’t see how deep it is. –Dennis Rodman
2) Heavy hearts, like heavy clouds in the sky, are best relieved by the letting of a little water. – Christopher Morley
3) A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is, until you put her in hot water. – Eleanor Roosevelt
4) To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. – Alan Watts
5) Thousands have lived without love, not one without water. –W.H. Auden
6) No water, no life. – Sylvia Earle
7) Water is the driving force of all Nature. – Leonardo Da Vinci
8) Cry, forgive. Move on. Let your tears water the seeds of your future happiness. – Steve Maraboli
9) Don’t be ashamed to weep; ‘tis right to grieve. Tears are only water….. –Brian Jacques
10) Anger is like flowing water; there’s nothing wrong with it as long as you let it flow. – C. Joy Bell
11) She was a drop of free water. She belonged to no man and to no city. – Roman Payne
12) Water does not resist. Water flows. If you cannot go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does. –Margaret Atwood
13) It is life, I think, to watch the water. A man can learn so many things. –Nicholas Sparks
14) I’m so thirsty. –Jarod Kintz
15) You never really know what’s coming. A small wave or maybe a big one. –Alysha Speer


Marion Seabrook Memorial Writing Contest

Short story writers are reminded to submit entries to Marion Seabrook Memorial Writing Contest by July 15. Mail to Box 333, Mindemoya, ON P0P 1S0. Adult and youth prizes. Blind judging. Guidelines at 705-377-4045 or or Manitoulin Writers’ Circle 705-282-1714. Sponsored by Central Manitoulin Historical Society with support from Manitoulin Transport. Readings to take place August 20 at Pioneer Museum.



Sudbury’s Very Own Wordstock

Sudbury’s biennial Wordstock is back for its second year with a new venue and a great line up of panels and workshops to choose from.

See the image below for programming details or visit the Facebook group or their website –

The Sudbury Writers’ Guild are proud sponsor of Wordstock and our members will be in attendance reading from their works and attending and presenting on panels. Come out and support the literary community in Sudbury.


Wordstock Saturday Programming



J. A. McLachlan Writing Workshop – Sunday May 31st

odf35120 JAMcLachlan

Writing Challenge – March 2015

A week or so ago there was a news story about a tunnel that was found in a wooded area near Toronto’s York University. The half-finished tunnel looked “professional” and much speculation about who dug the tunnel and for what purpose.

CBC News – Mystery tunnel found near Pan Am Games venue

After the police held a media conference presenting the public with images of the tunnel and some of the equipment found near the tunnel. They asked anyone with knowledge about the tunnel / bunker to come forward.

A Toronto mystery deepens: Was it a tunnel or a bunker?

A few days later two young men in there 20s ‘fessed up claiming to have been building the tunnel / bunker as the ultimate “mancave”. The conclusion almost seemed anticlimactic and perfectly Canadian as no charges were laid and the men politely declined to explain their motive for building it, simply citing they built it for “personal reasons”.

This is where you come in as a writer.

I want to challenge my fellow guild members (and people that may be reading this entry) to write their own version of events surrounding the tunnel. Maybe you have a different interpretation of what the tunnel was being built for. Maybe you can envision how the police interview went down about it, with the young men, or perhaps it wasn’t young men at all that dug it. Let your imagination run wild.

Write a short story of 1500 words or less about the “Toronto Tunnel”. It can be any style. Heck, I would even love to see some of our poets give us their take on it.  You can share it online at your own website/blog/Facebook page and link to it here in the comments. Or bring it with you to our next meeting and share it out loud with group.

Good luck and may the writing be with you.

Gail Anderson-Dargatz – Providence Bay Writers’ Camp

Registration is now open for Providence Bay Writers’ Camp on Manitoulin Island

Bring your fiction up to the next level in morning workshops with Gail Anderson-Dargatz and enjoy everything the island has to offer later in the day.

The camp runs July 19 to 24.

Workshop space and accommodation is limited, so book now. For details, see Gail Anderson-Dargatz website.

The Secret History of Words – Episode 1

Have you ever considered where certain words or phrases come from? I’ve always been curious as to the origins of such things and whether its the writer in me or the amateur historian I love going behind the scenes and learning a new dimension to words and phrases that I’ve been using all my life.

The study of word origins is more formally known as etymology (not to be confused with entomology – the study of insects!) and involves not only understanding how various languages shaped and changed words, but also a bit of sleuthing as you often have to weed out the common folklore that has grown up around some words and phrases.

It was suggested at a meeting of the Sudbury Writers’ Guild this fall we include a “Word of the Day” (or month) in the newsletter and I’ve decided to run with that but with the added twist that I’m going to dig into the origin of the word or the history of the phrase.

For the inaugural entry I randomly choose the word Doom. Maybe it had something to do with the gloomy weather outside my window as I researched this article in November. Coincidently there’s a connection between the words doom and gloom, but more on that in a minute. We often use the word doom to mean something awful or bad is going to happen. Someone is sent to their doom. Or someone might exclaim “We’re all doomed!”

It wasn’t until I actually looked up the word “doom” for this piece that I realized there was more to the word. The origin of the word comes from old Anglo-Saxon English word dom for “law, judgement, condemnation”. A book of laws in Old English was know as a dombec.

Okay, now this is starting to make sense. Doomsday is literally judgement day. So where did the expression “doom and gloom” come from?

For help with this I turned to Gary Martin’s ever useful website The Phrase Finder ( Gary reports that the phrase “doom and gloom” is not as old as we think and can be traced to the late 19th century in the US where examples of it turn up in newspapers in reference to politics and financial stories. For it to enter common usage it needs something to elevate it and bring it before a wider audience. Gary’s research pinpoints the rise in popularity of the expression to a musical stage production from 1947 called Finian’s Rainbow by Harburg and Saidy that was later turned into a film in 1968 starring Petula Clark and Fred Astaire. In the play a leprechaun named Og repeatedly used the phrase as a lament.

“Doom and gloom… D-o-o-m and gl-o-o-m… I told you that gold could only bring you doom and gloom, gloom and doom.”

You can watch Tommy Steele as Og here on YouTube:

Have a suggestion for a word or phrase that you’d like to see featured? Drop me a line.

Why Zombie Poetry?

by Tom Leduc

People often ask, why Zombie Poetry? Well, because they’re easy pick in’s I say. They’re walking metaphors, or should I say stumbling, dragging metaphors. Zombie poetry is so much fun and full of interesting subject matter, I have trouble focusing on where the poems take me.

For instance, you can take anyone from this reality and Zombify him or her. I have one poem that describes what happened to an orchestra conductor after the zombie apocalypse, and have also created several poems that describe a roofer who was trapped on the roof of a church during the dawn of the dead and his fight to survive.

This summer I spent a couple of Saturday afternoons converting children’s nursery rhymes into Zombie rhymes, what fun. You can convert all kinds of famous poetry into Zombie poetry. I have re-imagined Dylan Thomas’ “Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night”. Now it will be given a whole new life and re-introduced to a new generation of fans.

We can also write poems that challenge the moral or philosophical questions of a Zombie apocalypse. Would you be able to take down a threat? What if your loved one was involved, or your neighbour or even that bully from your childhood? Would you fight until the bitter end or would you give-up? Zombie poetry or story-telling can offer a place to explore these otherwise taboo subjects in a therapeutic way.

One of the most powerful ways to write about Zombies is to describe the way they reflect our own culture. We, as a race, are mindlessly consuming the planet. Our eating habits and our lifestyles are contributing factors to our possible extinction. The constant pressures of advertisers, tax collectors, and the needs of the people around us, in a way, mirror the constant threat of being attacked and eaten by zombies. We spend our days slaving away at our work, most of us lost within a giant corporation never really seeing any results, and in the world of Zombies you can spend day after day beating away at hordes of Zombies never really getting anywhere, they just keep coming. I write about this in my poem “Hordes Of The Dead,” but can be best captured in my poem “Zombie On The Inside.” My wife came home from an extra hard day at work one day and said to me that she “felt dead on the inside, rotting, not really alive anymore, as if [she] was missing out on life.” I replied, “ you feel like a Zombie on the inside” and instantly I understood what she was trying to say. I sat down and started writing, her words are the first two lines to the poem. The poem can be read from different perspectives such as someone feeling the way my wife did that day, such as an elderly person slowly losing themselves, or as someone who has been bitten by a Zombie as is now becoming one. Our culture is full of these kinds of examples, even the fans of Zombies consume everything Zombie, thus becoming the very thing they fear.

This is why I like to write Zombie poetry, because it can have so many layers to it.

If you would like to have some fun and hear some of my Zombie Poetry and see some short films, come out to Little Montreal on Elm St., Tuesday October 28th, 8 to 10 PM. Dress up and bring some non- perishable goods to support the Sudbury Food Bank.

Attention Young Writers of Sudbury

On Sunday October 26th, Sudbury’s Poet Laureate and our very own Writers’ Guild member, Tom Leduc is kicking off an exciting new adventure, The Young Writers’ Guild of Sudbury.

  • Find out how to enter contests, get published, self-publish and edit writing
  • Discover how to address and read aloud to a crowd
  • Learn to host an event like a poetry slam
  • Pick up tips and tricks and all the ins and outs of the writing craft from some of the most prolific and talented writers’ from right here in Sudbury.

The Young Writers’ Guild is a group of young people, ages 12 to 18, who meet monthly to share their common interest in all aspects of writing.

Imagine entering university with a portfolio of published work and the confidence to reach your goals. We have the tools and connections, we only need you. So come check it out, get involved and help create the kind of writing environment you want for yourself and the city.

Sundays October 26, November 30, January 25 @ 1 PM – Main Library (74 Mackenzie Street, Sudbury)

For more information contact Tom directly at: or 705-673-1155 x4761.

Click here for poster for event: Young Writers Guild of Sudbury – POSTER

Gut Wrenching – Not for Everyone

by Vera Constantineau

I’m entering a creative phase. I can feel it in the way I want to scribble down my observations. Everything inspires me to pick up a pen: the way someone steps off the sidewalk, the look in a person’s eyes when a car gets too close in the crosswalk, a woman’s hair shaved so close on the sides and flipped in front the way a man in the fifties who used Brylcreem would have done. Every visual is a potential writing gift.

I know I can write about these things and you will understand, because we’re writers. We all have flashes of inspiration, bursts of internal dialogue, the dream that delivers the exact word or phrase or clue we needed to finish a story that’s been nagging at us.

I stopped writing in June, just stopped.

At first I thought there was no reason. I thought that I was tired, mentally snuffed. In hindsight I think the stoppage was a little more specific than that.

I got an e-mail containing a link to a writing call. I often get such e-mails, no surprise there. This time though, when I read the fine print, the gatherers specified that in writing this submission, we, as contributors, should be gut-wrenchingly honest.

The phrase gut wrenchingly honest ran me off the writing track, slammed me hard against the imaginary bales of hay I have placed at my imaginary limits, a writers crash and burn.

I tried to settle on a topic for this essay call, tried to come up with an idea that was fresh and interesting, nothing. Or at least nothing I wanted to write about in detail. Nothing that required producing a dose of gut wrenching that would be considered effective on both the sending end and the receiving end. I stalled for weeks. During the stall I found it increasingly hard to observe in my usual way, even worse, I recognized the lack.

In 2013 I signed up for an online course in Nonfiction Creative Writing offered through the community college online network. I’ve taken more than a dozen courses over the past five years and I have been to many workshops. I am accustomed to tapping into my deep dark places, so imagine my surprise when I tried to complete my first assignment in this course and discovered I had developed a severe aversion to telling, what amounted to me, to be my secrets.

In hindsight I can see that this was gut wrenching honesty, round one.

The course came perilously close to memoir and I have always stepped gingerly around that topic.

This call for (gut wrenching honesty in our) submissions was for personal essays. I guessed I was not ready to spill blood onto a page for the benefit of a phantom reader.

Correction, I wouldn’t spill blood in large quantities. In Haiku and Senryu I have dropped my share of blood-load. Through Haiku I’ve dealt (honestly) with my mother’s death, the curse of my illegitimacy, cancer, and other topics, all of which definitely qualify as gut wrenching. I just couldn’t see myself drawing on the kind of details that would get me published in this particular magazine.

Until last week I remained snuffed big time—a snuffing of monumental proportion.

Then … I received a copy of Wah.

Wah is a Haiku journal from India with the sole purpose of developing a cultural exchange between Indian Haiku poets and poets in the rest of the world. The first of four poems they accepted was there, printed in English on page 41 and facing it on page 42, in Punjabi.

Getting this journal in the mail was exactly what I needed. I read through the list of contributors and found fellow Guild member, Irene Golas, as well as others I admire locally and in the broader world and I stopped feeling tired. I stopped feeling mentally snuffed. And Halleluiah, I returned to my favourite pastime, the observation of my fellow humans.

The writing process is not something everyone understands. I think only those of us who look past the surface and see past the green hair will truly relate to the crushing pain a good snuffing delivers.

If I am ever again called upon to deliver gut wrenching honesty I know exactly what I will say: Writing is hard.