Limestone Genre Expo

2018 Workshops 


Revise to Write: Self Edit Your Novel – Kim McDougall

Whether you go the self-publishing route or choose a traditional publisher, good revision skills are essential for every writer. These days, publishers are looking for publish-ready work, so they have to invest less time and money on editing, and every independent author knows that reviews for poor editing can kill book sales. Editing your own work can be tricky. In this workshop we’ll look at the manuscript on both the macro and micro level to get a thoroughly critical overview.

Macro Level: The Nuts and Bolts: It’s important to start at the top and work down. There’s no point in proofreading a manuscript that has major structural flaws. So, we’ll start with the basic building blocks of the story, to make sure they are all solid. We’ll be looking at the following components of story: structure & plot, character, point of view, and dialogue.

Micro Level: The Nitty Gritty: In the second half of the workshop, we’ll look at the details of the text, line by line and word by word. This can be an intensive process, but done properly a good line edit can challenge a writer to create prose that shines. We’ll be looking at the following elements: line edits, passive voice, over-used words, similes and metaphors, verb choice.

Finally, we’ll explore tips for looking at your manuscript objectively as well as resources for finding beta readers. Every workshop participant will leave with an eBook of the course material that includes a Master Revision Checklist.

How to Market & Sell Short Fiction – Douglas Smith

A wealth of courses and books exist to teach you how to write stories. But what happens when you've finished writing? Do you know how to sell what you've written?

Based on the popular writer's guide, Playing the Short Game: How to Market & Sell Short Fiction, this workshop will give you critical advice on how to sell your short stories to professional markets and to build a career as a short fiction writer. Topics covered include: the benefits of short fiction to a writing career, rights and licensing for short fiction, a strategy for selecting your target markets, finding short fiction markets, selecting the right market, submitting short fiction to a market, and what not to do when submitting.

Douglas Smith is an award-winning Canadian author whose work has appeared in thirty-two countries and twenty-six languages. His fiction includes the urban fantasy novel, The Wolf at the End of the World, and the collections, Chimerascope, Impossibilia, and La Danse des Esprits. He is currently writing a young adult urban fantasy trilogy.

Doug is a three-time winner of Canada's Aurora Award and has been a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award, CBC's Bookies Award, Canada's juried Sunburst Award, and France's juried Prix Masterton and Prix Bob Morane. His website is www.smithwriter.com and he tweets at twitter.com/smithwritr

Scene of the Crime - Katherine Prairie

We’ve all read mysteries set in a “dark and stormy night”, but a compelling suspense scene requires so much more. Thriller writer Katherine Prairie shows you how to the use the five senses to manipulate mood and ratchet-up tension. In this interactive session, you’ll learn how to twist scenes from serene to sinister, through careful word-choice and pacing. Take away techniques guaranteed to keep your readers turning the page!


Katherine Prairie is the author of the Alex Graham suspense thriller series, and an award-winning presenter. Her debut novel, THIRST, was shortlisted for the 2017 Whistler Independent Book Awards. BLUE FIRE is set for release in the summer of 2018. 

Deconstructing Writers' Block - Alyssa Cooper

This workshop will explore different techniques that can be used to establish a daily writing practice, allowing writers of all experience levels to write without waiting for inspiration. Broken into four sections, the workshop will include short lessons on each technique, as well as writing time after each lesson and an opportunity to share that writing with the group, receiving feedback and constructive criticism from their peers. Attendees will leave the workshop with new techniques to use in their own daily practice, and with four new written pieces that they can then develop into finished stories, articles, or poems.

Alyssa Cooper is a Canadian author and poet currently living in Kingston, Ontario. First published in 2008, she is the author of three novels, a short story collection, and two poetry collections, as well as having her work included in various local and international publications. An active spoken word performer, she currently holds an executive position in the Kingston Poetry Collective and the Queen’s Poetry Slam planning committee. 

Put a Brand on Yourself - Laura Baumbach and Kris Jacen

You’ve decided that you’re going to write professionally – congratulations? Good luck? Have fun? All of the above BUT there are other things to consider outside of the words on paper. How are you going to brand yourself so readers know you and what you write? What do you need to consider when branding yourself? Your pen name; a website; Facebook/Twitter/Instagram presence. Do I need to use LinkedIn? How to present yourself both online and in person.

Join Laura Baumbach and Kris Jacen as they discuss these topics and a few others as well as take questions. Between Laura and Kris, you’ll have access to over thirty years of experience from the author, editor and publisher points of view. 

Getting to "Yes" in Traditional Publishing - Matt Moore

Your novel is finished, your beta readers says it's great, but publishers keep saying "no". The problem might not be your work, but your pitch. Publishing is a business, and publishers, editors and agents want great works and good business relationships. If you're trying to sell a novel, story collection, screenplay or graphic novel, come learn how to make your work stand out by showing you're an author who professionals can work with.


For eight years, Matt Moore was both an emerging author and Communications Director for ChiZine Publications. For the past five years, he's been the Co-Chair of the Ottawa Chiaroscuro Reading Series. He's seen, firsthand, how authors approach a publisher, build relationships, and achieve success.