Friday, February 26, 2010

Criticising the Critiques

This may be at the top of the Ten Crankiest Things I've Ever Written (or said...)

Without mentioning names or book titles, there are a few authors I have been keeping my eye on. I catch the reviews when they come out, I notice if they have done events, or interviews, etc. etc. etc.

It pains me to say that I have seen a number of reviews that were positive, praises the book(s) and complimented the author, but but but ... Some of the reviews are so poorly written, they almost aren't worth bragging about!!!

Now, I don't mean a typo or a sloppy bit of punctuation (I'm probably guilty of both of those crimes in this very posting). I mean poorly chosen words, repetition, awkwards (or incorrect) sentence structure, spelling mistakes that are not simple typos. And one more time: awkward, clumsy sentence structure, vague word choices, and so on.

Furthermore, I have noticed in many cases the reviewer gets the author's name wrong and/or misspells the name of the main character(s).

I'd like to think that reviewers took pride in their work and that they took the time to revise and proofread and revise again. Sadly, this does not seem to be the case, at least not all the time.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Deadlines & Reminders

Hey GTA Writers:

Reminder that the deadline for the current Work In Progress grant from the Ontario Arts council is February 16th. Applications must arrive at 151 Bloor Street West (5th Floor) by 5:00 p.m. (8:00 pm if you drop it off in person).

Also, from February 15th until May 1st, you should sign up for Public Lending Rights. It's well worth your while to participate in this - the average earnings per author for last year were $600.

Also, for books set in Toronto, the deadline for consideration for the Toronto Book Awards is March 31st.

Cheers and good luck!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Workshops and Seminars

Just a general query to mystery writers, whether published or aspiring...

What kinds of professional development/seminars/speakers would you be interested in? I'm NOT talking about writing itself (and workshops on things like character development, dialogue, etc.)

What I am thinking about is speakers who can talk about tools of the trade, such as a cop who has worked the beat, a lawyer well-versed in court procedures, a firefighter talking about arson, a parole officer, a gun expert, a computer whiz, a mortician, or....?

What sorts of things would be of interest to you? I remember a panel discussion I once attended where there was a Historian talking about autopsies circa 1900; and a different event with a guest speaker who told us all about poisonous plants (right in our own backyards!!); and there was also an interesting speaker once who was a retired cop - who had spent many years working undercover in organized crime.

So, if you could write up a mystery writer's wish-list, what kinds of learning opportunities would be on it?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Enoch in April

So, it looks good for April! The dates and details are still being confirmed, but the Msytery Event will take place.

The event will spread over two evenings (probably Wednesdays), and will feature three authors on each evening. The authors will each read from their Toronto based whodunits.

Should be fun and I look forward to planning the event!

ALSO: This next event is for charity - the Literacy Council of Durham Region. A 24 hour Read-A-Thon. See details here: