Creative Writing Workshops

Cracking Open Your Stories

These workshops will be delivered online until further notice. If circumstances change and we are able to resume in-person session, each workshop can be rescheduled for a one-day session.

with Ami Sands Brodoff

This fun and instructive hands-on creative writing workshop takes place online in an encouraging and supportive atmosphere. Participants will learn about the nuts and bolts of writing fiction, including point-of-view, character development, setting, and story structure. They will have the chance to practice these elements with creative writing springboards and to work on their own stories with comments and guidance from the instructor. Work will be shared with the group on a voluntary basis. Brief extracts from Canadian short stories will be shared to point out how writers make characters come alive and build a world. The workshop will conclude with a group reading, questions, and discussion.

Photo: Mikhail Hoch

Ami Sands Brodoff is the award-winning author of three novels and two volumes of stories.  Her latest novel, In Many Waters, grapples with our worldwide refugee crisis. The White Space Between, which focuses on a mother and daughter struggling with the impact of the Holocaust, won The Canadian Jewish Book Award for Fiction (The Vine Award).  Bloodknots, a volume of thematically linked stories, was a finalist for The Re-Lit Award.  Ami has been awarded fellowships to Yaddo, The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Ragdale Foundation, and St. James Cavalier Arts Centre (Malta). The Sleep of Apples, her novel-in-stories is forthcoming in Spring, 2021.


Making the Most of What You Have: How to Tell Your Story

with Joel Yanofsky

This online writing workshop focuses on inspiring participants, young or old, to get in touch with the one story only they can tell – their own. Joel will encourage them to recognize the value of the material they have right in front of them; he will help each participant discover their best-kept secret – their own story. They’ll learn various tools that will help them unlock that secret: strategic use of first-person narrative, how to transform the people in their life into intriguing characters, how to use dialogue, scene and style in writing memoir, and more – all in an honest, respectful and fun setting. Through instruction, handouts, discussion, in-class exercises, and revision, participants will begin to transform their personal memories and experiences into unique and compelling stories everyone will want to read.

Joel Yanofsky headshot
Photo credit: Cynthia Davis

Joel Yanofsky is a two-time winner of QWF’s Mavis Gallant Non-fiction Prize, for Mordecai & Me: An Appreciation of a Kind and Bad Animals: A Father’s Accidental Education in Autism, which was also short-listed for the B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-fiction and long-listed for The Charles Taylor Prize. He’s written for Today’s ParentThe New York Times parenting blog, MotherlodeWalrus, and Canadian Geographic, among numerous other publications. He’s also won the Canadian Jewish Book Award (Mordecai & Me), two National Magazine Awards, and The Malahat Review’s Creative Non-fiction Prize. He’s written two play and his other books include the novel Jacob’s Ladder and the essay collection, Homo Erectus… and Other Popular Tales of True Romance.  


Please visit the main page for more information on StoryScaping: Creative Word-shops for Youth and Seniors, or to fill out a request form for either of these workshops.