StoryScaping Workshops

The workshops can be delivered in a one-day format in person or via Zoom. Virtual workshops will be delivered over 3 sessions of 2 hours or 4 sessions of 90 minutes.

Once you have read through the workshop descriptions, please visit the main StoryScaping page to fill out the Workshop Request Form. You may indicate a first and second choice. You will be contacted by the Project Manager within 7 days of your request.

Each workshop leader has a particular specialty, ranging from poetry to storytelling, comic book writing to spoken word; however, most workshops are flexible and can be adapted to your group’s needs. All workshops will involve some element of creative writing.

Poetry & Zine-Making for Self-Expression

with Jessica Bebenek

Photo: Joanna Gigliotti

Have you ever wanted to share your writing with like-minded people, but weren’t sure how? This workshop will explore writing poetry and making zines (do-it-yourself mini-books) as creative, accessible ways for anyone to tell their story and find community through self-expression. Participants will leave the workshop with new writing and their very own zine, which they can easily and affordably reproduce to share with friends, family, and other zinesters.

We’ll begin with accessible, generative writing exercises which focus on embodiment and tuning-in to our senses as a gateway for writing poetry. Next, we’ll experiment with playful forms of visual poetry including collage and erasure. Armed with these skills, participants will then craft their very own multi-media x-zine in which they tell their story through collaged words and images. Last, I will demystify the world of DIY publishing and share resources so that participants can go out and share their creations.

This workshop is tailored to participants’ needs and abilities, and participants will have opportunities to give feedback and share their writing goals throughout the workshop. All materials will be provided, but participants are invited to bring their own notebook, pen, and collage supplies.

Jessica Bebenek is a queer, chronically ill poet and bookmaker who loves to experiment with texture & language. She has taught numerous workshops on poetry, bookmaking, collage, and printmaking to diverse groups including autistic youths, children in underserved schools, seniors in rural areas, and students at Concordia University’s Centre for Expanded Poetics where she serves as a coordinator. Her award-winning work includes seven chapbooks & zines, most recently I Remember the Exorcism, a lyric long poem; What is Punk, a DIY zine/poster; and k2tog, a book of knitting patterns for poems. Website:

Speak Up and Rap On: How to Find Your Voice and Make It Heard

with Shanthony Exum

Photo: Shanthony Exum

Rapping is a creative outlet that’s accessible to everyone, and it will encourage you to let your inner star shine! Rap is poetry set to music, and you don’t have to be a great singer to do it. With simple techniques, we will turn your ideas into music and have fun along the way! By the end of the workshop, you and your classmates will create a group song expressing your inner thoughts and perform it with confidence.

Whether you want to impress your friends, surprise your grandkids, or try something new, this workshop is for you. It’ll be a lively session filled with laughing, clapping, and rapping, and it is suitable for all ages—from the young to the young at heart.

Shanthony Exum, also known by the stage name Miss Eaves, is a Montreal-based multimedia artist. Having toured extensively throughout North America and Europe, her music has been featured on popular shows on HBO and Netflix. Exum is passionate about celebrating confident femmes and non-binary individuals, using her art to advocate for feminist issues, sexual liberation, self-love, and environmental causes. Her work, particularly her music, has been praised by notable publications such as The New York Times, NPR, Billboard, New York Magazine, Elle, Glamour, Jezebel, and more. Her hit single “Thunder Thighs” has become a viral sensation, earning its place on lists of feminist anthems alongside legendary artists such as Beyoncé.

Write a Children’s Story!

with Kate Lavut

Photo: Johnnie Bertocchi

No previous experience required! Through exercises and games we will develop a story for you to tell. Whether it be a story you wish you’d heard as a child, one you experienced yourself and want to share, one your grandmother told you when you were little, or one you want to present to your own grandchild, this workshop will help you get it down on paper.

Through playful exercises, the participants are eased gently into the art of children’s story writing. They’ll be encouraged to share their work with each other and give and get feedback in a courteous and thoughtful way. Each participant will leave with either a completed children’s story of their own, or a solid outline to continue at home.

Kate Lavut is the author and illustrator of the graphic novel Chico, a true tale of the time she dressed as a boy, jumped on a bus, and went to Mexico. Chico was featured at TCAF, Toronto Comics Arts Festival, and was a finalist for the Quebec Writers’ Federation Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature. Lavut has recently written and produced her play A Little Bit Pregnant at Fringe Montreal and was a finalist for the Most Promising Emerging Artist Award. She is currently at work on her new children’s story I Love You with No Hair

I Remember: A Storytelling Workshop on Place and Memory

with Erin Lindsay

In this workshop, participants will write three monologues or prose poems through a series of collaborative and independent writing and creation prompts rooted in memory, place, character, imagination, and visual information. The first two monologues will emerge out of creation prompts based on photographs participants bring in from their past and present with an emphasis on personifying setting, and on developing the inner life of a character. The last monologue/poem will be anchored in hope for the future connected to the place and people in the photographs. There will be opportunities to collaborate and find new avenues for creation and writing that are grounded, intimate and surprising. The workshop will culminate in a reading of one of the monologues created by each participant followed by a feedback and response session. This workshop is an opportunity to write in a visual, authentic way, exploring the innovation and joy possible through collaboration with others, while building trust and confidence in your own unique voice, interests and style.

Erin Lindsay is a writer/creator interested in live performance, hybrid forms, and digital storytelling.  Erin holds an MFA in Creative Writing (UBC), a Graduate Degree in Communications (Concordia), and a BA in Theatre and Ethics (University of Ottawa). She works as a writing coach and dramaturg for Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal, and as an educator and workshop facilitator for youth and adults in various communities across Montreal. She has performed at the Banff Centre for the Arts, the NAC, and Monument National, and her writing work has appeared at Saw Gallery, ChamberFest, The Rialto Theatre, and more. Erin is currently working on two multi-media live performance works, a poetry collection and a novel.

Write Your Story: Connecting with Others Through the Power of the Personal Essay

with Julie Matlin

Photo: Eva Blue

Do you have a story you’ve been wanting to tell? An experience or event, big or small, that made an impact on your life or changed you in some way? The Write Your Story workshop invites you to learn the basics of the personal essay, a true story told in first person that is unique to you but holds resonance for a larger audience. The form uses techniques drawn from both fiction and nonfiction writing, enabling you to bring your story alive with scenes and sensory details. Participants of all skill levels are welcome. Whatever your skill set, you will be asked to dig deep for material, as this is the perfect genre for self-exploration and discovery.

After some exercises in generating ideas, you will learn how to structure, outline, and produce a first and second draft of your essay. The workshop will consist of instruction and prompts to encourage in-session generative writing. Suitable for participants aged 15–99 years old.

Julie Matlin is a writer based in Montreal with pieces appearing in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Chatelaine, The Globe and Mail, Huffington Post, CBC, and other publications. She currently has two screenplays in development, is working on an essay collection about Judaism and identity that is being supported by a Canada Council for the Arts grant and is teaching a writing course for seniors. She has a weakness for puppies and the music of Jack White. You can follow her on twitter @jmatlin.

Comics Are for Everyone!

with Ev Ricky

Photo: Prudence Gendron

This hands-on comic art workshop will take participants of any age through a series of exercises designed to loosen up, stretch the muscles involved in marrying image and text, and explore the unique storytelling possibilities this genre can offer, towards the final project of a completed single-page comic spread. The workshop will be fast-paced and fun. It is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests, skill sets, and learning styles. People who are new to drawing or approaching it seriously for the first time, as well as experts who are looking to zhuzh up an existing practice, should equally benefit from this rigorous yet approachable comic workshop.

Ev Ricky (they/them/theirs) is an artist, writer and cultural worker based in Tio’tia:ke (“Montreal”). Their work in comics, poetry, painting and kinetic sculpture explores speculative text-image relations, embodiment, and access intimacies. Ev’s art, writing and curatorial work centres imaginative flight, humour, and astonishment as critical strategies, and is deeply rooted in play. Ev’s work has been published by Stacked Deck Press, CV2, and Entrails Magazine, exhibited at Ada X Artist Run Centre, the Union Gallery, Modern Fuel Artist Run Centre, and reviewed in TheatreForum. They have also recently independently published and produced a short anthology of visual art and writing on the theme of image-text relations by emerging Montreal-based artists and writers.

Life Stories: A Writing Workshop!

with Marcia Walker

Photo: Jonah Walker-Sherman

Every life is filled with enriching and compelling stories. This is the chance to put those stories on paper. Whether you are eighty or eighteen, this is a workshop designed to give voice to your experiences and map them into stories.

In a nourishing and supportive environment, participants will be guided through different ways of writing about their lives. We will begin by discussing names and origin stories. Through free writing, participants will uncover details, objects, and sensory memories that are distinctive to them. An additional segment in the workshop will explore place and an exercise on mapping your childhood.

No prior writing experience is necessary. This is a space to have fun, begin to shape your life stories and share your distinct voice on paper.

Marcia Walker’s writing has appeared in Electric Literature’s Recommended Reads, The Chicago Review, The New Quarterly, Fiddlehead, The New York Times, PRISM international, Room, EVENT, The Globe and Mail, CBC radio, and elsewhere. She has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, PRISM’s fiction and non-fiction prize, and the Writers’ Union of Canada short prose competition. Her plays have been part of Nightwood Theatre’s Groundswell festival and the F.O.O.T. festival. Before becoming a writer Marcia worked in theatre and as a lawyer.

Request a Workshop Today!

Fill out the workshop request form below to get started. Once you’ve submitted it, we’ll contact you within seven days.

StoryScaping Workshop Request Form

1. Select your first and second choices of workshop:

Please consult the list above for individual workshop descriptions.

2. Tell us about the workshop you want to host:

Once you submit your form, you will receive a confirmation email within 7 days.