Thursday, October 12, 2006

Making the Future Friendly for Canadian Writers


Toronto, ON
- October 12, 2006 - Don Oravec, executive director of the Writers' Trust of Canada, announced today the launch of a new Writers' Workshop Program.

The Writers' Workshop Program, made possible by a $31,500 donation from TELUS, aims to develop and maintain an active creative writing community in Canada by encouraging new and experienced writers through interactive workshop sessions that explore different approaches to the art of writing.

Through lectures, writing exercises, and discussion, noted Canadian authors including Janet Lunn, Frances Itani and Charlotte Gray, will facilitate free writing workshops in Canadian libraries.

"The decision to conduct the program in libraries is to connect the public with local writers living in their communities," said Oravec. "Libraries are the hub, the meeting place, a symbol of the converging and appreciation of ideas, culture and literature."

"At TELUS, we know that having this opportunity to learn from, and be inspired by, leading Canadian authors can make an enormous difference in the personal and professional lives of every participant," said Janet Yale, TELUS executive vice-president, Corporate Affairs. "That is why we are delighted to partner with the Writers' Trust and Canadian libraries in launching such an innovative initiative to support the next generation of Canadian writers."

The program launches October 20 at the Ottawa Public Library (Hazeldean Branch) with poet and editor, Rob McLennan, author of a dozen poetry collections, who will conduct an interactive poetry workshop, involving the evaluation and discussion of the work submitted by participants.

"Given the size of the city of Ottawa, it's disappointing to realize the lack of proper creative writing workshops," said McLennan. "Because of this, it seems that much more essential that writers around Ottawa are doing their own, whether through the Writers' Trust or Collected Works Bookstore. We can only have a community through being part of the construction of it."

Three more workshops, to be held at the Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa, will follow:
  • Historical fiction workshop with Janet Lunn (winner of the 1998 Governor General's Award for The Hollow Tree) on October 25, 2006;
  • Fiction workshop with Frances Itani (Deafening) on November 21, 2006;
  • Biography workshop with Charlotte Gray (Reluctant Genius: The Passionate Life and Inventive Mind of Alexander Graham Bell) on December 4, 2006.
Admission to the workshops is free, but interested participants are asked to register as space is limited. For more information please visit

The program plans to expand nationally in 2007, with preliminary sessions in Saskatchewan and Newfoundland in development.

About the Writers' Trust of Canada
Currently celebrating its 30th year in support of Canadian writers and writing, the Writers' Trust of Canada is a national charitable organization providing a level of support to writers unmatched by any other non-governmental organization or foundation. Through its various programs and awards it celebrates the talents and achievements of our country's novelists, poets, and non-fiction writers. The Writers' Trust is committed to exploring and introducing to future generations the traditions that will enrich our common literary heritage and strengthen Canada's cultural foundations.

TELUS is a proud supporter of our communities
In 2005, TELUS contributed more than $11 million in educational, health, arts and charitable organizations across Canada. Consistent with TELUS' commitment to becoming Canada's premiercorporate citizen, over the last five years TELUS and its team members have contributed more than $62 million to a wide range of charitable and non-profit organizations across Canada. By focusing on the areas of arts & culture, education & sport and health & well-being, TELUS is committed to investing in opportunities that include the innovative use of technology and make the future friendly for Canada's youth. To find out how TELUS is working hard in your community, visit us online at

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