Monday, April 24, 2017

Writers' Open Mic Night, April 20, 2017

The Headwaters Writers' Guild in partnership with the Orangeville Public Library held a Writers' Open Mic Night on Thursday evening. The evening was a huge success as you can see by this photo:

Our esteemed host, Spoken Word Poet and author of 4 published books, Harry Posner opened the evening with a poem he wrote, "From the Crotch of the Invisible World", a rant about the electronic world. Many thanks to Harry for being Mr. Personality.

Harry first introduced Headwaters Writers' Guild founder Nancy Rorke who shared the history of the Headwaters Writers' Guild and emphasized that new members are always welcome.

First up was HWG member Donald Bowles who read from his current work in progress.

Mike and Sandy Bergner have recently moved to Mulmur. Mike read a children's short story, "Child's Fantasy", written by Sandy.

HWG member Judy Zarowny followed with three poems: "My Face Fell Off", "Forfeit" (a sonnet), and "Old Age".

Okssana Crawley made the drive from Brampton to share her series of children's books called "Super Hammy", a box set of 15 teachables which she also illustrated.

Amanda Cirinna read from her children's short story called "Never Eat Spumoni Ice Cream Twice", the moral of which is 'don't make the same mistake twice'.

A brave 14 year old, Vanian, was introduced with her quote, "I used to be a liar but became a writer instead." She read two poems, "Heartbroken" and "Half-Brother".

Our feature reader, U.S.A. Today best selling author and HWG member Diane Bator closed out the first half with a reading from the second novel in her Gilda Wright Mysteries series of novels.

HWG member and Banner columnist Clare McCarthy started the second half of the evening reading a short story he wrote from a group writing prompt. The prompt was "He tied a rope to the bag and lowered it carefully from the second floor window at the back of the old house". The title of the story, "It's In The Bag".

Emma Pink read from her newly published book "It's Going to Be a Really Good Day" about her struggles with bi-polar disorder.

We were then blessed with a second reading from feature author Diane Bator, this time from her yet-to-be-published novel "Steeped in Trouble". This will be Diane's 10th published novel (if I haven't lost count).

Following Diane was Matt Griffin from Collingwood. Matt's writing is a little on the eccentric side. I can only describe his performance as humorous, along the lines of stand-up comedy.

Winston Uytenbogaart read a collection of poems he wrote. This was his first performance and he did great. He read two poems entitled "When I Was Young", "Leonard 11/10/16" in honor of the late Leonard Cohen, "The Red, Red Rose", "Good-Bye Old Molar", "The Festival Roadie Blues", "The Farmer", and "Leo's Song" in honor of his late brother.

M.J. Moores has published a series of novels called The Chronicles of Xannia. She delighted us with her beautiful singing voice in a-capella before reading from "Cadence of Consequences". You can check out her website at

Nancy Rorke returned to the floor to read a short story on her experience surrounding learning to ride a motorcycle.

Our final performance of the night was from former HWG member Jenn Crole who we hope will be returning to the group. She read a poem she wrote called "The Awakening".
(sorry for the poor quality as this picture is a snip from a video)

We would like to thank the Orangeville Public Library for co-hosting this event with us and for providing delicious cookies, fruit and beverages. Added props go out to group Administrator, Patricia Gallant (aka Mary Patricia Bird), pictured here with Diane Bator. She, Harry and Nancy worked hard with the Orangeville Public Library to put this event together. And thanks to Judy Zarowny for providing photography.

Thank you everyone who came out to support our writers. We hope to see you at the next Open Mic event. Stay tuned.

Monday, April 3, 2017

April 2, 2017, Meeting Minutes

We received our posters for the Writers' Open Mic Night (see previous post). They were distributed among members who were willing to post them in establishments around town. 

Harry shared information about the following event: Check this out, then join us on Apr 27th for the grand launch of the newest mouthy zine-kid on the block. The first issue will be available at the event and it's all free! And there'll be ice cream - yum. Come on out and get all coolio social with each other and help us celebrate the newest coolest hippest artsiest edgiest mag-zine in the area.

Sonja led the meeting this week and came with a sheet of "fake" fortune cookie prompts as well as a bag of tasty, crunchy, real fortune cookies.

The prompts - At the end of your meal at a Chinese Restaurant, you receive a fortune cookie. You crack it open to reveal a hand written note that says:

1. He's not who he says he is. Ask Annie.
2. I know it was you.
3. Karma is a bitch sweetheart.
4. Will you marry me?
5. Your food has been poisoned. Call 911!
6. You will be mine.
7. They're holding me prisoner! Call the police!
8. Go to the kitchen for a BIG surprise.
9. Union Station. 2pm Sunday under the big clock. Woman in the red hat.
10. Meet me at Motel 6 at 11 p.m.


Pick a fortune cookie from the bag and write something from the fortune inside.

These prompts generated a lot of creativity among the members present. Some used a prompt from above, some used their cookie prompt, some used both.

Please share your writing on this blog.

Our next meeting is Sunday, April 23, 2017, at 1:30pm. Clare will be leading.
We will see you at the Open Mic Night on Thursday, April 20th, 7pm at the Orangeville Public Library

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Meeting March 19, 2017 Prompts

Writing Prompts, March 19, 2017                                              Judy Zarowny

Across the top of the piece of paper provided, each person will write very brief answers to statement #1, fold it over so it can’t be seen, and pass the paper to the next person, who will write something from statement #2, fold it over and pass it on, and so on to #9 on this page.  When the papers are full, the one you end up with is your writing prompt.

1. Write the name of a would be protagonist, and descriptive one or two word answers to the following—gender, age, physical appearance and condition, current emotional state, job, religious affiliation, financial status.

2.  Give one word descriptions of a place, where the action in the story is taking place—interior, exterior, castle, hovel, city countryside, foreign country or domestic setting, mountains, desert, forest, underground, space ship, at sea, blah, blah, blah etc.

3.  State when this is taking place; past, present future, time of day, month or season, flash back.

4.  Describe something that this protagonist is hiding, either a physical item, or a personality flaw or a recent tragedy.

5. Describe a crisis or emergency happening in the setting, or a challenge regarding the setting.

6.  What one thing does this person want above all else in this situation?

7.  What would this character stand to lose in this situation?

8.  Who is supporting the character?

9.  Who or what is obstructing the character and his or her intentions?

Read over the paper you end up with, and write the first paragraph of your new masterpiece.


 Next Meeting is Sunday, April 2nd
Sonja is leading

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Why I write by Diane Bator

As I titled this short essay I wrote in our last HWG meeting, I chuckled. Memories of essays past when we'd return to school after summer vacation. "How I Spent My Summer."
Why I write is a lot more simple.

Writing to me is like opening a gift at Christmas. The initial idea starts off as a wonderful gift and as I unwrap, the whole thing becomes bigger and sometimes even better.

I've always been a writer, a daydreamer, a story teller. My life revolved around my ability to live a thousand lives and try new things vicariously through books and imagination. (You can see how I spent my summers!)

I'm constantly fascinated with a blank page or a blank canvas that I can create upon. Creating something that was never there before. I love paper and pens. The smell of a crisp new book off the shelf makes me swoon. Even the musty scents of a used bookstore sends my senses reeling.

Yes. I have a love affair with the written word and all of the tools it takes to shape each letter. My inspirations come from my life. My art often imitates my own curiosities.

What if?

What if a tornado hit town?

What if I dove off a cliff into the ocean and met a mermaid? Or a pirate?

What if I met the man of my dreams? (Don't you just love a good fairytale?)

My writing has opened up new worlds for me and introduced me to people I never would have met otherwise. I've done things I might not ever do, just to be able to write about them later. And taken things that have happened and explored them in a fictional way.

I would love to write for money. To be considered a "real" writer, but I need the distractions my life provides. The people and the experiences that shape me and my skills. I'm grateful to have a fun job, great friends, and many fabulous opportunities!

If you're a reader, keep reading.
If you're a writer, keep writing and never give up!!
Many of us have been told to quit. Told not to waste our time.
Follow your heart!!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Prompt Post: And So I Write

And so, I write ...
Dorothy Chiotti

A good swift kick in the proverbial pants got my attention. A boss pulled me aside.

"Get that chip off your shoulder, she demanded. "I see potential, but you're too busy being a victim."

Well, I'm paraphrasing, of course, but it did kind of happen like that. I was in the secretarial pool at the time, and she saw something that I was too blind too see, even though it had been staring me in the face my entire life.

The creative spark. The wordsmith. The writer.

What went wrong? I can tell you what went wrong.

When I was 10 years old, a teacher accused me of plagiarizing a poem. A class assignment to write something about spring. I called mine, "Lambs in Spring." It goes as follows:

Little white balls of beautiful fluff,
Bouncing and prancing and that sort of stuff.
Baaing and whimpering here and there,
Sometimes they'll do nothing but stop and stare.
Crying for mother on a lovely spring day,
Mother comes running; decides to stay.
Bounding and twisting round and round
Looking for something no other lamb's found.

I read it in front of the class.

"Are you sure you wrote this?" he asked.

To my tender 10-year-old heart it was a blow. I was not a liar. I just loved words. But it cut me, and my confidence as a writer sank. Why write if no one would believe my offerings were word-smithed by me?

So, I shrank away from words, and had little confidence in my creativity. Until my boss gave me the wake-up call. The threat to fire me if I didn't get my act together. A difficult conversation was had after an equally difficult weekend of introspection and tears. Was she right? Was there more to me than met my eye?

Evidently so. For she made good and gave me the employee newsletter to design, write and edit. And I thrived in this new aspect of my work. And from there to corporate communications; to marketing; to advertising ~ so that by the time I left the workforce I was a confident writer.

For others.

But what about ... for me? What confidence did I have in revealing my soul to the world. Where was my voice?

Another journey. The inner journey. The quest for my voice. And the only avenue ... to write ~ and write some more. To be bad at it; terrified to share it; get better at it. Scream the words when appropriate. Not the words, the essence.

Can anybody hear me? Does anybody hear me?

Therapy, and lots of it. Getting unstuck from old self-concepts. Old ideas of my worth and how I see myself.

And then the horses. Another wake-up call. The horses reflecting my truth to me and declaring there is room for me; my energy; my truth; my voice.

The active voice.

And so, I write.


Posted on behalf of Dorothy Chiotti:

Dorothy Chiotti recently completed her debut novel, Murder on the High Cs, for which she is actively seeking an agent. She is a member of the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC), and lives in Mono, Ontario, with her husband and myriad four-legged friends. You can see more of her work at