Help for Writers


I’m often asked for copies of handouts I use in workshops and presentations.

Drop me a note if you’d like me to send you copies of any of the following. They do not constitute all the discussion and material covered in the presentations, but provide basic info. and content overview.

Feel free to use these as you will for your own work. However if you do distribute them to your students or writing peers, please credit me and my website

  • Miscrosoft WORD for writers – for Surrey Library’s Computer Class series
  • Reverse Outlining – Spreadsheet and Notes  – for SCBWI WestCwic Conference, May 2012 and Port Moody Library. 2018 Reverse Outlining notes2018 Rev Outline chart
  • Story: Process and Product – New West LitFest
  • Ten Ways to Breathe Life into the Germ of an Idea – for the Federation of BC Writers Write at the Beach Event, June .
  • A brief overview of Point of View
  • The Power of Story in Fiction and Nonfiction – Write on the Beach, Federation of BC Writers
  • Voice Lessons – CAA Vancouver Branch


Other Useful Stuff

My website was designed and set up by Kyle Reid of Conceptic Design. Contact him through his website if you’d like him to do the same – or something different – for you. 

There are, of course, hundreds of useful writing websites and list serves for writers at all stages of development. (Writers’ Digest publishes an annual list of the Top 101.) Here’s a handful of the ones I’ve found most useful lately in my own work, and for students in my workshops and classes.

  • Books for Keeps – a comprehensive monthly UK publication about books for young readers. FREE.
  • Darcy Pattison’s Fiction Notes – lots of very useful and innovative tools, structures and processes for developing craft and exploring genres.
  • Dramatica – Although this website claims  “Because it wasn’t based on any pre-existing theories, much of what it has to say can sound pretty unfamiliar…” most of the material here is in fact reiterations of well-established dramatic studies and story development processes. But very useful all them same, especially for those who might benefit from taking a look at story from the inside out.
  • How to Tell a Story – TED Talks. Powerful presentations about stories and storytelling – and the human condition.
  • Library Booklists – when I’m starting to get ideas for a new book, I often try to find books on similiar topics by other writers. This website links to scores of booklists on all kinds of topics.
  • The Other Side of the Story – lots of useful material at Janice Hardy’s website.
  • The Purple Crayon – Harold Underwood is a children’s book editor, and the author of The Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books. His website includes a comprehensive range of articles, links and resources for anyone writing for younger readers.
  • Orca Book Publishers Teachers’ Guides – Professionally written teachers’ guides to support many of Orca’s books.
  • Rhyme Weaver – useful craft information into and insights and writing verse and in rhyme for young readers.
  • How Does Fiction Reading Influence Empathy? An Experimental Investigation on the Role of Emotional Transportation.
  • ThenHier – The History Education Network – “a collaborative network across the diverse fields of history, history education and school history teaching in Canada. It brings together people from across Canada and internationally to inform, carry out, critique, and implement research into history education.”
  • Canadian Children’s Book Centre – The CCBC’s main website has lots of useful material and current info about early literacy, authors and the Canadian literary scene.
  • – A variety of dictionaries, my favourite being Industry Specific Dictionaries as both a curiosity and a tool when I want to write authentically about a specific subject.
  • Your Brain on Books: 10 Things That Happen to Our Minds When We Read

    … and YOUR OWN LBRARY website will include lots of links to reading, resources and other useful material, much of which you would be able to access without necessarily having a library card.