I’m not sure how I missed the call for this short story/poetry competition put on by The Ontario Book Publishers Organization. I was probably busy with my manuscript as I should be. But, when I saw an ad for a set of free workshops and a reading of the winning works not far from home, I decided to head over and check it out.
I’m not sure what I was expecting. Something bigger, I suppose. The Etobicoke event was held at The Assembly Hall which I hadn’t been to before. I thought I’d be sitting in the dim light of a sizable auditorium where I could quietly blend into the audience and watch and find out more about the local writers.
Instead, we sat at tables in a small classroom and we did writing exercises and participated with the instructors and, although I wasn’t expecting to be so much on display, I was happy I went.
I like the challenge of following a prompt for an unexpected bit of writing. Like my snapshots, it gets me going.
I wish the workshops were longer – they were only about thirty minutes a piece – but I did manage to conjure up a little scene:
It looks like all of the other houses on the hill – red brick, worn away at the corners, bricks missing like baby teeth – old sash windows painted over, forced open in the summer heat, held up with books – the screen door ripped open which is how the bat got in in the first place.
I left as soon as the winners finished reading their stories, feeling awkward once there was no set structure. I’ve always been bad at that part. The introductions, the small talk, searching for questions to ask and answers to give.
Tomorrow morning, I’m going to a writer’s breakfast meeting not far from here. I’m going alone. I imagine I’ll feel awkward and lonely and probably run out right after but I’m going to go anyway. I have to start finding my way into this new world. I’ll let you know how it goes.