The Writers’ Co-op is a sub-committee that hosts free, public writing workshops at Hart House throughout the academic year. We are student-run and collaborate with Toronto artists, such as Ronna Bloom, Avi Silver, and Sienna Tristen. We also created the Decent Exposure Workshop Series with the English MA Students at the University, which is a learning opportunity for the graduate students and participants alike. Our workshops span many topics, such as world-building, poetry, prose, and short-fiction. Our Come Write With Us! events are also an opportunity for students to gather and work on their writing, be it academic essays or personal projects. Our workshops are a place for learning, exploring, and sharing, and we hope you join us for our upcoming programming! Check us out on our Facebook page for event details and more: https://www.facebook.com/harthousewriterscoop/
More often than not, advice about making a language for your fictional world gets lost in translation. That’s where the good folks of The Shale Project come to the rescue! Sienna Tristen, fantasy author and linguist by training, returned to the Writer’s Co-op with their partner Avi Silver for a brand-new workshop at Hart House. In this workshop, they discussed the benefits and pitfalls of building a language from scratch, and how to effectively use a fictional tongue in your science fiction and fantasy stories.
How do you plug back into your power when you’re running low? Where does the energy come from? Do you need a poetry infusion, a bit of support, a burst of brightness? This poetry workshop focused on taking some time and getting sparked by poetry, and by the actions and ideas of others. Through writing and engaging lightly with words and people, begin again.
Ronna Bloom is a poet and teacher. Her most recent book, The More (Pedlar Press, 2017) was longlisted for the City of Toronto Book Award. Her poems have been recorded by the CNIB, and have been translated into Spanish, Bangla, and Chinese. Ronna created the Poet in Residence program at Sinai Health and is currently the Poet in Community to the University of Toronto.
In this workshop with U of T’s poet-in-community Ronna Bloom, through the use of poems and prompts, participats wrote and reflected on what sustains them, what they love and what they need, taking this time for themselves as a flicker of possibility of how they might take time for themselves in general. Keep an eye out for more workshops with Ronna Bloom coming up!
As part of the Hart House Black Futures series, the Writer’s Co-op Worldbuilding of Wakanda panel with speakers Antoine Bandele, Stephanie Chrismon, and Rashid Mohiddin explored how elements of science fiction and fantasy intersect with African representation, and the way setting interacts with theme in Black Panther.
Ronna Bloom, U of T’s inimitable poet-in-community, held this Writer’s Co-op social in December in order to bring the light in by reading poetry and leading writing exercises. Keep an eye out for more events with Ronna Bloom coming up!
In October, Sienna Tristen, fantasy author and linguist by training, came back with her partner Avi Silver for a brand-new workshop at Hart House. In this two-part series, they discussed the benefits and pitfalls of building a language from scratch, and how to effectively use a fictional tongue in your science fiction and fantasy stories. Visit Avi and Sienna’s own fantasy world and learn more about what they’re doing here: http://www.welcometoshale.com/.
Over the course of three weeks, Writer’s Co-op favorites Avi Silver and Sienna Tristen, creators of multimedia storytelling platform The Shale Project, ran this workshop series focused on navigating the complexities of building a fictional world from the ground-up. They discussed making setting a character, drafting a society’s blueprints, and defining individual characters within the world of a story. Keep an eye out for more fantastic worldbuilding events with Avi and Sienna coming up!
The worldbuilding workshops we hosted in February 2020 were jam-packed with information on the creation of settings, cultures, and entire worlds. Led by authors Avi Silver and Sienna Tristen, we created our own worlds from the ground up, beginning with geography and ending with language. The workshops were joyful and insightful, and prompted us to consider the structures, symbols, and quirks of our own cultures. More worldbuilding is coming next year. Visit Avi and Sienna’s own world called Shale here: http://www.welcometoshale.com/
Poet in Community, Ronna Bloom, has joined us regularly to host our end-of-semester workshops. Her workshops are personal and cathartic, as everyone is encouraged to share and discuss as we move through writing prompts tailored to the workshops’ themes. Sessions are open to the public.