All posts by amandalabonte

NaNoWriMo – Are you ready for this?

I may not be ready for this.

Confession time: I have never participated in NaNoWriMo.

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Preparing to stay caffeinated and hydrated. 

There’s no singular reason I have never taken on the task of writing a complete novel in the month of November. It’s just the way things worked out for me. Early on, before I was published, I was developing a regular routine and NaNo wasn’t part of that. More recently, I’ve been in the middle of editing or redrafting projects so the timing was off.

But this year it all changes.

Why is this year so different? Is it because I found a NaNo community that I think will inspire me? Is it because I really want the experience of throwing myself into my art for a month?

Is is because I have a deadline coming up and I am contractually obligated to finish a draft by December?

It’s all those things.

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Got the candy all ready.

So once the trick-or-treaters are done this evening, I am taking the left-over candy and going into full writer mode. If anyone needs to talk to me about anything else, it’ll have to wait for December.

Good luck fellow writers. Happy writing!

If you too are jumping into the NaNoWriMo pool, find me online at nanowrimo.org/participants/amlabonte.

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Mischief managed: SciFi on the Rock update | Amanda Labonté

I was asked to write an update about my experience at SciFi on the Rock last weekend, but where do I even start?

For someone who had never attended the convention in full, I think the biggest surprise for me was how fast the time flew.  I thought the hours at the tables would creep by. But three days have never gone so quickly.

Going back and forth between the Writer’s Alliance of NL (WANL) community table and the Engen Books table in the vendor room, I got to meet and connect with so many readers and writers. I have always believed speculative fiction readers are some of the most devoted in existence and, after last weekend, I am even more convinced. The enthusiasm from the attendees truly made the conference for me. Continue reading Mischief managed: SciFi on the Rock update | Amanda Labonté

Blog interview on The Kronicles of Korthlundia | Amanda Labonté

I was lucky enough to be featured on writer Jamie Marchant’s blog, The Kronicles of Korthlundia. I got to talk about my inspiration for Call of the Sea and answered some interesting questions about speculative fiction.

Check out the interview at http://jamie-marchant.blogspot.ca/2017/03/guest-author-amanda-labonte.html

International Women’s Day and the entrepreneurial spirit

I wrote a post on my Facebook page recognizing the business women in my life and, particularly, my mom. I was asked to share those thoughts (with a bit more detail) here on the Engen blog. I hope you enjoy!

In honour of International Women’s Day I wanted to recognize the female entrepreneurial role models in my life, particularly my mom.

In my other day job, the one where I am not writing fiction, I own a business with my mom. We started out from almost nothing to build a business that employs over a dozen full and part-time employees (not including ourselves) and deals with over one hundred clients a day. But this isn’t a blog about our awesome business skills, this is a blog about getting a seat at the business table.

One of the most important lessons I got from my mom is that if no one will give you a seat at the table, then you need to build your own table. There are more men building tables, and often they get better seats at the table and that’s the more reason we need women to get involved. Especially minority women and women on the fringes either because of age, social standing, or other factors.

I feel like starting a business is a highly creative endeavour. And like other creative pursuits, it’s a richer experience when there’s a greater diversity of voices.

But starting a business is hard and I am not trying to make it sound easy. There are all sorts of barriers. I guess all I am trying to do is recognize the good work the women around me are doing and hope we can all support each other. Even if it’s just to say: “Good job!”

I don’t want it to be business as usual anymore, not when, if we all have a seat at the table, it can be business as extraordinary.

Writing marathons: Don’t take my word for it

I’m pretty excited about hosting a writing marathon in the St. John’s region this coming June. But while this is an easy sell for me, it may seem a little daunting for some. That’s why I decided to do an interview with writer Kaarina Stiff about her experiences with novel writing marathons.

Kaarina is a full-time writer and editor living in Ottawa, ON.  She has participated in three novel writing marathons and was the Young Adult category winner in the Toronto Novel Marathon in both 2015 and 2016. She was gracious enough to answer a couple of questions about the process so that I could share her experiences with potential participants. Continue reading Writing marathons: Don’t take my word for it

Cinders review by Amanda Labonté

Cinders - novel“Set in the extreme heat of a Los Angeles summer, Cinders fairly sizzles with mystery and crime drama. With great attention to detail, Matthew LeDrew tells a tale that deals not only with good and evil, but also the gray area in between. Weaving through multiple perspectives, the story culminates in a satisfying conclusion that leaves the reader wanting more from these characters. A great addition to any thriller library.”


Amanda LabonteAmanda Labonté lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where she gets much of the inspiration for the characters and places about which she writes. Though she knew she wanted to be a writer since the eighth grade, it was many years before she finally walked into a creative writing class and found a new home. As the co-owner of an educational business and mother of two she spends much of her day with kids of all ages. They give her some of the best reading recommendations.

The 48-Hour Novel Writing Marathon

This June, a growing number of participants from the writing and business communities, are working on a novel writing marathon for writers and would-be writers in the St. John’s region!

Two years ago I attended a writing conference in Orillia, Ontario. I really enjoyed attending workshops and networking with other writers, but one of the things that really stuck with me was all the talk about novel writing marathons.

Prior to this conference, I had never heard of a novel writing marathon. Maybe you haven’t either. A novel writing marathon is pretty much what it sounds like. Writers gather under one roof and work on a brand new manuscript for a period of time (in this case 48 hours). The participants can work straight through, take a break and go home, or sleep under a desk. The only rule is that the work submitted at the end must have been completed during the marathon.

Now, other than 48 hours of dedicated writing, what’s in it for the writer? Well, at the end of the marathon, all participants are encouraged to submit their working manuscripts to a team of judges. Not only will you get feedback on your work, the winner will also get a chance to submit their full, completed manuscript to a publisher!

Who is the marathon aimed at? Any writer or potential writer who is looking for an opportunity to get a good start on a manuscript, wanting to network with other writers or looking for a break in the writing industry. The winner will be announced at a special event in August (announcement coming soon!) . All participants will be invited.

The cost for participation in this event is a charitable donation to the event’s chosen not-for-profit (TBA). There is no set minimum, so whatever amount you can get in sponsorship from family and friends will be enough.

Sound interesting? Join the Facebook event for updates and announcements, including when to register. facebook.com/…/amandalabontewrites/events

Hope to see you there!

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