Tag Archives: Labonte Blog

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.

Amanda Labonté at the #LOLANL Writer’s Circle!

template9_flatIn just 14 days at the Arts and Culture Center, local St. John’s author of Call of the Sea Amanda Labonté will be co-hosting the first Engen Writer’s Circle of 2017!

Hosted as a part of the ‘Love Our Local Authors’ month going on all through February at the AC Hunter Public Library, the Writer’s Circle is a round table discussion with four of the indie writing community’s top talents: the people in charge of taking your submissions (Ellen Curtis), an Editor (Erin Vance), the author of more than 15 novels (Matthew LeDrew) and of course Amanda Labonté, the author of Call of the Sea! Continue reading Amanda Labonté at the #LOLANL Writer’s Circle!

Amanda Labonté pens a new ‘Call of the Sea’ story for Fantasy from the Rock!

Amanda LabonteAmanda Labonté has proven herself to be one of the driving forces behind-the-scenes of Engen’s 10-year Anniversary celebration: focused and unyielding, making sure the unique vision of her fiction stays in print and is continued. Her powerful story of intrigue and mystery, set against the backdrop of the Newfoundland coast, has gotten the attention of industry critics and readers alike as a part of a new breed of maritime YA novels — ones that perfectly mix the setting of the Atlantic provinces with the modern storytelling methods she employs, making something fresh, new, and exhilarating.

Labonté brings with her a story set in her ‘Call of the Sea’ narrative, an early tale involving twins Alex and Ben. Continue reading Amanda Labonté pens a new ‘Call of the Sea’ story for Fantasy from the Rock!