Tag Archives: Writing about writing

Make Time to Read | My Writing Process | Distractions

goodreads1One of the oldest clichés when it comes to writing advice is that if you want to write, you need to make time to read and you need to read a lot. I will confirm: yes, yes that’s absolutely true.

It’s entirely subjective evidence, but I find in my own life that when I do hit the rare dry spell writing, I’ve also hit a similar dry-spell reading. Perhaps life is just getting in the way too much. Perhaps I’m reading a particularly lengthy book that I’m not enjoying as much as I’d like and is “bottlenecking” my desire to get back to things. Or perhaps I just find myself seeking other, less engaging forms of media that week. (I enjoy games, the Lego games especially).

All that is fine as a temporary issue, but if you don’t have the discipline to finish a book, how do you expect to have the discipline to… well… finish a book? But it’s more than that. It’s a creative muscle that you’re flexing when you read, and it’s informing how and how well you write. I’ll attempt to break down my experience and the pseudo-science behind it. Continue reading Make Time to Read | My Writing Process | Distractions

#LOLAnl Writer’s Circle a Success!

img_0649The Writer’s Circle event hosted by the AC Hunter Public Library tonight was a great success!

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 was a round table discussion with four of the indie writing community’s top talents: the person in charge of taking your submissions (Ellen Curtis), the author of Call of the Sea (Amanda Labonté ), the author of more than 15 novels (Matthew LeDrew) and  Erin Vance, the author of Song of the Mockingjay and the revolutionary editor behind Sci-Fi from the Rock and Fantasy from the Rock!

The Writer’s Circle aimed to answer any questions about the writing and publishing process, from professionals with a combined 25 years experience in the competitive small-press market.

Engen Books would like to that the AC Hunter Public Library for hosting the event, as well as Amanda Labonté, Erin Vance, and Ellen Curtis for taking part!

Erin Vance at the #LOLANL Writer’s Circle!

009In just 10 days at the Arts and Culture Center, local St. John’s author and editor of of Fantasy from the Rock Erin Vance 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), the author of Call of the Sea (Amanda Labonté ), the author of more than 15 novels (Matthew LeDrew) and of course Erin Vance, the author of Song of the Mockingjay and the revolutionary editor behind Sci-Fi from the Rock and Fantasy from the Rock!The #LOLAnl event has already featuring amazing local Newfoundland talent, such as Glenn Deir, Victoria Barbour, Heather Reilly, and Kevin Major! The Writer’s Circle aims to answer any question you might have about the writing and publishing process, not matter what stage of the process you’re at, from professionals with a combined 25 years experience in the competitive small-press market.

Come and get answers to your questions, meet the authors of some of the province’s most thrilling genre fiction, gets books signed and learn the different avenues to success with writing! Admittance is free, although Arts & Culture encourages calling ahead to reserve seats at: 709-737-3950. The event will be 6:30pm-8pm on Feb 22 2017 at the Arts and Culture Center, 95 Allandale Rd, St. John’s, NL A1B 3A3. To join the Facebook event and get more information, click here.


Erin Vance is an editor and a graduate of the Memorial University of Newfoundland English Honors Program.

Erin wrote her Honors thesis paper, Song of the Mockingjay on exploring the nature of Katniss Everdeen’s agency in Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games series. She is creative, spiritual, and loves reading, writing, and anything to do with words.

Erin is the co-editor of the From the Rock anthology series, which highlights Newfoundland talent in genre writing.

Erin is an editor for Engen Books on a work-for-hire basis and is currently accepting proposals from more editing work in both copy and content from authors of all backgrounds and skill sets, subject to right-to-refusal and prices to be negotiated based on the amount of time each project is estimated to take. Potential authors wishing to work with Erin should write erinvance@engenbooks.com and allow up to four weeks for a response.

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!

Why snow days are the best days (for writing)

Amanda LabonteAs a writer, I think there is something magical about a day when you can stay inside and block out the real world – both figuratively and literally if the snow is halfway up your front door.

Before going further, I do have to confess that I am a winter grinch. When the first hint of frost hits the air, I heartily join in the chorus of ‘not yet’. I refuse to pull out my heavy coat and boots until the snow sticks to the ground. I curse when I am already running ten minutes late and I go outside to find the car needs to be scraped. Again.

But then a day comes when everything closes. When the police ask all cars to stay off the roads. When the convenience stores run out of chips. And, if you are a writer like me and not one of those brave souls who has to work in an ER or 24-hour gas station, those days can be creative perfection. Continue reading Why snow days are the best days (for writing)

Coming Feb 22: Writer’s Circle – Presented by the Arts & Culture Center

Join Amanda Labonté, Ellen Curtis, Matthew LeDrew, and Erin Vance as they discuss writing, the process of getting published, and being small press in Newfoundland as a part of the Arts & Culture Center’s “LOLA: love Our Loal Authors” month! 🙂 Come and get answers to your questions, meet the authors of some of the province’s most thrilling genre fiction, gets books signed and learn the different avenues to success with writing! Admittance is free, although Arts & Culture encourages calling ahead to reserve seats at: 709-737-3950. The event will be 6:30pm-8pm on Feb 22 2017 at the Arts and Culture Center, 95 Allandale Rd, St. John’s, NL A1B 3A3. To join the Facebook event and get more information, click here.

Continue reading Coming Feb 22: Writer’s Circle – Presented by the Arts & Culture Center

Sci-Fi from the Rock welcomes Matthew Daniels!

Also joining the Sci-Fi from the Rock 2016 team is newcomer (and incredible author) Matthew Daniels!

If you attended the open-source book launch for Scott Bartlett’s Finished with Life But Unable to Die, you’re sure to remember Matthew Daniels’s short story about a woman buried alive that brought down the whole house! Writing events are great places to meet other writers and network, and we asked if he’d pen a story for our April 2016 collection right then and there!

Matthew Daniels was hatched in St. John’s, and spent many years stretching his wings between there and Labrador. Once old enough to hunt on his own, he ventured into the realm of the nerd, where he encountered such delights as Sci Fi on the Rock, Magic: The Gathering, and cake pops shaped like piranha plants set in cupcakes coloured like warp pipes. Though he cannot yet breathe fire, he did join the illustrious Sandbox Gaming. Check them out at http://www.sandboxgaming.org.

Matthew brings with him his new short story, Healer’s Hoards.