Writers Workshops and interview with Don Calame

This is our biggest year yet for Writer’s Workshops, we’ve got 5 different sessions lined up for you Friday, February 21st. To purchase all tickets, call (250) 539-3340 or email us at leetrentadue@gmail.com.

  • Audrey Thomas – Writing Short Fiction: Participants will explore the process of writing short fiction. Bring paper and pens, but no electronic devices. Expect to have lots of fun!
  • Marilyn Norry – Writing Women: In this two hour workshop you will experience the writing template used in the project My Mother’s Story to effectively and efficiently capture the essence of your mother’s life
  • Don CalameThe Art Of Screenwriting: How To Write For Film And Television: Learn the basics of plotting and writing a film or television show and then learn how to apply those same techniques in writing just about anything else.
  • Sara CassidyWriting for Children: What makes for an excellent children’s book? What is the difference between YA, MG, picture book and board book? How do I get my book into a publisher’s hands? This two-hour workshop will answer those questions. But best of all, you will dive in and write fresh material.
  • Bill Stenson –Writing the Matrix: The matrix that encourages literary fiction: Language, character, plot. Participants will be instructed on the role of language, character and plot in the creation of literary fiction, have samples presented and will engage in a few short writing exercises that explore the function of these three elements. Students should bring paper and pen.

This year Don Calame joins the Writer’s Workshops and we’re excited to welcome him to Galiano Island

Don Calame is an accomplished screenwriter and the award-winning author of four novels, Swim the Fly (Candlewick Press, 2009), Beat the Band (Candlewick Press, 2011), Call the Shots (Candlewick Press, 2013) and Dan Versus Nature (Candlewick Press, 2016).

Don has written screenplays for Universal Studios, Marvel Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Lions Gate Entertainment, Village Roadshow Pictures and the Disney Channel. He was the screenwriter for Employee of the Month (Lions Gate Films, 2006) and Hounded (Gaylord Films/Disney Channel, 2001). In 2009 the film rights for Swim the Fly were optioned by Paramount Pictures and Don was hired to write the screenplay based on his novel.

Don’s writing awards and nominations include the American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Award, the Nevada Young Reader’s Award, the Michigan Library Association Thumbs Up! Award, IndieBound Kids Next List, and the YALSA Popular Paperbacks Top Ten.

I had a chance to catchup with Don this week and ask him a few question for the blog…

KK – What were you like at school?

DC – I was a very quiet and shy kid in school. I generally had one or two very close friends and that was about it. I always loved to write and remember in 6th grade having a contest with a friend to see who could write the longest book. Not the best book. Just the longest. I liked sports but was never very good at them and definitely never the first to be picked in gym class. I always loved reading but generally it was my mother’s castoffs (horror, mystery, spy novels) and not the things they were asking us to read in school.

In junior high and high school I figured out that being a wise ass and making other kids laugh was a way to make new friends and so that’s where I honed my very high brow and sophisticated sense of humor (cough, cough).

KK – Do you Google yourself?

DC – I used to think that anyone who said they didn’t Google themselves was lying. And I still think that’s true however as I’ve gotten older I find I care a lot less about what everyone else is saying about me and really don’t do it much anymore.

When I first started writing my novels, however, I would Google myself all the time and get very excited when someone would write a good review for my books. But the good reviews (even if they outnumbered the bad by a large margin) could never inoculate me from the one awful review which would cut like a knife and hurt for days. I don’t know what this says about me or human nature that the negative glows so much brighter than the positive but I find that as I’ve (hopefully) matured I don’t let the good reviews get me too excited or the bad reviews get me too down quite as much.

KK – Does writing energize or exhaust you?

DC – Ask me on different days and you will get different answers. When the writing is going well and the pages seem to be writing themselves I feel energized and excited about the project I’m working on and the world seems brighter. But then, the next day, when I read those “self written” pages and realize they are all crap (they’re usually not all crap, but they can seem that way) I get very depressed and it can be draining.

 Writing a novel has to be looked at like running a marathon or climbing a mountain or chose your own giant accomplishment metaphor. If you look at the whole project it can seem daunting and impossible. On the days I am overwhelmed and thinking I am in the middle of the ocean with no shoreline in sight it feels like I might drown before I get to the end. But if I take a breath, relax, and focus on the task at hand (a sentence, a page, a chapter) then I can make a little progress toward the end goal.

Galiano Literary 2019 is February 22-24. Buy your tickets today by contacting (250) 539-3340 or leetrentadue@gmail.com