I recently posted a collection of photos from various years of Rosemary Aubert’s writing worksop at the Loyalist College’s Summer Arts. I think I attended 5 years of them until she retired & Loyalist opted not to continue with writing workshops of any sort. Such is life. In fact each year the college was less inviting to the workshop. Starting with the reduction of lunch dining options until lunch was reduced to a Tim’s in the basement.
Besides the other summer arts workshops for the first two years we shared the campus with air cadets who were billeted there while they went to Trenton airbase. It was fun to watch them lining up in uniform to catch their bus there. Also they added to the after class scenery shooting hoops, lining up for the pay phones. I guess to cut costs the cadets were eventually billeted in Trenton.
Rosemary’s class had a core following of crime writers (who went on to form The Mesdames of Mayhem). Some were published already. There were always some newbies. Over the summers I developed friendships with a couple of the Mayhem. Each year there was a different approach to the writing process. Some years the participants were invited to do presentations. I did one on ‘how to give a reading’ as many writers have no idea of how to present their work to a live audience.
In the workshop critiques I learned how to listen to what was said about my work & not to defend my submissions. I was the only out queer male there so I did bring my unique voice to matters of gender & stereotyping. Some were good at copy editing – I would always get one of my submission back with every punctation or typo correction in red ink.
When Rosemary decided to retire from teaching Loyalist opted not to continue with the writers’ workshop module of their summer arts. They did offer one the following year but didn’t get enough registrants so run it. So that was that. Maybe we writers weren’t in the right age demographic for them to pursue 🙂