The Writers' Union of Canada presents webinars on a range of craft and business topics for writers. Check out what's coming up next, and scroll down to see past webinars. 

All TWUC webinars are closed captioned. Learn more about accessibility at the Union

> Upcoming Webinars

Member Exclusive

Thinking About Your Archives?
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
12 pm PDT / 1 pm MDT, CST / 2 pm CDT / 3 pm EDT / 4 pm ADT / 4:30 pm NDT
60 minutes
Closed captioning available

Free, registration required. Open to TWUC members only.

> This webinar is open to TWUC members only. Click here to access the registration link (member login required).

Back by popular demand! This session was featured at OnWords 2019 in Halifax, and we’re pleased to offer it as a webinar available to all members. 

It’s never too early to start thinking about the future of your past. Library and Archives Canada literary archivist Sarah Hillier will introduce the basic archival principles and cover what’s important to keep, how to maintain and organize your files, how to think about your email and digital files, how to negotiate the donation or sale of your archives, and more. Webinar runs 60 minutes, including a Q&A period hosted by Kevin Chong.

TWUC members who are unable to attend will have access to a recording of the webinar for a limited time.

Photo of Sarah Hillier

Sarah Hillier is a Literary Archivist (English language) at Library and Archives Canada. She has extensive experience dealing with the acquisition and appraisal of published and archival material in the areas of Canadian literature and publishing.

Photo of Kevin Chong

Kevin Chong is the author of six books of fiction and nonfiction, most recently the novel The Plague. Those titles have been named books of the year by The Globe and Mail, National Post, and Amazon.ca, listed for a CBC prize, a BC Book Prize, and a National Magazine Award, optioned for film and TV, and published in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. His creative nonfiction and journalism have recently appeared in the Guardian, the Times Literary Supplement, the Rumpus, and the South China Morning Post. He lives in Vancouver with his family and teaches at the University of British Columbia and the Writers Studio at Simon Fraser University.

> Past Webinars

How to Be Your Own Editor with Farzana Doctor

Saturday, May 9, 2020
90 minutes

Closed captioning available

Learn tips and tricks to edit and revise your manuscript, view your work with fresh perspective, and work with feedback from others. Webinar runs 90 minutes, including a Q&A period.

Photo of Farzana Doctor Farzana Doctor is the Toronto-based author of four novels: Stealing Nasreen, Six Metres of Pavement (which won a 2012 Lambda Literary Award and was shortlisted for the 2012 Toronto Book Award and was the One Book One Brampton 2017 winner), All Inclusive (a Kobo and National Post Best Book of the Year), and Seven, which will be released later this year. She is also an activist, part-time psychotherapist, and amateur tarot card reader.


Getting Paid Through PLR

Tuesday, May 26, 2020
30 minutes
Closed captioning available

The Public Lending Right (PLR) Program, which compensates creators for the use of their work in libraries, paid out more than $14.7 million to Canadian authors this year. Join TWUC’s Executive Director John Degen to learn more about eligibility for this program and how you can sign up for payments. John will be joined by PLR Program Manager Peter Schneider for a Q&A about how the PLR Program is managing during COVID-19. Webinar runs 30 minutes. 

All writers are encouraged to visit publiclendingright.ca for more detailed information on the program. Deadline to register your print books, ebooks, and audiobooks with PLR is June 30, 2020.

Go Digital or Go Home: Author Promotion in the Social Media Era
Tuesday, June 9, 2020
60 minutes
Closed captioning available.

How do you win new readers and keep them engaged? In conversation with TWUC’s Chair Anita Daher, join Marty Chan as he shares his approach to connecting with potential new readers in the digital world. Learn the dos and don’ts of promoting yourself online. Webinar runs 60 minutes, including a Q&A period.

Photo of Marty Chan

Marty Chan writes books for kids, plays for adults and tweets for fun. He’s best known in theatre for his hit comedy Mom, Dad, I’m Living with a White Girl. He was a regular contributor to CBC Radio with his Dim Sum Diaries humour commentaries and radio plays. In children’s publishing he wrote the popular Marty Chan Mystery series and the Ehrich Weisz Chronicles. Marty works and lives in Edmonton, Alberta with his wife Michelle and their cat Buddy. Marty's newest YA novel, Haunted Hospital, will be available online this July. You can learn more about Marty on his website (www.martychan.com), follow his snarky tweets @Marty_Chan, or subscribe to his YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/martychanauthor).

Photo of Anita Daher

Anita Daher is an author, community television producer, and actor based in Winnipeg, MB. She has been entrenched in the book publishing industry since 1995 and has fifteen books published in print, audio and e-book format in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Anita is the current Chair of The Writers' Union of Canada (TWUC). When not word wrangling she enjoys inhabiting characters on stage and screen.

Self-Care for Writers with Chelene Knight
Saturday, June 27, 2020
60 minutes
Closed captioning available.

Learn how to adapt your writing practice during trying times. In conversation with Jen Sookfong Lee, Chelene Knight will share tools and strategies for infusing self-care and mindfulness into your daily artistic practice. The discussion will also explore how to build community within a community. Webinar runs 60 minutes, including a Q&A period.

Photo of Chelene KnightPhoto: Katherine Holland

Chelene Knight is the author of the poetry collection Braided Skin and the memoir Dear Current Occupant, winner of the 2018 Vancouver Book Award, and long-listed for the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature. Her essays have appeared in multiple Canadian and American literary journals, plus Globe and Mail, the Walrus, and Toronto Star. Her work is anthologized in Making Room, Love Me True, Sustenance, The Summer Book, and Black Writers Matter. The Toronto Star called Knight, “one of the storytellers we need most right now.” Knight was the previous managing editor at Room (2016- June 2019), and programming director for the Growing Room Festival (2018, 2019), and now CEO of #LearnWritingEssentials and Breathing Space Creative. She often gives talks about home, belonging and belief, inclusivity, and community building through authentic storytelling. Knight is currently working on Junie, a novel set in Vancouver’s Hogan’s Alley, forthcoming in 2020. She was selected as a 2019 Writers' Trust Rising Star by David Chariandy.

Jen Sookfong Lee was born and raised in Vancouver’s East Side, and she now lives with her son in North Burnaby. Her books include The Conjoined, nominated for International Dublin Literary Award and a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, The Better Mother, a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award, The End of EastGentlemen of the Shade, and Chinese New Year. Jen teaches at The Writers’ Studio Online with Simon Fraser University, edits fiction for Wolsak & Wynn, and co-hosts the literary podcast, Can’t Lit

Taxes for Writers
Wednesday, July 8, 2020
60 minutes
Closed captioning available.

Tune in for a session that promises to demystify the tax system for freelance writers and artists. Tova Epp of Artbooks, Canada’s first organization dedicated to tax preparation and consultation for artists, will cover bookkeeping, filing deadlines and responsibilities, HST, grants, and dealing with the CRA. Webinar runs 60 minutes, including a Q&A period hosted by Julia Lin.

This webinar is intended to provide general information and advice. We encourage all members to consult a professional and/or seek CRA advice for specific questions, including questions about emergency relief measures during COVID-19.

Exclusive for TWUC Members: Access a recording of the full webinar for a limited time. If you are a member, click here to access the recording until August 10, 2020 (member login required).

Photo of Tova Epp

Tova Epp is a tax preparer/actor/wildlife rehabilitator-in-training. She’s been working at Artbooks, the cosy tax office for artists, for 12 years, preparing the tax returns of many diverse and exciting artists from across the country. She holds a BFA with Distinction from Concordia University.

Photo of Julia Lin

Julia Lin was born in Taiwan and immigrated to Canada at the age of nine. Mentored by M.G. Vassanji in the Humber Creative Writing Program, her publications include a collection of short stories, Miah; an anthology, AlliterAsian: Twenty Years of Ricepaper Magazine; and a biography, Shadows of the Crimson Sun: One Man’s Life in Manchuria, Taiwan, and North America. She holds a M.Sc. in Immunology and a post-graduate degree in computing education, and teaches high school math in Vancouver, BC. She is a former board member of the Vancouver Public Library, the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop, and just completed a four-year term as Treasurer of The Writers’ Union of Canada. More information is available at julialinbooks.com.

7 Quick Emotions-Based Strategies to Help Your Writing
Saturday, July 25, 2020
60 minutes
Closed captioning available.

It’s easy to feel blocked, stuck, or simply discouraged about our writing every now and then. In this webinar, Farzana Doctor, author and psychotherapist, will teach you quick and easy emotions-based strategies that will reinvigorate your writing practice. Webinar runs 60 minutes, including a Q&A period hosted by Tanya Boteju.

Bonus Material: Check out the article "Feeling Too Blah to Write?" by Farzana Doctor, written to accompany this webinar. 

Exclusive for TWUC Members: Access a recording of the full webinar for a limited time. If you are a member, click here to access the recording until August 25, 2020 (member login required).

Farzana Doctor is the Toronto-based author of four novels: Stealing NasreenSix Metres of Pavement (which won a 2012 Lambda Literary Award and was shortlisted for the 2012 Toronto Book Award and was the One Book One Brampton 2017 winner), All Inclusive (a Kobo and National Post Best Book of the Year), and Seven, which will be released later this year. She is also an activist, part-time psychotherapist, and amateur tarot card reader.

Photo: Jennifer Ivings

Tanya Boteju is a teacher and writer living on unceded Coast Salish territories (Vancouver, BC). She spends much of her life in a classroom, teaching English to clever and sassy young people. Her novel, Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens (Simon & Schuster, 2019), was named an Indie Top 10 Pick of the Summer by the American Booksellers Association, a starred review on Shelf Awareness, and a Top Teen Book of 2019 by Indigo. Her work appeared in the short story anthology Out Now (Inkyard Press) and her next YA novel, Bruised, is due out with Simon & Schuster in 2021. Tanya is grateful for her patient wife, supportive family and friends, committed educators, cheeky students, and hot mugs of tea. She hopes to continue contributing to the ever-growing, positive representation of diverse characters in literature.