Category Archives: Workshops

A Quick Killing: Writing the Mystery Short Story

When and where

When: Monday November 7, 2016 at 6:15-8:15 p.m.
WhereAlta Vista Branch, Ottawa Public Library, 2516 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa

Join us as Melanie Fogel, editor of Triptych Tales, presents an overview of the fundamentals of mystery short story writing. Register on the Ottawa Public Library website under the Programs and events tab.
Melanie Fogel has spent over thirty years in & around publishing.  She was a fiction editor for Storyteller, Canada’s Short Story Magazine for fifteen years.  Her work has been published in a variety of magazines and anthologies. 
Melanie was nominated for an Arthur Ellis Award in 2006.  She is the author of two books, The Storyteller Fiction Writer’s Companion and The Storyteller Fiction Writers Workbook.

Get the scoop on self-publishing at OPL

The Ottawa Public Library and Capital Crime Writers are joining forces to bring in industry experts to help you publish your work,  boost sales, use social media effectively, and choose an editor.

When and where

When: Saturday, October 24, 2015, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Where: Ottawa Public Library, Main Auditorium, 120 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa, ON
Sponsors: Capital Crime Writers and the Ottawa Public Library

Speakers and schedule

10 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Self-Publishing via Kobo Writing Life

Mark Leslie Lefebvre

Mark Leslie Lefebvre

Have you heard all the hype about self-publishing? Interested in checking it out but not sure where to start or whether it’ll be worth it? In a two hour session, Kobo’s Director of Self-Publishing & Author Relations, Mark Leslie Lefebvre will describe the current state of the publishing industry, including the many different options available for authors. In the first hour, he’ll summarize various traditional publishing options and describe what types of author projects might be best geared towards indie publishing.

In the second hour, Mark will offer advanced tips and advice for authors who are already self-publishing and are looking to increase their sales across multiple sales channels. He’ll also provide specific strategies that will help authors maximize their global sales via Kobo.

About Mark
Mark Leslie Lefebvre oversees Kobo Writing Life in his role as Kobo’s Director of Self-Publishing & Author Relations. He draws upon three decades worth of bookselling and personal writing experience in this insightful, informative and entertaining presentation. Mark also is published in non-fiction and horror fiction under the name Mark Leslie.

1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. – Doing Social Media the Right Way

Linda Poitevin

Linda Poitevin

It’s pretty much a given that authors need to be on social media these days, but if you’re subjecting your followers to a constant barrage of “buy my book,” you may be doing your marketing efforts more harm than good. Join local author and social media enthusiast Linda Poitevin for a look at how to maximize your online presence the right way – and pick up some new social media marketing tips along the way.

About Linda
Linda Poitevin is a writer possessed of both a light side and a dark one. On the dark side, she’s the author of the Grigori Legacy, an urban fantasy series featuring a hard-as-nails cop caught up in the war between Heaven and Hell. In her lighter moments, she writes the sweet and funny Ever After contemporary romance series.

2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. – Editing for Self-Published Authors

As an author who has self-published multiple books, Linda Poitevin knows firsthand how expensive self-publishing can be—and how tempting it can be to skip certain steps in taking your book to market. She also knows all the reasons why a professional edit should never be one of those skipped steps. Drawing on experience and observation, Linda will share with you why the all-important edit is so important, and offer suggestions on where to look for an editor that will fit with your needs and your budget.

Stacey D. Atkinson

Stacey D. Atkinson

Do you need an editor for your self-published book? In this panel session local editor Stacey D. Atkinson will discuss the four types of editing, costs, time frames, and resources available to you. She’ll also describe the role of the editor versus the role of the author/publisher. Learn about the editorial process followed by a question and answer period.

About Stacey
Stacey D. Atkinson is a freelance editor and award-winning author. She began Mirror Image Publishing in 2012 with a goal to offer writing, editing, and publishing services to authors, bloggers, and the business community. Previously, Stacey spent over a decade working for the federal government in the areas of sustainable development and arts funding. Stacey is a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association and a board member of Editors Canada.

Brenda Chapman announced as Arthur Ellis finalist

Brenda Chapman is a finalist for an Arthur Ellis award in the novella category.

Brenda Chapman

Chapters on Rideau Street hosted a panel of CCW authors on Thursday, April 24 where it was later announced that Brenda Chapman is a finalist for the Arthur Ellis award for her novella, My Sister’s Keeper.

CB Forrest moderated the author panel consisting of  Chapman, Barbara Fradkin, RJ Harlick and Michael McCann. At the end of the evening, Mary Jane Maffini, who MC’d the event, announced the short lists for the Crime Writers of Canada’s Arthur Ellis Awards. Congratulations Brenda!



Capital Mayhem featuring Peter Robinson and Ottawa authors

Capital Mayhem, our upcoming mystery conference on Saturday, May 10, 2014 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ottawa Public Library Main Branch features Peter Robinson, author of the Inspector Banks mystery series.

This free event includes panel discussions starring well-known Ottawa mystery authors,  including those listed on the poster (below) and more, and a free lunch for the first 100 registrants. To register, email:

Capital Mayhem Poster - email




Publishing workshop April 12

111 Publishing is hosting an Ottawa workshop on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at the Emerald Plaza branch of the Ottawa Public Library at 1547 Merivale Road. The workshop runs from 9:15 a.m. to 1 p.m., followed by one-on-one consultations with participants.

The cost is $79. If you register by April 5, you save $20. Learn more here.

Book swap and a peek at the Capital Mayhem lineup

Give some mystery; get some mystery, and learn about our Capital Mayhem conference!

Bring some books; get some books, and learn about our Capital Mayhem conference!

Does your mystery collection need a refresh? Are there old favourites lying around collecting dust and in need of a good home?

Head on over to this month’s Capital Crime Writers’ meeting where members can pass along books and get some new ones to hibernate with during this interminable winter.

Bring your appetite too because free pizza is on the roster.

The meeting is Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 6:45 p.m. in the Honeywell Room at Ottawa City Hall. Chat to fellow members about beloved authors, compelling characters, crime, new authors to watch, or even share information about mysteries you’re writing. Elections will also be held for the 2014-15 CCW executive. Non-members are welcome.

Our president Michael Murphy will also share information about Capital Mayhem, our upcoming mystery conference on Saturday, May 10, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ottawa Public Library Main Branch.

This free event features Peter Robinson, author of the Inspector Banks mystery series. Attend panel discussions starring well-known Ottawa mystery authors, and chow down on a free lunch. Stay tuned.

Crime fiction goes south–to Florida

CCW members R.J. Harlick, C.B. Forrest, and Vicki Delany head south to meet with fans from Florida.

CCW members R.J. Harlick, C.B. Forrest, and Vicki Delany head south to meet with fans from Florida.

Our CCW Florida satellite team (AKA Ken Gibson)  arranged for three lauded crime fiction writers (and CCW members): Vicki DelanyR.J. Harlick, and C.B. Forrest to appear as featured guests at the

This writerly trio will be appearing at the Lake County Library System’s 11th annual Lake BookFest, Delicious Reads event from March 13-15, 2014. Lake County is situated north of Orlando.

These authors will be appearing at the BookFest:

On Thursday, March 13 from 1 – 3:30 p.m for “Northern Exposure: Canadian Crime Fiction”  at the Leesburg Public Library. This event will introduce new works and exciting news.

On Friday, March 14 at 1 p.m.  for “Across the Border” at the W. T. Bland Public Library in Mount Dora. The authors will discuss the differences in the crime genre from a Canadian perspective.
On Saturday, March 15 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. to lead a  writing workshop on “The Art of Character – Creating Memorable Characters” at the Cooper Memorial Library  in Clermont.

For more information about their Florida appearances, see this news release.

Writing Workshops at OPL – Publishing, fiction writing

The Ottawa Public Library is holding a series of writing workshops in April, May and June.  Workshops include sessions led by Denise Chong and Alan Cumyn.  Mystery author Vicki Delaney is also holding a seminar on mystery fiction writing.  All sessions are free (although some are meant for ages 50+) For a complete list of workshops:

One seminar in particular is being held in partnership with Ottawa Romance Writers, here are the details.

Publishing your Book

While several traditional publishers and bookstores have closed their doors, you have new opportunities to publish your book in print and digital formats. Successful traditionally- and self-published authors will describe the pros and cons of getting your book published by a traditional publisher versus using self-publishing platforms offered by Amazon Kindle Direct, Kobo, Smashwords, and now big New York-based publishers. As well, new players such as Amazon Publishing and agents offering publishing services will be discussed.
The Ottawa Romance Writers Association is partnering with the Ottawa Public Library to present this workshop twice as part of the OPL May 2013 Author Month schedule. The panelists are multi-published romance authors; however, the workshop content is targeted to all writers of book-length fiction and non-fiction. Note that the author line-ups on the two panels differ but the workshop content is the same.   Register via the Ottawa Public Library website  for one of the following:
 – Monday, May 13, 6:30- 8:30 p.m. at the OPL Greenboro Branch, with authors Sharon Page, Teresa Morgan and Brenda Gayle.
-Saturday, May 18, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. at the OPL Main Branch, with authors Opal Carew, Maureen Fisher, Teresa Morgan and Coreene Callahan

If you do not have a library card, please register via an email to Madeline McBride at madelinem AT rogers DOT com, and indicate which date you plan to attend.

Sarah Brandon writes about “A Day To Kill”

CBC’s Alan Neal


Chilling celebrity readings and writing workshops draw Ottawa mystery fans
by SARAH BRANDON on Oct 30, 2011 • 11:18 pm

A chill ran through the 50-person audience as the CBC’s Alan Neal ended his mystery reading on an eerie cliffhanger at last Saturday’s Capital Crime Writers’ gathering.

Neal was one of five celebrity readers at the event, which took place at the Ottawa Public Library’s main branch and featured a writing workshop and various panels.

“[We want to] help raise a profile of our authors. It is kind of tough to get people to know who we are, even within our own community,” said organizer and mystery writer Brenda Chapman.

Capital Crime Writers began in 1989 with only six members. Today it’s composed of 70 people and is still growing, according to founding member Linda Wiken.

“We’re bringing together mystery authors who belong to Capital Crime Writers for a day of entertainment,” said Chapman, adding that it’s also a way for fans of mystery fiction to meet these authors and enjoy their stories.

At times, the audience trembled from the chilling readings featuring novels written by a host of Ottawa’s most talented mystery writers.

Among the authors present were Barbara Fradkin, author of the Inspector Green series, C. B. Forrest, author of The Weight of Stones and Mary Jane Maffini, who has written three mystery series and is the author of two Arthur Ellis award-winning short stories.

Maffini also ran a popular mystery-writing workshop at the event for avid writers, eager to break into the genre.

“We’d had so much fun with it that we thought it would be a great idea to do something to showcase our own authors in Ottawa,” said Chapman about the event, which took roughly four months to plan.

“There are a lot of people working behind the scenes,” Chapman said.

Despite the small audience and chilling subject matter, the audience erupted into laughter from the sometimes raunchy banter exchanged during the panels, while other panels encouraged audience participation.

“Liar!” the audience shouted raucously during the “Meet the Fibbers” panel, in an attempt to reveal whether the panelists were telling the truth about their experiences as authors.

Another panel called “Sex, Drugs and Rock n’ Roll” had authors speaking of their experience delving into these elements both in terms of adult and young adult fiction.

Capital Crime Writers president Michael Murphy said he wants people to leave the event with the motivation to write and to grasp how varied the realm of mystery writing is.

“I hope people will realize that Ottawa has a very lively, vibrant mystery writing community,” Murphy said.

— Photo courtesy of Lenny Wu

Tags: A Day to Kill, Alan Neal, Brandon, Can Culture, Can Culture Magazine, Canadian culture, Canculture, Canculture Magazine, Capital Crime Writers, Mystery, mystery fiction, Ottawa Public Library, Sarah, Sarah Brandon