2021 Conference Sessions

2021 CNFC Conference

Conference Sessions

All sessions included with registration. Registration open now!

Thursday, May 13

7:00 – 8:30 pm EST

Keynote Address: The Pleasures and Terrors of Writing Other Peoples’ Stories- Ian Brown and Johanna Schneller

Description: Writing about Family and Friends.

Friday, May 14

12:00 – 1:30 pm EST

Workshop: Found Objects: Writing Identity With, Through and Against Documents and Things –  Sonja Boon

Description: Sonja Boon’s workshop will consider archives and collections and explore the complex interplay between formal research and the ‘I’ we write.

2:00 – 3:30 pm EST

Workshop: Creativity UnPlugged – Writing and Drawing From The Back of the Mind – Carrie Snyder

Description: Looking for ways to access your creativity? Wondering how to get started? In this hands-on workshop, we’ll practice jumping into our memories, using all of our senses. Exercises are based on Lynda Barry’s teaching and philosophy. Bring a composition notebook and a black pen, and come prepared to draw and write. (And if you haven’t drawn since you were a kid, all the better!)

4:00 – 5:30 pm EST

Workshop: So Much More Than Dinosaurs : The Diverse and Creative World of Nonfiction for Kids and Teens – Gillian O’Reilly and Elizabeth MacLeod

Description: This workshop will examine the many inventive approaches used to deliver nonfiction for young readers, the particular challenges and difficulties for Canadian authors, tips for those interested in working in this genre and a look at some of the award-winning titles in this field.

7:00 – 8:30 pm EST

Panel: Brand vs. Platform: What’s the Difference? – Debby DeGroot, Sam Hiyate, and Jennie Wright

Description: Our panel of experts will dig deep into these two important topics and explain why they matter. They’ll clarify the role of social media, websites, email and more to answer the question: Where do you start? And they’ll share tips for more traditional public relations best practices.

Saturday, May 15

12:00 – 1:30 pm EST

Workshop: Adventures in Nonlinear Narrative – Ken McGoogan

Description: Tired of being a slave to chronology? This craft-oriented workshop explores such novelistic adventures as parallel narratives, framing, and intertwining. Let’s ransack fiction for techniques worth “borrowing” and exploiting, among them Point of View, Implied Stream of Consciousness, Multiple Flashbacks, and The Rolling Now. 

2:00 – 3:30 pm EST

Workshop: Drawing Life: Comics Inspired by Autobiography – Sylvia Nickerson

Description: Anyone can turn life experience into graphic memoir (even writers who think they can’t draw). In this workshop I invite you to see how words and pictures work together to tell a story from the first person point of view.

4:00 – 5:30 pm EST

Workshop: Yoda or Obi-Wan: Mentoring Matters – Susan Olding and Marion Agnew

Description: In this interactive workshop Marion Agnew and Susan Olding will briefly talk about their experience working together towards the completion of Marion’s first book and will share information about different models of mentorship. Through a guided writing exercise and discussion they will help you identify the kind of mentoring that might work best for you and offer suggestions for finding your perfect match.

7:00 – 8:30 pm EST

In Conversation: The Power of Story – Harold Johnson

Description Harold Johnson will evoke and analyze “the power of story” – also the title of one of his forthcoming books. A member of the Montreal Cree Nation of Treaty  6 territory, he is the author of a memoir, novels, poetry, the Governor-General’s Award nominated Firewater: How Alcohol Is Killing My People (and Yours) and the memoir Clifford (both PenguinRandom House), and the essay Two Families (Anansi), among other works.

(We regret that personal issues have made it impossible for Lamees al Ethari to participate in the conversation as originally promised. CNFC VP Christopher Moore will lead a question and discussion encounter following Harold’s presentation.)


Sunday, May 16

12:00 – 1:30 pm EST

2020 CNFC AGM: Annual General Meeting – CNFC Board + all members welcome

2:00 – 3:30 pm EST

Wrap Up Discussion: What Have We Learned? – CNFC Board members and guests.

4:00 – 5:30 pm EST

CNFC Members’ Readings: Celebrating CNFC members with book launches in 2021.