Join us at CNFC for an upcoming series of monthly webinars. Over the next six months, we’ll host conversations and workshops with leading Canadian writers and tackle diverse topics.  From Finding the story to tell to Writing from a mental health worldview, we’ll host thought-provoking sessions that may guide us as we write during these challenging times.

The webinar series kicks off on November 19, 2020 at 7:30 pm Eastern time with Ian Brown’s Finding the Story workshop. You can register here.

The second in the series, our holiday season gathering, features readings from new books by
CNFC members. Betsy Warland will host Saturday December 5, 2020 at 4 pm Eastern. You can register here.

Are you interested in sharing your newly released CNF book? Did you or will you have a book come out between January and December 2020? If you have such a book, please send a brief précis with your coordinates to Jenny by November 28, 2020. We plan to honour several of our recently-published members during this 90 minute Zoom event.

Subsequent sessions will be scheduled monthly. So far, we’ve confirmed Zoom sessions early in
2021 with Eufemia Fantetti and Lenore Rowntree, Susan Scott, and Denise Ryan.

The webinar series is FREE for CNFC members. If your membership is expired or you wish to become part of our community, you can renew or join us by following the links on this page: https://creativenonfictioncollective.ca/join-the-cnfc/.

The Creative Nonfiction Collective Society (CNFC) is a national organization for Canadian literary nonfiction writers that educates, supports, develops and promotes the CNF genre.

Webinar Schedule

November 19, 2020, 7:30 EST

Finding the Story – Ian Brown

Registration now open!

This workshop will guide you to finding the story worth telling, then digging deeper, finding the actual best story within that story, and hewing to it, despite being terrified of same.

IAN BROWN began life as a business reporter at the Financial Post and later at Maclean’s Magazine; quit to freelance and start a publishing company, Invisible Books, with four other writers, which also published Not the Globe and Mail, a parody; was then hired at the Globe and Mail as a feature writer, for five years; quit again to found and host Later the Same Day, a daily afternoon radio show on CBC Radio; moved to Los Angeles, where he wrote a book and began to contribute to the NPR radio show This American Life; returned as host of Sunday Morning and Talking Books on CBC Radio; and eventually made his way back to the Globe, where he has worked for just over a decade. Along the way Ian co-founded an online magazine, Open Letters, and was chair of the Literary Journalism program at the Banff Centre for seven summers. He has won a number of National Newspaper and National Magazine Awards; the National Business Book Award for my first book, Freewheeling, an expose of Canadian Tire and the Billes family; the Charles Taylor Prize, the BC National Award and the Trillium Prize for another book, The Boy in the Moon, which the New York Times deemed one of the ten best books of 2011; and was short-listed for the Taylor Prize and for the Hilary Weston Writer’s Trust Prize for his last book, Sixty: A Diary of My Sixty-First Year. He also wrote Man Overboard, a book about manhood in the late twentieth century, and the editor of What I Meant to Say, an anthology of essays by men and about men, but for women. Ian lives in Toronto.


December 5, 2020, 4:00 EST

CNFC Member Book Launch – Betsy Warland

Registration now open!

Esteemed Vancouver writer and one of CNFC’s founders Betsy Warland will host the Member Book Launch Zoom Event, featuring CNFC members reading a short excerpt from their newly-released books. Listen to excerpts from Joan Boxall, Kate Braid, Beth Kaplan, and Janet Love Morrison, and you’ll have the chance to win a copy of a book presented!

BETSY WARLAND is the author of fourteen books of poetry, creative nonfiction, and lyric prose including her best-selling 2010 book of personal essays, Breathing the Page— Reading the Act of Writing. In April of 2016, Oscar of Between—A Memoir of Identity and Ideas was launched by Caitlin Press’ new imprint, Dagger Editions. According to one review of Lost Lagoon/lost in thought, published in April 2020: “In trademark lyric prose, Warland’s roving observations in and around Vancouver’s Lost Lagoon offer insights into nature, narratives, and the urban environment.” Warland is a co-founder of CNFC, and also founded and is a mentor in the one-on-one six-month international Vancouver Manuscript Intensive program.

January 2021

Writing from a Mental Health Worldview: Character and Stigma – Eufemia Fantetti and Lenore Rowntree

How can a writer who takes on a project writing about mental illness ensure they’re not making things worse, for example, by adding to the stigma? Developing an honest and informed character is part of the answer. In this interactive workshop, we will examine the process of assembling the components of an honest character that accurately reflects a balanced mental health worldview. We’ll look at examples of writing to character on the topic. Come prepared to participate in discussions and do some writing.

EUFEMIA FANTETTI is a graduate of The Writer’s Studio at SFU and the University of Guelph’s MFA in Creative Writing. Her fiction, nonfiction and plays have been published in the anthologies Love Me True, Exploring Voice and Body & Soul. Her work has also appeared in The New Quarterly, Event and the Globe and Mail. She is a past columnist for Contact Magazine, the newsletter for Teachers of English as a Second Language of Ontario. Her memoir, My Father, Fortune-tellers & Me was released in October 2019 by Mother Tongue Publishing. She teaches English at Humber College and edits the Humber Literary Review.
LENORE ROWNTREE is an award-winning writer based in British Columbia. She grew up in Toronto, then moved to Vancouver where she practiced law, and taught at the university and high school level. She began painting and exhibiting in the 1990s, and thought she had averted a potential career crisis when she decided to take her MFA in creative writing and become a full-time writer. Lenore is a co-editor and contributor to Hidden Lives: true stories from people who live with mental illness, a collection of life stories published by Brindle & Glass in 2012 with an updated 2nd edition in spring 2017. Thistledown Press published her novel Cluck fall 2016.

February 2021

Spiritual Life Writing – Susan Scott

The lost art of spiritual memoir is being revived in unexpected ways, for unexpected reasons. This lively hands-on workshop introduces the power and importance of this ancient genre—and how to make it your own. Through discussion, group work and writing exercises in a safe, inclusive setting, we will explore the craft of deeply personal narratives that range from rigorous to unsettling and playful, while challenging stereotypes, bias, and the confines of convention. Writers at all levels welcome.

SUSAN SCOTT is the author of Temple in a Teapot and a memoir-in-progress, Sainted Dirt: Reckonings with Land, Language, Family and Imperfect Teaware. As a community builder, she works with artists, scholars and activists to release powerful, transgressive stories that inspire grassroots change and healing. As The New Quarterly’s non-fiction editor, she directs Write on the French River Creative Writing Retreat and serves as associate director of the Wild Writers Literary Festival. Susan has lived in Toronto, Montreal and in towns and cities across the US. She makes her home in Waterloo, Ontario, on the Haldimand Tract, in the heart of the Great Lakes basin.

March 2021

The Art of the Interview – Denise Ryan

Whether you are a journalist, podcaster, creative writer, or blogger, great interviews make great stories. So how do you get the interview? And once you’ve got it, how do you get the most from it? In this master class Denise Ryan will show you how to establish intimacy, overcome hostility or intimidating subjects, work in traumatic and ethically challenging situations, get past scripted answers, build an arsenal of techniques, and craft story-based lines of inquiry. The class will also engage in some dynamic question and answer sessions.

DENISE RYAN is a journalist and creative nonfiction author whose work has received many distinctions, including awards from Amnesty International, the CBC literary prizes and the Webster and Sovereign Awards. Known for her sensitive, in-depth interviews, narrative long-form features and love of storytelling, she brings a wealth of experience and technique developed through two decades of reporting, feature writing and teaching.