TOK Winnipeg 2019

Articles

TOK Winnipeg Symposium

November 15-16, 2019

 

We are excited to be hosting our TOK Winnipeg Symposium for the second year. TOK Winnipeg is a free two-day symposium for writers and readers that will take place November 15-16, 2019 at The Manitoba Museum. TOK, is the digital magazine under the non-profit charitable organization Diaspora Dialogues which publishes fiercely honest, freshly original writing from our cities, and from around the world.

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Day one will consist of two writing masterclasses on YA Fiction and Writing Your Personal Myth and one industry workshop on How to Pitch to an Agent or Publisher. All workshops are free to attend, but registration is required. Registration will be capped at 25 people per session, in order to allow direct engagement with speakers.

Day two includes two panel discussions, Black Writers in CanLit and Vulnerability and the Public Space. There will also be two author interviews with Norma Dunning and Zalika Reid-Benta. All discussions held this day will be recorded and converted into a podcast series which will be released here on our website.

*This discussion is not to be confused with Writing While Black, the creative writing series created by Whitney French*

More information: Helen Walsh, helen@diasporadialogues.com

Media enquiries, Hailee Mah, hailee@diasporadialogues.com.

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Friday, November 15, 2019: Industry Day

YA Writing Masterclass with David Robertson

Nov 15, 2019; 12:00 – 1:15pm
Manitoba Museum, Boardroom
190 Rupert Ave, Winnipeg

Join YA novelist David Robertson as he shares creative tips on developing your work as a YA writer.

David A. Robertson is a nationally bestselling author of children’s books, graphic novels, and novels. His books include When We Were Alone (Governor General’s Literary Award winner, McNally Robinson Best Book for Young People winner, TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award finalist), Will I See? (Manuela Dias Book Design and Illustration Award, Graphic Novel Category), and the YA novel Strangers (Michael Van Rooy Award for Genre Fiction, Best Indigenous Writer at the High Plains Book Awards). David educates as well as entertains through his writings about Indigenous Peoples, reflecting their cultures, histories, communities, as well as illuminating many contemporary issues. David is a member of Norway House Cree Nation. He lives in Winnipeg.

Free to the public, registration through Eventbrite required, availability on a first-come-first-serve basis.

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How to Pitch a Publisher or Agent

Nov 15, 2019, 1:30 – 2:30pm
Manitoba Museum, Boardroom 
190 Rupert Ave, Winnipeg

You’ve written a captivating manuscript? Great, now you have to sell it. Publishing is a business, and convincing a publisher to take a chance on your first or second book can be challenging, especially in an industry that has seen many cutbacks and consolidation. Join this workshop to hear tips from publishers. You will have the opportunity to talk to them about your project and ask the questions one-on-one necessary to help your manuscript avoid the dreaded slush pile.

Speakers include Karmen Wells (Shelf Made Creative), Catharina de Bakker (Great Plains), Janie Yoon (House of Anansi Press) and Meg Wheeler (Westwood Creative Artists).

Free to the public, registration through Eventbrite required, availability on a first-come-first-serve basis.

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Events and Epiphanies: Writing Your Personal Myth with Sally Ito

Nov 15, 2019, 2:45 – 3:45pm
Manitoba Museum, Boardroom 
190 Rupert Ave, Winnipeg

We are a psychic process which we do not control, or only partly direct. – Carl Jung

In this workshop, we will look at how to write about one’s life experiences as a way of discerning meaning in our lives. In particular, we will look at cultural identity and how it is shaped by the events of our lives, whether these events are part of greater historical narratives of war and displacement or whether the events are personal epiphanies of spiritual or artistic truth

Sally Ito is a writer, translator and creative writing instructor. She has published three books of poetry, and a collection of short stories. Her latest book is The Emperor’s Orphans, a memoir that looks at her Japanese Canadian family’s history in Japan and Canada. The Emperor’s Orphans trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdS0L87d04k&feature=youtu.be

Free to the public, registration through Eventbrite required, availability on a first-come-first-serve basis.

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Saturday, November 16, 2019: Public Programming

 

Black Writers in CanLit

Nov 16, 2019, 10:30-11:45am
Manitoba Museum, Auditorium
190 Rupert Ave, Winnipeg

Join us for a live on-stage panel discussion and podcast recording of Black Writers in CanLit.

When discussing the primary goal for her anthology Black Writers Matter, Whitney French said: “How do we tell our stories by magnifying our dignity in the everyday?” DD explores the nuances of writing while black in Canada and the ways in which black authors are creating spaces for the community to tell their own stories with writer Chigbo Arthur Anyaduba, Chimwemwe Undi and Amanda Parris. Moderated by Ismaila Alfa.

*This discussion is not to be confused with Writing While Black, the creative writing series created by Whitney French*

Chigbo Arthur Anyaduba was born and raised in Nigeria before migrating to Canada. He has worked as a teacher, a newspaper journalist, and an editor. He is currently an assistant professor of English at The University of Winnipeg specialising in African literatures and the literatures of the “Black” diasporas. He is also a senior editor of Saraba literary magazine.

Chimwemwe Undi’s poetry has appeared in Arc Poetry Magazine, Prairie Fire Magazine, the Humber Literary Review, and MAKING ROOM: Forty Years of Room Magazine, on CBC Manitoba and BBC World, and at the Edinburgh International Writer’s Festival. She lives on Treaty One in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she is a third-year law student and poet in classrooms with Poetry In Voice.

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Amanda Parris is a television and radio host and writes a weekly column. By night, she writes stories for the stage and screen. Other Side of the Game is her first published play. In Amanda’s past lives she was an educator who wrote arts-based curricula, attended numerous acting auditions and dreamed of opening a school that Blue Ivy Carter would attend. Over the course of her career, Amanda has worn a variety of hats, working as an educator, a researcher, an actor and a community organizer. She is the co-founder of the award-winning alternative education organization Lost Lyrics and worked with the Remix Project and the Manifesto Festival. She has spoken about her work at United Nations conferences around the world. Parris completed her Honours B.A. degree in Political Science and Women’s Studies at York University and her M.A. degree in Sociology of Education at the University of Toronto. She was a playwright-in-residence at Cahoots Theatre
Company and Alameda Theatre Company and studied writing and acting at bcurrent performing arts, anitafrika dub theatre and the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute.

Ismaila Alfa hosts Up to Speed on CBC Radio One 89.3 FM / 990 AM, which can be heard weekdays from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. or live streamed at cbc.ca/manitoba. Ismaila is excited to take Up to Speed out into the community. What he loves most is  reflecting Winnipeg in the moment, highlighting exciting things going on in the city each and every day. It is also a place to meet, taking a pulse on the day’s top-of-mind topics that matter to Winnipeggers and Manitobans.

Ismaila is well-known in the Manitoba music scene. He spent many years touring Canada and the US as a hip hop musician. Originally from Nigeria, his mother is from Pipestone, Manitoba and so Ismaila came back to Canada to make Manitoba his home. Ismaila Alfa joined CBC Manitoba in 2008 as a traffic reporter and quickly became the go-to navigator of Winnipeg streets. He has also hosted CBC Manitoba’s Scene On-Air where he created a special meeting place for the arts on radio. A musician himself, he could talk to musicians, artist to artist. Most recently he spent a year and a half waking up with Manitoba on the weekends as Interim host of CBC Manitoba’s The Weekend Morning Show. He completed his early school years in Edmonton, wrapping up his middle and senior school years in Winnipeg. He then pursued a civil engineering degree at the University of Manitoba.

Free to the public, registration through Eventbrite preferred but not required, on a first-come-first-serve basis.

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In Conversation with Zalika Reid-Benta

Nov 16, 2019, 1:15-2:15pm
Manitoba Museum, Auditorium
190 Rupert Ave, Winnipeg

Join us for the live podcast taping of an on-stage interview with Zalika Reid-Benta. Moderated by Chigbo Arthur Anyaduba.

Zalika Reid-Benta‘s debut short story anthology Frying Plantain was released in June 2019 and has already gone on to receive a Giller Prize long-list nomination and appear on numerous “must-read” lists. her work has appeared on Town Crier, in Apogee Journal, TOK anthology and the CBC website. She received an M.F.A. in fiction from Columbia University and is an alumnus of the Banff Writing Studio. She has been the recipient of the Literary Creations Project grant by the Ontario Arts Council as well as has been awarded an Individual Writers Grant by the Toronto Arts Council. She is currently working on a young-adult fantasy novel drawing inspiration from Jamaican folklore and Akan spirituality.

Chigbo Arthur Anyaduba was born and raised in Nigeria before migrating to Canada. He has worked as a teacher, a newspaper journalist, and an editor. He is currently an assistant professor of English at The University of Winnipeg specialising in African literatures and the literatures of the “Black” diasporas. He is also a senior editor of Saraba literary magazine.

Free to the public, registration through Eventbrite preferred but not required, on a first-come-first-serve basis.

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In Conversation with Norma Dunning

Nov 16, 2019, 12-1pm
Manitoba Museum, Auditorium
190 Rupert Ave, Winnipeg

Join us for the live podcast taping of an on-stage interview with Norma Dunning.

Dr. Norma Dunning is an Inuit writer, scholar, researcher and grandmother. Her short story collection, Annie Muktuk and Other Stories, challenges readers’ perceptions about Inuit people. It won the 2018 INDIE Book of the Year Award (Short Stories) and the 2017 Danuta Gleed Literary Award. Her short story Elipsee won the Writers’ Guild of Alberta’s Howard O’Hagan Award.

The collection was also shortlisted for the 2018 Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize. Her first collection of poetry titled, Eskimo Pie: A poetics of Inuit Identity (BookLand Press Inc.) is scheduled to release in November of 2019. Her second collection of short stories is slated to launch in October 2020 and a book of non-fiction concerning assimilative practices experienced by Inuit Canadians is scheduled for release in September of 2021 (both books through Douglas & McIntyre).

Free to the public, registration through Eventbrite preferred but not required, on a first-come-first-serve basis.

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Vulnerability & The Public Space

Nov 16, 2019, 2:30-3:30pm
Manitoba Museum Auditorium
190 Rupert Ave, Winnipeg

Join us for a live podcast recording and on-stage panel discussion about Vulnerability & the Public Space.

What does it take to achieve repair/reconciliation in our communities? Studies clearly show that all of us suffer from confirmation bias and we all live in echo chambers, finding comfort and reinforcement in those with whom we already agree, and twitter blocking everyone else. Yet, we share public spaces such as libraries and schools with people who think differently than we do. When conflicts arise, ‘freedom of speech’ is thrown around, as if that one term had a blanket meaning for all. As if the phrase itself was source-code for its defense.

If empathy is needed to do the hard work of reconciliation, then vulnerability is the currency. Yet, at what cost to whom? What are the possibilities and pitfalls of public dialogue? Do we live in an epoch of time that is more polarized than ever before, as it seems from watching the media or reading social media comments, or is this epoch of time just the one we know?

DD asks writers and thinkers to join us for an in-depth conversation about rights, responsibilities, vulnerability and the public space.

Speakers include Lara Rae, Emily Muller (Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties) and Dr. Niigaan Sinclair (University of Manitoba).

Lara Rae is an award winning comedian and television writer. She was one of the co-creators of the international hit series Little Mosque on the Prairie. She was one of the co-founders of the Winnipeg Comedy Festival and served as the Artistic Director for !7 years. Her current passion is PANTRY an organization she founded to deal with food insecurity in her West Broadway neighborhood. Her play Dragonfy (Theatre Projects Manitoba) dealing with her gender journey was nominated for a Winnipeg Theatre Award for best new work and will be published by Scrirocco Drama next year.

Dr. Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair is Anishinaabe (St. Peter’s/Little Peguis) and an Assistant Professor at the University of Manitoba. He is a regular commentator on Indigenous issues on CTV, CBC, and APTN, and his written work can be found in the pages of The Exile Edition of Native Canadian Fiction and Drama, newspapers like The Guardian, and online with CBC Books: Canada Writes. Niigaan is the co-editor of the award-winning Manitowapow: Aboriginal Writings from the Land of Water (Highwater Press, 2011) and Centering Anishinaabeg Studies: Understanding the World Through Stories (Michigan State University Press, 2013), and is the Editorial Director of The Debwe Series with Portage and Main Press.

Niigaan obtained his BA in Education at the University of Winnipeg, before completing an MA in Native – and African-American literatures at the University of Oklahoma, and a PhD in First Nations and American Literatures from the University of British Columbia.

Free to the public, registration through Eventbrite preferred but not required, on a first-come-first-serve basis.

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View Hailee Mah’s author profile.