Welcome to Talking Fresh 2024: Craftiness! All events will be held at The Docks at 1377 Hamilton Street in Regina on Saturday March 2, with two events livestreamed and recorded (noted below).

All are welcome! No registration required for in-person events. All times posted in Saskatchewan time.


The Swiss Army Knife Approach to Writing Non-Fiction workshop with Candace Savage

10:00 - 11:30 am


Writing is a little like using a Swiss Army Knife. You keep pulling out different tools – a pair of tiny scissors for one job, a knife blade or corkscrew for the next – until you find one that does the trick. Through a brief lecture, an exercise and writing prompts, we will experiment with telling a true story or exploring a nonfiction subject from different angles, by altering the position of the narrator, modulating the narrative voice or shifting the point of view.  With our new multitool in hand, we will be ready to explore the wide range of possibilities open to nonfiction writers.

Your guide for this session will be Candace Savage, the award-winning author of 30 nonfiction books for toddlers, “middle readers,” and adults.

In-person only

Please come prepared to write with a pen and notebook.


Searching for the “I”: Exploring (Un)truths in Poetry workshop with David Ly

12:45 - 2:15 pm


Whether reading or writing poems, they can offer us a pause—however brief or lasting—to be suspended in a moment between the real and imaginary. In this workshop, we will explore how this is done with perspective, narrative, and imagery through close-readings and writing exercises. To help guide our discussion, participants are encouraged to bring a poem that resonates with them in terms of how the writing blurs reality with untruths. Writers of all level of experience are welcome. Together we will explore craft and how it can help us write poems that oscillate between truth and untruths. 

In-person only


You Can Trust Me: A Practical Guide to Unreliable 1st Person Narrators fiction workshop with C.L. Polk

2:30 - 4:00 pm


"When somebody really wants something, they lie." 1st person narrators have a reputation for being unreliable, but just being a fibber isn't always enough. Let's explore a few perspectives on how and why narrators play with the truth, and a few exercises to demonstrate the different motivations and techniques so the reader doesn't feel cheated by the story in the end. students will need a way to write things down and one of their characters to volunteer as an example through writing exercises.

In-person only


Craftiness: Deception on the Page panel discussion with Amber Cowie, David Ly, C.L. Polk and host Courtney Bates-Hardy

4:15 – 5:15 pm


In this panel, writers Amber Cowie, David Ly and C.L. Polk with host Courtney Bates-Hardy will discuss the complexities of “craftiness” in their writing. These writers will talk about deception, the blurring of reality and untruths in their work in various genres and what other writers can learn from their practice.

In-person as well as livestreamed and recorded to watch on the SWG’s youtube channel for 30 days. To register for the free livestreamed link, click here:


The Elements of Suspense: How to Craft Twists, Turns, and Tension with Amber Cowie

7:00 – 8:00 pm


For readers and writers of suspense, mystery, and thrillers, jaw-dropping turns are necessary elements. Readers expect them, writers must craft them. But hairpin corners require stable foundations—solid enough to ensure no one hangs too far off the cliff. 

In this talk, Amber Cowie, author of five thrillers including THE OFF SEASON (May 2024), will provide insight into three key building blocks of a story including the inciting incident, allies and enemies, and the ‘all is lost moment’. Thoughtful construction of these three components creates strong and cohesive plots that can be twisted and turned in creepy, delightful, and unexpected ways.

In-person as well as livestreamed and recorded to watch on the SWG’s youtube channel for 30 days. To register for the free livestreamed link, click here:


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