• Gail Anderson-Dargatz

  • Gail Anderson-Dargatz

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Gail offers master classes, seminars and workshops for writers and editors on a variety of topics. Click here to check out what these published and award winning writers have to say about Gail's classes and workshops. Also, please see Gail's bio at the bottom of this page.

To arrange Gail's visit to your festival or conference, contact Gail's office at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Gail will customize her presentation to suit your needs. But here are sample descriptions to consider:


Overcoming Our Fears to Write Powerful Stories

Our fears can stop us from finishing a book, or even starting it. We may feel we need to stick to writing only what we know, and write from personal experience, but then worry about what Mom will think. And we so often avoid our protagonist’s conflicts, for the same reasons we avoid our own. The result: passive protagonists and wandering storylines. Author and writing coach Gail Anderson-Dargatz will draw from more than twenty years of experience as a writer, teacher and developmental editor to explore the many ways we avoid conflict in our projects and our writing lives, and offer solutions that will help kickstart your writing and help you develop your project to the fullest.

Sculpting a Good Idea into a Great Book

Many book manuscripts suffer from a lack of thorough development. This can stand in the way of their potential for success, or even prevent them from being published. In this interactive session, award-winning novelist (The Cure for Death by Lightning) and writing coach Gail Anderson-Dargatz explores the steps and strategies of development editing that help turn a good book idea into a great book.

Get Your Book Noticed

Thousands of books are published each year, through self-publishing and traditional publishers. How do we get an agent or editor to notice our book? Or, if we self-publish, how do we get our book noticed by readers? We’re told to promote our writing on social media sites. But most of us aren’t comfortable with promoting our work at all. And how do we connect with readers in the ocean of Facebook and Twitter posts? Internationally best-selling author Gail Anderson-Dargatz will talk about approaches that have helped her own novels become bestsellers. Writers, come with a notebook or tablet in hand, prepared to come up with ideas for your own marketing plan.

Writing for Middle School, YA and the Educational Market

People think writing for kids is easy. Any writer who actually publishes childrens’ or YA fiction will set you straight: writing for kids is hard. In this interactive workshop, award-winning novelist Gail Anderson-Dargatz will point out common mistakes newbie writers make as she passes on what’s she’s learned in more than twenty years of teaching writers of childrens’ and YA fiction, and in stepping into this vibrant market herself.

Tackling the Novel

The novel can be an intimidating form, even for an experienced writer. But the novel is a friendly beast, once you get to know it. In this two-hour workshop, we’ll look at the things writers are most afraid of when approaching the novel. Internationally acclaimed novelist Gail Anderson-Dargatz will offer advice on craft, living the writers’ life, and on publishing your book to help you to overcome the fears we all have. Writers, come with a notebook or tablet in hand, prepared for writing exercises that will bump your writing up to the next level.

Writing Home

We’ve all heard the phrase “write what you know” but writing fiction from real life isn’t easy. We worry about what family and friends will think. We worry if we have the right to tell the story, or write about a given location. We get stuck in reality -- what “really happened” -- and our fiction flounders because of it. In this workshop, award-winning novelist Gail Anderson-Dargatz will explore all these issues and more with the goal of writing powerful fiction that has the authority that can only come from “writing what you know." Writers, come with a notebook or tablet in hand, prepared for writing exercises that will bump your writing up to the next level.

 Mask 002 CopyGail's bio:

Gail Anderson-Dargatz has been published worldwide in English and in many other languages. A Recipe for Bees and The Cure for Death by Lighting were international bestsellers, and were both finalists for the prestigious Giller Prize in Canada. The Cure for Death by Lightning won the UK’s Betty Trask Prize among other awards. Both Turtle Valley and A Rhinestone Button were national bestsellers in Canada and her first book, The Miss Hereford Stories, was short-listed for the Leacock Award for humour. Her most recent novel, The Spawning Grounds, released in fall 2016, was again a national bestseller.

After teaching fiction, novel and advanced novel in UBC's optional-residency MFA CW program for nearly a decade, Gail now works with writers from around the world through her own on-line teaching forums.

She also hosts The Spawning Grounds Writers’ Retreat in October at the Sorrento Centre. For more, please visit her website at www.gailanderson-dargatz.ca or follow her @AndersonDargatz.