• Gail Anderson-Dargatz
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  • Gail Anderson-Dargatz

  • Gail Anderson-Dargatz

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Links and notes for writers at the July 28 Sudbury Writers' Guild event

FearsA primer on the passive protagonist from threekookaburras:

"In stories for children and teenagers, the child protagonist will be passive. Adult characters will be brought in again and again to solve problems for the child protagonist, who not only remains passive but isn’t even reactive."

"Treat your characters cruelly." Good advice from one of Gail's favorite writing blogs, Editor's Blog.

Thoughts on enlivening the passive protagonist from Gotham Writers:

"Get your passive character out of the house. She can’t meet people if she’s sitting at home, thinking."

From guest blogger Ian Weir on writing the first draft:

"And the draft continued to lie there like a dead mackerel on a plank, until I finally understood that I was telling the wrong story about the wrong characters, completely."

WorkWithGailposterWe are so often unsure who our protagonist really is. The questions to ask again: what story do I really want to tell? Who is in the best position to tell the story? Then, what do they want/need/desire? What's stopping them? What are they willing to do to reach their goal?

Paulette Dube's guest blog on the importance of interviewing for fiction.

And last, but not least, from another of Gail's favorite writing blog (language warning), terribleminds:

"Readers are masochists, and that’s good, because most writers are sadists. It is the writer’s job to cause pain and misery to the main characters and to constantly throw peril in their way so that you block them from getting what they want."

Here's Scrivener.

And links to the following blogs on structure: virgin's journey, gothic structure, and the old save the cat screenplay structure.

For Gail's blog on promotion, click here.

While you're here, check out the guest blogs by many of Canada's best established and emerging writers by clicking on Resources.

Gail's summer fiction mentorship session is full. Sign up for her fall interest list by emailing: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

However, you can still sign up for Gail's two-month intensives (great for teachers!), developmental edits, blue pencil sessions and retreats on Manitoulin Island, ON, in July and in the Shuswap, BC in October. Click on Work with Gail for details.

Providence Bay Writers' Camp on Manitoulin Island, ON

Put your name on the interest list for this unique writing retreat on Manitoulin Island, Lake Huron. The camp runs July 15-20, 2018 in Providence Bay.

Bring your fiction up to the next level in morning workshops with Gail Anderson-Dargatz and enjoy everything the island has to offer later in the day.

For details, please see Providence Bay Writers' Camp.

To reserve your spot at the camp, click on shop to buy or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Spawning Grounds nominated for OLA Evergreen Award, Sunburst Award and CAA Fiction Award


The Spawning Grounds is on the longlist for the Sunburst Award, recognizing Canadian literature of the fantastic. Click here for more from the Quill and Quire.

The novel has also been nominated for the Ontario Library Association Evergreen Award. Click here for details.

And the book was also short-listed for the Canadian Author's Association literary award for fiction. Click here for more.

Click on shop for signed copies of Gail's books.

The Spawning Grounds -- Fall Writers' Retreat in Shuswap, BC

SpawningGroundspbBJoin Gail for this writing retreat in the Shuswap region of South Central British Columbia, the landscape that has inspired so much of her writing.

The fall retreat runs September 30 to October 5, 2018 and is timed to coincide with the sockeye run on the Adams River, a natural wonder.

For details, please see the fall retreat web pages. 

To put our name on the interest list, email Gail's office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

From Scratch

From ScratchGail's latest adult literacy learner novel, From Scratch, is now on the shelves.  

Cookie is about to lose her job at the local bakery. She dreams of owning her own bakery but doesn't think she has the skills or money to do it. Most of all, she doesn't have the self-confidence. When she takes a course at the local college, she finds she has much more going for her than she imagined. With the help of her community, she figures out how to make sure no one has to go without her famous doily cookies for long!

Booklist—June 12, 2017
"Cookie's perseverance through hardship is certainly inspiring, and her bonds with the local community heartwarming. For readers who need a little encouragement, this is just the ticket."

Reading Level: 4.8
For more, check out Orca's Rapid Reads books.

What is a literacy learner novel? Click here for Gail's blog on the topic.



Gail is offering master classes for writers across the country in 2018. Watch for regular updates for events in your area.

Gail's upcoming events in 2018:

April 13-14, New Westminster

New West Festival of Words

Gala presentation, master class

May 12-13, Salmon Arm

Table at Word on Lake

Presenting at Young Writers' Contest

Special master class

May 1, online

Gail's summer fiction session starts

June 26, Regina, SK

Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild master class

June 28, Kenora, ON

Library: two master classes and a reading

July 27-28, Sudbury, ON

Reading with Wordstock Sudbury

Sudbury Writers' guild master class

July 15-20, Manitoulin Island, ON

Providence Bay Writer's Camp

Sept. 1 online

Gail's fall fiction session starts

Sept. 30-Oct. 5, Sorrento Centre, BC

The Spawning Grounds Writers' Retreat

 Oct. 11-14, Whistler, BC

Whistler Writers Festival

Reading, master class

Judging Whistler Independant Book Awards

Oct. 20, Calgary

Writers' Guild of Alberta

master class