• Gail Anderson-Dargatz
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  • Gail Anderson-Dargatz

    Mentor
  • Gail Anderson-Dargatz

    Author
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“Gail’s fiction course was the best class I have ever taken. Full stop. Her notes and analysis were invaluable and I still use the creative exercises she shared with us.” 

-- Elle Wild, #1 bestselling author of Strange Things Done and winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel.

"Gail is nothing short of an editing genius. She has the rare ability to give feedback laced with compassion, appreciation and respect. She offers clear notes and astute questions that will inspire you to go back to the page and transform your narrative, words and characters in truly remarkable ways."

-- Maggi Feehan, author of The Serpent’s Veil (Thistledown Press, 2009). 

"I consider working with Gail a master class in plotting. Her comments and suggestions on my historical novel were concise, in-depth, and nailed every issue.

Perhaps there’s no greater proof of a manuscript editor’s work than when the writer they mentor gets a publishing contract, but what I found most valuable was applying Gail’s insightful comments when I began to plot a new book. Her voice has been in my head as I write my first draft. Working with Gail has been a gift that keeps on giving."

-- Maia Caron, author of Song of Batoche

"Gail has a firm grasp on what effective mentorship looks like: supportive, challenging, fully engaged. Immediately Gail got to the heart of my novel’s problem and then worked with me to find possible solutions, pushing my craft to a higher level and deepening my understanding of narrative structure. It was nothing short of a shattering breakthrough.

-- Jennifer Manuel, bestselling author of The Heaviness of Things That Float

"Working with Gail was a revelation. Her insight and meticulousness is extraordinary, as is her relentless insistence on truth and story. I’ve been writing my whole life, but in the past two years I can say that Gail has pretty much taught me everything I now know. I am convinced that without Gail’s ministrations, my novel The Philistine would not be enjoying its current success."

     -- Leila Marshy, author of The Philistine.

"I came to Gail several years after my first book. Certain experiences had all but convinced me that the creative spirit, once damaged, can never be brought back to life. Gail soon proved me wrong. With a cartographer's eye for traveling through fictional landscapes, she began to remind me of things I used to know, while guiding me deeper into both the art and craft of storytelling and the writing life. By the end of a new first draft, I'd rediscovered colour in a world that had faded to black and white. I cannot thank her enough."
 
     -- Darcie Friesen Hossack, Danuta Gleed runner-up and Commonwealth Prize-shortlisted (Canada and the Caribbean) author of Mennonites Don't Dance stories (Thistledown Press)

"Gail's teaching methods encourage new writers to learn the craft of writing while striving to develop their unique styles and voices. Gail shares her expertise but also her experiences as a working author in an ever-changing publishing world. Years later, I still check her excellent notes and remember the personal stories she shared about her research, her ideas, and the world of writing.

-- Paulette Bourgeois, member of the Order of Canada and author of the Franklin the Turtle books.

"Working with Gail has become the measure by which I rate every workshop I've taken, or will ever take. And she has set the bar impossibly high. To study with Gail is to understand the plight of the Apprentice Writer, to take solace in her direction, and to witness one's growth in virtually real time." 

-- Chris Tarry, four-time Juno Award winner and author of How to Carry a Bigfoot Home.

  “There are a million books and courses that teach you how to write and edit.  But the writing life is more than words on a page.  Gail Anderson-Dargatz shares a lifetime of experience ... The knowledge she imparts may be amongst the most valuable things you will gain as a writer."

-- Monica Lin Morishita, a National Magazine Award winning journalist who has written for Macleans, Toronto Life, Chatelaine, Canadian Living and the Globe & Mail.

"(Gail's) greatest gift is her passion. She truly loves the craft and throws her heart into her work as not only a teacher but also as a coach and inspiration to aspiring writers. She always knows just how far to push you without breaking you, and if you let her, she can help you become a far better writer than you ever imagined ..."

-- Nerys Parry, author of Man & Other Natural Disasters, a finalist for the Colophon Prize and tied for seventh in the Giller Prize Reader’s Choice Awards.

"Gail Anderson-Dargatz has a rare and fantastic ability to guide a writer into finding his or her own unique voice.  She can clearly explain the fundamentals of fiction while allowing room for nuance and experimentation. Gail helped me to hone my editorial eye so that I can now take her excellent techniques with me wherever I go."

 -- Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang, author of Sweet Devilry; the children’s books A Flock of Shoes, Dogs Don’t Eat Jam, Warriors and Wailers, and The Stone Hatchlings; and editor of the anthologies Desperately Seeking Susans and Tag: Canadian Poets at Play.

"Gail has a great big generous heart. She’s always ready to share what she’s learned from her own immensely successful writing life and what she’s learned from mentors like Jack Hodgins. Gail is observant, candid and compassionate, with a roaring, lion-hearted sense of humour. If you want insightful feedback delivered with infectious enthusiasm sure to inspire you to keep writing, Gail’s your gal.

-- Jennifer Wynne Webber, author of the novel Defying Gravity and numerous plays including Beside Myself and White Lies. 

"If you don't have a publisher lined up, don't send your book off until Gail has gone through it with her forensic fine tooth structural comb."

-- Jono Lineen, author of River Trilogy and Walking the Earth's Spine.

"I'm so happy I chose Gail as my first foray into the world of hiring an outside eye. I've loved her work for ages, and hoped her insight would take my new project where it needed to go. I'm overwhelmed with gratitude (and work!). Thank you, Gail. You 'get' me."

-- Kimmy Beach, author of The Last Temptation of Bond.