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Workshops & seminars

Writers Read presents The Writing Life

Date & time
Monday, March 14, 2022
12 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Registration is closed


This event is free


Writers Read


Kate Sterns



Panel #1: Writing for Dollars 12:00 - 1:15 pm

We invite you to meet several alumni of our Creative Program, whose successful careers have utilized their writing skills in varied, and often surprising, ways.

Panellists: Terence Byrnes (moderator), Benjamin Hackman, J.P Karwacki, Pasha Malla, and Debra Sadowski.

Workshop #1: Literature and Song: The Art & Craft of Lyric Writing 1:30 - 2:30 pm
With Benjamin Hackman of The Holy Gasp

Participants of this workshop will be explore and examine:

  • Criteria for assessing the effectiveness of a lyric, and the various aesthetic literary conventions particular to different musical genres
  • The linguistic limitations and liberties of singing
  • The sonic demands music imposes upon words
  • Rhythm, rhyme, tempo and meter 

This workshop is intended for artists actively working towards enhancing and refining their lyric writing practice, and for readers and listeners wishing to engage with songs as literature.

Panel #2: Small Presses 3:00 - 4:15 pm

Our panellists offer a backstage glimpse of how to set up, fund, edit and submit to magazines and small literary presses.

Panellists: Moez Surani (moderator), Hannah Green, Aïcha Martine, Josh Quirion, and Malcolm Sutton.

Workshop #2: Submitting to a Literary Magazine 4:30 - 5:30

Writer and editor (CV2) Hannah Green leads a workshop on how to submit your work for publication.

Participants will learn:

How to handle simultaneous submissions

Importance of following guidelines set out by each journal 

How to structure a submission 

Each student will leave the workshop with a bio and cover letter that can be used when submitting to journals.

How can you participate? 

Attend in person (note, there is a maximum of 25 audience members permitted in the space) or online by registering for the Zoom webinar or watching live on our YouTube channel.  

Have questions? Send them to

Writing for Dollars Panellists

Terry Byrnes (Faculty Member, Moderator)

Terence Byrnes’s fiction and creative non-fiction have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. He has also published two books of short stories, (one edited), a book about the visual and narrative representation of Canadian authors, and he has worked as a literary “ghost.” His non-fiction work has been recognized with several National Magazine Award nominations, including a first prize (Gold) award in 2017 for work that blended memoir, essay, and photography. He is a faculty member of the creative writing program at Concordia University

Deborah Sadowski

Debra Sadowski started rock-it promotions out of her parents’ spare bedroom over 20 years ago. Today, rock-it is an award-winning PR firm with clients such as Peloton, L'Oréal Paris, Live Nation Canada, Knix, The JUNO Awards and many more. As the company’s CEO & Founder, Debra has appeared as a PR expert on national talk shows and has been featured in many publications including Rock-it promotions was shortlisted as PR Agency of the Year by Strategy Magazine; ranked in the inaugural Report on Business list of Canada’s Top Growing Companies by The Globe and Mail; and made history by being the only PR agency to be included in the Canadian Business and Maclean’s Growth 500 list for four years in a row.

Pasha Malla

Pasha Malla's most recent book is Kill the Mall, a novel. An infrequent contributor to The New Yorker and the Globe & Mail, he is currently the 2021-22 Mabel Pugh-Taylor Writer-in-Residence at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, where he lives, mostly, with his partner and their relentless dog.


JP Karwacki

JP Karwacki is a Montréal, Québec-based writer and journalist whose work has appeared in Time Magazine, the Montreal Gazette, National Post, Time Out, NUVO Magazine, and more. Calling the city home for over a decade and a half, his work has focused on things to eat, drink and do both in Montréal and destinations abroad. He is currently the National Creative Writer for the architecture firm Lemay.



Benjamin Hackman

Benjamin Hackman is the artistic director and principal composer for The Holy Gasp, a large-scale music and performance ensemble based in Toronto. His poetry and fiction have been published extensively in periodicals across North America. Presently, he is at work on a 45-person orchestral song cycle about The Book of Job. (Photo credit Alex Gray)


Small Presses Panellists

Moez Surani (Moderator)

Moez Surani's writing has been published internationally, including in Harper’s Magazine, Best American Experimental Writing 2016, Best Canadian Poetry (2013 & 2014), and the Globe and Mail. His visual and performance works have been shown internationally at the Cross Gallery in Taipei, the New Zero Arts Space in Yangon, Palazzolo Acreide’s city hall in Italy. He is the author of four poetry books: Reticent Bodies (Wolsak & Wynn, 2009), Floating Life (Wolsak & Wynn, 2012), Operations (Book*hug, 2016), which is comprised of the names of military operations, and reveals a globe-spanning inventory of the contemporary rhetoric of violence, and Are the Rivers in Your Poems Real (Book*hug, 2019). His debut novel, The Legend of Baraffo, will be published by Book*hug in 2023.

Aïcha Martine

Aïcha Martine is a trilingual /multicultural writer, musician and artist, and might have been a kraken in a past life. She's an editor at Reckoning, and was the Poetry and Nonfiction editor for the sixth volume. She is co-EIC/Producer/Creative Director of The Nasiona, and has been nominated for Best of the Net, The Best Small Fictions and The Pushcart Prize. She is the author of At Sea (CLASH BOOKS), which was shortlisted for the 2019 Kingdoms in the Wild Poetry Prize, and her second collection, BURN THE WITCH, is forthcoming with Finishing Line Press. Some words found in: Déraciné, The Rumpus, Moonchild Magazine, Marías at Sampaguitas, Luna Luna, Bright Wall/Dark Room, Pussy Magic, South Broadway Ghost Society, Gone Lawn, Boston Accent Lit, Anti-Heroin Chic, Cosmonauts Avenue, Tenderness Lit. @Maelllstrom/

Josh Quirion

Josh Quirion is a French-Canadian writer from the Eastern Townships of Québec, Canada. He holds an M.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing from Concordia University, and is the co-founder/editor-in-chief of yolk. He is the author of the short story collection Towners & Other Stories (Shoreline Press, 2020). Quirion’s writing has appeared in The Malahat ReviewPrairie Fire, and The Antigonish Review, among others. 



Malcolm Sutton

Malcolm Sutton is an editor, writer, educator, and graphic designer. For the past decade he has worked as fiction editor at Book*hug Press (Toronto), where he also designs many books. His first novel, Job Shadowing, was published in 2016, and he is working on a second novel, The Miracle of the Present. He is a contributor to Unusual Music Exchange, a blog on contemporary music. Since finishing his PhD in American literature in 2012, he has taught academic writing, creative non-fiction, and novel writing at universities in Toronto.

Hannah Green

Hannah Green is a recent grad of the MA Creative Writing program at Concordia. She lives in Winnipeg and is a writer and editor of poetry at CV2. Green was a poetry finalist for the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers in 2021. Her long poem XANAX COWBOY is forthcoming with Anansi in spring 2023. 

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