2017 Friday Afternoon Workshops

Can-Con is pleased to offer four more master workshops on the Friday afternoon! At only $20 a pop, each workshop has limited attendance. Sign up now!

Noon – 2pm

Policing 101: How to Get The Law Right In Your Story

Sergeant Pat Poitevin

Join RCMP Sergeant Pat Poitevin (retired two weeks ago!) to learn about proper police procedures. Move beyond the fake science and procedures of major network TV shows and bring some much needed reality to your story. From catching the bad guy to stopping corruption, Sgt. Poitevin will cover it all! … well, maybe not all. There’s a lot to cover. Join one of Can*Con’s most popular speakers for an entertaining and informative workshop!

Sgt. Pat Poitevin is a senior investigator and outreach coordinator for the Sensitive and International Investigations unit of the RCMP’s National Division, providing training at local, national, and international levels. He lectures on anti-corruption at the MBA and EMBA levels, and is the co-founder of the ABAC program, Global Anti-Corruption University project, and the Canadian Centre of Excellence for Anti-Corruption at the University of Ottawa. As a 32-year veteran of the RCMP, Sgt. Poitevin’s past experience has included general duty, VIP security, proceeds of crime, fraud, and drugs and organized crime.

Keep Readers on the Edge of Their Seat

Matt Moore

There’s more to maintaining tension than just writing short, clipped sentences, the “ticking clock” or cutting between scenes. Stories, and the scenes within them, have a structure. (And do not confuse structure, which is descriptive, with formula, which is prescriptive.) That is, we are introduced to a scene, something changes for our characters, and they move on to the next scene. This can involve saving the universe or looking for their car keys. To create tension, you need to understand how the pieces of this structure work—plot, pacing, characters, conflict, etc.

We’ll look at things like:

  • How to end a scene in a way that makes the reader want to keep reading, but by giving a pay-off and not “cheating”?
  • What kind of threats and challenges can you throw at the main character that aren’t tired, clichéd or too easy?
  • Who or what is working against your main character?
  • What is on the line if your main character fails?

it all!  … well, maybe not all There’s a lot to cover. Join one of Can*Con’s most popular speakers for an entertaining and informative workshop!

Matt Moore is a horror and science fiction writer who believes good speculative fiction can both thrill and make you think. His short fiction, poetry and columns have appeared in a variety of print, electronic and audio markets including On Spec, Leading Edge, The Ottawa Citizen, AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review, Jamais Vu, The Drabblecast, and more. He’s a six time Aurora Award finalist, frequent panelist and presenter, and Co-Chair of the Ottawa Chiaroscuro Reading Series. His short story collection, But It’s Not The End And Other Lies, will be published by ChiZine Publications in April 2018. Raised in small-town New England, a place rich with legends and ghost stories, he lives in Ottawa, Ontario. Find more at mattmoorewrites.com.Twitter: @MattMooreWrites

2:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Weather that Works: Worldbuiling for the Serious Writer

Mark Robinson

Join TV personality Mark Robinson (The Weather Network) to learn about weather patterns, their impact on the ground, populations, and epic quests! From small weather fronts to landscape-redefining catastrophes, Mark will share both the science and personal stories that can make your stories pop.

Mark Robinson is a Canadian adventurer, storm chaser, and meteorologist. Recently named as one of Canada’s Top 100 Explorers by Canadian Geographic, he is also a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society. Mark has chased (and has been chased) by tornadoes across Canada and the United States. Mark has been intercepting hurricanes since 2005, and has documented many major storms including Katrina, Ike, and Sandy. He has also chased innumerable ice storms, blizzards and snowstorms. Mark’s adventurous spirit has taken him around the globe. He has witnessed avalanches, experienced -110 degrees Celsius temperatures, and jumped into both the Arctic and Southern (Antarctica) Oceans.
Mark is also an on-air personality at The Weather Network and co-hosts the show “Stormhunters” with his fellow storm chaser and Weather Network meteorologist, Jaclyn Whittal. When there is active weather, Mark and Jaclyn will often present on air, change into casual clothes, and chase storms well into the night. Mark is also the host of “Unearthed”. He is a sought after speaker and audiences want to hear about his experiences chasing storms and his adventures around the globe. He is active on social media and you can follow him at @StormhunterTWN

Nailing Your Beginning

James Alan Gardner

A workshop on good beginnings with multi-published, critically acclaimed author James Alan Gardner! Bring in the first three pages of a story or novel, and we’ll work on them. Not only are the first three pages crucial for engaging the reader, they also tend to raise issues for writing in general: things like tone of voice, viewpoint, exposition and more. Members of the group will give feedback on each piece, and James Alan Gardner will talk about topics that come up in the course of the session.

James Alan Gardner has two degrees in Math, half a degree in Geology, and a second degree black sash in Kung Fu. He’s won the Aurora award (twice), the Asimov’s Readers Choice award (twice), the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial award (only once), and has published lots of SF all over the place. His newest novel is ALL THOSE EXPLOSIONS WERE SOMEONE ELSE’S FAULT, coming out from Tor on November 7. http://www.jamesalangardner.com/ Twitter: @jamesagard

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