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Gwen Tuinman

Novelist Speaker Advocate

The Wild Nellies Online Meet-up for Womxn Creatives

Dear womxn creatives, whatever you’re doing—actively creating, reflecting, or resting in stillness—we’re your people. If you’re passionate about your art–or want to be–please join us for an inspiring discussion about creativity.

Conversations with other artists replenish my soul and my imagination which is why I love this event. Hang out with us online at The Wild Nellies Meet-up for Womxn Creatives and enjoy inspiring insights from our creativity panel featuring:

Sacha Visagie, Canadian Country Artist and philanthropist
Helen Leach-Edwards, visual artist
Premika Leo, dancer, circus aerialist, actor, activist
FJ Doucet, poet and fiction writer
Gwen Tuinman, novelist and creator of The Wild Nellies

Time: Aug 20, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Tickets $10 at: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/113020818310.

All ticket proceeds go to compensate artists and fund future Celebration of Women events which raise funds for charities that support womxn fleeing domestic violence.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Gwen Tuinman, Novelist and Creator of The Wild Nellies

About us — The Wild Nellies is a growing collective of womxn creatives—diverse in age, culture, and art practice. Among us are visual artists, musicians, singer songwriters, actors, directors, dancers, choreographers, aerialists, film makers, photographers, poets, spoken word poets, and authors. We share a passion for the healing power of creative self-expression, which we strive to spread to womxn struggling to find their voice.

Nova Scotia’s Bessie Hall: Mariner and Heroine

I’ve been reading Women at Sea in the Age of Sail by Donal Baird, a fascinating account of seafaring women from Canada’s east coast in the 1800s. For reasons I didn’t understand at the time, I was drawn to the book at a Halifax book store in 2018.

Gender roles of the Victorian era barred women’s aspirations taking to the sea for the purpose of being part of a ship’s working crew. None the less, a number of women in the 1800s travelled along with their husbands for some semblance of family life rather than be left behind to raise children alone. They often gave birth at sea without the care of doctor or midwife, suffered the lack of female companionship, and endured stormy weather and shipwrecks.

Continue reading “Nova Scotia’s Bessie Hall: Mariner and Heroine”

Character Therapy

Poet William Stafford wrote, “So the world happens twice—once as we see it as is; second, it legends itself deep, the way it is.” So, the writer first experiences the event, then processes details, and retells the story, teasing out the subtleties to make a point. She holds up the magnifying glass. See, this is how we are! We’ve all been hurt this way.

To have lived an experience is not enough. Writers are led by an urge to re-examine, find meaning, dig deeper. We are forever looking forward, forecasting, reflecting, being present, watching for those fire flies of an idea.

Continue reading “Character Therapy”

Story Behind a Book Cover

When you’re ready to publish your novel, choosing an image for the cover is no small feat—especially when the story is literary and explores a variety of themes. I faced that challenge when preparing The Last Hoffman for publication. Here’s a peek at my journey to selecting an image.

The Last Hoffman is a tale of sacrifice, betrayal and desolation that begins in 1950’s and ends thirty years later in a floundering papermill town where an awkward widower and a young mother band together to overcome their tragic pasts. A lot of the conflict in the story centres around water, so at first I thought of a waterfall Continue reading “Story Behind a Book Cover”

Writing Memoir

I began work on a new memoir essay over the past winter. Cold dark mornings are conducive to introspection. I’d make my 6 am cup of hot water and lemon, then pad downstairs and start the fireplace. Cozied up on the sofa with an artist pad and an assortment of colourful pens, I’d stare into space and take a deep breath. What did I need unearth and grow from? Continue reading “Writing Memoir”

Gwen Tuinman: Writer in Residence at The Lynde House Museum

Book Talk (online): July 13, 2020, 7pm

The Last Hoffman is a tale of sacrifice, betrayal and desolation rooted in a floundering papermill town where an awkward widower and a young mother band together to overcome their tragic pasts.

Gwen Tuinman will speak about the inspiration for the small-town setting of her debut novel, The Last Hoffman, and the characters that populate it. She’ll discuss her artistic process as well as the surprising mental and physical aspects of writing life. Join Gwen for a reveal of the interesting link between The Last Hoffman book cover design and The Lynde House Museum in Whitby, Ontario.

Click here for tickets. Purchase The Last Hoffman here.

Memoir Workshop (online): July 14 2020, 7 pm

There’s a story inside each one of us waiting to be written. Join Gwen Tuinman, local novelist and memoir essayist, for a discussion of storytelling techniques that can shift the recounting of unique life experiences from a documenting of facts to a riveting tale. Learn about various forms of memoir and how to structure your memories into compelling memoir that readers can’t put down.

Click here for tickets.

Writer in Residence: July 15 & 16, 11:00 am to 2:00 PM

Meet with Gwen online to discuss the details of your writing in a more personal setting. Do you need help starting your first novel? Not sure how to present a particular event in your memoir? Gwen is here to answer all of your questions! Book a session one-to-one or for a small group. Each consultation lasts up to 25 minutes.

Click here for tickets.

When True Feelings Slip Out

Most mornings I spend an hour and a half reading nonfiction texts and reflecting. Recently, I’ve been thinking about racist views shared on social media. Coincidentally, in preparation for shaping the imaginary world in my next novel, I’m reading “The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life” by Erving Goffman. It’s an older publication, but I’m gleaning inspiration here none the less. Continue reading “When True Feelings Slip Out”

Starting to Write a New Novel

I’ve just finished writing a novel. The research phase began while I was still writing a previous novel.  I purchased books, scoured the internet, interviewed people, and to be sure the setting details were just right, I travelled to the geographic areas where the story takes place.

This novel was written over the course of two years during which the characters came alive.  Although couldn’t see them, I could feel their presence, Continue reading “Starting to Write a New Novel”

One Writer’s Room

Virginia Woolf said that a woman needs a room of her own if she’s to write fiction. I’m privileged to have such a room. It’s a snug space that accommodates a desk and chair, a book shelf, and a sofa table. There’s enough space along the centre of the room to roll out a yoga mat and meditate in front an antique stand made by my great grandfather. Through the window this morning, I see espaliered plum trees growing alongside a sprawling elderberry bush. Continue reading “One Writer’s Room”

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