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Gwen Tuinman

Novelist Speaker Advocate

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”

Unwed Mothers and Maternity Home History

A character in my novel, The Last Hoffman, is in trouble.  She is pregnant, young and unmarried. Should she raise the baby? Should she give it up to a childless couple?

(Please enjoy this Wellspring Podcast of Unwed Mothers and Maternity Home History)

Continue reading “Unwed Mothers and Maternity Home History”

More Than Enough

I’m an author and also the creator of a womxn’s-creative collective called The Wild Nellies. We perform and exhibit our work to awareness and funds for charities that support women fleeing domestic violence. The mission is dear to my heart, having experienced twelve years of domestic abuse in my own past.

My heart is touched when someone says my writing resonates with them. So when singer songwriter, The Rockin Krolik, shared that my memoir essay, We Are Enough: A Story of Vanquishing Self Doubt, inspired to him write new music and lyrics, I was deeply honoured. Please enjoy his song, More Than Enough.

At a Wild Nellies Celebration of Women event, The Rockin Krolik heard my reading of We Are Enough.

“At that event, she read (…) to the audience; her voice, her own words, her story and courage just drew everyone in and I was deeply moved by it. We Are Enough is raw and real. And, it brought me back to days of my life that were not so bright. Most importantly it had me thinking about my mom and her experience.”

THE ROCKIN KROLIK

Stories connect us with each other. Domestic abuse is a story as old as time, but can be difficult for victims and survivors to tell. Many thanks to The Rockin Krolik for so artfully carrying our story forward on behalf of those who have not yet reclaimed their voice.

The Rockin Krolik
FB IG

During this period of social distancing due to COVID-19 pandemic, it is more difficult for those at risk— to domestic abuse and violence— to safely access help. Below is the signal for help that can on a video call to safely show that help is needed. If you see the signal for help, please seek guidance from counsellors at the nearest women’s shelter.

Courtesy of The Denise House/Sedna Women’s Shelter & Support Services Inc.

More to the Picture

Before cameras became widely accessible, an adult might have had their photo taken once over the course of their lifetime. They had one chance to leave a visual image through which future generations would interpret who they’d been, to dress in a manner that communicated their accomplishments … or to produce a smile that would forever define them.

A dear cousin recently shared this photo taken in Paris, 1919, by Lewis Hine. It’s more than a photo of a cherub face and curly hair. There’s trepidation in child’s eyes and the set of his mouth that’s concerning. What’s the story? Continue reading “More to the Picture”

Book Release–The Last Hoffman

I’m thrilled to share that my novel THE LAST HOFFMAN is published and available for purchase in e-book and print format. It’s been quite a journey, but I finally did it! There’s lots of  love poured into the writing of this literary fiction/family drama.

Here’s a little ditty that summarizes the story…

In a floundering 1980s papermill town, awkward widower Floyd Hoffman holds a secret that draws contempt from his teenage son.
Continue reading “Book Release–The Last Hoffman”

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