Vaughan Writers’ Series

Check out the event on the Snapd Vaughan East website!

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The Vaughan Writers’ Series kicked off on Saturday, April 22, 2017 with a bang. Noted children’s author Richard Scrimger spoke about how to write great stories and dropped a few spoilers concerning some of his novels. Richard’s workshop was followed by talks from five Vaughan Writers’ Club  members, a question and answer session and panel discussion, and presentation from The Canadian Author’s Association.

group photoRichard Scrimger

richard scrimger

Children’s author Richard Scrimger

Richard demonstrated (with volunteers from the audience) how the three basic elements of storytelling–character, conflict, and plot–work in the story-crafting process. Having a likable protagonist is not enough to craft a memorable story. Your protagonist must get into trouble. He suggested that a character who will help your protagonist out of trouble is important, but the story will be better if your “helper” only serves to get your character into further trouble, rather than solve the problem for him/her. He explained his inspiration to write Lucky Jonah and Ink Me, and how the first was plot-driven (boy finds a magical camera), and the second was character-driven (based on a character Richard knew and identified with). Richard’s presentation was humorous, entertaining, and fascinating. It incredible to hear how a professionally published author got his start and continues to thrive in the business.

Elise Abram


Elise and her book.

Entitled “From the Known to the Unknown”, Elise spoke of the inspiration behind her soon to be published novel, The New Recruit, based on a real childhood experience.


Josephine Vaccaro-Chang

josephine and book

Josephine Vaccaro-Chang

Josephine explained how her workshops for preschool children took shape. She showcased her book, We Are Colourful Friends, and discussed how she uses the book and puppets in her educational presentations. Josephine’s 6′ tall, red flamingo, ruby was on hand to help her with the presentation. Watch for Josephine as she begins touring her entire sculpture collections. Her first stop will be Indigo in Richmond Hill on Saturday, September 16, 2017 from 1 – 4 pm.


Tamara Hecht


Tamara and her books.

In “Starting Local”, Tamara explained how she prefers to publicize her Monsterville novels locally. It is easy to get lost on the Internet, she said. It is much better to take advantage of local opportunities–like schools, festivals, and libraries–right in your own neighbourhood.



Howard Isenberg


Howard & Mr. Balloona-Man


Howard’s novel, Mr. Balloona-Man was inspired by his children. The Howard’s likeness and that of his children are featured in the book. Not only did Howard share his inspiration for the book, he treated us to a brief reading of a poem in the story.



Sigal Haber


Sigal Haber and her books.

Sigal’s book, Chuck the Rooster Loses his Voice, was inspired by Sigal’s extensive background in teaching and practicing entrepreneurship. It is through her picture book that she hopes to inspire today’s young children to embrace and entrepreneurship and learn what it means to take initiative in a community, she explained.

Sigal also introduced her new book, The Bear Barr Wants to Play Guitar.

The Canadian Authors’ Association

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From L to R: Rose (library staff), Anita Purcell, Richard Scrimger, and Heather (library staff).

Anita Purcell extolled the virtues of belonging to The Canadian Authors’ Association and its website. It is a great idea to join the association for networking purposes, as well as seeking out information about publishing, finding an agent, writing query letters, and so much more.

Photo Gallery

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The library’s Heather He-Stewart emceed event

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Richard Scrimiger

panel discussion

Josephine moderates panel discussion with audience.

rivka and sigal

Sigal Haber and Rivka Ringelstein.

josie and ruby

Josephine and Ruby.

poster and books

Photo courtesy of Rivka Ringelstein. 


Call for Submissions

vaughan_writes_bannerIn celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation, Vaughan Public Libraries is implementing another Vaughan Writes initiative – please check out the Vaughan Writes Canada 150 Stories – Call for Submission.

Vaughan Public Libraries (VPL) champions local literary creation and cultural development. We have recently launched a few exciting Vaughan Writes initiatives to implement this commitment, such as offering innovative e-Publishing opportunities to local poets and writers through Vaughan Poetry Map and SELF-e.

In celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation, VPL is now inviting all writers and aspiring writers in Vaughan and the surrounding areas to create an anthology together. This anthology is to celebrate our Canadian land, people, culture and heritage. It is also an opportunity to showcase Vaughan’s literary talents:

  • Upon submitting your work, your entry(ies) will be automatically collected in our Vaughan Writes: a Canada 150 Curation on SELF-e.
  • A Review Panel composed of the Vaughan Writers’ Club senior members will further review all submissions and select up to 20 entries to be included in our book Voices of Vaughan: a Canada 150 Anthology. The Review Panelists may edit your entry before the anthology is e-Published on SELF-e. If your entry is selected, you will be invited to the book launch ceremony taking place in the fall.

If you are interested in this exciting community writing project and e-Publishing opportunity, please consult the Guidelines and submit your information by filling out the form at

Highlights of this community writing project

  • Great e-Publishing and promotional opportunity for writers and aspiring writers – if your entry is included in our book, you will be invited to our book launch ceremony taking place at the Civic Centre Resource Library in the fall. VPL will promote this project to the entire community.
  • You can submit all genres (including poetry and non-fiction) to SELF-e and we will showcase all the works we receive under “Vaughan Writes: a Canada 150 Curation” on SELF-e, but Library Journal and our Vaughan Writers’ Club review panel will only review fictional short stories for the anthology purpose.
  • You will be using SELF-e and Pressbooks (more info below).


  • SELF-e is a partnership between Library Journal and Biblioboard, a hybrid software-media company. The SELF-e Collection offers free access to a variety of Canadian independent authors’ eBooks, and a worldwide collection of Library Journal Select eBooks that are recommended by professional book reviewers.
  • SELF-e is also a self-publishing and distribution tool that allows independent authors’ works to be discovered by customers of all SELF-e participating library systems. All Library Journal highlighted titles will likely get priority to be read by library customers and promoted by the participating libraries. Local writers and aspiring writers are encouraged to submit works through SELF-e Submission to gain exposure. Note: SELF-e does not compensate writers with a royalty fee, however, writers will find this tool helpful in terms of  promotional opportunities.
  • More info about SELF-e can be viewed here – note: SELF-e has recently changed their interface design, therefore, not all slides in the video look the same as the current site, however, the functions and steps remain the same.


  • Pressbooks is a book writing program that lets writers create a book in any format they need for publication.
  • More info can be viewed on this video.


Vaughan Public Libraries Writers’ Series

richard scrimgerAspiring writers and book lovers are welcome to join and hear the wonderful stories behind our authors’ latest works.

When: April 22, 2017

Time: 1:30 – 4 pm

Where: Bathurst Clark Resource Library

Address: 900 Clark Ave. W. , Thornhill, Ontario


1:30 – Bestselling author, Richard Scrimger, shares his experience in creating children’s literature.

2:30 – Meet Vaughan Writers’ Club members Elise Abram, Josephine Vaccaro-Chang, Tamara Hecht, Howard Isenberg, and Sigal Haber as they discuss the inspiration behind their writing.

3:00 – Panel discussion – Richard Scrimger and local authors answer your questions.

3:30 – Canadian Authors Association Presentation and Meeting.

For more details, see Writers’ Series Poster.