Photo Album 2013

To see pictures from Word on the Street 2013

To see pictures from Bob Mayer’s Workshop 2013

Word on the Street – September 22, 2013

WotS Banner only

Held September 22nd, this year’s Word on the Street, or “WotS” was another triumph for the Toronto Romance Writers. TRW Treasurer Susan Douglas arrived at the massive event mid-afternoon and, trying to figure out where we were, she looked along Wellesley and saw only one booth thronged with visitors. “I knew it was us right away! We always attract the most attention!”


If you’ve ever volunteered for a shift in the booth, you know that the first concern for an outdoor September event is the weather. Three years ago we suffered high winds which required us to pin our printed material in place with rocks and resulted in us purchasing the exciting and effective racks for the next year. Last year, we had rain, and yet thousands of people put books over comfort and came out anyway.

This year, it was sunny but cold. So extra kudos to Ann Lethbridge for not only turning out in her Regency gown, but for braving the cold temps to do her signing and big book give-away. When she did don a shawl, it, too, was appropriate for her favorite era.

1~Joan Leacott_Stephanie Bedwell-Grime_Ann Lethbridge

Here’s Ann (far right) with Joan Leacott (left) and Stephanie Bedwell-Grime (centre).

Me? I’ve learned to layer. Sherry Isaac captioned the picture, below as, “Steampunk Time Traveller Gina, already planning WOTS 2014!”

2~Steampunk Gina w iPhone~Sherry


Every year it’s something different. Last year we had a number of signings just happen! So this year, we scheduled them: Four awesome authors volunteered. They brought cases of books and proceeded to give them away!  We had lovely, lengthy line-ups.

Here’s Ann Lethbridge signing Regency novels in her Regency gown:

3~Ann Lethbridge signing at WotS 2013

Here’s Kate Bridges/Kate Maddison. Notice the stacks of books she has at the beginning of her hour, then compare and contrast with the four copies she has left toward the end of her hour. By the time her shift was done, so were her generous donation of books!

4~Kate Bridges signing 5~Kate Bridges Signing

Here’s what our booth looked like during each signing. This is during Brenda Harlan’s turn. Notice even our own members are lined up!

6~line up for Brenda Harlan's signing

No wonder Susan spotted us from a block away!

Here’s Mary Sullivan (right) wisely and warmly dressed for her signing, pictured here with Joan Leacott (centre) and Deb Armstrong (left):

7~Deb Armstrong~Joan Leacott~Mary Sullivan

Thanks, awesome authors!


In addition to the official signings, so many other people donated books and sent promo material. My poor postman has come to dread September. I can’t recall all the donors, but Kate Freiman gave me piles and piles of books, Kelley Armstrong sent me several of hers. Deb Armstrong donated multiple copies, as did Eve Silver, Michelle Rowen and Julianna Stone. Molly O’Keefe loaded me down at a ton of her fabulous books. Maureen McGowan gave us copies of her latest, including a copy in Spanish which went to a delighted young woman who felt it would a great way to work on her Spanish studies. Maureen also donated two audio-formats! New member Susanna Kearsley stopped by with copies of her latest. Sherry Isaac and Adrienne Kress, as well. I know I’m missing some. My apologies if I didn’t mention you by name. Thank you all!

Here’s my basement the week prior to WotS:

9~Gina's basement 2013 8~Gina's basement 2013

Here’s a shot of the table with a chilled Randi Kang and Wayne Tedder. You can see we filled the racks!

10revised~Randi & Wayne

Here’s Sherry Isaac, Wayne Tedder and me setting up for the signings. Yes, that is a whip next to the fortune cookies. Because TRW is both naughty and nice!

11~Sherry Wayne Gina 12 display racks


To my delight, everyone jumped on board with the wearing of hats and costumes. I showed Randi various head gear I’d bought over a Sisters in Crime pre-meeting dinner and she snagged the pink horns with great enthusiasm, declaring, “Those are mine!” And here I’d expected reticence from some volunteers. But I know now that’s not TRW style!

13~Sherry Isaac_Sharon Clare

Here’s Sherry Isaac and Sharon Clare. Sherry comes out early every year to help me set up and then stays the entire day. Thank you Sherry!

14revised~Group shot~chopped out other two

From left to right: Randi Kang, Wayne Tedder, Sherry Isaac, Sharon Clare, Gina Grant.

Thank you from me, your organizer, and from all of TRW to those volunteers who came out, braved the cold, wore hats and manned a shift: Sherry Isaac, Wayne Tedder, Randi Kang, Sharon Clare, Kate Bridges, Vicki So, Mary Sullivan, Deb Armstrong, Ann Lethbridge, Stephanie Bedwell-Grime, Brenda Harlen, Louisa Lo, Charlotte Copper, Joan Frantschuk,  and Kate Freiman. Jane Xie wasn’t listed as a volunteer, she just showed up to help out. Thank you Jane!


Thanks to everyone who provided printed material and promotional items. We gave out all of Vicki Essex’s highly popular fortune cookies and all of Maureen’s super-cool-with-teens wrist bands. I had give-away bags from A.C. Mason and from Kelley Armstrong. If one of the Kelley bags accidently ended up in my possession, well, it wasn’t my fault!

15 swag fortune cookies 16 swag bracelets

Tina Hahn comes by to take pictures and a few members just stopped by to say hi.

Tina Christopher made the mistake of showing up at my place to hand over her fridge magnets and got promptly shanghaied into helping me load the car. In the pouring rain! My husband drives me down each year. This year, in addition to the two display racks, I had twelve boxes of donated books, swag and décor. Twelve. Boxes! Kate Freiman swoops in each year toward closing and helps us tear-down and lug all the stuff to her car and drives me home with it.

I hear TRW has already received several inquiries regarding membership from interested WotS attendees. I’m declaring it a big success. Thank you all!

So to everyone who helped out, donated stuff, or just dropped by: Hi! Have a book! Come back next year!


I leave you with a shot of happy attendees who managed to snag one of Kelley’s books. I’d be smiling, too!

17~Visitors enjoying our booth

In fact, I was!

18 Gina smiling 2013

Thanks to everyone who helped make Word on the Street 2013 a brilliant success!

~ Gina Grant, your WotS Coordinator

One Day Novel Writing Workshop with Bob Mayer – June 8, 2013

Every year, TRW invites a writing guru to present a one-day seminar. This year, New York Times best selling writer Bob Mayer focused on writing the novel, beginning with the original idea and core conflict, developing plot and character, working with point of view, and pulling everything together selling your book and the business of writing. Bob was entertaining, enlightening and engaging. Here are some pictures from the day:

DSCF5999 DSCF6006

Bob presented to a packed house, and then signed copies of his books at break. To the right, he poses with Gina X. Grant and Dominique McKinley.


This workshop was for moderate to advanced writers, including a trio of our published authors: Maureen McGowan, Molly O’Keefe and Michelle Rowan.

In another annual tradition, TRW sells raffle tickets to great packages of donated books and other swag.

DSCF5993 DSCF5996

These bags contained many items including donated books from our members and were organized into themes such as:

Spice of Life

Writer’s Toolkit

Out of the World Sci-Fi

Night with the Authors

Care and Feeding of a Romance Author

DSCF6024 DSCF6023

We want to give a shout out to all the people outside of the board who donated so generously to yesterday’s event making it a huge success and a lot of fun.  In particular, we want to extend a very special thanks to Paula Watkinson, Chris Almeida, Tina Hahn and Irene Jorgensen who really pitched in to help out with the day with a special mention to Guida for taking the time to bake her cupcakes and other goodies for us.

Non-Members who donated to the raffle were:

  • Wendy Ferguson Designs on Etsy donated these awesome Tardis earrings as well as some flip flop earrings. If you’re looking for some really cool custom jewelry for a giveaway, or just to show off, give her a shout.  If she can draw it, she can make it into earrings!
  • Laura Shin donated a substantive edit of 50 pages.  She is an excellent freelance editor so if anyone is looking and would like her contact info, give us a shout. She worked for almost 20 years at Harlequin on almost every line and imprint out of Toronto.  From there she joined Penguin Canada as the first Commercial Fiction Editor the company had ever had.  She has worked on books in all genres.   Close to twenty books she has edited have been nominated for the prestigious RITA award and she was the editor of the RITA-award winning book in the long, contemporary category in 2008.
  • Lisa deNikolits, author of A Glittering Chaos, was a guest attendee who contacted me last week to donate a copy of her book for the raffle.
  • Katy Evans donated a copy of her book that everyone’s been talking about, Real.
  • Harlequin donated a huge bag of recent releases.
  • Kobo donated cool notebooks and post-its.  (Don’t forget to come to the August meeting to hear Mark Lefebvre from Kobo)
  • Night Out With Authors donated two tickets to their inaugural event

Our own members donated loads of books and so much amazing stuff we could never list it all here. Thanks go to:

Stephanie Bedwell-Grime

Kate Bridges

Kimber Chin

Sharon Clare

Deborah Cooke

Christine D’Abo

Vicki Essex

Gina X. Grant

Ann Lethbridge

a.c. Mason

Maureen McGowan

Margaret Moore

Molly O’Keefe

Cristal Ryder

Wylie Snow

Juliana Stone

Jessica Subject

Mary Sullivan

A great big thank you in no small part to all of you who came out and enjoyed the day and bought raffle tickets. We hope to see you in 2014 for our All-Day “Craft of Writing” Workshop with Chuck Wendig!

(This article was written with notes from Susan Douglas and photos from Tina Hahn.)

Powered by Netfirms