Writing Workshops, Retreats, Mentoring

Seminar or Lecture

Ellen Bass Workshop Toronto, October 24 & 25, 2015

Photo by Irene Young

Photo by Irene Young

Ellen Bass is an extraordinary poet, teacher and author.

Having been lucky enough to study with her in California and in Mallorca, Sue and James dearly wanted to bring her to the writing community in Toronto.

The stars (and the International Festival of Authors!) have finally aligned.

Ellen will be here teaching a 2 day workshop and reading at the IFOA the weekend of October 24 & 25. The way Ellen teaches poetry is not to be missed!
IFOA logo

Click here for more information about the weekend, and to register



Toronto Streetscape 300

Ellen Bass’s most recent book of poetry, Like a Beggar, was published in April 2014 by Copper Canyon Press. Her previous poetry books include The Human Line (Copper Canyon Press), named a Notable Book by the San Francisco Chronicle, and Mules of Love (BOA Editions), which won the Lambda Literary Award. She co-edited (with Florence Howe) the groundbreaking No More Masks! An Anthology of Poems by Women (Doubleday).

Her poems have appeared in hundreds of journals and anthologies, including The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, The American Poetry Review, The New Republic, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, and The Sun. She was awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Elliston Book Award for Poetry from the University of Cincinnati, Nimrod/Hardman’s Pablo Neruda Prize, The Missouri Review’s Larry Levis Award, the Greensboro Poetry Prize, the New Letters Poetry Prize, the Chautauqua Poetry Prize, a Fellowship from the California Arts Council, and two Pushcart Prizes.

Her non-fiction books include Free Your Mind: The Book for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Youth(HarperCollins), I Never Told Anyone: Writings by Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse(HarperCollins), and The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse(Harper Collins), which has sold over a million copies and has been translated into ten languages.

She currently is teaching in the low residency MFA program at Pacific University and has taught poetry and creative writing in Santa Cruz, CA and at other beautiful locations nationally and internationally.

Click here for more information about the weekend, and to register

Sue Reynolds’ TEDx Talk: “Writing Our Way Out of Trouble”


The fantastic Stouffville TEDx Team: Dr. Jane Philpott, Eileen Nicolle, and Julie Weiss asked me to be part of this year’s TEDx Stouffville, along with 5 other fantastic presenters. The video editing team has worked their magic, and the result can be seen below.

To see the other inspiring talks from that day, please go to the TEDxStouffville website and click on the individual presenter’s names.


2010 10 02 Writing Erotica – a short workshop at WORDSTOCK in Toronto

2919740There are few places in our writing more fearful to most of us than writing about sex. What will our mothers think? And what if our characters are the kinds of people who do things that we would never! Not in our wildest! How do we write about that and make it believable?

thick ink starWhere do we draw the line between revealing just enough to tantalize but not so much that readers cover their eyes? Or worse – close the covers all together.

Join James Dewar and Susan Lynn Reynolds for an exploration of the continuum of sexuality in writing from romance to pornography and all the delightfully erotic places to linger between those two poles.


We were delighted to be asked to do this presentation at the WORDSTOCK conference this year.

For more information about what’s on at Wordstock, click the link below to download the brochure.

WORDSTOCK Brochure 2010


Seminars on Thursday Afternoons in September

James Dewar and Susan Lynn Reynolds are pleased to announce that they will be offering 4 consecutive afternoon seminars sponsored by Durham Lifelong Learning at the Whitby Public Library next month.


Sept. 9th: Love Songs – Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes

The tumultuous tragic story of the marriage of poet Sylvia Plath to Britain’s poet laureate Ted Hughes ended in Sylvia’s famous suicide. The Poetry of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath will be read and discussed by the two presenters to demonstrate how art mimics life and death.

Sept. 16th: Reading as Writers:

We have all had the experience of being captured by a book, unable to put it down and being sorry when it’s over. But how is this done? What elements are essential to capture and hold a reader’s interest? In this seminar the two presenters explore the key aspects of what makes a great story.

Sept. 23rd: I Hate Poetry

Enjoy a humorous visit with language’s oldest art form, poetry. Until the invention of the printing press the most common method of remembering old stories and legends was to recreate them as poems. Reciting poetry was once a common evening pastime. What happened?! This seminar hopes to energize participants to enjoy poetry once again.

Sept. 30th: Full Disclosure – The Mental and Physical Health Benefits of Expression.

Research has indicated that there are very real mental and physical health benefits derived from writing down what distresses and dismays you. This seminar reveals how writing can be an effective therapeutic technique.

Where: Whitby Public Library, Dundas Street, Whitby, Conference Room 1B.

When: 1:00 to 3:00 on Thursdays, September 9th, 16th, 23rd, and 30th.

Cost: If spaces are available, non registrants may attend for $30.00 per Seminar. (Members of Durham Lifelong Learning pay an annual fee to attend these and several other events offered throughout the year.)

To learn more about Durham Lifelong Learning please visit http://www.durhamlifelearn.org/seminars.htm

About the Instructors

Click on the photos to learn more about us:

Sue in the mountainsJames in the mountains