Category Archives: Breakfast Speakers 2013

Ben Antao Publishes Review of “Smitten” by Jake Hogeterp

Smitten will leave you in tears!

A review by Ben Antao

The word smitten at once brought to mind the adolescent idea of love that tends to fade away as the adolescents get over it after becoming young adults. However, in Jake Hogeterp’s novel titled Smitten, the idea doesn’t weaken but lingers on, forcing the reader to look at teenage love and friendship in a new light.

The story centres round a Canadian family, adherents of Dutch Reformed Church.  The novel begins with a tragic accident in which Paul van Hoop is badly hurt during a canoe trip over white water rapids in Ontario, with his friend Tom Zondervan, the first person protagonist. The opening is gripping and draws the reader into the narrative.

Through flashbacks, the author fills in the backstory of the other characters, especially that of Revered Arendt van Hoop, who immigrated to Canada from Holland, after serving as a chaplain to the nursing wards in a hospital soon after the Second World War in 1945. Both Paul and Tom are bosom friends, although Tom is a lapsed Christian of the faith.

It is after the accident when Paul is in hospital that the main action begins to develop at an engaging pace, with the author weaving in twists in the plot to inject melodrama and surprises.

The writing is fluent and captures the lifestyle of the Dutch Reformed faithful in Canada.

Here is a sample:

Reverend: “So, Thomas, tell me why want to become a member of the church.”

Tom: I wasn’t expecting anything quite so direct, and wasn’t sure whether the formal “Thomas” was meant to intimidate or be interpreted as a signal that I had somehow slinked through the initiation. All year long and two or three years prior, we had been catechized on the salient points of church doctrine. …And now here was van Hoop hurling the whole basket of goods in my face and asking me for some kind of personal statement.

My answer popped out before I had a chance to give it a thought.  “I don’t.”

If I found something missing, it is the setting that could have been better identified through street names as happening in Toronto or Hamilton.

The theme of the story appears to be a brooding angst over wrong doing as Tom blames himself for the accident.

I recommend this novel if you are a sucker for emotion and tears; but more than that, you’ll get a front row view of the hanky-panky going on inside so-called Christian families. The author writes whereof he knows.

     Ben Antao is a journalist and novelist living inToronto.

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September 9, 2018 Barb Nobel Launches New Book

 

Long time WEN member, Barb Nobel wishes to invite all WEN members  to her book launch on October 20. Here are the details.

BOOK LAUNCH:  eDgy pEopLe   Barb Nobel

DATE:  Oct. 20, 2018 at 7 pm. to 8:30, or however long you want to stay.  Coffee and snacks and author readings

PLACE:  516 Rogers Road, Toronto – a most unusual space

The 40 short stories in this collection are stories of regret, revenge, imagination, humour, sadness, introspection, peculiar events, and peculiar people. The stories will yank the reader from rage to triumph, sorrow to joy, cruelty to compassion. The individuals are your grandmother, your child, your friend, or your foe. But none are dull. They are eDgy pEopLe.

April 16, 2016 Wallace House Launches Anthology

ThroughTheBrownDoorInvite.jpg

Wallace House Writers’ Guild Book Launch
The Wallace House Writers’ Guild, many of whom have joined WEN, are launching their first anthology titled “Through the Brown Door.” You are welcome to attend the launch on Saturday, April 16th from 1 to 4 PM at the historic Wallace House located at 137 Woodbridge Ave in Woodbridge.
They also plan to attend the WEN meeting in May to present their anthology.

January 19, 2013 Speaker

January 19, 2013                     Joseph Frankel

Joe Frankel has worked as a screenwriter and commercial director  in Toronto, New York and Los Angeles.  He has also worked as a story editor, developing screenplays for a diverse array of companies including: Universal Studios (working for director Gary Ross), The Mark Gordon Company (Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds), Stefanie Epstein Productions and The Characters Agency. Somewhere in a filing drawer he has two film degrees including an MFA in screenwriting from the University of Southern California, where he moderated the Zaki Gordon Speaker Series, hosting live interviews with acclaimed filmmakers such as: Gus Van Sant, Nancy Meyers, Robert Towne and Werner Herzog.

Joe currently works as a freelance producer, servicing a wide array of business clients, including authors and publishers.  His dual passion for books and films led him to develop an innovative new production model to promote books and authors using film and video.  Joe’s recent clients include best-selling Canadian mystery writer, Robert Rotenberg and two-time Arthur Ellis Award winner, Jon Redfern.  Although publishers have already begun to produce book trailers, Joe’s approach is unique and idiosyncratic. The stories dictate the approach and the results are uniquely cinematic.

Torontonian, graduate of L.A.U.in writing and directing,  who is working on a way to promote writers.

 

February 16, 2013 Speaker

February 16, 2013                    Barry Siskind

 

Barry Siskind, President of International Training and Management is one of North America’s most sought after consultants and speakers and an internationally recognized trade and consumer show expert.

Over the past twenty-eight years he has traveled throughout the world working with thousands of clients in virtually all industry groups both in the private and public sectors helping them improve their results at trade and consumer shows.

Each year, Barry delivers over 100 keynotes, workshops and seminars around the world. Barry has traveled across Canada from St John’s NL to Vancouver, BC, in the United States from Philadelphia to Las Vegas as well as Sao Paulo, Brazil, Bogotá, Columbia, Lisbon, Portugal, Bangkok, Thailand, Quito, Ecuador, Zagreb, Croatia and Beirut, Lebanon

Each year he accepts invitations to deliver keynotes at international trade events. A few recent examples are UFI in Moscow, Confexpo in Lisbon, ExpoSystems in Sao Paulo, AITT in Bangkok, Korean Exhibitors Association in Daegu and The Exhibitors Show in Las Vegas.

Barry is an active member of IAEE (International Association of Exhibitions and Events and CEIR (The Centre for Exhibition Industry Research) for whom Barry has developed several Guru reports as well as a series on the Government Exhibitor. He is also a current member of E2MA.

Barry sits on the Board of Directors of The Center for Exhibitor and Event Marketing (ICEEM).

As a business author, Barry Siskind has written seven best-selling books including his most recent, Grab Success by the Horns and Powerful Exhibit Marketing. He has also written over 500 original trade articles and industry reports. Barry’s monthly syndicated column appears in 30 publications worldwide.

He is certificated at the practitioners level from the Neuro-linguistic Institute

Barry is the Community Manager of UFILive, a blog for the global exhibit association, UFI

In 2006 Barry was the recipient of Canadian Exposition Industry Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of 20 years of outstanding achievements in furthering the professionalism of the Canadian Exposition industry.

His energetic, motivational and informative presentation style has earned him a listing in Canada Who’s Who.

 

 

 

March 16, 2013 Speaker

March 16, 2013 Speaker

TBA-WEB(S)ANDREW J. BORKOWSKI’s critically acclaimed debut short story collection, Copernicus Avenue, published by Cormorant Books, won the 2012 Toronto Book Award and was shortlisted for the 2012 Danuta Gleed Literary Award for short fiction. His work has been published in Grain, The New Quarterly, Dragnet, and in Storyteller magazine. His short story “Twelve Versions of Lech” was a finalist for the 2007 Writer’s Trust/McClelland and Stewart Journey Prize. Andrew’s arts, travel, and human interest journalism has appeared in publications including the Globe and Mail, the Canadian Forum, Quill & Quire, TV Guide, and the Los Angeles Times. As an editor and proofreader, he has contributed to nonfiction titles for McGraw-Hill Ryerson, John Wiley & Sons Canada, Pearson Publishing, and D&M Publishers.

April 20, 2013 Speaker

Carl _smallApril 20, 2013                            Carl Liberman

Mr. Liberman began his career as an actor, mainly for radio and television at the age of 11.  At the age of 14 he was offered the lead in a film to be shot in Greece, his parents opted to keep him in school, and that gave him something to write about.  An honours graduate of York University’s Fine Arts program in theatre, Carl later went on to write and co-produce several plays during the 80’s cabaret scene in Toronto. Just prior to becoming Canada’s newest and most sought after literary agent, Liberman rehearsed by working in the advertising biz for ten years as a successful new business executive.

Since founding the literary department at The Characters Talent Agency, the largest in Canada, he has overseen its growth from zero billings to over $20 Million nationally, trained three agents, and is heavily involved in its newest arm, the packaging division.  In addition to screenwriters, Carl also represents top directors, producers, A-list cinematographers and internationally renowned production designers and film editors.

Mr. Liberman has set a personal goal of becoming the first Canadian agent to bill $15 million. “We’re open for business and were very merit driven. In other words, if something is good, and presses all the right buttons we’ll sell it, no matter who wrote it.  This business is all about relationships and in my humble opinion we have the best!”

 

May 18, 2013 Speaker

May 18, 2013                             Howard Shrier

portraitHoward Shrier was born and raised in Montreal, where he earned an Honours Degree in journalism and creative writing at Concordia University. He has worked as a writer for more than thirty years in a wide variety of media, including print, magazine and radio journalism, theatre and television, sketch comedy and improv, and high-level corporate and government communications. His critically acclaimed first novel, Buffalo Jump, which introduces Toronto investigator Jonah Geller, won the Crime Writers of Canada’s Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel. The sequel, High Chicago, won the Arthur Ellis for Best Novel of 2009, making Howard the first author in the history of the awards to win both back to back. Boston Cream was published to rave reviews in 2013, including starred reviews in Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal. Miss Montreal, the fourth Geller book, is due out May 14, 2013. All the Geller books are published by Random House Canada and have been optioned for television by Toronto-based Media Headquarters.  Howard is also the author of one standalone thriller, Lostport (2011). He now lives in Toronto with his wife and sons and is working on a new novel set in Montreal in 1950-51. He also teaches writing at University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. He plans to write a longer bio when he needs to procrastinate a bit more.