Local Authors and Artists Festival

Your Invite to the Windsor International Writers Conference

welcome-to-windsorPersonally, I love Windsor. The place has some history and the people here are the most down to earth and friendly of all the Canadian cities I’ve lived in. I attended University here and after three year stint in Ottawa, I decided to come back,settle down and eventually start Mirror World. I returned because I missed the laid back atmosphere, the vibrant art community and the ability to live in a city while still feeling like it’s okay to take your time and talk to the people you meet. The other thing that’s great about Windsor is the entrepreneurial spirit you’ll find here. Even when the economy was at its lowest, you still found small businesses popping up trying to make the best of it.

It is for these reasons that I am exceptional proud to be able to say that this year Windsor is hosting its second annual Windsor International Writers Conference from May 5th to 8th at the Holiday Inn on Huron Church Rd. Geared towards writers of all experience levels, the conference boasts a weekend full of guest speakers, workshops, networking, food, and exhibitors.

In addition to all that, there will be a number of publishers, agents and industry professionals there so you can make contacts, get advice and even sign up to have your manuscript critiqued. I’ll be there too, so if you’re looking to meet me now’s your chance!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned as an author-publisher in Windsor it’s that this city has a whole lot of talent. We’re bursting at the seams with creative people and writers in particular as evidenced by the overwhelming attendance at the Local Authors and Artists Festival last year and the Windsor-Essex Book Expo in the years before that. So if you are a writer in Windsor or  near enough to travel to us, I strongly recommend registering for the Windsor International Writers Conference this year before space runs out. That way you can meet me  along with the rest of what the Windsor writing community has to offer.

Justine Alley Dowsett


We’re Hosting and YOU’RE invited!

We’ve got some great events coming up and we hope you can join us! On Thursday September 3rd from 6pm until 9pm Murandy and I will be at the Artspeak Gallery in Windsor (1942 Wyandotte St E) with Sharon Ledwith, Nate Friedman, Elizabeth J.M. Walker and Rita Monette!


Click here for the facebook event and be sure to share this invite with local friends. The more the merrier!

And, on September 26th from 10am to 5pm we’ll be at the WFCU centre (8787 McHugh St) in Windsor along with 65+ other local authors and artists for the Local Authors and Artists Festival! Please mark the day in your calendar because this will be a local event you don’t want to miss!


For more information about this event go to http://www.laafestival.wordpress.com or check out the event on Facebook.

Calling all Authors and Artists local to Windsor and the surrounding area!

Mirror World Publishing, in partnership with the Crosstown Players, is proud to present The 2015 Local Authors and Artists Festival. This year’s event will be held Windsor’s WFCU Centre Saturday, September 26th from 10am to 6pm and all our welcome to come out and show their support for local talent.

Registration is now open for authors, visual artists, and musicians. We’re looking for vendors, performers and sponsors. If you would like to be involved, please contact us or find the contact form and application on our website.


Local Author, Christine Hayton’s advice on “Editing the Editors”

1 Editing is an absolute necessity for any writer. It is very hard for a writer to catch his own mistakes. Editing puts fresh eyes on the work and is the best way to find the errors and generate the suggestions needed to polish the piece, and bring it up to the next level. Recently some comments rang alarm bells in my head. See what you think…

  1. Some time ago, I read a blog that claimed popular traditionally published authors were getting away with books full of writing errors. The article claimed that new authors simply could never get away with that kind of writing—their editors would never allow it.

An editor would never allow it—a perfect example of the tail wagging the dog. The writer should always be in control and never relinquish that control to anyone. Editors can make suggestions and corrections, put the final decisions must come from the writer – NOT the editor.2

  1. This week, I’m in a discussion and a supposedly experienced writer/editor demands that rules must never be broken. She went so far as to say if a writer cannot follow the rules, they shouldn’t write at all.

Unless a writer follows the rules, he shouldn’t write at all—a clear lack of understanding of the art of writing. If everyone follows every rule exactly, we will all write the same and individual styles will be lost.

  1. In another discussion, I find an editor who claims he can make anyone a best-selling author. Reminds me of the old wild west medicine shows, where one medicine could cure everything.

3An editor who can turn any manuscript into a best-seller is a fraud and out to take money from writers. The perfect “buyer-beware” situation if I ever heard one.

I know professional editors are hard to find and expensive. They are educated, trained, and usually have extensive experience since it is their career choice. They are very particular about what they edit and the writer’s work has to fit with their preferred categories and genres. There is usually a waiting list to engage their services.

Tradition publishers hire professional editors, either as staff or on contract, to edit the books produced by their authors. Their goal is to establish and preserve the commercial value of the book and their methods work extremely well. The authors are popular, and the books get good reviews and sell very well. These professionals do not follow the same rigid pattern of the non-pro editors. They edit the writing based on the rules of English and consider exceptions based on the author’s style. They give the author suggestions. He controls his work and chooses to make changes, if any.

Some non-pro editors feel they have the right to make demands, impose rules that strangle individual style, and of course, some are nothing more than thieves.

I considered how these non-professional editors evolved and how they directly influence the volunteer editors. When I started writing seriously a couple years ago, I joined online critique circles and a writing group, where fellow writers edited each others’ work. The editing left me confused and concerned. It had been a while since I left school, but some terminology was brand new to me. It kept popping up and I had to do some homework to figure out what they were saying. There was also an insistence on following language rules to the letter, with no allowance for exceptions.

The new terms turn out to be nothing more than editorial preferences – there are no rules. “Head-hopping” relates to POV changes, and “talking-heads” to dialogue. The point of these preferences is to avoid confusion within the story. Those two came up quite often, but there are others too. If POV or dialogue does not follow accepted procedures, these non-pro editors accuse the author of serious errors. Even when no confusion exists, they’re often still adamant it’s wrong and demand correction. The compliance to the preference is unwarranted if the premise for correction does not exist. In other words, there is no confusion evident so why make unnecessary changes.

Given my education and extensive reading, I always felt confident in my ability to produce good English, but these demands have nothing to do with accepted writing concepts. It took me a while to figure out why these editors created new terminology, allowed new interpretations, and took such a hard line with the rules.

Suddenly the light dawned – rather it hit me over the head. I remembered all those self-published books I TRIED to read, but could never get through. The unedited ones ran the gambit of writing errors – spelling, grammar, sentence structure, POV and tense issues. Obviously, the flood of self-published authors, many new and untrained, creates unique editing challenges. Before 2007, when self-publishing took off, the bad writing hit the agent’s slush pile before it ever got to an editor.

4Some perceptive entrepreneurs found editing a way to make money from the vast pool of new writers and I’m sure some are good at it. “Editors” popped up everywhere. They are relatively inexpensive compared to professional editors and readily available. They provide a badly needed service. But before writers pay for editing, they need to ask about the editor’s training and qualifications. They should feel confident about the kind of editing they will receive. A writer needs to be sure the editor will work with him and the results are worth the cost. In many cases that means the writer needs to do his own research.

The “free” editors are usually members of a writers group, or writers trading critiques in an online group. Their comments are free but they often propose the same strict adherence to rules and preferences as the non-pro editors—sometimes even more so. Like any preference or rule, there are always exceptions especially in any creative process. In many cases, the strict application pushed by non-pro editors could and would destroy a good writer’s individual style and voice. Hemingway and Dickens broke rules constantly and they were not alone. Many of our best classic writers fell into the pattern of artistic writing, and in doing so, maintained their own individual style and found amazing success.

I understand these new concepts. In many cases, they are instrumental in reigning in poor writing, and bringing it up to acceptable standards. My problem lies with many readers and writers, who voluntarily edit new writing, and blindly spread these strict concepts, and insist on their validity, without appreciating their purpose—that’s where my understanding stops.

Writers and editors need a good knowledge of the intricacies of the craft. Writers should never be in a position where an editor takes control or makes demands. There are some very good writers out there. I hate to see them compromise their writing by handing it over to an editor and allowing them to decide the style and voice.

To edit work for a fellow writer, the first step should be to read the story and decide if it works. This is the best way to give a fellow writer very helpful suggestions. Keep in mind if the genre is one you don’t normally read – you probably won’t like the story and probably shouldn’t be editing it at all. I’m sure any writer would appreciate your decision to edit what you know.

Once you’ve been over the story, read it again and look for errors in grammar, spelling, or punctuation. Mark any corrections and write up any suggestions or comments. The writer should consider your edit comments, but always retains the right to accept or reject.

Editing your fellow writers with the sole intention of finding every perceived error is about maximizing criticism and is of no real value to anyone. Suggestions are only constructive if they provide ways to make the story better, or give the writer a chance to polish his own style.

Learning the craft, finding your own voice, developing great ideas, and executing your story is the objective. Editing is the polish that helps you take it to your audience. Writing should always be about telling a great story. Sometimes the best way to tell a great story is to break some rules. Produce that well-polished tale people want to read, and success becomes inevitable.


Local Authors and Artists Festival


Local Authors and Artists Festival will be held in the Fall of 2015

Hello everyone,

Our list of local authors and artists that want to keep up to date with information concerning this festival for 2015 is growing, but we’re still looking to get in touch with people from the Windsor, Essex and surrounding areas who might want to showcase their products and talents at this event. So if you’re not yet on our mailing list, not getting our emails, or just know someone who might want to be kept in the loop, please contact us at info@mirrorworldpublishing.com

We promised to keep you updated, so here’s where we’re at right now. Mirror World Publishing will be running this event in 2015. We will be partnering with The Crosstown Players, a local not-for-profit theatre troupe based out of Windsor. (If you want to know more about them, please click here to go to their website: http://www.crosstownplayers.ca ) We will also be looking to partner with as many sponsors as we can find. If you know anyone who might like to sponsor this event, please have them contact us as well!

Right now, we’re looking into booking a very large room at the WFCU centre for the fall of 2015. As soon as we have a firm date and a location, we will let you know what that is!

As always, we’re happy to hear your thoughts and suggestions and as the date grows closer, we will be looking for volunteers to help us set up and spread the word. For now, if you want to help, please just let every author and artist you can think of know about this great opportunity. Thanks!

Justine and Murandy
Or on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mirrorworldpublishing

(Please note: There has been some talk about another group in Windsor deciding to put on an event as well in 2015 to showcase local authors. We are not in any way affiliated with this event or its organizers. If you want to be kept in formed of LAAF and its progress, please contact us to subscribe to our mailing list, or follow this blog. We promise to keep you up to date on all developments. Thank you.)