Mentoring Aspiring Writers at the Blue Pencil Cafe


Not only am I teaching two awesome sessions at the Words in 3 Dimensions Conference May 2015, but I am also mentoring aspiring writers through the Blue Pencil Café. As a part of the conference, writers may send me a few pages of their work and/or questions about the writing life and career. We will get together at a designated time during the conference where I will pack as much mentoring support as I can into a twenty-minute session. If you want to chat with me, make sure to sign up early. I look forward to meeting you!


Words in 3 Dimensions 2015

May 22 – 24, 2015

Chateau Lacombe Hotel

Edmonton, Alberta

Registration opens February 1, 2015


Blue Pencil Café

Sunday, May 24, 2015

12:00 Noon – 2:00PM


Visit the conference schedule by clicking here.


Want to know about the two sessions I’m teaching at Words in 3D? Click here to read about:

(1) How to Take a Picture Worthy of Your Words

(2) Memorable Memoir: Writing Personal Stories.



I’m Teaching Two Sessions at Words in 3D Conferencence

In May 2015 aspiring writers will convene to learn and be challenged in the areas of writing, editing and publishing. I attended the Words in 3 Dimensions Conference last year and found it wildly valuable, plus a great opportunity to connect with other literary artists. With so many good memories in my pocket, it was an honour to be asked to present at the 2015 event.


Here is information about Words in 3D and the two sessions I will be teaching:


Words in 3 Dimensions 2015

May 22 – 24, 2015

Chateau Lacombe Hotel

Edmonton, Alberta

Registration opens February 1, 2015


How to Take a Picture Worthy of Your Words

Saturday, May 23, 2014

11:30AM – 12:45PM

Covering the basics of good photography, including exposure, composition, and technical requirements for different publications, Alexis Marie Chute shares what writers need to know about taking great photos for their projects. This session includes a group brainstorm for attendees’ current projects and recommendations from Alexis Marie on making your photography a stronger statement to support your words.


Memorable Memoir: Writing Personal Stories

Saturday, May 23, 2015

4:00PM – 5:15PM

Alexis Marie Chute offers tools and techniques for writing your personal story: removing sentimentality, finding alternatives to strict chronological structure, and building authenticity. Featuring memory recall exercises, this presentation is a must-see for anyone writing personal narratives.




The Editing Stage: A Necessary Torture

Do you love free writing? Do the ideas just flow out of you and you find you can write for hours? Are you a master at hammering out the first draft? Congratulations, your right brain is serving you well!

What about the very left-brain process of editing? Does that flow as freely for you?

If you’re like me, the draft stage is easier than what follows. At one time, I said I hated editing, that it was like torture – pulling teeth, a slap on a sunburn, slowly dripping water… Although, after very thoroughly editing my first memoir, I have come to appreciate editing in a new way.

I still see editing as a form of torture but also a process that makes my work stronger and more potent as a result – and it’s always worth the effort. Watching my manuscript evolve with each complete edit was like witnessing a child grow-up before my eyes. It turned out that editing was actually a very beautiful and sensitive stage of the writing.

During editing erroneous details are eliminated. Key themes are refined. Characters’ voices are made more authentic. Wordiness is exchanged for clarity… These are all positive qualities we want from our work – but they must be earned.

I’m still figuring out my editing style. I tend to have an epiphany of what needs improvement and then do a full run through of the manuscript focusing on that one element. It is a labour intensive process and sometimes I wonder if I have memorized my sentences. Usually at that point I need a pair of fresh eyes to look at my work, if not just a good night’s sleep to reset my brain.

How do you edit your work? Do you jump in like you do at the drafting stage or do you need a deadline to get focused?

I welcome you to share your reflections on the torturous and yet necessary stage of editing. I’d especially like to hear from those that love refining their work and what words of encouragement they may have for the rest of us.

Happy writing!