Quebec Writers' Federation Workshops

Fall Session 2017
Workshop leader: Claire Holden Rothman

Ten Mondays, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m
October 2 – December 11 (excluding October 9, Thanksgiving)

QWF Office – 1200 Atwater Avenue, Room 3, Westmount, QC

Workshop fee: $200 for QWF members; $250 for non-members
Cost of QWF membership (annual) and workshop: $235

Payment is due within one week of registration to confirm your spot.

For more information, or to register:
(514) 933-0878 or

“Jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down.” Ray Bradbury

So you’re writing a novel. Maybe this is your first attempt—you are several chapters in and suddenly filled with doubts and questions. Or maybe you’re an old hand. You’ve got through the first draft, and what you need now are readers, preferably sharp-eyed, big-hearted ones, who love good writing as much as you do.

This workshop is designed for people currently engaged in writing a long-form project. We will examine what exactly a novel is, and how blurry the line separating so-called fact from fiction is becoming. Mention will be made of elements fundamental to all story-telling, such as significant detail, characterization, point of view, desire and conflict. But issues of particular importance to novels and other long works (ie., memoir), such as shaping compelling scenes and stringing them together into a plot that makes readers want to turn pages, will also be addressed. We’ll look at beginnings and endings, and also at how to write readable sex. There will be some assigned reading to start off the workshop, and I’ll bring excerpts from published novels to read aloud, but your own writing will be the main springboard for discussions about craft and technique.

Over the course of ten weeks, you will have the possibility of submitting for feedback two chapters (or portions) of the project you are working on, as well as your synopsis. You will be asked to express clearly the kind and degree of feedback you want for each submission. Questions will be the order of the day from fellow writers, not advice. Written editorial feedback will be provided by your workshop leader.

Portfolio requirements To apply, please submit the following three items to with the subject line “For Claire Holden Rothman" by September 18.

  1. The first chapter of your novel (or first ten double-spaced pages if chapter exceeds this length);
  2. A one-page (MAX!) single-spaced synopsis of your project, outlining plot and main themes;
  3. One paragraph (MAX!) introducing yourself
Please include your name and the working title of your project on all documents. The QWF offices will contact you about admission status by September 25.

Claire Holden Rothman
Credit: Arthur Holden

Claire Holden Rothman is a Montreal writer and translator who taught literature and creative writing at Marianopolis College for many years, and has also taught fiction workshops at McGill and Bishop’s Universities. Her latest literary translation is the novel Sun of a Distant Land (Soleil) by Montrealer David Bouchet (2017). Her own novels include My October (2014), finalist for the Governor General’s Award and nominee for the Scotia Bank-Giller Prize, and The Heart Specialist (2009), nominated for the Scotia Bank-Giller Prize. Her upcoming novel is Lear’s Shadow, to be issued by Penguin Canada in spring 2018. Visit:


Registration Information

To register, email [ workshops AT QWF DOT org ].

Payment Information

Payment is due within one week of registration to confirm your spot. Payment options are listed in the column to the right.

Please familiarize yourself with our
cancellation policy.

QWF workshop cancellation policy

Read about QWF and accessibility:

QWF and accessibility

For more information:

(514) 933-0878
[ workshops AT QWF DOT org ]

QWF gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Canada Council for the Arts / Conseil des Arts du Canada