Monthly Archives: September 2016

BWS 11.09.16: Ten Tips, with Natasha Powell

Natasha Powell Headshot

Natasha Powell is a Toronto-based dancer, choreographer, producer, and the Interim Dance & Literary Officer at the Toronto Arts Council.  A Toronto native, Natasha is a dedicated member of the local performing arts community and has worked for a number of arts organizations including the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, ManifesTO Festival for Community and Culture, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, and Volcano Theatre. As an independent dance artist, Natasha has successfully produced and choreographed shows in the Toronto Fringe Festival, TD Bank’s Then and Now Series, and Harbourfront Centre’s NextSteps series. Most recently she was the Manager of Producing and Administration at the Dance Umbrella of Ontario, working with a number of dance organizations where her portfolio included event producing, marketing, fundraising and communications for companies including Dusk Dances and MOonhORsE Dance Theatre.

Natasha gave the talk “Best Practices in Grant Writing” at our September 2016 event, and here provides 10 tips for applying for grants.

1. Call the Officer to determine eligibility
Whether you’re a first time applicant or have applied to the council previously, it is helpful to speak with the Program Officer to confirm that you and/or your organization are eligible to apply, and that the proposed project is also eligible.

FOR WRITERS

2. Make sure your project description is clear
Your project description is where you tell the assessors what it is you’re writing about. Provide as much detail as possible about structure, which draft you are on, where this sample fits into the project, etc.

3. Submit your strongest material – not what you think a jury will fund
You can never predict what the jury will say. Juries change every time, and are all quite different. Focus on submitting your strongest writing from the proposed project and nothing else.

4. Submit a sample of the current project you are working on
Jurors want to see a sample of the current work, not a past work.

5. Use the entire allotment for the writing sample
The Toronto Arts Council asks for a maximum of 15 pages for prose and 10 pages for poetry, so use as much of the space as you can. Even though many adjudicators have a strong sense of their assessment of the writing on the first page, they do keep reading on.

FOR LITERARY PROJECTS

6. Review the assessment criteria
Each application is different – remember to review the application criteria to ensure you understand how the adjudicators will be assessing the applications.

7. Focus on your art and describing what it is you do
Do not present a marketing package, and refrain from comparing your work to that of others. Connect who you are to the specific project that you are applying for, and how it relates to your organization.

8. Be specific about as many details as possible
Don’t leave the adjudicators with unanswered questions. For example, be as clear as possible about what it is you’re doing, who is involved and why, who your target audience is, and how you are going to reach them. Same thing for your budget – explain which revenues are pending and confirmed, and how your project will move forward should you not be able to achieve your projected revenue goals.

9. Write in your own voice with minimal jargon
Your application is often being adjudicated by other artists in your discipline, so explain your project as though you are talking to your peers who know nothing about your work or project.

10. Ask for feedback and keep going
Whether your application was successful or unsuccessful, call the officer for feedback, and take the results – positive or negative – with a grain of salt. Competition is high, and feedback is helpful for future applications so keep pursuing your projects.

Check back after our next event for another 10 tips from our next guest speaker–and before that, see you at our next event: November 9, 6:30pm,  at full of beans Coffee House & Roastery, 1348 Dundas St. W., Toronto!

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BWS 14.09.16: It’s Tonight!

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 14, 2016 – 6:30pm

Fall into another fantastic literary soirée, featuring readers:

Madhur Anand
Jeremy Hanson-Finger
Shane Joseph
Phoebe Wang

and special guest speaker

Natasha Powell

AT

full of beans Coffee House & Roastery

1348 Dundas St. W., Toronto

The reading is PWYC (suggested $3-$5) and features a Q&A with the writers afterward. Books and treats are available for sale.

Accessibility Information
The venue is wheelchair accessible (no step up at door), but washroom facilities are down a flight of stairs. Street parking. Accessible by 505 Dundas streetcar (Lisgar stop). Please contact Farzana Doctor if you need to reserve a seat as the venue can get full. Please refrain from wearing scents.

Many thanks to the Ontario Arts Council for their support.

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And to the Canada Council for the Arts for travel funding!

GUEST SPEAKER

Best Practices in Grant Writing

Natasha Powell Headshot

Natasha Powell is a Toronto-based dancer, choreographer, producer, and the Interim Dance & Literary Officer at the Toronto Arts Council.  A Toronto native, Natasha is a dedicated member of the local performing arts community and has worked for a number of arts organizations including the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, ManifesTO Festival for Community and Culture, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, and Volcano Theatre. As an independent dance artist, Natasha has successfully produced and choreographed shows in the Toronto Fringe Festival, TD Bank’s Then and Now Series, and Harbourfront Centre’s NextSteps series. Most recently she was the Manager of Producing and Administration at the Dance Umbrella of Ontario, working with a number of dance organizations where her portfolio included event producing, marketing, fundraising and communications for companies including Dusk Dances and MOonhORsE Dance Theatre.

READERS


Anand_Madhur_cr_Karen WhylieMadhur Anand
‘s debut collection of poems is A New Index for Predicting Catastrophes (McClelland & Stewart/ Random House Canada, 2015), a finalist for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry. According to Publisher’s Weekly,  “Anand’s attention to and ability to evoke explicit, exponential beauty in scientific and natural form are simply stunning.” Recent work appears The Walrus.

Jeremy Hanson-Finger-3Jeremy Hanson-Finger‘s first novel, Death and the Intern, a mystery/black comedy set in the Ottawa Hospital, will be published by Invisible Publishing in April 2017. Born in Victoria, Jeremy co-founded the literary magazineDragnet while living in Toronto. He now lives in Ottawa. His website is http://hanson-finger.com.

Shane Joseph - high res - croppedShane Joseph is the author of four novels and two collections of short stories, and was the winner of the best fantasy novel award at the Canadian Christian Writing Awards in 2010. His short fiction has appeared in international literary journals and anthologies. His latest novel, In the Shadow of the Conquistador, was released in November 2015. For details visit www.shanejoseph.com.

phoebeonrooftopPhoebe Wang
 writes and teaches in Toronto. She recently edited a supplement issue on the theme of inheritances for The Puritan, and her chapbook, Hanging Exhibits appeared with The Emergency Response Unit this spring. Her debut collection of poetry, Admission Requirements will appear with McClelland and Stewart in Spring 2017.

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BWS 14.09.16: Madhur Anand

Anand_Madhur_cr_Karen Whylie

Madhur Anand‘s debut collection of poems is A New Index for Predicting Catastrophes (McClelland & Stewart/ Random House Canada, 2015), a finalist for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry. According to Publisher’s Weekly:  “Anand’s attention to and ability to evoke explicit, exponential beauty in scientific and natural form are simply stunning.” Recent work appears in The Walrus.

Ahead of her Sept. 14 reading, Madhur challenged your friendly neighbourhood BWS blogger to list 10 scientific facts or laws he learned reading her poetry collection. I always got C’s and D’s in science… but with a little help from Wikipedia I might just pull it off!

Ten Science-y Things I Learned from Reading Madhur Anand’s Poems

  1. Paper birch trees are pioneer species after a fire (“Betula papyrifera“).
  2. A breed of cow called the Brangus exists: it’s three-eighths Brahman and five-eighths Angus, and is bred for high disease resistance and humidity tolerance as well as strong maternal instincts (“Hill Country, Old Mercedes, and Parturition”).
  3. The chipping sparrow’s haplotype depth is more akin to a red-winged blackbird’s than to a song sparrow’s (“The Chipping and the Tree”).
  4. A haplotype is a group of genes within an organism that was inherited together from a single parent (ibid.).
  5. Peahens lay infertile, decoy eggs to mislead their predators as to the location of their nests (“Grounds for Sculpture”).
  6. The popular North American maraschino cherry is made with a sweet cherry, the Royal Ann, but it gets it name from a Croatian sour cherry named Marasca–from the Italian “amarasca”, derived from “amaro”, meaning “bitter”–that was bleached with sulphur dioxide, dyed candy red and soaked in sugar before being eaten (“If I Can Make It There”).
  7. RuBisCO–ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase-oxygenase, to its friends–is probably the most abundant enzyme on Earth, and is involved in the first major step of carbon fixation, the process in which carbon dioxide is converted to glucose in plant photosynthesis (“RuBisCO”).
  8. Ants are attracted to peonies because of the sweet nectar peonies release, and protect the plants from herbivores (“The Sweet Smell”).
  9. Folk tales sometimes spread falsehoods about nature.
  10. “[…] with time
    small deviations accumulate from sensitive
    dependence on initial conditions. Then chaos” (“Moving On”).

Madhur Anand visits Brockton Writers Series on Wednesday, September 14, 2016 – full of beans Coffee House & Roastery, 1348 Dundas St. W., Toronto (6:30pm, PWYC) – along with Jeremy Hanson-Finger, Shane Joseph, Phoebe Wang and a special guest talk, “Best Practices for Grant Writing”, by Toronto Arts Council Interim Dance & Literary Officer Natasha Powell.

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