Discovering Your Writing Tribe

In the summer of 2010, I taught Writing Dark Fantasy at the University of Toronto. It was an intensive one-week course, all day, every day. When I’d mentioned it to a fellow novelist, she declared she never teaches writing because she believes it sets up the false expectation that getting published is an easily attainable goal. Later, someone else asked me why I’d do it, when I didn’t “need the work.”

Whenever I teach anything longer than a brief workshop, I do pull out my stats to ensure students realize just how tough getting published is. If you’re writing to make money, you’re in the wrong business. If you’re writing because you love story-telling, then stick around, because it’s an amazing ride.

As for pay, it’s a distant consideration. When I’m asked to teach, I think of myself as a young writer, living in southwestern Ontario, where the only ...