How To Be Your Own Publicist: A Professional Development Workshop for Writers

The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) is offering HOW TO BE YOUR OWN PUBLICIST, a professional development symposium for writers. Whether you are an aspiring writer wanting to develop your audience before publication; an emerging writer who needs to stay visible; or long-published and looking for new tips and techniques, this full-day workshop is for you. Authors Elizabeth Ruth and Ann Douglas will present on traditional but innovative book marketing strategies as well as new media opportunities for writers. Topics to be covered include:

  • combatting resistance to, and fear of, self-promotion
  • relationship-building vs. networking
  • guerilla marketing tactics, including how to form and use a mastermind group or promo squad
  • maximizing social media for self-promotion, including how to choose between various online marketing options and how to avoid common social media and digital marketing pitfalls
  • time-saving tips for establishing a social media presence, even if you only have an hour or two a week to spend online
  • the latest trends in author websites (including a checklist of must-have features)
  • and need-to-know strategies for creating community through typical book channels and online.

Kelly Duffin, Executive Director of TWUC, will update participants on the latest evolutions in the publishing landscape.

Participants will leave the workshop having gained the know-how and confidence to creatively promote their own future works, and an expanded, inspired sense of what it means to be a writer in the current publishing context.

Most workshops of this calibre charge hundreds of dollars. The price of the workshop is $89.00 and covers costs, including lunch, $75 for members of TWUC. For those who can’t attend in one of the participating cities, a 3-hour webinar will be offered, distilling the highlights of the workshop. Registration forms can be printed from The Writers’ Union of Canada’s website at

All workshop start at 9:30 am and end at 4:30 pm, with the exception of the webinar (please see date and time below). There will be a coffee break and a lunch provided. Below is the list of participating cities/venues.


Saturday, February 25, 2012
Victoria University in the University of Toronto,
91 Charles Street West, Room VC 115


Monday, February 27, 2012
Victoria Inn Winnipeg,
1808 Wellington Avenue,
Carlton Room


Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Christ Church, Calgary;
3602 8th St. SW, Crump Room


Thursday, March 1, 2012
Simon Fraser University,
Earl & Jennie Lohn Policy Room,
Rm 7000, 515 West Hastings Street


Friday, March 2, 2012
Ambrosia Conference & Event
Centre, Powell Room,
638 Fisgard Street


Tuesday, March 6, 2012
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 pm EST
$40/$35 for members

The Workshop Presenters

Ann Douglas is the author of 30 books, including the The Mother of All Pregnancy Books. She has a blog, two websites, three Facebook Pages, two Twitter accounts, a LinkedIn profile, a Google Plus account, and a Flickr photo-sharing account. She has made her own videos (shared via YouTube) and is an active member of online communities for authors (SheWrites) and book lovers (GoodReads). Her online presence is influential enough that she was recruited to serve as a member of the Canadian Red Cross Twitter Team and in times of disaster volunteers her time to help to spread urgent messages via social media. She is a frequent presenter at social media conferences on self-promotion for writers. Ann has also participated in She’sConnected, a conference for the 100 most connected women in social media in Canada.

Elizabeth Ruth is a writer, editor, creative writing instructor and mother living in Toronto. Her first novel, Ten Good Seconds of Silence was a finalist for the Writers’ Trust of Canada Fiction Prize, the Best First Novel Award and the City of Toronto Book Award. Her critically acclaimed second novel, Smoke, was chosen for the 2007 One Book One Community program. Elizabeth’s third novel, The Matador ­— about a female bullfighter — will be published in Canada in fall 2012. Elizabeth Ruth is well known for her mentorship of aspiring writers. She teaches at the University of Toronto and through the Humber School for Writers. In 2011 Elizabeth held the position of Writer-In-Residence at the Toronto Public Library. Currently, Elizabeth is working with NOWW to mentor writers across northern Ontario. For more information please visit:

Kelly Duffin is the Executive Director of The Writers’ Union of Canada. As the association represents 2,000 Canadian book authors she is deeply involved in issues affecting the creators of Canadian content and actively engaged on evolutions in policy and publishing. Earlier in her career she worked at a literary agency, a reading series, a literary prize, a bookseller, and publishing companies. More recently she has been the CEO of national non-profit organizations.

For more information, please contact:

Valerie Laws | Office Administrator | The Writers’ Union of Canada |

PLEASE NOTE: This is not a program of the CCBC. Any questions you have regarding the workshops should be directed to The Writers’ Union of Canada.