Finding Character ‘Voice’ through Writing Dialogue

Writers who are working on a project or imagining a new project and want to explore writing dialogue are invited to participate in this 2 day workshop at “Above Tide”, the historic Haig-Brown family home and property on the Campbell River. Roderick Haig-Brown’s legacy as a naturalist and writer, and his wife Anne’s legacy in social justice work, infuses Haig-Brown House and gardens and will inspire us as we explore our own writing.  Please visit to learn more about the Haig-Brown legacy.

Workshop facilitator, Annie Smith says, “In my work as a writing facilitator, theatre director and acting instructor, I have found that what starts out as solitary creative work jumps to life when it enters a collaborative space.”  As a writer, when other ‘actors’ read the words written as character dialogue, you begin to hear the rhythms, vocabulary, and ‘voices’ that belong to those characters. In the theatre world, this is called “workshopping the script”.  The experience is invaluable for writers whether they are writing a play, a novel, a short story, a memoir – any form of writing where a character is speaking in the first person.

Workshop Focus:  Creating characters and writing their dialogue; working collaboratively to explore this process with other workshop participants.

Facilitator Bio:  Annie Smith is an experienced theatre artist and educator whose writing has been published in Theatre Research in Canada Journal, Canadian Theatre Review,, and Performing Turtle Island: Indigenous Theatre on the World Stage. Her particular interests are Canadian  women playwrights, Indigenous playwrights, and community-engaged arts.  She teaches theatre and life writing courses for SFU Liberal Arts & 55+, and theatre courses for NIC Comox Valley Elder College and VIU Elder College.

Cost: $275 per person

Dates: October 14 & 15

Workshop Structure:   

Saturday morning – 3 hours (includes orientation and character development work)
Saturday lunch – 1 hour – participant bag lunches, coffee/tea provided – free time to wander the grounds
Saturday afternoon – 3 hours (writing dialogue and testing it out collaboratively)
Saturday evening – rewriting on own time
Sunday morning – 4 hours (includes practicing and presenting dialogues and debriefing)

Some accommodation at Haig-Brown House is available for this weekend workshop.  Contact the Haig-Brown House directly to book and mention you are taking the writing workshop.

Museum at Campbell River respectfully acknowledges the Liǧʷiɫdax̌ʷ First Nation, on whose traditional lands we work to preserve, interpret and share the collective human history of North Vancouver Island. The Liǧʷiɫdax̌ʷ First Nation is comprised of the We Wai Kai, Wei Wai Kum and Kwiakah First Nations. Our closest neighbors are the Coast Salish Xwemalhkwu, Klahoose and K’ómoks First Nations.

These nations have close connections to the land where Campbell River is located today.

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