We had our monthly meeting at the usual time, 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month, in this case, Jan. 20. But we didn’t meet at the usual place, Landon Library in Wortley Village. This time we gathered at the Palace Theatre, 710 Dundas St. Why the Palace? It was the perfect backdrop to start a series of events involving writers, and writing opportunities, in London’s theatre scene.
London playwright Diane Vanden Hoven
Our guest speaker, Diane Vanden Hoven, talked about her journey as a writer and the development of her play Like a Mustard Seed. She showed us how specific scenes changed at each stage of the process.
Diane’s writing credits include This Above All, winner of the Theatre BC National Playwriting Competition; The Twisted Land, Honourable Mention, Herman Voaden Playwriting Competition and Like a Mustard Seed, winner of Theatre Aurora’s Playwrights of Spring. Like a Mustard Seed was also selected to be a part of the Women’s Work Festival in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Her short plays include: Welcome to Naxos and Faerie Inc., produced by the Alumnae Theatre New Ideas Festival; The Inferior Planets and Strings, at London’s Grand Theatre’s Playwrights’ Cabaret; and Bought & Souled, produced for the London Fringe Festival. Diane has been the recipient of two Ontario Arts Council grants and is currently working on her fourth full-length play, about superstition. After spending many years as an actor in Toronto, she now lives with her young family in London.
You don’t have to write plays to learn from a playwright
This spotlight on playwriting is just one of the things we’ll be doing in 2011. In terms of numbers, more of our members write fiction than plays. But learning from other writers is what makes the London Writers Society so valuable. You can learn what people are doing in far corners of the field. If you’re a creative person, you’ll find you take some odd bit of what they’re doing and use it to enrich your own writing in a way you never imagined.