The Darkest Corner of the World – Discussion Guide now available (just click on the title above).
A few workshop topics are listed below but Urve is happy to accommodate your requests. All workshops are interactive. She likes to use examples, photos, and personal anecdotes to engage the audience.
- The Untold Stories of Estonia and the Baltics in World War II
- Reality or Dystopian
- From Reader to Writer
- Writing Workshops for Schools, Organizations, and Groups
- And…Book Clubs
The Untold Stories of Estonia and the Baltics in World War II
On August 23, 1939, the Soviet Union and Germany signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The agreement secretly assigned the Baltics to the Soviet “sphere of influence.” This changed the course of history for Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Thousands were arrested, deported, and killed. Brothers fought against brothers, and families were divided forever. These countries disappeared from world view for almost fifty years.
Urve will share the true stories of ingenuity and courage that inspired The Darkest Corner of the World. The presentation includes personal photos of the locations in Tallinn and Hiiummaa where the novel is set, as well as a peek inside the unique culture, language, and folklore of Estonia.
For a sample of photos, and quotes from THE DARKEST CORNER OF THE WORLD, please visit Urve`s Pinterest page.
Reality or dystopian?
Are the following statements fact or fiction?
- Fifteen nations are controlled by a centralized political structure. Most of these nations were forcibly occupied.
- Citizens are not allowed to travel outside their country.
- Possession of food is a crime.
It sounds a bit like The Hunger Games, but all these statements are true. Urve uses the familiarity of dystopian literature to discuss the reality of living under communism. Teens may not realize that events they perceive as dystopian actually happened in the twentieth century.
From Reader to Writer
Can you become a published writer of historical fiction if you don’t have a degree in English or History? Urve will share her personal journey from lousy first draft to published novel.
Dominik Kurek interviews Urve here.
Writing Workshops for Schools, Organizations, and Groups
In order to become a published writer, Urve attended many courses and workshops. She’ll share the best tips and exercises that helped her become a better writer. Participants will leave with a toolbox of ideas to apply to their own writing. Topics include:
- Show. Don’t tell.
- Conflict. What it is. What it isn’t. Why you need it.
- Setting is not just a place.
- Write. Rewrite. Revise. Repeat.
- How to create compelling characters.
- Plot, and how it relates to character.
- Talking and dialogue; why they’re not the same thing.
Urve would be delighted to attend your book club meeting – either in person or via Skype.
Note: Urve is a member of The Writer’s Union, which funds author visits to Ontario elementary and secondary schools, and subsidizes a portion of the author’s fee. For more information, click here.
Connect with Urve