Author Visits

The Darkest Corner of the World – Discussion Guide available

A few workshop topics are listed below but I’m always happy to customize and accommodate your requests. All workshops are interactive. I use lots of examples, photos, and personal anecdotes.

  • Writing Workshops for Schools, Organizations, and Groups
  • From Reader to Writer
  • The Untold Stories of Estonia and the Baltics in WWII
  • Reality or Dystopian?

Writing Workshops

I attend many courses, workshops, and webinars in order to become a better writer. I’ll share the best tips and exercises that have helped me. 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.

From Reader to Writer

Can you become a published writer of historical fiction if you don’t have a degree in English or History? Absolutely! For me, it was a a long and winding road, but I’ll share my personal journey from lousy first draft to published novel.

The Untold Stories of Estonia and the Baltics in WWII

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.

I will share the true stories of ingenuity and courage that inspire my writing. The presentation includes personal photos of locations in Tallinn and Hiiumaa where the The Darkest Corner of the World is set, as well as a peek inside the unique culture, language, and folklore of Estonia.

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. I love to compare 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.

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.

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