Write by the Water

Lakeshore Arts is proud to offer for the third year, Write by the Water, a 5-part writing workshop series for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) creative youths and adults, ages 18 to 65+, to express themselves through storytelling and the written word. This workshop series is facilitated by storyteller and multi-disciplinary artist, Whitney French.

What will you get out of the program

This series invites  BIPOC writers of all kinds to explore new works or to fine-tune works in progress, in a safe and inspirational environment while being mentored and coached by an industry professional.

Join other writers as we gather every Thursday to strengthen our writing skills and share our stories. With the support of professional writer and arts-educator Whitney French, participants focus on their works-in-progress with feedback from a diligent instructor and caring community. All levels, disciplines and genres welcome!

This workshop series is for: BIPOC Creative Writers: authors, playwrights, poets, rappers, and singers; ages 18 – 65+. If this sounds of interest, make sure to register today! Spots are limited and filling up!


Terms and Conditions of Enrolment


FEES: Pay-What-You- Can, suggested fee of $15 per workshop, $75 in total. Through the generosity of our funders and donors we are able to offer this subsidized program to the community. Spaces are limited and we ask that you please only register if you are available for the full 5-week program.

MAX # OF PARTICIPANTS: Registration for this program is limited to a maximum of 12 participants. Registration in the program will be determined based on first-come, first-served. Staff will confirm enrollment via email and provide you with more details leading up to the program. Please know that all decisions made regarding program registration are at the discretion of the programming staff.

WAITLIST: If all spaces are full, you will be placed on a waitlist and be contacted by programming staff when/if a space becomes available.

CANCELLATION – Should a participant need to cancel their enrolment, you will be required to do so no less than one week prior to the start date of the program so we can contact the waitlist to offer the opportunity to another participant.

MATERIALS/ EQUIPMENT: Participants in this program will need to have access to a computer and internet connection, with the capability to use sound and video during Zoom sessions. Participants will be provided with a notebook, which will be available for pick up or mailed to you depending on your proximity to Lakeshore Arts and COVID-19 safety recommendations.

RESTRICTIONS, ACCOMMODATIONS OR CONCERNS: Please include in the registration any necessary information our staff should know to enhance your child’s experience in our program. If you would like accommodations for any barriers to accessing this program, please let us know and we will do our best to provide them. We can provide printed materials, large font sizes, closed captioning, flexible camera-on policy, co-registration of a support person, and free participation. All information shared will be kept private and confidential.

MEDIA CONSENT: This program is documented in form of photographs, videos or testimonials to be used as marketing/promotional materials on Lakeshore Arts website, social media pages and channels as well as third party media providers such as community newspapers, local/national newspapers and television channels. Please indicate whether you agree to this, or if you prefer not to.

ANTI-OPPRESSIVE SPACE: By registering for this program you are agreeing to participate in a harassment-free, safe, affirming space. Homophobia, transphobia, sexism, ableism, classism, racism, audism, or body shaming will not be tolerated in our spaces, online or in-person. If any participant is found to be behaving in ways that are considered to be oppressive and harmful, a range of steps may be taken, including educational discussions and up to ejection from the space.

Write by the Water – BIPOC Creative Writing Workshops Series
Date: Thursdays July 15 – August 12, 2021
Time: 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Location: Online via Zoom
Cost: Pay-What-You-Can, with a suggested contribution of $15 per workshop

This program is for BIPOC creatives ONLY! Participants residing within the Greater Toronto Area will be prioritized.

If you have any questions please email our Programs Manager, Nadijah at programs@lakeshorearts.ca. 



About the Artist

Whitney French is a writer, storyteller multidisciplinary artist and arts-educator. Her writing has been published in Quill and Quire, Geist, Descant Magazine, CBCbooks.ca and anthologized in The Black Notes: Fresh Writing From Black Women and Girls (2017) and The Great Black North: Contemporary African Canadian Poetry (2010).

Whitney is the founder and co-editor of the nation-wide publication From the Root Zine and the founder of the workshop series Writing While Black: an initiative to develop a community of Black writers. She edited the anthology Black Writers Matter, a collection of creative nonfiction, the winner of the Saskatchewan Book Award for Publishing 2020. Whitney French is also the co-founder of the Black queer feminist press Hush Harbour.

This will be her third time facilitating the Write By the Water series through Lakeshore Arts.


Brief Overview of Write by the Water:

Week OneWe will explore the reasons why we write, what stories are important to us, and develop a writing routine.
Week TwoWe will understand how to give and receive feedback, explore which writers inspire us, and talk about our specific projects.
Week ThreeWe will learn skills about plot and setting, identify what makes our writing stronger, and offer feedback to each other for the first time!
Week FourWe will learn skills about character and writing style, think through dialogue and themes and continue to support each other’s work with feedback.
Week FiveWe will share how we envision our writing purpose, gain resources on how we share our stories with the world, and close with a final feedback session.

Write by the Water writing prompts

Created in 2020 by Whitney French! Share with a friend or get inspired on your own! 


Check out our other programs