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Jill Robinson January 12, 2021, 12:58 PM

Writing Help at RPL

Hi! I’m J. Jill Robinson, the 2021 writer-in-residence at RPL. I wanted to take an opportunity to share with you a bit about myself and what I can offer to beginner and established writers in Regina and the surrounding communities.


What does the writer-in-residence do?

Well, my job at the library has two “prongs”. The first is helping Regina and area writers with their writing, so let’s talk about that first.

I offer help in a variety of ways: over Zoom, through socially distanced in-person meetings, or over the phone. I meet with four to six writers a week on average.

There are so many different and interesting kinds of writing, and I’ve worked with writers in many genres:

  • A beginner writer on a graphic novel,
  • A filmmaker on putting poetry to a film,
  • A short story writer exploring the current social media milieu in astonishing and even horrifying ways,
  • People working on memoirs and family history,
  • A famous poet,
  • A well-published writer working on a book about the history of the land in Saskatchewan, involving Metis scrip, settlers, and the political forces affecting it all,
  • Science fiction novelists, and last, but certainly not least,
  • People who want so badly to write but are afraid to get started.

Do you see yourself in that list somewhere? I can help you with your project, no matter what your genre or stage you are in with your writing.

My job is to read, listen, and come to understand what you’re trying to achieve in your writing, and then offer advice and suggestions to help you do just that.

Come and see me! I’ll be kind, careful, and considerate. Shoot me an email at


Other resources to help with your writing

The library also has a wonderful collection of books to get you started no matter where you are on your writing journey.  Here are a few of my favourites:

Edith Wharton, The Writing of Fiction

Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within

Jack Hodgins, A Passion for Narrative: A Guide for Writing Fiction

Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Barbara Turner-Vesseligo, Writing Without A Parachute: The Art of Freefall

Your library card also gives you access to Gale Courses. Gale offers interactive, instructor-led courses on a huge number of topics including creative writing.

They have courses on screenwriting, romance writing, mystery writing, magazine writing and much more.


Upcoming writing programs

I’ll be hosting two writing programs in the coming months. I encourage you to register — there’s bound to be something you’ll find interesting and of help.

We writers know that you never “arrive,” that writing is a process, in which one’s writing grows and evolves, and that you can always learn about and benefit from learning about technique.


Telling the Truth: Creative Non-Fiction in all its Forms

 Jan 20, 7:00 to 8:15pm

Where and When: Making the Most of Setting in Your Writing

 Feb 17, 7:00 to 8:15 pm


The second “prong” of my work at the library is my own writing.

I spend my mornings working on creative nonfiction essays, researching a family history project, and fine-tuning short stories for what I hope will be a new collection.

I started out as a short story writer, but I’ve always been interested in writing non-fiction essays, too, and like so many writers, autobiography is the basis for a lot of my fiction—good thing I have a wealth of varied experiences to draw on!

In my next post, I’ll talk about creative nonfiction — which includes memoir, family history, autobiography, and no doubt more that, for the moment, I’ve forgotten.


All for now.

About Author

Jill Robinson

Jill is a Canadian writer, editor and teacher with an MA in Poetry and an MFA in Fiction. She is the author of the novel, More in Anger, and four collections of stories. Her work appears in anthologies, magazines, and on radio broadcasts, and her creative nonfiction and fiction have won prizes including Saskatchewan Book Awards, and Western and National Magazine Awards. Jill has served as the editor of Grain literary magazine, as Saskatoon Public Library’s writer-in-residence, and has extensive experience as a creative writing instructor, writing mentor, workshop facilitator and editor.

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