Terry Jordan is many things. According to his bio, he is an award-winning fiction writer, musician, essayist and dramatist. He also taught creative writing and served as writer-in-residence in the Saskatoon, Regina and Winnipeg public libraries and Okanagan College.
To his resume, he can also add writer-in-residence at the Haig-Brown Heritage House. The five-month tenure began in November and runs into early 2019.
Jordan’s plays have been staged in Canada, the U.S. and Ireland. A book of stories, It’s a Hard Cow, won a Saskatchewan Book Award and was nominated for the Commonwealth Book Prize. Another work of fiction, the novel Beneath That Starry Place, has been published internationally and is up for many awards. The Globe and Mail describes it as an “achingly beautiful book.” His novel Been in the Storm So Long was nominated for a 2017 Saskatchewan Book Award.
The local writer-in-residence program started in 2004 with funding in the early years from the Canada Council but has been supported more recently, Jordan says, through funding from service clubs and private donations.
Jordan credits the efforts of the people at the Museum at Campbell River, which runs the writer-in-residence program, for making the program possible.
“They’re just wonderful people,” he says. “They put so much work in this.”
Part of the writer-in-residence job entails working with other people at the craft of writing, and while Jordan is here he will be holding a couple of workshops, starting in the new year. One will be a songwriting circle, which will look at how to incorporate storytelling into the process.
The other will be a theatre workshop. Already, he has been in touch with Heather Gordon Murphy from Rivercity Players about the idea.
“I’m really looking for anybody who wants to write a 10-minute play, or is just interested in playwriting at all,” he says.
He has had manuscripts arriving already, but he is hopeful to find some aspiring playwrights in the Campbell River community.
“I’m still looking for manuscripts. I have quite a few,” he says, adding, “Nobody’s come to me as a playwright yet, and I’d love it if they would, if they’re out there or even if they want to start a play, or even if they want to talk about screenwriting.”
Through the mentoring process, he works with first-time writers as well as more established writers with works that have been published.
“There’s so many different levels of writing ability and experience,” he says.
Those interested in working with Jordan on some writing should submit a maximum of 10 to 12 pages for initial consultation. This can be fiction, memoir, creative non-fiction, song lyrics and scripts for stage or screen.
Jordan has to iron out details for the drama and song circle workshops, but the first event of the year takes place on Jan. 12 as a meet-and-greet at the Museum at Campbell River. It happens from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Admission for An Afternoon with Terry Jordan is $7. Visitors will hear about his journey of becoming a writer as well as some of his work. To submit writing, people can drop it off in the mailbox at Haig-Brown House or email firstname.lastname@example.org.