Local Author Showcase

We're celebrating local authors! Explore our resources below to check out our collection and discover reading lists featuring local authors, or take part in our author- and writing-themed Programs & Events. We've also compiled Resources for Readers & Writers you can use to improve your writing skills and work on getting published yourself!

Programs & Events

We host writing and local author programs and events throughout the year, including Poetry Month, Novel Writing Month and the Local Author Showcase. Find when these events are happening in the Events Calendar - sort by ‘Event Type’ and narrow your search to ‘Authors’ and ‘Books & Beyond’ using the check boxes.

2021 Local Author Showcase

Join us throughout the month of November to celebrate, meet and learn more about our local authors. Connect with these Authors during our Expo! Get excited for this year by exploring our 2020 Local Author Showcase.

Keynote Speakers

Jeanette Winsor: Superstition, Folklore and more in Newfoundland

Jeanette is a graduate of The Humber School for Writers, Toronto, and has been writing both novels and short stories for the past twenty-five years. Many of her works are set in Newfoundland out-ports as she tries to capture a culture that is quickly giving way to the modern world.

Peter Jennings: Pushing the Boundaries

Peter is a creative non-fiction writer and acclaimed author. He is a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada. Prior to turning to writing full time, Peter spent his career in corporate communications. He mentors community-based writers who seek communications advice.

Online Schedule

Visit our Online Event Calendar - October 30 - November 25 to access links to our video programs and live Zoom conference rooms. 

Saturday, October 30 at 2pm Superstition, Folklore and more in Newfoundland with Jeanette Winsor
Thursday, November 4 at 2pm Coffee Chat with a Local Author – Bruce Meyer
Tuesday, November 9 at 2pm Author Talks: Valerie Losell
Saturday, November 13 at 2pm Author Talks: Barrie Doyle
Sunday, November 14 at 2pm Thriller Panel (Ann Burke, Jessica Hamilton, Judy Penz Sheluk, & Peter McPhie) *Please register by November 1st if you would like to submit questions for our authors. This is a pre-recorded video program
Wednesday, November 17 at 3:30pm Author Talks: J.L. Benson
Thursday, November 18 at 7pm Author Talks: Judy Penz Sheluk
Tuesday, November 23 at 7pm Peter Jennings - Pushing the Boundaries*
Thursday, November 25 at 11am Writing Characters Reader's won't Forget with J.L. Witterick*

* Registration Required

Simcoe National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

The Library is the perfect space for authors and aspiring writers writing their National Novel Writing Month novel in November.

Join 8 Simcoe County libraries as they celebrate National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and support writers on their journey to write a novel in one month with space to write, access to wifi, computers, resources and virtual socials/write-ins and events. Participating Libraries include; Barrie, Bradford West Gwillimbury, Essa, Innisfil, Midland, New Tecumseth, Ramara, and Wasaga Beach.

Visit the Simcoe NaNoWriMo webpage for a full schedule of events.

Poetry Month

We celebrated our first annual Poetry Month in April 2021! This celebration was started by the non-profit organization The League of Canadian Poets. They are dedicated to supporting poets, building poetic communities, supporting inclusive free expression, and promoting Canadian poets and Poetry. 

Write ON!

Join us the week of February 14th for a local author writing workshop series for authors to develop their writing skills.

Keynote Speaker

Colleen Winter: What to do When Things Go Wrong, Navigating the Highs and Lows of a Writing Career

Colleen Winter is the award-winning author of the Gatherer series. She was short-listed for the 2020 Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Prize in Speculative Fiction, has received two Writer’s Reserve grants from the Ontario Arts Council, won the Best First Sentence Contest at Thrillerfest, won first prize in the CAA Leacock/Simcoe Erotic prose contest, received a SLS Fellowship from the Unified Literary Contest, and is an alumni of the Humber School of Writers. She is the past-President of the Writer’s Community of Simcoe County and is a current organizer of Voices at Word Up Barrie.

Online Schedule

Visit our Online Event Calendar - February 14 - 20 to access links to our video programs and live Zoom conference rooms. 

Monday, February 14 at 12:00pm  coming soon
Tuesday, February 15 at 7:00pm Comic Writer Talk with Matt Ringel
Wednesday, February 16 at 7:00pm What to do When Things Go Wrong, Navigating the Highs and Lows of a Writing Career* with Colleen Winter
Thursday, February 17 at 6:00pm Tips To Find A Book Designer Or Illustrator Panel* (Anita Purcell, Trudy Romanek, & TBA)
Friday, February 18 at 2:30pm How to Market your Book on Social Media with Tessa Wegert*
Saturday, February 19 at 10:00am coming soon

* Registration Required


Resources for Readers & Writers

Check out the resources below for helpful links to our Program Portal, Digital Library resources that can help boost your skills, reading recommendations, local writing groups, and more.

Meet the Authors

Local Author Showcase: Features local author interviews, and videos on self-publishing.

Local Author Book Chats: Staff and local authors we interview are excited to tell you about their favourite books, authors and resources.

Coffee Chats: BPL staff have casual conversations about important issues with special guests.

BPL Comic Con: Our annual event in September showcases local comic and graphic novelists and artists - watch interviews with them from previous years.

Storytimes – discover a local picture book author to read with your family.

Discover & Borrow

myBPL Searches

Search for titles by local authors using the subject ‘Local Author’ in myBPL, or check out our staff-curated list of books by local authors

Need help? Learn how to do basic searching in our Digital Library Academy tutorial.

Next 5

Not sure what to read next? Let us help you find new local authors to read! 

Complete our Next5 form and we will gather 5 personalized suggestions for you. We can either send you a list of titles by email OR put aside recommendations for you to pick up in person.

Digital Library Resources

Take your writing to the next level with free online classes:

Universal class has a lot of writing courses.... 55 of them, including mystery, poetry, short story and novel writing!

Creativebug offers award-winning art video classes taught by recognized design experts and artists that can help you with:

  • developing your creative thinking and writing
  • creative journaling
  • creating a journal for your writing
  • beginning calligraphy
  • brush lettering
  • creative lettering, and more!

LinkedIn Learning enables you to develop your writing skills online, on your time. Courses are taught by industry experts on editing and proofreading, writing a bestselling novel, the craft of story, foundations of fiction and more.

Brainfuse HelpNow is the place to get live online study help from a professional tutor (disponible en français). Receive live help with English and French language learning, as well as advice and suggestions on writing style to improve your creative writing, fiction, poetry, assignments, or papers. Make use of the comments section when submitting your writing! This service helps you improve through learning and does not include direct edits or revisions.

Rave Reviews

Writers in our Community

Discover a local literary journal to read or publish in, and find writing support groups in your area to gain support, resources, professional development, and networking opportunities.

Search for local Barrie and area community groups using the keyword ‘writing instruction’ in the Community Information Directory.