2019 Session Description

Writing with the Senses

For adults • 90 minutes
Category: Creating
Friday 1:30pm • Court 5
Time and location subject to change (what isn't?)

We experience the world through our senses.

What we see, hear, smell, taste and touch informs our impression of anyone or anything we encounter.

We base observations and even decisions on a person’s height, body weight, face. How they stand, walk or sit. How they sound. How they smell. How we feel about them.

On a stroll in the woods or in a garden, most of our senses are triggered. We hear the call of birds, the rustle of unseen squirrels or rabbits. We smell the flowers, shrubs and sometimes even the soil. We reach out and touch a petal, a leaf or even a tree trunk. We feel the sun on our face or a single rain drop on a bare arm.

Why then, do we so often overlook the senses when we write? Do we fear being over-indulgent with our writing, being too descriptive? (I confess: I used to.) You may have another reason.

In this session, we will bring our writing alive by revealing what our senses tell us. I’ll share examples and we will discuss them together. You’ll also do some writing of your own, and read aloud what you’ve written (only if comfortable doing so).

Bring your writing implements.

The Skinny: 3 things you will do in this session

  • Explore what your senses are telling you, every minute of the day
  • Explore and discuss examples provided by the presenter
  • Do some writing of your own
Cynthia Reyes
Toronto, ON
CYNTHIA REYES, author of A Good Home, An Honest House and the children’s books Myrtle the Purple Turtle, Myrtle’s Game and Myrtle Makes a New Friend, returns to the gardens she loves with her upcoming book, Twigs in My Hair – A Gardening Memoir. Living with others and living with nature are both key themes of her writing. Most of her books have been bestsellers. An Honest House also won The Diamond Book Award for Book of the Year.

A member of the Writers Union of Canada and Spirit of the Hills Arts Association, Cynthia has coached other writers. She rejoices when one of them wins a competition or gets a story or book published.

A former television journalist, trainer and executive producer with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Cynthia’s writing has been included in several anthologies and in Arabella Magazine, The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail and other publications.
Awards and recognition include the Trailblazer Award, the CBC President’s Award, the Children’s Broadcast Institute Award, the Crystal Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film and Television, and the African Canadian Achievement Award.

In 2016, she was inducted into the Order of Distinction – Commander Level, by Jamaica, her country of birth.

Cynthia and her husband live in a small town in Ontario, Canada. They have two beloved daughters and sons-in-law.


Cynthia is a returning presenter. Click to see what they've presented in the past.

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