Facing the Gremlin with Anna MacKay-Smith on October 15, 2017

Why is it that we will suddenly find doing our laundry more interesting than sitting down and tackling that tricky chapter? Why would we show up at our job at McDonald’s always on time, but can’t find the discipline to sit down on a regular basis at the thing we love to do most in this world? What are the voices in our head that stop us from believing in our work and ourselves. How can we be good to ourselves when the words just aren’t there?

Anna MacKay-Smith, acting teaching, and creativity life coach, look at some of the issues surrounding why we don’t write, even when we want to. This fun talk and workshop will look at the ways we sabotage our creative work and how we can bully ourselves into not believing in our worth as an author.

Using a bit of role playing and visual art, the workshop will provide tools to face up to the gremlins and excuses we face every day that stop us from being our most creative selves.


Anna MacKay-Smith was trained as an actress at The University of Ottawa for her B.A. in Theatre and English and then went on to theatre school in England – The Drama Centre, London – for a three-year acting program. Starting her professional career, she performed at regional theatres across Canada, including The Stratford Festival. Anna began teaching acting at C.A.S.T (Centre for Actors Study in Toronto) in the late 1980’s, She returned to her studies at York University to obtain her MFA in Directing. Upon graduation she began to teach at York University, as well as, founding a full-time one-year foundation theatre school in Toronto, called The Players Academy which she was Artistic Director for 10 years. Anna co-founded, with actor Ken Welsh, the professional play reading company The Motley Theatre, which has been in existence since 1996. Her company MotherTree Projects, creates large performance pieces from the autobiographical writings of women in the community. Anna works currently, as well, as a Creativity Life Coach, helping artists find their direction, inspiration and creativity. She has taught acting at George Brown College, University of Toronto Mississauga, Sheridan College and York University.  As well she coaches and teaches classes privately. She was the Education and Development Coordinator for Canadian Rep Theatre. Currently she is the Coordinator of a new two-year acting program at George Brown College – Acting For Media.


The Writers’ Community of Simcoe County

functions as a hub for practitioners and fans of the written word. Our aim is to engage, inform and encourage writers at all levels and of all genres, independently and in co-operation with existing cultural and writing-related organizations, associations, libraries and community groups.

From September to June, we meet one Sunday a month from 11:30 to 1:00 p.m. at The Leacock Museum, 50 Museum Drive, Orillia. Each month we feature speakers from all aspects of the writing life – authors, freelancers, editors, agents, and publishers – to motivate, inspire and enlighten writers and aspiring writers in our community. Each month we offer an optional hands-on workshop which follows a short break after the speaker. The workshop is from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm.

WCSC offers you opportunities for information-sharing, networking and support, education and professional development. Whether you are a fiction or non-fiction writer, poet, playwright, screenwriter, songwriter, editor, or someone who just loves the way words connect, you’ll find yourself at home at a WCSC  meeting.

If you’d like to be notified of what is developing with the organization, please send us a notice via the contact form on this website or subscribe using our RSS feed. Better still, you can become involved as a charter member. For more information, click on the Membership tab.

To listen to a radio interview with WCSC Past-President Deepam Wadds about the organization, CLICK HERE


We’re also seeking energetic folks with a variety of skills, life experiences and interests, to work as volunteers. Bring your organizational and networking expertise and to help chart the future of WCSC!

You’ll work with the WCSC Board to:

  • provide input on a broad range of administrative and financial matters
  • contribute to the development of outreach strategies for new members, speakers and presenters
  • assist with organizing our workshops and meetings
  • build partnerships with cultural, literary and educational organizations in the region

If you’re interested in getting involved, or volunteer in another capacity, please send us a notice via the contact form.


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We look forward to meeting you face-to-face. Writing doesn’t have to be a solitary act!




Don't live in Simcoe County?

We are connected to a number of other writing communities in Ontario. Click on the links below to be directed to a writers' community nearer to you:

Durham Region
(Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa, Port Perry, Uxbridge, Beaverton)

York Region
(Richmond Hill, Aurora, Newmarket, King, Vaughan, Whitchurch-Stouffville, East Gwillimbury, Georgina Townships)

Mississauga/Etobicoke WEN

(Minden, Haliburton, Carnarvon, Dorset, West Guilford, Oxtongue Lake)