AX Reading & Workshop Series Archives

Our archives are listed in reverse-chronological order, from most recent to going back in time.


May 10, 2019 Readings & Writing Workshop ~ Jennifer McGrath & Kelly Cooper

Writing for Children

Readings May 10, 7:00pm

Workshop May 11, 9:30am-12:00pm



May 10, 7:00 pm


Join us at AX as we host Jennifer McGrath and Kelly Cooper as part of our AX Reading and Workshop Series. Cooper and McGrath, both award-winning authors, will read on Friday, May 10, at 7pm and their readings will be followed by a question and answer period about the fascinating world of writing and publishing picture books for children.


May 11, 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

How to Write Books that Kids (and Publishers) Want to Read with Jennifer McGrath

Cost $75

National award-winning children’s author Jennifer McGrath will offer a writing workshop designed to help you hone your craft, reconnect with wonder, gain industry insights, and learn how to navigate the submission and publishing process.

In this workshop, Jennifer will touch on the following:

Information & Insights
• What makes a good picture book
• Common mistakes beginners make
• Genres & markets
• What publishers want
• The Dos & Don’ts of pitching an editor

Practice & Practicum
Strategies for:
• Reconnecting with wonder
• Finding your rhythm
• Choosing your words
• Leaving your (adult) ego at the door
• Writing with resonance and relevance
• Letting go

This workshop about the not-so-simple but oh-so-rewarding process of picture book writing is intended for beginner and experienced writers alike.

Cost is $75, and space is limited.

Please register by calling (506) 433-8351 or come in to AX at 12 Maple Ave., Sussex, NB

About Jennifer McGrath

Jennifer McGrath is the author of Gadzooks, the Christmas Goose and The Snow Knows, 2017 recipient of the prestigious Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award for best Canadian picture book for children. McGrath’s books have been included in a number of reading programs, literacy initiatives, and book clubs across the country. With an MA in English literature, she has taught English at both the Université de Moncton and Mount Allison University, and she is also a professional communications writer.

About Kelly Cooper

Kelly Cooper is a writer and teacher who grew up on a Saskatchewan farm with many horses. She has now lived for many years on a New Brunswick farm with her husband, two children and many cows. Her short fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction have been published in a number of literary journals and anthologies. In 2004, Goose Lane Editions published Eyehill, Cooper’s collection of linked short stories, and, in 2014, she won the Open Season Award in creative nonfiction for her memoir piece, “Ten Easy Steps”. Her first book for children, If A Horse Had Words, has been shortlisted for a 2019 New Brunswick Book Award.

March 29, 2019 Reading and Workshop Series ~ David Adams Richard

AX Reading and Workshop Series

Fri. Mar.29, 7:00 p.m.

Literary Reading and Q&A Session with David Adams Richards

AX is proud to announce a reading by David Adams Richards, followed by a question and answer period, as part of our ongoing AX Reading and Workshop Series.

Richards has received numerous awards and prizes throughout his career. Most notably, he is one of few writers in the history of the Governor General’s Literary Awards to win in both the fiction (Nights Below Station Street) and non-fiction (Lines on the Water) categories. In addition to these two wins, he was nominated for Road to the Stilt HouseFor Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down and Mercy Among the Children. Considered by many to be Richards’ most accomplished novel, Mercy was co-winner of the Giller Award in 2000 and was shortlisted for the Trillium Award and the Thomas Raddell Award. It also won the Canadian Booksellers Association author of the year and fiction book of the year awards.

The AX Reading and Workshop Series is in part supported by the New Brunswick Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture. UNB Writer-in-Residence Phil Hall appears as part of our series in April, and children’s book authors Jennifer McGrath and Kelly Cooper appear in May, rounding out the first half of the series.

David Adams Richards’ reading will begin at 7:00 pm and will be followed by a question and answer period. Admission is free, seating is first come-first served. Chapters will offer a wide selection of Richards’ book, and he will be available for book signing.

AX is located at 12 Maple Avenue, Sussex, NB.

(506) 433-8351

January 17, 2019 Reading and Workshop Series ~ Sean Michaels

Launch of the new AX Reading and Workshop Series

Join us at AX on Thursday, January 17 at 7:00 p.m. as we welcome award-winning Canadian author Sean Michaels for the first event in our new reading and workshop series. 

Sean will read from his Giller Prize winning novel, Us Conductors, a story inspired by the lives of inventor Léon Theremin and musician Clara Rockmore. 

Joining Sean is Sonya Malaborza, who will moderate a discussion after the reading. Sean will also demonstrate the other-worldly sounds of the theremin — a unique musical instrument controlled without physical contact. 

This event is FREE, thanks in part to a grant from the province. 

About Sean Michaels:
Sean was born in Stirling, Scotland in 1982 grew up in Ottawa, Canada. Apart from stays in Edinburgh and Kraków, he has lived in Montreal since 2000. Sean founded Said the Gramophone, one of the earliest music blogs, in 2003. His writing has also appeared in The Guardian, The Believer, the Walrus, Pitchfork and at McSweeney’s.


March 10, 2018 Writing Workshop with Colleen Murphy

Writing with Emotional Punch

March 10, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Join us at AX for a writing workshop with UNB’s Writer in Residence, acclaimed playwright, filmmaker and librettist, Colleen Murphy. 

A workshop and discussion on how to create complex characters and how to use them to tell stories that offer the reader an emotional experience. Suitable for all genres and levels.

Cost: $35This workshop is partially sponsored by UNB, Canada Council for the Arts, and AX‘s programming.

Register at AX,12 Maple Avenue, Sussex, NB or call (506) 433-8351.

Note: Colleen will do a reading and question and answer session at AX the night before, March 9, 7:30 p.m.

About Colleen Murphy

Colleen is a two-time Governor General’s Literary Award Winner for Drama. In 2016 she won for her play Pig Girl, and in 2007 she won for The December Man (L’homme de décembre). Twice she has won the Carol Bolt Award for Best Play. In 2017, Colleen had four world premieres in Canada including The Breathing Hole at the Stratford Festival, Oksana G. at Tapestry Opera in Toronto (composer, Aaron Gervais), and The Society For The Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius at Rumble Theatre in Vancouver. 

Other plays include I Hope My Heart Burns FirstArmstrong’s WarThe Goodnight BirdBeating Heart Cadaver and The Piper.  Other libretti include My Mouth On Your Heart(composer, August Murphy-King). She is also a filmmaker and her distinct, award-winning films have played in festivals around the world.

Colleen has been Playwright-in-Residence at Finborough Theatre in London, U.K., Necessary Angel Theatre and Factory Theatre in Toronto. She has been Writer in Residence at the University of Regina, the Mabel Pugh Taylor Writer in Residence at McMaster University, the University of Guelph, the Edna Staebler Laurier Writer in Residence at Wilfrid Laurier University, the Lee Playwright in Residence at the University of Alberta, and is currently Writer in Residence at the University of New Brunswick.