What makes a story sing?

Windblown Colleen.

I am a freelance writer, substantive editor and dramaturge. What that means is I help writers find their process.

Together, we’re on a quest to answer a seemingly simple question: What really makes a story sing?

This process is like an unveiling, as little bit by bit, the story takes shape.

The techniques I’ve developed are influenced by years as a playwright and actor. From spaces walks, spadework, even at times physical work, my goal is to help you create the world of your characters.

I currently live in Toronto with 3 grey cats and a drawer full of lint brushes.

The official, listy history

There is some work with Oscar-nominated artists back there. I’ve supported some award-winning novelists and actors. Corporate clients have included Pfizer, Computer Associates, Virgin Australia, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Australia Post, Bank of America, and more.

Playwright with 7 plays produced from Halifax to Vancouver. Managing Editor for Taking the Stage, Selections from plays by Canadian women (winner of Canadian Booksellers’ award for most saleable playbook of the year). Served on the jury of 3-day Novel competition (2 years). Masters Degree in Creative Writing (UBC). University Graduate Fellowship (UBC). Nova Scotia Arts Council grant. Ontario Arts Council grant. Teacher of Playwriting at St. Mary’s University. Tied for second in 3-day novel competition. Placed in top five of 3-day novel competition. Consulting editor to publishers. Dramaturge and script reader for Neptune Theatre. Script doctor. Gold star from my grade 5 English teacher 😉

Colleen M. Subasic

7 thoughts on “Me

  1. Just finished forty watt flowers and Ioved it’
    I hope there will be a sequel?! My dream was to move to Athens to start a band and
    Marry Peter Buck ha

    • Wow! What a great dream! He is a charming guy, who wouldn’t crush on him.

      Glad you loved the book. How did you find out about it? There is a sequel in the works. But don’t expect it too soon…

      Please do let others know about the book if you can. Thanks for reaching out.

  2. Hi Colleen,

    I am just wondering if you are a descendant of Ivan Subasic (1892-1955) of Vukova Gorica, Croatia?


    Joe Meszaros

  3. Hi Colleen
    My name is Emil Koteles and I live in Ottawa with my wife, Elizabeth. I’d like to explore any possible familial links between you and Betty (nee Vukobratich). Her parents were born (her father, Frank, in 1902 and her mother, Katie, in 1904) and raised in a small village in Croatia called VukovaGorica, near Karlovac. As you may know, VukovaGorica is a very small village, a hamlet actually. Her father emigrated to Canada (Schumacher, Ontario) in about 1927 and her mother followed with her son, Frank, in 1935. Betty was born in Schumacher in 1941. Betty’s mother’s maiden name was Boljkovac and she has members of the Pavlakovic family among her ancestors.
    The prominent landowning family in VukovaGorica was called Subasic, of which, I believe, you are a descendent. Do you know of any connection between your ancestors and members of the Boljkovac and/or Pavlakovic families in VukovaGorica? Any information you could provide about your ancestors in VukovaGorica would be greatly appreciated.
    By the way, since you are a writer I’d like to ask you another question. Are you familiar with a short story called My Former Yugoslavia by Canadian J Leigh Hirst? It’s from a collection of short stories called The Night Tony Shot the Lights Out and Other Stories published in 2016. I came across this story by accident and found it fascinating since it dealt with, peripherally, the career of Ivan Subasic. One of the characters was Ivan’s widow. I found it strange that this Canadian author, from BC, would write about a topic so foreign to his experience and knowledge. But he seemed to get the details of Ivan’s political career correct.
    Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

    • Hello, Emil;
      I have not been at my site for a long time. I just noticed this post today.

      My great uncle was Ivan Subasic. I did not know about this story, but will look it up. My father, George, was born in Trail, B.C. and went to the University of Washington in Seattle, then moved to Ottawa and married my mother. They then came to Toronto.

      They did not speak at all about our family history. What I know about Ivan, I’ve learned mostly on my own. So I know nothing about the small village you speak of. I will ask my father, however, and he may know something.

      To continue this correspondence, I’ll email you separately.


  4. Hi Colleen
    I just came across your reply to my email today, September 3, 2020. I think it would help with our communication if we used email instead of this site.
    My email address is If you send me your email address I will send you an invitation to visit my family tree at You will find many people there from VukovaGorica including Subasics as well as Novosels, Boljkovacs and others you may be related to.
    Do you know exactly how you are related to Ivan Subasic? And have you ever had your DNA tested? My wife, Betty, has and it would be interesting to compare DNA results.

    By the way, if you can’t find My Former Yugoslavia I have a copy and could email it to you.

    I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Keep safe


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s