As you've already heard, one of our prizes for the Just Write contest is a bag of books by local authors and literary organizations who graciously made this prize possible by donating their work. I wanted to not only thank these writers for their generosity, but also to introduce them and the books they’ve donated.
Rona writes fiction, essays, plays and occasionally even songs and has worked as both an in-house and freelance editor for a number of years. She has two books, A Run on Hose and Key in Lock, as well as the children's book The River Throws a Tantrum, was the co-editor of the Shy: An Anthology and has also had her work published in a number of highly-regarded journals, including Prairie Fire, The Malahat Review, and Ryga, and online in Montreal Serai.
Rona donated Key in Lock to us, a poignant collection of short stories. If you’d like to find out more about Rona, or the book she donated to us check out her website.
Originally born in Amsterdam, Dymphny has written poetry, fiction and drama for over 25 years. She has a book of poetry, Contrary Infatuations, and a memoir about Alberta potter Bibi Clement, Bibi – A Life in Clay and has publications in a number of magazines and literary journals. With Edmonton poet Angela Kublik, she is also co-owner of House of Blue Skies, Alberta’s newest publisher, and co-editor of the anthologies Writing the Land – Alberta Through its Poets and Home & Away – Alberta’s Finest Poets Muse on the Meaning of Home, both bestsellers. Dymphny was kind enough to donate a copy of Home & Away – Alberta’s Finest Poets Muse on the Meaning of Home for our lucky winner.
Kim writes both fiction and plays. She mentors young writers through her work in her Reality is Optional Kid’s Writing Club, at WordsWorth Writing Camp and through the Dramantics Theatre Camp. Her short story, Life Before War, was short listed for the 2008 CBC Literary Award and published in FreeFall Magazine. She was written several plays for children, two of which were performed to a sold-out audience at the 2011 Calgary Fringe Festival.
Kim has kindly donated two of her teen fiction books to us, Touch and Boiled Cat. You can find out more about her at her website.
I'll be posting more about Jani next week as she is also doing our one-on-one consultation with our second place winner, but in the meantime I wanted to let you know that not only has she been generous enough to donate her time to meet with a young writer, but she's also given us a copy of her first collection of short fiction, The Jesus Year, to add to our prize pack.
Naomi has written two books of fiction. Cricket in a Fist was her first novel and last year her short story collection I Know Who You Remind Me Of was released and was the winner of the Colophon Prize and was short-listed for the Alberta Reader’s Choice Award and the George Bugnet Award.
Naomi donated Shy: An Anthology which she co-edited with Rona Altrows. You can find out more about Shy and Naomi at her website.
The late Birk Sproxton lived in Red Deer, Alberta where he wrote and taught creative writing at Red Deer College for over three decades. Birk wrote fiction, poetry and non-fiction and is the author of the following books: Headframe, The Hockey Fan Came Riding, The Red-Headed Woman with the Black Black Heart, Headframe: 2, and Phantom Lake: North of 54. He also was the editor of Trace: Prairie Writers on Writing, Sounds Assembling: The Poetry of Bertram Booker, The Winnipeg Connection: Writing Lives at Mid-Century and the short story collection Great Stories from the Prairies.
My thanks go out to Birk’s wife Lorraine, a dear friend, who donated both Headframe and Headframe: 2 to us. The literary journal Prairie Fire recently released a special issue dedicated to Birk and the legacy he left behind and Christian Riegel’s essay on Birk is a good place to start if you’d like to learn more about him.
filling Station is Calgary’s experimental literary magazine that publishes inventive fiction, poetry and non-fiction. Entirely volunteer-fueled, the magazine has been in existence for twenty years and has published many highly regarded writers. filling Station has donated three issues of their magazine to our lucky winner. If you’d like to find out more about the magazine, and perhaps even how you can volunteer or get involved, check out their website. It’s also worth noting that the Central library has copies of this magazine available for you to check out or you can pick it up at any independent book store in Calgary.
Migratory Words is a writers' collective operating in Canmore, Alberta. The regular group of locals is augmented by visits from iconic Canadian authors, seduced into keeping our company by the grace of our glorious surrounds. Each year, Migratory Words Press releases an anthology of work shared during our fortnightly circles. In 2013, Migratory Words has celebrated five years with a new anthology and a new format. Contributing Authors include Weyman Chan, Sid Marty, Erin Dingle, Carolyn Yates, Charles Noble, Tim Murphy and many more!
Migratory Words was founded by poet David Eso who generously donated a copy of their recent anthology to us. Find out a bit more about David here.
Our final book donation came to us from Lisa Murphy-Lamb, WordsWorth's generous director, who provided an anthology of the work of WordsWorth students from last year. I'll be posting a special blog post on WordsWorth's sister writing camp, the Drink the Wild Air Writing Retreat in a couple of weeks, so stay tuned for that!
I hope finding out about all of the diverse writers and literary organizations who have donated copies of their books for this prize has made you all the more eager to enter our contest. There's sort of a bonus to all of the prizes and that's that this bag of books, and the other prizes you have a chance of winning, came about because the literary community here is pretty awesome. I put out a call to the writing community to see what I could offer for prizes and they were all too happy to help out. So the bonus is this, even though none of these writers know you, they donated these books to you because they care about you. They wanted to play a part in helping you develop as a writer and that's a pretty big gift, knowing that you're the next generation of a writing community that really cares about each other. So do me a favour if you win these books, come out to literary events because we'd love to see you, and if you see any of these writers thank them, and tell them what their book meant to you. It will mean a lot to them, it really will.
In a couple of days I'll be posting my first in a series of "Teen Writer's Toolkit" blogs to help you get started with your story. Make sure you mark that contest deadline on your calendar: January 25th, 2014!