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    The One Best Place to Write. 18 Locations.

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)


    We can probably narrow it down to a few generalized stereotypes. Is it a coffee shop? They’ll make you buy their coffee! Is it at home? That’s too homely and there is probably something on tv or a bed to get in. Is it on a park bench under the sweeping branches of an oak tree? Birds and insects are a nuisance, wind blows, and you can’t put on sunscreen or your fingers’ll get too greasy to grip a pen so you’re sure to be sunburnt.

    Is it wherever inspiration randomly strikes?

    Is anyone writing at the library?

    Pretty much everyone, actually, unless they’re reading.

    Any of Calgary’s 18 library branches are truly ideal places for a writer to get lost in their work. There is always space at a desk within reach of a laptop plug-in. There is endless inspiration lining every shelf of books. There is friendly reference staff to get you through any research difficulty slowing you down. And have you seen our new program guide?... Here is a small sample of the offerings we have from May to August.


    Meet aspiring writers, engage in fun exercises and share your writing.

    Central Library. Mondays, May 14, June 11, July 16, and August 13, 6 - 7:30pm

    HAIKU 101

    Join the Magpie Haiku Poets for an introduction to haiku poetry. Put your new knowledge and skills to the test and write a little haiku poetry for yourself!

    Central Library. Saturday June 2, 11:30am - 1pm.


    Join bestselling authors Kevin J. Anderson (Science Fiction), Kelley Armstrong (Romance), Anthony Bidulka (Mystery), and Young Adult author Rebecca Moesta as they read from their latest books. Co-presented with “When Words Collide : a Festival for Readers and Writers.”

    Central Library. Friday August 10, 12 - 1pm.


    Join the People's Poetry Festival ( for a hands-on found poetry excursion. Explore the library's vast collection to pull lines from books, music, magazines, advertisements, news clippings, photographs and more to create your own found poetry piece.

    Central Library. Saturday August 18, 11am - 12:30pm.

    Stay tuned for much more!

    A Spoken Word Weekend

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    The 9th annual Calgary Spoken Word Festival goes into full swing this weekend, featuring several events that take place right here at the Central Library. For a complete list of the festival events, click here. And here are the events the Central library is thrilled to be hosting in the John Dutton Theatre:

    Saturday April 21 - SLAM CHAMPS PG

    This is the winner circle sublime! National and International Slam Champs will raise the roof and rock the stage. If you want to Slam or you know someone who does or you just want to see the best in action—this event could change your life.


    Truth Is (Ottawa)
    Ian Keteku (Ottawa)
    Mike McGee (Portland)
    Mary Pinkoski (Edmonton)


    Regie Cabico (Waskington,DC)



    A Balanced Brunch - Celebrating the 14th Annual National Poetry Month, four talented Calgary area poets will share their perspective on this year's theme of "balance" – culturally, creatively, linguistically, personally, socially, playfully, politically, poetically, or perhaps even musically! Coffee, tea and muffins will be served.


    Vivian Hansen (Calgary)
    Richard Harrison (Calgary)
    Micheline Maylor (Calgary)
    T.B. Perry (Calgary)


    Dymphony Dronyk

    Click book covers to find titles in the library catalogue!

    Following the League of Poets & Friends Reading, starting at 2:30 (arrive at 2 if you want to compete!), it is your chance to shine... SNAP JUDGMENT - STORY SLAM COMPETITION Hosted by Regie Cabico

    "This is your chance. Arrive at two bells. Sign up. Tell your five minute story. Two rounds. Winner takes all."

    Crime Writers of Canada, Prairie divison

    - 0 Comment(s)

    Arthur Ellis Shortlist Awards Event 2012

    Thursday, Apr 19

    6:30 - 7:30 p.m., Central Library - Main Floor South

    This Thursday the Crime Writers of Canada will host 5 simultaneous events across the country to celebrate the best in Canadian mystery.

    A panel discussion featuring Garry Ryan, Susan Calder, and Sharon Wildwind will precede the announcement of this year's Author Ellis shortlisted nominees.

    Sharon Wildwind

    Garry Ryan

    Susan Calder

    Register in person, by calling 403-260-2620 or online.


    For more information on the Arthur Ellis Awards, click here.

    To read the Writer's Nook interview with Garry Ryan (February 2012), click here.

    It's Poetry Month

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    There's a lot going on for poetry. If you appreciate poetry, you already know that. And you also know poetry really doesn't need a designated month to be appreciated. Once the metallic, coffee taste of poetry is in your throat, it stays twelve months a year. It gets between your toes and follows you into the deepest dreams.

    But it is April. And poets, being smart, take what they can get.

    The obvious way to enjoy poetry is to read it, on paper, but there are way too many amazing poets to rave about in one little blog.

    Live poetry is a whole other beast and Calgary is full of wonderful performers. Again, there are too many exciting events to list here, including the entire 2012 Spoken Word Festival. A good place to look is FFWD magazine's literary events listings.

    But then the best way to celebrate poetry is to create it yourself. If you need more direction other than "Hey! It's Poetry month, go write a poem!", Calgary's Single Onion Reading Series may have the incentive you need.

    It's a poetry contest!

    Later this year Single Onion will celebrate their 100th event. After twelve years of lining Calgary up with a variety of renowned Canadian poets, as well as up-and-coming local artists, it is time to celebrate and Single Onion wants your help.

    They want to know how local poets see Calgary and they want you to send it to them before August 15, 2012. Ten finalists will be chosen to perform at the SO100 Celebration Event on Saturday, November 17, 2012.

    For full contest details visit the Single Onion blog. This is also the place where you can find the reading series' upcoming schedule of events, which usually take place the third Thursday of every month. For inspiration, find the work of these Calgary poets at the library:

    Out of the Frenzy

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    Oh gosh we are already three days into April, three days into the Frenzy, and I haven’t written a thing. Rather than get stressed out about my impending failure, I’m just gonna give up and watch movies all month and leave the script writing to the pros. Like Charlie Kaufman. In 2003 Kaufman’s screenplay for Adaptation introduced the world to an entirely fresh angle on storytelling, combining journalism, the naked metafiction of his process, botany, the naked uncertainties of his personal life, and a crucial dash of action adventure romance.

    Kaufman’s combination of so many elements, oddly embodied in a sad, saggy version of Nicholas Cage, is an inspiration for writers of all genres. One of the film’s most memorable moments is when Kaufman, already a successful screenwriter (see: Being John Malkovich), is reduced to attending a Robert McKee screenwriter’s workshop. The result of Kaufman’s meeting with McKee not only drives the plot forward, but makes a very interesting argument for why humans desire to tell stories.

    With perfect timing for April's Script Frenzy, brand new copies of Robert McKee's Story have arrived on library shelves. If McKee's principles worked for Charlie Kaufman, they might work for you too!..

    Story: substance, structure, style and the principles of screenwriting by Robert McKee

    Robert McKee's screenwriting workshops have earned him an international reputation for inspiring novices, refining works in progress and putting major screenwriting careers back on track. Quincy Jones, Diane Keaton, Gloria Steinem, Julia Roberts, John Cleese and David Bowie are just a few of his celebrity alumni. Writers, producers, development executives and agents all flock to his lecture series, praising it as a mesmerizing and intense learning experience.

    In Story, McKee expands on the concepts he teaches in his $775 seminars (Robert McKee's Story Seminar is considered a must by industry insiders), providing readers with the most comprehensive, integrated explanation of the craft of writing for the screen. No one better understands how all the elements of a screenplay fit together, and no one is better qualified to explain the "magic" of story construction and the relationship between structure and character than Robert McKee.

    Click here for library copies of
    on DVD.

    Click here for the Internet Movie
    Script Database
    (IMSDb) link to
    the Adaptation screenplay.