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  • Nov 26 - Distinguished Visitor - Shyam Selvadurai presents 'Writing from the Hyphen' this Saturday
  • Nov 19 - Writing Rogues & Rascals - One more chance to get some work done with the Library's 2014 Writer In Residence, Rosemary Nixon
  • Nov 5 - Come Write In - At home where the Wrimotaurs roam
  • Oct 31 - One Book - Marcello Di Cintio launches One Book One Calgary this Saturday
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    Share Your Work @ Central

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    After a flood-induced hiatus over the summer the Central library's Creative Writing Club is set to go for a new season. In this group participants will find an opportunity to share their writing, engage in fun exercises to get their creative wheels spinning, and perhaps most awesome: meet some like-minded aspiring writers to bounce ideas off of and share the joy of a good sentence.

    The Creative Writing Club meets every other Monday, starting September 9.

    Space is limited, but we still have a few spots available. REGISTER HERE.

    Any one who's had their hands on our September – December Program Guide may be confused by the meeting location listed as "Lower Level - Meeting Room 1". With Central's Lower Level currently CLOSED for flood repairs (which will include the construction of additional meeting rooms) the Creative Writing Club will move upstairs to the 2nd floor Program Room.

    Just starting down the path of creative writing? Looking for some good books on the subject? Try these classics!

    Bird by Bird: instructions on writing and life, by Anne Lamott Zen in the Art of Writing, by Ray Bradbury Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg On Writing: a memoir of the craft, by Stephen King

    Launch Plans

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    Some important dates are creeping up for anyone out there looking to take advantage of the library's 2013 Writer in Residence service. This year Memorial Park library will host award-winning author Barb Howard for three months of manuscript consultations, 'Reckless Writing' workshops, author reading events, and more.

    September 1. This is the first day to submit manuscripts and set up a consultation. Please read the Manuscript Submission Guidelines, which include poetry, fiction, children's, articles, and non-fiction.

    September 5. Welcome Barb Howard to her new position at the official Program Launch. She will read from a selection of her works and outline plans for her residency. A reception will follow. 7pm. No registration is required.

    September 10. The first installment of 'Reckless Writing' - one hour of prompted fearless writing followed by one hour of discussion. Starts at 6pm and again, no registration is required.

    It's all free with your library card.

    For more information on Barb Howard check out the author's website and read this local news story from the Cochrane Eagle.

    I feel a bit like I'm writing a car commercial now, but a program with this much value really only comes around once a year, so don't miss the opportunity to take your writing to the next level, no matter what level that may be.

    Wordfest Workshops

    by Phil - 1 Comment(s)

    Of all the wonderful opportunities coming from October 14 to 20 courtesy of Wordfest - including more than 65 writers coming to town for an incredible range of events - none may be more valuable to the aspiring writer than the Wordfest Workshops. This year there are 4 workshops. One of them is already SOLD OUT so don't hesitate to get signed up for the few remaining spots. Update! Sept. 14 - MORE TICKETS FOR TERESA TOTEN NOW AVAILABLE!

    The 2013 festival lineup is now available at wordfest.com and it features a special Pre-Festival event. On September 25 Wordfest presents Amanda Lindhout with her memoir A House in the Sky - "a story of courage, resilience and extraordinary grace. Her curiosity about the world led her from rural Canada to imperiled and dangerous countries on every continent, and then into fifteen months of harrowing captivity in Somalia."

    Now, those workshops:

    Tuesday, October 15

    WRITING FOR KIDS WITH CARY FAGAN

    This intensive workshop includes hands on writing exercises, discussion and tips on igniting a child’s imagination through storytelling.

    Cary Fagan is an award-winning children’s author, a writer of adult novels, an editor and a contributor to a number of magazines and newspapers. He has twice been a Toronto Book Award finalist, and he has won the Jewish Book Award and the World Storytelling Award.

    Thursday, October 17

    WRITING FICTION WITH MICHAEL WINTER

    Award winning author and the mind behind Minister Without Portfolio shares tips on how to write compelling yet believable fiction at this workshop packed with writing exercises, insider advice and in-depth discussions.

    Michael Winter is the author of a number of novels, including The Architects Are Here and The Big Why. He has been short-listed for the Giller Prize and Roger Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and received the Winterset Award and Writers Trust Notable Author Award for his previous work.

    Saturday, October 19

    WRITING MYSTERY WITH PETER ROBINSON

    Bring a pen and notebook to this workshop, and learn more about the art of building tension and suspense in mystery writing through fun, interactive exercises and engaging discussions.

    Peter Robinson is the recipient of numerous awards for his Inspector Banks novels, including the prestigious Grand Prix de Littérature Policière for the French translation of In a Dry Season and several Arthur Ellis Awards for Best Novel.

    Saturday, October 19

    WRITING YA FICTION WITH TERESA TOTEN


    Learn how to mine real-life experiences as inspiration for stories geared to young adults in this workshop for writers of all ages and levels.

    Teresa Toten is the author of the acclaimed Blondes series, as well as other books including The Taming, co-written with Eric Walters, and The Game. Toten has twice been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award.

    *All event descriptions and artist bios lifted from wordfest.com

    WWC in YYC

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    Karma is biting this blogger big time. Last week I dissed the month of August whole-heartedly and now August is taking every chance it gets to tell me I was so wrong. This weekend is the third When Words Collide festival, known for bringing a wide variety of guest authors, publishers, and passionate fans together for "a sharing of information, for learning, and to build a sense of community."

    The festival runs from August 9 – 11.

    Get full details from the When Words Collide website, including the complete list of presenters & panelists. This list includes local author Axel Howerton, who will appear on the panels "Pushing the Limits of Traditional Mystery" and "Violence in Literature". This week's FFWD features an interview with Howerton. Read it.

    You can find the books of this year's guest authors at your local library. Click the book covers to place a hold.

    SHIRLEE SMITH MATHESON

    PATRICIA BRIGGS

    BARBARA FRADKIN

    DAVID B. COE / D.B. JACKSON

     

     

     

     

     

     

    JAMIS PAULSON

    MICHAEL CASSUTT

    Alphabet Soup

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    A mild layer of confused distress sometimes settles over the days of August. It's the month when kids can't even enjoy summer knowing it's quickly coming to an end. Record companies and book publishers and movie producers save all their good stuff for later. August is summer's December - better when it's over. August is a vague, lazy, sloth waiting for the forward drive of September. If this sounds too cynical, take a look at Slate Magazine's article titled: "August: Let's get rid of it", by David Plotz, and you'll see it's all very real. I strongly support Plotz's idea to extend both July and September by ten days, reducing August to a ten-day breeze. The modification would leave enough time for the month's #1 attraction: the three-day People's Poetry Festival, which will leave its bright, inviting mark on Calgary from August 16 - 18.

    The Calgary Public Library is a proud supporter of The People's Poetry Festival and its valiant mission "to tear apart the notion that poetry is reserved for academic elites and enlightened beatniks". On August 17th our Louise Riley branch will host "Alphabet Soup" - a poetry workshop to help you craft your own abecedarian, or alphabetical poem (for example, look below!). The workshop runs from 11am to 12:30 and we still have a few spots left. Register here.

    Here, now, is my first rushed attempt at an abecedarian poem...

    August

    Behind the

    Curtain of July

    Delaying our

    Eager push to

    Fall and

    Gasp for

    Home

    Instead of

    Jostling for

    Kinetically

    Liberated

    Moments in

    Non-jacketed late night

    Options

    Perhaps

    Questioning

    Rest

    Sometimes even

    Turning

    Under the

    Very

    Wheel with

    Xenolithic

    Youth and

    Zero meaning.

    Tags:

    An Author's Authority

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    It can be a real sludgefest when it comes to finding the right book to help writers with their writing. Over the summer I've been picking away at updates to our 'Writer' book lists and the publishing niche is just so convoluted that it's nearly impossible to keep up with. There's a lot of people out there trying to get the most out of their literary ambitions and a ton of writers willing to write books to tell them how.

    It's pretty easy, right off the bat, to avoid any books with the words 'SELL', 'BESTSELLER', or 'MONEY' in the title, but that still leaves me with hundreds of books with space in my list for about twenty. After sampling dozens of titles I got a lucky break during a camping trip when I had a chance to finally start reading Tom Bissell's 2012 book of essays, Magic Hours.

    Four essays in I encountered an authoritative voice on the subject of how-to-write manuals. The essay is titled"Writing about Writing about Writing" and anyone considering consultation in the how-to section might want to get their hands on Magic Hours first. In his own insecure search for authoritative guidance Bissell seems to have familiarized himself with many of the classic staple how-to-write books and his perspective on the subject is blunt, honest, and valuable.

    After a discussion of whether writing is teachable, whether how-tos are useless, and declaring John Gardner's On Becoming A Novelist as the book that literally taught him how to write, Bissell usefully separates the different types of manuals into four categories: 1) "The User's Manual", 2) "Golden Parachute", 3) "Nuts, Bolts, Tea & Angels", and 4) "Olympus".

    I'll be going into detail for each of Bissell's categories as I compare his recommendations with our collection, hoping to create the ultimate writer's booklist, but in the meantime here are the most prominent titles from each category...

     

     

    "User's Manual" "Golden Parachute" "Nuts, Bolts, Tea & Angels" "Olympus"
    For a firm, confident grasp on the English language.

    For those focused mostly on success and popularity.

    For a peek behind the curtain of a writer's literary secrets. For opinions, philosophy, and advice from highly-esteemed writers.

    Stay tuned for the final, updated 'Nook booklists. And please leave a comment below to tell us about the books you've encountered that must make the list.

    Tags:

    Barb Howard

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    The months of September through November are always a glorious time to work at the information desk on the 4th floor of Central library. This is where the literature collection lives, as well as all of our how-to guidebooks for aspiring writers. While our bottomless pool of resources is available year-round to writers looking to hurdle over obstacles, it is only during September, October, and November that we can say: go to Memorial Park.

    At Memorial Park, with financial assistance from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the library has offered Writer in Residence services for over 25 years. Here you will find a professional, critical eye for your work that isn't softened by your friend or family's regard for your feelings. Here you will find consultation and advice on the writing and publishing process from someone at the top of their game. Here you will find a diverse community 'recklessly' honing their craft under the guidance of award-winning author Barb Howard.

    Barb Howard's most recent book, Western Taxidermy, won the 2012 CAA 'Exporting Alberta Award' and is up for the 2013 High Plains Award for short story collection. She also boasts extensive experience as a writing instructor. Read more by visiting Barb's website.

    Here's how to submit your work and book your individual consultation.

    Here's the list of readings, workshops, and events. All free.

    Here's the library's full catalogue of titles by Barb Howard:

    Whipstock Notes for Monday The Dewpoint Show Embedded on the Home Front Western Taxidermy

    Calgary's Book of the Year

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    Calgary"s Book of the YearIt's been a rewarding spring for the author of Walls: Travels Along the Barricades. After receiving the 'Shaugnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing' in March, Marcello Di Cintio double-dipped into the Alberta Literary Awards, winning both the Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Nonfiction and the James H. Gray Award for Short Nonfiction. And then on June 12, as if there was any room left on the mantle, Walls was awarded The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize.

    Established in 1996 in honour of renowned Calgary writer W.O. Mitchell to recognize literary achievement by Calgary authors, Di Cintio is the 17th writer to take home the prize. The two authors up against Walls were Theanna Bischoff, for her second novel, Swallow, and 2001 W.O. Mitchell Book prize winner Andrew Nikiforuk, for The Energy of Slaves: Oil and the New Solitude.

    Click here for a complete list of all winners and nominees since 1996.

    As for Walls, there's a UK edition set for release next month and a US edition coming out in the Fall, so it's really just beginning. You can keep up with all of Marcello's work, including some summer workshop opportunities, at his website Elsewhere.

    Wordfest Presents Jeannette Walls

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    READ AN EXCERPT“One benefit of Summer was that each day we had more light to read by.”

    —from The Glass Castle

    And another benefit of summer, this summer, is that Wordfest is bringing the author of Half Broke Horses, The Glass Castle, and Dish right here to the Central library. One of the bestselling memoirists of all time, Jeannette Walls will present her latest stunning and heartbreaking novel, The Silver Star, a story about an intrepid girl who challenges the injustices of the adult world.

    Tuesday, June 25

    7pm, John Dutton Theatre

    TICKET INFO

    The event will feature a live interview with host Shelley Youngblut. Walls will read from The Silver Star, and her books will be available for purchase along with an opportunity to have her work signed after the event.

    WordFest is a not-for-profit organization that brings readers and writers together through the power of story. The 2013 main event festival will run from October 14 - 20.

    Other titles from Jeannette Walls available at your local library...

    Dish Half Broke Horses The Glass Castle

    The Double Launch

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    Anyone looking for some fresh local talent to go crazy for must see these two new releases from Insomniac Press. Jani Krulc and Jason Christie have already taken The Jesus Year and Unknown Actor to the other side of Canada and now it is finally our turn to get in on the double launch fun. Pages Bookstore (1135 Kensington Rd NW) will host the event this Friday, June 7, at 7:30 pm. And tune in to Writer's Block on CJSW radio (90.9 FM) tonight at 8 pm for an interview with the 'launchers'.

    Click to Place Hold
    Click to Place Hold

    When poetry meets theatre in the mind of Jason Christie, a smashing performance results! Then as the curtains close, Christie sneaks off the stage, through the scenery, and out into the wilds of the Internet — and straight into the footlights and teleprompters of human experience.

    Like a method actor in character long after the credits have rolled, off-set, off his rocker, Christie runs wild from Goethe's Faust to Burton's, through 1984 and B-movies from the 80s and back again. Beneath his offerings to the actor — questionable acting lessons, dubious plot treatments — lurks a deep unease at our accepted practices of looking at each other, kid.

    Get out the popcorn and turn on your mobile device. This is going to get dramatic.

    The Jesus Year explores the space between joy and tragedy, happiness and despair, sincerity and absurdity.

    A husband won't throw his wife a party for her thirty-third birthday; a woman becomes obsessed with re-decorating her familial cabin; a couple's west coast elopement turns dangerous; a father must talk his daughter out of cancelling her wedding; a mother meets her thirty-year-old daughter for the first time; three friends' lives collide at an annual Christmas party; and a downtown couple drive to a prairie church to plan the perfect wedding.

    In these stories, the banal details of life crash against momentous occasions, revealing what is hidden, and re-casting what is already in plain sight.

    book descriptions lifted off insomniacpress.com


    Jason Christie grew up in Milton, Ontario. He studied at York University and the University of Calgary. In 2007, he joined the Kootenay School of Writing. His poetry has appeared in many journals and magazines, including filling Station, dANDelion, Poetry Is Dead, Action, YES!, The Capilano Review, West Coast Line, and Interim. He edited, alongside a.rawlings and derek beaulieu, the anthology Shift & Switch: New Canadian Poetry (Mercury 2005). His two previous collections of poetry are Canada Post (Snare 2006) and i-ROBOT (EDGE 2006).

    Jani Krulc is a writer and editor; her fiction has appeared in filling Station and nOd. She holds an MA in English and Creative Writing from Concordia University and a BA (Hons) in English from the University of Calgary. The Jesus Year is her first book.

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