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    Writing Rogues & Rascals

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    As the end of November draws near so too does the end of the Calgary Public Library's Writer-in-Residence season for 2014. Hopefully you've all had a chance to take advantage of Rosemary Nixon's wonderful public programs and one-on-one manuscript consultations this Fall and if not, well, there is still one more chance. This Saturday Rosemary Nixon will visit the Central Library for "Writing Rogues and Rascals" - an energetic talk on her creation of fictional rascals and how to make them rise up off the page.

    This final, free public program of Rosemary Nixon's Memorial Park residency will run from 1 pm to 2:30 pm on Saturday, November 22, in the lower level meeting room at the Central Library. At the last count we somehow have 5 spots remaining. Register now to save yourself a seat. And if you've already registered, please note a slight typo on the time originally listed in our Winter Program Guide... the program ends at 2:30 pm, not 4 pm.


    Rosemary Nixon is a prize-winning writer of fiction. Her stories have appeared in literary magazines across the country as well as in numerous anthologies. Released in September 2013, her fourth book-length work of fiction Are You Ready To Be Lucky? is being praised as “positively kinetic, hilarious, charging, filled with gorgeous language and a fierceness of description. Nixon devastates the reader through the loveliest of prose”. Also well-known as a dynamic teacher of creative writing, Rosemary has taught classes for years at the University of Calgary, Chinook College, as well as three summers at Sage Hill Writing Experience in Saskatchewan. She is an outstanding highly-valued freelance editor, and has edited the stories, poetry, non-fiction, and novels of many Canadian writers, working closely with writers on style, language, and form. Far too many credentials, accomplishments, and awards to include in this little blog, so please continue to her complete bio and visit her website: http://www.rosemarynixon.com/.

    Kalila Are You Ready to be Lucky?

    Write Brain Muscles

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    With the passing of Labour Day our 2014 Writer In Residence program is now rolling into action. While Rosemary Nixon's official 'Welcome & Program Launch' won't take place until Thursday, September 18, Memorial Park Library is now openly accepting manuscripts to begin scheduling consultation appointments. For free, professional feedback on your work all you need is a library card and the submission guidelines.

    On top of invaluable one-on-one time with a highly experienced, award-winning author, the Writer In Residence service also features a long list of public programs designed to inspire, teach, and connect communities of aspiring writers. These are filling quick so make sure to get registered now.

    Rosemary will also be offering 3 opportunities to 'Exercise Your Imaginative Muscle', all of which will take place at Memorial Park Library from 6 - 8 pm. Here are the dates:

    Tuesday, September 16
    Tuesday, October 7
    Tuesday, November 4

    These are drop-in. No registration required. Spend an evening triggering "your imagination through writing prompts ranging from creating defamiliarized characters to developing suspense" and learning new tools to strengthen your writing skill.

    Unable to make it down to Memorial Park on Tuesdays? Try these books out for working out those writing muscles...


    Architectures of Possibility, by Lance Olsen The Writer's Workout, by Christina Katz Wired For Story, by Lisa Cron Fire Up Your Fiction, by Jodie Renner

    Rosemary Nixon

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    September through the end of November is a special time at Memorial Park Library. For three glorious months Calgary Public Library cardholders have access to the guidance and expertise of their very own Writer in Residence. If you haven't taken advantage of this wonderful service in the past, go directly to our 2014 Writer-in-Residence page to meet this year's resident - Rosemary Nixon.

    Not only does this program offer Calgary's aspiring writers free manuscript consultation, but also ninety days of public programs designed to inspire, teach, and connect. Registration for Rosemary's workshops, presentations, and readings will begin next Monday, August 18, and are likely going to fill up quick.

    For individual manuscript consultation, we can begin submitting work at Memorial Park Library after September 1, according to the submission guidelines. Two weeks later, on Thursday, September 18, join us for the 2014 Writer in Residence "Welcome & Program Launch" as we kick things off at historic Memorial Park Library. Starting at 7 p.m. Rosemary will read from a selection of her works and outline plans for her residency. A reception will follow.

    As always with the delicate act of absorbing writing wisdom from a professional, knowing a teacher's work will multiply a student's grasp by inordinate amounts. To get the most out of this year's Writer in Residence, here's your homework:

    Are You Ready to be Lucky?

    Are You Ready to Be Lucky? If so, meet Roslyn, a spirited divorcée eager for new beginnings.

    Meet Duncan, a British conman with a penchant for collecting ex-wives. Meet Floyd, a hard-living contractor who can fix anyone’s house but his own. Irritating, vulnerable, hopeful, they ricochet off one another, trailing a mess of family and friends, all of them trying to beat the odds and find happiness. With razor-sharp wit, Rosemary Nixon takes on the chaos and absurdity of friendship, marriage, divorce, and betrayal—and the heart-pounding, breathtaking, always astonishing complexities of luck and love.

    Kalila

    Kalila chronicles the lives of Maggie and Brodie, whose joy collides with devastation when their daughter’s birth also heralds the news of her congenital heart condition.

    In this startlingly inventive novel, Rosemary Nixon braids light and darkness into a narrative chain pulled exquisitely taut. Through Maggie and Brodie’s shifting viewpoints; the isolating impenetrability of hospital life; and the mediation of physics, music, and family, Nixon propels the reader into unmapped emotional terrain where a shell-shocked family grapples with the horror, joy, and mystery of impermanence. The result is a spellbinding tale, provocative for the emotions and the intellect.

    The Cock's Egg

    Magic and witchcraft are as much a part of the African landscape as are ghostly white egrets fluttering into blue jungle clearings, or copper-coloured frangipani blossoms growing against white-washed mud walls. Dislocation, isolation, and desire are hauntingly encompassed in these wonderful stories of Canadians living in a foreign landscape. And always the witchcraft of the cock’s egg shapes myths, permeates lives, and maps a country whose changing face finds its inhabitants stealing power through the transformation of the body.

    *Available only in Central Library's CHFH Local History room.

    Mostly Country

    With this first collection of short stories, Rosemary Nixon’s Wadden joins Manawaka and Agassiz on the landscape of Canadian fiction. Wadden, where farm and town, church and post office draw the limits of experience and escape. In prose of unnerving clarity, the individual lives of interwoven families unfold and overlap. There are: Fay Leichty, who lives at the very centre of the community in shamed silence; Kevin McClancy, unable to cross the boundaries of the Mennonite church and family; Rita Steckley, who during an encounter with a boy and the town tough, discovers the cruelties of desire. And many more. Through memory, through fantasy, through differing versions of events and places as far away as Zaire, Mostly Country creates the people of Wadden. A reading experience to be enjoyed.

    *Available only in Central Library's CHFH Local History room.

    *book summaries lifted off rosemarynixon.com

    Thank you Barb Howard!

    by Phil - 1 Comment(s)

    December has come much too quick. While I'm thrilled to be on the way out of an odd-numbered year (they're the worst!), the last month of the year is also the first month since summer that the library, sadly, is without the services of its 2013 Writer-in-Residence, Barb Howard.

    On behalf of all aspiring Calgary writers who took advantage of this opportunity, whether through manuscript consultations, attending one of Barb's many author readings/presentations, or a Reckless Writing session, the 'Nook blog would like to say THANK YOU so so much for answering our endless questions and guiding us forward.

    Keep in touch with Barb Howard's wonderful work at barbhoward.ca, and pick up her books from your local library...

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

    It's going to be a long nine months before the 2014 Writer in Residence season begins, but anyone looking for more kick-in-the-pants guidance from local writing experts won't have to wait all the way to September. Next week, with the release of our Winter program guide, the lineup for Writer's Weekend 2014 will be announced. The date is set: Saturday, February 1, and this year will feature another 6 inspiration-packed expert presentations from local writers, as well as the opportunity to meet many Calgary writing groups. Details will follow next week.

    Barb - we can't wait to read more of your work.

    An OBOC Treat for Writers

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    What happens when the entire city reads one book?

    For one thing, the month of November gets packed with a wide range of library programs capable of bringing together the whole city. From drum circles to the science of cartography. From the recent politics of immigration to candid conversations with author Lawrence Hill, Calgary will connect over the challenging, enlightening novel The Book of Negroes.

    This year One Book One Calgary is also teaming up with the library's Writer in Residence Barb Howard for an irresistable look into the process of writing fiction. On Saturday, November 9, at Memorial Park Library, two award winning authors will sit down to give us a behind the scenes look into their process and into the challenges and rewards of writing as a way of life. The event runs from 2:30 to 4pm. It's a long way to November but I have a hunch this one will fill up quick. Register here.

    For guidance and inspiration from an award-winning author before November, the library's Writer in Residence program is in full swing. Don't miss Barb Howard's next installment of 'Reckless Writing' - a workshop full of fun writing prompts and exercises and advice. The next topic is 'Tangible Textures' and the session will be held at Memorial Park Library on Tuesday, October 8. 6pm. No registration required.

    Barb will also be branching out with an appearance at the Signal Hill Library on Thursday, October 3 where she will read from a selection of her works and talk about her experience as a writer. Register here.

    The Writer in Residence service only lasts 3 months, September to the end of November, so don't miss the unique opportunity to work with and learn from a professional, award-winning author.

    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.

    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

    Writers Wanted

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

     

    "In an odd way I envy all future people who have this opportunity."

    - Fred Stenson, CPL's first Writer in Residence, 1987

    A pretty sweet place to come to work, no?

    And that opportunity is upon us future people once again, 26 years later, as our search for the 2014 Writer in Residence is now underway. This program is run out of the beautiful Memorial Park library and I can assure the 1987 version of Mr. Fred Stenson — the envy is all ours.

    Click here for full application details.

    The deadline to apply is June 30, 2013.


    Some of our past Writers in Residence, the envy of Fred Stenson, include Betty Jane Hegerat, William Pasnak, Cora Taylor, Yvonne Trainer, Joan Crate, Ken Rivard, Shirlee Smith Matheson, Faye Reineberg Holt, Rona Altrows, Naomi K. Lewis, George Melnyk, Darlene Quaife, Martine Bates Leavitt, Brian Brennan, and Gail Bowen. Bowen, award-winning author of the Joanne Kilbourne series, blogged some of her experience. You can read Part One and Part Two of her impressions from Gail's Blog. To find the work of some our past writers-in-residence on library shelves, click the book covers below. And stay tuned for the announcement of our 2013 Writer in Residence, coming this July.

    Joan Crate Gail Bowen Rona Altrows Naomi K. Lewis Ken Rivard Brian Brennan Betty Jane Hegerat

    NaNoWriMo

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a nonprofit event that encourages kids and adults to tackle the challenge of writing a novel in November. Launched in 1999, NaNoWriMo inspires its estimated 300,000 participants with email pep talks, a huge and supportive online community, and a host of web-based writing tools. Additionally, volunteers called Municipal Liaisons (MLs) in nearly 600 regions organize local writing events and get-togethers that transform novel-writing into an achievable and fun community endeavor.”

    Sign up today at the NaNoWriMo website.


    And because libraries are the ultimate place to write - the domestic distractions of home are eliminated, the calm-yet-lively atmosphere nurtures focus, and you surround yourself with all the glorious material you could ask for in terms of research and inspiration - we are hoping that any and all Calgary WRIMOS come and plug in at any of our 18 branches across the city. Our doors will open 29 out of 30 days in November (closed for Remembrance Day) and on the 17th the Central library is hosting a mid-way convergence featuring two special presentations you won't want to miss...



    CHARACTER CREATION WORKSHOP

    November 17. 1.00 - 3.00 pm.

    Join local authors Susan Calder (Deadly Fall) and Garry Ryan (Blackbirds) for an interactive workshop on making your characters come alive and about using E-Resources. Bring your questions and meet other writers. Everyone welcome. REGISTER.

    eBook or Print?

    November 17. 12.00 - 1.00 pm.

    Consider both formats when publishing your writing. Susan Toy discusses the many changes in promotion and marketing that have occurred as a result of both methods of delivering books to readers. REGISTER.

    __________________________________________


    This is also a perfect opportunity to make use of the library's Writer-in-Residence services. Book your manuscript consultation with Brian Brennan today and get some free, professional guidance on your journey to 50,000 words. Mr. Brennan's residency will end November 30 so do not wait.

    Writer in Residence 2012, Program Launch!

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    If you want to get some serious value out of your library card, there is a three month window, which has already opened, for Calgary Public Library members to take part in our Writer in Residence services. With financial assistance from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, we are quite lucky to be able to offer an opportunity for Calgary writers to pursue an appraisal of their work from a professional author.

    This year Memorial Park library has welcomed Brian Brennan and this Saturday, September 8, we want to make it official...

    Writer in Residence Welcome and Program Launch

    Memorial Park Library
    1221 2nd St SW
    No registration required

    Saturday, September 8

    2:00–3:30 p.m.

    A reception will follow.

    Here is a small sample of Mr. Brennan’s work:

    How the West was Written: the life and times of James H. Gray

    Boondoggles, Bonanzas, and Other Alberta Stories

    Leaving Dublin: Writing my Way from Ireland to Canada

    Romancing the Rockies

    For information on submitting a manuscript and setting up an individual consultation, click here, or call the Memorial Park library at 403-221-2006

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