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    Wordfest Workshops

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    It's another amazing lineup coming to Calgary this October for Wordfest. With more than 80 writers slated to deliver more than 65 events, many of which the Central Library has the honour of hosting in the John Dutton Theatre, readers and writers have a full week of opportunity to connect with some of the world's most exciting storytellers.

    This year's highlights for the 'Nook are Andrew Kaufman (The Tiny Wife), Sjon (From the Mouth of the Whale), and Sheila Heti (How Should A Person Be?), but like every year when the Wordfest program guide appears I turn straight to the 'Workshop' page to see which artists will be offering "inspiration, instruction, and an in-depth look at the craft of storytelling." This year there are seven event listings under WORKSHOP (one every day!) which cover a huge range of interesting topics and they all take place in the beautiful new East Village art space Loft 112...

    WRITING NON-FICTION WITH TED BISHOP

    Ted Bishop delivers an accessible workshop geared for fans of non-fiction who are curious about the genre from a writers perspective.

    HUGH BREWSTER ON GETTING PUBLISHED

    This workshop demystifies the publishing process for creators at all levels. If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming a published author, this event is for you!

    WRITING FOR FILM & TELEVISION WITH ELYSE FRIEDMAN

    With today’s technology, the ability to move a story from print to the big or small screen is now within the reach of more creators. Open to all levels, this workshop analyzes the anatomy of storytelling through film, compares narrative strategies across media and genres, and discusses some common pitfalls to avoid.

    WRITING ROUNDTABLE WITH KATHLEEN WINTER

    Kathleen Winter guides a small group discussion focusing on the challenges and rewards of working with an editor over several drafts. Participants are encouraged to share their experiences and bring questions or thoughts of their own to the discussion.

    WRITING MYSTERY WITH MICHAEL ROBOTHAM

    Learn more about the art of building tension and suspense in mystery writing through fun, interactive exercises and engaging discussions.

    MASTER CLASS WITH MICHAEL CHO

    This intensive workshop for the literary and visually inclined includes hands on sketching exercises, discussion and tips from illustrator and cartoonist Michael Cho, followed by a guided Alley Walk with Rollin Stanley in Inglewood.

    ILLUSTRATING FOR BOOKS WITH SCOTT CHANTLER

    “Cartoonists are writers who ‘write’ with pictures,” says Scott Chantler. Bring your favourite writing and drawing instruments to this workshop, and learn more about the theory behind visual storytelling.

    Hopefully these haven't all sold out already! Follow the links to Wordfest.com to reserve your spot. And if you're looking for some non-instructional events, here's the Nook's top 3 picks for Wordfest 2014:

    Wordfest and Writers’ Guild of Alberta Present Rudy Wiebe

    Tuesday, October 14. Details at Wordfest.com.

    Writers and Mixtapes: Pechakucha Style

    Featuring Jonathan Auxier, Andrew Kaufman, Mark Lavorato, Sean Michaels, and Samantha Warwick. Details.

    ONE-ON-ONE WITH SJÓN

    Saturday, October 18. Details.

    **event descriptions lifted off Wordfest.com

    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

    The 'Nook Program Picks

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    If you've been anywhere near a library in the last week you've no doubt encountered the new, thicker than usual Program Guides outlining all of the wonderful ways to connect with us this Fall. For writers, no matter what stage you're at, no matter what genre you find yourself drawn to, the Library has the inspiration, guidance, and expertise to help keep your projects moving forward.

    September will feature a visit from Calgary's Poet Laureate, the kick-off of our Writer In Residence service, and a team of U of C researchers coming to crack codes of science fiction. In October two fantastic Calgary authors launch new books at Memorial Park. In November it's all about Walls, as local author Marcello Di Cintio's 'Travels Along the Barricades' has been chosen for One Book One Calgary.

    Here are the Nook's top programming picks for Fall 2014:

    An Evening with Poet Laureate derek beaulieu

    (see page 8)

    An evening of poetry, art, and the unexpected. Poet Laureate derek beaulieu shares his experiences combining poetry and art.

    Friday, September 26

    REGISTER

    Creative Writing Club

    (see page 50)

    A monthly meeting of aspiring writers.

    Engage in fun exercises and share your writing.

    Starts September 8

    REGISTER

    NaNoWriMo Workshops: Dynamic Dialogue & Striking Settings

    (see page 48)

    Learn how to make your characters sound less like robots and more like real people and write conversations that you'd actually want to listen to.

    Learn how to bring background details alive and make your settings sparkle.

    Saturday, October 25

    REGISTER

    Inside A Good Sentence

    (see page 49)

    One good sentence after another. Like rogue waves, rogue sentences roil with energy, their whole greater than the sum of their parts.

    Saturday, October 25

    REGISTER

    From the Authors: Marcello Di Cintio and Rosemary Nixon

    (see page 28)

    One Book One Calgary author Marcello Di Cintio and 2014 Writer In Residence, Rosemary Nixon, as they discuss the similarities and differences of writing fiction and non-fiction and how they capture the attention of readers of both genres.

    Saturday, November 15

    REGISTER

    After You've Gone

    (see page 50)

    Lori Hahnel launches her new novel, After You've Gone. The story of a Regina jazz guitarist and her Seattle record producer granddaughter.

    Thursday, October 9

    Motherwild

    (see page 50)

    Ken Rivard launches his tenth book, Motherwild, a work of beauty, a coming-of-age story and the eventual healing of a mother-son relationship.

    Thursday, October 2

    Download the full Program Guide PDF.

    You can also register over the phone. Call 403-260-2620.

    The 'P' Word

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    Tell someone you're a "writer" and there's a 99% chance you will encounter the same exact series of questions from whoever you're talking to.

    "What do you write?"

    "Uhh... fiction?"

    "Oh. Have you p******** anything?"

    For most unpublished writers the answer to this comes out as a sigh, followed by some mumbled list of unquantifiable chapbooks or blog work or estimate on the number of rejection letters piling up in the bottom drawer. Whether or not the validation of that 'P' word is important is entirely subjective but like any other career path becoming a writer is subject to the tired catch-22 of experience. I can't get p******** because I have no CV. My CV is empty because I haven't been p********.

    Breaking this cycle usually requires a lot of patience, hard work, and study. And after all that mastering of craft and process is established there remains that mysterious obstacle of HOW to approach submitting work, and to WHOM? The answers are different for every writer but are all out there for the taking. The Canadian Writer's Market is one really good resource to start with (it's also available to borrow from the library as an OverDrive eBook). On top of providing tips on the nuts and bolts of submitting work for publication, the 'Market is mainly a directory listing the diverse places willing to accept unsolicited submissions. One listing you will find right here in Calgary is for filling Station magazine, "a literary and arts magazine publishing innovative poetry, fiction, [and] non-fiction". I point out fS not only because the quarterly is always a great read, not only because they will be launching issue 59 at Shelf Life books on August 7, but because on Friday, August 8, the magazine's current fiction editor Emily Ursuliak is offering a workshop titled How to Submit to Literary Journals. The workshop aims to help you find destinations that suit your work, make the best first impression, avoid mistakes, write cover letters, get organized, and deal with rejection.

    For complete details on the "How to Submit to Literary Magazines" workshop check out the listing on the AMPA website.

    And when unique, specialized workshops like this aren't running, the library opens everyday with tons of helpful resources like these:

    Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript

    Producing Canadian Literature: authors speak on the literary marketplace

    eBook too!

    Editor-Proof Your Writing: 21 Steps to the Clear Prose Publishers and Agents Crave

    eBook too!

    The Canadian Writer's Market: the Essential Guide for Freelance Writers

    eBook too!

    Sizzling Summer Writing

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    As the summer heats up it's only natural for a cool off on some of our creative endeavours. We've got music festivals to go to. Road trips to drive. Friends we don't normally get to see. Gardens to tend to... but Calgary's community of writers that work to inspire, guide, and befriend you never let up!

    Over the summer here at the 'Nook we'll focus on ways to keep your focus over the summer and quite likely come out of August feeling sharper than ever before.


    "SIZZLING SUMMER WRITING" (at the Alexandra Writers' Centre Society)

    Just Write July 9, 23 & August 13, 27 | 6-9pm

    Get out of the heat of summer and into the coolness of AWCS for 3 hours of straight writing time. Work on anything you want. Enjoy uninterrupted writing time with other writers.

    Finding Your Muse July 12-August 23 | 9:30-12pm

    Is there a book hidden somewhere inside you? Do stories dance in your head? Does your personal writing say what you want it to? Are you a poet at heart? Through friendly discussion, in-class writing exercises and sharing your writing, we will address the basics and specific interests of the participants involved. For writers of all levels.

    It's A Wrap! Tuesday, July 15 | 6-9pm

    Why is finding the perfect story ending so elusive? What makes a great story ending? We’ll explore these questions and more in this three hour session. Come prepared to learn, experiment and have fun.

    Settings From Your Past Monday, July 21, 2014 | 6-9pm

    Come and enjoy 3 hours of instruction, discussion and exercises to help you uncover the unique details and potential story hidden within your memory of place.

    Say What? Wednesday, August 6, 2014 | 6-9pm

    Having trouble with dialogue? Come out to this three hour session full of instruction, discussion and exercises to help your characters say exactly what it is they want to say in a way that is authentic.

    Summer Shorts (Short stories, that is.) Tuesday, August 12, 2014 | 6-9pm

    Flash fiction is becoming an increasingly popular short story form. Come out for an evening of learning how to write great flash fiction pieces. There will be writing, instruction and discussion.

    For complete details and course registration visit www.alexandrawriters.org.

    Stay tuned for more cool, fresh ideas to keep your writing sharp over the summer, including WHEN WORDS COLLIDE, a festival for readers and writers from August 8 - 10. And don't forget that any of Calgary Public Library's 18 locations are the perfect place to cool off and get some writing done on a hot summer afternoon.

    Self-Editing 101

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    On Saturday May 10 the Central Library is excited to host Self-Editing 101 — a free workshop on the revision and editing of your writing. Susan Forest from the Calgary Association of Freelance Editors, or CAFE, will lead the workshop from 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. with the goal of giving your writing shape and professional polish. Opportunities to attend free writing workshops don't come around too often, so spaces at this event are filling up quick. Register now to make sure you get a spot.

    Susan Forest is a writer of science fiction, fantasy and horror. She is a member of SFWA and SF Canada, and works as a fiction editor for Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishers. She is the winner of The Galaxy Project for her novella, “Lucy”, and her YA novel, The Dragon Prince, was awarded the Children’s Circle Book Choice Award. Other stories have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Analog, Tesseracts, AE Science Fiction Review, OnSpec, and Legacy Magazine. “Back” was a finalist for the 2009 the Prix Aurora Award.

    Of course nothing beats the in-person guidance of a writing workshop, but to get a head start on the polish of your work, check out some of these titles available from your local library:

      Also available as eBOOK Also available as eBOOK  

     

     

    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

    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