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    Thank You!

    by Phil - 1 Comment(s)

    Just wanted to put out a great big huge THANK YOU to everyone who came out last Saturday for Writers’ Weekend 2013.

    We truly hope you enjoyed the marathon presentation ride as much as we did, had a chance to solve any mysteries cropping up in your writing life, and met some new friends.

    We are already hard at work crafting a fresh, exciting lineup for 2014 and would love to hear if there’s anything you’d like to see more, or less of. Leave a comment below or go to our fancy electronic suggestion box. And remember there’s a lot more to the library’s writerly support than just one day out of one weekend. Whether it's in-depth research, formatting specifics, where to submit, block break-throughs, or inspiration from the masters, we've got all the resources you need, year round, seven days a week. And don't miss any of these upcoming visits from local authors:

    What Kings Ate and Wizards Drank – A Fantasy Lover’s Food Guide by Krista D. Ball

    Wednesday, Feb 20
    7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
    FISH CREEK - Main floor - Open Area

    Join fantasy author Krista D. Ball as she takes you on a voyage of discovery about cooking and preserving food and feeding the armies of epic fantasy, while giving food history lovers a taste of the past.

    The Dark Knight Origin of the Man of Steel

    Wednesday, Feb 27
    6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
    CENTRAL - Main floor South

    Join Richard Harrison, poet and literary detective as he unravels the hidden connections between the superheroes you thought you knew.

    Writing in the Works

    Thursday, Apr 11
    7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
    MEMORIAL PARK - Basement

    Readings from new works by Ken Cameron, Lori Hahnel, Steve Passey, Inge Trueman and Roberta Rees, emceed by Susan Calder.

    Telling Stories – A Poetry Workshop - CANCELLED!

    Saturday, Apr 13
    2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
    CENTRAL - Lower level - Meeting Room 2

    Join Wendy Morton for a dynamic workshop! Learn to turn the stories of others into poetry. Co-presented with Calgary Spoken Word Festival.

    Writers' Weekend 2013 - TODAY!

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    It's not too late to come on down to the John Dutton Theatre at the Central library to experience our full day of expert presentations geared toward informing and inspiring writers. I've been trying my best to highlight each presenter over the past month, focusing on credentials and all the ways in which they'll be able to shed light on some of the mysteries and roadblocks writers face, but as anyone who's been to our 'Weekend' before knows - it isn't just about what's happening on the stage that matters.

    This is also a chance to get to know some of Calgary's most supportive players in the writing community. If you're familiar with the 'Nook you've probably heard of some of these groups, and today many of them will set up tables outside the theatre to show off the opportunities they have to offer. Make sure to stop and chat!











    And, of course, the CALGARY PUBLIC LIBRARY!

    Make sure to stop at our table to see all the resources we've put together. And let us know what you thought about the presentations and what kind of speakers you'd like us to try to bring in for next year.


    Your Story

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    Only 3 sleeps 'til Writers' Weekend 2013 kicks off. By now everyone’s calendars surely have February 2 circled many times over, but with the plethora of presentations we have lined up for Saturday we are still working hard to make sure nobody misses anything. And if there’s one thing this little Nook blog sometimes misses, IF, it might be the art of the biographical writer. I’m admittedly not the most well-balanced person. The walls of my tunnel bubble are covered in fiction with scraps of poetry lurking beneath, but without much expertise in the arts of non-fiction writing I usually keep a fair distance. Brian Brennan

    Considering how many people out there are quite likely very interested in writing memoirs and biographies, I feel kind a bad about my lack of focus on the wide world of the more personal, inward writer. Good news for me and for everybody out there interested in memoir and biography - our very first presentation of the day will come from an acclaimed historian, bestselling author, and award-winning journalist. You may also recognize Brian Brennan from his recent stint as the library's 2012 Writer-in-Residence. From September to December Mr. Brennan devoted his time to help many of us figure out the next steps to take in our writing lives, and this Saturday he is kicking off Writers' Weekend with "MY STORY" - a discussion of the art, craft, and fundamentals of memoir and biography writing.

    This presentation will run from 10 am to 11 am.


    To learn more about Brian Brennan visit his website at

    And here is a small sample of his work available on the shelves at your local library:

    The Good Steward: the Ernest C. Manning story The Calgary Public Library: inspiring life stories since 1912 Leaving Dublin: writing my way from Ireland to Canada

    Ask the Writer

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    WRITERS' WEEKEND 2013. Saturday February 2. 1 to 2 p.m.

    A pioneer of Calgary's punk music scene.

    The 2012 Colophon Prize winner.

    A GG-nominated short story master.

    Any questions?

    Lori Hahnel Deborah Willis Naomi K. Lewis

    We are thrilled and quite lucky to have these three experienced and masterful writers joining us for Writers' Weekend 2013. Don't miss the 1 - 2 p.m. presentation from Lori Hahnel, Naomi K. Lewis, and Deborah Willis as they take the stage for a dynamic question and answer session on the diverse elements of the writing process in the current publishing environment.


    Deborah Willis was born and raised in Calgary, AB. Her fiction has appeared in Grain, Event, Prism International, and The Walrus. Her first book, Vanishing and Other Stories, was named one of the the Globe and Mail's Best Books of 2009, and was nominated for the BC Book Prize and the Governor General's Award. She has worked as a horseback riding instructor, a reporter, and a bookseller. She was a writer-in-residence at Joy Kogawa House in Vancouver, BC, and is currently the Calgary Distinguished Writers Program writer-in-residence at the U of C.

    Naomi K. Lewis is an award-winning fiction and nonfiction writer. She was writer in residence at the Calgary Public Library throughout the fall of 2011, and her 2012 short story collection, I Know Who You Remind Me Of, won Enfield & Wizenty's 2012 Colophon Prize for Fiction.

    Lori Hahnel is the author of a novel, Love Minus Zero (Oberon, 2008) and a story collection, Nothing Sacred, (Thistledown, 2009), which shortlisted for an Alberta Literary Award. Her credits include CBC Radio, The Fiddlehead and Prairie Fire. She is marketing a second novel and working on more stories.

    Getting Your Book 'Covered'

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    When it comes to people we all know not to judge a book by its cover. It’s a simple matter of respect we all owe to one another. When it comes to actual books, and the actual time we have to choose, read, and enjoy them, we necessarily judge the living fudge out of their covers. It’s always, obviously, a matter of preference.

    Derek Mah, photo courtesy attoboy.comIn the perfect fantasy world of an aspiring writer (or the real world of self-publishing) we would all have full creative control over the cover of our award-winning books, but in reality the process required to achieve the perfect first impression, like most of the publishing process, is collaborative and mysterious.

    On Saturday, February 2 the final presentation of Writers’ Weekend 2013 will come from Calgary-based illustrator and book cover designer Derek Mah. He will take the stage at 3pm to enlighten us on the process of getting a book 'Covered'.

    Click here to register.

    You can find out all about Derek Mah's impressive body of work and technical genius at his website:

    Here is a small sample of his work on the shelves of your local library...

    Monsterology: fabulous lives of the creepy, the revolting, and the undead Mathemagick & Mystiphysics

    Villainology: fabulous lives of the big, the bad, and the wicked

    And while we're on the subject, here are my picks for the most enticing and beautiful book covers of 2012:

    When Captain Flint was Still A Good Man, by Nick Dybek A Million Heavens, by John Brandon

    Writing and Publishing Your Children's & YA Novel

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    One crucial strength of our annual Writers’ Weekend, an entire day dedicated to informing and inspiring Calgary writers, is that we try to offer something new every year. No matter how well received last year’s presentations were, we always get right back to work on making the next one better. After the first few years I can’t imagine how many comments and suggestions came back to us looking for more help on writing children’s books. After all, isn’t everybody working on their own children’s book? Isn’t everybody reading the most recent YA phenomenovel?

    We finally did it!

    This year marks the very first time we’ve been able to offer a session exclusively for writers working on the Children’s and YA novel and we are bringing in one of the very best in his field – Simon Rose.

    On Saturday, February 2, Mr. Rose will take the stage from 2 – 3pm to enlighten us on the transformation of idea into story, on getting started as a writer, and getting on the path to publication.

    Register for "Writing and Publishing Your Children's & YA Novel" here.

    Go to to learn more about his prolific career, which includes the publication of 7 novels, more than 20 non-fiction titles, and a tireless approach to workshop coaching, school presentations, and inspiring young and old writers alike all over town and far, far beyond.

    The Time Camera The Alchemist's Portrait The Doomsday Mask The Complete Guide to Writing Science Fiction: Volume One

    Writers' Weekend 2013 - Ask the Editor

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    There's a lot to look forward to in the 2013 installment of Writers' Weekend. We've got presentations lined up all day long on Saturday, February 2 aimed at inspiring and informing writers of all kinds at any stage in their writing life. In the next few weeks I will take aim at each of the six presentations so that anyone who can't spend the entire day with us can plan accordingly and take as much advantage of the opportunities as possible.

    I wanted to highlight the twelve noon session first because I think this one might fill up really quick.

    One of the most mysterious aspects of the writing process is how the world of publishing works. How does that giant stack of paper get into the right hands, get read by the right person, and find its audience? And what does an editor do to help a writer get there?

    What questions do you have about the job of an editor? What mysteries of publishing do you need to solve?


    Book editor and writer Sandra McIntyre will take the stage at noon for an insightful question and answer session.

    Register here.

    You may already recognize Sandra from appearances on Breakfast Television or last year's Writers' Weekend.

    Previously, she was the managing editor of Atlantic Canada’s largest independent publisher, Nimbus Publishing, and started Nimbus’ fiction imprint, Vagrant Press. In 2007, she co-edited The Vagrant Revue of New Fiction and received the Halifax Mayor’s Award for Cultural Achievement in Literature. We are now anticipating the May 2013 release of a very exciting anthology - 'Everything Is So Political', featuring twenty short stories by Canadian writers that explore the intersection between politics and the contemporary short story. Check out a preview of the anthology from Roseway Publishing.

    To find out more about Sandra McIntyre go to

    For the complete lineup of Writers' Weekend presentations, click here.

    Writers' Weekend 2013

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    How can I reach a larger audience?

    What does an editor do?

    How can I get an audience, at all?

    Should I self-publish?

    What font should my manuscript be submitted in?

    What is an oxford comma?

    How can I improve my writing?


    No matter what stage your writing life is at, what type of writing you work on, or what you hope to accomplish with it, there will be questions. The answers aren't always easy to find and even when you think you've got things figured out there's a good chance of finding another, different answer in our rapidly changing, information overloaded world.

    Lovingly devoted to Calgary's aspiring (and established) writers, the library wants to help.

    We do this every winter: round up as many local experts as possible in the John Dutton Theatre for a full day of free, inspirational presentations. This year our Writers' Weekend will take the stage Saturday, February 2 and registration has just begun. Every year I say there's no way we'll be able to top last year, and then we do. Here's the lineup for Writers' Weekend 2013:

    My Story - Writing Memoir and Biography

    Join Brian Brennan, acclaimed historian, best-selling author, and award-winning journalist as he discusses the art, craft, and fundamentals of memoir and biography writing. 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. REGISTER.

    Engaging An Audience Through Online Writing

    Join Lonnie Taylor, Huffington Post Canada blogger, for an introduction to connecting to an audience through social media platforms in creative ways. 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. REGISTER.

    Ask the Editor

    Join book editor Sandra McIntyre for an insightful question and answer session about what editors do and how publishing works. 12:00 - 12:30 p.m. REGISTER.

    Ask the Writer

    Join experienced writers Lori Hahnel, Naomi Lewis, and Debbie Willis for a dynamic question and answer session on the diverse elements of the writing process in the current publishing environment. 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. REGISTER.

    Writing and Publishing your Children's and YA Novel

    Join acclaimed writer Simon Rose and learn how to turn ideas into stories, get started as a writer and get on the path to publication. 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. REGISTER.

    Covered - Clothing for your Book

    Join Derek Mah, celebrated illustrator and book cover designer, for insight into the collaborative process required to achieve the perfect first impression for your book. 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. REGISTER.

    You can also register for any or all of these sessions by calling 403-260-2620 or in-person at your local branch.

    Stay tuned for all my upcoming blogs on this year's presenters!

    10 Ways to Kill Your Writing

    by Janice - 1 Comment(s)

    Writers' Weekend 2012

    Did you make it out to Writers' Weekend 2012? Leave us a comment if you have any program or presenter suggestions or requests for Writers' Weekend 2013!


    Susan Toy's 10 Ways to Kill Your Writing program, in which she examined the 10 vital elements of marketing and promotion, was especially popular.

    If you missed out on Susan's presentation or if you'd like her recommended reading list, Susan has graciously posted both her notes and booklist on her site:

    Susan Toy's 10 Ways to Kill Your Writing

    Susan Toy has been a bookseller, an award-winning publishing sales representative, a literacy teacher, and is now a writer and promoter of fellow authors and their books through her company, Alberta Books Canada.

    Susan is in the process of setting up an ePublishing company called IslandcatEditions and will be publishing the first eBook this spring.

    You Made Our Day

    by Phil - 1 Comment(s)

    As we wind down from the months of preparation put into Writer's Weekend, we are already looking forward to the 2013 installment of our day dedicated entirely to Calgary's writers. We need your feedback! If you were one of the hundreds who joined us on February 4th please let us know what you loved about the programming, or what was missing, so that we can bring you an even better experience next year.

    Please leave a comment below, or even better, come visit us at any branch of the library. While we can only offer such an onslaught of information once a year, remember that your local library is the best resource for writers 365 days a year. Not only do we have all the information writers could ask for in terms of research, but libraries are also a great place to get some writing done.

    Just in case you weren't able to attend all of our Writer's Weekend programs, here again is our list of partners and presenters, linked to more valuable information they provide.

    Alberta Books Canada

    Alberta Playwrights' Network

    Alexandra Writers' Centre Society

    Book Publishers Association of Alberta

    Calgary Association of Romance Writers of America

    Community Heritage and Family History (from 'Finding the Facts - Research for Writers')

    Crime Writers of Canada

    ELSEWHERE (Marcello Di Cintio's blog)

    Imaginative Fiction Writers Association (IFWA)

    People's Poetry Festival

    Society of Childrens' Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)

    Susan M. Toy

    When Words Collide Conference

    Writers' Guild of Alberta (WGA)

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