Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Monday News - On Tuesday!

Upcoming Events at AWCS


DATE: September 26, 2012
TIME: 7:00pm-8:30pm
VENUE: Owl's Nest Books (815A, 49th Ave SW, Calgary)
MC: Sarah Johnson (Meet me, the AWCS blogmonkey, in person and I'll try not to act weird around you)
Back for its second year, the open mic will kick off on September 26 and continue the last Wednesday of every month (except December).
Here's how it works: Come on down to Owl's Nest Books prepared to read for no longer than five minutes. Put your name into the hat. Throughout the evening up to 10 readers will be selected by random draw.
If you don't get a chance to read, don't worry. Join us at the next open mic for another chance.
Upcoming Dates:
October 31: Bring something "spooky" to read.
November 28

Free Fall Friday Writing Sessions

Date: Every Friday
Time: 10am-12pm
Venue: AWCS Classroom
Writers block got you down? Can't seem to come up with any new ideas for a short story or poem? Maybe you just want to get out of the house for a couple of hours and spend some time in the comfort of friends and writers.
Join AWCS every Friday for 2 hour sessions of uninhibited free fall writing.
AWCS Members: Free
Non-Members: $10
Contact: Mary Kurucz at mary.k@shaw.ca for more information.
What is 'free fall' writing?
The free fall method of writing encourages writers to write without editing as they go. That editorial instinct to edit as you write, common to most writers, can be tempting but also time consuming and counter-productive.
W.O. Mitchell's free fall method encourages writers to switch off that inner editor and just write uninhibited, as the thoughts come into their minds, relying on sensory information and memories. The writer can edit after the piece is complete, but during the process, it is essential that the writer does not revise.


DATE: Monday, October 15, 2012
TIME: 7-9pm
FACILITATOR: Shirlee Smith Matheson
THEME: Nonfiction
Once a month, join AWCS for a casual discussion on all things writing. Each meeting will be facilitated by a different published writer from the Calgary literary community. Could be themed, could be open. Bring a couple of pages of a work in progress to read and discuss as a group. Meet and mingle with other writers. For writers of all skill levels.
Upcoming Meetings
November 12 | Facilitator: Barb Howard | Theme: Short Fiction
December 3 | Facilitator: Robin van Eck | Theme: Open


DATE: September 29 & 30, 2012
TIME: 10am to 10pm | 10am to 4pm
VENUE: King Edward School (1720, 30th Ave SW)
AWCS will be participating in WSKEO #100 at the King Edward School. Come down for the day or for a few hours to check out the other great presenters at this event.
'We Should Know Each Other' is a crossroad of communities. It invites people to stretch the limits of their social circles and enhance their thinking with a diversity of new ideas and perspectives. It provides a safe and welcoming space for viewpoints to collide in unexpected ways, and for creative sparks to fly.
Since February 2008, Mark Hopkins has hosted regular 'We Should Know Each Other' (WSKEO) events in Calgary, Alberta where hundreds of strangers have shared stories, laughter and new friendships.
The landmark 100th edition of 'We Should Know Each Other' will take place at King Edward Arts Hub and Incubator - the first project of cSPACE, a non-profit real estate enterprise dedicated to developing a network of multi-disciplinary creative workspaces across the city. With a mission to connect people, place and ideas to ignite creativity, community, collaboration and change, cSPACE is excited to invite the community inside the 100-year-old King Edward School before the redevelopment process begins.
Event Summary
WSKEO #100 will take place on Saturday, September 29th, 2012 from 10:00am-10:00 pm and continue through Sunday, September 30th, 2012 from 10:00am-4pm, throughout King Edward School in South Calgary (1720 - 30th Ave SW).
WSKEO #100 will invite a vast range of Calgarians to intersect in fascinating and meaningful ways, through a series of diverse activities that encourage interaction between participants. As this event will also coincide with Alberta Culture Days, Pecha Kucha Night and Doors Open at King Edward School - WSKEO #100 will provide family-friendly opportunities that will suit diverse interests.
Come create and experience a lively range of local culture set against the backdrop of a historic school; walk the locker-lined halls, write a message on an old blackboard and visit the gymnasium - while also experiencing live music, speakers, games, installations and more!

Youth Programs

Reality is Optional (RIO) Kids Writing Club

Need a place that understands you? Come and join the RIO. Create a writing club the way you want it. Youth led, adult mentored. Guest speakers, writing games, friends and creativity. Ages seventeen and under. Play with your words — all you need is a notebook and pen.
Meetings are held the second and last Monday of every month from September to June at the Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society in beautiful Calgary, Alberta – from 5:30 pm-6:30 pm in the AWCS classroom.
Fees: Drop In: $5. Full Year $40.00 (basically an AWCS youth membership with all the benefits!)

Write This!

Instructor: Kim Firmston
Begins: October 3 (8 weeks)
Time: 5:15-6:45pm
Members: $100 | Non-Members: $140 (includes a youth membership)
Ages: 12-17
Do you find yourself holed up in your room alone with your note book or computer? Do you live in worlds created by yourself? Have you been conversing with people who don’t really exist? No, you’re not crazy – you’re a writer! Come and meet other youth writers and spend some time getting really good at your craft. Learn how to mix genres, hone your character’s goals, and really bring your reader into your story.

Fall 2012 Writing Courses


Flash Fiction (Seats Still Available)
Instructor: Rona Altrows
Saturday | September 22 | 10am-3:30pm
Member Price: $75 | Non-member Price: $95
In this workshop we will explore flash fiction, the short-short story form now enjoying a surge in popularity. For our purposes we will define flash fiction as a story of under 1000 words. Come prepared to write, as the class will be hands-on. Learn how to move from idea to compact story inspired by themes important to you as a writer. In-class exercises will lead you to write a flash story. You’ll learn self-editing tips and we will discuss character development and story arc in flash fiction. We’ll also touch on marketing.
Magic Realism (4 Seats Still Available)
Instructor: Meghan Doraty
Saturday | October 13 | 10am-3:30pm
Member Price: $75 | Non-member Price: $95
In this one day workshop, we will discuss magic realism, a style of writing that seamlessly weaves the fantastical with the real. As a class we will discuss the elements of magic realism and practice implementing them with short shared exercises.
The Book Review (Seats Still Available)
Instructor: Robin van Eck
Saturday | November 24 | 10am-3:30pm
Member Price: $75 | Non-member Price: $95
Book reviews are more than a summary of a book. It’s a craft, like any other writing. In this workshop you will learn ways to artfully craft a review so that it stands out above others. Through examples and writing exercises you will learn how to make a review unique to you, the writer, how to write a balanced review, as well as where to publish.

Eight Week Courses

Introduction to Creative Writing (2 Seats Still Available)
Instructor: Vicki Chatham
Mondays | 7-9pm | September 24 (8 weeks)
In this eight week course, you will learn about the free fall method of writing and how it can be a useful tool for all writing. Then, using short story as a model, you will be introduced to the basics of character, plot, dialogue and setting through discussion, free fall writing, practical writing exercises and mutual feedback.
Introduction to Creative Writing (4 Seats Still Available)
Instructor: Robin van Eck
Thursdays | 7-9pm | September 20 (8 weeks)
In this eight week course, you will learn about the free fall method of writing and how it can be a useful tool for all writing. Then, using short story as a model, you will be introduced to the basics of character, plot, dialogue and setting through discussion, free fall writing, practical writing exercises and mutual feedback.
Creative Nonfiction (2 Seats Still Available)
Instructor: Ellen Kelly
Thursdays | 7-9pm | September 20 (8 weeks)
This eight week course gives participants the opportunity to develop their own true stories creatively. Characterization, scene, narration, theme, voice, truth, story/plot development and publication/markets will be discussed as they apply to CNF. Specific interests of class participants will be addressed and students will be expected to write, both briefly in class and more extensively at home. Sharing is encouraged.
Short Fiction (Seats Still Available)
Instructor: Meghan Doraty
Tuesdays | 7-9 pm | October 9 (8 weeks)
An eight week course designed to introduce and refine the skills required to write short fiction. We will discuss beginnings and endings, plotting, characterization, theme, voice, point of view and publication strategies. Students will be asked to share work and offer feedback on other student’s work in order to polish and perfect their own writing. Each two hour class will include one hour of constructive feedback from the instructor and students and one hour of exercises and/or discussion about specific writing strategies.

Ten Week Courses

Experimental Fiction (Seats Still Available)
Instructor: Rob Jacobsen
Tuesdays | 7-9:30pm | September 18 (10 weeks)
This class is for writers looking for something a little different. We will look at blending genres, unconventional narrative styles and non-traditional structures. Through examples of experimental literature such as The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne, and other authors like Donald Barthelme, Robert Coover, Ronald Sukenick, Martin Amis, Margaret Atwood, and Chuck Palahniuk we will explore the various aspects of experimenting with your writing. We will look at not just the how, but the why, of an author’s decision to write a story a certain way. This will allow for narrative and stylistic exploration. There will be a high level of work shopping in this class.
Writing a Play for Lunchbox Theatre (4 Seats Still Available)
Instructor: Caroline Russell-King
Wednesdays | 7-9:30pm | September 19 (10 weeks)
A ten week course designed with the completion of a one act play suitable for submission to Lunchbox Theatre. From the playwright who has had many productions at the longest running noon time theatre in the world! Her last show Mr Fix It was nominated for a Betty Mitchell Theatre Award for Outstanding New Play.
A Novel Idea (2 Seats Still Available)
Instructor: Theanna Bischoff
Wednesdays | 7-9:30 pm | September 19, 2012 (10 weeks)
Are you working on a novel-length manuscript or have an idea for one? Learn the steps involved in writing a novel, such as choosing point of view, setting up a structure, planning out the plot and characterization. Learn and discuss the foundations involved in writing quality novel-length fiction. Students will submit portions of their novel and receive critical feedback from the instructor and other students.
This course is a pre-requisite for A Novel Approach, the year-long novel course.


Showing vs. Telling (Seats Still Available)
Instructor: Susan Forest
Saturday & Sunday | September 22 & 23 |10am-4:30pm
Member Price: $140 | Non-member Price: $190
The first “rule” of fiction writing all authors learn is to “show” story events scenically through action, as opposed to “telling” the story. But how is that accomplished? What are the craft techniques that lead to page-turning stories that immerse the reader so he forgets the book in his hands, and lives the story in imagination? And…when is “telling” the tool of choice? This two-day intensive workshop will explore techniques such as time dilation, for interweaving dialogue, internal monologue, description, action and emotion into well-structured, purposeful scenes.
Who Is Seeing This? (Seats Still Available)
Instructor: Vivian Hansen
Saturday | October 20 | 10am-3:30pm
Member Price: $75 | Non-member Price: $95
Ever wondered how a scene, a poem, a story, just sounds absolutely right, as though you’re living the moment? But.. you don’t know who’s telling the story. Or why? Does the point of view make a difference to how we read or what we experience? This will be an active workshop, so bring scenes and stories to class
Craft Memorable Memoir Characters (Seats Still Available)
Instructor: Wilma Rubens
Saturday | October 27 | 10am-3:30pm
Member Price: $75 | Non-member Price: $95
Compelling characters are at the heart of any story that the reader cares about. Just as in writing fiction, memoir characters need to be brought to life. Real life people are quirky with different and contrasting shades, strong desires, flaws and heroic qualities that come alive in action and dialogue. We will use writing prompts to create unforgettable characters and weave a trail of clues, cliffhangers and insights into our stories.
Dynamic Dialogue (Seats Still Available)
Instructor: Susan Calder
Saturday | November 3 | 10am-3:30pm
Member Price: $75 | Non-member Price: $95
Dialogue is one of the strongest tools for portraying characters in fiction and creative non-fiction. When do you use dialogue in a story? What makes dialogue effective, interesting and full of tension? How can dialogue move your story forward? Through writing exercises, discussion and the study of published works learn how to make your dialogue sparkle.
World Building (Seats Still Available)
Instructor: Elaine Morin
Saturday | November 17 | 10am-3:30pm
Member Price: $75 | Non-member Price: $95
Whether it’s your backyard, a Hong Kong market or an alien starship, the world you write should be believable. But which details are necessary to carry a story? How do you make those descriptive passages zing? For both fiction and creative non-fiction writers, this workshop will explore world building through already published works, discussion and lectures, and writing exercises.
Whose Story is it? (Point of View, Ownership and Telling It Like It Is) (Seats Still Available)
Instructor: J. Jill Robinson
Saturday & Sunday | November 24 & 25 | 10am-4:30pm
Member Price: $140 | Non-member Price: $190
Some writers say that choosing the right point of view through which to tell the story is the most important decision a writer makes, and that most problems encountered in the writing process can be traced to p.o.v. concerns. Changing point of view can certainly can have a startling impact on your narrative, and can often help get you unstuck when you’re stuck. Come and find out more, through discussion and exercises, with novelist, short story, and creative non-fiction writer Jill Robinson. For writers at all levels.



DATE: September 13, 2012
TIME: 7pm
VENUE: Arrata Opera House (1315, 7th St SW, Calgary)
The Calgary Distinguished Writers Program presents Hello Goodbye, an event that welcomes GG-nominated fiction writer Deborah Willis as the 2012-13 Canadian Writer-in-Residence, and celebrates the completion of Jeramy Dodds’ CDWP residency, through a public reading by both authors at the Arrata Opera Centre (1315 7 St SW) on September 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Deborah Willis, author of the Alice Munro-acclaimed short story collection Vanishing and Other Stories, will delight audiences with new material, part of the collection of linked stories she will be working on throughout her residency. Jeramy Dodds, author of the Trillium Award-winning poetry collection Crabwise to the Hounds, will read from his translation of the Poetic Edda, as well as poems from his new collection, entitled Gods' Girls.
This free public reading will be followed by a reception. We welcome the entire community. For the Facebook event visit https://www.facebook.com/events/430369417014483/.
For more information on Deborah Willis visit www.deborahwillis.ca.
For more information on Jeramy Dodds visit www.jeramydodds.com.
The Canadian Writer-in-Residence Program, a ten-month residency for emerging Canadian Writers, is a component of the University of Calgary’s Calgary Distinguished Writers Program (CDWP), a program with the goal of celebrating reading and writing.


DATE: Saturday, September 15, 2012 (Note Date Change)
TIME: 2pm
VENUE: Shelf Life Books (100, 1302, 4th St SW, Calgary)
Come join us for the launch of Naomi K. Lewis’ new collection of stories: reading, signing & libations!
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.
I Know Who You Remind Me Of won the 2012 Colophon Prize, which the publisher Enfield & Wizenty awards to the best unpublished manuscript with “literary and commercial appeal.” The book’s eight short stories and one novella follow characters haunted by long-ago decisions, loves and grudges— a grad student who impersonated a high school classmate in Internet pornography, a man who gave his eyeball to a former lover, a woman bent on finally outdoing her sister by skydiving from space.


DATE: Sunday, September 23, 2012
TIME: 6pm
VENUE: Auburn Saloon (115, 9th Ave SE, Calgary)
Come help celebrate the launch of Swallow (Theanna Bischoff, NeWest Press) and help raise awareness for Suicide Prevention (via the Calgary Centre for Suicide Prevention). Join us for readings, appetizers, and bid on some fun silent auction items! Open invite - friends & family welcome.


Okotokians: Fiction Course coming soon to a town near you...(The Okotoks Rec Centre :)
I Wanna Be a Writer
Ages: 18 Yrs. and over
Fees: $185.00
Come learn what it takes to be a fiction writer. We'll explore the basics of fiction from the ground up. We'll write, workshop and discuss our way through this informal and fun introduction to the art of story telling.
Lee Kvern is the award-winning Okotoks author of short stories and novels. www.leekvern.com
Spots Available: 8
8 Classes W Oct 3-Nov 21 7:00-9:00pm


You can now register for these two free back-to-back writing programs at the Calgary Public Library.
E-Book or Print? Saturday, Nov 17, noon – 1:00 PM
Consider both formats when publishing your writing. Author and promoter, Susan Toy, discusses the many changes in promotion and marketing that have occurred as a result of both methods of delivering books to readers.
Character Creation Workshop Saturday, Nov 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.
Both sessions take place at the Calgary Public Library Central branch, 616 Macleod Trail SE. Register online www.calgarypubliclibrary.com or call 403-260-2620. Space is limited.

Writer's Group

Calling all picture book writers and illustrators!

The SCBWI Canada West opens their fall programing with Putting Pictures and Words Together on Monday, September 10, 7:00 - 8:30 pm.
Deanne Allan and Janice Blaine will share their experience in publishing children's books. Deanne has recently written, illustrated and published (and is now marketing) four picture books. Janice worked with Deanne on the design of her books and has illustrated 12 children's books of her own. Come learn about the process of combining art and words into a published book.
Meetings are held in the Community Meeting Room, lower level Southcentre Mall and are free for members, $5 for non-members. Guests are always welcome!
Please RSVP pmcdowell@shaw.ca

Calls for Submissions

FreeFall Magazine Next deadline for submissions is for the contest issue. Deadline December 31. This years contest judge is Patrick Lane.
For submission guidelines please visit website.
filling Station Call for Submissions: Special Issue of filling Station magazine on Northern B.C. Writing
filling Station is soliciting submissions of poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and visual art for a special issue on Northern B.C. Writing to be guest-edited by Jason Wiens. The magazine also encourages reviews of recent publications by Northern B.C. writers. The filling Station collective will vet and select submissions with a planned publication date in early 2013. Please send electronic submissions complete with short bio and mailing address by 1 October 2012 to Jason Wiens atjlwiens@ucalgary.ca with fS NORTHERN BC ISSUE in the subject, or hard copy submissions to:
Jason Wiens
Department of English
University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, Alberta
T2N 1N4
Regular submission guidelines still apply. View website for details.
Places for Writers Complete listing of calls for submissions and Canadian literary magazines.
Duotrope.com Complete listings for international magazines. Calls for submissions, anthologies and more.
Ralan.com Listings for sci-fi and humor markets.

Show Your Support, Every Little Bit Helps

The Alexandra Writers Centre Society is a registered charitable organization. Each year we rely on the support of our members and the community to help ensure we continue to offer the best in programs and courses for the literary community. We couldn't do it without you.
Your donations are graciously appreciated. All donations over $10 receive a tax deductible receipt.
Donations can be made through our website (pay by credit card or through PayPal) If you don’t wish to pay online, cheques can be made payable to AWCS and mailed to 922, 9th Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0S4
For business owners, a sponsorship of $500 will put your logo with link on our website for 6 months as well as its inclusion on our publicity materials; and, of course, a tax deductible receipt. Please contact the office for more details.
Please don’t feel obligated, but if you can donate even a little we would be so grateful. AWCS appreciates all the support you have offered over the years and looks forward to many more.


Monday to Wednesday: 9am to 12pm
Closed Holidays
Please contact the office by email or phone if you have an urgent matter.
922, 9th Ave. SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0S4 | 403.264.4730 | awcs@telusplanet.net
Hours are subject to change without notice so please call ahead if you wish to visit.

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