2015/16 Courses and Workshops: 

 

Whether you’re a brand new writer or have been writing for years, we have courses and workshops to meet your needs. There are weekly courses for the writer who requires structure, support and that needed push, or one day and weekend workshops for those who are unable to commit to a longer course.

Please note, unless otherwise specified, all non-member rates include a one-year membership to AWCS. If you’re a non-member registering for multiple courses, please select the Member Option on the registration page and purchase a membership along with your courses.

 

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4 Week Courses

Vision, Voice & Story: Journaling to Memoir (2 Seats Available)

Sharon McLeay
Saturdays
9:30am-1:30pm
June 4, 2016 (4 weeks)
Member Price: $190
Non-member Price: $250

Memoir is more than just a collection of stories. It is an echoing of voices through time—of both writer and characters. The writer’s injection of values, beliefs and hopes into story, place and time. A unique way of revealing fact using fictional devices that leads to a special understanding between author and reader. Vision, Voice & Story is a hands-on four-week course that will lead you through the back door of journal writing to new ways of exploring and developing your memoir. You will learn up to 16 practical techniques you can use in a supplied “Memoir Journal” to help you better understand your memoir focus, establish authentic voices infused with your values and beliefs, generate stories and explore methods to turn anarchy into order. 

*$10 materials fee included in the price

**Non-member rate includes a one-year membership

New Program - Write Nite

Write Nite! ~ Inanimates

Maraya Loza Koxahn
Friday
7-9pm
May 27, 2016
Member Price: $20
Non-member Price: $30
Grab a glass of wine (or other beverage), a pen and paper and join us one Friday night per month.

Once each month, spend two hours with kindred spirits, a glass of wine, a pen and paper. There will be nightly themes and you will be given prompts to focus your writing but disregard them if you choose and create something unique. Release your inhibitions, step out of your comfort zone, put a few words together, create evocative images and astonishing characters. Write something new or hone a current project with support.

Guidance is available but this is not a course; there will be no lessons. Only prompts focused on the theme. The purpose is to help you loosen your shackles a little to unleash you inner awesome author. Write, drink, nibble, share, laugh, play and have some fun creating.

All snacks and beverages provided. You only need to bring pen and paper. Everyone welcome!

SAVE THE DATE!

Upcoming Dates and Themes:

Friday, June 17, 2016 | THEME: True Story

Elements of Fiction Workshops

Dialogue and Transitions (6 Seats Available)

Madelaine Wong
June 11, 2016
10am-3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $135

 

Are you struggling to write good dialogue? Are your scenes choppy, leaving your reader confused about point of view and passage of time?

In this one day workshop you will learn the basics of how to write natural sounding dialogue that can advance the plot, give insight to the characters and create tension in your stories. You will also learn how to make your writing flow from one scene to another with graceful transitions. Feel free to bring a work-in-progress.

Backstory Secrets (1 Seat Available)

Susan Forest
May 28, 2016
10am-3:30 pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $135

Backstory is tricky to interweave into your story effectively. Often, our mistake is to introduce it too soon, or all at once in one large infodump. When and how can it be feathered in effectively? Think of your backstory as a series of secrets your protagonist does not want to reveal. How can you make your audience hungry for backstory and deliver it at just the right moment? Bring a pages or an idea you are working on (your plot line of story events and plot line of backstory events), and use the tips from this one-day workshop to analyze your piece for optimal revelation of scandalous secrets!

Word Painting (6 Seats Available)

Robin van Eck
Saturday
10am-3:30pm
June 4, 2016
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $135

Bring images to life on the page through only the magic of your wordsSpend the day emersed in exercises to energize your creativity and get you writing more descriptively.  If you think you overburden your writing with description, or maybe don’t write descriptively enough, this is a great workshop to learn what details are important and which are not, while also having fun. 

No experience necessary.

Summer Courses

Journaling for Writers: Sneaking in the Back Door to Creativity and Inspiration

Sharon McLeay
August 20, 2016
10am-3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $135

If you read Sharon’s article in the June 13/15 Calgary Herald (http://calgaryherald.com/life/relationships/journaling-turns-a-page) you know that keeping a journal has changed dramatically, from a mere event recording device, to an amazing tool that can help you manage everything, from relationships and decision-making to stress and health/wellness, as well as inspire creative thought/expression and writing. Discover the power of journaling for writers with this hands-on 6-8 week course that leads through the back door of journal writing to new forms of creativity and inspiration. You will learn16 practical techniques you can use in as little as 15 minutes a day in a supplied ‘Writer’s Journal” to help you better understand yourself as a writer, improve writing focus, come up with new ideas, infuse your creative spirit, overcome writer’s block, find new ways to develop concepts and content and more. 

Language and Landscape – finding water, finding flow (8 Seats Available)

Wilma Rubens
July 9, 2016
10am-3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $135

 

Take advantage of the AWCS location by the Bow River. In today’s fast paced technological world we need to take time to listen to the river’s song. Here where the inner and outer worlds meet we can expand our creativity and reawaken a sense of wonder. Writing prompts and journaling will help us generate stories, glean insights and give us courage to embrace the wild flow.  This will enrich our writing and our lives. Weather permitting, we may write outside.

Small Words With Muscle

Vivian Hansen
Thursday
10-2pm
July 14, 2016
Member Price: $55
Non-member Price: $115

This short course will guide you into finding your original poetic moments
and turning them into the art of poetry. You will learn the art of keen
seeing and listening, and how to use an economy of words to write your
vision. A great intro course for prose writers!

Non-member rate includes a one-year membership.

How To Write A 10-Minute Play in Five Hours

Caroline Russell-King
July 23, 2016
10am-3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $135

10-minute plays are all the rage. Join professional comedy playwright Caroline Russell-King, as you discover your playwriting chops. End the class with a short play!  Pull out your idea file or your scribbles and come learn the craft of playwriting. 

All ages. All skill levels.

Non-member rate includes a one-year AWCS membership.

Where Stories Lie

Robin van Eck
August 15-19, 2016
7-10pm
Member Price: $200
Non-member Price: $260

Spend a week writing fiction. Fictional characters in fictional worlds with real words. Whether you’re a short story writer or novelist, you will come away with either a new story idea or that one scene you’ve been agonizing over that will complete your novel. There will be lots of writing exercises to get you playing with words and ideas, lots of discussion, but most of all, lots of fun. 

Non-member rate includes a one-year AWCS membership.

Finding Your Muse

Ellen Kelly
10am-3:30pm
July 16, 2016
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $135

Join us for a creative boost – a day filled with writing games and exercises, sharing and friendly discussion. This workshop is geared to beginners as well as to those looking for inspiration/motivation to get those creative juices flowing. Discussion is determined by the interests of the participants. Please bring your lunch.

*Non member rate includes a one year AWCS membership.

8 Week Courses

Do Fish Need Bicycles?

Ellen Kelly
Mondays
7-9pm
September 19, 2016 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $180
Non-member Price: $240

Do you have leftover issues from growing up in the sixties and seventies, do you feel that the eighties did little to progress women’s rights, or have you realized, as a young person, that regardless of how far we’ve come, equal rights, equal pay and equality under the law are really not how life rolls? Are there attitudes, at home, in the workplace, and in public spaces that prevent you from being who you want to be? And do these attitudes mildly concern you or do they make you mad as hell?

Come and spend 8 weeks writing about your experiences, frustrations, triumphs and hopes for the future as a woman of the 21st century. We will write for enjoyment, communication, therapy and maybe even publication as our rants, essays, letters and blogs evolve. Most of all though, we will keep it light-hearted, humourous, and friendly as we write about who we are and where we want to be.

Some writing experience is an asset but not necessary. We will cover the basics as we write, read, listen and share.

Ellen Kelly is a long-time member and instructor for AWCS. She has been short-listed more than once for the Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Prize. Check out her blog Random/Abstract

Non-member rate includes a one-year AWCS membership.

Stranger Than Fiction: The Personal Essay (3 Seats Available)

Ellen Kelly
Thursdays
7-9 pm
April 28, 2016 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $180
Non-member Price: $240

Do you have true stories to tell? Experiences you would like to share? Skeletons in your closet that you want to write about? Passionate feelings about a subject that you would like to explore? This eight-week course gives participants the opportunity to find deeper meaning in their writing by experimenting with various personal essay formats and through discussion of characterization, scene, narration, theme, voice, truth, and markets/publication. Specific interests of the class participants will be addressed and participants will be encouraged to write both briefly in class and more extensively at home. Sharing is encouraged.

Ellen Kelly Blog

10 Week Courses

Creative Nonfiction

Ellen Kelly
Thursdays
7-9:30pm
September 22, 2016 (10 weeks)
Member Price: $250
Non-member Price: $310

This ten 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.

Non-Member rate includes a one-year membership.

Novel Systems – Imagination-jacking using an agglomerative technique to build a novel. (Waitlist)

Bradley Somer
Wednesdays
7-9:30pm
September 21, 2016 (10 weeks)
Member Price: $300
Non-member Price: $360

Traditional novel writing instruction focuses on dissecting and mastering the individual components used to create long form fiction. While important, the focus on how all of these parts work together to create the ecosystem of the novel can easily become lost. Novel Systems will use instruction, exercises and work shopping to illuminate the major interactions of the novel writer’s toolkit. It will also focus on how they are stitched together to create an immersive writing (and reading) experience by examining points like: how character can be plot, how place can be used to develop character, or how narrative style can act as theme.

More About Bradley Somer

May Workshops

Backstory Secrets (1 Seat Available)

Susan Forest
May 28, 2016
10am-3:30 pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $135

Backstory is tricky to interweave into your story effectively. Often, our mistake is to introduce it too soon, or all at once in one large infodump. When and how can it be feathered in effectively? Think of your backstory as a series of secrets your protagonist does not want to reveal. How can you make your audience hungry for backstory and deliver it at just the right moment? Bring a pages or an idea you are working on (your plot line of story events and plot line of backstory events), and use the tips from this one-day workshop to analyze your piece for optimal revelation of scandalous secrets!

June Workshops

Mash-Ups

Renee Bennett
June 4, 2016
10-3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $135

A mash-up happens when two or more fiction genres combine into one story, such as paranormal romance, or historical detective, or science fiction horror. But how is it done? What goes into such a hybrid, what choices are made, what rules are bent–or broken–to achieve the final product? Come prepared to learn about genres, their traits and tropes. Spend a day discussing them, playing with them, and finding out which genres blend easily with other genres, and which do not, and why. Then discover your own solutions, so you can write your own!

Renée Bennett arrived in Calgary in 1972 and has been endlessly entertained watching the city grow ever since. In 1992 she joined IFWA, the Imaginative Fiction Writers Association, and is now their vice president. She runs In Places Between, the Robyn Herrington Memorial Short Story Contest, and coordinates the Author Liaison table at When Words Collide. Her own fiction has appeared on CBC Radio, Year’s Best Fantasy, and Rigor Amortis, among other places, and she has been a finalist in Canada’s Aurora Awards five times.

Dialogue and Transitions (6 Seats Available)

Madelaine Wong
June 11, 2016
10am-3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $135

 

Are you struggling to write good dialogue? Are your scenes choppy, leaving your reader confused about point of view and passage of time?

In this one day workshop you will learn the basics of how to write natural sounding dialogue that can advance the plot, give insight to the characters and create tension in your stories. You will also learn how to make your writing flow from one scene to another with graceful transitions. Feel free to bring a work-in-progress.

Word Painting (6 Seats Available)

Robin van Eck
Saturday
10am-3:30pm
June 4, 2016
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $135

Bring images to life on the page through only the magic of your wordsSpend the day emersed in exercises to energize your creativity and get you writing more descriptively.  If you think you overburden your writing with description, or maybe don’t write descriptively enough, this is a great workshop to learn what details are important and which are not, while also having fun. 

No experience necessary.

Youth Programs

RIOCKP Registration

Member Price: $60
Non-member Price: $100

Reality Is Optional Creative Kids’ Programming (RIOCKP) is a multi-group program for youth to connect with each other through writing, art and improv. We strive to foster creativity, community, and youth leadership in an accepting environment. See RIOCKP website for more details.

Our three main groups include:

1. Reality Is Optional (RIO) kids’ writing club: writing, games, improv, and guests. 

2. Pen and Panel Cartooning Club: A constant current of fun and education, art and writing, web comics, cartoons and anime. See Pen & Panel website for details. 

3. Free Fall Writing: Free writing time with friends and the option for critique. Work on your own stuff or from a prompt.

RIOCKP Member Only Programs

 

  • Random Movie Night
  • Dungeons and Dragons Club
  • Workshops and Special Events
  • RIO Poetry Slam Team
  • Special Projects

 

Fees:

 

  • AWCS Youth Membership (mandatory): $40
  • RIOCKP Membership: $60
  • Drop-in Fee (main groups only): $5

 

Non-Member Rate includes youth membership.

 

Manuscript Review Service

Prose Submissions – less than 3500 words

Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $135

Prose Submissions – 3501 – 10000 words

Member Price: $150
Non-member Price: $210

Prose Submissions – 10001 – 50000 words

Member Price: $300
Non-member Price: $360

Prose Submissions – 50001 – 80000 words

Member Price: $500
Non-member Price: $560

Poetry Submissions – Up to 10 pages (poems)

Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $110

Poetry Submissions – 11-25 pages (poems)

Member Price: $150
Non-member Price: $210

Poetry Submissions – 26-50 pages (poems)

Member Price: $250
Non-member Price: $310

Unless otherwise noted, all events are at the 
Alexandra Writers’ Centre, 922 Ninth Avenue SE.

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