Spring 2017 Courses & Workshops

New Address:

@cSpace King Edward, Suite 460, 1721, 29th Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2T 6T7 

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 (evening and daytime) 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.

Don’t forget to check our Calendar of Events for other exciting programs and upcoming events.

Sign up today!

FREE MEMBER WORKSHOPS

Character Bootcamp (Waitlist)

Robin van Eck
Saturday
10-1pm
September 16, 2017
Member Price: Free
Non-member Price: $25

This course is now waitlisted. Please continue to sign up.

Spend three-hours getting to know your characters in a way you never have before. Through a series of continuous writing exercises, you will answer many of the burning questions lingering within your character and emerge with a better understanding of who they are so they hop off the page and engage your reader. There will be lots of writing. Pen and paper preferred but if you’re afraid of hand cramps, you’re welcome to bring a laptop or tablet. Please come with a particular character in mind.

This workshop is FREE for current AWCS members.

Giving a Memorable Author Reading – Masterclass (13 Seats Available)

Jim Jackson
Saturday
10-1pm
October 14, 2017
Member Price: Free
Non-member Price: $25

Readers are fans. They love readings from their favorite authors. And author readings are an essential piece of building your tribe in today’s economy of connection.

Giving an author reading may seem easy – you just get up there and read, right? But what are you doing to wow your fans so much that they can’t forget you? What are you doing to help your work compete against Netflix and Candy Crush? What are you doing to make your reading memorable?

In this workshop, we’ll incorporate time-tested and cutting edge techniques to make your author readings memorable, to conquer nerves and to deliver your writing in your unique voice.

Whether you’re an old hand at author readings or quiver at the thought of being in front of your audience, this workshop is for you.

Home School Writing

Team Red (Grades 1-3) (9 Seats Available)

Kim Firmston
Mondays
10:30am-12pm
September 18, 2017 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $120
Non-member Price: $150

AWCS HOME SCHOOL WRITING

Teaching writing through play in a no fail atmosphere.

For Beginning Writers

Students will learn the basics of sentence structure, spelling, and grammar. They will enjoy learning story structure while having fun using a variety of mediums and media. Storytelling, reporting, advertising, scripts, and a variety of other writing styles will be introduced in an entertaining way with lots of variety.

No class October 9, 2017

 

Team Orange (Grades 4-6) (6 Seats Available)

Kim Firmston
Mondays
1-2:30pm
September 18, 2017 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $120
Non-member Price: $150

AWCS HOME SCHOOL WRITING

Teaching writing through play in a no fail atmosphere.

For Confident Writers

Students will review the basics of sentence structure, spelling, and grammar then move on to tenses, point of view and description. They will also cover basic creative writing, poetry, essays and articles, as well as advertising, scripts and a variety of other writing styles will be introduced in an entertaining way using a variety of mediums and media.

No class October 9, 2017

Team Yellow (Junior High/High School) (8 Seats Available)

Kim Firmston
Thursdays
10:30-12pm
September 21, 2017 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $120
Non-member Price: $150

AWCS HOME SCHOOL WRITING

Teaching writing through play in a no fail atmosphere.

Students will review the basics of sentence structure, spelling, and grammar then jump into tenses, points of view, character development, world building, and description. Students will explore creative writing, poetry, the main types of essays and articles, as well as a variety of other writing styles in an entertaining way using a variety of mediums and media.

Understanding & Creating Comics (Junior High/High School) (10 Seats Available)

Sebastien Ringuette
Thursdays
1-2:30pm
September 21, 2017 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $120
Non-member Price: $150

Do you love to draw? Do you love to write?

Enter the world of comics and be forced to choose between the two no longer! Comics, or ‘Sequential Art’, is the quintessential amalgamation of drawing and writing that doesn’t require you to be a master of either! Learn how to create your own comics from start to finish, including everything from character design and pacing, to story structure and script-writing. Develop and discover the artistic styles of a cartoonist, your inner comedian, and how to love your own work. Learn how to self-publish your works and how to bring them to the world! Cartooning is a world of trial and error, so expect to spend as much time writing and drawing as possible. (Occasionally we pause to breathe.)

Summer Courses

Do Fish Need Bicycles? (10 Seats Available)

Ellen Kelly
Saturdays
9-12pm
July 8, 2017 (4 Weeks)
Member Price: $150
Non-member Price: $190

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 roles? 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 six Saturday mornings 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, humorous, 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.

Small Words With Muscle (4 Seats Available)

Vivian Hansen
July 5, 2017
7-10pm
Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $75

This workshop 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!

 

Images (5 Seats Available)

Jani Krulc
July 6, 2017
7-10pm
Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $75
Fiction writing is a practice in imagery: the conjuring and translation of the ephemeral into the concrete. It is what makes a story memorable: the parrot-patterned shirt worn by a criminal; a mango split across its side, bleeding juice; the painting of flowers across a prone body. Images are portals, transporting both writers and readers out of the every day. 
But where do images come from? How do we craft them? What are they for? In this workshop, we will examine how images work and how to employ them in our own writing.

How To Genre: Urban Fantasy and Magical Realism (3 Seats Available)

Axel Howerton
July 19, 2017
7-10pm
Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $75

Take a closer look at the history and mechanics of one of the most prevalent subgenres of today. Vampires, and Witches and Ghouls, Oh My!

Storytelling 101 – An introduction to the ancient art of the oral tradition (8 Seats Available)

Doreen Vanderstoop
July 24, 2017
6:30-9:30pm
Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $75

Fancy yourself a storyteller? Of course! Humans are hard-wired for storytelling in all its many forms. This workshop will give an overview of the oral storytelling tradition and help participants cultivate their own storytelling skills – for telling folktales to true stories to personal anecdotes.

How To Genre: Gothic Horror (8 Seats Available)

Axel Howerton
July 26, 2017
7-10pm
Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $75

The history and traditions of Gothic Horror explored, exposed and explained – from Shelley to Poe, from Lovecraft to Gaiman.

How To Genre: Noir & Hardboiled (8 Seats Available)

Axel Howerton
August 9, 2017
7-10pm
Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $75

A one-day primer on the history, tropes and stylistic ins and outs of writing Noir and Hardboiled

Laughs, Thrills, Cool Cats and Literary Badassery (8 Seats Available)

Axel Howerton
August 19, 2017
10am-3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100
How to infuse your work with danger, excitement, memorable characters, and just the right amount of levity.

How To Genre: Sherlockian Shenanigans (9 Seats Available)

Axel Howerton
August 23, 2017
7-10pm
Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $75

How the Victorian era’s great detective became today’s biggest cultural phenomena. An examination of Public Domain characters, how to write them, and where to get your stories published.

More Summer Courses

Yoga & Writing (9 Seats Available)

Jani Krulc
August 26, 2017
10-2pm
Member Price: $60
Non-member Price: $85
Writing requires us to use our entire bodies and our full range of sensory experience. But as writers, we sometimes get stuck in our heads, forgetting that we’re not just floating brains! 
In this gentle practice, we will awaken the body through focused breathing and mindful movement. Access your senses, memory, and emotions – all the stuff that makes your writing richer –  in a safe and supportive space. No yoga experience necessary.

On Being a Writer: The Art of the Word Merchant (10 Seats Available)

Kirk Miles
Thursday
10-1pm
August 31, 2017
Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $75

This is an entry-level workshop to inspire young or beginner writers to take their work to the next level. Each section except the last one includes a short lecture and includes writing exercise to demonstrate the lecture part of the program.

Midsummer Nights Writing

Midsummer Nights Writing – July 11, 2017

Self-Directed
Tuesday
6-11pm
July 11, 2017
Member Price: Free
Non-member Price: $5
Step away from the stampede bustle and the cowboy twang and write for a few hours. Enjoy tea cakes & fairy snacks (okay, not really, unless you want to bring them). But, please do bring a snack to share. Please register online in advance.
Free for AWCS members. Non-Members: $5
Coffee, tea and non-alcoholic beverages provided.
All ages welcome.

Midsummer Nights Writing – August 2, 2017

Self-Directed
Wednesday
6-11pm
August 2, 2017
Member Price: Free
Non-member Price: $5
It’s the middle of the summer. You’re sweating and can’t take the heat any longer (at least we hope it’s been hot). Join us for a few hours of writing. Enjoy tea cakes & fairy snacks (okay, not really, unless you want to bring them). But really, bring a snack to share. Please register online in advance.
Free for AWCS members. Non-Members: $5
Coffee, tea and non-alcoholic beverages provided.
All ages welcome.

Midsummer Nights Writing – August 29, 2017

Self-Directed
Tuesday
6-11pm
August 29, 2017
Member Price: Free
Non-member Price: $5
Summer is almost over. Have you gotten any writing done? Join us for a wind up to your summer of writing, or maybe your kick start into the new year. Enjoy tea cakes & fairy snacks (okay, not really, unless you want to bring them). But really, bring a snack to share. Please register online in advance.
Free for AWCS members. Non-Members: $5
Coffee, tea and non-alcoholic beverages provided.
All ages welcome.

The Writers' Circle

2017/18 Sunday Annual Pass

Varies
Sundays
Member Price: $350
Non-member Price: $410

Combine The Writer’s Circle and Poetry Café in one Sunday Annual Pass. Come as much as you want.

2017/18 Sunday Annual Pass Valid July 1 – June 30 – passes will remain on sale until September 1.

Non-Member rate includes a one-year membership.

Writer’s Circle – 2017/18 Annual Pass

Varies
Sunday
10:30-12:30pm
Member Price: $250
Non-member Price: $310

Think you’ll attend more than a couple Writer’s Circle throughout the year? Why not purchase an annual pass and come as often as you want. No more weekly registrations.

2017/18 Annual Pass Valid July 1 – June 30 – passes will remain on sale until September 1.

Non-member rate includes a one-year membership.

The Writer’s Circle – Literary vs Genre

Madelaine Wong
Sunday
10:30-12:30pm
June 25, 2017
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

What makes a work literary vs. genre? Can you have both in fiction?

The Writer’s Circle – Edgar Allan Poe

Robin van Eck
Sunday
10:30-12:30pm
July 9, 2017
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

Melancholy and macabre. Horror, suspense. Edgar Allan Poe lived a life full of sorrow and heartache, losing both of his parents at a young age and falling into alcoholism. It’s believed he drank himself to death though there are no medical records to prove or deny. Come out for a morning of discussion on one of the greats in classic literature.

The Writer’s Circle – Vladimir Nabokov

Sarah Johnson
Sunday
10:30-12:30pm
July 16, 2017
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

Vladimir Nabokov (nuh-Bow-kov), celebrated author of such classics as Lolita, Pale Fire, and Speak Memory, was also a world renowned lepidopterist, refugee twice-over, and husband to a badass woman who carried a gun in her purse and stopped him from burning the manuscript of what would become his most famous work. Join us for a discussion of the life and words of Nabokov.

The Writer’s Circle – Emily Bronte

Lori Hahnel
Sunday
10:30-12:30pm
July 23, 2017
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

Emily Brontë produced only a few poems and one novel in her lifetime; Wuthering Heights was published in 1847, just a year before her death at age thirty. The critics of her day found it to be rude and scandalous, yet today it is regarded as an important Victorian novel. Join us for a discussion of Emily Brontë’s life and work.

The Writer’s Circle – Leonard Cohen

Colin Martin
Sunday
10:30-12:30pm
July 30, 2017
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

When beautiful losers dig through the spicebox of earth to let us compare mythologies, we use the energy of slaves from the favorite game to write a book of longing about flowers for Hitler. 

The Writer’s Circle – Virginia Woolf

Ellen Kelly
Sunday
10:30-12:30pm
August 13, 2017
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)

“The only advice that one person can give another…is to take no advice, to follow your own instincts, to use your own reason, to come to your own conclusions.”

Born Adeline Virginia Stephen, English author, Virginia Woolf wrote and published modernist classics including novels Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse, feminist text such as A Room of One’s Own and Three Guineas as well as many short stories and essays to become one of the most influential writers of the 21st century. She became friends with several members of the Bloomsbury Group, a circle of intellectuals and artists including essayist Leonard Woolf whom she married in 1912 and shared a passionate love for the rest of her life.

On March 28th, 1941 Woolf pulled on her overcoat, filled its pockets with rocks and walked into the River Ouse. Authorities found her body 3 weeks later.

 

The Writer’s Circle – Agatha Christie

Anne Metikosh
Sunday
10:30-12:30pm
August 20, 2017
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

How did a shy, upper-middle class lady born in 19th century England become the most widely read novelist in the world? Only Shakespeare and the Bible have outsold her. In spite of her many detractors, her books still fly off the shelves and The Mousetrap hasn’t left the stage since 1952. Why? What makes her work so compelling? Join us as we unravel the mystery of Agatha Christie’s enduring appeal. 

The Writer’s Circle – Jack Kerouac

Shaun Dubyts
Sunday
10:30-12:30pm
August 27, 2017
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

“Going Kerouac on everybody’s ass.” Was one of the slang-phrases born out of the mystique of Jack Kerouac and his book On The Road. He wrote others in the same free style prose he and the other beat poets were known for. But In 2007 for the first time, the original scroll of On the Road had been made into a book that reads differently than the published version. Come for a discussion as we compare versions, debunk myths surrounding the writing of the scroll, and celebrate all that was Kerouac.

Poetry Cafe

2017/18 Sunday Annual Pass

Varies
Sundays
Member Price: $350
Non-member Price: $410

Combine The Writer’s Circle and Poetry Café in one Sunday Annual Pass. Come as much as you want.

2017/18 Sunday Annual Pass Valid July 1 – June 30 – passes will remain on sale until September 1.

Non-Member rate includes a one-year membership.

Poetry Cafe – 2017/18 Annual Pass

Laurie Fuhr
Sundays
12:30-2:30pm
Member Price: $250
Non-member Price: $310

Think you’ll attend more than a couple Poetry Café throughout the year? Why not purchase an annual pass and come as often as you want. No more weekly registrations.

2017/18 Annual Pass Valid July 1 – June 30 – passes will remain on sale until September 1.

Non-member rate includes a one-year membership.

Imagine a place where poets gather regularly to read inspiring books, write new work, share poems, and encourage one another. Every Sunday, experience the camaraderie, imagination, and optimism of Surrealist Paris in 1919, Dorothy Parker’s Algonquin Round Table, or the Beat Poets’ Caffe Trieste right here in Calgary at the Alexandra Writers’ Centre! Grab a coffee or tea, some fresh baking, and get comfortable beginning with a half hour of dedicated reading time and a selection of great books to explore. Then, different poetry prompts are provided each week so you can write new work without the intrusion of your cell phone, your partner, your kids, or that unfortunate pile of laundry moaning in the corner. The last half-hour of our session is for sharing new poems with fellow poets. Anticipate occasional surprises and special guests too! Poetry Cafe is your oasis and your community, a place to ensure that no matter what life has in store, poetry is part of your life each and every week.   

Poetry Cafe – June 18

Laurie Fuhr
Sunday
12:30-2:30pm
June 18, 2017
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20
Imagine a place where poets gather regularly to read inspiring books, write new work, share poems, and encourage one another. Every Sunday, experience the camaraderie, imagination, and optimism of Surrealist Paris in 1919, Dorothy Parker’s Algonquin Round Table, or the Beat Poets’ Caffe Trieste right here in Calgary at the Alexandra Writers’ Centre! Grab a coffee or tea, some fresh baking, and get comfortable beginning with a half hour of dedicated reading time and a selection of great books to explore. Then, different poetry prompts are provided each week so you can write new work without the intrusion of your cell phone, your partner, your kids, or that unfortunate pile of laundry moaning in the corner. The last half-hour of our session is for sharing new poems with fellow poets. Anticipate occasional surprises and special guests too! Poetry Cafe is your oasis and your community, a place to ensure that no matter what life has in store, poetry is part of your life each and every week.   

Poetry Cafe – June 25

Laurie Fuhr
Sunday
12:30-2:30pm
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20
Imagine a place where poets gather regularly to read inspiring books, write new work, share poems, and encourage one another. Every Sunday, experience the camaraderie, imagination, and optimism of Surrealist Paris in 1919, Dorothy Parker’s Algonquin Round Table, or the Beat Poets’ Caffe Trieste right here in Calgary at the Alexandra Writers’ Centre! Grab a coffee or tea, some fresh baking, and get comfortable beginning with a half hour of dedicated reading time and a selection of great books to explore. Then, different poetry prompts are provided each week so you can write new work without the intrusion of your cell phone, your partner, your kids, or that unfortunate pile of laundry moaning in the corner. The last half-hour of our session is for sharing new poems with fellow poets. Anticipate occasional surprises and special guests too! Poetry Cafe is your oasis and your community, a place to ensure that no matter what life has in store, poetry is part of your life each and every week.   

Poetry Cafe – July 9

Laurie Fuhr
Sunday
July 9, 2017
12:30-2:30pm
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20
Imagine a place where poets gather regularly to read inspiring books, write new work, share poems, and encourage one another. Every Sunday, experience the camaraderie, imagination, and optimism of Surrealist Paris in 1919, Dorothy Parker’s Algonquin Round Table, or the Beat Poets’ Caffe Trieste right here in Calgary at the Alexandra Writers’ Centre! Grab a coffee or tea, some fresh baking, and get comfortable beginning with a half hour of dedicated reading time and a selection of great books to explore. Then, different poetry prompts are provided each week so you can write new work without the intrusion of your cell phone, your partner, your kids, or that unfortunate pile of laundry moaning in the corner. The last half-hour of our session is for sharing new poems with fellow poets. Anticipate occasional surprises and special guests too! Poetry Cafe is your oasis and your community, a place to ensure that no matter what life has in store, poetry is part of your life each and every week.   

Poetry Cafe – July 16

Laurie Fuhr
Sunday
12:30-2:30pm
July 16, 2017
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

Write Nite

Write Nite – Irony: On the Edge of Summer

Maraya Loza Koxahn
June 16, 2017
7-9pm
Member Price: $15
Non-member Price: $30
Grab a glass of wine (or other beverage), a pen and paper and join us for Write Nite…

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, if needed. 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!

 

Writing Programs for Youth

Team Red (Grades 1-3) (9 Seats Available)

Kim Firmston
Mondays
10:30am-12pm
September 18, 2017 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $120
Non-member Price: $150

AWCS HOME SCHOOL WRITING

Teaching writing through play in a no fail atmosphere.

For Beginning Writers

Students will learn the basics of sentence structure, spelling, and grammar. They will enjoy learning story structure while having fun using a variety of mediums and media. Storytelling, reporting, advertising, scripts, and a variety of other writing styles will be introduced in an entertaining way with lots of variety.

No class October 9, 2017

 

Team Orange (Grades 4-6) (6 Seats Available)

Kim Firmston
Mondays
1-2:30pm
September 18, 2017 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $120
Non-member Price: $150

AWCS HOME SCHOOL WRITING

Teaching writing through play in a no fail atmosphere.

For Confident Writers

Students will review the basics of sentence structure, spelling, and grammar then move on to tenses, point of view and description. They will also cover basic creative writing, poetry, essays and articles, as well as advertising, scripts and a variety of other writing styles will be introduced in an entertaining way using a variety of mediums and media.

No class October 9, 2017

Team Yellow (Junior High/High School) (8 Seats Available)

Kim Firmston
Thursdays
10:30-12pm
September 21, 2017 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $120
Non-member Price: $150

AWCS HOME SCHOOL WRITING

Teaching writing through play in a no fail atmosphere.

Students will review the basics of sentence structure, spelling, and grammar then jump into tenses, points of view, character development, world building, and description. Students will explore creative writing, poetry, the main types of essays and articles, as well as a variety of other writing styles in an entertaining way using a variety of mediums and media.

Understanding & Creating Comics (Junior High/High School) (10 Seats Available)

Sebastien Ringuette
Thursdays
1-2:30pm
September 21, 2017 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $120
Non-member Price: $150

Do you love to draw? Do you love to write?

Enter the world of comics and be forced to choose between the two no longer! Comics, or ‘Sequential Art’, is the quintessential amalgamation of drawing and writing that doesn’t require you to be a master of either! Learn how to create your own comics from start to finish, including everything from character design and pacing, to story structure and script-writing. Develop and discover the artistic styles of a cartoonist, your inner comedian, and how to love your own work. Learn how to self-publish your works and how to bring them to the world! Cartooning is a world of trial and error, so expect to spend as much time writing and drawing as possible. (Occasionally we pause to breathe.)

Reality is Optional (RIO) Kids’ Writing Club

Member Price: $100
Non-member Price: $140

Reality Is Optional (RIO) kids’ writing club 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 four 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. Rogue Poets Club

Learn the art of poetry and spoken word with prompts, activities, the (if you feel brave) you can perform your creations on stage at the Can You Hear Me Now? open mic and poetry slams. Grades 7-12.

4. Novel Writing Club

Outline, plot, finish, edit and self-publish the novel you’ve always dreamed of writing with a group of like-minded friends. Ages 17 and under.

RIO 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: $100
  • Drop-in Fee (core groups only): $5

Non-member rate includes annual membership.

 

 

Advanced Manuscript Workshop

Advanced Manuscript Workshop Application Fee

N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A (N/A)
Member Price: $100
Non-member Price: $160

About the Advanced Manuscript Workshop

Applications must be received by September 15, 2017

Please see link above for full application guidelines and details about the program.

May Workshops

Short-Short Boot Camp – Zero to 500 Words in One Day (5 Seats Available)

Lori Hahnel
May 27, 2017
10-3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $95

Want to write a 500-word story in one day? In this workshop, we’ll consider what the essential elements of a short story are; we’ll come up with a first draft through freefall writing; we’ll rewrite and revise; we’ll give and get feedback. The result will be a solid 500 words of story that you can take home and polish. Come prepared to write and share; bring an idea to work on or use an in-class prompt.

June Workshops

Life Into Story – Transforming Experiences Into Fiction (7 Seats Available)

Lori Hahnel
June 17, 2017
10-3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $95

Got a great story idea inspired by real life events but not sure how or where or why to begin writing it? In this workshop we’ll explore characters, plots and settings derived from real life. We’ll also consider how closely fiction should resemble real life, and whether some ideas are better suited to fiction or creative nonfiction.

The Writer’s Voice (6 Seats Available)

Robin van Eck
June 17, 2017
10am-3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $95

Have you ever wondered why we like particular writers? There’s something about the way they write that keeps us engaged for the duration. Could be turns of phrase, the pace at which a story moves along, quirks and ticks. In this workshop, we will do lots of fun writing exercises to help your own voice emerge onto the page. Learn the tune and rhythm of your voice and what makes it unique from everyone else’s and begin to understand how that translates into story voice.

8 Week Courses - Evening

Novel Plotting for Planners (10 Seats Available)

Susan Forest
Mondays
7-9pm
September 25, 2017 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $200
Non-member Price: $250

Some authors write by the seat of their pants, some quilt scenes together into a whole, and some are planners. All of these are valid and respected ways of working. This course is for the planner: the details and fine cogs of structuring your novel. Elements of fiction such as theme, character, and setting will be covered, but only insofar as they impact plot. Come with a novel idea or a few scenes and a broad outline, and use this course to come away with an initial scene-by-scene outline to use as a basis for writing.

Creative Writing Level I (8 Seats Available)

Lori Hahnel
Wednesdays
7-9pm
September 6, 2017 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $200
Non-member Price: $250

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. Learn how to create images a reader will remember. Then, using the 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. 

No experience necessary.

Truth, Lies and Historical Fiction (10 Seats Available)

Emily Ursuliak
Thursdays
7-9pm
September 21, 2017 (8 Weeks)
Member Price: $200
Non-member Price: $250

Historical fiction can be a somewhat daunting genre. Short of actually building yourself a time machine, how do you know you’ve provided an accurate portrayal of the time period you’re writing about? This eight-week course will cover the fundamentals of writing strong fiction while also helping you face the additional challenges historical writing will fling at you. Students are encouraged to come to class with a project they have some ideas about, or perhaps have already started on, but this is not absolutely necessary. Students will engage in individual writing exercises, group discussions, and workshop each other’s work.

Visit www.emilyursuliak.com for more information about the instructor.

 

Writing Young Adult Fiction (10 Seats Available)

Janet Gurtler
Thursdays
7-9pm
September 21, 2017 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $200
Non-member Price: $250

Writing fiction for the young adult market is exciting and inspiring. Join best selling YA author, Janet Gurtler, in an eight-week program that explores important elements of writing YA. Whether you have a full novel already complete, or you just want to learn more about how to write for teens, this is the course for you. Learn how to delve into the emotional truth of writing for this age group. This course will answer your questions about the YA market, and also get your creative juices flowing! 

8 Week Courses - Daytime

Writing Memoir When Your Story is Difficult (10 Seats Available)

Karen Lee
Wednesdays
10-1pm
September 20, 2017 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $240
Non-member Price: $300

 

Do you have a difficult story to tell? Things from your past that you’ve tucked into the back of your memory? More and more, people are realizing that getting those stories down on paper is therapeutic and valuable – the popularity of memoir is exploding. People want real life stories.

This course will focus on three-parts – the writing skills required, the journey of change you want to write about, and having the courage and persistence needed to tackle difficult personal subjects. Self-care will be discussed.

We will tackle dialogue, character sketches, scene setting, and your story arc – using parts of your story you want to tell. These will begin to form the outline of your memoir.

If you are interested in engaging in the often therapeutic task of memoir writing, start a retrospective journal now – jot down those memories, however small and fleeting, in a notebook, compile pictures of the past, or assemble meaningful objects. Then bring these to class.

Going public with stories from real life is completely different from getting your story down on paper, so the decision to publish will be discussed.

Three recommended readings are: “The Memoir Project” by Marion Roach Smith, “Why We Write about Ourselves” Ed. Meredith Maran and “Your Life as Story” by Tristine Rainer.

Karen Lee has a newly published memoir, The Full Catastrophe. You can find out more information on her website

Creative Journaling (10 Seats Available)

Maraya Loza Koxahn
Tuesdays
10-12pm
September 19, 2017 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $205
Non-member Price: $255

Use the power of journaling for self-discovery. Unlock your creative potential, navigate through loss, deal with illness, work through difficult decisions, express thoughts, emotions & opinions, and just have fun learning some new methods of expression. Connect with your inner voice through writing and art exercises. Your journal is a safe space for expression and transformation, a space to explore your creativity, a space to store your discoveries as a “work of art” just for you. 

Each class will include writing and art exercises, free fall writing, and time to incorporate elements into your journal. Some classes may include movement and/or meditation exercises. Please bring a notebook for free fall writing to the first class.

Art supplies included.

To Prose or To Poem (10 Seats Available)

Vivian Hansen
Tuesdays
10-12pm
September 19, 2017 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $200
Non-member Price: $250

What is the essential shell of a prose poem and why would a writer opt for its beauty instead of just writing a page of prose?  A prose poem often lacks the line breaks associated with poetry, but we read rhythmic punctuation and notation in its lines.  The prose poem maintains a poetic quality, often utilizing techniques common to poetry, such as fragmentation, compression, repetition, and rhyme.  The prose poem allows the writer with difficult material to explore recesses of meaning through its experimental style.  If you are a prose writer, this course will be of interest to you in navigating the essential prose line through a poetic lens. 

Raising the Dead (10 Seats Available)

Carolyn Pogue
Thursdays
9:30-12:30pm
September 21, 2017 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $300
Non-member Price: $375

Write historical fiction by harvesting your own family tree for intriguing characters and amazing plots. Whether you are at the start of your story, or closing in on the end, all beginning and seasoned adventurers are welcome. Please bring a photo or memento to the first class and email Carolyn to tell her the era and country you plan to focus on. cpogue@shaw.ca

Carolyn Pogue Website

10 Week Courses

Novel Ends (9 Seats Available)

Dwayne Clayden
Wednesdays
7-9:30pm
September 20, 2017 (10 weeks)
Member Price: $250
Non-member Price: $315

You’ve worked through the middle and you’re approaching that pivotal point in your work, the climax. The tension has peaked and now it’s time to wrap up the story. Through writing exercises, group discussion and peer feedback, learn what makes a good ending, how to tie up all those loose ends, climax, resolution, and change. Discuss common problems faced while trying to complete your manuscript.

You should have a significant portion of your novel completed.

12 Week Courses

3-Month Novel Project (Waitlist)

Sarah L. Johnson
Tuesdays
7-9pm
September 19, 2017 (12 weeks)
Member Price: $300
Non-member Price: $375

Powering through to a complete first draft in 12 weeks.

This course is all about what Anne Lamott famously refers to as “shitty first drafts.”  A gentler more realistic version of the well known 30-day challenge, 3MoNoPro is designed to offer the support, information, and tough love you need to get you across that finish line to your very own garbage, but nevertheless complete, first draft.

Each class will look at a different element of writing with an eye toward finding inspiration in our obstacles. Through exercises, word count tracking, and sharing our shitty pages, we’ll cheer each other on and finish what we start.

This course is for writers of all levels. Whether you’re just starting, half way through or almost done a manuscript, sign up and by week 12 you could very well be typing THE END.

Introduction to Freelance Writing (8 Seats Available)

Olyn Ozbick
Tuesdays
7-9:30pm
September 19, 2017 (12 weeks)
Member Price: $375
Non-member Price: $470

Do you want to write for magazines, newspapers or the internet but don’t know how to get started? Learn the basics of how to find fresh ideas, publish in multiple markets, incorporate research and write informative, inspiring and entertaining articles that assignment editors will love. You will do practice exercises to build on your new skills, and learn how to craft query letters that will get the attention of busy editors. Throughout the course students will develop well-targeted ideas, refine their queries and get ready to start writing for editors. 

Creative Writing Basics (8 Seats Available)

Ellen Kelly
Wednesdays
10am-12:30pm
September 20, 2017 (12 weeks)
Member Price: $375
Non-member Price: $470

New format. This course is a combination of Creative Writing Level I & II in 12 weeks. It’s designed for the beginner writer who knows they want to write or maybe haven’t taken a creative writing class in a long time. Learn the basics of writing: character, setting, plot, dialogue and more, to get you well on your way to writing great short stories, creative nonfiction or novel length manuscripts. You can expect lecture, discussion, in-class writing exercises, workshopping and lots of writing.

September Workshops

Speedy Stories – How to Write Page Turners for Kids (7 Seats Available)

Marty Chan
September 9, 2017
10am - 3:30pm
Member Price: $95
Non-member Price: $120

Middle-grade author Marty Chan has been writing for kids and adults for over 25 years. Applying principles he learned as a playwright, he writes engaging middle-grade fiction that hooks young readers and keeps them turning the page until the final one. He’ll share his approach to writing for middle-grade audiences, and he will reveal simple-to-follow and easy-to-apply techniques for developing plots, characters and scenes for younger readers. With his pragmatic approach, Marty strips away the clutter of the creative process to help participants focus on what really matters: writing their stories. Be prepared for writing exercises. 

Character Bootcamp (Waitlist)

Robin van Eck
Saturday
10-1pm
September 16, 2017
Member Price: Free
Non-member Price: $25

This course is now waitlisted. Please continue to sign up.

Spend three-hours getting to know your characters in a way you never have before. Through a series of continuous writing exercises, you will answer many of the burning questions lingering within your character and emerge with a better understanding of who they are so they hop off the page and engage your reader. There will be lots of writing. Pen and paper preferred but if you’re afraid of hand cramps, you’re welcome to bring a laptop or tablet. Please come with a particular character in mind.

This workshop is FREE for current AWCS members.

Free Verse Experiment (10 Seats Available)

Laurie Fuhr
Saturday
10-3:30pm
September 16, 2017
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100
Free verse poetry is well known today, but it was once considered very experimental when Imagist poets influenced by the French vers libre movement began to use it, organizing their poetry by means other than rhyme and metre. To continue the experiment of free verse today, we must avoid cliche in both word and form and employ fresh thinking to surprise ourselves and our readers. In this workshop, we’ll visit the origins of free verse for inspiration and write to achieve new results.
 

The Edge of Your Seat (10 Seats Available)

Anne Metikosh
Saturday
10am-3:30pm
September 23, 2017
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Keeping up the tension in your novel.

Engaging the reader is Job 1 for a novel.   Job 2 is creating suspense (aka tension, conflict, anxiety) to hold the reader’s interest to THE END.   Suspense means different things for different genres.  The rollercoaster of a thriller is not the will-they-or-won’t-they of the romance nor the nail biting of adventure.  But no matter the story, the question you want the reader to ask is always the same: how is this going to turn out?  It’s the tension on the page that makes us eager to learn the answer.   In this one-day workshop, we’ll look at some subtle and not-so-subtle ways to build suspense into your story.  The class will include examples and exercises.  If you already have a few pages of writing you want to work on, please bring them along. 

Experimenting with Metaphors (10 Seats Available)

Joel Farris
Saturday & Sunday
10am-4:30pm
September 23 & 24, 2017
Member Price: $180
Non-member Price: $225

What exactly is a metaphor? Sure, we often use metaphors without consciously knowing it, but can we identify them? Can we purposefully wield them to inject new life into our writing? Join us in this workshop that will voyage to the furthest possibilities of metaphor and discover its ability to alter our apprehension of common things. We’ll do this by reading some of modern poetry’s greatest hits (Rimbaud, Williams, Breton) while experimenting with our own writing exercises. We’ll also spend time differentiating metaphor from allegory, simile, and symbolism. So come risk the comprehensible, you know, all those strained metaphors extolling the likeness of your lover’s lips to a red rose. What you find might excite and refresh you.

October Workshops

Giving a Memorable Author Reading – Masterclass (13 Seats Available)

Jim Jackson
Saturday
10-1pm
October 14, 2017
Member Price: Free
Non-member Price: $25

Readers are fans. They love readings from their favorite authors. And author readings are an essential piece of building your tribe in today’s economy of connection.

Giving an author reading may seem easy – you just get up there and read, right? But what are you doing to wow your fans so much that they can’t forget you? What are you doing to help your work compete against Netflix and Candy Crush? What are you doing to make your reading memorable?

In this workshop, we’ll incorporate time-tested and cutting edge techniques to make your author readings memorable, to conquer nerves and to deliver your writing in your unique voice.

Whether you’re an old hand at author readings or quiver at the thought of being in front of your audience, this workshop is for you.

Fine Tuning Your Voice (10 Seats Available)

Naomi K. Lewis
Saturday & Sunday
10am-4:30pm
October 14 & 15, 2017
Member Price: $180
Non-member Price: $225

The first step for any writer in any genre is to find her or his unique, honest voice. For many beginning writers, that voice is buried beneath self-doubt, stultifying habits picked up from a lifetime of grammar teachers, and a tendency to imitate admired authors. Explore the apprehensions and assumptions that bog down style. Participants will practice techniques to recognize and navigate around the most prevalent obstacles to authenticity.

Showing vs. Telling (10 Seats Available)

Susan Forest
Saturday & Sunday
10am-4:30pm
October 21 & 22, 2017
Member Price: $180
Non-member Price: $225

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.   

Automatic Poetry (10 Seats Available)

Laurie Fuhr
Saturday
10am - 3:30pm
October 28, 2017
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Both the French Surrealist poets led by Andre Breton and those inspired by them who borrowed the word Surrealist afterwards (including visual artists like Salvadore Dali) employed interesting and unusual methods to bypass the mind’s boring blockades of reason that often stifle creativity. We will use writing prompts in this workshop used by Surrealists to baffle our brains into producing some of the most exciting, bizarre, and hilarious poems ever concocted. A fun session of unlocking creativity for poets, fiction writers, and artists of every kind.

Subtext in Stories (10 Seats Available)

Jani Krulc
Saturday
10am-3:30pm
October 28, 2017
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100
As a writer, you’re always managing two stories: the one that appears quite literally on the page, and the one that is unspoken, implicit, and ephemeral. In this workshop, we will examine subtext in short stories, exploring techniques of withholding, pacing, and voice to craft layered and nuanced narratives. 

November Workshops

Excavating Your Creativity (9 Seats Available)

Maraya Loza Koxhan
Saturday
10-3:30pm
November 4, 2017
Member Price: $80
Non-member Price: $105

This is a mixed media workshop designed to access your inner artist. Writers – consider this cross-training – a way to open you up to different ways of seeing and thinking. We let go of our ‘critic/judge’ and just play with art and writing exercises allowing creations to manifest themselves spontaneously. This can be used as a space for personal growth, to inspire and explore themes for future writing, or to help break through blocks to a current project. Or just come out and play with us for a day. No previous art or writing experience required.

Participants: Please bring a journal and/or sketch book. An additional supplies fee is included in the registration fee for other materials which will be provided.

No experience necessary.

Warp & Weft (10 Seats Available)

Anne Metikosh
Saturday
10-3:30pm
November 18, 2017
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Weaving subplots into your novel.

Life is not a smooth progression  of  events.  We juggle half a dozen balls at once.  Interruptions happen; change rushes in; we weave them into the fabric of our day.  Novels are like that, too.  Not monofilament but many-stranded.  Think of your main plot as the warp – the lengthwise yarn held in tension on a frame.  To create a strong piece of fabric with it, you need to add weft – transverse threads you draw through the warp.  In other words, subplots.    In this one-day workshop, we’ll look at the purpose, techniques, and timing of subplots.  Bring your ideas or notes for the novel you’re working on and learn how adding a subplot or two can add complexity and tension to your story.

Group Poetry (10 Seats Available)

Laurie Fuhr
Saturday
10am-3:30pm
November 25
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

There’s power in numbers. Consider covens – it takes more than one witch to cast a really good spell. In Group Poetry, we’ll use famous and obscure, classic and contemporary group poetry-generating techniques and games to make amazing verse together – solo, in pairs, and as a group – and we’ll have great time doing it! We’ll also collaborate with poets that aren’t present using their books. This course is ideal for all writers from beginner to expert; a mix of talents makes the most interesting and unexpected group verse.

Dialogue (10 Seats Available)

Jani Krulc
Saturday
10am-3:30pm
November 25, 2017
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100
What is dialogue for? Advancing plot, filling space, passing time? In this workshop, you will explore dialogue as a way to really develop and understand your characters. In honing their voices, you will experiment with the unsaid and implicit, allowing your characters to lead the narrative into the unexpected. 

Manuscript Review Service

Prose Submissions – less than 3500 words

Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Prose Submissions – 3501 – 10000 words

Member Price: $150
Non-member Price: $195

Prose Submissions – 10001 – 50000 words

Member Price: $300
Non-member Price: $375

Prose Submissions – 50001 – 80000 words

Member Price: $500
Non-member Price: $625

Prose Submissions – 80,001 – 100,000 words

Member Price: $650
Non-member Price: $850

Poetry Submissions – Up to 10 pages (poems)

Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Poetry Submissions – 11-25 pages (poems)

Member Price: $150
Non-member Price: $195

Poetry Submissions – 26-50 pages (poems)

Member Price: $250
Non-member Price: $325

Unless otherwise noted, all programs take place at the 
Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society, @cSpace King Edward, 460, 1721, 29th Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2T 6T7

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