2018 Courses & Workshops

Please bear with us as we update our website!

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.

 

Want to know more about our Instructors?

Questions? Please contact us by email or phone 403.264.4730

Youth Workshops & Classes & Clubs

You’ve Created a Monster

Jeff Richmond
Friday, July 13
6-8pm
Member Price: $30
Non-member Price: $40

You’ve Created a Monster: The Bestial Heart of Storytelling that Thrills and Chills – From Vader to Voldemort, the villains in most fantasy, science fiction and horror stories are nothing less than monsters. Whether they appear as unremarkable humans or as unrecognizable abominations, monsters are crucial to such stories, captivating and terrifying readers in equal measure. But just how do authors create monsters that are both thrilling and chilling? That’s what you’ll learn in this informative, hands-on course. For a fun-filled Friday the 13th, follow in Dr. Frankenstein’s footsteps and form a frightening and formidable fiend to further your fiction!

This course blends teacher presentation (a slideshow that incorporates textual exemplars, music, and video) with in-class activities, brain-breaks and -teasers, and ample individual feedback. As free wi-fi is available, students are encouraged, though not required, to bring a device (tablet or laptop) to facilitate their creative writing.

Jeff Richmond began writing fantasy/horror stories at the age of 10, became a professional writer at 23, and has worked two decades with major publishing, gaming, and film production companies. Dividing his time between Canada, Italy, Spain, and Japan, he writes fiction, nonfiction, and scripts for the stage and screen.

- Level: Jr/Sr High School - Course Type: Workshop - Genre: Horror, Science Fiction, Dark Fantasy - Youth Programming: Youth Workshop View Course Details & Register

Homework Help

Instructor Varies
Afterschool and Saturdays
(4 sessions)
Member Price: $135
Non-member Price: $165

Struggling with writing? Want to know how to write an essay and impress your teacher?  Need more description in your work? Are formatting and footnotes getting you down? We have you covered. Top of the line instructors will get you back on track and that English and social studies mark where it needs to be.

This course is one on one and booked in one hour, four session sets, (you have the option to get more sessions if needed after the first set). Please contact Kim Firmston to book your class. kfirmston@alexandrawriters.org

- Youth Programming: Homework Help View Course Details & Register

Pen & Panel Comic Creation Class

Sebastien Ringuette
First and third Thursday
5 PM - 6:30 PM
Sept 6 - Join anytime (September - June)
Member Price: $175
Non-member Price: $230

Play drawing games, improve your art style, learn to make comics both online and on paper and pitch ideas, plus lots more! Hang out with like-minded artists and comic writers. Work on individual projects or collaborate. Focus on topics that will help you expand your skill set. Ages 12 and up.

- Course Type: Comics - Youth Programming: Course View Course Details & Register

Summer Writing for Kids

You’ve Created a Monster

Jeff Richmond
Friday, July 13
6-8pm
Member Price: $30
Non-member Price: $40

You’ve Created a Monster: The Bestial Heart of Storytelling that Thrills and Chills – From Vader to Voldemort, the villains in most fantasy, science fiction and horror stories are nothing less than monsters. Whether they appear as unremarkable humans or as unrecognizable abominations, monsters are crucial to such stories, captivating and terrifying readers in equal measure. But just how do authors create monsters that are both thrilling and chilling? That’s what you’ll learn in this informative, hands-on course. For a fun-filled Friday the 13th, follow in Dr. Frankenstein’s footsteps and form a frightening and formidable fiend to further your fiction!

This course blends teacher presentation (a slideshow that incorporates textual exemplars, music, and video) with in-class activities, brain-breaks and -teasers, and ample individual feedback. As free wi-fi is available, students are encouraged, though not required, to bring a device (tablet or laptop) to facilitate their creative writing.

Jeff Richmond began writing fantasy/horror stories at the age of 10, became a professional writer at 23, and has worked two decades with major publishing, gaming, and film production companies. Dividing his time between Canada, Italy, Spain, and Japan, he writes fiction, nonfiction, and scripts for the stage and screen.

- Level: Jr/Sr High School - Course Type: Workshop - Genre: Horror, Science Fiction, Dark Fantasy - Youth Programming: Youth Workshop View Course Details & Register

Reality is Optional Summer Fun Days

Kim Firmston
Wednesday July 11 & August 8, 2018
9-4pm
Member Price: $110
Non-member Price: $135

Can’t wait till September? Why not join us for a full day of Reality Is Optional Kids Writing Club in the summer. Write, get outside, and be amazingly creative with your new friends. Ages 7-17 welcome.

Fantasy Adventure Day – July 11, 2018  | 9-4pm

Recreate Shakespeare using modern language, play D&D, LARP, and basically get up to Fey Mischief.

Movie Day! – August 8, 2018 | 9-4pm

Write and film your own movie then edit it together to create an Oscar winner. Don’t forget the trailer and movie poster!

- Youth Programming: writing camp View Course Details & Register

Summer Writing Adventures – Aug. 20-24, 2018

Erin Vance
August 20-24, 2018
9-4pm
(5 days)
Member Price: $275
Non-member Price: $340

Have adventures! Think and write outside the box! This isn’t your average writing experience. Live what you write, play games, make friends, and have the time of your life with a pen in your hand (other writing implements welcome as well)!

 

- Level: Youth 8-13 years - Youth Programming: Writing Camp View Course Details & Register

Teen Writing Camp – August 20-24, 2018

Brett Morrison
August 20-24, 2018
9-4pm
(5 days)
Member Price: $275
Non-member Price: $340

Have adventures! Think and write outside the box! This isn’t your average writing experience. Live what you write, play games, make friends, and have the time of your life with a pen in your hand (other writing implements welcome as well)!

 

- Level: Youth 13-18 years - Youth Programming: Writing Camp View Course Details & Register

Home School Writing

Homeschool Fall Semester: Classes

Monday
Sept 24 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $180.00
Non-member Price: $225.00

Fall Semester – Monday Sept 24-Nov 19 (No class on Oct 8)

10:30-12:00 – Create your own fairy taleElementary –  Maraya Loza Koxahn- Call it a fairy tale, call it a fantasy, call it science fiction. Whatever time period, setting and characters you choose, you’re going to write a story that’s NOT true and to illustrate it. There will be a hero and a villain; there will be suspense, surprises and magic; and, as in all good stories, there will be a lesson learned. What will yours be?

10:30-12:00 – Eight week novelAll ages – Kim Firmston –Want to write a novel, attempt NaNoWriMo, or just learn how to tackle a large project? This is the course for you!

1:00-2:30 – PoetryElementary  – Selina Clary – Explore literary devices, read poetry, and write your own. Students will not only learn to be more expressive in writing, but speaking as well.

1:00 – 2:30 – Legends, Mythology, and FolkloreJr/Sr high – Erin Vance – Hear some great stories, learn how mythology, legends, folklore fit into our collective landscape, and try your hand at creating one of your own

Lunch hour activities with Selina Clary (special fee) – Go to the park and stretch your legs, play board games, and have entertaining conversations.

- Course Type: Home School Writing - Youth Programming: Homeschool Fall Semster View Course Details & Register

Homeschool December Intensives

Monday
10:30-2:30
December (One day)
Member Price: $60.00
Non-member Price: $75.00

Monday Dec 3, Full day 10:30-2:30– all ages – Poetry with Pizzazz – Maraya Loza Koxahn – Create a variety of poems, give gentle feedback, practice re-writing and speaking your poems out loud, then compile a book of poems for your first masterpiece.

Monday Dec 10, Full day 10:30-2:30– all ages – Dungeons and Dragons – Kim Firmston – Learn problem solving, teamwork, character building, and story arc in this fantasy storytelling game.

- Level: All grades - Youth Programming: Home School Writing View Course Details & Register

Members Only Offers

The Writer’s Circle – Annual Pass

Varies
Sundays
10:30-12:30pm
Member Price: $200
Non-member Price: NA

More than 50% savings.

Love the Writer’s Circle? Why not purchase an annual pass. Good for any sessions for up to one year from date of purchase. And it’s more than a 50% savings.

- Event: Writers Cirlce - Annual Pass View Course Details & Register

The Writer’s Circle – 10 Session Pass

Varies
Sundays
10:30-12:30pm
Member Price: $80
Non-member Price: NA

Love the Writer’s Circle? Tired of registering all the time? Why not purchase a 10 session pass for only $80. That’s 10 sessions for the price of 8 and they’re good for any Sundays of your choosing.

- Event: Writers Circle - 10 Session Pass View Course Details & Register

Poetry Cafe – Annual Pass

Member Price: $200
Non-member Price: NA

More than 50% savings.

Love the Poetry Café? Why not purchase an annual pass. Good for any sessions for up to one year from date of purchase. And it’s more than a 50% savings.

Members Only

- Course Type: Poetry - Event: Poetry Cafe View Course Details & Register

Poetry Cafe – 10 Session Pass

Member Price: $80
Non-member Price: NA

Love the Poetry Café? Tired of registering all the time? Why not purchase a 10 session pass for only $80. That’s 10 sessions for the price of 8 and they’re good for any Sundays of your choosing.

Members Only

 

- Course Type: Poetry - Event: Poetry Cafe View Course Details & Register

Special Events

Midsummer Nights Writing – July 4

Self-Directed
Wednesday
6-10pm
July 4, 2018
Member Price: Free
Non-member Price: $5
Enjoy tea cakes & fairy snacks (okay, not really, unless you want to bring them). But, please do bring a snack to share and enjoy some open writing time with friends. Keep on track with that project that won’t finish itself or just have some fun with words.
Online RSVP recommended.
All ages welcome.
- Level: All levels - Genre: All genres - Event: writing, write night, midsummer night View Course Details & Register

Midsummer Nights Writing – July 11

Self-Directed
Wednesday
6-10pm
July 11, 2018
Member Price: Free
Non-member Price: $5
Enjoy tea cakes & fairy snacks (okay, not really, unless you want to bring them). But, please do bring a snack to share and enjoy some open writing time with friends. Keep on track with that project that won’t finish itself or just have some fun with words.
Online RSVP recommended.
All ages welcome.
- Level: All levels - Genre: All genres - Event: writing, write night, midsummer night View Course Details & Register

The 20,000 Word Weekend

Bradley Somer
Saturday & Sunday
8am-8pm
November 3 & 4, 2018
Member Price: $100
Non-member Price: $125

Kick off NaNoWriMo or continue with a work in progress

Want to get some words? Working on Nanowrimo? Join your fellow writers on this intensive, two day workshop… the goal? Words. Wear your comfy writing pants, it’s a big goal and we’re all in it for the long haul. Each day will hold plenty of independent writing time in a creative environment, some short intensive lessons on various aspects of novel writing, a bit of workshopping, and friendly and inspirational competition to drive your creative juices. Bradley Somer will be there with you, helping out if you get stuck, and ready for any writerly chats needed to help your craft.

Nourishment provided throughout the weekend.

- Level: All levels - Course Type: Material generation, support, encouragement - Genre: All genres View Course Details & Register

Book a Blue Pencil Session

Blue Pencil Sessions at Your Fingertips

Member Price: $30
Non-member Price: $40

Book a blue pencil session with one of our mentors.

One of the best things you can do for yourself as a writer is to have your work reviewed throughout the creative process.

Each month a different mentor will be available for you to have a small portion of work reviewed or for a general discussion to get advice on the process or the local writing community in general.

Summer Mentors: Ali Bryan & Robin van Eck

30 minute sessions.

 

  1. Register and pay for your consultation.
  2. Book Your Session by contacting the office by email info@alexandrawriters.org
  3. Submit a max of 2000 words of prose (typed, double-spaced, 12pt font, pages numbered) or 5 poems (single-spaced, one poem per page) as a .doc, .docx or .pdf) to info@alexandrawriters.org
  4. Show up for your scheduled appointment.

All appointments will be held at the Alexandra Writers Centre @cSpace King Edward 460, 1721, 29th Ave SW, Calgary, AB.

We look forward to seeing you.

 

- Level: All levels - Event: mentor in the loop, blue pencil View Course Details & Register

The Writers' Circle

The Writer’s Circle – Annual Pass

Varies
Sundays
10:30-12:30pm
Member Price: $200
Non-member Price: NA

More than 50% savings.

Love the Writer’s Circle? Why not purchase an annual pass. Good for any sessions for up to one year from date of purchase. And it’s more than a 50% savings.

- Event: Writers Cirlce - Annual Pass View Course Details & Register

The Writer’s Circle – 10 Session Pass

Varies
Sundays
10:30-12:30pm
Member Price: $80
Non-member Price: NA

Love the Writer’s Circle? Tired of registering all the time? Why not purchase a 10 session pass for only $80. That’s 10 sessions for the price of 8 and they’re good for any Sundays of your choosing.

- Event: Writers Circle - 10 Session Pass View Course Details & Register

The Writers’ Circle: Reading Well as a Prerequisite to Writing Well

JoAnn McCaig
Sunday, June 24
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

The best way to improve one’s own writing is to carefully read and reread the work of accomplished authors.  To that end, participants are invited to bring along a passage from a book they’ve particularly admired, which can be shared and discussed as a group, wondering together what makes this piece of writing so effective? What language, form, structure and detail make it memorable? Ernest Hemingway’s short story, “Hills Like White Elephants,” will be used as a springboard to this discussion. 

Please note cSpace is locked on Sundays. To access the building, please enter via the northeast corner off 29th Ave. Dial “460” on the keypad and wait to be buzzed in.

 

- Level: All Levels - Genre: All Genres - Event: Writers' Circle View Course Details & Register

The Writers’ Circle: Speaking of Mysteries…

Eileen Coughlan
Sunday, July 8, 2018
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

Mystery: the word itself conjures feelings of excitement, makes us hungry for answers, and keeps us turning the pages. But not all mystery novels are created equal—some lack memorable characters, evocative settings and good clues. While others endure and stay with us despite decades of change, fashion and fad. So what makes a great mystery? And speaking of mysteries, what exactly constitutes a mystery these days? To answer these and other mysterious questions, join us for a lively discussion about your love and knowledge of mysteries, and learn how other mystery writers handle their own talents, pitfalls, and desires.

- Level: All levels - Course Type: Fiction - Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Crime, - Event: Writers' Circle View Course Details & Register

The Writers’ Circle: Battling the Monster – Horror and Dystopian Fiction

Madelaine Wong
Sunday, July 15, 2018
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

In Horror, humans become monsters. Think: Frankenstein, Stephen King, Zombies…

In Dystopian, society becomes the monster. Think: 1984, The Hunger Games, The Handmaid’s Tale…

What’s the fascination? Come and talk about your favourite horror or dystopian novel . How are these genres alike and different from each other?

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Fiction - Genre: Horror, Dystopian - Event: Writers' Circle View Course Details & Register

The Writers’ Circle: How to Adapt Any Genre for the Stage

Caroline Russell-King
Sunday, July 22, 2018
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

Tips, tricks and shortcuts on how to adapt any genre for the stage. Turn literature into dramatic literature.

- Level: All Levels - Genre: Drama, Playwriting - Event: Writers' Circle View Course Details & Register

The Writers’ Circle: YA and Middle-Grade Trends

Stacey Kondla
Sunday, August 19, 2018
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

Are you writing for YA or Middle-Grade? Have you researched the market to see what succeeds? Let’s get together and discuss trends in YA and Middle-Grade fiction and have a conversation about where these markets are heading.

Stacey Kondla is a bibliophile who has lived and breathed the book business for the past 15 years. Her experience includes working as a Field Representative for Scholastic Book Fairs, managing the IndigoKids department at Chapters/Indigo stores, and serving on the organizing committee of When Words Collide (A Festival for Readers and Writers).
As an editor, Stacey specializes in fiction, particularly Young Adult and Middle Grade. She has been providing manuscript evaluations for The Rights Factory Literary Agency since October 2017 and is an Associate Agent with The Rights Factory as of March 2018.

- Level: All levels - Genre: YA, MG - Event: Writers' Circle View Course Details & Register

The Writers’ Circle: YA with Crossover Appeal – Stories with Boundary Issues

Laura Nichol
Sunday, September 16, 2018
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

Are you writing an adult book with a teen protagonist or a teen story that could appeal to adults? While “YA with crossover appeal” as a genre may be relatively new, novels that appeal to both teens and adults are not. Share your questions, experiences and favourite examples as we explore the forms, content, and challenges of writing stories that laugh at you and your rules.

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Fiction - Genre: YA, Adult, Crossover - Event: Writers' Circle View Course Details & Register

Poetry Cafe

Poetry Cafe – Annual Pass

Member Price: $200
Non-member Price: NA

More than 50% savings.

Love the Poetry Café? Why not purchase an annual pass. Good for any sessions for up to one year from date of purchase. And it’s more than a 50% savings.

Members Only

- Course Type: Poetry - Event: Poetry Cafe View Course Details & Register

Poetry Cafe – 10 Session Pass

Member Price: $80
Non-member Price: NA

Love the Poetry Café? Tired of registering all the time? Why not purchase a 10 session pass for only $80. That’s 10 sessions for the price of 8 and they’re good for any Sundays of your choosing.

Members Only

 

- Course Type: Poetry - Event: Poetry Cafe View Course Details & Register

Poetry Cafe – June 24

Laurie Fuhr
Sunday
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
June 24, 2018
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

Imagine a place where poets gather regularly to write new work, share poems, and encourage one another. Poetry Cafe is your oasis and your community. No matter what life has in store, poetry can be part of your life every week. Anticipate occasional surprises and special guests too!

Poetry Cafe combines poetry prompts or exercises to generate poems with workshopping and discussion. It’s great for both emerging and established poets, and it’s open to poets of all ages. Join us to write with prompts from 12:30-1:45 and workshopping from 1:45-2:30. Great for both emerging and established poets and it’s open to poets of all ages. Let’s have some fun and write together.

- Course Type: Poetry - Event: Poetry Cafe View Course Details & Register

Poetry Cafe – July 8

Laurie Fuhr
Sunday
12:30-2:30pm
July 8, 2018
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

Imagine a place where poets gather regularly to write new work, share poems, and encourage one another. Poetry Cafe is your oasis and your community. No matter what life has in store, poetry can be part of your life every week. Anticipate occasional surprises and special guests too!

Poetry Cafe combines poetry prompts or exercises to generate poems with workshopping and discussion. It’s great for both emerging and established poets, and it’s open to poets of all ages. Join us to write with prompts from 12:30-1:45 and workshopping from 1:45-2:30. Great for both emerging and established poets and it’s open to poets of all ages. Let’s have some fun and write together.

View Course Details & Register

Poetry Cafe – July 15

Laurie Fuhr
Sunday
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
July 15, 2018
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

Imagine a place where poets gather regularly to write new work, share poems, and encourage one another. Poetry Cafe is your oasis and your community. No matter what life has in store, poetry can be part of your life every week. Anticipate occasional surprises and special guests too!

Poetry Cafe combines poetry prompts or exercises to generate poems with workshopping and discussion. It’s great for both emerging and established poets, and it’s open to poets of all ages. Join us to write with prompts from 12:30-1:45 and workshopping from 1:45-2:30. Great for both emerging and established poets and it’s open to poets of all ages. Let’s have some fun and write together.

View Course Details & Register

Poetry Cafe – July 22

Laurie Fuhr
Sunday
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
July 22, 2018
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

Imagine a place where poets gather regularly to write new work, share poems, and encourage one another. Poetry Cafe is your oasis and your community. No matter what life has in store, poetry can be part of your life every week. Anticipate occasional surprises and special guests too!

Poetry Cafe combines poetry prompts or exercises to generate poems with workshopping and discussion. It’s great for both emerging and established poets, and it’s open to poets of all ages. Join us to write with prompts from 12:30-1:45 and workshopping from 1:45-2:30. Great for both emerging and established poets and it’s open to poets of all ages. Let’s have some fun and write together.

View Course Details & Register

Poetry Cafe – July 29

Laurie Fuhr
Sunday
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
July 29, 2018
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

Imagine a place where poets gather regularly to write new work, share poems, and encourage one another. Poetry Cafe is your oasis and your community. No matter what life has in store, poetry can be part of your life every week. Anticipate occasional surprises and special guests too!

Poetry Cafe combines poetry prompts or exercises to generate poems with workshopping and discussion. It’s great for both emerging and established poets, and it’s open to poets of all ages. Join us to write with prompts from 12:30-1:45 and workshopping from 1:45-2:30. Great for both emerging and established poets and it’s open to poets of all ages. Let’s have some fun and write together.

View Course Details & Register

Multi-Week Courses - Daytime

Manuscript Workshop (Day)

Ali Bryan
Tuesdays
9:45 AM - 11:45 AM
September 18, 2018 (13 Weeks)
Member Price: $350
Non-member Price: $450

This 13 week course, limited to 6 students, is designed for the writer looking to workshop a manuscript or work-in-progress in a supportive environment with an experienced facilitator and like-minded participants. Week one will focus on strategies for effective critiquing, receiving and applying feedback, rewriting, editing methods and moving beyond the first draft. The remaining 12 weeks will focus entirely on sharing and critiquing participants’ submissions with the goal of creating polished, publishable work. Reading submissions and critiquing outside of class time is required. Students will submit material every two weeks.

Course Format: brief lecture, facilitated discussion, critiquing, work-shopping, sharing

Ali Bryan’s first novel, Roost, won the Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction and was the official selection of One Book Nova Scotia 2014. Her non-fiction has been shortlisted for the Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Prize and longlisted for the CBC Creative Non-Fiction Prize. Her second novel, The Figgs, was released in 2018.

 

- Level: Some Experience Required - Course Type: Creative Non-Fiction, Fiction - Event: Multi-week Course View Course Details & Register

Creative Writing: Pen to Paper (Daytime)

Madelaine Wong
Tuesdays
12-2pm
September 11, 2018 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $200
Non-member Price: $250

Do you have a story burning inside you? Want to try writing for fun? Creative Writing: Pen to Paper is designed for the brand new writer or hobbyist. Spend 8 weeks learning where ideas come from, how to unlock your creative potential in a new way and bring words and images to the page in a fun and supportive environment. Lots of writing involved.

No experience necessary.

- Level: Beginner - Course Type: Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry - Genre: All genres View Course Details & Register

To Prose or To Poem

Vivian Hansen
Tuesdays
10-12pm
September 18, 2018 (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.

- Level: Intermediate - Course Type: Poetry - Genre: Poetry, Prose - Event: Course View Course Details & Register

The Novel from Scratch

Rosemary Nixon
Wednesday
10 AM - 12 PM
September 19, 2018 (10 Weeks)
Member Price: $325
Non-member Price: $425

Participants for this course will just be beginning a novel or be about to. We will consider the importance of defamiliarization in our diction and syntax as we study beginnings, how to capture voice and tone from the get-go, how to create and maintain a psychologically-sizzling setting, developing a character’s consistency, then moving them into complexity (including effective dialogue), ways to build narrative tension and suspense and anything else we can fit into the class to give you a fabulous kick-start to your new novel you’ve been wanting to write.

Course Format: Mini-lecture, workshopping participants’ writing excerpts, analyzing published writers’ excerpts, discussion, short weekly homework assignments pertaining specifically to the needs of the new novels-in-progress.

Rosemary Nixon is a pre-eminent short story writer, novelist, free-lance editor, her 4th book Are You Ready To be Lucky? nominated for The Frank O’Connor International Prize, and North American Forewords IndieFab Award. Rosemary, editor for Freehand Press, has recently been nominated for the Lois Hole Excellence in Editing Award. 

- Level: Beginner - Course Type: Fiction - Genre: Fiction - Event: Course View Course Details & Register

Writing Your Family Narrative

Karen Lee
Wednesdays
10-1pm
September 19, 2018 (8 weeks )
Member Price: $250
Non-member Price: $325

Do you have a story you want to tell? Things from your or your family’s 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, family histories, creative non-fiction, and autobiographical novels 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 portray, and having the courage and persistence needed to tackle personal subjects. Self-care will be discussed.

We will look at dialogue, character sketches, scene setting, and your story arc – using the parts of the 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 family 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

- Level: Beginner - Course Type: Creative Nonfiction - Genre: Memoir, Autobiography View Course Details & Register

FALL 2018 Creative Writing Basics (Daytime)

Olyn Ozbick
Thursdays
9-12pm
September 20, 2018 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $250
Non-member Price: $325

Learn the basics of creative writing in 8 weeks. This course is 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 so much 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, writing outside of class, and an introduction to giving and receiving feedback on your work.

- Level: Beginner - Course Type: Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry - Genre: All genres View Course Details & Register

Do Fish Need Bicycles?

Ellen Kelly
Thursdays
10-12pm
September 20, 2018 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $200
Non-member Price: $250

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 eight 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, 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.

Please note this course is recommended for women 40 or older.

- Level: All levels - Course Type: personal essay, women's issues - Genre: nonfiction, creative nonfiction View Course Details & Register

Multi-Week Courses - Evening

Small Words With Muscle

Vivian Hansen
Thursdays
7-9pm
July 12, 2018 (4 WEEKS)
Member Price: $130
Non-member Price: $160

Writing poetry is about noticing details and exercising the muscle of our language. Observing and practicing craft in the essence of sound, imagery, structure and meaning creates ‘the better story.’ This four-week course will explore soulful and delightful aspects of poetry. Come and get your exercise in poetry muscle!

 

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Poetry - Genre: Poetry - Event: Course View Course Details & Register

Creative Writing: Pen to Paper (Evening)

Maraya Loza Koxahn
Mondays
7-9pm
September 17, 2018 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $200
Non-member Price: $250

Do you have a story burning inside you? Want to try writing for fun? Creative Writing: Pen to Paper is designed for the brand new writer or hobbyist. Spend 8 weeks learning where ideas come from, how to unlock your creative potential in a new way and bring words and images to the page in a fun and supportive environment. Lots of writing involved.

No experience necessary.

- Level: Beginner - Course Type: Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry - Genre: All genres View Course Details & Register

FALL 2018 Creative Writing Basics (Evening)

Lori Hahnel
Wednesdays
7-9:30pm
September 19, 2018 (10 weeks)
Member Price: $250
Non-member Price: $325

Learn the basics of creative writing in 10 weeks. This course is 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 so much 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, writing outside of class, and an introduction to giving and receiving feedback on your work.

- Level: Beginner - Course Type: Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry - Genre: All genres View Course Details & Register

The Short Story Workshop

Jani Krulc
Wednesdays
7-9pm
September 19, 2018 (8 Weeks)
Member Price: $200
Non-member Price: $250

Writing short stories demands nuance, control, and energy. The brevity of the form requires an acute attention to craft

In the Short Story Workshop, we will explore character, voice, plot, dialogue, point of view, and setting. We will explore the writing process through exercises, discussion, and critique. We will also study some of the form’s masters, including Alice Munro, Flannery O’Connor, George Saunders, Amy Hempel, and more. 

Whether you write short stories, novels, or creative nonfiction,studying and practicing the mechanics of the short story will provide you with the knowledge and tools great writing demands.

Participants will workshop smaller pieces throughout the course, working towards a completed short story manuscript for the last class.

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Short Story, Craft - Genre: Short Fiction - Event: Multi-week Course View Course Details & Register

Beyond the First Draft: Setting High the Bar

Rosemary Nixon
Thursday
7 PM - 9:30 PM
September 20, 2018 (8 Weeks)
Member Price: $325
Non-member Price: $425

A course for participants who have finished, or are well into, their first draft of a novel. A course for writers who understand that what’s already written will change significantly. Look at this draft as a springboard for the great novel it’s going to become once you’ve gone through scene-shiftings and the killing off of your favourite scenes and darlings if the bigger picture asks for it, and restructurings, then more rewritings. An exciting course from which to gain a whole new understanding of the complexities, despair and joy behind the vast improvement that accompanies the rewriting process.

Rosemary Nixon is a pre-eminent short story writer, novelist, free-lance editor, her 4th book Are You Ready To Be Lucky? nominated for The Frank O’Connor International Prize, and North American Forewords IndieFab Award. Rosemary, editor for Freehand Press, has recently been nominated for the Lois Hole Excellence in Editing Award.

- Level: Intermediate, Completed First Draft - Course Type: Creative Non-Fiction, Fiction - Genre: All Genres - Event: Course View Course Details & Register

Manuscript Workshop (Evening)

Robin van Eck
Thursdays
7 PM - 9 PM
September 20, 2018 (13 Weeks)
Member Price: $350
Non-member Price: $450

This 13 week course, limited to 6 students, is designed for the writer looking to workshop a manuscript or work-in-progress in a supportive environment with an experienced facilitator and like-minded participants. Week one will focus on strategies for effective critiquing, receiving and applying feedback, rewriting, editing methods and moving beyond the first draft. The remaining 12 weeks will focus entirely on sharing and critiquing participants’ submissions with the goal of creating polished, publishable work. Reading submissions and critiquing outside of class time is required. Students will submit material every two weeks.

Course Format: brief lecture, facilitated discussion, critiquing, work-shopping, sharing

- Level: Some Experience Required - Course Type: Creative Non-Fiction, Fiction - Event: Multi-week Course View Course Details & Register

More Than A Guilty Pleasure: Mastering the Romance Novel Form to Tell the Perfect Story

M. Jane Colette
Mondays
7-9pm
September 24, 2018 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $200
Non-member Price: $250

The most important thing in writing is to have written. I can always fix a bad page. I can’t fix a blank one. ~ Nora Roberts

Learn to seduce a reader from the first sentence through to the heart-thumping, breath-taking, you-knew-it-was-coming-but-not-this-way! happy ending.  Motivated students will be given the structure and support to complete a first draft of a romance novel by week 8; beginning students will learn how to play with tropes, tension, pacing, climaxes (dramatic and other), dialogue, and character development.

No class on Thanksgiving Monday.

- Level: Beginner to Intermediate - Course Type: Fiction, Novel - Genre: Romance View Course Details & Register

Form Poetry

Dymphny Dronyk
Tuesdays
7-9pm
October 9, 2018 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $200
Non-member Price: $250
In this eight week course, poets will examine forms such as: Glossa, Japanese Haiku, Tanka and Renga, Pantoum, Ballad, and others as a method of creative experimentation. Examples will be given and writing exercises will inspire creativity. Expand your knowledge of form poetry to hone your own poems – whether form or free verse.
No class October 23.
- Level: All levels - Course Type: Poetry View Course Details & Register

Going Dark

Sarah L. Johnson
Tuesdays
7-9pm
October 16, 2018 (5 weeks)
Member Price: $150
Non-member Price: $190

Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win. ~ Stephen King

From bleak literary tales to creature features, learn how to construct stories that frighten and thrill in this primer on dark fiction across a variety of genres. Each class will focus on a different genre (horror, supernatural, suspense/thriller, grimdark etc.) and use examples from a variety of dark fiction authors like Shirley Jackson, Neil Gaiman, Gillian Flynn, Gemma Files, and of course, Stephen King. Some of the material covered in this course may be graphic or disturbing. Students should be prepared to participate in discussion and exercises, and share their work.

- Level: All levels - Course Type: Fiction - Genre: Horror, Supernatural, Thriller View Course Details & Register

Keeping the Channel Open: Tools for Building a Generative Writing Practice

Laura Nicol
Wednesdays
7-9pm
November 7, 2019 (4 WEEKS)
Member Price: $120
Non-member Price: $160

The ability to easily and consistently generate raw material is the foundation of any successful writing practice, yet we often avoid this work, believing it to be messy, inefficient, or pointless. In the spirit of serious play, participants will develop a repertoire of writing exercises that will build their capacity to generate image-rich material, remove barriers to productivity, and strengthen discipline. Whether you’re deep into an on-going project or writing your way into a new one, this workshop will fuel your work with an abundance of fresh directions, insights and images.

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: word generation, writing strategies, process - Genre: All Genres View Course Details & Register

June Workshops

Editing Your Own Work: Tricks of the Editor’s Trade for Writers

Sandra McIntyre
Saturday
10-3:30pm
June 23, 2018
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Editing is an essential part of the writing craft. What do professional editors know that can help writers polish their work to the highest degree before it goes out to beta readers, editors/publishers and the reading public?

Sometimes the first test of the work’s coherence, book editors think of themselves as the “ideal reader.” Whether you are writing fiction or non-fiction, learn how to tap the editor’s way of thinking to take your writing to the next level of ready.

In this one-day workshop, book editor and writer Sandra McIntyre will show you how to approach your own work with the eyes of an editor. We’ll discuss the different kinds of editing, when to edit, and the tricks of reading like a reader. This is not a copyediting course per se, though we might touch on common writing and formatting errors. Rather, the focus will be on developing the deep thinking about writing that editors do. For practice editing, participants are asked to submit one to five pages of writing to be shared with the group.

- Level: Intermediate - Course Type: Editing View Course Details & Register

Dealing with the Devil: How to Craft Unlikable Characters

Jani Krulc
Saturday, June 23
10 AM - 3:30 PM
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

We all want to write complex characters, but what do we do with the unlikable ones, the immoral and the violent? How do we not make our villains into caricatures or devils? How do we navigate the space between antihero and antagonist?

In this workshop, we’ll explore motivation, desire, and the various nuances that can make an unlikable character a great one.

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Fiction - Genre: All Genres - Event: Workshop View Course Details & Register

Summer - July

Midsummer Nights Writing – July 4

Self-Directed
Wednesday
6-10pm
July 4, 2018
Member Price: Free
Non-member Price: $5
Enjoy tea cakes & fairy snacks (okay, not really, unless you want to bring them). But, please do bring a snack to share and enjoy some open writing time with friends. Keep on track with that project that won’t finish itself or just have some fun with words.
Online RSVP recommended.
All ages welcome.
- Level: All levels - Genre: All genres - Event: writing, write night, midsummer night View Course Details & Register

Small Words With Muscle

Vivian Hansen
Thursdays
7-9pm
July 12, 2018 (4 WEEKS)
Member Price: $130
Non-member Price: $160

Writing poetry is about noticing details and exercising the muscle of our language. Observing and practicing craft in the essence of sound, imagery, structure and meaning creates ‘the better story.’ This four-week course will explore soulful and delightful aspects of poetry. Come and get your exercise in poetry muscle!

 

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Poetry - Genre: Poetry - Event: Course View Course Details & Register

Picture Books in the 21st Century

Leanne Shirtliffe
Monday, July 9
6:30PM - 8:30PM
Member Price: $30
Non-member Price: $40

What makes a good picture book in 2018? Join picture book author Leanne Shirtliffe for a review of what’s being sold in today’s market. Explore the do’s and don’ts of picture book publishing; in other words, learn the rules so you know how to make them work for you and when to ignore them completely.

Register for all 4 of Leanne Shirtliffe’s Summer Picture Book Series courses in July and receive $20 off. Use coupon code pb20 at checkout. 

Leanne Shirtliffe is the author of the five picture books, including The Change Your Name Store, I Love Sharks Too, and Saving Thunder the Great: the True Story of a Gerbil’s Rescue from the Fort McMurray Wildfire. When she’s not trying to put words in some semblance of order, Leanne can be found teaching high school or hanging out with her family in the suburbs of Calgary. She used to travel.

- Level: All levels - Genre: Picture Books, KidLit - Event: Course View Course Details & Register

Your Story: From Straw to Gold

Wlima Rubens
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
10AM - 3:30PM
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

We live our life forward, yet read it backwards. To contemplate the story within our wandering life’s path, we will use prompts, meditation, storytelling techniques, and writing to illuminate our inner landscapes, glean rich insights and find creative inspiration in our life experience.

No previous writing experience necessary.

- Level: Beginner - Course Type: Writing, Creativity, Creative Non-Fiction, Personal Essay, Memoir - Event: Workshop View Course Details & Register

Midsummer Nights Writing – July 11

Self-Directed
Wednesday
6-10pm
July 11, 2018
Member Price: Free
Non-member Price: $5
Enjoy tea cakes & fairy snacks (okay, not really, unless you want to bring them). But, please do bring a snack to share and enjoy some open writing time with friends. Keep on track with that project that won’t finish itself or just have some fun with words.
Online RSVP recommended.
All ages welcome.
- Level: All levels - Genre: All genres - Event: writing, write night, midsummer night View Course Details & Register

Go With the Flow: Unfreezing and Overcoming Writer’s Block

Jeff Richmond
Thursday, July 12, 2018
10:00am - 2:00pm
Member Price: $60
Non-member Price: $80

Nabokov wrote Lolita in three months; Kerouac, On the Road in three weeks. But Joseph Heller took 10 years to write Catch-22, Henry Miller nearly 40 to write Tropic of Cancer, and Frank McCourt over 65 to write Angela’s Ashes. Writer’s block is real, wastes time, and causes tremendous stress and crippling self-doubt–leading only to more writer’s block. Learn how to gently unfreeze yourself and write great quantities in short bits of time. By the end of this course you’ll not only be writing like mad but finding your unique voice and producing better quality work than ever before.

Jeff Richmond, encouraged by Charles Bukowski and The New Yorker’s Roger Angell, became a published author and professionally produced playwright at 23. He has worked two decades with major media groups including Conde Nast, the AP and Warner Bros., and writes fiction, nonfiction and scripts for the stage and screen. 

- Level: All Levels - Genre: All Genres - Event: Workshop View Course Details & Register

Flashlight Fiction: How to Craft Writing Your Reader Will Lose Sleep Over

Jeff Richmond
Saturday & Sunday
10 AM - 3:30 PM
July 14 & 15 (2 Days)
Member Price: $180
Non-member Price: $240

Award-winning novelist and legendary teacher John Gardner described great writing as sparking a “vivid and continuous dream in the reader’s mind.” Such dreams occasionally replace the other kind, when a reader is up all night with a book, perhaps under the covers with a flashlight while everyone else is asleep. But exactly how do authors create and craft writing–fiction or nonfiction; short stories, novels or memoirs–that effectively, economically and elegantly compels readers to stay up long past bedtime? That’s what you’ll learn–and better be able to do–by the end of this intensive, hands-on course.

Jeff Richmond, encouraged by Charles Bukowski and The New Yorker’s Roger Angell, became a published author and professionally produced playwright at 23. He has worked two decades with major media groups including Conde Nast, the AP and Warner Bros., and writes fiction, nonfiction and scripts for the stage and screen. 

- Level: Intermediate, Advanced - Course Type: Creative Non-Fiction, Fiction - Event: Weekend Intensive View Course Details & Register

Picture Books: Using Mentor Texts to Improve Your Craft

Leanne Shirtliffe
Monday, July 16, 2018
6:30PM - 8:30PM
Member Price: $30
Non-member Price: $40

Learn how to mine published picture books to improve your own craft. Strategies shared include reverse outlining, how to master the page turn, and where to find mentor texts. It’s a mini-session with the current masters of the genre.

Register for all 4 of Leanne Shirtliffe’s Summer Picture Book Series courses in July and receive $20 off. Use coupon code pb20 at checkout. 

Leanne Shirtliffe is the author of the five picture books, including The Change Your Name Store, I Love Sharks Too, and Saving Thunder the Great: the True Story of a Gerbil’s Rescue from the Fort McMurray Wildfire. When she’s not trying to put words in some semblance of order, Leanne can be found teaching high school or hanging out with her family in the suburbs of Calgary. She used to travel.

- Level: All levels - Genre: Picture Books, KidLit - Event: Course View Course Details & Register

Inside a Good Sentence

Rosemary Nixon
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
10:00 - 3:30pm
Member Price: $100
Non-member Price: $130

“A good sentence must do more than reveal its subject matter.” Carolyn Fourche

Whether working on a short story or a novel, a writer must not lose sight of the fact that creative work is made up of “one good sentence after another.” Like rogue waves, rogue sentences surprise and overtake the reader, roiling with energy that sweeps the story into a whole greater than the sum of its parts. We will read snippets of some of North America’s best writers, discover the ways in which rogue sentences are essential for their/our stories, and delve into how to make our own sentences/paragraphs/stories resonate into a shimmering whole.

- Level: Intermediate, Advanced - Course Type: Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction - Event: Workshop View Course Details & Register

Writing with Restrictions

Bradley Somer
Wednesday
6-10pm
July 18, 2018
Member Price: $60
Non-member Price: $80

Whether you’re stuck on a project, starting a new one, or just looking for a different angle to tell a story from, there’s a lot that can be done by restricting your writing. Prose is made up of tens of different functional tools and nearly unlimited structural ones, which can muddy the works as much as make for a beautiful piece of writing. This workshop will push you to write your wonders with fewer tools than are typically at your disposal in hopes of working on your authorial weak spots and exhausting your creative muscles.

- Level: All levels - Genre: All genres View Course Details & Register

Writing Comedy for the Stage

Caroline Russell-King
Thursday, July 19, 2018
10 AM - 4 PM
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Do you want to learn how to be the next Neil Simon? Want to understand the difference between a farce, a spoof and a sit-com? Find out how to make audiences really LOL in a one-day workshop with comedy playwright, Caroline Russell-King.

- Level: Intermediate - Course Type: Playwriting - Genre: Drama, Comedy, Playwriting - Event: Workshop View Course Details & Register

A Day of Free Fall

Ellen Kelly
Saturday
10-3:30pm
July 21, 2018
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Spend the day learning and practicing the free fall method of writing. Open up your creativity, unlock writers block, explore your stories. You will come away with a bunch of ideas to keep you going throughout the year.

No experience necessary.

- Level: All levels View Course Details & Register

Strategies for Revising Picture Books

Leanne Shirtliffe
Monday, July 23, 2018
6:30PM - 8:30PM
Member Price: $30
Non-member Price: $40

Bring a printed copy of your work-in-progress and prepare to workshop it (note: sharing is not required). You’ll be guided through both macro and micro revision strategies, as well as learning to put each word on trial for its life. You will take home a revision guide so you can workshop multiple manuscripts on your own.

Register for all 4 of Leanne Shirtliffe’s Summer Picture Book Series courses in July and receive $20 off. Use coupon code pb20 at checkout. 

Leanne Shirtliffe is the author of the five picture books, including The Change Your Name Store, I Love Sharks Too, and Saving Thunder the Great: the True Story of a Gerbil’s Rescue from the Fort McMurray Wildfire. When she’s not trying to put words in some semblance of order, Leanne can be found teaching high school or hanging out with her family in the suburbs of Calgary. She used to travel.

- Level: All Levels - Genre: Picture Books, KidLit - Event: Course View Course Details & Register

Picture Books: Writing in Rhyme

Leanne Shirtliffe
Monday, July 30, 2018
6:30PM - 8:30PM
Member Price: $30
Non-member Price: $40

While many agents and editors say not to write in rhyme, what they mean is don’t submit rhyme that doesn’t work. Learn when your should (not) write in rhyme, the challenges of writing in rhyme, and how to do it like a pro.

Register for all 4 of Leanne Shirtliffe’s Summer Picture Book Series courses in July and receive $20 off. Use coupon code pb20 at checkout. 

Leanne Shirtliffe is the author of the five picture books, including The Change Your Name Store, I Love Sharks Too, and Saving Thunder the Great: the True Story of a Gerbil’s Rescue from the Fort McMurray Wildfire. When she’s not trying to put words in some semblance of order, Leanne can be found teaching high school or hanging out with her family in the suburbs of Calgary. She used to travel.

- Level: All Levels - Genre: Picture Books, KidLit - Event: Course View Course Details & Register

Summer - August

Poem, Pome, Poem-Me!

Dymphny Dronyk
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
6:30PM - 8:30PM
Member Price: $30
Non-member Price: $40

Bitten by the poetry bug? Smitten by beauty? Slain by grief? What now? What is, and is not, a poem? How to take your therapeutic, cathartic poems and journal entires and brilliant scraps of paper and craft poems fit to share. Poetry 101 basics, including how to survive the Open Mic with savvy.

Sign up for all 4 classes in the August Poetry Series with Dymphny Dronyk and receive $20 off your registration. Use poem20 at checkout. 

Dymphny Dronyk works as a mediator and is also a bestselling editor, poet, translator and story doula. Her first volume of poetry, Contrary Infatuations, was short-listed for the Pat Lowther Award and the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry. She is passionate about the magic of story and has woven words for money and for love for more than 30 years.

- Level: Beginner - Course Type: Poetry - Genre: Poetry - Event: Course View Course Details & Register

The World Sings Poems

Dymphny Dronyk
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
6:30PM - 8:30PM
Member Price: $30
Non-member Price: $40

Learn how to soak up the wild and allow it to sing through your words in this beginner class on nature poetry. Whether it is the tiny, vivid sun of the rogue dandelion pushing through the concrete, or the powerful experience of hiking in the Rockies – the natural world speaks to us, and we can serve as its translator through our poems.

Sign up for all 4 classes in the August Poetry Series with Dymphny Dronyk and receive $20 off your registration. Use poem20 at checkout. 

Dymphny Dronyk works as a mediator and is also a bestselling editor, poet, translator and story doula. Her first volume of poetry, Contrary Infatuations, was short-listed for the Pat Lowther Award and the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry. She is passionate about the magic of story and has woven words for money and for love for more than 30 years.

- Level: Beginner - Course Type: Nature Poetry - Genre: Poetry - Event: Course View Course Details & Register

Writing for Film

Phyllis Heltay
Saturday
10-4pm
August 11, 2018
Member Price: $80
Non-member Price: $105

Bring your screenplay and/or ideas for the script you always wanted to write. Get the inspiration and information you need to develop a short or feature length script closer to production ready. This intensive workshop will also explore adapting your short stories or novels to screenplays.

Bring in any scripts (full or partial drafts) and/or ideas you want to explore. Workshop format will include readings and discussions.

- Level: All levels - Course Type: Screenwriting - Genre: screenwriting workshop View Course Details & Register

Finding Your Muse

Ellen Kelly
Wednesday
10-3:30pm
August 15, 2018
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

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.

- Level: All levels View Course Details & Register

Truth Distilled to Perfection

Dymphny Dronyk
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
6:30PM - 8:30PM
Member Price: $30
Non-member Price: $40

For many of us, poetry is about truth-telling. Poetry can be considered the shortest and most powerful form of creative non-fiction. How the tenets of each of these powerful genres offset and enhance one another.

Sign up for all 4 classes in the August Poetry Series with Dymphny Dronyk and receive $20 off your registration. Use poem20 at checkout. 

Dymphny Dronyk works as a mediator and is also a bestselling editor, poet, translator and story doula. Her first volume of poetry, Contrary Infatuations, was short-listed for the Pat Lowther Award and the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry. She is passionate about the magic of story and has woven words for money and for love for more than 30 years.

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Poetry, Creative Non-Fiction - Genre: Poetry, Creative Non-Fiction - Event: Course View Course Details & Register

The Thread that Runs Through It – Writing a Long Poem

Dymphny Dronyk
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
6:30PM - 8:30PM
Member Price: $30
Non-member Price: $40

One could argue that in some ways, when their work is taken as a whole, all poets are working on the long poem of their lives. As writers we all have themes we come back to based on our indelible life experiences. A long poem idea can also be inspired by a fascination for a powerful topic, and the research that ensues. Sculpting an effective long poem requires an understanding of theme, as well as a close look at structure and craft. We’ll look at effective long poems by master Canadian poets, and work at creating a dynamic outline for a long poem project.

Sign up for all 4 classes in the August Poetry Series with Dymphny Dronyk and receive $20 off your registration. Use poem20 at checkout. 

Dymphny Dronyk works as a mediator and is also a bestselling editor, poet, translator and story doula. Her first volume of poetry, Contrary Infatuations, was short-listed for the Pat Lowther Award and the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry. She is passionate about the magic of story and has woven words for money and for love for more than 30 years.

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Poetry - Genre: Long Poem - Event: Course View Course Details & Register

The Texture of Language

Rosemary Nixon
Saturday, August 25, 2018
10 AM - 3:30 PM
Member Price: $100
Non-member Price: $130

An art-inspired workshop. Each participant will choose online, and run-off to bring to class, two paintings by two different artists that inspire him/her. Participants, in class, will then mix and match to create two pieces of writing emulating, not the painting’s content, but the materiality and texture of the artist’s painting in an insightful day spent discovering how attention to colour, light, energy of brushstroke, and composition of a painting can open a writer’s creativity.

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Creativity - Event: Workshop View Course Details & Register

Mining Your Memories – a 55+ Exclusive

Ellen Kelly
Wednesday, August 29, 2018
10:00 - 3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Bring your favourite memories and be prepared – a single memory leads to other memories – come and  discover just how much you have to write about in this one day, stress free workshop. Write and share as much or as little as you like and be inspired to continue writing for the enjoyment of your family, friends and who knows – maybe there’s a wider audience out there. There will be laughter.

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Creative Non-Fiction, Personal Essay, Humour - Event: Workshop View Course Details & Register

September Workshops

State of the Industry Series: Publishing Now

Kelsey Attard
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
7 PM - 9 PM
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

In this session, Kelsey Attard from Freehand Books will offer an overview of the current book publishing landscape – what has changed in the past few years, and where might it be going? She’ll also offer some best practices and suggestions for writers who are looking to get there writing published. Come with your list of questions!

Kelsey Attard is the Managing Editor of Freehand Books, an independent literary publisher in Calgary. She has a Master’s degree in publishing (MPUB) and is the Vice President of the Book Publishers Association of Alberta.

This is session one in the AWCS’ fall State of the Industry Series. Register for one, or attend all three and receive a $10 discount. Use coupon code: industry3 upon checkout.

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Presentation, Discussion - Genre: All Genres - Event: State of the Industry Series View Course Details & Register

Writing Book Proposals

Leanne Shirtliffe
Saturday, September 15
10 AM - 3:30 PM
Member Price: 75
Non-member Price: 100

What are the essential aspects of strong book proposals? How do you write them so they catch the eyes of agents and editors? Join Leanne Shirtliffe, whose humour memoir, Don’t Lick the Minivan, sold on the strength of her proposal and who has had another one of her proposals published in Propose Your Book.

 

- Level: All Levels - Event: Workshop View Course Details & Register

Grammar for Writers

Colin Martin
Saturday, September 15, 2018
10:00 - 3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100
Writers tend to be very good readers and one byproduct of that excellent reading skill is the ability to reproduce the language without conscious thought or effort. That’s great! Without such a good place to begin, the rest gets tricky. What happens though when all of the characters (prose, sure) kind of sound like each other?  How can one indicate traits such as class, education, age, even gender, when one doesn’t have those varied subject positions? Through grammar!! (surprising, no?) Having a good “ear” is great tool, but a bit of keen attention to the bits and pieces can hone and sharpen that tool to be even more effective. 
Yep. How comfortable are you, using the hypothetical subjunctive? Well, you would be, if you were to brush up on formal grammar usage. Then, you can write characters who’ve no idea what it is, and your readers will never know why those folks are so easy to relate to! (and why your smart super-villain, who’s very clever in these matters, comes off as so damned unlikable). 
- Level: All Levels - Genre: All Genres - Event: Workshop View Course Details & Register

Point of View and Narration

Olyn Ozbick
September 22, 2018
10-3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Point of View can be one of the most important decisions you make for your short story or novel. But what are you choices and how do you choose from all the options avaiable in your writers’ tool kit? In this workshop you will learn how point of view impacts your narrative voice. Explore through examples and exercises how to alter your story, change your message, create new and different worlds and affect your reader’s impression of your story. All by manipulating your narrator and their point of view.

- Level: Beginner to Intermediate - Course Type: fiction, nonfiction - Genre: all genres View Course Details & Register

State of the Industry Series: Literary Agents Now

Stacey Kondla
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
7 PM - 9 PM
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

In this session, Stacey Kondla will discuss the ins and outs of acquiring and working with an agent. She will offer best practices, query and submission tips and address the evolving role agents play in developing an author’s career.

Stacey Kondla is an Associate Agent with The Rights Factory and Editor specializing in fiction, YA and MG. She has lived and breathed the book business for the past 15 years having worked as a Field Representative for Scholastic Book Fairs, managed the IndigoKids departments and served on the organizing committee of When Worlds Collide. 

This is session two in the AWCS’ fall State of the Industry Series. Register for one, or attend all three and receive a $10 discount. Use coupon code: industry3 upon checkout.

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Presentation, Discussion - Genre: All Genres - Event: State of the Industry Series View Course Details & Register

October Workshops

State of the Industry Series: Indie Publishing Now

Steena Holmes
Tuesday, October 2, 2018
7 PM - 9 PM
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

The golden age of indie publishing has diminished and yet, it remains a solid career path for many authors. In this session, we’ll discuss strategies on how to start, maintain and grow an indie author career in today’s new publishing climate.

Steena Holmes is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author with 2 million copies of her titles sold world wide, including The Forgotten Ones, Saving Abby  and The Memory Child. Named in the Top 20 Women Author to read in 2015 by Good Housekeeping, she won the National Indie Excellence Award in 2012 for Finding Emma as well as the USA Book News Award for The Word Game in 2015. Steena has been featured in various newspapers and magazines, websites such as Goodreads, BookBub, RedBook, Glamour, Coastal Living and Goodhousekeeping.

This is session three in the AWCS’ fall State of the Industry Series. Register for one, or attend all three and receive a $10 discount. Use coupon code: industry3 upon checkout.

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Presentation, Discussion - Genre: All Genres - Event: State of the Industry Series View Course Details & Register

Writing Erotica: a filthy flirty workshop for the bold and the shy alike

M. Jane Colette
Saturday
10-3:30pm
October 13, 2018
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Whether you love to write dirty, wish you could (but you can’t, OMG, how do people even think such things!!), or wonder what the heck’s wrong with authors who do, this workshop will help you apply the tools and rules that make for good, effective “can’t stop turning the pages” erotica to all of your writing. The workshop Includes some Freefall-style writing exercises to seduce your inner muse, ruthless editing tips, and guidelines on how to beta-read and critique steamy sex scenes.

- Level: All levels - Course Type: Fiction - Genre: Erotica, Romance View Course Details & Register

Hunger and Thirst – Why Characters Need to Want

Jani Krulc
Saturday
10-3:30pm
October 20, 2018
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Characters need to want something. The object of their desire can be simple, but their desire must be strong enough to carry the story. Robert Olen Butler says that “yearning is always part of fictional characters,” and that “desire is the driving force behind plot.” Crafting want, hunger, need, even greed, can be the key to fully fleshed characters and rousing narrative. In this workshop, we’ll explore the dynamics of desire in character motivation and narrative momentum.

- Level: All levels View Course Details & Register

The Wickedest 500 Words – How to Write a Query and Synopsis

Bradley Somer
Saturday, October 20
10:00 - 3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

You’ve written “The End” on your novel and the celebratory hangover has waned, leaving only one question… what now? This workshop will cover the ins and outs of writing your query letter, the dreaded synopsis, and where to go from there! Bring your editing pencil, in this workshop we will write, rewrite, and rewrite your query letter and synopsis again (and again… until it’s ready to go). Then we’ll talk about where to go from there!

- Level: Intermediate, Advanced - Course Type: Marketing, Queries - Genre: Fiction - Event: Workshop View Course Details & Register

The Suspense is Killing Me

Philip Vernon
Saturday, October 27
10 AM - 3:30 PM
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Thanks to authors like Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins, and SJ Watson, suspense is once again all the rage. But what is suspense as a genre, and how is it different from a mystery or thriller? Why is a suspenseful feeling different from fear or shock, and why does it make for a compulsive read? Regardless of which genre(s) you write, threading suspense into your plot helps hold reader attention until your very last word. We’ll discuss suspenseful hooks, micro-tension, end-of-chapter cliff-hangers, and other ways to whiten your reader’s knuckles.

 

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Fiction - Genre: Suspense. Ficiton, Mystery, Crime - Event: Workshop View Course Details & Register

Subtext in Stories

Jani Krulc
Saturday
10am-3:30pm
October 27, 2018
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.

- Level: All levels View Course Details & Register

November Workshops

The 20,000 Word Weekend

Bradley Somer
Saturday & Sunday
8am-8pm
November 3 & 4, 2018
Member Price: $100
Non-member Price: $125

Kick off NaNoWriMo or continue with a work in progress

Want to get some words? Working on Nanowrimo? Join your fellow writers on this intensive, two day workshop… the goal? Words. Wear your comfy writing pants, it’s a big goal and we’re all in it for the long haul. Each day will hold plenty of independent writing time in a creative environment, some short intensive lessons on various aspects of novel writing, a bit of workshopping, and friendly and inspirational competition to drive your creative juices. Bradley Somer will be there with you, helping out if you get stuck, and ready for any writerly chats needed to help your craft.

Nourishment provided throughout the weekend.

- Level: All levels - Course Type: Material generation, support, encouragement - Genre: All genres View Course Details & Register

Pacing – It Doesn’t Just Apply to Running, Drinking, and Stock Car Racing

Bradley Somer
Saturday, November 17
10:00 - 3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

We all know about pacing ourselves, and the potential negative outcomes if we don’t. Pacing scenes is no different. This workshop will walk through the nuts and bolts of pacing from what drives it, how to break pacing down into its fundamental components, and how to build a tighter scene back up again. There will be some exercises to test what you learn and you can even bring that “trouble spot” in your own work to focus on.

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Fiction - Genre: All Genres - Event: Workshop View Course Details & Register

Mapping A Novel

Anne Metikosh
Saturday & Sunday
10 AM - 2 PM
November 17 & 18
Member Price: $130
Non-member Price: $170

You have a great idea. Maybe you’ve dreamed up some dynamite settings and scenes. But how do you turn all the bits and pieces into a novel? You know you need an engaging plot to keep the reader glued to the page. You know your characters have to grow and change. You know your story has to reach an emotionally satisfying conclusion. But you can’t figure out how to get there from here and you’re spending a lot of time spinning your wheels. What you need is a roadmap. In this class we’ll design a working model for your novel. We’ll discuss the basics, like the value of a three-act structure and why the incidents that make up a plot need to be linked by cause and effect. But we’ll also consider the underlying questions of goal, theme, character motivations and consequences as they relate to the particular story you want to tell. By the end of the workshop, you should have an integrated plan to follow as you write. This class involves brainstorming and discussion. Materials provided.

- Level: All levels - Course Type: Novels - Genre: All genres View Course Details & Register

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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