Fall 2016 Courses and Workshops: 

 

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

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

 

Sign up today!

Write Nite

Write Nite! ~ Leaves

Maraya Loza Koxahn
Friday
7-9pm
September 23, 2016
Member Price: $15
Non-member Price: $30
Grab a glass of wine (or other beverage), a pen and paper and join us one Friday night per month.

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

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

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

Upcoming Dates: October 21 | November 18 | December 9 (tentative)

 

 

4 Week Courses

Second Draft (8 Seats Available)

Maraya Loza Koxahn
Tuesdays
10-12:30pm
October 4, 2016 (4 weeks)
Member Price: $110
Non-member Price: $170

You’ve finally spilled your entire first draft onto the page. Now it’s time to clean it up. We will review the essential elements of a story/novel. This will include structure, character development, and dialogue (referencing Master STORY Doctor Robert McKee). We will discuss common errors, better word choices, critiquing, formatting, and proper punctuation practices. Students must have work ready to bring to the first class and agree to do the homework – which will involve editing each others’ work as well as your own.

8 Week Courses

Writing Memoir When Your Story is Difficult 2 (Waitlist)

Karen Lee
Thursdays
7-10pm
October 6, 2016 (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 Writing Pen to Paper (Waitlist)

Maraya Loza Koxhan
Mondays
7-9pm
September 26, 2016 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $180
Non-member Price: $180

Start your story here!

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.

There will be no class on October 10, 2016

AWCS membership not required. 

Purely Poetry (Waitlist)

Susan Plett
Mondays
7-9pm
September 26, 2016 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $180
Non-member Price: $240

Join Calgary poet, Susan Plett, for eight weeks of all poetry, all the time, and making your words do the work you want them to.  Emphasis will be on creating new work and learning to critique and be critiqued.

Creative Writing Level I (Waitlist)

Robin van Eck
Tuesdays
7-9pm
October 11, 2016 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $180
Non-member Price: $240

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.

Writing Memoir When Your Story is Difficult (2 Seats Available)

Karen Lee
Wednesdays
7-10pm
September 28, 2016 (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 Writing Level I (Daytime) (Waitlist)

Madelaine Wong
Wednesdays
10am-noon
October 12, 2016 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $180
Non-member Price: $240

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.

10 Week Courses

Short Story Level I (3 Seats Available)

Jo-Ann McCaig
Tuesdays
7-9:30pm
September 20, 2016 (10 weeks)
Member Price: $250
Non-member Price: $310

Short stories are making a comeback. 

In this course, we will delve deeper into the elements of short fiction that you learned in Creative Writing Level 1 as well as learn new elements. Through writing exercises, discussion, peer critique and examining the works of successful short story writers from contemporary works by the likes of Alice Munro and George Saunders, to the classics of James Joyce, Ernest Hemmingway, Flannery O’Connor and more, you will gain a deeper understanding of character, plot, dialogue, point of view, setting as well as start to develop your individual writer voice. See how short stories have changed over the centuries and how they have remained the same.

Whether your focus is on the short story or eventually to write a novel, learning the elements of what makes a short story successful and publishable will help hone your skills as an eventual novel writer, not to mention having published short stories in your portfolio gives you necessary writer credibility.

The First Three Chapters (1 Seat Available)

Susan Forest
Tuesdays
7-9:30pm
September 20, 2016 (10 weeks)
Member Price: $250
Non-member Price: $310

Start as you mean to go on with this 10-week course designed to lay a solid foundation for your book-length manuscript. Instruction will focus on characterization, voice, plot, setting, conflict etc. as they specifically apply to those critical first three pages. While this course includes no formal workshopping, students can expect to share their work as it relates to a variety of writing exercises. By the end of the course, students will have generated a strong and focused beginning to their manuscript and be well poised to continue on their own, or in the next class.

The Artist’s Way (Daytime) (6 Seats Available)

Caroline Russell-King
Fridays
12pm-2pm
October 7, 2016 (start date change) (10 weeks)
Member Price: $210
Non-member Price: $270

For all writers and artists. As a group we will work through Julia Cameron’s’ book The Artist Way. We will engage in exercises and activities that spur the imagination and capture new ideas while unblocking obstacles on the path to inspiration and creativity.

No experience necessary.

Caroline Russell-King Website

October Workshops

Group Poetry Revival (9 Seats Available)

Laurie Fuhr
October 22, 2016
10-3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $135

There’s power in numbers. Consider covens – it takes more than one witch to cast a really good spell. When people organize, things get done. In Group Poetry Revival!, we’ll use famous and obscure, classic and contemporary group poetry-generating techniques and games to make amazing verse together – individually, in pairs, and as a group – and we’ll have lots of fun doing it! This course is ideal for all poets from beginner through to expert; a mix of talents makes the most interesting and unexpected group verse.

Small Words With Muscle (8 Seats Available)

Vivian Hansen
Saturday
10am-3:30pm
October 1, 2016
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $135

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!

Non-member rate includes a one-year membership.

The Writer’s Voice (8 Seats Available)

Robin van Eck
Saturday
10am-3:30pm
October 15, 2016
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $135

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 how to turn your raw voice into your story voice.

Metafiction, or The Art of Self-Reference in Fiction (9 Seats Available)

Michael Mirolla
October 15, 2016
10-3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $135

What do we mean when we say “metafiction”? What is the theory behind it? How does it stack up to other forms, such as magic realism and naturalism? How do we use it in our writing?

You will leave with a thorough knowledge of the uses of metafiction, and with techniques for using metafictional devices in order to strengthen and deepen your fiction.  

Please bring a piece of prose (1000 words max). During workshop, we will look for ways to metafictionalize your pieces, as well as offer general tips and suggestions for strengthening the prose. Option: bring a piece that is already metafictional to be analyzed for effect.

The author of a clutch of novels, plays, and short story and poetry collections, MICHAEL MIROLLA describes his writing as a mix of magic realism, surrealism, speculative fiction and meta-fiction. Publications include the novel Berlin (a 2010 Bressani Prize winner); The Facility, which features among other things a string of cloned Mussolinis; and The Giulio Metaphysics III, a novel/linked short story collection wherein a character named “Giulio” battles for freedom from his own creator. Other publications include the short story collection The Formal Logic of Emotion; a punk novella, The Ballad of Martin B.; and two collections of poetry: Light and Time, and The House on 14th Avenue (2014 Bressani Prize). His short story collection, Lessons in Relationship Dyads, from Red Hen Press in California, came out last year, while the novel Torp: The Landlord, The Husband, The Wife and The Lover, set in 1970 Vancouver, was published in the Spring of 2016 with Linda Leith Publishing out of Montreal. The short story, “A Theory of Discontinuous Existence,” was selected for The Journey Prize Anthology, featuring the best short stories in Canadian journals for that year; and “The Sand Flea” was a Pushcart Prize nominee. Born in Italy and raised in Montreal, Michael now makes his home in the Greater Toronto Area. For more information, www.michaelmirolla.com.

 

First Person Fiction Writing (8 Seats Available)

Rona Altrows
October 22, 2016
10-3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $135

The principal objectives of this course are to give you, the writer, the opportunity to write; to allow you to take yourself  into the mind and body of another person, a fictional person who will emerge naturally from your own creative core; and to let you write that fictional person’s reality.

We will use the free fall writing method for releasing subconscious thought and we will also draw on the Stanislavski System, the theory that eventually led to method acting. You will enter your fictional person and become as one with her or him, without denying your own existence. In giving yourself to the process of merging with your fictional person, you will hear that person’s voice and that person will speak authentically and every part of that person’s self will come through in your writing.

The writing exercises themselves are practical. This course celebrates process, not product. It is about creativity, not technique. Imagination, invention and recollection will all have roles to play in this course. There will be no in-class critiquing.

Is There A Play Hiding In My Poem? (9 Seats Available)

Caroline Russell-King
Saturday
10-3:30pm
October 22, 2016
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $135

Shakespeare was a poet and a playwright. Playwrights used to be called poets! Use your poetry as a jumping off place to create monologues, scenes or even a one act play! Join Caroline Russell-King for a one day class on plotting and poetry. 

Point of View and Narration (6 Seats Available)

Olyn Ozbick
October 29, 2016
10-3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $135

 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.

Writing Ourselves Home in Nature (10 Seats Available)

Carolyn Pogue
October 29, 2016
10-3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $135
Our writing — and our lives — are enriched when we are connected with the natural world. It isn’t necessary to head to the south seas or even to the mountains to refresh our senses. Through gentle free-fall exercises, visual, tactile and memory prompts, we will spend a day immersed in creativity with an ear to Nature around and within us. Writing ourselves Home invites conversation about our intimate connection with Earth in any genre.
In addition to your notebook, please bring a favourite or interesting stone.

November Workshops

Excavating Your Creativity (8 Seats Available)

Maraya Loza Koxhan
November 5, 2016
10-3:30pm
Member Price: $80
Non-member Price: $140

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.

Writing to Reconcile (10 Seats Available)

Carolyn Pogue
Saturday
10am-3:30pm
November 5, 2016
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $135
During the six years of The Truth and Reconciliation hearings, Canadians learned new ways of viewing our history which includes missing stories from First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples. Some were shocked; some relieved. We have learned astonishing facts and seen amazing courage. We now have an opportunity for growth and healing.
This workshop allows participants to explore reconciliation on many levels through gentle free-fall exercises. Writing to Reconcile invites conversation and writing in any genre about reconciliation with ourselves as individuals and as citizens.
Teachers and parents will find this workshop particularly helpful as they begin to  educate youth about history absent from most school curricula.

 

Word Painting (8 Seats Available)

Robin van Eck
Saturday
10am-3:30pm
November 12, 2016
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $135

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

No experience necessary.

Urban Fantasy (10 Seats Available)

Axel Howerton
November 12, 2016
10-3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $135
Axel Howerton – editor, publisher, genre columnist and author of the  “modern gothic werewolf fable” Furr – explains the history, traditions, and definitions of the Urban Fantasy genre and teaches you how to steer your writing towards this extremely popular, and highly creative fiction style.

Mapping A Novel (2 Seats Available)

Anne Metikosh
November 19 & 20, 2016
10am-4:30pm
Member Price: $180
Non-member Price: $240

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 this intensive weekend workshop, you should have an integrated plan to follow as you write.      

This class involves brainstorming and discussion.  

Submissions & Markets (9 Seats Available)

Robin van Eck
November 26, 2016
10-3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $135

Researching markets can be daunting, keeping track of submissions, mind-boggling. In this one day workshop we will look at the various markets available to writers today: online, literary journals, anthologies. (Canadian and International Markets) Learn tips on how to submit, including crafting query letters, understanding submission guidelines, keeping track of submissions and how to handle rejection.

Please bring a laptop or tablet.

Youth Programs

RIOCKP Registration

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

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

Our three main groups include:

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

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

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

RIOCKP Member Only Programs

 

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

 

Fees:

 

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

 

Non-Member Rate includes youth membership.

 

Manuscript Review Service

Prose Submissions – less than 3500 words

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

Prose Submissions – 3501 – 10000 words

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

Prose Submissions – 10001 – 50000 words

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

Prose Submissions – 50001 – 80000 words

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

Poetry Submissions – Up to 10 pages (poems)

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

Poetry Submissions – 11-25 pages (poems)

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

Poetry Submissions – 26-50 pages (poems)

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

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

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