2017-2018 Courses & Workshops

New Address:

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

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

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

Download our 2018 Youth & Home School Brochure as a PDF.

Download our 2018 Winter Weekly Courses Brochure as a PDF.

Sign up today!

Spring 2018 Feature Workshop

Writing the Popular Fiction Novel (63 Seats Available)

Kelley Armstrong
Saturday
10am-4:30pm
April 7, 2018 (One Day Only)
Member Price: $160
Non-member Price: $200

Spring 2018 Feature Workshop

Photo Credit: Kathryn Hollinrake

Writing commercial—or “ popular”—fiction is not about writing to a market or writing hemmed in by genre rules. It’s about crafting the fantasy/mystery/SF/romance/horror story you want to tell, while understanding the market and reader expectations. This workshop will dispel some of the myths about writing commercial fiction and take a hard look at how to make your story stand out from the crowd. It will also touch on the business of commercial fiction writing.

 

Saturday, April 7, 2018

10am-4:30pm

cSpace King Edward, Studio Theatre

1721, 29th Ave SW (1st Floor)

Calgary, AB

Light lunch included.

 

Kelley Armstrong is the author of the Rockton series, Cainsville modern gothic series and the Age of Legends YA fantasy trilogy. Past works include Otherworld urban fantasy series, the Darkest Powers & Darkness Rising teen paranormal trilogies, the Nadia Stafford crime trilogy and the co-written Blackwell Pages middle-grade fantasy trilogy. Armstrong lives in southwestern Ontario with her family.

Cancellation and Refunds for this Workshop

Your registration can be cancelled and you will receive a refund minus a $30 admin fee or a full credit up to March 16, 2018. Sorry, no refunds or credits will be issued after this date.

Youth Courses & Workshops

Costuming Your Characters (12 Seats Available)

Anne Kirsten
Saturday
2pm-4:30pm
January 27, 2018
Member Price: $25
Non-member Price: $35

Nothing is more iconic than Luna Lovegood’s wacky outfits, Pippi Longstocking’s giant shoes, or Sherlock Holmes hat and cloak. Characters show who they are, where they live, and their views of the world with their clothing. Dressing your characters right for their personalities and environment, as well as having the correct descriptor words for not only the types of clothing but also the feel of the fabric is an important tool for any writer in any genre. In this workshop you will learn from Anne Kirsten, an experienced costume designer, how to create and describe a character’s own iconic costume.

This short workshop is suitable for all ages.

Pen & Panel Comic Creation Club

Sebastien Ringuette and Em Williamson
First and third Thursday
5 PM - 6:30 PM
(September - June)
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $95

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.

Media Club

Kim Firmston
First Monday of Every Month
5 PM - 6:30 PM
(September - May)
Member Price: $40
Non-member Price: $50

Want to play with both writing and technology? This new club will involve both. We’ll try movie making, pod casting, music video creation, stop motion animation, and much more. Short projects just for fun. Let’s see what we can make!

Novelmancers

Kim Firmston
Second Thursday of each month
5 PM - 6:30 PM
(September - June)
Member Price: $40
Non-member Price: $50

Join others hard core youth writers on the epic journey through large and lengthy project. Projects can include Novels, Graphic Novels, Long Non-Fiction projects, and Poetry Collections. Each meeting will include a discussion/education topic, and the ability to have your writing critiqued by the instructors and the group. Take part in NaNoWriMo. Join our write-ins and write a novel in a month! Prizes included!

Homework Help: Focus on Essays for Junior and Senior High Students – 10 Seats Available

Brett Morrison
Mondays
5 PM - 6:30 PM
February 5, 2018 (6 weeks)
Member Price: $135
Non-member Price: $170

Improve your essays through this six week, after-school class designed specifically for struggling junior and senior high students. Students enrolled in homeschool programs, or just those needing some extra homework help, are welcome to take this course.

Home School Writing

Understanding and Creating Comics for Elementary & Junior High – 8 Seats Available

Sebastien Ringuette
Wednesdays
10:30 AM - 12 PM
January 24, 2018 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $180
Non-member Price: $225

Do you love to draw? Do you love to write? Enter the world of comics and you won’t have to choose between the two! Comics, or ‘Sequential Art’, is the quintessential amalgamation of drawing and writing that doesn’t require you to be a master of either. Learn how to create your own comics from start to finish, including everything from character design to pacing, story structure to script-writing. Develop and discover your inner comedian, the artistic styles of a cartoonist, and how to love your own work. Learn how to self-publish your own work and how to bring them to the world. Cartooning is a world of trial and error, so expect to spent as much time writing and drawing as possible. (Occasionally, we pause to breathe.)

Semester: Winter
Level: Elementary and Junior High
Note: No class on March 14

Focus on Non-Fiction Writing for Junior & Senior High School Writers – 12 Seats Available

Kim Firmston
Wednesdays
1 PM - 2:30 PM
January 24, 2018 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $180
Non-member Price: $225

Learn the basics of academic essays, personal essays, and how to transfer your non-fiction writing to other formats such as advertising, travel writing, journalism, and personal response to text.

Semester: Winter
Level: Junior and Senior High School
Note: No class on March 14

Plays And Oral Storytelling for Grades 1-5 – 11 Seats Available

Kim Firmston
Mondays
10:30 AM - 12 PM
February 5 (6 weeks)
Member Price: $135
Non-member Price: $170

Tell a story, create a play, act it all out! In this fun, on-your-feet class, the story arc comes to life and characters leap off the page.

Semester: Winter
Level: Elementary Grades; Beginning Writers
Note: No class on February 19 for Family Day

Plays and Scripting for Grades 6-12 – 12 Seats Available

Kim Firmston
Mondays
1 PM - 2:30 PM
February 5, 2018 (6 weeks)
Member Price: $135
Non-member Price: $170

Tell a story, create a script, turn it into a play, and act it out! In this fun, on-your-feet class, students make their own characters, learn script format, dialogue, and how to turn their ideas into a solid production.

Semester: Winter
Level: Intermediate Writers
Note: No class on February 19 for Family Day

Writing for Beginner Elementary Writers – 12 Seats Available

Kim Firmston
Mondays
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
April 9, 2018 (6 weeks)
Member Price: $135
Non-member Price: $170

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

Semester: Spring
Level: Elementary Grades; Beginning Writers

Writing for Confident Elementary Writers – 12 Seats Available

Kim Firmston
Mondays
1 PM - 2:30 PM
April 9, 2018 (6 weeks)
Member Price: $135
Non-member Price: $170

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

Semester: Spring
Level: Elementary Grades; Confident Writers

Homework Help: Focus on Essays for Junior and Senior High Students – 10 Seats Available

Brett Morrison
Mondays
5 PM - 6:30 PM
February 5, 2018 (6 weeks)
Member Price: $135
Non-member Price: $170

Improve your essays through this six week, after-school class designed specifically for struggling junior and senior high students. Students enrolled in homeschool programs, or just those needing some extra homework help, are welcome to take this course.

Taking Your Comics to the Next Page for Grades 4 & Up – 12 Seats Available

Sebastien Ringuette
Wednesdays
10:30 AM - 12 PM
April 11, 2018 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $180
Non-member Price: $225

For students already in the thick of making their own comics and comfortable with the basics, but for whom the ideas of ‘polishing’, ‘distributing’, and ‘publishing’ remain cloudy and out of reach. In this class, young cartoonists will work directly with a veteran web cartoonist with 10 years’ experience. Students will bring their work to class with the intention of sharing, refining, receiving guidance, solidifying their presentation, and taking the first steps on the road to putting their work into the world. This is a program for budding cartoonists who know what they want to make, and want it to be the best it can be.

Semester: Spring
Level: Grades 4-12

Creative Writing and Poetry for Junior & Senior High School – 12 Seats Available

Kim Firmston
Wednesdays
1 PM - 2:30 PM
April 11, 2018 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $180
Non-member Price: $225

Get those creative juices flowing in this colourful class where we explore wonderful words used to create tantalizing text, suspenseful scripts, and perilous poetry. It’s a journey not to be missed!

Semester: Spring
Level: Junior and Senior High School

The Writers' Circle

The Writers’ Circle: Using Myth to Add Power to Your Writing

Jim Jackson
Sunday
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
January 7, 2017
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

You can add a timeless, can’t-put-it-down quality to your writing by incorporating structures from myths, legends and folktales from around the world

The Writers’ Circle: Bullpen Confessions

Axel Howerton
Sunday
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
January 14, 2018
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

An informal discussion session where we can delve into the things that terrify you about being a writer, the things that freeze you up with fear and trepidation, and then support each other with constructive brainstorming on how to get past those roadblocks and keep on trucking towards literary excellence.

Axel Howerton is the Mentor in the Loop for January.

The Writers’ Circle – The Oral Storytelling Tradition

Doreen Vanderstoop
Sunday
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
January 21, 2018
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

Storytelling–the performance of telling stories aloud–takes a talent and skill set all along. Many cultures have a strong tradition of oral storytelling which is connected to, but separate from, written literature. Come and discuss the oldest form of storytelling!

The Writers’ Circle – The Bildungsroman

Barb Howard
Sunday
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
January 28, 2018
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

The Bildungsroman is the “coming of age” story. A young–or not so young!–protagonist becomes an adult by facing their fears and finding inner strength. They may realize they have responsibilities to themselves and others, or face loss, or come to terms with a challenging world. Come to discuss famous and effective examples of the Bildungsroman.

The Writers’ Circle – Marketing

Lori Hahnel
Sunday
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
February 4, 2018
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

Finishing your story is only the first set. Marketing your story can mean submitting it to publishers or agents. But even after your writing is accepted for publication, you still need to get the published book in front of readers’ eyes. Discuss marketing techniques, leveraging networks, and promoting yourself as a writer.

The Writers’ Circle: The Role of Supporting Characters

Randy McCharles
Sunday
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
February 11, 2018
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

A discussion of the many roles of supporting characters from developing your protagonist and antagonist, moving plot, exploring theme, engaging readers, adding humour, and many more. With special attention to how to make those characters make the most of their appearances.

The Writers’ Circle: The Importance of the Antagonist

Susan Forest
Sunday
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
February 25, 2018
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

How do you craft an antagonist for your story? Should they be evil, or understandable? Can the antagonist be “the uncaring universe”, or does it need to be personal for your protagonist? Antagonists are important in driving the action of a story. Like the protagonist, s/he wants something desperately and will work mightily to get it. The antagonist is the major obstacle between the protagonist and his/her goal, and often the protagonist is drawn into the story because of a need to stop the antagonist. Sometimes writers’ muddy middles are the result of not knowing their antagonists’ desires well enough.

Susan Forest is the Mentor in the Loop for February.

The Writers’ Circle: Grant Writing for Writers

Kirk Miles
Sunday
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
March 4, 2018
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

Your professional development as a writer, often depends on finding time to write and often a writing grant can help. Building your career as a writer certainly helps if you have some grant writing skills. In this workshop you will learn the best ways to secure funding for your projects. The keys to finding grant funding opportunities and writing award-winning grant proposals are knowing where to find opportunities and understanding what funders want to read. This workshop will give you tips on how to write a grant more effectively and identify those looming opportunities!

This Writers’ Circle will be led by March Mentor in the Loop Kirk Miles.

The Writers’ Circle: Believable Writing and Creative Writing Research

Colin Martin
Sunday
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
March 18, 2018
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

As Margaret Atwood said in a Masterclass at UCalgary a couple of years ago, “if you’re writing something that takes place in the 1990s, it’s helpful to know the language of the time and when, for instance, when ‘biodegradable’ became a word.” Whether people are writing fiction, non-fiction, or poetry, they need to make the worlds seem credible, and that means doing some homework. In this Writers’ Circle, we can share the techniques and sources that we use to make our works work.

The Writers’ Circle – It’s All In The Details

Olyn Ozbick
Sunday
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
April 8, 2018
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

How much is too much, how little is too little, and what kinds of details make the difference? Do you prefer to use sensory elements, understatement, or does your prose run wild with a maximum of highly-charged descriptions? Join us to discuss the kinds of descriptions you like use to make your writing jump off the page, and learn about how other writers handle the details.

Poetry Cafe

Poetry Cafe – January 14

Laurie Fuhr
Sunday
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
January 14
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. Let’s have some fun and write together! 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.

Poetry Cafe – January 21

Laurie Fuhr
Sunday
12:30-2:30pm
January 21, 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. Let’s have some fun and write together! 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.

Poetry Cafe – January 28

Laurie Fuhr
Sunday
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
January 28, 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. Let’s have some fun and write together! 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.

Poetry Cafe – February 4

Laurie Fuhr
Sunday
12:30-2:30pm
February 4, 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. Let’s have some fun and write together! 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.

Poetry Cafe – February 11

Laurie Fuhr
Sunday
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
February 11, 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. Let’s have some fun and write together! 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.

Poetry Cafe – February 25

Laurie Fuhr
Sunday
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
February 25, 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. Let’s have some fun and write together! 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.

Poetry Cafe – March 4

Laurie Fuhr
Sunday
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
March 4, 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. Let’s have some fun and write together! 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.

Advanced Manuscript Workshop

Advanced Poetry Manuscript Workshop Application Fee

Vivian Hansen
Wednesdays
7 PM - 9 PM
April 4, 2018 (12 weeks)
Member Price: $100
Non-member Price: $160

About the Advanced Manuscript Workshop

Applications must be received by January 15, 2018

Do you have a significant group of poems but you’re uncertain how or whether to fit them together as a poetry manuscript? Are you struggling to maintain a consistent voice across your collection? Is there a voice that readers can’t quite hear? A theme that fails to pay off? The feeling that your book could just be better?

This 12-week advanced poetry manuscript class is designed for you. Whether you’re working on a chapbook, collection, or book-length poetry manuscript, eight students will be selected to participate in this half class/half mentorship program. Over 12 weeks the group will work on voice and tone, style, theme, character, and organization, through peer review, reading successful works of literature, group discussion, in-class exercises, and directed exercises between classes. Exercises will be general enough to focus on your own current work in progress.

Each participant will also receive two one-on-one manuscript consultations with the facilitator over the duration of this course.

Note: The fee is the APPLICATION FEE only. Chosen participants will be asked to pay the full price of the course; those not chosen will be issued a credit for the application fee which can be put toward another course or workshop.

Advanced Prose Manuscript Registration Fee

Naomi K. Lewis
Tuesdays
January 16, 2018 (20 weeks)
Member Price: $950
Non-member Price: $950

Only for accepted applicants.

Mentor in the Loop (January)

Drop In On Axel Howerton

Axel Howerton
Times vary
January 13, 16, 17
Member Price: Free
Non-member Price: $5

Drop in for an informal chat with our Mentor in the Loop, Axel Howerton.

Saturday January 13: 10 AM – 12 PM
Monday January 14: 1:30 PM – 4 PM
Tuesday January 16: 11 AM – 1 PM, 4 PM – 5 PM
Wednesday January 17: 11 AM – 1 PM, 4 PM – 5 PM

The Writers’ Circle: Bullpen Confessions

Axel Howerton
Sunday
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
January 14, 2018
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

An informal discussion session where we can delve into the things that terrify you about being a writer, the things that freeze you up with fear and trepidation, and then support each other with constructive brainstorming on how to get past those roadblocks and keep on trucking towards literary excellence.

Axel Howerton is the Mentor in the Loop for January.

Mentorship Conversations with Axel Howerton – 10 Seats Available

Axel Howerton
Times vary
January 13, 14, 15, and 17 (30 minutes)
Member Price: $25
Non-member Price: $35

Mentorships sessions are conversations–a chance for new and emerging writers to discuss their writing and ask questions of an established, experienced writer. Whether you are looking at how to get published, how to overcome writer’s block, or how to address lingering self-doubt, the mentor will encourage and support you in all your writing goals. Whatever you need, the Mentor has been there.

Blue Pencil Session with Axel Howerton – 11 Seats Available

Axel Howerton
Times vary
January 13, 14, 15, and 17
Member Price: $20
Non-member Price: $25

Meet with the Mentor in the Loop for a half-hour intensive Blue Pencil session. Submit a sample of your writing (no more than 6 pages, double-spaced) ahead of your session and the Mentor will go over it with you with an editor’s eyes.

From Over to O’er – 10 Seats Available

Axel Howerton
Tuesday
1 PM - 4 PM
January 16, 2018
Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $75

How to weave music, rhyme and poetic structure into your fiction, whether you’re writing werewolves, space opera, or Victorian whimsy.

Anthologize! – 9 Seats Available

Axel Howerton
Wednesday
7 PM - 9 PM
January 17, 2018
Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $75

How to plan, produce and execute an anthology of short stories – from idea to authors, through artwork and formats, all the way to sales and distribution, and all points in-between. From the publisher of Tall Tales of the Weird WestDeath By Drive-InIt’s a Weird Winter Wonderland, the upcoming The Dame Was Trouble, and the Arthur Ellis Award nominated AB Negative.

Mentor In the Loop (February)

Inciting Incident To Resolution as a Fractal in Your Story – 10 Seats Available

Susan Forest
Wednesday
3 PM - 5 PM
February 21, 2018
Member Price: $30
Non-member Price: $40

The five steps of a story’s tempo (inciting incident, complication, crisis, climax, resolution) is not simply a novel arc or a story arc. It is also an act arc, a chapter arc, a scene arc and a beat arc. Analyze the flow of your story in relation to this fractal structure.

Mini Writing Retreat

Susan Forest
Friday
6 PM - 9 PM
February 23, 2018
Member Price: Free
Non-member Price: $5

Looking for some time to work on a project of your own? Need the power of accountability to start your words flowing? Join February Mentor in the Loop Susan Forest for a mini writing retreat. Spend a few hours of dedicated effort and be amazed at what you produce–plus, you can bring a question or two and get a mentor’s assistance. Ready, set? Write!

Theme: The Underpinning of Your Story – 10 Seats Available

Susan Forest
Saturday
10 AM - 12 PM
February 24, 2018
Member Price: $30
Non-member Price: $40

Art, including literary art, is the practice of communication: the writer with something to say communicates his world view through the story’s theme. As The Da Vinci Code has shown us, stories with strong, exciting themes can capture the world’s imagination, even when the craft of the written work is less than perfect. Theme can be hardwired into a story’s architecture from inception, emerge on rewriting or be perceived only after a work’s completion when the reader’s pattern-making brain creates it. All stories have theme, intentional or not. The author in control of his craft is also in control of his theme.

Mentorship Conversation with Susan Forest – 11 Seats Available

Susan Forest
times vary
February 22, 23, 24, 25
Member Price: $25
Non-member Price: $35

Mentorships sessions are conversations–a chance for new and emerging writers to discuss their writing and ask questions of an established, experienced writer. Whether you are looking at how to get published, how to overcome writer’s block, or how to address lingering self-doubt, the mentor will encourage and support you in all your writing goals. Whatever you need, the Mentor has been there.

Blue Pencil Session with Susan Forest – 10 Seats Available

Susan Forest
Saturday & Sunday
times vary
February 24 & 25
Member Price: $20
Non-member Price: $25

Meet with the Mentor in the Loop for a half-hour intensive Blue Pencil session. Submit a sample of your writing (no more than 8 pages, double-spaced) ahead of your session and the Mentor will go over it with you with an editor’s eyes.

The Writers’ Circle: The Importance of the Antagonist

Susan Forest
Sunday
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
February 25, 2018
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

How do you craft an antagonist for your story? Should they be evil, or understandable? Can the antagonist be “the uncaring universe”, or does it need to be personal for your protagonist? Antagonists are important in driving the action of a story. Like the protagonist, s/he wants something desperately and will work mightily to get it. The antagonist is the major obstacle between the protagonist and his/her goal, and often the protagonist is drawn into the story because of a need to stop the antagonist. Sometimes writers’ muddy middles are the result of not knowing their antagonists’ desires well enough.

Susan Forest is the Mentor in the Loop for February.

Mentor in the Loop (March)

Making Poetry: Inspiration and Creating Material – 10 Seats Available

Kirk Miles
Wednesday
10 AM - 2:30 PM
February 28
Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $75

Are you a closet poet? Scribbled a few poems and now you want to try putting together a chapbook? Have you written a significant amount of poetry in the past and now you are blocked? This workshop provides you with a concrete methodology for creating text. Based on a proven methodology this lecture and writing exercise will help pave the way to create a body of poetic work. Don’t wait around for inspiration to fall off a shelf and hit you in the head. Learn how to take control of your imagination now.

Poetry and the Lyric: Putting Words to Music – 10 Seats Available

Kirk Miles
Thursday
1 PM - 3 PM
March 1, 2018
Member Price: $35
Non-member Price: $50

“Combining words and music makes us listen to each of them longer than we would by themselves.” David Byrne, of the Talking Heads

Working with musicians can be a very creative and artistically stimulating endeavour. The combination of poetry and music is not a new phenomenon but I believe it is becoming a more prevalent one. For example, both the Calgary International Spoken Word Festival and Calgary’s Wordfest have dedicated nights that showcase poetry with music. The first part of this workshop will deal with the theoretical concept behind combining music with your words and will give some examples.

In the next part of the workshop will discuss two different structures of text and sound, and explain how they differ. I will also include examples. Finally I will give a list of tips and etiquette for working with musicians. Throughout the workshop there will be hands-on exercises for the students so they have an opportunity to practice their skills.

Mentorship Conversation with Kirk Miles – 9 Seats Available

Kirk Miles
times vary
March 1 - March 4 (30 minutes)
Member Price: $25
Non-member Price: $35

Mentorships sessions are conversations–a chance for new and emerging writers to discuss their writing and ask questions of an established, experienced writer. Whether you are looking at how to get published, how to overcome writer’s block, or how to address lingering self-doubt, the mentor will encourage and support you in all your writing goals. Whatever you need, the Mentor has been there.

Blue Pencil Session with Kirk Miles – 13 Seats Available

Kirk Miles
times vary
March 1 - March 4 (30 minutes)
Member Price: $20
Non-member Price: $25

Meet with the Mentor in the Loop for a half-hour intensive Blue Pencil session. Submit a sample of your writing (no more than 8 pages, double-spaced) ahead of your session and the Mentor will go over it with you with an editor’s eyes.

The Writers’ Circle: Grant Writing for Writers

Kirk Miles
Sunday
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
March 4, 2018
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

Your professional development as a writer, often depends on finding time to write and often a writing grant can help. Building your career as a writer certainly helps if you have some grant writing skills. In this workshop you will learn the best ways to secure funding for your projects. The keys to finding grant funding opportunities and writing award-winning grant proposals are knowing where to find opportunities and understanding what funders want to read. This workshop will give you tips on how to write a grant more effectively and identify those looming opportunities!

This Writers’ Circle will be led by March Mentor in the Loop Kirk Miles.

Shorter Weekly Courses

How to Make a Stranger Cry on the C-Train (8 Seats Available)

Vickie Veldhoen
Mondays
7-10pm
March 26, 2018 (5 weeks)
Member Price: $125
Non-member Price: $160

A course on writing compelling personal essays.

Have you ever read an essay from a friend that was so heart-breakingly good that you
immediately wanted to kill them? If so, then you may be a writer. Learn how to deal with your green-eyed literary envy by examining the techniques that make the best personal essays extraordinary. From the snort-inducing hilarity of David Sedaris, to the gut-punching devastation of Cheryl Strayed, you’ll come away from this course with the knowledge of how to captivate an audience with your life story.

About the Instructor

Vickie is currently completing her MFA in Creative Writing at Goddard College. By day she tests for diseases in itty bitty babies, but by night she writes about oddities (both real and imagined). She has published embarrassing personal essays, old-fashioned sonnets, and dozens of snarky ghost-written blog posts.

8 Week Courses - Evening

Free Verse Revival – 3 Seats Available

Laurie Fuhr
Mondays
7PM - 9 PM
January 15, 2018 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $200
Non-member Price: $250

Calgary may be known for its experimental output, but free verse poetry still lives here! In this course for beginner and intermediate poets aged 17 to 71, we will live and breathe the spark of poetry. We will explore the continued (if masked) relevance of poetry, discuss a few of the most fun and interesting personality and style-driven poetry movements that have made history more colourful, and learn from one another, sharing our favourite poems and poets. We’ll use both individual and group generative activities to write poems weekly, in class and at home (or in your favourite cafe). We will be visited and read to by a couple of great local writers, and keeners will have the option of attending poetry readings or writing meetups outside of class, accompanied by or guided by the instructor. We’ll also explore publishing opportunities and create our own micropress chapbook. We will unabashedly love reading and writing poetry! Each week will feature a different poetic focus and at least one generative writing activity.

Week 1: Poetry for Everyman, Everywhere; Week 2: Romance and Romantics; Week 3: The Beats go on… and on… and on; Week 4: Leonard, Joni, Bob, and Neil: The Poetry of Song; Week 5: French Surrealism: An Exquisite Corpse; Week 6: Canadian Poetry: Wild Poets on the Loose!; Week 7: Local Poetry Overview with featured guests TBA; Week 8: Writing Practices and Publishing

Poetry readings during the course and chapbook launch after the course: TBD in class

Please note: Non-member rate includes a one-year membership.

Creative Writing Level I (Winter) – 3 Seats Available

Lori Hahnel
Wednesdays
7 PM - 9 PM
January 24, 2018 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $200
Non-member Price: $250

In this eight-week course, you will learn about the free fall method of writing and how it can be a useful tool for all writing. Learn how to create images a reader will remember. Then, using the short story as a model, you will be introduced to the basics of character, plot, dialogue and setting through discussion, free fall writing, practical writing exercises and mutual feedback. 

No experience necessary.

Writing Memoir – 9 Seats Available

Karen Lee
Mondays
7 PM - 9 PM
March 19, 2018 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $200
Non-member Price: $250

Are you interested in telling your life story, or exploring your family’s history through storytelling? Do you have a unique journey you’d like to write about, either for yourself or for an audience? Find a starting point to share your story. Learn how to choose relevant information about your life and episodes that will grab your reader’s attention. Develop skills that will help you tell the story of your lifetime.

The Artist’s Way – 9 Seats Available

Caroline Russell-King
Thursdays
7 PM - 9 PM
March 22, 2018 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $200
Non-member Price: $250

The Artist’s Way is the seminal book on the subject of creativity. An international bestseller, millions of readers have found it to be an invaluable guide to living the artist’s life. Still as vital today–or perhaps even more so–than it was when it was first published one decade ago. Playwright Caroline Russell-King will lead you through the 12 steps to creating provocative and inspiring work and personal artistic success whether you are a poet, playwright, prose writer or visual artist.

Creative Writing Level II (Winter) – 10 Seats Available

Lori Hahnel
Wednesdays
7 PM - 9 PM
March 28, 2018 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $200
Non-member Price: $250

In Creative Writing Level II, you will expand on what you already learned and go more in depth with the important story elements: character, plot, dialogue, world, flashbacks and more, through discussion, free fall writing, interactive exercises and mutual feedback. Learn about different genres such as literary vs. commercial fiction, creative non-fiction, writing for children and poetry to help focus your path.This class introduces writers to critiquing other’s work and receiving feedback in a practical and supportive atmosphere.

Recommended Prerequisite: Creative Writing Level I or equivalent

8 Week Courses - Daytime

Writing The Wilderness – 10 Seats Available

Vivian Hansen
Tuesdays
10 AM - 12:00 PM
January 16, 2018 (8 Weeks)
Member Price: $200
Non-member Price: $250

Explore your character against the backdrop of wilderness, how does s/he move and act against this great big setting. Is your character actually the wild setting, the tone, the balance in the plot? How does the wilderness speak to your character and enact dialogue? We will workshop and refine stories in this class, as well as poetry and creative nonfiction, with a goal to completing a finished wilderness story.

Creative Writing: Pen to Paper (Daytime) – 5 Seats Available

Maraya Loza Koxahn
Thursdays
10 AM - 12 PM
January 18, 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.

Writing Memoir When Your Story is Difficult (Winter) – 5 Seats Available

Karen Lee
Wednesdays
10-1pm
March 14, 2018 (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

10 Week Courses - Evening

Advanced Short Story – 9 Seats Available

Jani Krulc
Mondays
7 PM - 9 PM
January 8 (10 weeks)
Member Price: $250
Non-member Price: $310

Already have a few short stories under your belt? Familiar with the basic techniques and structure of the short story form? It’s time to take it to the next level. Bring a manuscript in progress or a complete draft to this thoughtful, critique-focused class. Learn how to apply the lessons from writing exercises to your own work. Incorporate feedback from your peers and the instructor to improve your next draft. Polish your short stories!

Writing Speculative Fiction – 10 Seats Available

Susan Forest
Wednesdays
7-9:30pm
January 10, 2018 (10 weeks)
Member Price: $250
Non-member Price: $310

Speculative fiction is a broad category that includes any element that is not currently part of our real world, including Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and their subgenres. Many writers of one form also write in one or more of the others, and all are growing in importance and popularity. This course will examine the elements that define these genres: which conventions are expected by readers of a genre, and which clichés to avoid. We will also examine writing techniques that underpin successful commercial fiction, what editors are looking for in terms of writing quality and professionalism, and what steps a starting author should take when approaching a magazine for publication. Come to this course prepared to workshop your own short stories or novel openings, to improve your craft with the goal of publication.p>

Introduction to Playwriting – 7 Seats Available

Caroline Russell-King
Thursdays
7 PM - 9:30 PM
January 11, 2018 (10 weeks)
Member Price: $250
Non-member Price: $310

Playwriting- with possible stage production!: This is a fantastic opportunity! Join professional playwright Caroline Russell-King in conjunction with Urban Stories Theatre as you learn how take your ideas and craft them for the stage. Discover how to adapt your other writing or just bring in your “idea file”and come learn the craft of playwriting. Find out industry tips, discover the secrets of the business and what it takes to get from page to stage! Professional actors will read excerpts of all the plays and one of the participants will receive a production by Urban Stories Theatre in Calgary! This class is for beginners and more experienced alike.

Introduction to Freelance Writing – 10 Seats Available

Olyn Ozbick
Thursdays
7-9:30pm
January 18, 2018 (10 weeks)
Member Price: $250
Non-member Price: $310

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

10 Week Courses - Daytime

Creative Non-Fiction – 9 Seats Available

Ellen Kelly
Wednesdays
10 AM - 12:30 PM
January 17, 2018 (10 Weeks)
Member Price: $250
Non-member Price: $310

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

12 Week Courses

Creative Writing Basics (Daytime) – 10 Seats Available

Maddie Wong
Tuesdays
10 AM - 12 PM
January 9 (12 weeks)
Member Price: $300
Non-member Price: $375

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

Creative Writing Basics (Evening) – 10 Seats Available

Olyn Ozbick
Tuesdays
7 PM - 9 PM
January 16, 2018 (12 weeks)
Member Price: $300
Non-member Price: $375

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

3-Month Novel Project (Waitlist)

Sarah L. Johnson
Tuesdays
7-9pm
March 6, 2018 (12 weeks)
Member Price: $300
Non-member Price: $375

SPRING 2018

Powering through to a complete first draft in 12 weeks.

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

Each class will look at a different element of writing with an eye toward finding inspiration in our obstacles. Through exercises, word count tracking (goal of approx. 6000 words per week), and sharing our shitty pages, we’ll cheer each other on and finish what we start.

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

Out On A Limb

Out on a Limb (Six Sessions for the Price of Five) – 10 Seats Available

Anne Metikosh
Saturdays
10 AM - 2 PM
varies (6 sessions)
Member Price: $250
Non-member Price: $375

“Go out on a limb–that’s where the fruit is.” –Will Rogers

Once each month, this half-day workshop will go in-depth and hands-on with a focus on a particular element of novel writing, including a critique of the project you’re working on. We’ll meet in the cSPACE Treehouse to discuss the topics below and, through example and exercise, see how they apply to the story you’re writing. Participants are asked to bring some relevant work to share with the group. Sign up for all six sessions for the price of five, or register individually for the workshops that are most relevant to you. You are welcome to linger and chat or work on your novel in the Salon after the workshop is done.

  • 1. January 20: Structure
  • 2. February 10: What’s it all about?
  • 3. March 10: Who’s on First?
  • 4. April 21: A Dark and Stormy Night
  • 5. May 5: Glued to the Page
  • 6. June 16: Second Guessing Yourself

Out on a Limb (Structure) – 7 Seats Available

Anne Metikosh
Saturday
10 AM - 2 PM
January 20, 2018
Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $75

A hero can’t be spineless; neither can a story. Why structure is important to a novel, with particular emphasis on the elements of goal and consequence. Participants are asked to bring some relevant work to share with the group. You are welcome to linger and chat or work on your novel in the Salon after the workshop is done.

Out on a Limb (What’s it all about?) – 8 Seats Available

Anne Metikosh
Saturday
10 AM - 2 PM
February 10, 2018
Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $75

A good story is more than a sequence of events; it has a point to make. Deciding what you’re really trying to say and how best to say it. Participants are asked to bring some relevant work to share with the group. You are welcome to linger and chat or work on your novel in the Salon after the workshop is done.

Out on a Limb (Who’s On First?) – 10 Seats Available

Anne Metikosh
Saturday
10 AM - 2 PM
March 10, 2018
Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $75

The characters in your story and the roles they fill. Who else is affected by what your protagonist is doing? Do they help or do they hinder? Participants are asked to bring some relevant work to share with the group. You are welcome to linger and chat or work on your novel in the Salon after the workshop is done.

Out on a Limb (A Dark and Stormy Night) – 10 Seats Available

Anne Metikosh
Saturday
10 AM - 2 PM
April 21, 2018
Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $75

How place, time and, yes, weather, affect story. A look at the basics of worldbuilding. Participants are asked to bring some relevant work to share with the group. You are welcome to linger and chat or work on your novel in the Salon after the workshop is done.

Out on a Limb (Glued to the Page) – 10 Seats Available

Anne Metikosh
Saturday
10 AM - 2 PM
May 5, 2018
Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $75

Once you’ve hooked a reader, how do you keep her reading? Applying subtle tension to character, dialogue and setting. Participants are asked to bring some relevant work to share with the group. Sign up for all six sessions for the price of five, or register individually for the workshops that are most relevant to you. You are welcome to linger and chat or work on your novel in the Salon after the workshop is done.

Out on a Limb (Second Guessing Yourself) – 10 Seats Available

Anne Metikosh
Saturday
10 AM - 2 PM
June 16, 2018
Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $75

Taking a red pencil to your own work and learning to say ‘enough is enough’. Participants are asked to bring some relevant work to share with the group. Sign up for all six sessions for the price of five, or register individually for the workshops that are most relevant to you. You are welcome to linger and chat or work on your novel in the Salon after the workshop is done.

January Workshops

Costuming Your Characters (12 Seats Available)

Anne Kirsten
Saturday
2pm-4:30pm
January 27, 2018
Member Price: $25
Non-member Price: $35

Nothing is more iconic than Luna Lovegood’s wacky outfits, Pippi Longstocking’s giant shoes, or Sherlock Holmes hat and cloak. Characters show who they are, where they live, and their views of the world with their clothing. Dressing your characters right for their personalities and environment, as well as having the correct descriptor words for not only the types of clothing but also the feel of the fabric is an important tool for any writer in any genre. In this workshop you will learn from Anne Kirsten, an experienced costume designer, how to create and describe a character’s own iconic costume.

This short workshop is suitable for all ages.

Organizing Your Writing Project With Scrivener – 5 Seats Available

Heather Osborne
Thursday
7 PM - 9:30 PM
January 11, 2018
Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $75

Scrivener is a software program designed to help writers of all genres organize big, sprawling projects. Do you keep your novel chapters in folders-within-folders-within-folders? Do you have a pile of drafts and you’re not certain which are the best or most recent? Do you have trouble getting started on writing because you’re not sure where all your notes and research have ended up? Scrivener might be helpful for you! Learn the basics of Scrivener, plus a few advanced tools that will help you get the most out of this software tool.

Bringing a laptop is highly recommended! During the workshop, you can experiment with a Scrivener free trial, or buy the software in advance.

Yoga & Writing – 10 Seats Available

Jani Krulc
January 13, 2018
10-2pm
Member Price: $60
Non-member Price: $85

Writing requires us to use our entire bodies and our full range of sensory experience. But as writers, we sometimes get stuck in our heads, forgetting that we’re not just floating brains! In this gentle practice, we will awaken the body through focused breathing and mindful movement. Access your senses, memory, and emotions – all the stuff that makes your writing richer –  in a safe and supportive space. No yoga experience necessary.

Whose Plot is it Anyway? – 10 Seats Available

Randy McCharles
Saturday
10 AM - 3:30 PM
January 20, 2018
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Most novels and short fiction begin with an idea. The delivery of that idea is what makes each story unique. Delivery includes voice, character, and other elements, but most of all plot. Whether you are an outliner or a pantser, this workshop will provide you with several tools to help make your fiction sing as well as enable greater productivity and reduce writers block. Preparation: Come to the workshop with one of your story ideas, preferably one that you’ve been thinking about for a while but haven’t begun writing. This workshop includes exercises that will help you prepare to write that story.

Developing Vibrant Characters – 9 Seats Available

Aaron Roe
Saturday
10 AM - 3:30 PM
January 20, 2018
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Populating your fiction with authentic, vivid characters is a certain way to captivate your readers from the first sentence to your last. Whether you’re writing a novel or short fiction, this workshop will help you to effectively introduce characters, build a believable protagonist, develop strong anti-heroes and compelling villains, juggle multiple points of view, craft authentic dialogue that propels the story forward, motivate your characters with powerful objectives and a believable conflict, and, finally, to show dynamic character development over the course of a story.

Out on a Limb (Structure) – 7 Seats Available

Anne Metikosh
Saturday
10 AM - 2 PM
January 20, 2018
Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $75

A hero can’t be spineless; neither can a story. Why structure is important to a novel, with particular emphasis on the elements of goal and consequence. Participants are asked to bring some relevant work to share with the group. You are welcome to linger and chat or work on your novel in the Salon after the workshop is done.

Writing With Emotion – 8 Seats Available

Karen Lee
Saturday
10 AM - 3:30 PM
January 27, 2018
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Emotions are one of the more difficult things to get right in our writing. Digging deep is necessary to get at the reality of emotion in your writing.  Make it real whether you are writing creative non-fiction or fiction by tapping into your own experience of grief, sorrow, or ecstatic happiness, Find ways to show, not tell, and have the reader really “get” what your characters are going through.

Writing Realistic Emergency Medical Services Scenes – 10 Seats Available

Dwayne Clayden
Saturday
10 AM - 3:30 PM
January 27, 2018
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

There are a lot of police procedurals on TV and in the movies. Unfortunately, much of the “procedure” they show is not accurate. As writers, those shows may be our only experience with the police, and so we write what we have seen. It’s entertaining and fast paced. Even when your brain says, “Hey wait a minute…” But when readers come to a point in the story that doesn’t make sense, they stop reading. They may decide that the writer doesn’t know what they are taking about, and put the book down. We don’t want that!

This seminar will show you what really happens as police officers prepare for an emergency response, what happens during the response, how they ensure they are safe, what they look for at crime scenes and when do they really use lights and sirens.

February Workshops

Fiction for Creative Non-Fiction Writers – 10 Seats Available

Robin van Eck
Saturday
10 AM - 3:30 PM
February 3, 2018
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Have you spent all your writing career writing creative nonfiction and have a hankering to try fiction? Maybe fiction feels daunting since you have to invent so much. In this one-day workshop you will expand on the tools you already use and learn to create fresh new (imaginary) characters with amazing stories to tell. Lots of writing. Lots of fun. Lots of fiction.

The Body Electric / The Body Eclectic – 10 Seats Available

Maraya Loza Koxhan
Saturday
10 AM - 3:30 PM
February 3, 2018
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Your body holds all your stories–locked in muscle memory. Sometimes a little supportive nudge is what you need to remember something old, discover something new. Is there a book in you? We will use music, movement, art and writing exercises to help access the subconscious, facilitating self-discovery and bringing forth creative self-expression. No previous art or writing experience is necessary.

Writing Realistic Police Scenes – 10 Seats Available

Dwayne Clayden
Saturday
10:30 AM - 3:30 PM
February 3, 2018
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Police procedurals on TV and in the movies are fast-paced and entertaining–but are they accurate? As writers, we may depend on those shows to help us write about police and crime in our own writing. But what happens if a reader stumbles over a fact or procedure? They ponder, and wonder why the writer didn’t research the details. We don’t want that!

This seminar will show you what really happens as police officers prepare for an emergency response, what happens during the response, how they ensure they are safe, what they look for at crime scenes and when do they really use lights and sirens.

Out on a Limb (What’s it all about?) – 8 Seats Available

Anne Metikosh
Saturday
10 AM - 2 PM
February 10, 2018
Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $75

A good story is more than a sequence of events; it has a point to make. Deciding what you’re really trying to say and how best to say it. Participants are asked to bring some relevant work to share with the group. You are welcome to linger and chat or work on your novel in the Salon after the workshop is done.

Writing Erotica – 9 Seats Available

Vivian Hansen
February 10, 2018
10-3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

This workshop will explore strategies for writing that intensive love scene, that sizzling mix that is just perfect for your story.  We will examine your characters to find out what they like, and what they fantasize about.  Come prepared with a character you’d like to explore, and/or flesh out a character in this fun workshop!

Vivian Hansen Website

Self-Promotion for Beginners – 10 Seats Available

Axel Howerton
Saturday
10 AM - 3:30 PM
February 10, 2018
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

How do you put yourself out there without making a nuisance of yourself? How do you manage the ins and outs of the social media age? How do you get noticed for the right things, while avoiding the pitfalls of a bad digital reputation?

Beyond The First Draft – 9 Seats Available

Rosemary Nixon
Saturday
10 AM - 3:30 PM
February 24, 2018
Member Price: $100
Non-member Price: $125

John Casey, in Beyond the First Draft, says, “But the real wonder of good fiction is that it not only appeals to the senses—it makes all of your shadow senses receive the world of the story.” At its very best, he says, writing “gives us a sixth sense, a sense of the invisible forces that make people more than the sum of their five senses.” A workshop for writers who have written several drafts, this is a time to edit for this kind of depth and resonance. Participants will bring their best 5 pages.

March Workshops

Your Life as Inspiration for Fiction – 10 Seats Available

Aaron Roe
Saturday
10 AM - 3:30 PM
March 3, 2018
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Learn how to take inspiration for short stories and novels from your own personal experience. We’ll explore how characterization, plotting, dialogue, and scene development can be incorporated with real-life events to spark creative short stories and ideas for a novel.

Manuscript Submission – 10 Seats Available

Susan Forest
Saturday & Sunday
10 AM - 3:30 PM
March 3 & 4
Member Price: $180
Non-member Price: $225

Typing “The End” is just the beginning of manuscript submission. Revision and editing, researching fiction markets, publishers and agents, creating your pitch and synopsis, and schmoozing, are just a few of the skills you need to develop in order to submit your manuscript. You’ll also need to consider what publishing route is best for your project (Big Pub, Small Press or Indie), contracts, and career planning. And that doesn’t include building your fan base, book blurbs, back cover copy, launches, awards, and financial management. This short, weekend intensive will touch on multiple areas briefly, raising questions for you to consider as you take your manuscript to the next level.

Backstory Secrets – 7 Seats Available

Susan Forest
March 10, 2018
10am-3:30 pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

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

Out on a Limb (Who’s On First?) – 10 Seats Available

Anne Metikosh
Saturday
10 AM - 2 PM
March 10, 2018
Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $75

The characters in your story and the roles they fill. Who else is affected by what your protagonist is doing? Do they help or do they hinder? Participants are asked to bring some relevant work to share with the group. You are welcome to linger and chat or work on your novel in the Salon after the workshop is done.

Under Cover – 10 Seats Available

Axel Howerton
Saturday
10 AM - 3:30 PM
March 10, 2018
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Learn how to create your own cover art, what sells, what doesn’t, which programs you can use to save a buck, how to format, and where to draw the lines to make your cover look professional on a dime budget.

Digital Fiction and Digital Poetry – 9 Seats Available

Heather Osborne
Saturday
10 AM - 3:30 PM
March 17, 2018
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Most of the things we write are published in print–as a chapbook, in an anthology, or as a book. But what about writing fiction that is intended to be read on a screen or on the Internet? By adding links, images, or even music, you can add layers of meaning and resonance to your writing. In this workshop, we’ll explore how to use a free program called Twine which can create digital fiction and poetry.

Note: A laptop is necessary for this workshop.

Mapping A Novel – 10 Seats Available

Anne Metikosh
Saturday & Sunday
10 AM - 4:30 PM
March 24 & 25
Member Price: $185
Non-member Price: $230

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.

April Workshops

Out on a Limb (A Dark and Stormy Night) – 10 Seats Available

Anne Metikosh
Saturday
10 AM - 2 PM
April 21, 2018
Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $75

How place, time and, yes, weather, affect story. A look at the basics of worldbuilding. Participants are asked to bring some relevant work to share with the group. You are welcome to linger and chat or work on your novel in the Salon after the workshop is done.

Know Your Ancestors – 10 Seats Available

Wilma Rubens
Saturday
10 AM - 3:30 PM
April 14, 2018
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Bring photos, letters, artefacts or stories to help you explore, reflect and write about your place in the history of your family. Imaginative exercises and meditations will enable you to glean the wisdom and legacy of your bloodline. Create stories to enrich future generations.

May Workshops

Out on a Limb (Glued to the Page) – 10 Seats Available

Anne Metikosh
Saturday
10 AM - 2 PM
May 5, 2018
Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $75

Once you’ve hooked a reader, how do you keep her reading? Applying subtle tension to character, dialogue and setting. Participants are asked to bring some relevant work to share with the group. Sign up for all six sessions for the price of five, or register individually for the workshops that are most relevant to you. You are welcome to linger and chat or work on your novel in the Salon after the workshop is done.

June Workshops

Out on a Limb (Second Guessing Yourself) – 10 Seats Available

Anne Metikosh
Saturday
10 AM - 2 PM
June 16, 2018
Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $75

Taking a red pencil to your own work and learning to say ‘enough is enough’. Participants are asked to bring some relevant work to share with the group. Sign up for all six sessions for the price of five, or register individually for the workshops that are most relevant to you. You are welcome to linger and chat or work on your novel in the Salon after the workshop is done.

Manuscript Review Service

Prose Submissions – less than 3500 words

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

Prose Submissions – 3501 – 10000 words

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

Prose Submissions – 10001 – 50000 words

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

Prose Submissions – 50001 – 80000 words

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

Prose Submissions – 80,001 – 100,000 words

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

Poetry Submissions – Up to 10 pages (poems)

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

Poetry Submissions – 11-25 pages (poems)

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

Poetry Submissions – 26-50 pages (poems)

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

Writer in Residence Workshops

Creative Collaboration for Introverts (10 Seats Available)

Sarah Johnson
Saturday
10-3:30pm
March 17, 2018
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

From multiple stories in a shared world to a single multi-authored story, how does collaboration work anyway? Find out in this fun hands-on workshop where we’ll throw off the shackles of solitude, put our heads together, and build a story from the ground up.

In the spirit of introverted collaboration, this workshop is structured to give students time to work alone undisturbed, and time to come together and form a hive mind. Each exercise will build on the last and in between we’ll exchange ideas, explore different directions, and formulate our collective vision for moving forward.

Block Busters (10 Seats Available)

Sarah Johnson
Saturday
10-3:30pm
April 14, 2018
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

The dreaded writer’s block. What is it? How does it happen? And most importantly how do we get past it? Be prepared to demolish some obstacles in a workshop that will provide you with the tools for tearing down and tunneling through. Hardhat and steel-toed boots optional.

This workshop is exercise heavy, but they’re not all writing exercises. We’ll write, but we’ll also read, converse, confess, play games, go outside, move our bodies, and meditate. Not every technique will work for every student, but the hope is that everyone will walk away with their own personal sledgehammer, ready to reduce that wall to rubble.

Light in the Darkness (10 Seats Available)

Sarah Johnson
Saturday
10-3:30pm
May 12, 2018
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Whether you’re writing truth or fiction, our work often ventures into dark corners of the heart. Childhood trauma, grief, disease, heartbreak, war, abuse etc. It’s not easy staying healthy and happy while in the trenches of those projects. In this workshop we’ll have discussion and exercises that tackle difficult subjects, interspersed with fun activities, music, and tasty nibbles. As creatives, it’s vital that we develop the ability to shut the door on our work when we need to. Life is beautiful and enjoying it builds an emotional resilience that makes us better writers.

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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