Spring 2017 Courses & Workshops

New Address:

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

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

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

Sign up today!

Poetry Cafe

Poetry Cafe – May 28

Laurie Fuhr
Sunday
12:30-2:30pm
May 28, 2017
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20
Imagine a place where poets gather regularly to read inspiring books, write new work, share poems, and encourage one another. Every Sunday, experience the camaraderie, imagination, and optimism of Surrealist Paris in 1919, Dorothy Parker’s Algonquin Round Table, or the Beat Poets’ Caffe Trieste right here in Calgary at the Alexandra Writers’ Centre! Grab a coffee or tea, some fresh baking, and get comfortable beginning with a half hour of dedicated reading time and a selection of great books to explore. Then, different poetry prompts are provided each week so you can write new work without the intrusion of your cell phone, your partner, your kids, or that unfortunate pile of laundry moaning in the corner. The last half-hour of our session is for sharing new poems with fellow poets. Anticipate occasional surprises and special guests too! Poetry Cafe is your oasis and your community, a place to ensure that no matter what life has in store, poetry is part of your life each and every week.   

Poetry Cafe – June 4

Laurie Fuhr
Sunday
12:30-2:30pm
June 4, 2017
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20
Imagine a place where poets gather regularly to read inspiring books, write new work, share poems, and encourage one another. Every Sunday, experience the camaraderie, imagination, and optimism of Surrealist Paris in 1919, Dorothy Parker’s Algonquin Round Table, or the Beat Poets’ Caffe Trieste right here in Calgary at the Alexandra Writers’ Centre! Grab a coffee or tea, some fresh baking, and get comfortable beginning with a half hour of dedicated reading time and a selection of great books to explore. Then, different poetry prompts are provided each week so you can write new work without the intrusion of your cell phone, your partner, your kids, or that unfortunate pile of laundry moaning in the corner. The last half-hour of our session is for sharing new poems with fellow poets. Anticipate occasional surprises and special guests too! Poetry Cafe is your oasis and your community, a place to ensure that no matter what life has in store, poetry is part of your life each and every week.   

Poetry Cafe – June 11

Laurie Fuhr
Sunday
June 11, 2017
12:30-2:30pm
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20
Imagine a place where poets gather regularly to read inspiring books, write new work, share poems, and encourage one another. Every Sunday, experience the camaraderie, imagination, and optimism of Surrealist Paris in 1919, Dorothy Parker’s Algonquin Round Table, or the Beat Poets’ Caffe Trieste right here in Calgary at the Alexandra Writers’ Centre! Grab a coffee or tea, some fresh baking, and get comfortable beginning with a half hour of dedicated reading time and a selection of great books to explore. Then, different poetry prompts are provided each week so you can write new work without the intrusion of your cell phone, your partner, your kids, or that unfortunate pile of laundry moaning in the corner. The last half-hour of our session is for sharing new poems with fellow poets. Anticipate occasional surprises and special guests too! Poetry Cafe is your oasis and your community, a place to ensure that no matter what life has in store, poetry is part of your life each and every week.   

Poetry Cafe – June 18

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

Home School Writing

Team Red (Grades 1-3)

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

AWCS HOME SCHOOL WRITING

Teaching writing through play in a no fail atmosphere.

For Beginning Writers

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

No class October 9, 2017

 

Team Orange (Grades 4-6)

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

AWCS HOME SCHOOL WRITING

Teaching writing through play in a no fail atmosphere.

For Confident Writers

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

No class October 9, 2017

Team Yellow (Junior High/High School)

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

AWCS HOME SCHOOL WRITING

Teaching writing through play in a no fail atmosphere.

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

Understanding & Creating Comics (Junior High/High School)

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

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

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

Writing Programs for Youth

Team Red (Grades 1-3)

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

AWCS HOME SCHOOL WRITING

Teaching writing through play in a no fail atmosphere.

For Beginning Writers

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

No class October 9, 2017

 

Team Orange (Grades 4-6)

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

AWCS HOME SCHOOL WRITING

Teaching writing through play in a no fail atmosphere.

For Confident Writers

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

No class October 9, 2017

Team Yellow (Junior High/High School)

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

AWCS HOME SCHOOL WRITING

Teaching writing through play in a no fail atmosphere.

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

Understanding & Creating Comics (Junior High/High School)

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

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

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

Reality is Optional (RIO) Kids’ Writing Club

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

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

Our four main groups include:

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

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

3. Rogue Poets Club

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

4. Novel Writing Club

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

RIO Member Only Programs

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

Fees:

  • AWCS Youth Membership (mandatory): $40
  • RIOCKP Membership: $100
  • Drop-in Fee (core groups only): $5

Non-member rate includes annual membership.

 

 

Writing Retreat June 9-11

W.O. Mitchell Writing Retreat – FULL WEEKEND REGISTRATION (1 SPOT AVAILABLE)

June 9-11, 2017
Member Price: $450
Non-member Price: $560

Unplug for a weekend of writing with fellow writers at the W.O. Mitchell Retreat Centre just 15 minutes north of Cochrane for the AWCS first writers’ retreat.

This will be a weekend full of workshops, events, discussions, free fall writing, individual writing time and the opportunity to re-connect with your creative self with other like-minded individuals, on the very property W.O. Mitchell used to write. Unwind at the end of the day around the covered fire pit with a glass of wine and lively discussion with friends.

There will be something for everyone: poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, yoga and guidance from our featured facilitators.

Naomi K. Lewis, Jenna Butler, Jani Krulc and Weyman Chan.

The weekend includes 2-nights accommodations, meals and all the workshops/events you can handle. Shared accommodations. Rooms include single beds with attached/shared washrooms. 2, 4 or 8 people per room. (the 8-person room is equipped with 4 bunkbeds.) Rooms will be assigned upon check in. Sorry, no private rooms.

If you’re into yoga, or want to try it for the first time, please bring a yoga mat.

Can’t come for the whole weekend? That’s okay. Register for Saturday only, meals and workshops included in the fee.

Driving directions and full workshop & event schedule will be sent out one week prior to retreat.

Dietary restrictions can be accommodated. Just let us know.

Facility is completely wheelchair accessible.

ONLY 20 FULL WEEKEND SPOTS AVAILABLE.

For more information about the facility please visit: www.womitchellretreat.com

Special thanks to the Amber Webb-Bowerman Memorial Foundation for their generous sponsorship. www.amberbowerman.ca

W.O. Mitchell Writing Retreat – SATURDAY ONLY

June 10, 2017
10am to 11pm
Member Price: $180
Non-member Price: $225

Can’t come for the whole weekend but would like to get away for a day?

Saturday registration includes lunch and dinner and all the workshops/events you can handle in a day. Come and write, take in some workshops, enjoy the company of friends and the fresh air.

Evening will end with an open mic and wine/cheese event.

 

Writing Out of Mind - Two Journaling Workshops to Offer You Alternative Ways to Get Writing

Writing Out of Mind – Bundle & Save

Sharon McLeay
May 23 - 26, 2017
See individual classes for times.
Member Price: $240
Non-member Price: $310

Two journaling workshops offering you alternative ways to get writing.

Select Writing Out of Mind to register for both Journaling for Writers and Vision, Voice & Story for a discounted rate on registration.

Includes materials fee for both classes.

Journaling for Writers: Sneaking in the Back Door to Creativity & Inspiration (5 Seats Available)

Sharon McLeay
May 23 & 24, 2017
10am - 1pm
(2 days)
Member Price: $110
Non-member Price: $135

Keeping a journal has changed dramatically, from a mere event recording device, to an amazing tool that can help inspire creative thought/expression. Discover the power of journaling for writers with this 6 hour course that leads you through the back door of journal writing to new forms of creativity and inspiration. You will enter your own writing laboratory where you will learn8 or 9 practical techniques you can use in as little as 15 minutes a day to experiment, invent, control, change, destroy, guide and construct writing projects and even shoot writer’s block without getting arrested.

$10 materials fee included in price.

Vision, Voice & Story: Journaling to Memoir (6 Seats Available)

Sharon McLeay
May 25 & 26, 2017
10am - 2pm
(2 days)
Member Price: $160
Non-member Price: $200

Memoir is more than just a collection of stories. It is an echoing of voices through time—of both writer and characters. The writer’s injection of values, beliefs and hopes into story, place and time. A unique way of revealing fact using fictional devices that leads to a special understanding between author and reader. Vision, Voice & Story is a hands-on 8-hour course that will lead you through the back door of journal writing to new ways of exploring and developing your memoir. You will learn up to 9 practical techniques you can use in a supplied “Memoir Journal” to help you better understand your memoir focus, establish authentic voices infused with your values and beliefs, generate stories and explore methods to turn anarchy into order. 

*$10 materials fee included in the price

 

Writer in Residence Workshops

WIR – Craft and Writing (2 Seats Available)

Micheline Maylor
Saturday, May 13, 2017
10-3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Heather Sellers states, reading and writing are acts of paying close attention. In a quartet of lectures, the works of noted Canadian authors will be discussed, both in terms of their critical essays on craft, their views on aesthetics, and their written works. These intensive studies can lead us to better our practices in our writing.  In this blend of discussion and practice, big ideas about writing will be illuminated. This course is best for authors with some experience. Author studies will include: Jeffrey Donaldson, Douglas Glover, Richard Harrison, Steven Heighton, Jan Zwicky.

The Writers' Circle

Write What You Know?

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

We are told in the early stages of writing to write what we know, but is this really the best way to approach our writing?

Truth in Fiction

Sarah Johnson
May 7, 2017
10:30-12:30pm
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

How true to life do you have to be when writing fiction? This question comes up a lot, more so in literary forms, but what obligation do writers have to the reader when writing something that takes place in the world as we know it? But it’s fiction. And if there’s too much of your own life in the story, where’s the line between creative nonfiction and memoir?

What’s Your Point of View?

Olyn Ozbick
Sunday
10:30-12:30pm
May 28, 2017
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

First person (central, peripheral), second person, third person (omniscient, limited omniscient, objective), multiple, plural, unreliable. Did you realize there were so many? Come prepared to learn and discuss. Lively conversation, coffee and good writerly fun.

The Writer’s Circle – Edgar Allan Poe

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

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

The Writer’s Circle – Vladimir Nabokov

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

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

The Writer’s Circle – Emily Bronte

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

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

The Writer’s Circle – Leonard Cohen

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

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

The Writer’s Circle – Jack Karouac

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

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

Write In

Summer Writemare ~ 24 Hours of Writing

Self-Directed
June 23-25, 2017
Friday & Saturday, 12pm - 12am | Sunday, 10am - 10pm
Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $75

How many words can you write in 24-hours? Do you know? Have you tried?

Welcome to our Summer Write Mare. Come on down, write with friends, write on your own, start a dance party. We don’t mind. The point is words. Lots of words. And we’re going to keep track.

Challenge yourself. Challenge your friends.

Stay all day, or for a few hours. Come and go as you please.

Nourishment provided throughout the 3 days. And coffee. Lots of coffee. Sunday ends with a special wine and cheese celebration to send you off into summer.

Are you ready? Can you handle it?

Sign up today! Limited seats available.

Write Nite

Write Nite – Maybe, Maybe Not

Maraya Loza Koxahn
May 26, 2017
7-9pm
Member Price: $15
Non-member Price: $30
Grab a glass of wine (or other beverage), a pen and paper and join us for Write Nite…

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

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

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

 

Write Nite – Irony: On the Edge of Summer

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

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

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

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

 

8 Week Courses - Evening

Purely Poetry (3 Seats Available)

Susan Plett
Mondays
7-9:30pm
April 24, 2017 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $200
Non-member Price: $250

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.

No class on May 8 & 22, 2017

S – Creative Writing: Pen to Paper (6 Seats Available)

Maraya Loza Koxahn
Mondays
7-9:30
May 8, 2017 (7 weeks)
Member Price: $180
Non-member Price: $225

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.

No class on May 22, 2017 for Victoria Day.

 

 

Creative Writing Level I (10 Seats Available)

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

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

No experience necessary.

Truth, Lies and Historical Fiction (10 Seats Available)

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

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

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

 

8 Week Courses - Daytime

The Artist’s Way (2 Seats Available)

Caroline Russell-King
Fridays
12pm-2pm
April 28, 2017 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $180
Non-member Price: $240

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

Creative Journaling (10 Seats Available)

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

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

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

Art supplies included.

To Prose or To Poem (10 Seats Available)

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

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

Raising the Dead (10 Seats Available)

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

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

Carolyn Pogue Website

10 Week Courses

Novel Ends (9 Seats Available)

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

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

You should have a significant portion of your novel completed.

12 Week Courses

3-Month Novel Project (2 Seats Available)

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

Powering through to a complete first draft in 12 weeks.

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

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

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

Introduction to Freelance Writing (9 Seats Available)

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

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

Creative Writing Basics (10 Seats Available)

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

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

April Workshops

Writing Basics: Scene Construction (7 Seats Available)

Susan Forest
April 29, 2017
10am-3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $95

 

Nancy Kress likely spoke for a lot of writers when she said, “When I started writing in scenes, I started selling.” Designed for writers early in their development, this one-day class will look at what is a scene, how scenes are structured (their function within a larger work and their internal structure), and what elements should be included. Students are asked to bring a scene they are working on, to develop further over the course of the session.

May Workshops

Journaling for Writers: Sneaking in the Back Door to Creativity & Inspiration (5 Seats Available)

Sharon McLeay
May 23 & 24, 2017
10am - 1pm
(2 days)
Member Price: $110
Non-member Price: $135

Keeping a journal has changed dramatically, from a mere event recording device, to an amazing tool that can help inspire creative thought/expression. Discover the power of journaling for writers with this 6 hour course that leads you through the back door of journal writing to new forms of creativity and inspiration. You will enter your own writing laboratory where you will learn8 or 9 practical techniques you can use in as little as 15 minutes a day to experiment, invent, control, change, destroy, guide and construct writing projects and even shoot writer’s block without getting arrested.

$10 materials fee included in price.

Vision, Voice & Story: Journaling to Memoir (6 Seats Available)

Sharon McLeay
May 25 & 26, 2017
10am - 2pm
(2 days)
Member Price: $160
Non-member Price: $200

Memoir is more than just a collection of stories. It is an echoing of voices through time—of both writer and characters. The writer’s injection of values, beliefs and hopes into story, place and time. A unique way of revealing fact using fictional devices that leads to a special understanding between author and reader. Vision, Voice & Story is a hands-on 8-hour course that will lead you through the back door of journal writing to new ways of exploring and developing your memoir. You will learn up to 9 practical techniques you can use in a supplied “Memoir Journal” to help you better understand your memoir focus, establish authentic voices infused with your values and beliefs, generate stories and explore methods to turn anarchy into order. 

*$10 materials fee included in the price

 

Finding Your Muse (9 Seats Available)

Ellen Kelly
May 6, 2017
10-4pm
Member Price: $80
Non-member Price: $100

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

 

How To Write A 10-Minute Play in Five Hours (7 Seats Available)

Caroline Russell-King
May 6, 2017
10am-3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $95

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

All ages. All skill levels.

 

Word Painting (8 Seats Available)

Robin van Eck
May 13, 2017
10am-3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $95

Bring images to life on the page through only the magic of your wordsSpend the day immersed 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.

Short-Short Boot Camp – Zero to 500 Words in One Day (9 Seats Available)

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

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

Backstory Secrets (9 Seats Available)

Susan Forest
May 27, 2017
10am-3:30 pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $95

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

June Workshops

The Art of Daring: The Pleasure of Risk in Our Writing (Waitlist)

Rosemary Nixon
June 2-4, 2017
Fri. 7-10pm | Sat. & Sun. 10am-4:30pm
Member Price: $300
Non-member Price: $375

“Safe stories are duds.” ~ Sean Haldane.

 

Art is breaking loose from the habitual and the stolid. In fact, artistic masterpieces come into the world partly through the artist’s love of taking a chance, having the nerve to risk failure. Ben Marcus, famous American writer, reminds us that stories keep mattering by reimagining their own methods, manners, techniques, ways of executing phrasing, rhythm, tonality, and pace–reminding us, Don’t get cozy in your genre. Push against it.

           

Join me for an exciting energizing weekend in which we take courage, plunge in, and discover how unique our writing can be!

(Pre-class homework will be sent out at least one week prior to class.)

To Write Monologues or Not to Write… (10 Seats Available)

Caroline Russell-King
June 3, 2017
10am-3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $95

Learn how to master the art of writing dramatic and comedic monologue. Whether your dream is to perform, do stand up, audition or round out your playwriting skills this class is for you. Find out how dramatic monologues and soliloquies differ from prose and story telling. Learn about the tricks and secrets of the trade. This class is also for those interested in writing one person shows.

Caroline Russell-King Website

Magazine Writing for Beginners (9 Seats Available)

Felicia Zuniga
June 10, 2017
10am-1pm
Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $65
This workshop will provide a kick-start to those looking to break into freelance writing for magazines. The course will review the fundamentals of a good magazine article, the many magazines that are looking for content in Alberta, what makes a good idea, how to pitch it to the editors, how to negotiate with editors, current fair pay per word, how to conduct interviews, write and structure your article and then promote it. Participants will have the opportunity to write a magazine pitch and have it evaluated by the instructor and writing peers.

Life Into Story – Transforming Experiences Into Fiction (9 Seats Available)

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

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

The Writer’s Voice (7 Seats Available)

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

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

September Workshops

Speedy Stories – How to Write Page Turners for Kids (9 Seats Available)

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

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

Summer Courses

Do Fish Need Bicycles? (10 Seats Available)

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

Do you have leftover issues from growing up in the sixties and seventies, do you feel that the eighties did little to progress women’s rights, or have you realized, as a young person, that regardless of how far we’ve come, equal rights, equal pay and equality under the law are really not how life roles? Are there attitudes, at home, in the workplace, and in public spaces that prevent you from being who you want to be? And do these attitudes mildly concern you or do they make you mad as hell? Come and spend six Saturday mornings writing about your experiences, frustrations, triumphs and hopes for the future as a woman of the 21st century. We will write for enjoyment, communication, therapy and maybe even publication as our rants, essays, letters and blogs evolve. Most of all though, we will keep it light-hearted, humorous, and friendly as we write about who we are and where we want to be.

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

Small Words With Muscle (10 Seats Available)

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

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

 

Images (10 Seats Available)

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

How To Genre: Urban Fantasy and Magical Realism (7 Seats Available)

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

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

How To Genre: Gothic Horror (9 Seats Available)

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

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

How To Genre: Noir & Hardboiled (10 Seats Available)

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

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

Where Stories Lie (10 Seats Available)

Robin van Eck
August 14-18, 2017
7-10pm
Member Price: $200
Non-member Price: $250

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

 

Laughs, Thrills, Cool Cats and Literary Badassery (10 Seats Available)

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

How To Genre: Sherlockian Shenanigans (10 Seats Available)

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

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

Yoga & Writing (10 Seats Available)

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

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

Poetry Submissions – Up to 10 pages (poems)

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

Poetry Submissions – 11-25 pages (poems)

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

Poetry Submissions – 26-50 pages (poems)

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

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

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