2018 Courses & Workshops

Please bear with us as we update our website!

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

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

 

Want to know more about our Instructors?

Questions? Please contact us by email or phone 403.264.4730

Reality is Optional Summer Fun Days

Fantasy Adventure Day

Kim Firmston
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
9-4pm
Member Price: $60
Non-member Price: $70

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

- Youth Programming: Writing Camp View Course Details & Register

Game Day!

Kim Firmston
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
9-4pm
Member Price: $60
Non-member Price: $70

Mash outdoor games together, make a sports cast, create a choose your own adventure story, and make a board game.

- Youth Programming: Writing Camp View Course Details & Register

Movie Day!

Kim Firmston
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
9-4pm
Member Price: $60
Non-member Price: $70

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

- Youth Programming: writing camp View Course Details & Register

Reality is Optional Summer Fun Days

Kim Firmston
Wednesday July 11, 25 & August 8, 2018
9-4pm
Member Price: $60
Non-member Price: $70

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

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

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

Game Day! – July 25, 2018 | 9-4pm

Mash outdoor games together, make a sports cast, create a choose your own adventure story, and make a board game.

Movie Day! – August 8, 2018 | 9-4pm

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

- Youth Programming: writing camp View Course Details & Register

Summer Writing for Kids

Fantasy Adventure Day

Kim Firmston
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
9-4pm
Member Price: $60
Non-member Price: $70

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

- Youth Programming: Writing Camp View Course Details & Register

Game Day!

Kim Firmston
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
9-4pm
Member Price: $60
Non-member Price: $70

Mash outdoor games together, make a sports cast, create a choose your own adventure story, and make a board game.

- Youth Programming: Writing Camp View Course Details & Register

Movie Day!

Kim Firmston
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
9-4pm
Member Price: $60
Non-member Price: $70

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

- Youth Programming: writing camp View Course Details & Register

Reality is Optional Summer Fun Days

Kim Firmston
Wednesday July 11, 25 & August 8, 2018
9-4pm
Member Price: $60
Non-member Price: $70

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

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

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

Game Day! – July 25, 2018 | 9-4pm

Mash outdoor games together, make a sports cast, create a choose your own adventure story, and make a board game.

Movie Day! – August 8, 2018 | 9-4pm

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

- Youth Programming: writing camp View Course Details & Register

Summer Writing Adventures – Aug. 20-24, 2018

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

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

 

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

Teen Writing Camp – August 20-24, 2018

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

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

 

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

Youth Courses & Workshops

Improve Your Writing for Youth

Varies
Varies
Varies
Varies (4 sessions)
Member Price: $120
Non-member Price: $150

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

This course is one on one. Fours sessions long, with each session lasting one hour, (you have the option to get more sessions if needed). Please contact us for details.

View Course Details & Register

Pen & Panel Comic Creation Club

Sebastien Ringuette
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.

View Course Details & Register

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!

View Course Details & Register

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!

View Course Details & Register

Home School Writing

Writing for Beginner Elementary Writers

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

View Course Details & Register

Writing for Confident Elementary Writers

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

View Course Details & Register

Taking Your Comics to the Next Page for Grades 4 & Up – 10 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

View Course Details & Register

Creative Writing and Poetry for Junior & Senior High School – 10 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

View Course Details & Register

2018 Writer in Residence

Literary Playground – Playdate #2

Sarah L. Johnson
Friday, May 11, 2018
7pm
Member Price: Free
Non-member Price: Free

Come together with other writers for an evening of fun writerly games, belly laughs and snacks.

FREE to the public.

- Event: Writer in Residence, Playdate, social View Course Details & Register

Writer in Residence Manuscript Consultation

Sarah L. Johnson
please book date and time through link on WIR page
(45-50 minutes.)
Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $50

AWCS members get ONE FREE manuscript consultation. Additional consultations are $50 per consultation.

Non-members are welcome to book a consultation. Each consultation is $50.

 

View Course Details & Register

Block Busters

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.

 

- Level: All levels - Course Type: Creativity - Genre: All genres - Event: Writer in Residence View Course Details & Register

Light in the Darkness

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.

- Level: All levels - Genre: All genres - Event: Writer in Residence View Course Details & Register

2018 WO Mitchell Writing Retreat

W.O. Mitchell Writers Retreat – June 8-11, 2018

Self-Directed
June 8-11, 2018
Check in: 2pm June 8
Check out: 11am June 11
Member Price: $450
Non-member Price: $510

Now Open for Registration

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 second annual writing retreat.

More details here.

Non-Member rate includes a one-year membership.

 

*Please note, if you’re unable to make it, and let us know by May 11, 2018, a refund minus a $30 admin fee will be given. Sorry, no refunds or credits will be issued after May 11, 2018.

View Course Details & Register

Members Only Offers

The Writer’s Circle – Annual Pass

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

More than 50% savings.

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

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

The Writer’s Circle – 10 Session Pass

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

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

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

Poetry Cafe – Annual Pass

Member Price: $200
Non-member Price: NA

More than 50% savings.

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

Members Only

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

Poetry Cafe – 10 Session Pass

Member Price: $80
Non-member Price: NA

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

Members Only

 

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

Special Events

The 20,000 Word Weekend

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

Kick off NaNoWriMo or continue with a work in progress

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

Nourishment provided throughout the weekend.

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

Midsummer Nights Writing – July 4

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

Midsummer Nights Writing – July 11

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

Fiction Writers Roundtable

Tuesday
7-9pm
April 17, 2018
Member Price: Free
Non-member Price: $5

Are you a fiction writer looking to connect with other fiction writers? Get advice, share ideas, brainstorm solutions, discuss the pros and cons, process, how to deal with rejection, etc. No topic is off limits. Writing may occur. Sharing encouraged but not mandatory.

Doesn’t matter if you’re a short story writer or a novelist. All genres welcome. Writers of all ages and experience levels welcome. This group can become whatever you want it to be.

Future meetings will be the third Tuesday of every month.

RSVP online or by email to info@alexandrawriters.org

 

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Fiction - Genre: All genres - Event: Roundtable View Course Details & Register

Memoir Writers Roundtable

Tuesday, April 17, 2018
10-12pm
Member Price: Free
Non-member Price: $5

Are you a memoir writer and looking for support from other memoir writers? Get support, advice, share hurdles and experiences.

This session discussion will focus more on truth as this seems to be a popular topic. How creative can you be before straying into the realm of fiction?

Coffee and tea provided.

Register online or RSVP to info@alexandrawriters.org

Drop ins welcome.

 

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Creative Nonfiction - Genre: Memoir - Event: Roundtable View Course Details & Register

Mentor in the Loop (June)

Blue Pencil Session/Mentorship Conversation

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

Book a blue pencil session with one of our mentors.

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

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

Please refer to the Mentor in the Loop page for current list of mentors and available times.

30 minute sessions.

  1. Register and pay for your consultation.
  2. We will contact you to confirm a date and time.
  3. Submit a max of 3000 words of prose (typed, double-spaced, 12pt font, pages numbered) or 5 poems (single-spaced, one poem per page) as a .doc, .docx or .pdf) to info@alexandrawriters.org
  4. Show up for your scheduled appointment.

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

We look forward to seeing you.

 

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

The Writers’ Circle: To Blog or Not?

Maraya Loza Koxahn
Sunday
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
June 17, 2018
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

You want a place to store your thoughts online; you want to try your hand at “publishing;” you have a lot to say and you want to share it; you’re an author and you heard you need a “platform.” Whatever your reason, you’re curious about blogging and wonder if it’s for you. Come and discuss the pros and cons with other writers and a mentor who started blogging ten years ago.

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

View Course Details & Register

The Second Draft

Maraya Loza Koxahn
Wednesday
7-10pm
June13, 2018
Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $75

You’ve finally spilled your entire first draft onto the page. Now it’s time to clean it up. We will review the essential elements of a story/novel. This will include structure, character development and dialogue. We will discuss proper manuscript format, common errors, better word choices, critiquing, and proper punctuation practices. Bring the first page of a book or story – double-spaced (no more than 250 words) OR one page of (mostly) dialogue.

View Course Details & Register

Vision Boards

Maraya Loza Koxahn
Saturday
10 AM - 1 PM
June 16, 2018
Member Price: $25
Non-member Price: $35

It’s halfway through the year and you haven’t made any strides toward this year’s goals. Maybe you need to create a vision board to anchor it in. Or, create a poster to provide you with prompts or focus for your writing. You’ll spontaneously create a collage with words and images that you intuitively choose. Or, maybe you already have images in mind and have some to bring. This will largely be a self-directed workshop with group instruction at the beginning, on-going guidance, and group closure. Materials provided.

View Course Details & Register

Write Nite with Maraya Loza Koxahn

Maraya Loza Koxahn
Friday
7 PM - 9 PM
June 15, 2018
Member Price: Free
Non-member Price: $5

Grab a glass of wine (or other beverage), a pen and paper and join us for Write Nite… Spend two hours with kindred spirits, a glass of wine, a pen and paper. If needed, there will be 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.

View Course Details & Register

Book a Blue Pencil Session

Blue Pencil Session/Mentorship Conversation

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

Book a blue pencil session with one of our mentors.

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

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

Please refer to the Mentor in the Loop page for current list of mentors and available times.

30 minute sessions.

  1. Register and pay for your consultation.
  2. We will contact you to confirm a date and time.
  3. Submit a max of 3000 words of prose (typed, double-spaced, 12pt font, pages numbered) or 5 poems (single-spaced, one poem per page) as a .doc, .docx or .pdf) to info@alexandrawriters.org
  4. Show up for your scheduled appointment.

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

We look forward to seeing you.

 

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

The Writers' Circle

The Writer’s Circle – Annual Pass

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

More than 50% savings.

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

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

The Writer’s Circle – 10 Session Pass

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

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

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

The Writers’ Circle: Writing at the Speed of Sound

Randy McCharles
Sunday, April 15 2018
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

Everyone has different methods and tricks for being productive. Some of us can write a solid page during a coffee break. Others require several uninterrupted hours to get anything done. Sometimes it’s plain old writers block getting the better of us. What strategies do you use to be productive? How do you turn writing time into quality time? Let’s discuss how to make the most of our writing efforts.

 

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

View Course Details & Register

The Writers’ Circle – Tea with your Inner Critic

Wilma Rubens
Sunday
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
April 22, 2018
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

Most writers are plagued by inner voices that stop us in our creative tracks. We will explore how to own them and let them go, by making them characters in a story or small vignettes. By making them ‘real’ we transform them into allies.

 

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

View Course Details & Register

The Writers’ Circle: Good Critique/Bad Critique

Carrie Mumford
Sunday
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
April 29, 2018
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

Feedback on our writing can be incredibly helpful, or incredibly hurtful. Come join this discussion about the characteristics of a good critique and learn what to listen to, and what to let go of.

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

View Course Details & Register

The Writers’ Circle: Let’s Talk Writing Your Movie

Phyllis Heltay
Sunday, May 6
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

In this Writers’ Circle, participants will discus the process of finding the story they want to write, and crafting the screenplay that completes their vision.

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

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

The Writers’ Circle: Moms Who Write (or Writers Who Are Moms)

Leanne Shirtliffe
Sunday, May 13
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

Celebrate Mother’s Day by taking a couple of hours away from your family to explore the intersection of motherhood and writing. How does motherhood affect creativity? How can we mine family life and use it to fuel our writing? How can we carve out time to write when we have one child tethered to our leg and have to drive another one to music lessons? Come and share your thoughts on writing through motherhood.

Leanne Shirtliffe is the author of several picture books and the humour memoir, Don’t Lick the Minivan. When she’s not trying to put words into some semblance of order, Leanne can be found teaching high school or hanging out with her family.

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

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

The Writers’ Circle: Crafting Your Elevator Pitch

Jim Jackson
Sunday, May 27
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

In a world where attention is the scarcest commodity, how do you make your work known and identifiable? In this Writers’ Circle, we’ll look at the idea of the elevator pitch, its structure and at what we can do to craft our own elevator pitches to use while pitching or submitting to agents, publishing companies or even just writing your back cover copy.

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

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

The Writers’ Circle: Ups and Downs of Historical Fiction

Sandra McIntyre
Saturday, June 3
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

For fiction writers, having the facts of history to work with can be both a blessing and a curse. History provides rich detail, inspiration, a jumping-off point for character, even plot points. But writers can also get mired in too much research and the facts can sometimes feel constrictive. How close to the facts should a writer of historical fiction stick? What about language–should we try for historical usage or stick with modern? Let’s discuss the common ups and downs of writing historical fiction, ask and answer questions and share resources as we navigate the fact in our fiction.

 

Sandra McIntyre is a writer and book editor. She is writing a novel set in an eighteenth-century print foundry in Birmingham, England.

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

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

The Writers’ Circle: Patience and Perserverance

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

Patience and perseverance can be the most valuable tools in your writer’s toolbox. But they can also be the hardest ones to keep sharp, and sometimes you just can’t find them. Come and share your thoughts on the role of patience and perseverance in the writer’s journey.

 

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

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

The Writers’ Circle: To Blog or Not?

Maraya Loza Koxahn
Sunday
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
June 17, 2018
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

You want a place to store your thoughts online; you want to try your hand at “publishing;” you have a lot to say and you want to share it; you’re an author and you heard you need a “platform.” Whatever your reason, you’re curious about blogging and wonder if it’s for you. Come and discuss the pros and cons with other writers and a mentor who started blogging ten years ago.

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

View Course Details & Register

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Writers’ Circle: YA and Middle-Grade Trends

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

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

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

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

Poetry Cafe

Poetry Cafe – Annual Pass

Member Price: $200
Non-member Price: NA

More than 50% savings.

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

Members Only

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

Poetry Cafe – 10 Session Pass

Member Price: $80
Non-member Price: NA

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

Members Only

 

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

Poetry Cafe – March 25

Laurie Fuhr
Sunday
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
March 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.

View Course Details & Register

Poetry Cafe – April 8

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

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

Poetry Cafe combines poetry prompts or exercises to generate poems with workshopping and discussion. It’s great for both emerging and established poets, and it’s open to poets of all ages. 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.

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

Poetry Cafe – April 15

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

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

Poetry Cafe combines poetry prompts or exercises to generate poems with workshopping and discussion. It’s great for both emerging and established poets, and it’s open to poets of all ages. 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.

View Course Details & Register

Poetry Cafe – April 22

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

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

Poetry Cafe combines poetry prompts or exercises to generate poems with workshopping and discussion. It’s great for both emerging and established poets, and it’s open to poets of all ages. 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.

View Course Details & Register

Poetry Cafe – April 29

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

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

Poetry Cafe combines poetry prompts or exercises to generate poems with workshopping and discussion. It’s great for both emerging and established poets, and it’s open to poets of all ages. 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.

View Course Details & Register

Poetry Cafe – May 6

Laurie Fuhr
Sunday
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
May 6, 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.

View Course Details & Register

Multi-Week Courses - Daytime

Creative Writing Basics (Daytime)

Madelaine Wong
Tuesdays
9 AM - 12 PM
April 24, 2018 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $240
Non-member Price: $300

Learn the basics of creative writing in 8 weeks. This course is designed for the beginner writer who knows they want to write or maybe haven’t taken a creative writing class in a long time. Learn the basics of writing: character, setting, plot, dialogue and so much more, to get you well on your way to writing great short stories, creative nonfiction or novel length manuscripts. You can expect lecture, discussion, in-class writing exercises, writing outside of class, and an introduction to giving and receiving feedback on your work.

View Course Details & Register

Own Your Own Story – Personal Writing

Ellen Kelly
Thursdays
10 AM - 12 PM
May 3, 2018 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $200
Non-member Price: $250


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 eight-week course gives participants the opportunity to find deeper meaning in their writing by experimenting with various personal essay types including descriptive, narrative, how to, comparison/contrast, argument/persuasion and more.  These are not formal essays – just a way to touch readers with your personal writing. Through discussion of characterization, scene, narration, theme and voice, discover the best way to tell your true stories.  Markets and publication will be discussed throughout. Specific interests of the class participants will be addressed and sharing is encouraged.

Ellen Kelly Blog

View Course Details & Register

Crafting Memorable Characters

Robin van Eck
Wednesdays
10AM - 1PM
May 30, 2018 (5 weeks)
Member Price: $180
Non-member Price: $225

Whether you’re writing short stories, a novel or creative nonfiction, at the heart of any good story are the characters in it. In this five week course you will discover how to build and bring to life complex, vivid and memorable characters. Through discussion and writing exercises (in class and at home) we will discuss the choices a writer makes to bring their characters to life and practice various techniques to create a variety of characters, learn how to use our own life experiences and the people we know to develop complex inner and outer lives for our characters and how this can lead to richer, more interesting stories.

No experience necessary.

View Course Details & Register

Creative Writing: Pen to Paper (Daytime)

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

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

No experience necessary.

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

Writing Your Family Narrative

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FALL 2018 Creative Writing Basics (Daytime)

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

Learn the basics of creative writing in 8 weeks. This course is designed for the beginner writer who knows they want to write or maybe haven’t taken a creative writing class in a long time. Learn the basics of writing: character, setting, plot, dialogue and so much more, to get you well on your way to writing great short stories, creative nonfiction or novel length manuscripts. You can expect lecture, discussion, in-class writing exercises, writing outside of class, and an introduction to giving and receiving feedback on your work.

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

Do Fish Need Bicycles?

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

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

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

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

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

Multi-Week Courses - Evening

The First Three Chapters

Robin van Eck
Mondays
7-9:30pm
April 30, 2018 (8 Weeks)
Member Price: $240
Non-member Price: $300

This 8-week course is designed to lay a solid foundation for your book-length manuscript. Instruction will focus on characterization, voice, plot, setting, conflict etc. as they specifically apply to those critical first three chapters. While this course includes no formal workshopping, students can expect to share their work as it relates to a variety of writing exercises. By the end of the course, students will have generated a strong and focused beginning to their manuscript and be well poised to continue on their own.

There will be no class on Victoria Day. (May 21, 2018)

View Course Details & Register

Creative Writing Basics (Evening)

Olyn Ozbick
Thursdays
6:30PM - 9:30PM
May 3, 2018 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $240
Non-member Price: $300

Learn the basics of creative writing in 8 weeks. This course is designed for the beginner writer who knows they want to write or maybe haven’t taken a creative writing class in a long time. Learn the basics of writing: character, setting, plot, dialogue and so much more, to get you well on your way to writing great short stories, creative nonfiction or novel length manuscripts. You can expect lecture, discussion, in-class writing exercises, writing outside of class, and an introduction to giving and receiving feedback on your work.

View Course Details & Register

Creative Writing: Pen to Paper (Evening)

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

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

No experience necessary.

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

FALL 2018 Creative Writing Basics (Evening)

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

Learn the basics of creative writing in 10 weeks. This course is designed for the beginner writer who knows they want to write or maybe haven’t taken a creative writing class in a long time. Learn the basics of writing: character, setting, plot, dialogue and so much more, to get you well on your way to writing great short stories, creative nonfiction or novel length manuscripts. You can expect lecture, discussion, in-class writing exercises, writing outside of class, and an introduction to giving and receiving feedback on your work.

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

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

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

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

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

No class on Thanksgiving Monday.

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

Form Poetry

Micheline Maylor
Tuesdays
7-9pm
October 9, 2018 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $200
Non-member Price: $250

In this eight week course, poets will be introduced to forms such as: Glossa, Japanese Tanka, Pantoum, Sestina, and others as a method of creative experimentation. Examples will be given and writing exercises will increase creativity. Increase your knowledge of the forms and bring your sense of humour.

- Level: All levels - Course Type: Poetry View Course Details & Register

Going Dark

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

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

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

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

April Workshops

Block Busters

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.

 

- Level: All levels - Course Type: Creativity - Genre: All genres - Event: Writer in Residence View Course Details & Register

Writing With Emotion

Karen Lee
Saturday
10 AM - 3:30 PM
April 21, 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.

- Level: All levels View Course Details & Register

Writing for the Middle Grades

Carolyn Pogue
Saturday
10 AM - 3:30 PM
April 28, 2018
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Are you up for the challenge? Writing for readers from aged 8 to 12 is a great experience. They live in a demanding world and writers have an opportunity to share that world in unique ways. We will explore some of the chapter books currently being enjoyed by this age group (bring one of your favourites), we will write, and we will offer encouragement and critique to others striving to get words into the hands and hearts of young readers. If you have a chapter book on the go, bring the first three pages to share.

- Level: All levels - Genre: Children, Middle Grade View Course Details & Register

May Workshops

Writing for Reconciliation

Carolyn Pogue
Saturday
10 AM - 3:30 PM
May 5, 2018
Member Price: 75
Non-member Price: 100

This is a unique opportunity to explore reconciliation on many levels through gentle free-fall exercises. Writers will be invited into conversation and exercises that help us look at what we learned as children and what we’re learning today about history. The Alberta school curriculum is changing to include the truth about Indigenous peoples. As adults, we too can see our history — and our future — through a new lens. Our pens will help us share our memories and shape our vision. Just in time for National Aboriginal Day, too!

- Level: All levels View Course Details & Register

Light in the Darkness

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.

- Level: All levels - Genre: All genres - Event: Writer in Residence View Course Details & Register

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.

View Course Details & Register

Less is More: A Love Haiku Workshop

Terry Ann Carter
Monday
10am-2:30pm
May 14, 2018
Member Price: $65
Non-member Price: $80
Learning from classical Japanese masters and contemporary poets, Terry Ann Carter will lead a writing workshop on love haiku. Beginning with the basic elements of North American English haiku, then moving to haiku with a theme of love, this workshop will appeal to beginners as well as more advanced poets. Techniques, style, and editing skills will be covered in the morning workshop.
After lunch, participants will make a “Book of Hearts” for favourite haiku.  There will be a collection of artist’s books for inspiration and demonstration.
Participants are required to bring a writing notebook or tablet for the morning session, and papers (maps, gift wrap, ephemera) for the afternoon session.
 A $5 additional supplies fee is included in the registration fee.
Terry Ann Carter is a poet and paper artist living in Victoria, British Columbia. As president of Haiku Canada, she has given haiku and small book making workshops in Canada, France, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Panama, and the U.S. She has published five collections of lyric poetry and five chapbooks of haiku. Her “Lighting the Global Lantern: A Teacher’s Guide to Japanese Literary Forms” (Wintergreen Studios Press, 2013) is found in Canadian and American classrooms. (www.terryanncarter.com)

 

View Course Details & Register

Critique This ~ A Workshop on How to Workshop

Ali Bryan & Robin van Eck
Saturday
10-4pm
May 26, 2018
Member Price: $80
Non-member Price: $100

Giving and receiving feedback is a daunting, yet necessary part of the writing process and an often-missed step in the path to publishing. Having your work externally critiqued can provide valuable insight on what is working in your manuscript and where opportunities for improvement exist. Similarly, critiquing the work of others can help you hone your editing skills and provide new tools and resources to apply to your own craft.

In this one-day intensive, we’ll learn how to provide respectable and constructive feedback, examine different critiquing methods, and practice our newly acquired skills. Further, we will discuss how to accept critique and how or if to apply it to your work.

Finally, learn about critique groups and critique partners: how to form them, how to use them to your advantage and the pros and cons of each. 

- Level: All levels - Course Type: fiction, creative nonfiction - Genre: all genres View Course Details & Register

Blogging as a Launchpad – 10 Seats Available

Dan St. Yves
Saturday
10 AM - 3:30 PM
May 26, 2018
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Writers and authors rely on a plethora of social media to draw in audiences more than ever, and a regularly updated blog can still make a huge difference in bringing all those varied platforms together. A creative blog can also open doors for your writing that you may have never considered. Learn about finding your niche, providing consistent content for your readers, and we’ll even try to make analytics sexy, given half a chance…

View Course Details & Register

June Workshops

Your Muse Is In: 10 Ways to Achieve Uber Creativity (10 Seats Available)

Sharon McLeay
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
10-2:30pm
June 12-14, 2018 (13.5 hours)
Member Price: $175
Non-member Price: $215

Calling all Humans with Goals, Dreamers, Creatives & Creative Wannabes. Do you recognize creativity as a central source of meaning in your life? Do you feel your Muse has become somewhat uninspiring, is taking too many coffee breaks and vacations or simply gone AWOL? If so it’s time to call in the creative big guns. The 9 Modern Day Muses (and a bodyguard) are trained to offer SWAT (special ways and tactics) service to innovative folks like you who are interested in maximizing your creativity. The Muses believe mortals who are meant to create but don’t become cranky and uninspired. Crankiness calls for a do-over to suppress any grumpiness, surliness, and most importantly, lost potential. Meet Your Muse invites you to experience the reverie and awe that comes from entering the realm of a mysterious new process designed to Amp up your star-studded 2018 creative life. A process featuring all forms of creativity limited only by your imagination and what you feel comfortable with (e.g. art, writing, puppeteering, humour, costuming, acting.)

WARNING: Participants may experience inordinately high levels of fun, permanent smiles, multiple roars of laughter and entertainment.

Fee includes: $25 supplies fee.

View Course Details & Register

The Second Draft

Maraya Loza Koxahn
Wednesday
7-10pm
June13, 2018
Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $75

You’ve finally spilled your entire first draft onto the page. Now it’s time to clean it up. We will review the essential elements of a story/novel. This will include structure, character development and dialogue. We will discuss proper manuscript format, common errors, better word choices, critiquing, and proper punctuation practices. Bring the first page of a book or story – double-spaced (no more than 250 words) OR one page of (mostly) dialogue.

View Course Details & Register

Vision Boards

Maraya Loza Koxahn
Saturday
10 AM - 1 PM
June 16, 2018
Member Price: $25
Non-member Price: $35

It’s halfway through the year and you haven’t made any strides toward this year’s goals. Maybe you need to create a vision board to anchor it in. Or, create a poster to provide you with prompts or focus for your writing. You’ll spontaneously create a collage with words and images that you intuitively choose. Or, maybe you already have images in mind and have some to bring. This will largely be a self-directed workshop with group instruction at the beginning, on-going guidance, and group closure. Materials provided.

View Course Details & Register

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.

View Course Details & Register

Enrich your Writing with Metaphor (10 Seats Available)

Josephine LoRe
Saturday
10am-3:30pm
June 16, 2018
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

We write and wish to be understood on a literal level, but resonating beneath the literal are layers and layers of abstract, corollary or symbolic undertones … How can we purposefully insert metaphor into our writing, be it in our poetry or our prose?

Here are the words of Pablo Neruda, in El Viento en La Isla (The Wind on the Island) –

The wind is a horse:

hear how he runs

through the sea, through the sky.

He wants to take me away; listen

how he travels the world

to take me far from here

And the opening lines to Jesse Ruddock’s 2017 novel Shot-Blue:

She hated the narrow dirt mile between their trailer and town. She wanted to erase it the same way she might spit and rub a number off the back of her hand.

Come with paper and pen, come ready to be challenged to expand your thinking and find evocative and innovative ways to express your ideas, thoughts and imagery. The power of metaphor, the power of the word.

View Course Details & Register

Vision, Voice & Story: Journaling to Memoir (10 Seats Available)

Sharon McLeay
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
10-2:30pm
June 19-21, 2018 (13.5 hours)
Member Price: $165
Non-member Price: $205

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 3-day 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 16 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.

Fee includes: $15 supplies fee

View Course Details & Register

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dealing with the Devil: How to Craft Unlikable Characters

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

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

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

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

Summer Courses

Picture Books in the 21st Century

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

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

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

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

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

Picture Books: Using Mentor Texts to Improve Your Craft

Leanne Shirtliffe
Monday, July 18, 2018
6:30PM - 8:30PM
Member Price: $30
Non-member Price: $40

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

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

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

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

Strategies for Revising Picture Books

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

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

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

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

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

Picture Books: Writing in Rhyme

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

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

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

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

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

Midsummer Nights Writing – July 4

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

Midsummer Nights Writing – July 11

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

Writing with Restrictions

Bradley Somer
Wednesday
6-10pm
July 18, 2018
Member Price: $50
Non-member Price: $65

An inspirational style and structure workshop for short and long form prose.

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

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

A Day of Free Fall

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

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

No experience necessary.

- Level: All levels View Course Details & Register

Writing for Film

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

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

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

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

Finding Your Muse

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

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

- Level: All levels View Course Details & Register

September Workshops

Grammar for Writers

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

October Workshops

Hunger and Thirst – Why Characters Need to Want

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

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

- Level: All levels View Course Details & Register

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

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

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

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

The Suspense is Killing Me

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

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

 

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

Subtext in Stories

Jani Krulc
Saturday
10am-3:30pm
October 27, 2018
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

As a writer, you’re always managing two stories: the one that appears quite literally on the page, and the one that is unspoken, implicit, and ephemeral. In this workshop, we will examine subtext in short stories, exploring techniques of withholding, pacing, and voice to craft layered and nuanced narratives.

- Level: All levels View Course Details & Register

November Workshops

The 20,000 Word Weekend

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

Kick off NaNoWriMo or continue with a work in progress

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

Nourishment provided throughout the weekend.

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

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

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

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

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

Write Nite

Write Nite with Maraya Loza Koxahn

Maraya Loza Koxahn
Friday
7 PM - 9 PM
June 15, 2018
Member Price: Free
Non-member Price: $5

Grab a glass of wine (or other beverage), a pen and paper and join us for Write Nite… Spend two hours with kindred spirits, a glass of wine, a pen and paper. If needed, there will be 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.

View Course Details & Register

Out On A Limb

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.

View Course Details & Register

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.

View Course Details & Register

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

View our Terms and Conditions