Spring 2015 Program Schedule:
Whether you’re a brand new writer or have been writing for years, we have courses and workshops to meet your needs. There are weekly courses for the writer who requires structure, support and that needed push, or one day and weekend workshops for those who are unable to commit to a longer course.
It’s easy. If you’re brand new to writing or been away for awhile, check out the offerings under Start Your Story. Then move on to your specific areas of interest. All weekly courses have a recommended prerequisite or recommended next course to make it easy for you to follow.
All one-day workshops and weekend intensives are open to all writers no matter level of experience.
Please note, unless otherwise specified, all non-member rates include a one-year membership to AWCS. If you’re a non-member registering for multiple courses, please select the Member Option on the registration page and purchase a membership along with your courses.
Do Fish Need Bicycles? (8 Seats Available)
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 now 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, humourous, and friendly as we write about who we are 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: there will be no class on July 18, 2015.
Ellen Kelly is a long-time member and instructor for AWCS. She has been short-listed more than once for the Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Prize. Check out her blog Random/Abstract
Writer in Residence Program
Request A Manuscript Consultation
Request your manuscript consultation today. Fast and easy. Simply fill in the form and someone will contact you to schedule your appointment.
Manuscript consultations are FREE for AWCS members. The non-member rate includes the membership.
Resuscitating the Writer Within (WAITLIST)
Do any of these excuses sound familiar: I don’t have time, I’ve got nothing important to say, I won’t ever be as good as [insert favourite author], I will fail. Most writers invent a lot of reasons to NOT write in order to avoid the uneasiness that comes with writing. This workshop will help you tackle this anxiety. Through guided meditations, writing exercises, discussion, and safe sharing, you will name and address the anxiety that arises when faced with the creative act and start moving forward in order to tap into and consistently fulfill your deep desire to write.
At the end of this full-day workshop, participants will:
- Discuss resistances and listen to those experienced by others
- Understand that anxiety often accompanies creativity
- Define fears common to many artists
- Practice quieting the mind and connecting with the urge to write
- Write from a place of calm excitement
- Reflect on the necessary commitment to facing anxiety in order to create
A Novel Approach
Chapter by Chapter
You’ve completed the first draft and you don’t have a clue where to start with the revision. Through writing exercises, group discussion and peer critique you will learn how to edit your draft while examining various fiction elements in detail as they pertain to revision. You will also learn where to find publishers, the different options available for publishing, how to write a query letter and create the submission package. Discuss common problems writers face, and get well on your way to having a marketable draft. Heavy emphasis on workshopping.
The class meets every two weeks from September to June.
Prerequisite: The End or equivalent. Participants must have a completed first draft. Synopsis and/or outline may be requested prior to registration confirmation.
- Payment options are available. Please contact the office for more information.
Next Recommended Course: The First Thirty Pages
Telling It Like It Was (8 Seats Available)
A workshop of special interest for those who’d like to try their hand at a memoir or family history. We’ll talk about the difference between memoir and biography, historical fiction and creative non-fiction, and discuss which genre might be best suited to the tale you want to tell. Putting the past on the page effectively entails more than a bald recitation of dates and events. Learn a few techniques to help you write yourself as a character, your world as a setting, and your life as a story, as you give voice to your inner historian.
Roadrunner, Roadrunner: Writing at a Thousand Clicks an Hour – Photography and Writing Creative Nonfiction (5 Seats Available)
Travel writing involves remembering moments and conversations as you move through an often unfamiliar place. How can one use photography, or the eye of a photographer, to generate text and story? What can photographs add to a narrative, and what are the dangers of using photographs to aid writing? How are photos different from other creative stimuli, such as a piece of cloth or a small trinket you bought on your travels? Does being a participant in the making of the artifact you use change its usefulness?
What can the eye of a photographer add to your view of the world in words? Join Peter Midgley as he walks us through his photographs of his African travels and shares his experiences of writing nonfiction with a photographer’s eye. Bring a camera, as some exercises will involve taking pictures. Maximum 20 participants.
The Writer’s Voice (Waitlist)
Have you ever wondered why we like particular writers? There’s something about the way they write that keeps us engaged for the duration. Could be turns of phrase, the pace at which a story moves along, quirks and ticks. In this workshop, we will do lots of fun writing exercises to help your own voice emerge onto the page. Learn the tune and rhythm of your voice and what makes it unique from everyone else’s and how to turn your raw voice into your story voice.
Spring into Summer: A Marathon of Words
Like a write in, but double the fun and double the words.
Finish up the spring and make a head start into summer.
This will be an event unlike the others. Write, write, write. Eat. Stretch your legs.
Get stuck? Join a free fall writing session throughout the day. Maybe a prompt is just what you need to push you past that obstacle and to the end of the story or generate some new ideas to be filed for later. So many possibilities.
In the evening, enjoy some wine and maybe some readings if participants feel up to it. Just a page or two.
No matter what you’re working on: poetry, fiction, memoir, short story, play, the day promises to push your limits. Come away bleary-eyed and productive. It’s just the push you need to keep you writing in the summer, or if not, have something waiting for you in the fall to work on.
Lunch and dinner provided.
Manuscript Review Service
Prose Submissions – less than 3500 words
Prose Submissions – 3501 – 10000 words
Prose Submissions – 10001 – 50000 words
Prose Submissions – 50001 – 80000 words
Prose Submissions – Over 80,000 words
Poetry Submissions – Up to 10 pages (poems)
Poetry Submissions – 11-25 pages (poems)
Poetry Submissions – 26-50 pages (poems)
Unless otherwise noted, all events are at the
Alexandra Writers’ Centre, 922 Ninth Avenue SE.