Tickets go on sale: November 1, 2019 at noon.


For Writers

Breaking the “Pre-”  off the “-Dictable”

A writing workshop exploring habit and strangeness, with the goal of seeing our work—and the world—with new eyes.

We humans need habit: habit helps us cook dinner, feel safe, and find light switches in the dark. But as an old proverb puts it, “habits are cobwebs at first, cables at last.” How often do we rely on the habitual in our writing? In this four-hour workshop, we’ll try to investigate the formulaic and the familiar—from cliches at the sentence level to cliches at the structural level—and understand how we might better recognize, utilize, and resist the habitual in our novels, stories, essays, and poems. Do we want our work to be soporific, or do we want our work to wake our readers up to the exquisite miracles of being alive? As Ralph Waldo Emerson reminds us, “People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.”

May 23, 2020 | 10am-3:30pm

Studio Theatre | 1st Floor, cSpace King Edward |

1721, 29th Ave SW, Calgary, AB

Lunch provided.

About Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He is the author of the story collections The Shell Collector and Memory Wall, the memoir Four Seasons in Rome, and the novels About Grace and All the Light We Cannot See, which was awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction

Doerr’s short stories and essays have won four O. Henry Prizes and been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, New American Stories, The Best American EssaysThe Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Fiction, and lots of other places. His work has been translated into over forty languages and won the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize, the Rome Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEA Fellowship, an Alex Award from the American Library Association, the National Magazine Award for Fiction, four Pushcart Prizes, two Pacific Northwest Book Awards, four Ohioana Book Awards, the 2010 Story Prize, which is considered the most prestigious prize in the U.S. for a collection of short stories, and the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, which is the largest prize in the world for a single short story. 

All the Light We Cannot See was a #1 New York Times bestseller, remained on the hardcover fiction bestseller list for 134 consecutive weeks, and is being adapted as a limited series by Netflix.


For Writers & Readers

In Conversation w/ Anthony Doerr

May 23, 2020 | 7pm

Central Library | Patricia Whelan Performance Hall | 800, 3rd St SE, Calgary, Alberta

Join us for a mesmerizing evening with Anthony Doerr as he spills the details on the writing life, why stories are so important to our cultural landscape and the wonder and awe in the world around us. There will be an opportunity to ask questions.

Book signing to follow! Bring your copy of, or purchase at the event, any book written by Anthony Doerr. 

***The AWCS is pleased to be partnering with the Writers Guild of Alberta on their 2020 annual conference which will be held in Calgary, May 22-24, 2020. Consider making a weekend out of it. Conference and Alberta Literary Awards tickets will be available through the WGA website soon.

Registration Fees

Cancellation/Refund Policy – if you need to cancel for any reason and let us know by:

January 31, 2020 – Full Refund – minus $30 admin fee

From February 1 – May 1, 2020 – 50% refund

After May 1, 2020 – Sorry, no refunds.

Tickets are transferable. Just let us know who will be coming in your place if you suddenly can’t make it.

  AWCS/WGA Members Non-Members  
Workshop $300 $325 REGISTER
In Conversation $75 $100 REGISTER
For WGA Annual Conference and Alberta Literary Awards please visit WGA website.