Now Closed to Applications until 2020.

Author Development Program

Story Maker + Story Coach = ???

At AWCS we want members to achieve all their writing goals and continue to build a community of writers that support and encourage each other.

Loosely modeled after the Humber School Creative Writing Program and a standard mentorship program with the flare of what AWCS stands for, the Author Development Program (ADP) is an opportunity for a Story Maker to work one-on-one with a Story Coach to bring their writing to the next level and that much closer to publication. Think of it as personal training. And Story Makers get to choose their Story Coach.

A Story Maker will work through all or part of their manuscript with attention given to craft such as the handling of plot, story, character, dialogue, pace, style and structure or may focus on the particular needs of the manuscript as determined by the Story Coach. The Story Coach will provide critique and meet with the Story Maker to discuss next steps, suggestions for improvement and the encouragement to keep going. Part of this program will include workshops and roundtable discussions with other participants within the program.

You will maintain regular communication with your coach and meet one-on-one in the AWCS Salon (or other venue) at various points during the program.

We will also provide private meeting/writing space for Story Makers to work together or independently, to form new connections and groups to further advance their professional development and networking opportunities.

This program is for intermediate to advanced level writers with a complete first draft of a full-length manuscript in any genre. Preference will be given to those with publication credits and/or a proven commitment to professional development (courses, workshops, writers in residence) and have experience giving and receiving feedback.

Program Expectations:

The Story Maker is expected to produce/re-write and submit 20-30 pages every two weeks to the Story Coach and be available to meet for a manuscript discussion. These meetings can be scheduled offsite or in the AWCS Salon.

The Story Coach will read and review submissions and provide feedback on manuscripts, identifying areas that need improvement and giving suggestions through discussion, writing exercises, reference materials etc.

Program Length:

October 2019-April 2020 (6 months) No obligations in December.

Key Dates:

  • October 2 – Kick Off & Meet and Greet (mandatory)– a special event for participants to meet their mentors and other participants and to discuss program expectations. (Story Maker and Story Coach)
  • November 20 – A special event for participants (optional) Topic TBD (Story Maker)
  • January 22 – Roundtable discussion for all participants (optional) (Story Maker)
  • March 18 – Story Clinic & Social (Story Maker)
  • April 29 – Celebration Finale (mandatory) (Story Maker and Story Coach)

Also included:

Each Story Maker will have the opportunity to attend TWO regularly scheduled AWCS one day workshops of their choosing during the program, FREE registration to the 20,000 Word Weekend in November and all the Writer’s Circles or Poetry Cafes you can handle.

Program Fee:

$100 non-refundable application fee (application fee will be deducted from program fee upon successful application.)

$2500/participant (subsidies and payment options available)

Fee includes: One year AWCS membership, one-on-one story coaching, private workshops, roundtables, TWO regularly scheduled workshops of your choosing throughout the program, 20,000 Word Weekend (November 2019), all the Writers Circles or Poetry Cafes you can handle.

View the 2019/20 Story Coaches


Story Makers are writers who can show a proven commitment to their craft through, publication credits, workshops and courses, writers in residence etc and have a minimum of a full-length first draft of a manuscript they wish to develop. Or maybe they are working on the third, fourth or fifth draft and have a gut feeling it still isn’t quite right. Story Makers want to further advance their professional development, but courses and workshops aren’t giving them what they need. If this sounds like you, this program may be the logical next step.

Application Guidelines

General Guidelines

  • You MUST have a complete first draft of your project.
  • You MUST live in or within reasonable driving distance to Calgary.
  • You MUST be able to meet the time commitment necessary for this program (20-25 hours per month) and be available for the mandatory kick off in October and finale in May.

Application Packages MUST include:

  1. A cover letter introducing yourself, your writing experience, goals for your work-in-progress, why you should be selected for this program and your top three choices for Story Coach.
  2. A writing CV outlining your publication credits and any workshops, courses, residencies, retreats that you’ve participated in.
  3. A 5-page writing sample – double-spaced – of a published piece of writing. (exceptions may be made)
  4. A 10-page writing sample – double-spaced – of the project you hope to develop during the program.
  5. A one-page synopsis of your project with title, genre and current word count.
  6. $100 non-refundable application fee.

The application package MUST be in one document in .doc .docx or .pdf formats and document title MUST be [FirstNameLastName_ADP_StoryMaker2018]

Application Deadline: Apply by July 15 to improve your chances of getting your first choice of Story Coach. Final deadline, August 15, 2019

Submit applications by email ONLY to

Still not sure if ADP is the right program for you? See what past participants have said.

ADP Testimonials