2020 Courses & Workshops 

To better serve our writing community during COVID-19, all of our upcoming spring programming is online using the Zoom web conferencing app. 

 

A huge thank you to The Calgary Foundation for supporting the Alexandra Writers Centre and our community of writers. Their assistance under the Pandemic Relief Fund means that we may continue to bring you all the great programming you’ve come to know and love, now from the comfort of your home.

For special events, drop in programs and more, please visit our EVENTS page.

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 micro workshops for those who are unable to commit to a longer course.

Simply click on the tabs below to see everything currently on offer. 

Most of our courses are geared towards beginner to intermediate writers. If a course is more advanced, or has specific requirements beyond a beginner level, it will say so in the listing.

Not sure how to gauge your experience level? Try this quick guide to help. If you’re still not sure, please feel free to contact us for advice. 

Want to know more about our Instructors?

Due to the change to online learning, youth are welcome to register for ANY of our adult courses, workshops, and drop-in programs.

Questions? Please contact us by email or phone 403.264.4730

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Become a Member Today

Membership

Member Price: $50-$70
Non-member Price: $50-$70

Become a member of AWCS today and enjoy great member benefits.

The Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society is an exceptional place to meet and connect with other writers. Membership is not required to participate in any of our programs, however as a member of the AWCS you will receive great benefits which include:

  • be part of a diverse group of writers that is continually growing
  • 25-30% discount on courses and workshops.
  • 30% discount on Manuscript Review Service
  • Free admission to our centre for drop in programs such as critique groups, readings, Free Fall Writing Sessions and other programming not requiring registration, social events or just come to write during open writing times.
  • Be the first to know about new and exciting programming including special presentations and feature workshops through our email newsletters.
  • one free manuscript consultation with our Writer in Residence (spring of every year)
  • Annual Member Guest Pass* (see details below)
  • Refer a Friend* (see details below)
  • After 5 consecutive years of membership, all members are eligible to apply for author support for book launches, self-publishing and more.*
  • Voting rights at AGM and Special Membership Meetings

YOUTH MEMBERSHIP – The AWCS encourages young writers to express themselves. If you’re under 18, your membership gets you similar benefits to a regular membership at a reduced price as well as some extra special stuff just for you. For more information on youth programs (clubs, camps, classes, and more) click here

View Course Details & Register

Drop-In Programs

Novelmancer Summer Write In

Kim Firmston
Thursdays
8:30-10:00 PM
July 2 - Aug 18 (8 weeks)
Member Price: Free
Non-member Price: Free

Calling all young writers, (ages 25 and below) come and join us for some summer writing fun. Gather on our Discord server and work on your novel, comic script, screenplay, animation, short story, poetry, or whatever. We will be meeting every Thursday night July-August to support each other, make up names for characters, cities, and more, and generally support each other while having fun.

- Youth Programming: Summer online View Course Details & Register

ONLINE Short Story Salon

Robin van Eck
Sundays
10-12pm
Member Price: $5
Non-member Price: $5

Due to the increased risk of COVID-19, Short Story Salon will be moving online indefinitely through the Zoom app. For a limited time we are reducing the price of these sessions. Please register online so that you are sent the login information.

Do you love to write short stories? Flash fiction, longer shorts? Maybe you’ve never tried writing a short story and want to start.

The Short Story Salon is a place for writers to come together, share ideas, write collaboratively or alone. We’ll write, share and discuss. Each week we will study a published short story and discuss what works and what doesn’t. We’ll look at different forms from flash fiction to the more traditional 3000-5000 word story, practice a variety of genres and hone your short story skills with a goal of submitting to literary journals.

Guest speakers may appear.

If you think a short story collection may be in your future, this will be a great way to generate content.

Drop ins are welcome but registration is recommended.

- Course Type: fiction - Genre: Short Fiction - Event: Sunday Programs View Course Details & Register

ONLINE Poetry Cafe

Laurie Fuhr
Sunday
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
varies
Member Price: $5
Non-member Price: $5

Due to the increased risk of COVID-19, Poetry Cafe will be moving online indefinitely through the Zoom app. For a limited time we are reducing the price of these sessions. Please register online so that you are sent the login information.

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. 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.

click link below to view upcoming dates

View Course Details & Register

R.I.W.O. – Reality Is Woefully Obligatory

Emily Firmston
Third Friday of the Month
7-8:30 PM
(Year Round)
Member Price: Free
Non-member Price: Free

When reality is no longer optional, come and join a group to find a way to move forward through your writing and creative projects with the help of your new writing community. For ages 16-25 to share community, creativity, interests, writing, and more.

Offical meeting once a month with daily chats on Discord.

Join today!

- Level: Ages 16-25 View Course Details & Register

Adult Multi-Week Courses (Daytime)

ONLINE Craft and Catharsis: The Art of Memoir

Naomi K. Lewis
Mondays
12:30-3pm MST
September 14, 2020 (8 Weeks)
Member Price: $300
Non-member Price: $400

Learn to mine your experience and hone your voice to craft compelling memoir out of the chaos of memory. In this course we will use techniques from fiction and journalism – scenes, dialogue, character development, and research — to shape a story based on real life, to create an entertaining and edifying work fit for an audience. Learn to move beyond the personal, cathartic writing that often forms the foundation for such a project, and to move beyond facts to find a different kind of truth.

This is an interactive online class using the Zoom web platform.

Naomi Lewis‘ memoir Tiny Lights for Travellers was a finalist for the 2019 Governor General’s Literary Award for Nonfiction. She is a Calgary based fiction and creative nonfiction writer, editor, ghostwriter and writing teacher.

NOTE: NO CLASS OCTOBER 12th

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

ONLINE Creative Writing Basics 1 (Daytime)

Olyn Ozbick
Tuesdays
2-4pm MST
September 15, 2020 (8 Weeks)
Member Price: $240
Non-member Price: $320

Start learning the foundation of creative writing. Creative Writing Basics 1 is designed for individuals new to the craft, or writers who may have taken a creative writing class in the past and are looking for a refresh. Topics will include: free writing, establishing a writing practice, story arc, character, setting, conflict, POV, dialogue, description and writing mechanics. Students can expect lecture, discussion, writing exercises, and writing outside of class. Sharing is encouraged but always optional. By the end of this class, students will have the basic tools to write compelling short stories or creative nonfiction.

This is an interactive online class using the Zoom web platform.

Olyn Ozbick is an internationally award-winning journalist and magazine editor, a finalist in the CBC Short Story Awards, and author of the popular picture book The Davy Rule. Her short stories have been published in anthologies and literary magazines in Canada, the US and the UK. She lives in Calgary with her frisbee-lovin’ border collie.

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

ONLINE Novel Intent

Ali Bryan
Wednesdays
10am-12:30pm MST
September 16, 2020 (8 Weeks)
Member Price: $300
Non-member Price: $400

Bring intention and focus into your novel from the very first draft. Using principles of psychology and the concept of character as plot, learn how to use all elements of craft to create a cohesive, compelling novel. This course is designed for the intermediate writer who wants to improve their process in novel writing to mitigate the structural flaws that come with a messy first draft. This class will be a combination of lecture, in-class discussion, exercises and critique.

This is an interactive workshop using the Zoom web conferencing platform.

Ali Bryan is an award-winning novelist and creative nonfiction writer based in Calgary, Canada. Her first novel Roost (Freehand, 2013) won the Alberta Literary Awards Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction and was the official selection of One Book Nova Scotia 2014. Her second novel, The Figgs, was released in May 2018 and was short-listed for the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour. She twice long-listed for the CBC Canada Writes Creative Non-Fiction prize for her essays “Asshole Homemaker” and “Mints After The Meal.” “Mints After The Meal” was also shortlisted for the Alberta Literary Awards Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Award in 2015. “Let’s Talk” was nominated for the same prize in 2016. She is a Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards 2018 Emerging Artist recipient. Her short story The Big Man in Cargo Shorts was short-listed for the 2020 Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Fiction. Her debut YA novel, The Hill, will be released in the fall of 2020 from Dottir Press. www.alibryan.com

- Level: Intermediate to advanced - Course Type: Fiction - Genre: All Genres - Event: Course View Course Details & Register

ONLINE Steal Like A Writer

Kim Firmston
Thursdays
2-4pm MST
September 17, 2020 (4 weeks)
Member Price: $120
Non-member Price: $160

Steal elements from comic creators, magical realism, fantasy, action adventure, anime, visual storytelling, movie making camera shots, and more —look at the writing world from the underside using a wide lens, and find your own unique writing voice.

This is an interactive online course using the Zoom web conferencing platform.

Kim Firmston likes to walk on the wild side to locate strange influences and ways of stretching writing. Kim is a published novelist, playwright, and dabbles in all kinds of other media, as well as heading the AWCS Youth Program and thus learning all the cutting edge of what media has on offer.

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

ONLINE Writing The Mystery You’d Like To Read

Gail Bowen
Fridays
10am-12pm MST
September 18, 2020 (8 Weeks)
Member Price: $250
Non-member Price: $325

Before they begin, all writers must discover the answers to two simple questions: “What do I hope to achieve with this piece of writing?” and “How can I best use the tools at hand to achieve my goal?” Explore the possibilities the elements of fiction – theme, characterization, narrative perspective, setting, plot, structure and style – offer you, as a mystery writer. This course will show you how to use these tools to write the mystery novel you have always dreamed of writing.

Recommended text: Sleuth: Gail Bowen on Writing Mysteries by Gail Bowen

This is an interactive online class using the Zoom web platform.

Gail Bowen is a prolific author, playwright and teacher. Her best known works are the Joanne Kilbourn series of mystery novels, all of which are set in Saskatchewan. These books have received national and international acclaim for their realistic, continually evolving heroine and examinations of contemporary social issues ranging from child prostitution to feminism, racism and domestic abuse. Six books in the series have been successfully adapted for an international television audience. Among her numerous writing awards are a lifetime achievement award from the Crime Writers of Canada and the Distinguished Canadian Award from the University of Regina and the Lifelong Learning Centre. Readers’ Digest has called her Canada’s best mystery novelist. She is also a playwright, specializing in children’s literature, and has adapted a number of classic works such as Peter Pan and Beauty and the Beast for the stage and radio. In 2018, she was awarded the Saskatchewan Order of Merit and the Grand Master Award of Crime Writers of Canada.

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

ONLINE Kid Stuff: How to Write for Young Readers

Marty Chan
Saturdays
2-3pm MST
September 19th, 2020 (8 Weeks)
Member Price: $150
Non-member Price: $195

Marty Chan breaks down the demographics of kids books from children’s picture books to young adult novels. He’ll talk about the writing requirements for each age group and share his insights on how to create engaging characters and dynamic stories that young readers will want to read.

This is an interactive online course using the Zoom web conferencing platform.

Marty Chan writes books for kids, plays for adults, and tweets for fun. He’s penned over 15 books for kids and over 30 plays for adults. His latest book, Haunted Hospital, is a Junior Library Guild winner. He works and lives in Edmonton with his wife Michelle and their cat Buddy. For more about Marty, visit martychan.com.

 

- Level: All Levels - Genre: Children's Books View Course Details & Register

ONLINE Creative Non-Fiction: True Stories Well Told

Laura Swart
Wednesdays
2-4pm MST
September 30, 2020 (6 Weeks)
Member Price: $180
Non-member Price: $240

Creative nonfiction has become the most popular genre in the literary community; large and small publishers alike are seeking CNF titles more vigorously than literary fiction and poetry. The genre includes travel writing, nature writing, science writing, sports writing, biography, autobiography, memoir, the interview, and personal essays. In this course, we’ll examine the Five R’s of creative non-fiction: Real life, Research, Write, Reflect, and Read. We’ll write a few first drafts, then choose one and improve upon it each week—and our readers will be as captivated by fact as they are by fiction.

This is an interactive online class using the Zoom web platform.

Laura Swart enjoys writing literary fiction, essays, drama, and poetry. She has taught writing classes to adult learners for over thirty years, encouraging students to find and raise their writing voices. Laura is director of I-AM ESL, a virtual language school that uses story and song to teach the intricacies of English to refugees. Her degrees and research in education, philosophy, and theology have shaped her thinking, her teaching, and her writing.

 

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Creative Non-Fiction - Event: Course View Course Details & Register

ONLINE Short Stories: Spin To Win!

Lee Kvern
Tuesdays
10:30am-12:30pm MST
October 13, 2020 (8 Weeks)
Member Price: $240
Non-member Price: $320

Want to add some zest to that petite narrative? Need a bit of verve and vigor for your wee chronicle? Maybe you’re hoping to enter the CBC Short Story Prize or another big contest for little tales? Add that twist, that turn, that Spin to Win to increase tension in your short stories. Eight glorious weeks of everything short, everything spin. Come to write, come to win.

This is an interactive online class using the Zoom web platform.

Lee Kvern specializes in literary short stories and novels. Her short stories in 7 Ways To Sunday have garnered the national CBC Literary Award, Western Magazine Award, Hazel Hilles Memorial Short Fiction Prize, and the Howard ‘O’ Hagan Award. Novels: Afterall selected for Canada Reads (Regional), and also nominated for Alberta Books Awards, The Matter of Sylvie nominated for Alberta Book Awards and the Ottawa Relit Award. Lush Triumphant finalist 2018.  Nominated for Best of the Net 2018. Her work has been produced for CBC Radio, published in numerous anthologies and literary magazines.

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

ONLINE Exercising Your Imaginative Muscle

Rosemary Nixon
Thursdays
1-3pm MST
October 15, 2020 (8 Weeks)
Member Price: $250
Non-member Price: $325

Looking for inspiration? Longing to nudge yourself out of your same-old writing style? Ready to meet—and really listen to–new characters whispering in your ear, dropping you tantalizing tidbits of their intriguing personalities, giving you hints of how to present them on the page? A creative 8-week course of work and play, immersing ourselves in my favourite creative exercises from one-pagers to paragraphs to single sentences and everything in between. They are fun, and wonderfully challenging. This 8-week class is guaranteed to springboard you to a higher level and leave you with pieces to send out to short fiction competitions or literary magazines or to immerse in your next novel or short story.

This is an interactive online class using the Zoom web platform.

Rosemary Nixon is a short story writer, novelist, editor at Freehand Books and winner of the Lois Hole Excellence in Editing Award, 2018. Her books have won/been shortlisted for various awards. Her latest, Are You Ready to be Lucky received nominations for two international prizes: The Frank O’Connor Short Story Collection Award, and The North American Forewards IndieFab Prize. Rosemary has taught at Sage Hill Writing Experience, The Banff Center, in the University of Saskatchewan’s grad program, and served as writer-in-residence at several universities and libraries across Canada. She teaches occasional summers on the Island of Samos, Greece.

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Fiction, Creative Nonfiction - Genre: All Genres - Event: Course View Course Details & Register

Adult Multi-Week Courses (Evening)

ONLINE From Rockets to Runes: Speculative Fiction

Susan Forest
Tuesdays
7-9pm MST
September 15, 2020 (8 Weeks)
Member Price: $240
Non-member Price: $320

Speculative fiction includes any element not currently part of our real world, including Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and their subgenres. All are growing in importance and popularity. This course will examine elements that define these genres, conventions expected by readers, and clichés to avoid. We will also examine writing techniques that underpin successful commercial fiction, what editors are looking for in writing quality and professionalism, and what steps to take when approaching a publisher. Come to this course prepared to workshop your own short stories or novel openings, to improve your craft with the goal of publication.

This is an interactive online course using the Zoom web conferencing platform.

Susan Forest writes science fiction, fantasy and horror, and is an award-winning fiction editor for Laksa Media. Her novel, Bursts of Fire, came out in 2019, to be followed by Flights of Marigolds (2020). She has published over 25 short stories, contributes to When Words Collide, and has appeared at many international writing conferences. speculative-fiction.ca.

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

ONLINE Raising The Dead: Harvesting Historical Fiction from Your Family Tree

Carolyn Pogue
Mondays
7-9pm MST
Sept. 21, 2020 (6 Weeks)
Member Price: $180
Non-member Price: $240

Join us for a unique adventure in history — yours. We will explore, dream, support, encourage, write and rewrite. Freefall exercises, homework, research and readings are all part of the mix. Over 6 weeks, we’ll look at what makes historical fiction believable, work on character development, structure, plot, symbols, setting, conflict.

This is an interactive online course using the Zoom web conferencing platform. 

Carolyn Pogue is the author of two books of historical fiction, Gwen and West Wind Calling, and several other titles. She is a longtime instructor at AWCS. She has recently made the leap to YouTube. Raising the dead is one Carolyn’s favourite endeavours.

NOTE: NO CLASS OCTOBER 12th

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

ONLINE Creative Writing Basics 1 (Evening)

Robin van Eck
Wednesdays
7-9pm MST
September 30, 2020 (8 Weeks)
Member Price: $240
Non-member Price: $320

Start learning the foundation of creative writing. Creative Writing Basics 1 is designed for individuals new to the craft, or writers who may have taken a creative writing class in the past and are looking for a refresh. Topics will include: free writing, establishing a writing practice, story arc, character, setting, conflict, POV, dialogue, description and writing mechanics. Students can expect lecture, discussion, writing exercises, and writing outside of class. Sharing is encouraged but always optional. By the end of this class, students will have the basic tools to write compelling short stories or creative nonfiction.

This is an interactive online class using the Zoom web platform.

Robin van Eck grew up in British Columbia and moved to Calgary in 2000. Fiction is her world. Her work has appeared in FreeFall Magazine, Freshwater Pearls Anthology (Recliner Books, 2011), Prairie Journal, Crack the Spine, Maudlin House, Alberta Views and most recently, Lamplight and the Waiting Anthology. Her first novel, Rough, will be released in November 2020 from Stonehouse Publishing.  For more information: www.robinzvaneck.com

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

ONLINE Opinion Series – Kill them with Facts: Writing the Hard-Core Editorial

Marzena Czarnecka
Thursday
7-9pm MST
October 1, 2020
Member Price: $30
Non-member Price: $40

In this foundational class for the Opinion Writing Series, you will learn the basic principles of editorial and opinion writing, argument-building structures, persuasion techniques, and methods for finding (and fighting with) facts. Targeted at both aspiring bloggers and the experienced writers who want to sharpen their argumentative skills.

This class is part of the Opinion Writing Series. Register for one or register for all six and receive 20% off. Use OPINIONS20 upon checkout.

This is an interactive online class using the Zoom web platform.

Marzena Czarnecka has written on business, law, energy, strategy, corporate responsibility, and social justice for virtually all of Canada’s leading magazines and newspapers, including The Globe and Mail and its Law Page, Report on Business, The National Post and The Financial Post, Canadian Business, Maclean’s, Profit, Ruth Kelly’s Alberta Venture and Alberta Oil, Enterprise, WestWorld, as well as ThomsonReuters’ specialty publications, and, locally, Redpoint Media’s Avenue. Her flagship opinion columns include “Last Word” (Lexpert, 2000-2012), “Legal Eagles” (Alberta Venture, 2011-2013), and “Strategy Session” (Alberta Venture, 2013-2015). Also a published poet and novelist, Marzena is currently teaching journalism at SAIT, and blogging the pandemic at NothingByTheBook.com.

She’s previously taught fiction writing at AWCS as her novelist self, M. Jane Colette. You can view her some of her non-fiction portfolio and opinion pieces at CalgaryBusinessWriter.com.

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Newswriting - Event: Course View Course Details & Register

ONLINE Famous Poets Presents: Spooky Poets

Laurie Anne Fuhr
Wednesdays
7-9pm MST
October 7, 2020 (3 Weeks)
Member Price: $90
Non-member Price: $120

October 7th – Gwendolyn MacEwen was a Canadian poet fascinated by magic, history, nature, and the occult. She dressed the part, with dark-rimmed eyes and gothic style sensibilities. Despite the challenges of being surrounded by patriarchal cronyism and big male egos, she began her career at age 17, published fourteen books of poetry and other works, won the Governor General’s award (twice), and is still widely regarded as one of the best poets Canada has produced. What do the glowing tomes of her short life tell us of her spiritual path in poetry and the mystic illuminations that flowed from her pen? Learn of her life, revel in her revelations, and channel Gwendolyn in your own poems in this focused class.

October 14th – Edgar Allan Poe, author of The Raven and other poems, of early American short stories, and inventor of horror, lived a life almost as macabre and mysterious as his work itself. Despite the deaths of loved ones, misfortune, and lack of fortune – or perhaps because of these – Poe left behind delightfully spine-tingling, spooky works of imagination that live on today. What is so enduring in his creations, and what inspiration can we gain from work published before his unsolved death at age 40? Join us for a Poe-try class unlike any other. Prompts that show us how to wield significant elements of his style are woven into his life story from beginning to end… as you are unwittingly sealed for eternity behind brick. Bwa ha ha ha! (Oops – was that out loud?).

October 21 – Many know and love the poetry of Sylvia Plath. The story of her life is inspiring, touching, and unnerving; her deep sensitivity informed the keen insights of her poetry, but included a depression she described as a ‘bell jar’ over her head that eventually swallowed her. In this class, we’ll learn of the life events that lead to her fame and contributed to her decline, and the volumes of her poetry published in life and death. We’ll sit beside Sylvia when she rents Yeats’ spooky old house in London as she cares for her young children, fights inner darkness, and writes some of her most important work. And we’ll study poems that reveal her literary genius and inspire our own deeply-felt writing, words that fight the gravitational pull of the swirling darkness within.

This is an interactive online class using the Zoom web platform.

Laurie Anne Fuhr is a writer and songwriter. Her poetry collection ‘night flying’ was published in 2018 by Frontenac House, and her work has been featured in numerous anthologies and publications. From 2008-2011 she was managing editor of filling Station Magazine. A member of the League of Canadian Poets and Poetry In Voice, she has been an instructor with AWCS for over five years, teaching classes such as Free Verse Revival, Womens’ Verse Revival, Espresso Poetry, Famous Poets, and her ongoing Sunday drop-in prompts session, Poetry Café. Poets’ Roundtable is a recent addition — sign up via the Events Calendar!

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

ONLINE Opinion Series – Passion on the Page: Writing the Personal Opinion Column

Marzena Czarnecka
Thursday
7-9pm MST
October 8, 2020
Member Price: $30
Non-member Price: $40

You’ve got experience, expertise, thoughts, opinions—so many opinions! Learn how to effectively write first-person opinion columns that change minds, hearts, policy, and the world. You’ll learn how to put your experience in the service of your target audience, and how to write lean, persuasive prose that makes readers think (and maybe vote?) the way you want them to. Great for bloggers, unrepentant Facebook rant posters, and writers wanting to break into magazine and newspaper opinion writing.

This class is part of the Opinion Writing Series. Register for one or register for all six and receive 20% off. Use OPINIONS20 upon checkout.

This is an interactive online class using the Zoom web platform.

Marzena Czarnecka has written on business, law, energy, strategy, corporate responsibility, and social justice for virtually all of Canada’s leading magazines and newspapers, including The Globe and Mail and its Law Page, Report on Business, The National Post and The Financial Post, Canadian Business, Maclean’s, Profit, Ruth Kelly’s Alberta Venture and Alberta Oil, Enterprise, WestWorld, as well as ThomsonReuters’ specialty publications, and, locally, Redpoint Media’s Avenue. Her flagship opinion columns include “Last Word” (Lexpert, 2000-2012), “Legal Eagles” (Alberta Venture, 2011-2013), and “Strategy Session” (Alberta Venture, 2013-2015). Also a published poet and novelist, Marzena is currently teaching journalism at SAIT, and blogging the pandemic at NothingByTheBook.com.

She’s previously taught fiction writing at AWCS as her novelist self, M. Jane Colette. You can view her some of her non-fiction portfolio and opinion pieces at CalgaryBusinessWriter.com.

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Newswriting - Event: Course View Course Details & Register

ONLINE Opinion Series – Those Who Can, Criticize: Writing the Entertainment Review

Marzena Czarnecka
Thursday
7-9pm MST
October 22, 2020
Member Price: $30
Non-member Price: $40

Film buff? Theatre lover? Concert addict? Want to take your documentation of that experience beyond “That movie sucked” to entertaining, informative—and publishable—critique? This workshop will teach you how to write film, theatre, concert, and album reviews that entertain, persuade, and, most importantly of all, build readers’ trust—and keep them coming for more.

This class is part of the Opinion Writing Series. Register for one or register for all six and receive 20% off. Use OPINIONS20 upon checkout.

This is an interactive online class using the Zoom web platform.

Marzena Czarnecka has written on business, law, energy, strategy, corporate responsibility, and social justice for virtually all of Canada’s leading magazines and newspapers, including The Globe and Mail and its Law Page, Report on Business, The National Post and The Financial Post, Canadian Business, Maclean’s, Profit, Ruth Kelly’s Alberta Venture and Alberta Oil, Enterprise, WestWorld, as well as ThomsonReuters’ specialty publications, and, locally, Redpoint Media’s Avenue. Her flagship opinion columns include “Last Word” (Lexpert, 2000-2012), “Legal Eagles” (Alberta Venture, 2011-2013), and “Strategy Session” (Alberta Venture, 2013-2015). Also a published poet and novelist, Marzena is currently teaching journalism at SAIT, and blogging the pandemic at NothingByTheBook.com.

She’s previously taught fiction writing at AWCS as her novelist self, M. Jane Colette. You can view her some of her non-fiction portfolio and opinion pieces at CalgaryBusinessWriter.com.

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Newswriting - Event: Course View Course Details & Register

ONLINE Opinion Series – A Feast of all the Senses: Writing the Restaurant Review

Marzena Czarnecka
Thursday
7-9pm MST
November 5, 2020
Member Price: $30
Non-member Price: $40

Admit it. There’s a restaurant critic inside you dying to get out. It’s not that you don’t enjoy the eating aspect of going to restaurants. But the talking about the experience—the delicious, the tepid, the terrifying (yes, there was a fly in the soup, and it was not intentional)—is usually even better than the experience. Awesome. Let’s learn how to turn that talking into writing, so that other foodies listen. Perfect for compulsive Yelp reviewers, aspiring bloggers, and foodies with a voracious appetite for words.

This class is part of the Opinion Writing Series. Register for one or register for all six and receive 20% off. Use OPINIONS20 upon checkout.

This is an interactive online class using the Zoom web platform.

Marzena Czarnecka has written on business, law, energy, strategy, corporate responsibility, and social justice for virtually all of Canada’s leading magazines and newspapers, including The Globe and Mail and its Law Page, Report on Business, The National Post and The Financial Post, Canadian Business, Maclean’s, Profit, Ruth Kelly’s Alberta Venture and Alberta Oil, Enterprise, WestWorld, as well as ThomsonReuters’ specialty publications, and, locally, Redpoint Media’s Avenue. Her flagship opinion columns include “Last Word” (Lexpert, 2000-2012), “Legal Eagles” (Alberta Venture, 2011-2013), and “Strategy Session” (Alberta Venture, 2013-2015). Also a published poet and novelist, Marzena is currently teaching journalism at SAIT, and blogging the pandemic at NothingByTheBook.com.

She’s previously taught fiction writing at AWCS as her novelist self, M. Jane Colette. You can view her some of her non-fiction portfolio and opinion pieces at CalgaryBusinessWriter.com.

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Newswriting - Event: Course View Course Details & Register

ONLINE Opinion Series – Who that? Writing the Business Profile

Marzena Czarnecka
Thursday
7-9pm MST
November 19, 2020
Member Price: $30
Non-member Price: $40

Want to make money freelance writing? Then you’ve got to master writing the business profile. Writers who can capture the soul of a business, industry, or entrepreneur in 750-1500 words are always in demand. Apply your love of storytelling and writing to this lucrative specialty, and learn how to make CEOs, manager-owners, and tax lawyers look like rock star and the rise and fall—and rise again!—of their businesses read like epic hero journeys. Great for freelance journalists and corporate communications writers alike.

This class is part of the Opinion Writing Series. Register for one or register for all six and receive 20% off. Use OPINIONS20 upon checkout.

This is an interactive online class using the Zoom web platform.

Marzena Czarnecka has written on business, law, energy, strategy, corporate responsibility, and social justice for virtually all of Canada’s leading magazines and newspapers, including The Globe and Mail and its Law Page, Report on Business, The National Post and The Financial Post, Canadian Business, Maclean’s, Profit, Ruth Kelly’s Alberta Venture and Alberta Oil, Enterprise, WestWorld, as well as ThomsonReuters’ specialty publications, and, locally, Redpoint Media’s Avenue. Her flagship opinion columns include “Last Word” (Lexpert, 2000-2012), “Legal Eagles” (Alberta Venture, 2011-2013), and “Strategy Session” (Alberta Venture, 2013-2015). Also a published poet and novelist, Marzena is currently teaching journalism at SAIT, and blogging the pandemic at NothingByTheBook.com.

She’s previously taught fiction writing at AWCS as her novelist self, M. Jane Colette. You can view her some of her non-fiction portfolio and opinion pieces at CalgaryBusinessWriter.com.

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Newswriting - Event: Course View Course Details & Register

ONLINE Opinion Series – WTF Happened and Why: Writing the Event Story

Marzena Czarnecka
Thursday
7-9pm MST
November 26, 2020
Member Price: $30
Non-member Price: $40

You came. You saw. You experienced. Now what? You’re going to write about it, of course, and hopefully sell it. Learn how to prep and pitch event stories to blogs and magazines, what to gather and focus on while you’re attending, and how to write them. Targeted at freelance writers, applicable to travel writers and corporate communicators.

This class is part of the Opinion Writing Series. Register for one or register for all six and receive 20% off. Use OPINIONS20 upon checkout.

This is an interactive online class using the Zoom web platform.

Marzena Czarnecka has written on business, law, energy, strategy, corporate responsibility, and social justice for virtually all of Canada’s leading magazines and newspapers, including The Globe and Mail and its Law Page, Report on Business, The National Post and The Financial Post, Canadian Business, Maclean’s, Profit, Ruth Kelly’s Alberta Venture and Alberta Oil, Enterprise, WestWorld, as well as ThomsonReuters’ specialty publications, and, locally, Redpoint Media’s Avenue. Her flagship opinion columns include “Last Word” (Lexpert, 2000-2012), “Legal Eagles” (Alberta Venture, 2011-2013), and “Strategy Session” (Alberta Venture, 2013-2015). Also a published poet and novelist, Marzena is currently teaching journalism at SAIT, and blogging the pandemic at NothingByTheBook.com.

She’s previously taught fiction writing at AWCS as her novelist self, M. Jane Colette. You can view her some of her non-fiction portfolio and opinion pieces at CalgaryBusinessWriter.com.

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Newswriting - Event: Course View Course Details & Register

Adult One-Day Workshops

ONLINE Novel Building

Laura Swart
Sunday
10am-3pm
August 9, 2020
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

If you are a beginner novelist who has completed part or all of a first draft, this workshop is for you. You’ll send two scenes (2-3 pages each, double-spaced) to classmates and the instructor before the class begins, and we’ll try to determine what the scenes need: stronger characters, perhaps? More details in the setting, a tighter plotline, a stronger opening? Maybe your sentences are weak, or you need a stronger voice. After completing this class, you’ll apply the lessons you learned to other scenes in your story and create a superlative first novel.

This is an interactive workshop using the Zoom web conferencing platform.

Laura Swart enjoys writing literary fiction, essays, drama, and poetry. She has taught writing classes to adult learners for over thirty years, encouraging students to find and raise their writing voices. Laura is director of I-AM ESL, a virtual language school that uses story and song to teach the intricacies of English to refugees. Her degrees and research in education, philosophy, and theology have shaped her thinking, her teaching, and her writing.

 

- Course Type: Fiction - Genre: All Genres View Course Details & Register

ONLINE Sentence by Sentence

Stephanie Wong Ken
Saturday
10am-2:30pm MST
October 3, 2020
Member Price: $60
Non-member Price: $80

In this one day workshop, we will explore how attention to rhythm, variation, syntax, and musicality can make your sentences more effective. Sentences can be a world onto themselves, creating character, voice, mood, and tone in a story. We will read and discuss the sentences of writers such as R.O. Kwon, Amy Hempel, Karen Green, Carmen Maria Machado, Renata Adler, Christine Schutt, and Mary Gaitskill, examining how they move readers in surprising ways, word by word, line by line. A workshop for writers obsessed with language, and its many powers, as well as those interested in getting more comfortable with the words on the page.

This is an interactive workshop using the Zoom web conferencing platform. 

Raised in Florida, Steph Wong Ken is currently based in Calgary. Her work has appeared in Ninth LetterJoylandPithead Chapel, Moss, and other publications, and she has an MFA in fiction from Portland State University.

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

ONLINE Places In The Heart

Judah Leblang
Saturday
10am-4pm MST
November 21, 2020
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

This hands-on, active workshop will focus on the role that setting — the places and eras that have shaped us — plays in our lives. As memoir-writers and storytellers, how can we capture the essence of places we have lived, so that a reader can experience the world we come from, whether that world was San Francisco in the 1960s, Toronto in the ’80s, or Calgary in the 2000s?

We will do several short writing exercises in class, and examine the work of writers who bring places alive, including Kim Barnes, Howard Axelrod, and others. Come prepared to write, to listen, and to share in a supportive atmosphere. You will leave the workshop with drafts of several short pieces in progress, along with an expanded toolbox to develop a sense of place and setting in your work.

This is an interactive workshop using the Zoom web conferencing platform. 

Judah Leblang is a Boston-based writer, teacher, and storyteller. He has performed his one-man show, “It’s Now or Never. My Life in the Late Middle Ages” at community centres and Fringe Festivals in the US and Canada, including Calgary (Best of Fringe, 2019). He is the author of two memoirs, Finding My Place (Lake Effect Press, 2012) and Echoes of Jerry (Red Giant Books, 2019). His essays and commentaries have been broadcast on public radio stations throughout the US, and on several Canadian stations. He teaches creative nonfiction at Grubstreet writing centre in Boston.    

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Fiction, Creative Nonfiction - Genre: All Genres - Event: Course View Course Details & Register

Fall Feature Workshop w/ Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr
Saturday
10-3:30pm
November 14, 2020 (One Day)
Member Price: $300
Non-member Price: $325

 

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.”

November 14, 2020| 10am-3:30pm

Officers Mess – Fort Calgary

750, 9th Ave SE, Calgary, AB

Lunch provided.

 

AWCS/WGA Members: $300

Non-Members: $325

 

 

- Level: All levels. - Event: Spring Feature Workshop View Course Details & Register

Adult Micro Workshops

ONLINE Closing Chapters. Ours.

Carolyn Pogue
Tuesday
10am-12pm MST
September 15. 2020
Member Price: $30
Non-member Price: $40

What are your fantasy end-of-life Closing Chapters, and…. what if you could write a vision of how to get there?

Who are the people who have left Closing Chapter foot prints for you to follow?

And, wait! There’s a Goddess of Old Age?! 

Join us on the adventure. Only the brave, or writers who want to be brave, should come.

Bring a sense of humour, too. We’ll write, tell stories and dream dreams.

And learn about the Goddess of Old Age, of course.

This is an interactive online course using the Zoom web conferencing platform. 

Carolyn Pogue is the author of two books of historical fiction, Gwen and West Wind Calling, and several other titles. She is a longtime instructor at AWCS. She has recently made the leap to YouTube. Raising the dead is one Carolyn’s favourite endeavours.

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Fiction, Creative Nonfiction - Genre: All Genres View Course Details & Register

ONLINE Have Tea with Your Inner Critic

Wilma Rubens
Thursday
7-9pm MST
September 24, 2020
Member Price: $30
Non-member Price: $40

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

This is an interactive workshop using the Zoom web conferencing platform. 

Wilma G. Rubens is a poet and creative nonfiction writer. She authored a poetry book Entangled Enchantments and has published articles in magazines in Australia and Canada. She has completed her memoir Circling The Edge. She is a creative facilitator. She teaches Conflict Resolution for the Workplace and Life Writing with the Calgary Board of Education, AWCS and Canmore Learning. She inspires people to write, to claim their unique life story and wisdom. She loves to work with diverse learners and intergenerational groups as they share their stories and insights.

- Level: All Levels - Genre: All Genres View Course Details & Register

ONLINE Poet’s Toolbox

Jade O'Riley
Thursday
7-9pm MST
October 8, 2020
Member Price: $30
Non-member Price: $40

Learn how to edit and polish poems using prosody: the science of sound. The better we hear the words we create the better we’re able to create alluring rhythm patterns that ease the ear and assists both comprehension and appreciation of the poem. Bring to class poems you’d like to improve and let’s polish them up with confidence!

This is an interactive workshop using the Zoom web conferencing platform. 

Jade O’Riley teaches many poetry forms and styles and developed an editing method entitled Poet’s Toolbox to help poets gain writing confidence. Since 2007 Jade has taught poetry in several venues including City of Edmonton, Poetry Festival and Stroll of Poets; she’s published fifteen poetry chapbooks featuring the poets from her classes. 

 

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

ONLINE Legacy Writing For Future Generations

Sharon McLeay
Thursday
9:30am-12pm MST
October 15, 2020
Member Price: $35
Non-member Price: $50

Have you always wanted to document your life stories for future generations, but have never gotten around to it, or known where to begin? Perhaps you have started but are stuck or overwhelmed. Maybe you want to pen your stories just for yourself, without any intention of sharing. If any of these scenarios ring true, this class is for you. Over 2.5 hours we’ll examine your past, discover stories and construct written vignettes or “captured moments” of your life. At the end of the class, you will have a collection of stories and the know-how to continue your legacy writing.

This is an interactive online class using the Zoom web platform.

Sharon McLeay MA is the author of three memoirs as well as newspaper and magazine articles and creative non-fiction that has been published in various anthologies. She has a master’s degree in life writing and has taught memoir and creativity at AWCS for several years. Her current efforts are focused on her own memoir, developing a series of memoir courses to be delivered in the USA and on a book to help memoir writers compose authentic life stories.

- Level: All Levels - Genre: Memoir, Legacy View Course Details & Register

ONLINE Breaking Into Traditional Publishing

P.J. Vernon
Thursday
7-9pm MST
October 15, 2020
Member Price: $30
Non-member Price: $40

Securing literary representation is a hell of a marathon. It’s rigorous, emotionally draining, and 99% interminable waiting. But here’s the good news: the only requirement is your own stubborn tenacity. Talent’s entirely learnable, and in this biz? You only fail if you quit. So if inking a traditional book deal is your writerly goal, join us for an unflinching deep dive into the process of becoming agented. Knowing when you’re “ready” to pitch, query letters, synopses, strategies — in this interactive webinar, we’ll tackle all your questions (so please bring them!) and separating realistic expectations from discouraging myths.

This is an interactive workshop using the Zoom web conferencing platform.

P.J. Vernon is “a name to watch in the thriller genre” (Booklist). Library Journal and Book Riot compare his critically-acclaimed Gothic debut When You Find Me to Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects. Vernon’s next thriller, Bath Haus, pitched as “Gone Girl with gays and Grindr” is forthcoming from Doubleday US (Penguin Random House, 2021). Vernon is represented by Aevitas Creative Management (literary) and United Talent Agency (film). He and his husband live in Canada.

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

ONLINE Learning from the Masters: Shakespeare

Laura Swart
Thursday
7-9pm
October 29, 2020
Member Price: $30
Non-member Price: $40

We learn by understanding essence, Hans Gadamer contends, so who better to teach us than the Bard himself? In this workshop, we’ll look at some of Shakespeare’s best-loved scenes and discuss how to strengthen our prose with dramatic techniques. We’ll examine character flaws, dialogue, nemeses, suspense, subplots, irony, imagery, pathos—and anything else that comes to the surface as we lean back and think on such stuff as dreams are made on.

This is an interactive online class using the Zoom web platform.

Laura Swart enjoys writing literary fiction, essays, drama, and poetry. She has taught writing classes to adult learners for over thirty years, encouraging students to find and raise their writing voices. Laura is director of I-AM ESL, a virtual language school that uses story and song to teach the intricacies of English to refugees. Her degrees and research in education, philosophy, and theology have shaped her thinking, her teaching, and her writing.

 

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

ONLINE Storytelling Through Tarot

Meghan Victoria
Friday
2-5pm MST
October 30, 2020
Member Price: $45
Non-member Price: $60

The art of tarot is as ancient and mystical as is the art of storytelling itself. In this class, students will use tarot to generate ideas, develop character and plot, and tap into their own intuition to expand their writing and build on their current process. No prior knowledge of tarot is required and students are not required to have their own tarot deck.

This is an interactive workshop using the Zoom web conferencing platform.

Meghan Victoria writes in a variety of genres and her short fiction has been published by the Antigonish Review, Coffin Hop Press, and Morning Rain Publishing. Meghan has spent two years as part of the Banff Centre Residency Program and is finalizing edits for her first novel.

- Level: All Levels View Course Details & Register

ONLINE Resonance in Writing: The Personal to the Universal

Josephine LoRe
Thursday
6-9pm
November 12, 2020
Member Price: $45
Non-member Price: $60

We will consider pieces in which Imagery and Resonance are prominent and look at how they are used for effect.  What word choices in your poetry (and general writing) describe and evoke?  How does this affect tone and reinforce theme?  You may say, “My heart is like a bird” — but is it an eagle?  a vulture?  A dove?  an albatross?  How does your experience or perspective resonate with your readers, so that the personal becomes an echo of the universal?

This is an interactive online class using the Zoom web platform.

a pearl in this diamond world … Josephine LoRe’s words have been read on stage, published in literary journals and anthologies in nine countries, put to music, danced to, integrated into visual art, and interpreted through American Sign Language.  She is currently working on a multimedia project which incorporates haiku and photography and will be exhibited in September 2020.

Josephine has two collections, Unity and the Calgary Herald Bestseller The Cowichan Series.  Her poetry has been published in FreeFall Magazine, the Prairie Journal, Haiku Canada anthologies, GUSTS Tanka, the (M)othering Anthology, the War Memory Project, YYC PoP Portraits of People, the Parkland Poets anthology, and numerous pandemic anthologies.  Josephine features frequently at live and virtual literary events internationally, and has mentored emerging poets and writers.

She has an MA in Comparative Literature from l’Université de Rouen, a bilingual BEd from l’Université Laurentienne and an Honour’s BA in Modern Languages and Literature from the University of Toronto. https://www.josephinelorepoet.com/

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

ONLINE From Memory To Imagination

Sharon McLeay
Tuesday
7-9:30pm MST
November 17, 2020
Member Price: $35
Non-member Price: $50

“It’s just at the tip of my tongue.” How many times have you said this when trying to remember details to write life stories? This 2.5-hour class will use writing exercises to help you remember and in more detail from all of the senses. Recognizing that memory plays tricks on us, we’ll explore honesty and the role of imagination when writing about past remembrances. We’ll practice skills that will allow you to stay true to the essence of your story without exact recall, and how to use imagination to enrich scenes, characters, plot and settings. Methods you can continue to use after the workshop. Note: Participants should bring 3-4 old photographs and an item with a scent that reminds them of something from the past.

This is an interactive online class using the Zoom web platform.

Sharon McLeay MA is the author of three memoirs as well as newspaper and magazine articles and creative non-fiction that has been published in various anthologies. She has a master’s degree in life writing and has taught memoir and creativity at AWCS for several years. Her current efforts are focused on her own memoir, developing a series of memoir courses to be delivered in the USA and on a book to help memoir writers compose authentic life stories.

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Fiction, Creative Nonfiction - Genre: All Genres View Course Details & Register

Summer Workshops

ONLINE Buoyant Lit Mag Submissions

Samantha Jones
Friday
2-4:30pm
August 21, 2020
Member Price: $38
Non-member Price: $50

Float to the Top of the Slush Pile…

Have you always dreamed of seeing your work published in literary magazines alongside your favourite writers? Join me for Buoyant Submissions where we will discuss and develop submission packages to lit mags. Participants will leave the workshop with a personalized cover letter template, a short author bio, and the confidence to navigate the unique guidelines for submitting to literary magazines. This workshop is open to writers of all levels who are interested in submitting work to literary magazines. Content will be accessible to beginners and will be relevant to more experienced writers looking to fine-tune their submission strategy. If you have a piece that you would like to submit please bring it to the workshop, although this is not required to complete the exercises.

This is an interactive online class using the Zoom web platform.

Samantha Jones (she/her) is a Calgary-based poet of mixed European and African Canadian heritage. She is a lit mag enthusiast with poetry published or forthcoming in Blanket Sea, blueskiespoetry.ca, CV2, the Eunoia Review, Grain Magazine, New Forum, and Room Magazine. Her words also appear in March 2020: A COVID-19 Anthology published by the /tɛmz/ Review and 845 Press, and in Tap, Press, Read, an anthology of Calgary area writers curated and published by Loft on EIGHTH. Samantha holds a Certificate in Creative Writing from the University of Calgary and is currently a PhD Candidate in Geography at the same institution.

- Level: All Levels - Genre: All Genres View Course Details & Register

ONLINE The Villanelle

Jade O'Riley
Wednesday
2-4pm MST
August 26, 2020
Member Price: $30
Non-member Price: $40

This musical nineteen-line poem form that runs on two rhymes and a refrain has been written by many famous poets: Dylan Thomas, Theodore Roethke, Elizabeth bishop, Sylvia Plath, W.H. Auden and the poet who wrote Invictus, W. E. Henley. Though tightly constructed, beyond its opening stanza the poem almost writes itself! It’s quite flexible and lends itself to many moods and subjects; plus, it’s a feather in the cap of any poet who writes one!

This is an interactive online class using the Zoom web platform.

Jade O’Riley teaches many poetry forms and styles and developed an editing method entitled Poet’s Toolbox to help poets gain writing confidence. Since 2007 Jade has taught poetry in several venues including City of Edmonton, Poetry Festival and Stroll of Poets; she’s published fifteen poetry chapbooks featuring the poets from her classes.

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

ONLINE Sestina – Become a Master Troubadour

Jade O'Riley
Thursday
2-5pm MST
August 27, 2020
Member Price: $45
Non-member Price: $60

Troubadours were court poets of the French nobles who invented and played flirtatious songs on lyres and competed fiercely with one another to produce the wittiest, most elaborate styles of verse to impress the court. This competition was how the sestina was born.  As it was consensus sestinas are the most challenging poems to write, Troubadours who were able to write a sestina were given the title Master Troubadour. Arnaut Daniel the winning troubadour who invented the sestina was also a mathematician—this explains the sestina’s complex line permutations. The form consists of six, 6-line stanzas plus an envoy of 1 or 3-lines using all six words. The end words of the first stanza are repeated as end words in varied order in the other stanzas and also recur in the envoy. Writing a sestina is a dance with language and rewards you with a worthy title: Master Troubadour!

This is an interactive online class using the Zoom web platform.

Jade O’Riley teaches many poetry forms and styles and developed an editing method entitled Poet’s Toolbox to help poets gain writing confidence. Since 2007 Jade has taught poetry in several venues including City of Edmonton, Poetry Festival and Stroll of Poets; she’s published fifteen poetry chapbooks featuring the poets from her classes.

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

Youth Summer Online Clubs and Weekly Programs

Midnight Academy

Erin Emily Anne Vance
Wednesday Nights
8:30-10:00 PM
July 8 (7 weeks)
Member Price: $80
Non-member Price: $105

Dark things are afoot at midnight (or our closest approximation – after all Midnight is a state of mind). So crawl under your covers, grab your flashlight (or electronic device), and prepare to write and share stories of a world just beyond the veil with other teen writers.

Welcoming all grade 8-12  writers of any skill level.

- Level: Jr/Sr Highschool - Youth Programming: Summer online View Course Details & Register

Novelmancer Summer Write In

Kim Firmston
Thursdays
8:30-10:00 PM
July 2 - Aug 18 (8 weeks)
Member Price: Free
Non-member Price: Free

Calling all young writers, (ages 25 and below) come and join us for some summer writing fun. Gather on our Discord server and work on your novel, comic script, screenplay, animation, short story, poetry, or whatever. We will be meeting every Thursday night July-August to support each other, make up names for characters, cities, and more, and generally support each other while having fun.

- Youth Programming: Summer online View Course Details & Register

Youth Summer Online - August

Camp Superbad Villain Smite!

Colin Martin
Monday - Tuesday
1-2:30 PM
August 17-18 (2 days)
Member Price: $40
Non-member Price: $55

Camp Superbad Villain Smite! Misunderstood. Social outcasts. Today’s villains aren’t really bad. Well, okay, they’re really bad, but not like bad, bad. Isn’t it time we got to hear from their side, instead of all those boring heroes; I mean, who wears a spandex onesie to work anyway!? In this camp, villains unite! We’ll tell their stories for a change, and perhaps people will understand that being bad can be pretty good.

For Jr/Sr High School Students

- Level: Jr/Sr High School - Youth Programming: Summer Online View Course Details & Register

Rock the Personal Response

Erin Vance
Wednesday-Thursday
1:2:30
August 19-20 (Two days)
Member Price: $40
Non-member Price: $55

For standardized exams in Alberta, students have to write a critical essay, complete a reading comprehension test, and write a personal response paper. While teachers spend a lot of time on critical essay writing and reading comprehension, there often isn’t a lot of time left to dedicate to the personal response, which, when done well can be both a huge grade boost AND a fun experience. In this camp, we will go through ALL of the possibilities of a personal response and how to write them (did you know you could write a monologue? A series of letters? A rant?!). We will also look at our strengths and weaknesses and explore how best to approach this section of the PAT or diploma exams. Get creative and get ready to rock your personal responses!

- Level: Jr/Sr High School - Youth Programming: Summer online View Course Details & Register

Youth Classes and Clubs - Sept-June

Young Journalist Program

Patti Edgar
First and Third Mondays of the month
6:30-8:30 PM
September 21, 2020 (Full-Year (Sept-June))
Member Price: $350
Non-member Price: $450

The Young Journalist Program is for youth aged 14-19 looking to enter the field of journalism.

EXPLORE! DIG! WRITE!

This elite program allows Young Journalists to meet professionals in many fields of journalism, enabling them to ask questions and get the real scoop on what journalism is today as well as in the future.

Young Journalists will create a print and/or online newspaper to give them practical experience in writing content, editing, organizing, and publishing content.

Using this content, the Young Journalists will create a portfolio that can be used to improve their chances of acceptance to the degree program of their choice.

See our Website http://www.zednewsyyc.weebly.com

MEET YOUR INSTRUCTOR – PATTI EDGAR

Patti Edgar teaches in Mount Royal University’s journalism department. She has worked as multimedia writer and editor at CBC Calgary, as well as a reporter at several newspapers, including the Winnipeg Free Press and Ottawa Citizen. Students have won awards for projects created in her classroom, including the Canadian Association of Journalists Student Award of Excellence

- Level: Jr/Sr high - Course Type: Journalism - Genre: Non-Fiction - Youth Programming: Class View Course Details & Register

Pen & Panel Comic Creation Class

Sebastien Ringuette
First and third Thursday
5 PM - 6:30 PM
Sept 5 - Join anytime (September - June)
Member Price: $200
Non-member Price: $260

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. September to June, join any time.

- Course Type: Comics - Youth Programming: Course View Course Details & Register

Reality Is Optional Writing Club

Kim Firmston
Monday (2nd and 4th Monday of the month)
5:00-6:30
Runs year round (Sept - June) Join anytime (10 months)
Member Price: $150
Non-member Price: $195

Reality Is Optional Writing Club (RIO) – Do you love to play? Do you love writing? Well, why not do both with every kind of genre and style under the sun?  Writing games, art, improv, friends, and creativity. Play with your words! All grades, all levels, twice a month. Join any time!

- Level: All Ages - Course Type: Writing through games - Youth Programming: Clubs View Course Details & Register

Novelmancers Novel Writing Club

Kim Firmston
2nd Thursday of the Month
5:00-6:30
Sept - June (10 months)
Member Price: $100
Non-member Price: $130

Novelmancers Novel Writing Club. If you’re serious about writing and want to get that novel (or any long work) done, join us and lighten the load. Do writing activities and join in on discussions to get your skill level up. Take part in critique circles (optional). Join our NaNoWriMo classroom and write in. Become the writer you want to be.

All Ages. Join anytime

- Level: All Ages - Course Type: Novel Writing - Youth Programming: Clubs View Course Details & Register

Rogue Poets Poetry Club

Em Williamson
First and Third Tuesday of the month
5:00-6:30
September 15 (September - June)
Member Price: $150
Non-member Price: $195

Rogue Poets Poetry Club – Explore what poetry can be, then take it past those limits. Join Coach Em Williamson on a journey to the outer edges of poetry and performance. Have the opportunity to perform on various stages with the Rogue Poets, hone your poetic craft, create collaborative work the likes of which you’ve never imagined, and even compete at the Can You Hear Me Now provincial school poetry slam. Jr/Sr High students only, please.

Registration starts again in July, however, poets are welcome to drop in for June. We take a break in July and August.

 

- Level: Jr/Sr High School - Genre: Poetry - Youth Programming: Clubs View Course Details & Register

Dungeons & Dragons Club

Adam, Anna, and Kim
Last Saturday of the month
6:00-9:00 PM
September 26 (JOIN ANY TIME!) (September - May)
Member Price: $150
Non-member Price: $195

2020-2021 Regular season D&D (Sept-May) Now open for Registrations

Dungeons & Dragons Club – Enjoy fantasy? Want to live it? Join us for this epic and wildly creative game. Battle monsters, solve puzzles, find treasure, and learn to work in a team while telling and experiencing your story together. No experience necessary.

OUR REGULAR D&D – somewhat in-person – Starting off we will continue to play online and move to in-person if and when it becomes safe to do so. Grades 4-12 (split by age into groups of 5-8 players)

NEW!!! D&D online exclusive – this exclusively online group is for anyone who doesn’t envision themselves feeling safe enough to return to in person and those who live far away. This is played on Discord and is for Grades 6-12

We are not yet sure what level characters we will be playing – you will get an e-mail before we begin September 26.

- Level: Grade 5-12 - Course Type: Fantasy Role Playing - Youth Programming: Clubs View Course Details & Register

R.I.W.O. – Reality Is Woefully Obligatory

Emily Firmston
Third Friday of the Month
7-8:30 PM
(Year Round)
Member Price: Free
Non-member Price: Free

When reality is no longer optional, come and join a group to find a way to move forward through your writing and creative projects with the help of your new writing community. For ages 16-25 to share community, creativity, interests, writing, and more.

Offical meeting once a month with daily chats on Discord.

Join today!

- Level: Ages 16-25 View Course Details & Register

Tutoring

Writing Improvement for Adults

Instructor Varies
Monday-Saturday
Times Vary
Member Price: $155
Non-member Price: $185

NOW ONLINE!

All Ages / All Skill Levels / All Styles and Types

Tutoring is one on one and offered in one hour, four-class sessions created specifically to address your individual needs. It takes place at the AWCS located at: 1721 29 Ave SW #460, Calgary, AB. Tutoring runs Monday-Saturday (dependent on instructor availability).

Writing Improvement for Adults

Write well, write tight, and convey your ideas to others. One on One tutoring to help you improve your communication and literacy skills. Join one of our talented tutors to get you to the level you want to be. Contact Kim Firmston to book your tutoring session today. info@alexandrawriters.org

PLEASE NOTE OUR CANCELATION, ABSENCE, AND RESCHEDULING POLICY

All classes need to be canceled at least 24 hours in advance, via a phone call, text, or e-mail directly to the instructor, or the class is considered to have happened and will come off the total classes booked in the session. The instructor is under their own discretion whether to reschedule any canceled classes and is not obliged to do so. Instructors will never reschedule a class if that class isn’t canceled prior to the 24-hour deadline.

View Course Details & Register

Academic Post-Secondary Tutoring

Instructor Varies
Monday-Saturday
Times Vary
Member Price: $270
Non-member Price: $350

NOW ONLINE!

All Ages / All Skill Levels / All Styles and Types

Tutoring is one on one and offered in one hour, four-class sessions created specifically to address your individual needs. It takes place at the AWCS located at: 1721 29 Ave SW #460, Calgary, AB. Tutoring runs Monday-Saturday (dependent on instructor availability).

Academic Post-Secondary Tutoring

Struggling with academic writing? Need to learn to write academic papers or improve the quality of your university essays? Is English your second language? Having trouble knowing what to and how to cite? Are formatting and footnotes getting you down? AWCS has you covered. Qualified instructors will get you on track. Contact Kim Firmston to book your academic tutoring session. info@alexandrawriters.org

PLEASE NOTE OUR CANCELATION, ABSENCE, AND RESCHEDULING POLICY

All classes need to be canceled at least 24 hours in advance, via a phone call, text, or e-mail directly to the instructor, or the class is considered to have happened and will come off the total classes booked in the session. The instructor is under their own discretion whether to reschedule any canceled classes and is not obliged to do so. Instructors will never reschedule a class if that class isn’t canceled prior to the 24-hour deadline.

View Course Details & Register

Youth Tutoring

Instructor Varies
Monday-Saturday
Various times
(4 x 1hr Classes)
Member Price: $155
Non-member Price: $185

NOW ONLINE!

All Ages / All Skill Levels / All Styles and Types

Tutoring is one on one and offered in one hour, four-class sessions created specifically to address your individual needs. It takes place at the AWCS located at: 1721 29 Ave SW #460, Calgary, AB. Tutoring runs Monday-Saturday (dependent on instructor availability).

Youth Tutoring and Homework Help

Want to impress your teachers? Falling behind in Social Studies or English? Need some extra help on a specific project? Want to prepare for finals or PATs? Or do you just want to get better at writing in general? Our one on one tutoring is perfect for students looking for a boost in essays, book reports, journalism, creative writing, poetry, or anything writing-related. Contact Kim Firmston to book your youth tutoring session. info@alexandrawriters.org

PLEASE NOTE OUR CANCELATION, ABSENCE, AND RESCHEDULING POLICY

All classes need to be canceled at least 24 hours in advance, via a phone call, text, or e-mail directly to the instructor, or the class is considered to have happened and will come off the total classes booked in the session. The instructor is under their own discretion whether to reschedule any canceled classes and is not obliged to do so. Instructors will never reschedule a class if that class isn’t canceled prior to the 24-hour deadline.

View Course Details & Register

Special Events

Fall Feature In Conversation w/ Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr
Saturday
7pm
November 14, 2020 (One Day)
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

For Writers & Readers

In Conversation w/ Anthony Doerr

November 14, 2020 | 7pm

New Venue – TBD

 

AWCS/WGA Members: $75

Non-Members: $100

 

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.

- Level: All levels. Writers & Readers View Course Details & Register

Fall Feature Workshop - Anthony Doerr

Fall Feature In Conversation w/ Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr
Saturday
7pm
November 14, 2020 (One Day)
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

For Writers & Readers

In Conversation w/ Anthony Doerr

November 14, 2020 | 7pm

New Venue – TBD

 

AWCS/WGA Members: $75

Non-Members: $100

 

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.

- Level: All levels. Writers & Readers View Course Details & Register

Fall Feature Workshop w/ Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr
Saturday
10-3:30pm
November 14, 2020 (One Day)
Member Price: $300
Non-member Price: $325

 

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.”

November 14, 2020| 10am-3:30pm

Officers Mess – Fort Calgary

750, 9th Ave SE, Calgary, AB

Lunch provided.

 

AWCS/WGA Members: $300

Non-Members: $325

 

 

- Level: All levels. - Event: Spring Feature Workshop View Course Details & Register

Gift Certificates

Gift Certificate

Member Price: varies
Non-member Price: varies

 

 

For the writer in your life.

Available in various denominations.

Gift certificates will be emailed.

For different denominations please email us.

Back to Gift Shop

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Until further notice all programs are provided online through the ZOOM web conferencing app.

 

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