Fall 2018 & Winter 2019

Courses & Workshops

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.

Want to know more about our Instructors?

Questions? Please contact us by email or phone 403.264.4730

Mentor-in-the-Loop

November Mentor-in-the-Loop: Lori Hahnel

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

The AWCS November Mentor-in-the-Loop is Lori Hahnel.

Lori Hahnel is the author of the novels Love Minus Zero and After You’ve Gone and a story collection, Nothing Sacred, which shortlisted for an Alberta Literary Award. Her work has been published in North America, Australia and the U.K.in a wide variety of publications including The Fiddlehead, Joyland and The Saturday Evening Post, as well as being produced for CBC Radio. Lori has mentored through Banff Centre, The Writers Guild of Alberta and AWCS. She has served as writer-in residence for AWCS and Canadian Authors Association, and has taught creative writing courses through AWCS and Mount Royal. She has also evaluated manuscripts on behalf of The Writers’ Union of Canada and WGA and on a freelance basis.

Lori will be available for Blue Pencil Sessions and Mentorship Conversations during the following dates and times:

Tuesday, November 13 | 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Wednesday, November 14 | 2:00pm – 6:00pm

Thursday, November 22 | 10:00am – 2:30pm

Sunday, November 25 | 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Book a session here.

View Course Details & Register

Academic Tutoring

Academic Tutoring

Varies
Varies
Varies
Varies (4 x 1hr Sessions)
Member Price: $270
Non-member Price: $350

Struggling with academic writing? Need to learn to write academic papers or improve the quality of your university essays? Is English your second language? Are formatting and footnotes getting you down? AWCS has you covered. Qualified instructors will get you on track.

This course is one on one and booked in one hour, four-session sets, (you have the option to get more sessions if needed after the first set). Please contact Kim Firmston to book your class. kfirmston@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 sessions and is not obliged to do so. Instructors will never reschedule a session if the class isn’t canceled prior to the 24-hour deadline.

- Level: All levels - Course Type: Academic Tutoring - Genre: Academic 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.

Order by December 21, 2018

Gift certificates will be emailed.

View Course Details & Register

Youth Workshops & Classes & Clubs

PD Days

Maraya Loza Koxahn and Suzy Vadori
School PD Days
9 AM - 4 PM
October - December (Single Day Camps)
Member Price: $60
Non-member Price: $70

PD Days

Need a fun place to go when school isn’t in? Come and play with us. We have great topics, lots of writing, and a good time spent with new and old friends.

The day runs from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM. All grades welcome.

Before and after care available from 8:30-9:00 AM and 4:00-6:00  COST: $2.50/quarter hour.  (contact the office to make arrangements – info@alexandrawriters.org)

Dec 7 – Suzy Vadori – The Magic of Writing – Public School Board
We’ll learn how Magic Systems are created, design our own magic, and write stories in our newly created worlds.

- Level: All Grades - Youth Programming: PD Days View Course Details & Register

Reality Is Optional Writing Club

Kim Firmston
Monday (2nd and 4th Monday of the month)
5:00-6:30
Sept 10 (September - June)
Member Price: $75.00
Non-member Price: $100.00

Reality Is Optional Writing Club (RIO) – Need a place that understands you? Come and join us. Guest speakers, writing games, art, improv, friends and creativity. Play with your words. All Ages. (Free for Club Pass holders)

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

Dungeons & Dragons Club

Kim Firmston
Last Saturday of the month
6:00-9:00 PM
September (September - June)
Member Price: $75.00
Non-member Price: $100.00

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. Grades 5-12. (Free for Club Pass holders) *Please note: Meeting dates may change due to room availability.

- Level: Grade 5-12 - Youth Programming: Clubs View Course Details & Register

Novelmancers Novel Writing Club

Kim Firmston / Emily Firmston
2nd Thursday of the Month
5:00-6:30
Sept 13 (September - June)
Member Price: $50.00
Non-member Price: $65.00

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. All Ages. (Free for Club Pass holders)

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

Rogue Poets Poetry Club

Em Williamson
Third Tuesday of the month
5:00-6:30
September 18 (September - June)
Member Price: $75.00
Non-member Price: $100.00

Rogue Poets Poetry Club – Explore what poetry can be, then take it past those limits. Join Em Williamson, on a journey to the outer edges of poetry. Have the opportunity to go to open mics or join the Rogue Poet Slam Team and compete at the Can You Hear Me Now provincial school poetry slam. Jr/Sr High (Free for Club Pass holders).

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

AWCS Club Pass

5:00-6:30
September (September - June)
Member Price: $175.00
Non-member Price: $230.00

Open up the world of writing with our Club Pass – Go to all the AWCS Youth Writing Clubs you want and save $100!  The pass lasts a full year from the time you get it.Jump in at any point of the year.
Pass Holders can enjoy a year of limitless meetings in the Reality Is Optional Writing Club (all ages), Novelmancers Novel Writing Club (all ages), Dungeons and Dragons Club (grades 5-12), and Rogue Poets Poetry Club (jr/sr high). Get one today!

- Youth Programming: Clubs View Course Details & Register

Tutoring and Homework Help

Instructor Varies
Afterschool and Saturdays
(4 sessions)
Member Price: $135
Non-member Price: $165

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 and booked in one hour, four-session sets, (you have the option to get more sessions if needed after the first set). Please contact Kim Firmston to book your class. kfirmston@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 sessions and is not obliged to do so. Instructors will never reschedule a session if the class isn’t canceled prior to the 24-hour deadline.

- Youth Programming: Homework Help View Course Details & Register

Pen & Panel Comic Creation Class

Sebastien Ringuette
First and third Thursday
5 PM - 6:30 PM
Sept 6 - Join anytime (September - June)
Member Price: $175
Non-member Price: $230

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.

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

Home School Writing

Homeschool Winter Semester: Classes

Monday
Jan 21 (8 weeks)
Member Price: 180
Non-member Price: 225

WINTER SEMESTER – Jan 21 – March 18 (No class on Feb 18)

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM – Legends, Mythology, and Folklore – Elementary – Erin Vance – Hear some great stories, learn how mythology, legends, folklore fit into our collective landscape, and try your hand at creating one of your own.

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM – Focus on Non-Fiction  –  Jr/Sr High – Selina Clary – Learn the basics of essays writing. Try your hand at academic essays, personal essays, book reports, then take this genre further into other formats such as travel writing, journalism, and so much more.

1:00 – 2:30 PM – Exploring Poetry – Jr/Sr High – Selina Clary -Explore literary devices, read and analyse poetry, and write your own. Students will not only learn to be more expressive in writing, but speaking as well.

1:00 – 2:30 PM – Writing through Women in History – All Ages – Kim Firmston – Explore both non-fiction and fiction writing while journeying into the past searching for the awesome women who have made an impact on the history of the world.

Lunch hour activities with Selina Clary (special fee) – Go to the park and stretch your legs, play board games, and have entertaining conversations.

- Level: Home School - Youth Programming: Homeschool Winter Semester View Course Details & Register

Homeschool Fall Semester: Classes

Monday
Sept 24 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $180.00
Non-member Price: $225.00

Fall Semester – Monday Sept 24-Nov 19 (No class on Oct 8)

10:30-12:00 – Create your own fairy taleElementary –  Maraya Loza Koxahn- Call it a fairy tale, call it a fantasy, call it science fiction. Whatever time period, setting and characters you choose, you’re going to write a story that’s NOT true and to illustrate it. There will be a hero and a villain; there will be suspense, surprises and magic; and, as in all good stories, there will be a lesson learned. What will yours be?

10:30-12:00 – Eight week novelAll ages – Kim Firmston –Want to write a novel, attempt NaNoWriMo, or just learn how to tackle a large project? This is the course for you!

1:00-2:30 – PoetryElementary  – Selina Clary – Explore literary devices, read poetry, and write your own. Students will not only learn to be more expressive in writing, but speaking as well.

1:00 – 2:30 – Legends, Mythology, and FolkloreJr/Sr high – Erin Vance – Hear some great stories, learn how mythology, legends, folklore fit into our collective landscape, and try your hand at creating one of your own

Lunch hour activities with Selina Clary (special fee) – Go to the park and stretch your legs, play board games, and have entertaining conversations.

- Course Type: Home School Writing - Youth Programming: Homeschool Fall Semster View Course Details & Register

Homeschool December Intensives

Monday
10:30-2:30
December (One day)
Member Price: $60.00
Non-member Price: $75.00

Monday Dec 3, Full day 10:30-2:30– all ages – Poetry with Pizzazz – Maraya Loza Koxahn – Create a variety of poems, give gentle feedback, practice re-writing and speaking your poems out loud, then compile a book of poems for your first masterpiece.

Monday Dec 10, Full day 10:30-2:30– all ages – Dungeons and Dragons – Kim Firmston – Learn problem solving, teamwork, character building, and story arc in this fantasy storytelling game.

- Level: All grades - Youth Programming: Home School Writing View Course Details & Register

Special Events

Blue Pencil Cafe

varies
Sunday
1-4pm
January 13, 2019
Member Price: $20
Non-member Price: $30

Kick your writing off in 2019 with some quick feedback on a work in progress.

Sunday, January 13, 2019 | 1-4pm

We have invited five wonderful writers from the literary community to be onsite for one-day only to review your work. 

Book a session. Quick and easy. Choose your preferred mentor. We will schedule you an available time. Submit your work by email to info@alexandrawriters.org no later than January 9, 2019. Come for your 20-minute consultation on January 13, 2019.

For prose: Submit a max of 5 pages, double-spaced.

For poetry: Submit a max of 3 poems, single-spaced, one poem per page.

Mentors

Richard Harrison is the author of 6 books of poetry, among them the Governor-General’s Award-nominated Big Breath of a Wish; Hero of the Play, the first book of poetry launched at the Hockey Hall of Fame; and, most recently, On Not Losing My Father’s Ashes in the Flood, winner of the 2017 Stephan G. Stephansson Prize for Poetry and the 2017 Governor-General’s Award for Poetry. 

Betty Jane Hegerat writes short fiction, novels, YA fiction, and creative non-fiction. Her books include: Running Toward Home (Newest Press); A Crack in the Wall (Oolichan Books); Delivery (Oolichan Books); The Boy (Oolichan Books), and Odd One Out (Oolichan Books).  She was the recipient of the  2015 WGA Golden Pen Award.

Lee Kvern’s short stories have garnered the CBC Literary Award, Howard ‘O’ Hagan, Western Magazine and Hazel Hilles awards. Novel(s) selected for regional Canada Reads (regional), nominated for Alberta Book Awards, Ottawa Relit Award. Fiction  produced for CBC Radio, magazines: Event, Descant, enRoute, Tishman Review, subTerrain. On-line: Joyland.ca, Foundpress.com, LittleFiction.com

Olyn Ozbick is an internationally award-winning journalist and magazine editor, a finalist in the CBC Short Story Awards, and the author of The Davy Rule, a picture book for children. Her short stories have been published in literary magazines in Canada, the US and the UK. Her first novel is currently making the rounds at publishing houses and her second novel is well underway. 

PJ Vernon holds a PhD in immunology and published science before turning his hand to publishing fiction. PJ is an insatiable reader of suspense and domestic noir. His writing―and love of all things unsettling―is influenced by Gillian Flynn, SJ Watson, and the late ASA Harrison. PJ’s debut novel, WHEN YOU FIND ME, released October 9, 2018, has sold in multiple countries and languages. 

- Level: All Levels - Event: Blue Pencil Cafe View Course Details & Register

Make ‘Em Laugh – Spring Feature Workshop w/ Terry Fallis

Terry Fallis
Saturday
10-4pm
March 16, 2019
Member Price: $175
Non-member Price: $220

Three steps to writing funny stories: 

1.   Acquire or otherwise procure a sense of humour.

2.   Use it when writing.

3.   Rinse and repeat.

Terry Fallis will lead a discussion of what it takes to be funny with only words on the page. The workshop will explore the types of humour that most lend themselves to the written form, and will examine various techniques used by successful comic writers. Time permitting, there will be a couple of exercises to help move the humour from theory to page. There should also be a few laughs along the way. 

A two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, Terry Fallis is the award-winning author of six national bestsellers, including his most recent, One Brother Shy, all published by McClelland & Stewart.

His debut novel, The Best Laid Plans, won the 2008 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour and was crowned the 2011 winner of CBC Canada Reads as the “essential Canadian novel of the decade. In January 2014, CBC aired a six-part television miniseries based on The Best Laid Plans earning very positive reviews. It debuted as a stage musical in Vancouver in September 2015. The High Road was published in September 2010 and was a finalist for the 2011 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. Terry’s third novel, Up and Down, was released in September 2012. It debuted on the Globe and Mail bestsellers list, was a finalist for the 2013 Leacock Medal, and won the 2013 Ontario Library Association Evergreen Award. In June 2013, the Canadian Booksellers Association presented Terry with the Libris Award for Author of the Year. Terry’s fourth novel, No Relation, hit bookstores in May 2014, opened on the Globe and Mail bestsellers list, and won the 2015 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. Poles Apart was released in October 2015 debuting on the Globe and Mail bestsellers list. It was one of three finalists for the 2016 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. One Brother Shy was released in May 2017 and became an instant bestseller.

Terry Fallis earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree from McMaster University and then spent several years working in federal and Ontario politics. In 1995, he co-founded Thornley Fallis, a full service communications and digital agency with offices in Toronto and Ottawa.

He blogs at www.terryfallis.com and his twitter handle is @TerryFallis.

- Genre: Humour - Event: Spring Feature Workshop View Course Details & Register

Book a Blue Pencil Session

November Mentor-in-the-Loop: Lori Hahnel

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

The AWCS November Mentor-in-the-Loop is Lori Hahnel.

Lori Hahnel is the author of the novels Love Minus Zero and After You’ve Gone and a story collection, Nothing Sacred, which shortlisted for an Alberta Literary Award. Her work has been published in North America, Australia and the U.K.in a wide variety of publications including The Fiddlehead, Joyland and The Saturday Evening Post, as well as being produced for CBC Radio. Lori has mentored through Banff Centre, The Writers Guild of Alberta and AWCS. She has served as writer-in residence for AWCS and Canadian Authors Association, and has taught creative writing courses through AWCS and Mount Royal. She has also evaluated manuscripts on behalf of The Writers’ Union of Canada and WGA and on a freelance basis.

Lori will be available for Blue Pencil Sessions and Mentorship Conversations during the following dates and times:

Tuesday, November 13 | 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Wednesday, November 14 | 2:00pm – 6:00pm

Thursday, November 22 | 10:00am – 2:30pm

Sunday, November 25 | 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Book a session here.

View Course Details & Register

Blue Pencil Sessions at Your Fingertips

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.

November Mentor: Lori Hahnel

30 minute sessions.

 

  1. Register and pay for your consultation.
  2. Book Your Session by contacting the office by email info@alexandrawriters.org
  3. Submit a max of 2500 words of prose (typed, double-spaced, 12pt font, pages numbered) 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 Writers’ Circle: In My Craft or Sullen Art

Lori Hahnel
Sunday
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
November 25, 2018
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

Creative writing: is it an art, sent to the writer straight from the mind of gods? Or is it a craft that any serious hard-working lug can master? Does ‘art’ or ‘craft’ matter more? Come prepared to discuss this matter.

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

The Writers Circle – Open Discussion

Sunday
10:30-12:30pm
December 2, 2018
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

In this writers circle, the floor is open to discuss anything you want. Bring your writing related questions, meet with friends and enjoy some lively discussion.

- Level: All levels View Course Details & Register

The Writers’ Circle – The Real Costs of Self-Publishing: Budgeting Your Book

Stephanie Hrehirchuk
Sunday
10:30-12:30pm
December 9, 2018
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

From illustrations to editing, formatting to hard proof. Let’s talk the real costs of publishing your book.

- Level: All levels View Course Details & Register

The Writers Circle – Oh no, I’ve run out of juice

Rona Altrows
Sunday
10:30-12:30pm
December 16, 2018
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

Are you running out of ideas, no writing energy left whatsoever and you’re afraid it won’t ever come back? Let’s talk. We’ll discuss where you’re at and some helpful techniques to get you writing again, even if you’re feeling uninspired. 

- Level: All levels View Course Details & Register

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

Poetry Cafe

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

Multi-Week Courses - Daytime

Amp Up Your Manuscript

Madelaine Wong
Tuesday
12:30pm - 2:30pm
January 8, 2019 (4 WEEKS)
Member Price: $105
Non-member Price: $150

Add power to your manuscript. In this four-week course, you will learn methods that will hook your readers and keep them turning the pages through engaging and sensory writing. Course content will concentrate on strong story openings, using imagery to show-don’t-tell, writing powerful dialogue, and story endings.

Best for the writer who already has a manuscript in progress.

- Level: Intermediate, MS in progress - Course Type: Fiction - Genre: All Genres - Youth Programming: Course View Course Details & Register

Creative Writing Basics (Daytime)

Olyn Ozbick
Tuesdays
9:30 AM - 12:30 PM
January 15, 2019 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $260
Non-member Price: $360

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 - Genre: All genres View Course Details & Register

Creative Journaling

Maraya Loza Koxahn
Tuesdays
10-12pm
January 15, 2019 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $215
Non-member Price: $280

Use the power of journaling for creative self-discovery. Unlock your potential, navigate through loss, deal with illness, help make decisions, express gratitude and just have fun learning some new methods of expression. Connect with your inner voice through writing and art exercises. Your journal is a safe space to express thoughts and feelings and transform them, a space to explore your creativity, a space to store your discoveries as a “work of art”.

Each class will include writing and art exercises, free fall writing, and time to incorporate elements into your journal. Some classes may include movement and/or meditation exercises. Please bring a notebook for free fall writing to the first class. We will discuss journal options during that class and then you can select and bring your chosen journal to the second class.

Art supplies fee included.

- Level: All levels - Course Type: journaling, creativity - Genre: creativity View Course Details & Register

Wrapping a Writerly Head Around Craft: The Strategies of Story

Rosemary Nixon
Wednesdays
10:00AM - 12:30PM
January 16, 2019 (8 WEEKS)
Member Price: $325
Non-member Price: $460

An energetic comprehensive class, meeting participants at whatever their level, and moving them through writing exercises, literary discussion, the study of a few published stories thereby gaining a deeper perspective of and further skills in the power of language, beginnings, complexity of character, voice, the architecture of fiction, moving from scenes to plot, endings, titles, and other literary concerns.

- Level: All Levels, some experience preferred - Course Type: Fiction - Genre: All Genres - Event: Weekly Course View Course Details & Register

Creative Nonfiction

Ellen Kelly
Thursdays
10:00AM - 12:30PM
January 17, 2018 (8 WEEKS)
Member Price: $235
Non-member Price: $300

This course gives participants the opportunity to develop their own true stories creatively. Characterization, scene, narration, theme, voice, truth, story/plot development and publication/markets will be discussed as they apply to CNF. Weekly classes will touch on personal essay, memoir, literary journalism, and specific interest writing (travel, food etc.) Specific interests of class participants will be addressed and students will be expected to write, both briefly in class and more extensively at home. Sharing is encouraged but not mandatory.

- Level: All Levels - Genre: Creative Non-Fiction, Personal Essay, Memoir - Event: Weekly Course View Course Details & Register

Proprioceptive Writing

Vivian Hansen
Fridays
1-3pm
January 18, 2018 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $210
Non-member Price: $275

This course will explore the Proprioceptive Writing method developed by Linda Trichter Metcalf in which you explore the deepest volume of story in your life. Proprioceptive writing has effectively blasted out writer’s block and sent aspiring writers into new and productive creative writing journeys. In this course, we will plan out a secular spiritual journey with your writing. Please note: participants should be working on a manuscript of poetry, creative nonfiction, short story collection, or novel-in-progress. We will explore the proprioceptive method in tandem with your writing project. Recommended reading: Writing the Mind Alive: The Proprioceptive Method for Finding Your Authentic Voice by Linda Trichter Metcalf.

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Creative Writing, Creativity, Writing Methods, Techniques - Genre: All Genres - Event: Course View Course Details & Register

Writing Memoir When Your Story is Difficult

Karen Lee
Wednesdays
10:00am - 1:00pm
February 13, 2019 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $260
Non-member Price: $360

Do you have a difficult story to tell? Things from your 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 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 write about, and having the courage and persistence needed to tackle difficult personal subjects. Self-care will be discussed.

We will tackle dialogue, character sketches, scene setting, and your story arc – using parts of your 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 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: All Levels - Course Type: Memoir, Non-Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction - Genre: Memoir - Event: Course View Course Details & Register

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

Sandra McIntyre
Saturdays
9:30am - 12:30pm
January 19, 2019 (4 Weeks)
Member Price: $150
Non-member Price: $190

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 four-week course, 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 will touch on common writing and formatting errors. Rather, the focus will be on developing the deep thinking about writing that editors do. In addition to course time, registration includes a fifteen-minute, one-on-one consultation with Sandra to discuss your work. Participants are asked to bring with them to class two copies of 3-5 pages of polished writing.

- Level: Intermediate, Advanced - Course Type: Editing - Genre: All Genres View Course Details & Register

Multi-Week Courses - Evening

All the Feels: Crafting Contest-Worthy Short Creative Nonfiction

Ali Bryan
Mondays
7-9:30pm
January 14 (5 WEEKS)
Member Price: $150
Non-member Price: $200

Everyone has a memory, or an anecdote from their past, whether it happened days ago or decades. That time your arm got trapped by a boulder and you had to cut it off or that other time when you watched a man and his pigeon stroll down Stephen Ave. Big or small, dramatic or comical, personal stories have the power to give the reader ‘all the feels.’ In this class, we will examine how the elements of fiction and storytelling – narrative arc, voice, setting, characterization, dialogue, detail – can be utilized to write compelling, contest-worthy short creative nonfiction with buzz. The end goal is for participants to submit to the CBC Nonfiction Prize (max word count 2000). In addition to studying craft, we’ll examine past winners and shortlisted works, and workshop and critique member essays/works in progress.

Ali Bryan’s creative nonfiction has twice longlisted for the CBC Nonfiction Prize, twice shortlisted for the Alberta Literary Awards Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Prize and was recently featured in Wordfest’s Literary Death Match.

 

 

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Creative Nonfiction, Personal Essay, Humour - Event: Weekly Course View Course Details & Register

Children’s Picture Books Basics

Olyn Ozbick
Mondays
7:00pm - 9:30pm
January 14, 2019 (8 WEEKS)
Member Price: $235
Non-member Price: $300

Reading Picture Books is fun. Writing Picture Books is a wonderful challenge – one that requires the crafts of writing, distilled to 500 words, and overlapped with pictures, all the while talking to tiny whacky impressionable sensitive kids, and their adult caregivers. Whew. Lots to accomplish! Join Olyn Ozbick for hands-on workshopping, writing exercises, individual and group guidance and problem solving, as you take your Picture Book on the journey from concept toward publication. You will practice technique, learn character development, story arc, examine successful Picture Books, imagine, create, write and begin down the road to publish. Picture Books are for preschool to age 8.

 

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Kidlit - Genre: Picture Books - Event: Course View Course Details & Register

Creating Hybrids

Stephanie Wong Ken
Tuesdays
7:00pm - 9:00pm
January 15, 2019 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $210
Non-member Price: $275

Hybrid: a thing made by combining two different elements; or, composed of mixed parts.

In this 8-week class, we will look at how to combine different styles and genres in the same piece of writing. We will read examples of hybrid works, from poetry to short stories to novel excerpts as well as writing that does not fit into any one label or classification. We will discuss how hybrid writing can help to deepen character development and make your work stand out to readers.

- Level: Intermediate, Advanced - Course Type: Fiction - Genre: All genres View Course Details & Register

Free Verse Ain’t Free

Colin Martin
Tuesdays
7 PM - 9 PM
January 15, 2019 (5 Weeks)
Member Price: $135
Non-member Price: $175

Though perhaps it oughta be. In this beginner to intermediate class, we’re going to unpack our poetic baggage, free our lines from poetic tyranny, and bind them back together again. We’ll look at different techniques for generating ideas and poems, and produce new poems for feedback in this workshop-based class.

This course will be run by Colin Martin, whose poetry has appeared in numerous Canadian journals and small press publications over the past 20 years, and whose critical work on Canadian poetry and publishing has appeared in such journals as Open Letter, dANDelion, filling Station, and in a forthcoming anthology by Wilfred Laurier University Press.

- Level: Beginner, Intermediate - Course Type: Poetry - Event: Course View Course Details & Register

3-Month Novel Project – WAITLIST

Sarah L. Johnson
Tuesdays
7-9pm
January 15, 2019 (12 weeks)
Member Price: $300
Non-member Price: $425

Powering through to a complete first draft in 12 weeks.

This course is all about what Anne Lamott famously refers to as “shitty first drafts.”  A gentler more realistic version of the well known 30-day challenge, 3MoNoPro is designed to offer the support, information, and tough love you need to get you across that finish line to your very own garbage, but nevertheless complete, first draft.

Each class will look at a different element of writing with an eye toward finding inspiration in our obstacles. Through exercises, word count tracking (goal of approx. 6000 words per week), and sharing our shitty pages, we’ll cheer each other on and finish what we start.

This course is for writers of all levels. Whether you’re just starting, half way through or almost done a manuscript, sign up and by week 12 you could very well be typing THE END.

This class is now full. Email us to be added the waitlist.

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

Creative Writing Basics (Evening)

Lori Hahnel
Wednesdays
7:00PM - 9:30PM
January 16, 2019 (10 weeks)
Member Price: $260
Non-member Price: $360

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 - Genre: All genres View Course Details & Register

Speculative Fiction

Susan Forest
Wednesdays
7:00pm - 9:30pm
January 16, 2019 (8 WEEKS)
Member Price: $235
Non-member Price: $300

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 magazine for publication. Come to this course prepared to workshop your own short stories or novel openings, to improve your craft with the goal of publication.

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Fiction, Speculative Fiction - Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction, Commercial Fiction - Event: Course View Course Details & Register

The Novel from Scratch

Rosemary Nixon
Thursdays
7:00pm - 9:30pm
January 17, 2019 (10 Weeks)
Member Price: $350
Non-member Price: $500

Participants for this course will just be beginning a novel or be about to. We will consider the importance of defamiliarization in our diction and syntax as we study beginnings, how to capture voice and tone from the get-go, how to create and maintain a psychologically-sizzling setting, developing a character’s consistency, then moving them into complexity (including effective dialogue), ways to build narrative tension and suspense and anything else we can fit into the class to give you a fabulous kick-start to your new novel you’ve been wanting to write.

Course Format: Mini-lecture, workshopping participants’ writing excerpts, analyzing published writers’ excerpts, discussion, short weekly homework assignments pertaining specifically to the needs of the new novels-in-progress.

Rosemary Nixon is a pre-eminent short story writer, novelist, free-lance editor, her 4th book Are You Ready To be Lucky? nominated for The Frank O’Connor International Prize, and North American Forewords IndieFab Award. Rosemary, editor for Freehand Press, has recently been nominated for the Lois Hole Excellence in Editing Award. 

- Level: Beginner - Course Type: Fiction - Genre: Fiction - Event: Course View Course Details & Register

Intro to Playwriting: Writing All Genres for the Theatre

Caroline Russell-King
Thursdays
7:00pm - 9:00pm
January 17, 2019 (8 WEEKS)
Member Price: $210
Non-member Price: $275

Join professional comedy playwright Caroline Russell-King, as you discover your playwriting chops. Learn how writing comedy is more than just one-liners and writing drama isn’t just serious prose spoken by serious people! Pull out your idea file or your scribbles and come learn the craft of playwriting. Discover the secrets of professional writing and what it takes to get from page to stage!

- Level: All Levels, Beginner - Course Type: Playwriting - Genre: All Genres - Youth Programming: Course View Course Details & Register

The Five Keys of Showing

Vivian Hansen
Mondays
7 PM - 9 PM
February 25, 2019 (6 weeks)
Member Price: $170
Non-member Price: $220

The tools for showing your narrative and not telling it seem elusive in your first drafts. How will these tools animate and alter your work in a productive direction? What tools crave an entry into your creations? In this class, we will discuss and practice Point of View, Character Development, Dialogue, Setting and Tone, applying these five keys to your fiction, creative nonfiction, or poem.

 

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

January Workshops

Writing from Afar: A Travel Writing Workshop

Marcello Di Cintio
Saturday
10:00 - 3:30pm
January 12, 2019
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

In a world where every place has been discovered, what is the point of travel writing? In this workshop, author Marcello Di Cintio will discuss the changing role of narrative travel journalism in today’s hyper-connected world. When writers go off to seek stories in the great wide world, what are their goals and responsibilities, how do they portray the Other, and how far should they go to create compelling literary art? Participants should come ready with a travel story they’d like to work on.

- Level: All L - Course Type: Non-Fiction - Genre: Travel Writing, Narrative Travel Journalism - Event: Workshop View Course Details & Register

The Organized Creative: planning your writing year – quarter – month – week – and finally day

M Jane Colette
Saturday
10:00 - 3:30pm
January 19, 2019
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Known to “change writer’s lives,” this hands-on workshop will show you how to organize your days by realistically planning your writing year, and working backwards-and-forwards throughout the year to stay on track with your goals. You will also learn how to track and maximize your productivity cycles, use a process journal, value your lazy fallow periods, and use your procrastination to nurture inspiration.

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Writing Life, Organization, Planning - Genre: All Genres - Youth Programming: Workshop View Course Details & Register

Inside a Good Sentence

Rosemary Nixon
Saturday
10:00 - 3:30pm
January 26, 2018
Member Price: $100
Non-member Price: $130

“A good sentence must do more than reveal its subject matter.” Carolyn Fourche

Whether working on a short story or a novel, a writer must not lose sight of the fact that creative work is made up of “one good sentence after another.” Like rogue waves, rogue sentences surprise and overtake the reader, roiling with energy that sweeps the story into a whole greater than the sum of its parts. We will read snippets of some of North America’s best writers, discover the ways in which rogue sentences are essential for their/our stories, and delve into how to make our own sentences/paragraphs/stories resonate into a shimmering whole.

- Level: Intermediate, Advanced - Course Type: Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction - Event: Workshop View Course Details & Register

February Workshops

World Building Basics

Sarah E. Johnson
Saturday
10:00 - 3:30pm
February 2, 2019
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Immerse your reader into a world full of sounds, smells and vivid imagery. Develop a way to show politics, technology, fantastical elements or an era long forgotten. World building is a way to take your reader on a journey through your story and have them sense every moment. Readers want to believe the rules of a story with ease and flow. Writers in every genre can benefit. This workshop will focus on the ground up of world building, how to make sense of your creative pile and what the reader needs. There will be continuous exercises that will put those ideas to use, and spark brand new shiny ones.

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

Characters of the Lost Arc

Robin van Eck
Saturday
10:00 - 3:30pm
February 9, 2019
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

From inciting incident to change, characters undergo a series of setbacks, make choices, deal with the ramifications of those choices to come out a better (or not so better) version of themselves. How do their needs and wants drive their motivation? What is the character arc and how can you, as a writer, help your characters find their arc?

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

Journal the Seasons: Claim Your Evolving Story

Wilma Rubens
Saturday
10:00 - 3:30pm
February 23, 2019
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Self-reflection has the power to help us integrate our lives. Inspirational exercises, activities and meditation will harvest the insights gained from our unique experiences. Exploring our seasons will free us to become more creative and enrich our lives. No previous writing experience necessary.

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

March Workshops

Plotting as Process & Productivity/Sanity Tool

M Jane Colette
Saturday
10:00 - 3:30pm
March 2, 2019
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Want to write a novel in 15 minute chunks? It’s easy–so long as you have a road map and understand that writing is only part of the process. Drawing on the “dirty writing secrets” of productive romance and genre writers, this practical workshop demystifies plotting and presents it to writers as an ongoing process that begins the moment you get the idea for your novel, and continues throughout the writing and editing stages. Suitable for both beginners who are afraid of plotting and advanced, published authors who want to up their productivity game.

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

Make ‘Em Laugh – Spring Feature Workshop w/ Terry Fallis

Terry Fallis
Saturday
10-4pm
March 16, 2019
Member Price: $175
Non-member Price: $220

Three steps to writing funny stories: 

1.   Acquire or otherwise procure a sense of humour.

2.   Use it when writing.

3.   Rinse and repeat.

Terry Fallis will lead a discussion of what it takes to be funny with only words on the page. The workshop will explore the types of humour that most lend themselves to the written form, and will examine various techniques used by successful comic writers. Time permitting, there will be a couple of exercises to help move the humour from theory to page. There should also be a few laughs along the way. 

A two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, Terry Fallis is the award-winning author of six national bestsellers, including his most recent, One Brother Shy, all published by McClelland & Stewart.

His debut novel, The Best Laid Plans, won the 2008 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour and was crowned the 2011 winner of CBC Canada Reads as the “essential Canadian novel of the decade. In January 2014, CBC aired a six-part television miniseries based on The Best Laid Plans earning very positive reviews. It debuted as a stage musical in Vancouver in September 2015. The High Road was published in September 2010 and was a finalist for the 2011 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. Terry’s third novel, Up and Down, was released in September 2012. It debuted on the Globe and Mail bestsellers list, was a finalist for the 2013 Leacock Medal, and won the 2013 Ontario Library Association Evergreen Award. In June 2013, the Canadian Booksellers Association presented Terry with the Libris Award for Author of the Year. Terry’s fourth novel, No Relation, hit bookstores in May 2014, opened on the Globe and Mail bestsellers list, and won the 2015 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. Poles Apart was released in October 2015 debuting on the Globe and Mail bestsellers list. It was one of three finalists for the 2016 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. One Brother Shy was released in May 2017 and became an instant bestseller.

Terry Fallis earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree from McMaster University and then spent several years working in federal and Ontario politics. In 1995, he co-founded Thornley Fallis, a full service communications and digital agency with offices in Toronto and Ottawa.

He blogs at www.terryfallis.com and his twitter handle is @TerryFallis.

- Genre: Humour - Event: Spring Feature Workshop View Course Details & Register

April Workshops

Mapping A Novel

Anne Metikosh
Saturday & Sunday
10 AM - 2 PM
April 6-7, 2019
Member Price: $130
Non-member Price: $170

You have a great idea. Maybe you’ve dreamed up some dynamite settings and scenes. But how do you turn all the bits and pieces into a novel? You know you need an engaging plot to keep the reader glued to the page. You know your characters have to grow and change. You know your story has to reach an emotionally satisfying conclusion. But you can’t figure out how to get there from here and you’re spending a lot of time spinning your wheels. What you need is a roadmap. In this class we’ll design a working model for your novel. We’ll discuss the basics, like the value of a three-act structure and why the incidents that make up a plot need to be linked by cause and effect. But we’ll also consider the underlying questions of goal, theme, character motivations and consequences as they relate to the particular story you want to tell. By the end of the workshop, you should have an integrated plan to follow as you write. This class involves brainstorming and discussion. Materials provided.

- Level: All levels - Course Type: Novels - Genre: All genres - Event: Weekend Intensive View Course Details & Register

Spring Feature Workshop

Make ‘Em Laugh – Spring Feature Workshop w/ Terry Fallis

Terry Fallis
Saturday
10-4pm
March 16, 2019
Member Price: $175
Non-member Price: $220

Three steps to writing funny stories: 

1.   Acquire or otherwise procure a sense of humour.

2.   Use it when writing.

3.   Rinse and repeat.

Terry Fallis will lead a discussion of what it takes to be funny with only words on the page. The workshop will explore the types of humour that most lend themselves to the written form, and will examine various techniques used by successful comic writers. Time permitting, there will be a couple of exercises to help move the humour from theory to page. There should also be a few laughs along the way. 

A two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, Terry Fallis is the award-winning author of six national bestsellers, including his most recent, One Brother Shy, all published by McClelland & Stewart.

His debut novel, The Best Laid Plans, won the 2008 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour and was crowned the 2011 winner of CBC Canada Reads as the “essential Canadian novel of the decade. In January 2014, CBC aired a six-part television miniseries based on The Best Laid Plans earning very positive reviews. It debuted as a stage musical in Vancouver in September 2015. The High Road was published in September 2010 and was a finalist for the 2011 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. Terry’s third novel, Up and Down, was released in September 2012. It debuted on the Globe and Mail bestsellers list, was a finalist for the 2013 Leacock Medal, and won the 2013 Ontario Library Association Evergreen Award. In June 2013, the Canadian Booksellers Association presented Terry with the Libris Award for Author of the Year. Terry’s fourth novel, No Relation, hit bookstores in May 2014, opened on the Globe and Mail bestsellers list, and won the 2015 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. Poles Apart was released in October 2015 debuting on the Globe and Mail bestsellers list. It was one of three finalists for the 2016 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. One Brother Shy was released in May 2017 and became an instant bestseller.

Terry Fallis earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree from McMaster University and then spent several years working in federal and Ontario politics. In 1995, he co-founded Thornley Fallis, a full service communications and digital agency with offices in Toronto and Ottawa.

He blogs at www.terryfallis.com and his twitter handle is @TerryFallis.

- Genre: Humour - Event: Spring Feature Workshop 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

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