Summer & Fall 2018

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

October Mentor-in-the-Loop: Colin Martin

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

The AWCS October Mentor-in-the-Loop is Colin Martin.Colin received his PhD in Canadian Literature and Publishing in 2016. The founding editor of NōD Magazine and former nonfiction editor of filling station Magazine, he writes and edits poetry, speculative fiction, creative nonfiction, and academic writing, and he is delighted to provide support and critical feedback to AWCS writers in any of these genres. He currently teaches at Mount Royal University and the Alberta College of Art and Design. 

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

Fridays | 10:00am – 2:00pm | October 12, 19 & 26

Sunday, October 28 | 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Book a session here.

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)

 

Oct 5 – Maraya Loza Koxahn – Leaping Through a Door – Catholic School Board
A story journey through time travel and exploration.

Oct 26 – Suzy Vadori – Writing with Feeling – Public School Board
Learn how to tap into your own experiences, applying them to your fiction writing. We’ll learn journaling techniques, and apply them to writing fictional scenes.

Nov 23 – Maraya Loza Koxahn – What if? – Public School Board
If you were very, very small; if you were very, very tall. It’s all a matter of perspective.

Nov 30 – Maraya Loza Koxahn – Poetry Anything! – Catholic School Board
Learn and play with poetry.

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

The 20,000 Word Weekend

Bradley Somer
Saturday & Sunday
8am-8pm
November 3 & 4, 2018
Member Price: $100
Non-member Price: $125

Kick off NaNoWriMo or continue with a work in progress

Want to get some words? Working on Nanowrimo? Join your fellow writers on this intensive, two day workshop… the goal? Words. Wear your comfy writing pants, it’s a big goal and we’re all in it for the long haul. Each day will hold plenty of independent writing time in a creative environment, some short intensive lessons on various aspects of novel writing, a bit of workshopping, and friendly and inspirational competition to drive your creative juices. Bradley Somer will be there with you, helping out if you get stuck, and ready for any writerly chats needed to help your craft.

Nourishment provided throughout the weekend.

- Level: All levels - Course Type: Material generation, support, encouragement - Genre: All genres View Course Details & Register

Book a Blue Pencil Session

October Mentor-in-the-Loop: Colin Martin

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

The AWCS October Mentor-in-the-Loop is Colin Martin.Colin received his PhD in Canadian Literature and Publishing in 2016. The founding editor of NōD Magazine and former nonfiction editor of filling station Magazine, he writes and edits poetry, speculative fiction, creative nonfiction, and academic writing, and he is delighted to provide support and critical feedback to AWCS writers in any of these genres. He currently teaches at Mount Royal University and the Alberta College of Art and Design. 

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

Fridays | 10:00am – 2:00pm | October 12, 19 & 26

Sunday, October 28 | 1:00pm – 3:00pm

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.

October Mentor: Colin Martin

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) or 5 poems (single-spaced, one poem per page) 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 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

The Writer’s Circle: Dreams

Robin van Eck
Sunday
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
October 21, 2018
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

Have you ever had a dream and woke up thinking, “I should write that?” Come to this Writer’s Circle and let’s talk about ideas from dreams. If you’ve written something from a dream already, bring it and we can share some of our dream stories.

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

The Writer’s Circle: The Long Poem: Made in Canada?

Colin Martin
Sunday
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
October 28, 2018
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

Northrop Frye famously described the Canadian long poem as a genre unique to this country, with no true precedent in English but the medieval epic, a form likewise rooted in living in a wild place where the fields and streams could literally kill people, especially in winter. In this chapter of the Writer’s Circle, we’ll look at this terrifying creature and try to capture the thing in its native habitat here in the (true?) north. Climb into your favourite long underwear, don your long toques, and button your hatches; we’re heading out!

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Poetry - Event: Writers' Circle 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

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

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

Multi-Week Courses - Evening

Going Dark

Sarah L. Johnson
Tuesdays
7-9pm
October 16, 2018 (5 weeks)
Member Price: $150
Non-member Price: $190

Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win. ~ Stephen King

From bleak literary tales to creature features, learn how to construct stories that frighten and thrill in this primer on dark fiction across a variety of genres. Each class will focus on a different genre (horror, supernatural, suspense/thriller, grimdark etc.) and use examples from a variety of dark fiction authors like Shirley Jackson, Neil Gaiman, Gillian Flynn, Gemma Files, and of course, Stephen King. Some of the material covered in this course may be graphic or disturbing. Students should be prepared to participate in discussion and exercises, and share their work.

- Level: All levels - Course Type: Fiction - Genre: Horror, Supernatural, Thriller View Course Details & Register

Keeping the Channel Open: Tools for Building a Generative Writing Practice

Laura Nicol
Wednesdays
7-9pm
November 7, 2018 (4 WEEKS)
Member Price: $120
Non-member Price: $160

The ability to easily and consistently generate raw material is the foundation of any successful writing practice, yet we often avoid this work, believing it to be messy, inefficient, or pointless. In the spirit of serious play, participants will develop a repertoire of writing exercises that will build their capacity to generate image-rich material, remove barriers to productivity, and strengthen discipline. Whether you’re deep into an on-going project or writing your way into a new one, this workshop will fuel your work with an abundance of fresh directions, insights and images.

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: word generation, writing strategies, process - Genre: All Genres View Course Details & Register

Writing Children’s Picture Books

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

3-Month Novel Project

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.

- 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

State of the Industry Speaker Series

State of the Industry Series: Indie Publishing Now

Steena Holmes
Tuesday, October 2, 2018
7 PM - 9 PM
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

The golden age of indie publishing has diminished and yet, it remains a solid career path for many authors. In this session, we’ll discuss strategies on how to start, maintain and grow an indie author career in today’s new publishing climate.

Steena Holmes is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author with 2 million copies of her titles sold world wide, including The Forgotten Ones, Saving Abby  and The Memory Child. Named in the Top 20 Women Author to read in 2015 by Good Housekeeping, she won the National Indie Excellence Award in 2012 for Finding Emma as well as the USA Book News Award for The Word Game in 2015. Steena has been featured in various newspapers and magazines, websites such as Goodreads, BookBub, RedBook, Glamour, Coastal Living and Goodhousekeeping.

This is session three in the AWCS’ fall State of the Industry Series. Register for one, or attend all three and receive a $10 discount. Use coupon code: industry3 upon checkout.

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Presentation, Discussion - Genre: All Genres - Event: State of the Industry Series View Course Details & Register

October Workshops

Writing Erotica: a filthy flirty workshop for the bold and the shy alike

M. Jane Colette
Saturday
10-3:30pm
October 13, 2018
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Whether you love to write dirty, wish you could (but you can’t, OMG, how do people even think such things!!), or wonder what the heck’s wrong with authors who do, this workshop will help you apply the tools and rules that make for good, effective “can’t stop turning the pages” erotica to all of your writing. The workshop Includes some Freefall-style writing exercises to seduce your inner muse, ruthless editing tips, and guidelines on how to beta-read and critique steamy sex scenes.

- Level: All levels - Course Type: Fiction - Genre: Erotica, Romance View Course Details & Register

Hunger and Thirst – Why Characters Need to Want

Jani Krulc
Saturday
10-3:30pm
October 20, 2018
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Characters need to want something. The object of their desire can be simple, but their desire must be strong enough to carry the story. Robert Olen Butler says that “yearning is always part of fictional characters,” and that “desire is the driving force behind plot.” Crafting want, hunger, need, even greed, can be the key to fully fleshed characters and rousing narrative. In this workshop, we’ll explore the dynamics of desire in character motivation and narrative momentum.

- Level: All levels View Course Details & Register

The Wickedest 500 Words – How to Write a Query and Synopsis

Bradley Somer
Saturday, October 20
10:00 - 3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

You’ve written “The End” on your novel and the celebratory hangover has waned, leaving only one question… what now? This workshop will cover the ins and outs of writing your query letter, the dreaded synopsis, and where to go from there! Bring your editing pencil, in this workshop we will write, rewrite, and rewrite your query letter and synopsis again (and again… until it’s ready to go). Then we’ll talk about where to go from there!

- Level: Intermediate, Advanced - Course Type: Marketing, Queries - Genre: Fiction - Event: Workshop View Course Details & Register

The Suspense is Killing Me

Philip Vernon
Saturday, October 27
10 AM - 3:30 PM
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Thanks to authors like Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins, and SJ Watson, suspense is once again all the rage. But what is suspense as a genre, and how is it different from a mystery or thriller? Why is a suspenseful feeling different from fear or shock, and why does it make for a compulsive read? Regardless of which genre(s) you write, threading suspense into your plot helps hold reader attention until your very last word. We’ll discuss suspenseful hooks, micro-tension, end-of-chapter cliff-hangers, and other ways to whiten your reader’s knuckles.

 

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Fiction - Genre: Suspense. Ficiton, Mystery, Crime - Event: Workshop View Course Details & Register

Subtext in Stories

Jani Krulc
Saturday
10am-3:30pm
October 27, 2018
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

As a writer, you’re always managing two stories: the one that appears quite literally on the page, and the one that is unspoken, implicit, and ephemeral. In this workshop, we will examine subtext in short stories, exploring techniques of withholding, pacing, and voice to craft layered and nuanced narratives.

- Level: All levels View Course Details & Register

November Workshops

The 20,000 Word Weekend

Bradley Somer
Saturday & Sunday
8am-8pm
November 3 & 4, 2018
Member Price: $100
Non-member Price: $125

Kick off NaNoWriMo or continue with a work in progress

Want to get some words? Working on Nanowrimo? Join your fellow writers on this intensive, two day workshop… the goal? Words. Wear your comfy writing pants, it’s a big goal and we’re all in it for the long haul. Each day will hold plenty of independent writing time in a creative environment, some short intensive lessons on various aspects of novel writing, a bit of workshopping, and friendly and inspirational competition to drive your creative juices. Bradley Somer will be there with you, helping out if you get stuck, and ready for any writerly chats needed to help your craft.

Nourishment provided throughout the weekend.

- Level: All levels - Course Type: Material generation, support, encouragement - Genre: All genres View Course Details & Register

From SME to Published Author

Dymphny Dronyk
Saturday
10 AM - 3:30 PM
November 10, 2018
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Are you a Subject Matter Expert (SME) on a topic that you’re interested in sharing with others? Has anyone ever told you that you “should write a book” to help you ply your trade and market your knowledge? Self-published books by SME’s are currently very trendy, and self-publishing has never been easier or more affordable. But a poorly written or unedited book makes you looks like an amateur, not an expert. Learn how to compile a book and polish it with a aplomb.

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Publishing - Genre: Non-Fiction, Business - Event: Workshop View Course Details & Register

Writing for Film

Phyllis Heltay
Saturday
10-4pm
November 10, 2018
Member Price: $80
Non-member Price: $105

Bring your screenplay and/or ideas for the script you always wanted to write. Get the inspiration and information you need to develop a short or feature length script closer to production ready. This intensive workshop will also explore adapting your short stories or novels to screenplays.

Bring in any scripts (full or partial drafts) and/or ideas you want to explore. Workshop format will include readings and discussions.

- Level: All levels - Course Type: Screenwriting - Genre: screenwriting workshop View Course Details & Register

Pacing – It Doesn’t Just Apply to Running, Drinking, and Stock Car Racing

Bradley Somer
Saturday, November 17
10:00 - 3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

We all know about pacing ourselves, and the potential negative outcomes if we don’t. Pacing scenes is no different. This workshop will walk through the nuts and bolts of pacing from what drives it, how to break pacing down into its fundamental components, and how to build a tighter scene back up again. There will be some exercises to test what you learn and you can even bring that “trouble spot” in your own work to focus on.

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

Mapping A Novel

Anne Metikosh
Saturday & Sunday
10 AM - 2 PM
November 17 & 18
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 View Course Details & Register

Process and Promotion

Steena Holmes
Saturday, November 24
10:00 - 3:30pm
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Join Steena Holmes for a one-day workshop on Process and Promotion. From learning to believe in herself to all the mistakes she made on the way, the journey to selling 2M copies of her books hasn’t been easy but it’s been life changing. Come prepared for an honest discussion on what it means to have an overnight bestseller that took years to write, the importance of marketing and finding readers and the pitfalls of focusing only on your sales. Bring questions and be ready for some real answers few are willing to divulge.

Steena Holmes is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author with 2 million of her titles sold worldwide including The Forgotten Ones, Saving Abby, and The Memory Child. Named in the Top 20 Women Author to read in 2015 by Good Housekeeping, she won the National Indie Excellence Award in 2012 for Finding Emma , as well as the USA Book News Award for The Word Game in 2015. Steena has been featured in various newspapers and magazines, websites such as Goodreads, BookBub, RedBook, Glamour, Coastal Living and Goodhousekeeping. 

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Marketing, Promotion, Indie Publishing, Process - Genre: Popular Fiction - Event: Workshop View Course Details & Register

Scene Construction

Susan Forest
Saturday
10 AM - 3:30 PM
November 24, 2018
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Nancy Kress likely spoke for a lot of writers when she said, “When I started writing in scenes, I started selling.” Designed for writers early in their development , this one-day workshop will look at what is a scene, how scenes are structured (their function within a larger work and their internal structure), and what elements should be included. Students are asked to being a scene they are working on, to develop further over the course of the session.

- Level: Beginner, Intermediate - Course Type: Fiction - Genre: All Genres - Event: 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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