Winter & Spring 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

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

First Friday Sandbox – Word Art

Kim Firmston
Saturday
7:00-9:00 PM
February 1 (2 hours)
Member Price: $3.00
Non-member Price: $8.00

Make a large poetry art piece using words, pictures, and collage with other artists and writers, then break it apart and take your section home. All ages welcome

$3.00 for members, $8.00 for non-members (for art supplies)

 

- Level: All ages, all levels - Course Type: Community Building - Event: First Friday Sandbox View Course Details & Register

PD Day Workshops

Instructors vary
Days vary
9am-3pm
Member Price: $60
Non-member Price: $70

PD DAY WRITING WORKSHOPS

Why not take a writing workshop when school is out and improve on your writing skills? Lots of fun subjects to choose from! Workshops run from 9:00-3:00.

February 1 (Friday) – Focus on Non-Fiction with Kim Firmston – whether you are writing school essays, book reports, or even a travel blog, learn to improve your writing with this one day, all grades, workshop.

February 14 (Thursday during the teacher’s convention) – How Legends are Born with Suzy Vadori – Join us for a day full of Legends, where we’ll discover how Valentine’s Day and other Legends and Fairy Tales with roots in truth came about, both their dark and their light sides. We’ll explore the elements of these stories that have helped them endure over centuries, and try our hand at creating legends and fairy-tales of our own. It’ll be Legendary…

March 1 (Friday) – Write It! with Suzy Vadori – Explore the writing process, and develop plot and storylines for a story or novel through interactive exercises setting you on a path to success.

March 22  (Friday) –The Rad Poet’s Society with Erin Emily Ann Vance – Poetry is fun and innovative! In this one-day course, students will learn blackout poetry, haiku, play various poetry games, and take a look at different styles of poems. They will learn to communicate their ideas effectively and make poetry work for them! Students will leave the class with a new skill set and a new outlook on one of the most dreaded units in English class! – Class will be adapted to each individual’s comfort and learning level.

May 17 (Friday)  – Radio Plays with Kim Firmston – Learn the art of scriptwriting, making your own live sound effects, recording, editing, and old-timey radio plays to produce a one of a kind project that will be sure to impress your friends and parents. The product of this class will be featured in the Spring edition of the Reality Is Optional Electronic Magazine.

- Level: All grades 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

Spring Writing Camps – March 25-29, 2019

Instructors to be annouced
March 25-29, 2019
9am-4pm
(5 days)
Member Price: $275
Non-member Price: $340

Does your child or teen love writing, creating, drawing, and playing with words? Well, this camp is for them! Explore language, make friends, create incredible works of art, learn all kinds of new things and improve on already established skills. These camps are perfect for both the writing dabbler and the word expert. At least half of the camp is spent actively, exploring the environment, playing outside, and creating on our feet. It’s fun, creative, and awesome. What are you waiting for? Register today!

TWO CAMPS AVAILABLE 

  • Youth Writing Adventures (Ages 9-13)
  • Teen Writing Camp (Ages 13-17)

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

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Youth and Teens - Youth Programming: Writing Camp 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 – Novel Writing – Grades 5 – 12 – Kim Firmston
Want to write a novel or just learn how to tackle a large project? This is the course for you! Learn novel writing, character and world building, editing, critiquing, and how to woo a publisher or publish your own book.

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.

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

2019 Writer in Residence

Writer in Residence (Additional or Non-Member Consultation)

Bradley Somer
Varies
Varies
March 8, 2019
Member Price: $50 (additional consult only)
Non-member Price: $50

All current AWCS members are offered one free manuscript consultation with the Writer in Residence. Any additional consultations are $50/consult.

Non-Members are welcome for a fee of $50/consult.

Please pay for your consultation here and then book HERE

View Course Details & Register

Writer in Residence Workshop – The Story Elements Crash Course

Bradley Somer
Saturday
10-3:30pm
March 9, 2019
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Put on your learning helmets for this one-day workshop for beginner/intermediate novelists that covers the basics of the story elements, and how they interact to make a novel work. The focus of this workshop will be on identifying the tools authors have to work with, and making each tool in your authorly toolbox function on many levels. Ideal for people interested in getting started on their first project, ones working on their first manuscript, and those wishing to writing a novel when they are more experienced in other formats, like short fiction, memoir, etc. Bring your pens and imaginations, and let’s get to work!

BUNDLE & SAVE – When you register for all 3 WIR Workshops, save 10%. Use COUPON CODE – WIR2019 at checkout.

- Level: Beginner to Intermediate - Event: Writer in Residence View Course Details & Register

Writer in Residence Workshop – One Scene, Many Tools

Bradley Somer
Saturday
10-3:30pm
April 13, 2019
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

In this one-day workshop, students will be encouraged to squeeze the absolute most out of every tool they have in their story writing toolkit. While traditional courses pick the story elements apart, this one will focus on how to get them to work together. Get ready to be put through the paces with exercises and intensive workshopping of a single scene to figure out how all the different elements can be made to work together for maximum impact. How can dialogue act as plot and characterization? How can setting illuminate character…or be a character itself?

BUNDLE & SAVE – When you register for all 3 WIR Workshops, save 10%. Use COUPON CODE – WIR2019 at checkout.

- Level: Intermediate to Advanced - Event: Writer in Residence View Course Details & Register

Writer in Residence Workshop – Lube for the Idea Machine

Bradley Somer
Saturday
10-3:30pm
May 11, 2019
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Most storytellers have little problem coming up with the ideas, many have issues executing them. This workshop examines ways to unstick a stuck story, poke those lazy characters into meaningful action, and make those contrived sections of the story a lot less so. This workshop would use methods to work through the problem spots of storytelling that are a little less traditional than often used, such as: plotting and defining character using tarot cards, the Ouija action-reaction scheme, understanding the anti-hero’s journey, constructing the lovable villain and hateable hero, among others.

BUNDLE & SAVE – When you register for all 3 WIR Workshops, save 10%. Use COUPON CODE – WIR2019 at checkout.

- Level: Intermediate to Advanced - Event: Writer in Residence View Course Details & Register

Special Events

Agent Manuscript Consultations w/ Sam Hiyate

Sam Hiyate
Thursday, Friday & Saturday
9am to 5pm
(45 minutes)
Member Price: $140
Non-member Price: $160

Ever wonder how agents or publishers view your manuscript? Here’s your chance to find out.

The Rights Factory President & Agent, Sam Hiyate will be available to review the first 20 pages of your manuscript and provide valuable feedback from an agent’s perspective. What do they look for? How can your manuscript stand out above all the others?

Submit 20 pages of your manuscript and/or query letter.

Consultations available March 7-9, 2019. Day and evening times available.

45 minute sessions to discuss what’s working and what’s not and how an agent views your manuscript.

Book your consultation. We will contact you to confirm day and time.

March 7 – consults between 9am and 5pm

March 8 – consults between 9am and 3pm

March 9 – consults between 9am and 5pm

View Course Details & Register

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

The Writers' Circle

The Writers’ Circle – Time

Lexie Angelo
Sunday
10:30pm - 12:30pm
January 20, 2019
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

Exploring the passage of time such as quick bursts, sudden changes, or long stretches of time where little happens. How do characters interact with time and how does the narrator use time as tension?

- Level: All levels. View Course Details & Register

The Writers’ Circle – Writer Self-Care

Kim Firmston
Sunday
10:30pm - 12:30pm
January 27, 2019
Member Price: $10
Non-member Price: $20

Writers and Artists, more than any others, suffer from anxiety, depression, and sore bodies from sitting for long hours. Bring your best remedies, techniques, and stretches to share so we can all practice Writer Self Care.

- 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

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

Finding Creative Bliss: A Muse SWAT Team Workshop

Sharon McLeay
Tuesdays
9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
April 9, 2019 (8 Weeks)
Member Price: $235
Non-member Price: $300

Do you recognize creativity as a central source of meaning in your life? Do you feel your motivation/inspiration—your Muse—has become somewhat uninspiring, is taking too many coffee breaks and vacations or simply gone AWOL? If so it’s time to call in the creative big guns. The 9 Modern Day Muses (& a Bodyguard)© SWAT team is a highly trained para-creativity unit you can call on anytime to keep help you complete any artistic project. This elite squad offers specialized ways and tactics you’ve likely never experienced before, all designed to revitalize and/or boost your originality and minimize chances of getting twisted off, lost, stuck or giving up. At the end of the 8-week workshop you’ll take with you all the 9 Modern Day Muse (and a Bodyguard)© hootsfa and talents and create a personal Muse which will always be there to help you:

  • Protect your creative brilliance;
  • Raise big ideas without breaking a sweat;
  • Tap into high octane imaginative fuel to fly over creative barriers;
  • Include play and silliness in your artistic process (because experts say fun is the key to creativity);
  • Learn why chocolate, wine and self-appreciation are a must;
  • Understand the creative side of “oops,” “whoa” and mistakes;
  • Break rules to find rare starters/solutions;
  • Buck up the courage to embolden uninhibited uniqueness;
  • Take pauses (not procrastination) and diversions to artistic excellence;
  • Manage the incoherent madness and darkness that comes with the creative territory and;
  • Get going and tap into your creative bliss.

Recognizing that no SWAT unit member ever ‘finishes’ training, your Muse will continue to be your point person, helping you maintain your creative braininess whenever something discouraging this way comes.

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

Legacy Writing

Ellen Kelly
Wednesdays
10 AM - 12 PM
April 17, 2019 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $210
Non-member Price: $275

Legacy writing is a way of documenting your life experiences, values, and opinions to share with others. It can be a cherished gift to family and loved ones, and healing for the writers themselves.”

How many times have you wished you could talk to someone from your past? Do you wish you knew who the people in the old photos were or how to make that amazing chicken soup your grandmother made? Do you wonder about life events that are now buried in the past? Come and create a legacy project that offers answers to the questions your children/grandchildren might ask. What was it like before the Internet/cell phones/even television? What was the best/worst Christmas ever? What were your feelings the day I was born? So many questions – the focus will be on life-changing events and the emotions surrounding them, as well as small victories and personal anecdotes . Come and write, discuss, share and be inspired by others while giving the gift of yourself to your family.

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Creative Nonfiction - Genre: Creative NonFiction, Personal Essay, Memoir - Event: Course View Course Details & Register

Multi-Week Courses - Evening

The Dreaded First Draft

Robin van Eck
Tuesdays
7-9:30pm
February 5, 2019 (10 weeks)
Member Price: $300
Non-member Price: $425

The most challenging thing a writer can do is submit to the process of writing the dreaded first draft, in all of its torturous glory. Getting started, working through hiccups, blocks, boredom, plot holes and life’s constant intrusions can derail even the most experienced authors, but all work–including bestsellers–has to start somewhere.

In this 10 week class, writers of all levels will take on the daunting yet achievable task of writing and completing a first draft of a full length fiction or nonfiction project. Strategies to get “unstuck”, writing tips, discussions on craft, and “story 911” will be used in addition to writing-in-class to get you from prologue to epilogue and everything in between.

 

- Level: All levels 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

Being You in Memoir

Sharon McLeay
Wednesdays
7-9pm
April 10, 2019 (8 weeks)
Member Price: $210
Non-member Price: $275

Are you having difficulty starting, structuring and/or finishing your life story? Sometimes the difficulty stems from too much knowledge about other memoirists’ personalities, approaches, styles and voices and not enough understanding of our own. Socrates’ “know thyself” was never more appropriate than in the case of the memoir writer. Readers depend on a genuine representation of you for interest and meaning and to identify with your story. Without authenticity there can be no trust between the reader and writer.

Being You in Memoir is an eight-week course designed to help you use memoir writing to probe deeper into who you are—your values, beliefs, fears, life passions, expressions, cultural influences and more—and figure out how to infuse that ‘flavor of you’ into your memoir. Your life influences and societal norms have molded you into the unique person you are today, a ‘you’ who should be reflected in every title, chapter, story, character, voice and more. Through the use of journal writing you will:

  • Explore identity;
  • Develop your memoir purpose;
  • Work out a design/organizational strategy;
  • Develop a genuine voice;
  • And write authentic titles and stories.

At the end of the eight weeks you’ll leave with a stash of titles and stories under your arm and a personal plan to guide you to the completion of an authentic memoir.

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

January Workshops

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

First Friday Sandbox – Word Art

Kim Firmston
Saturday
7:00-9:00 PM
February 1 (2 hours)
Member Price: $3.00
Non-member Price: $8.00

Make a large poetry art piece using words, pictures, and collage with other artists and writers, then break it apart and take your section home. All ages welcome

$3.00 for members, $8.00 for non-members (for art supplies)

 

- Level: All ages, all levels - Course Type: Community Building - Event: First Friday Sandbox View Course Details & Register

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

Breaking it Down: Crafting Engaging Narrative Nonfiction from “Big Ideas”

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

In a world that feels more complicated than ever, how can writers tackle big subjects and make them comprehensible? Calgary journalist, Taylor Lambert has turned complex topics like the 2013 flood and the history of Alberta dentistry into engaging narratives. In this workshop, he’ll discuss how to find the important threads in messy ideas in order to distill a clear story for your reader.

Taylor Lambert is a freelance longform journalist and the author of several literary nonfiction books, including “Rising: Stories of the 2013 Alberta Flood.” His recent book, “Darwin’s Moving,” an exploration of class divides in Calgary through the lens of the moving industry, won the W.O. Mitchell Book Prize in 2018.

- Level: All Levels - Course Type: Nonfiction - Genre: Narrative Nonfiction, Long Form journalism, Creative Nonfiction - Event: Course 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

Writer in Residence Workshop – The Story Elements Crash Course

Bradley Somer
Saturday
10-3:30pm
March 9, 2019
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Put on your learning helmets for this one-day workshop for beginner/intermediate novelists that covers the basics of the story elements, and how they interact to make a novel work. The focus of this workshop will be on identifying the tools authors have to work with, and making each tool in your authorly toolbox function on many levels. Ideal for people interested in getting started on their first project, ones working on their first manuscript, and those wishing to writing a novel when they are more experienced in other formats, like short fiction, memoir, etc. Bring your pens and imaginations, and let’s get to work!

BUNDLE & SAVE – When you register for all 3 WIR Workshops, save 10%. Use COUPON CODE – WIR2019 at checkout.

- Level: Beginner to Intermediate - Event: Writer in Residence 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

Writer in Residence Workshop – One Scene, Many Tools

Bradley Somer
Saturday
10-3:30pm
April 13, 2019
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

In this one-day workshop, students will be encouraged to squeeze the absolute most out of every tool they have in their story writing toolkit. While traditional courses pick the story elements apart, this one will focus on how to get them to work together. Get ready to be put through the paces with exercises and intensive workshopping of a single scene to figure out how all the different elements can be made to work together for maximum impact. How can dialogue act as plot and characterization? How can setting illuminate character…or be a character itself?

BUNDLE & SAVE – When you register for all 3 WIR Workshops, save 10%. Use COUPON CODE – WIR2019 at checkout.

- Level: Intermediate to Advanced - Event: Writer in Residence View Course Details & Register

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

May Workshops

Writer in Residence Workshop – Lube for the Idea Machine

Bradley Somer
Saturday
10-3:30pm
May 11, 2019
Member Price: $75
Non-member Price: $100

Most storytellers have little problem coming up with the ideas, many have issues executing them. This workshop examines ways to unstick a stuck story, poke those lazy characters into meaningful action, and make those contrived sections of the story a lot less so. This workshop would use methods to work through the problem spots of storytelling that are a little less traditional than often used, such as: plotting and defining character using tarot cards, the Ouija action-reaction scheme, understanding the anti-hero’s journey, constructing the lovable villain and hateable hero, among others.

BUNDLE & SAVE – When you register for all 3 WIR Workshops, save 10%. Use COUPON CODE – WIR2019 at checkout.

- Level: Intermediate to Advanced - Event: Writer in Residence 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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