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    Writing a Novel in Thirty Days

    by Janice - 0 Comment(s)

    So for all of you crazy, wonderful NaNoWriMo types:

    ...just how do you write 50,000 (or more) words in thirty days?

    We have lots of tips (books, blog posts, articles) on how to get ready for National Novel Writing Month madness, but once November 1 is here my advice is to stop looking at writing advice and start writing.

    Some types sneer at the concept of writing a full-length novel in one month, but the point of NaNoWriMo is not to end up with a beautifully written, perfect manuscript that will lead to publishers' bidding wars and international awards. No. My hope for all NaNoWriMo participants, whether already published or not, is simply to write 50,000 words—perhaps much of which will be complete and utter crap—by December 1.

    As I see it, the beauty in NaNoWriMo is threefold:

    1. Creating a regular writing practice
      So many of us struggle to write every day. During NaNoWriMo you write—a lot—every day, helping to create the habit of making the time to write and then actually writing.
    2. Completing a major length writing project
      Will it be your best work? No. Will it get published? Not likely. Will you realize that you can write a novel to completion and learn a whole lot (about yourself and you as a writer) from the process? Yes.
    3. Community Support
      What most consider the most important aspect of NaNoWriMo is the community support. There are websites, international and local online and in-person meet-up groups, support from others who see the fun and folly of writing 50,000 words in thirty days. (And perhaps you didn't realize that your local library is one of the best places for writing space, information, tips, support and awesome programs for writers?)

    So now what?

    Well, you (especially those of you who like to tackle things in a structured way) are in luck; in its How to write a book in 30 days series, the Guardian website has spent the last two weeks giving detailed advice and a day-to-day breakdown on how yoGuardian How to Write a Book in 30 Daysu might best use the thirty days of November:

    How to write a book in 30 days (Guardian series)

    Stage 1: days 1–6
    Creating your preliminary outline with characters, setting and plot

    Stage 2: days 7–13
    Researching your novel (note: please remember the Calgary Public Library)

    Stage 3: days 14–15
    The evolution of your story

    Stage 4: days 16–24
    Introducing the formatted outline

    Stage 5: days 25–28
    Evaluating the strength of your formatted outline

    Stage 6: days 29–30
    Revising your first draft

    If you like to take notes, there is even a series of worksheets to help keep you on track (you have to register for the Guardian website to access the worksheets).

    The information in this series is a condensed version of what is in Karen S. Wiesner's First Draft in 30 Days, and may help you focus on how best to use your time. (note to NaNoWriMo participants: you don't have time to read this book, or any book, before November 1.)



    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a nonprofit event that encourages kids and adults to tackle the challenge of writing a novel in November. Launched in 1999, NaNoWriMo inspires its estimated 300,000 participants with email pep talks, a huge and supportive online community, and a host of web-based writing tools. Additionally, volunteers called Municipal Liaisons (MLs) in nearly 600 regions organize local writing events and get-togethers that transform novel-writing into an achievable and fun community endeavor.”

    Sign up today at the NaNoWriMo website.

    And because libraries are the ultimate place to write - the domestic distractions of home are eliminated, the calm-yet-lively atmosphere nurtures focus, and you surround yourself with all the glorious material you could ask for in terms of research and inspiration - we are hoping that any and all Calgary WRIMOS come and plug in at any of our 18 branches across the city. Our doors will open 29 out of 30 days in November (closed for Remembrance Day) and on the 17th the Central library is hosting a mid-way convergence featuring two special presentations you won't want to miss...


    November 17. 1.00 - 3.00 pm.

    Join local authors Susan Calder (Deadly Fall) and Garry Ryan (Blackbirds) for an interactive workshop on making your characters come alive and about using E-Resources. Bring your questions and meet other writers. Everyone welcome. REGISTER.

    eBook or Print?

    November 17. 12.00 - 1.00 pm.

    Consider both formats when publishing your writing. Susan Toy discusses the many changes in promotion and marketing that have occurred as a result of both methods of delivering books to readers. REGISTER.


    This is also a perfect opportunity to make use of the library's Writer-in-Residence services. Book your manuscript consultation with Brian Brennan today and get some free, professional guidance on your journey to 50,000 words. Mr. Brennan's residency will end November 30 so do not wait.

    Your City Has a Story to Tell You

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    In a panel discussion held recently at the Central Library as part of WordFest (EVENT#30: STORIES CITIES TELL), four world-class authors discussed the role that cities played in their work. Is the character of a city created by the people that move through it, or does the structure of a city shape the trajectory of its population’s character?

    Depends on the city, of course.

    The experience of real children navigating the barricades of Belfast, as reported by Marcello Di Cintio’s Walls, is very different from the fictional structures imposed on the characters of Pasha Malla’s People Park. When the discussion was opened to the audience for questions one of the first hands raised wanted to know what the authors thought about the state of the city they were in, Calgary. As the only Calgary writer on hand, Di Cintio gracefully handled the question with a thoughtful analysis of how the presence of the Rocky mountains on the Western horizon affected Calgarians the same way Lake Michigan cradles the east end of Joe Meno’s Chicago.

    The topic of Calgary also raised the question of whether or not Calgary had yet been ‘written’ the way that other major cities of the world are represented in literature – a highly debatable, unanswerable question that can really only be addressed through reading. And writing.

    And if you’re writing Calgary you’ve got to know Calgary.

    And nobody knows Calgary better than the select group of historians, authors, and storytellers gathering at the library this weekend for HERITAGE WEEKEND 2012. Save yourself lifetimes worth of research and experience the stories that built our city like you’ve never heard before.

    Unbuilt Calgary

    Saturday, Oct 20
    1:00 to 2:00 p.m.
    John Dutton Theatre (Central Library 2nd floor)

    Author Stephanie White explores a century of plans for Calgary, some remaining unrealized, others waiting for their time to come.

    Stories of Calgary

    Saturday, Oct 20
    2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
    John Dutton Theatre (Central Library, 2nd floor)

    Calgary’s best historian-storytellers, Hugh Dempsey, Harry Sanders, Max Foran and Nancy Townshend, and Library writer-in-residence Brian Brennan for fascinating and entertaining stories of Calgary’s past.

    For the full list of inspiration-guaranteed Heritage Weekend events taking place October 19th & 20th, click here.

    Contest Deadline Season

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    It is the time of year when deadlines for a lot of writing contests start to creep up quickly. While you may think it’s crazy to pay money to submit work to a magazine that you can submit work to for free at any time of the year, there are benefits. A subscription to the magazine (which is usually offered with the entry fee) helps you keep on top of what’s getting published in them, and also helps support the magazine, which in turn supports writers.

    Contests also provide DEADLINES, which are crucial for a lot of us who have trouble with self-discipline or over-analysis. (See also: "Dreaded Deadlines".) When a piece of work has to be completed before a determined date there is a real sense of motivating urgency you just can’t get from any internal pressure. And you might find that your editing process takes a much harder line when you know what you’re working on is going to be judged.

    Here is a roundup of some of our favourite magazines’ current contests, and links to the details, in chronological order of their deadlines. Remember that if you are going to enter contests, read the magazine you are submitting to to get a feel for what they publish. You can find any of the following publications on the 4th floor of the Central library.

    Contest Host Link to details DEADLINE

    2013 Open Season Awards


    (Fiction, Poetry, & Creative Non-Fiction)

    Prairie Fire


    (Fiction, Poetry, & Creative Non-Fiction)



    (Fiction & Poetry only)

    PRISM international

    Fiction & Poetry: JANUARY 25, 2013

    Literary Non-Fiction: November 28, 2012

    Short Prose Competition for Developing Writers

    MARCH 1, 2013

    Please note that this is only small sample of the endless places for you to submit your work. A really good website to take a look at for other submission calls is [places for writers], which seems to have new postings every day.

    EVENT 36 - Poetry off the Page

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)


    60+ Events. 6 days...



    Event #36 - POETRY OFF THE PAGE

    October 12, 2012

    9:30-11pm, Vertigo Theatre Centre, Studio

    Ken Babstock • Ivan E. Coyote • Phil Hall • A.F. Moritz • Sandy Pool

    Award-winning and prolific, Canadian “page poets” use the stage as the page, transforming their readings into a charged event for a truly dynamic experience. Hosted by Lorna Crozier. TICKETS.

    Methodist Hatchet Missed Her Killdeer The New Measures Undark
    Ken Babstock Ivan E. Coyote Phil Hall A.F. Moritz Sandy Pool

    Festival starts October 9! Click here for the complete lineup.