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  • Nov 26 - Distinguished Visitor - Shyam Selvadurai presents 'Writing from the Hyphen' this Saturday
  • Nov 19 - Writing Rogues & Rascals - One more chance to get some work done with the Library's 2014 Writer In Residence, Rosemary Nixon
  • Nov 5 - Come Write In - At home where the Wrimotaurs roam
  • Oct 31 - One Book - Marcello Di Cintio launches One Book One Calgary this Saturday
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    A Writer's Resolutions

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    The ultimate resolution that writers gravitate towards at the end of every year seems to be: 'Make More Time to Write'. Sounds like a great idea, but if I’m looking for a resolution I’m actually going to keep I’m going to stay way far away from the impossible task of fabricating time. Days may be getting longer as we roll into the new year, but only in terms of light. We’re not gonna see any 25-hour days or 8-day weeks in 2013, so I’m gonna fall back on the two promises I can never seem to keep:

    - READ MORE -

    - GET OUT TO MORE LOCAL LITERARY EVENTS -

    Catching up on the long list of books I must read should be an easy one to follow through on, but this promise is not to be taken lightly. Anyone who has ever sought advice on writing has surely heard in the darkest bold letters – READ. Whether it’s the type of work you strive to create or the complete opposite, there’s nothing more important to a writer’s development than devouring as much literature as possible. Makes sense. Want to be a chef? Taste a lot of food, understand what makes it delicious. Want to be an athlete? Play a lot of sports to develop the right muscles and figure out the game’s structure.

    Easy.

    Unless you aren't sure what to read next. But the library has the answer for that - NEXTREADS - a booklist newsletter service that sends customized reading suggestions directly to your inbox. Stay on top of all the latest greatest releases in your selected field and discover exciting new authors.

    Getting out to more local literary events is a sweet, easy resolution too. For the most part we engage in a necessarily solitary process but somewhere along the way the support of community, however you define community, is essential. Every week in Calgary there is at least one author reading, one group meeting, one book launch, or one opportunity to meet like-minded individuals in a stimulating environment, often a pub. I just found out today that filling Station magazine is bringing their next installment of "Hot Dates with Blank Pages" right here to the Central library on Saturday, January 5.

    Here in the Writer's Nook we are always looking out for next week's best-looking events so if your resolutions look anything like mine, I will hopefully see you out there. And please leave a comment if I'm missing any of the shows and events you're excited about. And happy new year!

    Writers' Weekend 2013

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    How can I reach a larger audience?

    What does an editor do?

    How can I get an audience, at all?

    Should I self-publish?

    What font should my manuscript be submitted in?

    What is an oxford comma?

    How can I improve my writing?

    __________

    No matter what stage your writing life is at, what type of writing you work on, or what you hope to accomplish with it, there will be questions. The answers aren't always easy to find and even when you think you've got things figured out there's a good chance of finding another, different answer in our rapidly changing, information overloaded world.

    Lovingly devoted to Calgary's aspiring (and established) writers, the library wants to help.

    We do this every winter: round up as many local experts as possible in the John Dutton Theatre for a full day of free, inspirational presentations. This year our Writers' Weekend will take the stage Saturday, February 2 and registration has just begun. Every year I say there's no way we'll be able to top last year, and then we do. Here's the lineup for Writers' Weekend 2013:

    My Story - Writing Memoir and Biography

    Join Brian Brennan, acclaimed historian, best-selling author, and award-winning journalist as he discusses the art, craft, and fundamentals of memoir and biography writing. 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. REGISTER.

    Engaging An Audience Through Online Writing

    Join Lonnie Taylor, Huffington Post Canada blogger, for an introduction to connecting to an audience through social media platforms in creative ways. 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. REGISTER.

    Ask the Editor

    Join book editor Sandra McIntyre for an insightful question and answer session about what editors do and how publishing works. 12:00 - 12:30 p.m. REGISTER.

    Ask the Writer

    Join experienced writers Lori Hahnel, Naomi Lewis, and Debbie Willis for a dynamic question and answer session on the diverse elements of the writing process in the current publishing environment. 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. REGISTER.

    Writing and Publishing your Children's and YA Novel

    Join acclaimed writer Simon Rose and learn how to turn ideas into stories, get started as a writer and get on the path to publication. 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. REGISTER.

    Covered - Clothing for your Book

    Join Derek Mah, celebrated illustrator and book cover designer, for insight into the collaborative process required to achieve the perfect first impression for your book. 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. REGISTER.

    You can also register for any or all of these sessions by calling 403-260-2620 or in-person at your local branch.

    Stay tuned for all my upcoming blogs on this year's presenters!

    filling Station's Flywheel

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    Tomorrow night, the first night after no living person will see three identical numbers marking the date, is also the second Thursday of December. And the second Thursday of every month is the day when filling Station magazine takes over the upstairs of Pages bookstore for the Flywheel reading series.

    If you aren't familiar with filling Station, this homegrown, 100% volunteer-run magazine focuses on the support of local emerging writers and the publication of innovative poetry, fiction, and non-fiction (creative non-fiction, reviews, articles, interviews...).

    The best way to learn more about this wonderful situation would be to either go check it out in person tomorrow night for the...

    DECEMBER FLYWHEEL

    "...the last flywheel of the year with readings from Alberta writers:

    Judith Pond, Jani Krulc, Jason Lee Norman, and Patrick Horner!"

    Thursday, December 13th
    7:30 PM
    Pages on Kensington
    (1135 Kensington Drive NW)

    ...or come down to the Central library where you'll find issues of filling Station new and old, as well as a full selection of all the amazing literary magazines coming out from all over Canada.

    Canada Writes

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's annual 'Canada Writes' competition has opened their mailbox to submissions of Creative Nonfiction. Besides an impressive award of $6,000 dollars for the winner this competition also boasts the offering of a two-week residency at The Banff Centre's Leighton Artists' Colony. Pretty sweet stuff for the writer who can produce a winning entry.

    The nature of Creative Nonfiction can be an elusive beast, ranging in form from the personal essay to feature articles, which is what makes this competition such an alluring invitation. From the Canada Writes website, the CBC describes the criteria as "memoir, biography, humour writing, essay (including personal essay), travel writing, and feature articles. While the events must be real and the facts true, creative nonfiction conveys your message through the use of literary techniques such as characterization, plot, setting, dialogue, narrative, and personal reflection".

    In the endeavour to produce the best 1,200 - 1,500 words possible your library awaits, housing all the guidance, inspiration, and source material you need for a confident, glowing submission. While the form allows a writer extreme freedom in the choice of topic there is one part of Nonfiction that's pretty strict: the facts. Having stamped myself strictly a writer of fiction, it's pretty easy to let research sit on the backburner, or make something up, to make way for uninterrupted forward progress in a narrative. But if I did have a research question slowing me down I know exactly what I would do: send it to the library via the 'Ask A Question' service. Here at Central we are constantly tackling tough research questions and nothing makes the job more rewarding (at least for this particular Reference Assistant) than freeing up time for writers so they can get back to the tap-tapping.

    If it isn't research assistance you need, but fundamentals, try some of these new titles:

    Storycraft, by Jack Hart Crafting the Personal Essay, by Dinty Moore The Lifespan of a Fact, by John D'Agata You Can't Make This Stuff Up, by Lee Gutkind

    With the fundamentals in place, and a librarian working on your fact check, you might need some inspiration. Here's some of our recent favorites from the world of non-fiction:

    Walls, by Marcello Di Cintio Magic Hours, by Tom Bissell Slice Me Some Truth: an anthology of Canadian Creative Non-Fiction

    If you've got your fundamentals, facts, and inspiration, wouldn't six grand and two weeks in the mountains be nice?