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    IFWA Short Story Contest: Last Call

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    The deadline to submit to the Imaginative Fiction Writer's Association 'In Places Between' short story contest is April 4. That gives us one week to perfect every detail of our submissions before sending them off. If you're a last-minute type that works best when there's no time left, remember to leave an hour or two to format your story according to the contest rules. There's nothing worse than finding out weeks after you've submitted your work that nobody wants to read your favorite font, or your italics were supposed to be underlined, not italicized.

    While submitting to a contest is always a bit different from the standard format (in that most contests are blind so no contact information is allowed) it's always good to ensure peace of mind by reviewing standard submission guidelines. But what is the "standard"? In the FAQs & Answers page found at the 'In Places Between' contest page, the friendly folks at IFWA listed their idea of a standard as exemplified in a website produced by writer William Shunn.

    Where do you go for reference on standard, proper submission guidelines?

    Lately I've been trying out Chuck Sambuchino's "Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript". This book, published by Writer's Digest, has very clear DO/DON'T lists, as well as examples for a wide range of submission types (non-fiction, short story, novel...) and also lays out very clear steps to take on the path to publication.

    Here at the 'Nook we would love to hear where you go for an authority on manuscript format and submission guidelines. Share with us here by leaving a comment below. We can pool our forces and extinguish all formatting uncertainty!

    Poetry Workshops with CSWF

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    Anybody know what happened to March? I've seen months go by too fast before but honestly cannot believe we're less than a week from April. It's a bit concerning when large chunks of time go by like that, but the good news is it's pretty much April already. And there's a lot going on around town for writers in April, including a world class festival that brings in poets from all over the world.

    The Calgary Spoken Word Festival starts April 6 and runs slams, open mics, special events, launches, and generally amazing displays of poetic performance right through the month. With the quality of performers visiting this year it might be best to just sit back and soak it all in, but for those looking to hone their own spoken word skills the festival is also a great chance to work with some of the best.

    There are 6 workshops this year:

    Sunday April 14, 9 - 11am, PENN KEMP

    Sunday April 14, 11am - 2pm, MOLLY PEACOCK

    Friday April 19, NOON - 2pm, ANDREI CODRESCU

    Friday April 19, 2:30 - 4:30pm, TOM WAYMAN

    Saturday April 20, 1 - 3pm, BOB HOLMAN

    Sunday April 21, 11am - 2pm, LIZ LOCHHEAD

    If you need a little inspiration to get in the mood, look no further than 'The Spoken Word Workbook' edited by the festival's Producer & Artistic Director Sheri-D Wilson. This learning tool is also available electronically at

    Is it April yet?

    Live at Central... Alice Sebold

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    Annie DavidsonThe year is 1906.

    A 68-year old widow with a passion for books invites a small group of women to gather in the parlour of her Calgary home to start a women's reading club. She has lost 6 children, a bankrupt husband, and the solace she finds in books can only go so far as Calgary's extremely limited public reading resources.

    At a time when women do not have the right to vote, members of the Women's Literary Club go door-to-door in the community gathering signatures for a petition supporting a public library. She and the Club succeed in establishing the first Library Board that, through an endowment from Andrew Carnegie, build Alberta's first public library in Calgary in 1912.

    Fast forward a hundred years, a million people.

    As a centennial legacy, the Calgary Public Library creates the Annie Davidson Lecture to acknowledge the work of change agents like her. It's been a century in the making and we are now only ten days away from a very special evening with Alice Sebold, bestselling author of The Lovely Bones, Lucky, and The Almost Moon, who will grace the stage in the John Dutton theatre for a celebration of the ways in which reading, writing and libraries act as agents of change in our society.

    This event is generously funded by the Province of Alberta’s Community Spirit Grant. Admission is FREE.

    Tuesday, March 26, Central Library.

    Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Event starts at 7:00 p.m.

    Public reception and book signing to follow.

    Register here.

    Lucky The Almost Moon The Lovely Bones



    IFWA's 2013 Short Story Contest

    by Phil - 2 Comment(s)

    An exciting reminder from Calgary's most far out writing group...

    The Imaginative Fiction Writers Association invites you to submit your original written works of speculative fiction to our 2013 short story contest 'In Places Between'. You have a chance to win a $125 first prize and get published in the annual In Places Between anthology! Final judging will be done and the winners announced at the When Words Collide Festival for Readers and Writers in Calgary, Alberta on August 11, 2013.

    Entry deadline is April 4th 2013 and the theme is 'In Places Between'. Visit for complete details and contest rules.

    There is also a perfect opportunity to get to know what IFWA is all about coming up on Thursday March 14, as they take over Shelf Life Books for a reading of speculative fiction themed 'Beware the Ides of March'. The reading starts at 7pm (doors at 6:30pm). There will be wine and cheese to follow. Shelf Life Books is located at 100 - 1302 4th Street SW.

    For a complete list of upcoming events at Shelf Life Books click here.

    For previous winners of the short story contest, come visit us on the 4th floor of Central where our CHFH local history room holds the 2008 and 2009 In Place Between chapbook anthologies.

    Writing in Public

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    At our annual Writers' Weekend hosted in early February there was a very interesting discussion raised during an Ask the Writer panel session. Lori Hahnel, Naomi K. Lewis, and Deborah Willis all agreed that success did not automatically translate to a stream of easy, confident production. If anything, all three agreed that after publishing their first books they experienced strong feelings of self doubt and inadequacy. All three also agreed on carrying the same misconception that most, or at least many (and perhaps every) aspiring writer has - that publishing our first books will magically wipe away all our problems, including any difficulty we have with writing.

    Raised expectations, both external and self-imposed, are not the only new challenges an acclaimed artist must face.

    When nobody's watching, well, nobody's watching.

    So how does it feel when everybody's watching?


    Tuesday, March 12

    7:30pm - Free Public Reading and Talk in the Taylor Family Digital Library's Gallery Hall.

    Marina Endicott, 2012-13 Writer-in-Residence at the University of Alberta, comes to Calgary courtesy of the exchange program between the Calgary Distinguished Writers Program and the Department of English at the U of A. Each year, these institutions host the other school’s writer-in-residence for free public events.

    While walking through the University of Alberta’s Humanities Centre, you may come across Marina Endicott’s office. Unlike other writers-in-residence, Marina doesn’t mind the fishbowl effect of the huge window, and writing on display. On Tuesday, March 12, 2013, Marina will switch campuses to read from her novel-in-progress Hughtopia and speak on how public writing – book club visitations, writers’ festivals, and even being a writer-in-residence – feeds into or disrupts the writing process. The 7:30 p.m. reading and talk in the Taylor Family Digital Library’s Gallery Hall will be free and open to the general public. A book signing and reception will follow.


    For complete event details, click here.

    For Marina Endicott's website, click here.

    Not familiar with Marina Endicott's work? Check out these titles on the shelves of your local library:

    Open Arms Good to a Fault The Little Shadows