You are here: Home > Blogs > Writer's Nook

Latest Posts

Off Line

Select another pool to see the results

    Alberta Book & Literary Awards

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    The Writers Guild of Alberta handed out some hardware in Edmonton last weekend at the annual Alberta Book & Literary Awards gala. Nothing inspires more than some homegrown literary excellence. Listed below are winners for fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Click the book covers to place a hold on your copy. For a complete wrap-up of the event and all its winners and nominees, read The Edmonton Journal.

    Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction

    Will Ferguson - 419

    Naomi K. Lewis - I Know Who You Remind Me Of

    Richard Van Camp - Godless But Loyal to Heaven

    Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry


    Jenna Butler - Wells

    Nora Gould - I See My Love More Clearly From A Distance

    Sandy Pool - Undark: An Oratorio

    Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Nonfiction


    Marcello Di Cintio - Walls: Travels Along the Barricades

    Brian L. Evans - Pursuing China: Memoir of a Beaver Liaison Officer

    Andrew Nikiforuk - The Energy of Slaves: Oil and the New Servitude

    Another award handed out was the Howard O'Hagan Award for Short Story. Okotoks writer Lee Kvern outran Kathleen Brown and Lynn Coady for her story "In Search of Lucinda". You can catch Lee Kvern live at the Memorial Park library TONIGHT! on a panel discussing the influence of Alice Munro. Click here for more details. Congratulations to all ABLA winners and nominees and thank you for all the inspiring work you've done.


    An Evening With GGK, Revisited

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)


    Did you miss Guy Gavriel Kay's author reading on May 14?

    Or perhaps you made it out but want to remember everything he said and watch it again and again?

    Here's the link to our YouTube channel where you can do exactly that.

    > PLAY >

    We also loved reading Victoria Paterson's blog write-up on the event, In which I get several books signed by my favourite author. Very refreshing and energizing to hear an interpretation of GGK's words through the eyes of a true fan.


    The Influence of Alice

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    "I want the reader to feel something is astonishing. Not the 'what happens,' but the way everything happens. These long short story fictions do that best, for me."

    -Alice Munro

    Having astonished readers for more than four decades, a discussion of the Canadian 'short' story master's influence can go just about anywhere. The dedication to complicated simplicity. The sincerity of her make-it-look-so-easy prose. The holographic realness of character. Alice Munro's influence on contemporary writers, whether we are fans or haven't even read her work, trickles over us all.

    On Thursday, May 30, the Memorial Park library will host "What Alice Munro Means to Me as a Writer" - a panel discussion on the influence "of one of our greatest contemporary writers of fiction". The panel will feature some great fiction writers in their own right: Lori Hahnel, Lee Kvern, and Barb Howard (who has graciously stepped in for Deborah Willis). Things get started at 7pm. No registration is required. And even if Munro doesn't make your personal list of influential writers, the question of influence is always an interesting topic.

    A sampling of the panel's work...

    Lori Hahnel is the author of a novel, Love Minus Zero and a story collection, Nothing Sacred, which shortlisted for an Alberta Literary Award. A new novel, After You’ve Gone, is forthcoming from Thistledown in Spring 2014. She teaches creative writing at Mount Royal University and the Alexandra Writers Centre Society. She is serving as writer-in-residence for AWCS through the end of June of this year

    Lee Kvern is the award-winning author of short stories and novels. Afterall was selected for 2013 Canada Reads. The Matter of Sylvie was nominated for the Alberta Book Awards and the Ottawa Relit Award. She is the current writer-in-residence for the Canadian Authors Association from September 2012 - May 2013.

    Barb Howard has been shortlisted 4 times for Alberta literary awards and won the 2009 Writers' Guild of Alberta Howard O'Hagan Award for Short Story. Her work has been published in anthologies and periodicals across Canada. Besides the 2012 release of her short story collection Western Taxidermy, her book-length works include Notes for Monday (a novella), Whipstock (a novel), and The Dewpoint Show (a novel for young adults).

    The Politics of Fiction

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    One comment we heard a lot following Writer's Weekend 2013, held this past February, was people wanted to hear a whole lot more from Sandra McIntyre, who took a barrage of questions during our 'Ask the Editor' session. We now have that chance with the launch of Everything Is So Political. Released in May, consisting of twenty short stories written by Canadian authors, this literary anthology explores "the intersection between politics and the contemporary short story".

    "...This is one of the few Canadian anthologies that focuses on political fiction, and it does so in a very powerful and artful way, flying in the face of readers, writers and critics alike who claim that writing with a political agenda occurs at the expense of literary quality." - from Fernwood Press

    The Calgary launch of Everything Is So Political will take place at Pages bookstore on Thursday, May 30, starting 7:30pm. Pages is located at 1135 Kensington Road NW.

    To find out more about Sandra McIntyre's amazing work visit

    To place a hold on your library copy click the book cover to connect with our catalogue.


    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    Our newest addition to the E-Library boasts a "wide range" of instructor-led courses. After a closer look at the courses ed2go offers on the topic of 'Creative Writing' I'm thinking they should change the description to "full range". If you're looking for ways to improve your writing, no matter what form at what level, ed2go is a jackpot bonanza of opportunity. From ESL learners to advanced fiction, from beginners' workshops to E-Book marketing, it's all here. The courses run for six weeks, new sessions start up every month, and enrollment is easy.

    Click here to get started.

    Among so many courses here are a few at the top of my list, all of which cover topics we get asked about at library information desks on a daily basis...

    Beginner's Guide to Getting Published

    Published writer shows you how to give yourself the credibility you need to get your books and articles published. Learn more.
    A Writer's Guide to Descriptive Settings Develop your eye for detail and improve your writing with vivid descriptions, memorable settings, and believable characters. Learn more.
    Grammar Refresher Gain confidence in your ability to produce clean, grammatically correct documents and speeches. Learn more.
    Creating Wordpress Websites Learn how to use WordPress, a free and popular Web design tool, to quickly and easily create attractive blogs and interactive websites. Learn more.
    Writerrific: Creativity Training for Writers Banish writer's block forever with these tricks from the published writer's toolbox. Learn more.

    ... and these are only the beginning. Follow the links to make sure you don't miss out. The next session's start date is May 15. If that's too soon don't worry - another session will start up in June and every month thereafter, giving students opportunity to try different courses and learn at a comfortable, customized pace. I'm gonna go enroll for the Wordpress course now. I'll let you know how it goes. If anybody out there wants to share their picks and how they liked the course, let us know. We'd love to hear.

    Writers Wanted

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)


    "In an odd way I envy all future people who have this opportunity."

    - Fred Stenson, CPL's first Writer in Residence, 1987

    A pretty sweet place to come to work, no?

    And that opportunity is upon us future people once again, 26 years later, as our search for the 2014 Writer in Residence is now underway. This program is run out of the beautiful Memorial Park library and I can assure the 1987 version of Mr. Fred Stenson — the envy is all ours.

    Click here for full application details.

    The deadline to apply is June 30, 2013.

    Some of our past Writers in Residence, the envy of Fred Stenson, include Betty Jane Hegerat, William Pasnak, Cora Taylor, Yvonne Trainer, Joan Crate, Ken Rivard, Shirlee Smith Matheson, Faye Reineberg Holt, Rona Altrows, Naomi K. Lewis, George Melnyk, Darlene Quaife, Martine Bates Leavitt, Brian Brennan, and Gail Bowen. Bowen, award-winning author of the Joanne Kilbourne series, blogged some of her experience. You can read Part One and Part Two of her impressions from Gail's Blog. To find the work of some our past writers-in-residence on library shelves, click the book covers below. And stay tuned for the announcement of our 2013 Writer in Residence, coming this July.

    Joan Crate Gail Bowen Rona Altrows Naomi K. Lewis Ken Rivard Brian Brennan Betty Jane Hegerat

    Live @ Central: Guy Gavriel Kay

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    The Calgary Public Library is so so excited to host one of the world's finest fantasy authors and one of Canada's most beloved and widely-read novelists in any genre — Guy Gavriel Kay. In the critically acclaimed “Under Heaven” Guy Gavriel Kay told a vivid and powerful story inspired by China’s Tang Dynasty. Now, the international bestselling and multiple award-winning author revisits that invented setting four centuries later in ”River Of Stars”. The praise pours in...

    “From whatever angle you approach it, River of Stars is a major accomplishment, the work of a master novelist in full command of his subject. It deserves the largest possible audience.”

    -The Washington Post

    “Here you’ll find all the scheming and skulduggery that give “Game of Thrones” its zest, refined to the subtlest of arts. Kay invokes a world of stylized manners and deadly gambits, infused with an aesthetic founded on the most exquisite appreciation of the beauty and melancholy of the natural world.”

    River of Stars is the sort of novel one disappears into, emerging shaken, if not outright changed. A novel of destiny, and the role of individuals within the march of history, it is touched with magic and graced with a keen humanity.”

    -The Globe and Mail

    Don't miss an opportunity on Tuesday, May 14, to spend an evening with Guy Gavriel Kay. The event starts at 7 PM in the John Dutton Theatre (2nd floor, Central library). Registration has just begun and is sure to fill up quick. You can REGISTER ONLINE or by calling 403-260-2620.

    Under Heaven. 2010. Ysabel. 2007. World Fantasy Novel of the Year. River of Stars. 2013.
    The Summer Tree. 1984. First book of The Fionavar Tapestry. Tigana. 1990. Winner of the 1991 Prix Aurora Award. Beyond this Dark House. 2003. Poems!

    Click book covers to place a hold on your library copy today.