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    The 'Nook Program Picks

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    If you've been anywhere near a library in the last week you've no doubt encountered the new, thicker than usual Program Guides outlining all of the wonderful ways to connect with us this Fall. For writers, no matter what stage you're at, no matter what genre you find yourself drawn to, the Library has the inspiration, guidance, and expertise to help keep your projects moving forward.

    September will feature a visit from Calgary's Poet Laureate, the kick-off of our Writer In Residence service, and a team of U of C researchers coming to crack codes of science fiction. In October two fantastic Calgary authors launch new books at Memorial Park. In November it's all about Walls, as local author Marcello Di Cintio's 'Travels Along the Barricades' has been chosen for One Book One Calgary.

    Here are the Nook's top programming picks for Fall 2014:

    An Evening with Poet Laureate derek beaulieu

    (see page 8)

    An evening of poetry, art, and the unexpected. Poet Laureate derek beaulieu shares his experiences combining poetry and art.

    Friday, September 26

    REGISTER

    Creative Writing Club

    (see page 50)

    A monthly meeting of aspiring writers.

    Engage in fun exercises and share your writing.

    Starts September 8

    REGISTER

    NaNoWriMo Workshops: Dynamic Dialogue & Striking Settings

    (see page 48)

    Learn how to make your characters sound less like robots and more like real people and write conversations that you'd actually want to listen to.

    Learn how to bring background details alive and make your settings sparkle.

    Saturday, October 25

    REGISTER

    Inside A Good Sentence

    (see page 49)

    One good sentence after another. Like rogue waves, rogue sentences roil with energy, their whole greater than the sum of their parts.

    Saturday, October 25

    REGISTER

    From the Authors: Marcello Di Cintio and Rosemary Nixon

    (see page 28)

    One Book One Calgary author Marcello Di Cintio and 2014 Writer In Residence, Rosemary Nixon, as they discuss the similarities and differences of writing fiction and non-fiction and how they capture the attention of readers of both genres.

    Saturday, November 15

    REGISTER

    After You've Gone

    (see page 50)

    Lori Hahnel launches her new novel, After You've Gone. The story of a Regina jazz guitarist and her Seattle record producer granddaughter.

    Thursday, October 9

    Motherwild

    (see page 50)

    Ken Rivard launches his tenth book, Motherwild, a work of beauty, a coming-of-age story and the eventual healing of a mother-son relationship.

    Thursday, October 2

    Download the full Program Guide PDF.

    You can also register over the phone. Call 403-260-2620.

    Rosemary Nixon

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    September through the end of November is a special time at Memorial Park Library. For three glorious months Calgary Public Library cardholders have access to the guidance and expertise of their very own Writer in Residence. If you haven't taken advantage of this wonderful service in the past, go directly to our 2014 Writer-in-Residence page to meet this year's resident - Rosemary Nixon.

    Not only does this program offer Calgary's aspiring writers free manuscript consultation, but also ninety days of public programs designed to inspire, teach, and connect. Registration for Rosemary's workshops, presentations, and readings will begin next Monday, August 18, and are likely going to fill up quick.

    For individual manuscript consultation, we can begin submitting work at Memorial Park Library after September 1, according to the submission guidelines. Two weeks later, on Thursday, September 18, join us for the 2014 Writer in Residence "Welcome & Program Launch" as we kick things off at historic Memorial Park Library. Starting at 7 p.m. Rosemary will read from a selection of her works and outline plans for her residency. A reception will follow.

    As always with the delicate act of absorbing writing wisdom from a professional, knowing a teacher's work will multiply a student's grasp by inordinate amounts. To get the most out of this year's Writer in Residence, here's your homework:

    Are You Ready to be Lucky?

    Are You Ready to Be Lucky? If so, meet Roslyn, a spirited divorcée eager for new beginnings.

    Meet Duncan, a British conman with a penchant for collecting ex-wives. Meet Floyd, a hard-living contractor who can fix anyone’s house but his own. Irritating, vulnerable, hopeful, they ricochet off one another, trailing a mess of family and friends, all of them trying to beat the odds and find happiness. With razor-sharp wit, Rosemary Nixon takes on the chaos and absurdity of friendship, marriage, divorce, and betrayal—and the heart-pounding, breathtaking, always astonishing complexities of luck and love.

    Kalila

    Kalila chronicles the lives of Maggie and Brodie, whose joy collides with devastation when their daughter’s birth also heralds the news of her congenital heart condition.

    In this startlingly inventive novel, Rosemary Nixon braids light and darkness into a narrative chain pulled exquisitely taut. Through Maggie and Brodie’s shifting viewpoints; the isolating impenetrability of hospital life; and the mediation of physics, music, and family, Nixon propels the reader into unmapped emotional terrain where a shell-shocked family grapples with the horror, joy, and mystery of impermanence. The result is a spellbinding tale, provocative for the emotions and the intellect.

    The Cock's Egg

    Magic and witchcraft are as much a part of the African landscape as are ghostly white egrets fluttering into blue jungle clearings, or copper-coloured frangipani blossoms growing against white-washed mud walls. Dislocation, isolation, and desire are hauntingly encompassed in these wonderful stories of Canadians living in a foreign landscape. And always the witchcraft of the cock’s egg shapes myths, permeates lives, and maps a country whose changing face finds its inhabitants stealing power through the transformation of the body.

    *Available only in Central Library's CHFH Local History room.

    Mostly Country

    With this first collection of short stories, Rosemary Nixon’s Wadden joins Manawaka and Agassiz on the landscape of Canadian fiction. Wadden, where farm and town, church and post office draw the limits of experience and escape. In prose of unnerving clarity, the individual lives of interwoven families unfold and overlap. There are: Fay Leichty, who lives at the very centre of the community in shamed silence; Kevin McClancy, unable to cross the boundaries of the Mennonite church and family; Rita Steckley, who during an encounter with a boy and the town tough, discovers the cruelties of desire. And many more. Through memory, through fantasy, through differing versions of events and places as far away as Zaire, Mostly Country creates the people of Wadden. A reading experience to be enjoyed.

    *Available only in Central Library's CHFH Local History room.

    *book summaries lifted off rosemarynixon.com

    The 'P' Word

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    Tell someone you're a "writer" and there's a 99% chance you will encounter the same exact series of questions from whoever you're talking to.

    "What do you write?"

    "Uhh... fiction?"

    "Oh. Have you p******** anything?"

    For most unpublished writers the answer to this comes out as a sigh, followed by some mumbled list of unquantifiable chapbooks or blog work or estimate on the number of rejection letters piling up in the bottom drawer. Whether or not the validation of that 'P' word is important is entirely subjective but like any other career path becoming a writer is subject to the tired catch-22 of experience. I can't get p******** because I have no CV. My CV is empty because I haven't been p********.

    Breaking this cycle usually requires a lot of patience, hard work, and study. And after all that mastering of craft and process is established there remains that mysterious obstacle of HOW to approach submitting work, and to WHOM? The answers are different for every writer but are all out there for the taking. The Canadian Writer's Market is one really good resource to start with (it's also available to borrow from the library as an OverDrive eBook). On top of providing tips on the nuts and bolts of submitting work for publication, the 'Market is mainly a directory listing the diverse places willing to accept unsolicited submissions. One listing you will find right here in Calgary is for filling Station magazine, "a literary and arts magazine publishing innovative poetry, fiction, [and] non-fiction". I point out fS not only because the quarterly is always a great read, not only because they will be launching issue 59 at Shelf Life books on August 7, but because on Friday, August 8, the magazine's current fiction editor Emily Ursuliak is offering a workshop titled How to Submit to Literary Journals. The workshop aims to help you find destinations that suit your work, make the best first impression, avoid mistakes, write cover letters, get organized, and deal with rejection.

    For complete details on the "How to Submit to Literary Magazines" workshop check out the listing on the AMPA website.

    And when unique, specialized workshops like this aren't running, the library opens everyday with tons of helpful resources like these:

    Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript

    Producing Canadian Literature: authors speak on the literary marketplace

    eBook too!

    Editor-Proof Your Writing: 21 Steps to the Clear Prose Publishers and Agents Crave

    eBook too!

    The Canadian Writer's Market: the Essential Guide for Freelance Writers

    eBook too!