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  • 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
  • Oct 16 - Pre-NaNo Planning - Saturday, October 25: Dig your fingers in for 50,000 words
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    Writing Rogues & Rascals

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    As the end of November draws near so too does the end of the Calgary Public Library's Writer-in-Residence season for 2014. Hopefully you've all had a chance to take advantage of Rosemary Nixon's wonderful public programs and one-on-one manuscript consultations this Fall and if not, well, there is still one more chance. This Saturday Rosemary Nixon will visit the Central Library for "Writing Rogues and Rascals" - an energetic talk on her creation of fictional rascals and how to make them rise up off the page.

    This final, free public program of Rosemary Nixon's Memorial Park residency will run from 1 pm to 2:30 pm on Saturday, November 22, in the lower level meeting room at the Central Library. At the last count we somehow have 5 spots remaining. Register now to save yourself a seat. And if you've already registered, please note a slight typo on the time originally listed in our Winter Program Guide... the program ends at 2:30 pm, not 4 pm.

    Rosemary Nixon is a prize-winning writer of fiction. Her stories have appeared in literary magazines across the country as well as in numerous anthologies. Released in September 2013, her fourth book-length work of fiction Are You Ready To Be Lucky? is being praised as “positively kinetic, hilarious, charging, filled with gorgeous language and a fierceness of description. Nixon devastates the reader through the loveliest of prose”. Also well-known as a dynamic teacher of creative writing, Rosemary has taught classes for years at the University of Calgary, Chinook College, as well as three summers at Sage Hill Writing Experience in Saskatchewan. She is an outstanding highly-valued freelance editor, and has edited the stories, poetry, non-fiction, and novels of many Canadian writers, working closely with writers on style, language, and form. Far too many credentials, accomplishments, and awards to include in this little blog, so please continue to her complete bio and visit her website:

    Kalila Are You Ready to be Lucky?

    Come Write In

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    Math has never been a strength, but after hours of calculation I think I've figured it out — 5 days into National Novel Writing Month. 30 days to write 50,000 words. Moustaches and precipitation falling as snow also accumulating, Wrimos should now be rounding a word-count corner of 8000 on the glorious ride that is NaNoWriMo. The math could very easily be wrong, but whether those novels are stuck on the first page or cruising along past 10,000 words, NaNoWriMo is really all about having fun, finding your own way, and meeting fellow supportive writers.

    This Saturday, the Central Library is hosting two 'Write-In Workshops' designed to get Calgary NaNoWriMo participants together for a day of marathon writing. Your intrepid regional MLs will be here with their "word wars, box of awesome, and buckets of doom" to keep your novels rolling along.

    There will be two separate sessions. Choose one or reserve a spot for both!

    11 AM - 1 PM 2 PM - 4 PM

    New to NaNo? Just because we're five days into November doesn't mean it's too late to sign up and get started. It's a great chance to connect with other writers, get lots of work done in a fun, supportive environment, and come discover the world of resources the Library has available to support the endeavours of Calgary's many creative writing communities.

    One Book

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    This Saturday the launch of One Book One Calgary opens a month full of opportunity to be inspired by Walls. Designed to ignite community dialogue and enrich community connections through a shared reading experience, One Book One Calgary also enables Calgarians a view through the lens of its chosen author. An open window into the process of creating a unique, award-winning book and also an inside perspective on the life a book takes on after it hits the shelves, finds an audience, gets translated into multiple languages, and reprinted all over the world.

    The first can't-miss OBOC launch event takes place tomorrow night at Central - 'An Evening with Marcello Di Cintio' - and there's still a bit of room left for registration. Marcello will introduce Walls with a multimedia presentation and special guest readings from poet Bertrand Bickersteth and Calgary Poet Laureate derek beaulieu. Doors open at 6:30 pm.

    Walls Book Cover

    Walls eBook Cover


    Launched, One Book One Calgary will proceed to offer inspiring, illuminating, amazing events throughout November. If you're in the 'Nook, you're going to want to register for this one:


    Join 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. Light refreshments will be served.

    Memorial Park Library

    Saturday, November 15

    2 - 3:30 pm



    Pre-NaNo Planning

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    It's NaNoWriMo time again, folks. AKA November. The month to join a local group of writers - the Calgary Wrimotaurs - and strap in for a ride on the draft of your 50,000 word novel. If you value enthusiasm, determination, deadlines, and your own brilliance, sign up to participate in National Novel Writing Month this year. Even if your aspirations to write that novel are only fleeting, this is your chance to access a worldwide network of novelists striving for the same goal.

    NaNoWriMo is a fun, pressure-free approach to creative writing, but planning ahead is always a good idea. In preparation the Calgary Public Library is offering back-to-back writing workshops on Saturday, October 25, led by your fearless 'Municipal Liaisons' from the Calgary Wrimotaurs. MLs will also host a half-hour Q & A session following the workshops.

    Dynamic Dialogue Workshop

    12 - 1 p.m.

    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.


    Striking Settings Workshop

    2 - 3 p.m.

    Feel like your story takes place in front of a blank wall? Learn how to bring background details alive and make your setting sparkle.


    Q and A with Calgary NaNoWriMo

    3 - 3:30 p.m.

    No clue how you'll manage 50,000 words in one month?

    Bring all your questions and come find out what you are capable of.


    For more about the Wrimotaurs, NaNoWriMo worldwide, and what makes the library the perfect place to get some writing done, check out the 'Nook's 2012 interview with NaNoWriMo's Calgary ML Xanateria, who continues to nourish Calgary's growing community of wrimos.

    Reporting from Wordfest: You

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    October 14 - 19Calgary's festival for readers and writers is now only a few sleeps away and while the wonderful people at Wordfest make the final arrangements to deliver more than 60 events from more 70 world-class writers there may still be opportunities to volunteer your own storytelling powers as a Wordfest 'Digital Reporter'. According to the original call for volunteers on the Wordfest website the deadline for applications was September 19, but naturally with such a massive palette of programming on the menu for next week there may still be room for more bloggers and social media contributors to help cover all the action. A bit of volunteer journalism experience never hurt a writer trying to a build a resume, not to mention the inspiring environment of literary ensorcellation.

    For complete details and application form go directly to the Call for Digital Reporters at Wordfest 2014.

    And speaking of social media contributions, follow Wordfest on Twitter (@WORDFESTTWEETS) and Facebook.

    And if you really want to make an impression as the eyes, ears, and voice on the festival ground (or in your own personal virtual space), strengthen your blogging voice with these helpful resources available at your local library:

    Problogger, by Darren Rowse Brief: make a bigger impact by saying less, by Joseph McCormack No One Cares What You Had for Lunch, by Margaret Mason

    October Launch Dates

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    On top of being the headquarters for our current Writer In Residence service with Rosemary Nixon, the Memorial Park Library is also a hot spot for book launches this October. On THURSDAY, OCTOBER 2, local master of short fiction Ken Rivard will be launching his 10th book, Motherwild - a novel that is "honest, refreshing, startling, imaginative, and gets the reader emotionally involved".

    The following week Lori Hahnel launches After You've Gone - the story of a Regina jazz guitarist and her Seattle record producer granddaughter. This brand new novel is released tomorrow, October 1, and you can catch the Calgary launch at Memorial Park library on THURSDAY OCTOBER 9. Keep up on all the exciting news from this local author on her blog.

    No registration is required for these author readings and both start at 7 p.m. Library copies are on order now.

    Ken Rivard was born and raised in Montreal. He is the author of ten published books of poetry, fiction, and children’s literature. His writing has appeared in numerous anthologies, in many regional and national publications, and on the CBC. His books have been finalists for the Writers Guild of Alberta Book Awards and the City Of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize. He has worked as a juror for both the Alberta and Saskatchewan book awards and has been the Writer-in-Residence for the Calgary Public Library and the Writers Guild of Alberta. In 2005, Ken was nominated for the inaugural Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards. He lives in Calgary.

    (author bio lifted off

    Lori Hahnel is the author of a novel, Love Minus Zero (Oberon, 2008) and a story collection, Nothing Sacred, (Thistledown, 2009), which shortlisted for an Alberta Literary Award. A new novel, After You’ve Gone, is forthcoming from Thistledown in Fall 2014. Her work has been nominated for the Journey Prize three times and has appeared in over thirty publications across North America and in the U.K. Her credits include CBC Radio, The Fiddlehead, Prairie Fire and Joyland. Lori teaches creative writing at Mount Royal University and the Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society.

    (author bio lifted off

    The Laureate is coming!

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    The 7th annual Alberta Culture Days if fast approaching and the Library is thrilled to be hosting several events to help Albertans get wildly creative for three days. On Friday, September 26, Calgary Poet Laureate derek beaulieu will take over the Main Floor of the Central library to share his experiences combining poetry and art. "An Evening with derek beaulieu" will start at 7 p.m. and if you're familiar with beaulieu's work you know that visual art plays an integral role in his poetry and this is certain to be a stimulating, inspirational event. To register, please head over to our Programs page.

    For more information on all the wonderful work of our Poet Laureate, including links to some of his recent projects and lots of insider news on local events, follow this link to derek beaulieu's blog. On top of his role as laureate derek has also been named Artist in Residence at the Epcor Centre for Performing Arts from August 20 - October 24. The walls of the newly created 'Lightbox Studio' are draped with his text art, he's got manual typewriters set up, and welcomes passing conversation about his experiments with the structure of language. Read an article about the residency from The Calgary Herald.

    For all the Alberta Culture Days events taking place at the library, check out this listing, which includes an all day 'Arts Explosion Fair', a visit from the Alberta Reader's Choice Award winner Tyler Trafford (author of Almost a Great Escape), and Signal Hill Library's Annual Community Art Showcase.

    For a list of events taking place all over the province, year round, check out Alberta's Culture Calendar.

    And don't forget to check out your Poet Laureate's books available at the library...

    Fractal Economies seen of the crime How to Write Please, No More Poetry

    Wordfest Workshops

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    It's another amazing lineup coming to Calgary this October for Wordfest. With more than 80 writers slated to deliver more than 65 events, many of which the Central Library has the honour of hosting in the John Dutton Theatre, readers and writers have a full week of opportunity to connect with some of the world's most exciting storytellers.

    This year's highlights for the 'Nook are Andrew Kaufman (The Tiny Wife), Sjon (From the Mouth of the Whale), and Sheila Heti (How Should A Person Be?), but like every year when the Wordfest program guide appears I turn straight to the 'Workshop' page to see which artists will be offering "inspiration, instruction, and an in-depth look at the craft of storytelling." This year there are seven event listings under WORKSHOP (one every day!) which cover a huge range of interesting topics and they all take place in the beautiful new East Village art space Loft 112...


    Ted Bishop delivers an accessible workshop geared for fans of non-fiction who are curious about the genre from a writers perspective.


    This workshop demystifies the publishing process for creators at all levels. If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming a published author, this event is for you!


    With today’s technology, the ability to move a story from print to the big or small screen is now within the reach of more creators. Open to all levels, this workshop analyzes the anatomy of storytelling through film, compares narrative strategies across media and genres, and discusses some common pitfalls to avoid.


    Kathleen Winter guides a small group discussion focusing on the challenges and rewards of working with an editor over several drafts. Participants are encouraged to share their experiences and bring questions or thoughts of their own to the discussion.


    Learn more about the art of building tension and suspense in mystery writing through fun, interactive exercises and engaging discussions.


    This intensive workshop for the literary and visually inclined includes hands on sketching exercises, discussion and tips from illustrator and cartoonist Michael Cho, followed by a guided Alley Walk with Rollin Stanley in Inglewood.


    “Cartoonists are writers who ‘write’ with pictures,” says Scott Chantler. Bring your favourite writing and drawing instruments to this workshop, and learn more about the theory behind visual storytelling.

    Hopefully these haven't all sold out already! Follow the links to to reserve your spot. And if you're looking for some non-instructional events, here's the Nook's top 3 picks for Wordfest 2014:

    Wordfest and Writers’ Guild of Alberta Present Rudy Wiebe

    Tuesday, October 14. Details at

    Writers and Mixtapes: Pechakucha Style

    Featuring Jonathan Auxier, Andrew Kaufman, Mark Lavorato, Sean Michaels, and Samantha Warwick. Details.


    Saturday, October 18. Details.

    **event descriptions lifted off

    Write Brain Muscles

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    With the passing of Labour Day our 2014 Writer In Residence program is now rolling into action. While Rosemary Nixon's official 'Welcome & Program Launch' won't take place until Thursday, September 18, Memorial Park Library is now openly accepting manuscripts to begin scheduling consultation appointments. For free, professional feedback on your work all you need is a library card and the submission guidelines.

    On top of invaluable one-on-one time with a highly experienced, award-winning author, the Writer In Residence service also features a long list of public programs designed to inspire, teach, and connect communities of aspiring writers. These are filling quick so make sure to get registered now.

    Rosemary will also be offering 3 opportunities to 'Exercise Your Imaginative Muscle', all of which will take place at Memorial Park Library from 6 - 8 pm. Here are the dates:

    Tuesday, September 16
    Tuesday, October 7
    Tuesday, November 4

    These are drop-in. No registration required. Spend an evening triggering "your imagination through writing prompts ranging from creating defamiliarized characters to developing suspense" and learning new tools to strengthen your writing skill.

    Unable to make it down to Memorial Park on Tuesdays? Try these books out for working out those writing muscles...

    Architectures of Possibility, by Lance Olsen The Writer's Workout, by Christina Katz Wired For Story, by Lisa Cron Fire Up Your Fiction, by Jodie Renner

    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


    Creative Writing Club

    (see page 50)

    A monthly meeting of aspiring writers.

    Engage in fun exercises and share your writing.

    Starts September 8


    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


    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


    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


    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


    (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.

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