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    The Dark Side

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    A thrilling and mysterious tour of writers is coming to town and the library is thrilled to be hosting. On Tuesday, March 18, come down to the Central library's John Dutton Theatre for The Dark Side, featuring authors Deryn Collier, Craig Davidson, and Andrew Pyper. After Calgary the tour heads off to Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto, and Waterloo. Register for this unique triple-bill here. The show starts at 7pm.

    ANDREW PYPER was born in Stratford, Ontario, in 1968. He received a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from McGill University in Montreal, as well as a law degree from the University of Toronto, although he has never practiced. Kiss Me, his first book of short stories, was published to in 1996. His first novel, Lost Girls, was a national bestseller in Canada and a Globe and Mail Notable Book selection in 1999 as well as a Notable Book selection in the New York Times Book Review and the London Evening Standard in 2000. Lost Girls won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel. Pyper's second novel, The Trade Mission, was published in 2002, and was selected by The Toronto Star as one of the Best Books of the Year.

    CRAIG DAVIDSON was born and grew up in the bordertown of St. Catharines, Ontario, near to Niagara Falls. He has published two previous books of literary fiction, Rust and Bone (Penguin Canada), which has been made into a major feature film of the same name, and The Fighter (Penguin Canada). He is a graduate of the famed Iowa Writers' Workshop, and his journalism and articles have been published in The Globe and Mail, Esquire, GQ and the Washington Post, among other venues. He lives in Toronto, Canada, with his partner and child. Craig also writes under the pseudonym Nick Cutter.

    photo by Laura Wilby

    DERYN COLLIER is the author of Confined Space, which was shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Award for best first crime novel. Originally form Montreal, she is a graduate of McGill University. After a short career as a federal bureaucrat she ran away to the mountains of British Columbia where she has been ever since. She has worked in a log yard, a brewery, as a doctor recruiter and a communications consultant.

    Deryn lives in Nelson, BC with her family and welcomes visitors to her website at www.deryncollier.com.

    #TwitterFiction Festival

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    Storytime on Twitter image

    If you come across some odd-looking, more-interesting-than-usual content in the world of Twitter tomorrow, don't be alarmed — it might be fiction. Starting March 12, right at the stroke of midnight, the #TwitterFiction Festival invites the world to celebrate storytelling 140 characters at a time.

    While the proposition may seem a bit limiting at first, it's really a great way to sharpen those short stroke writing chops and maximize efficiency.

    And since we love stories and storytime, we'll be telling a short story, one tweet at a time. Follow us on Twitter (@calgarylibrary) and use our story's #TwitterFiction hashtag #CPLtf to read along. Let the storytelling begin!

    Want to write your own #TwitterFiction? Here are some books to inspire...

    (also available in ebook format)

    Several Short Sentences About Writing Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction:
    tips from editors, teachers,
    and writers in the field

    Loft 112

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    If you pay attention to Calgary's writing community, you've likely already heard of the exciting new center for writers almost ready to open in the East Village, Loft 112. Even before the official grand opening the loft is well on its way to becoming the creative hive it's designed to be. The 'Nook blog recently had an opportunity to connect with Lisa Murphy-Lamb, leader of the Loft team, and we asked some questions...


     

    Lisa Murphy-Lamb
    derek beaulieu
    Scrawl-A-Thon

    NOOK: In Calgary, the concept of a center for writers and artists of all kinds to meet and develop ideas seems long overdue and essential. What is it about Loft 112 that allowed you and your team to make it a reality?

    LISA: The idea has percolated in my mind for about four years now. I used to be a classroom teacher and when I left the CBE I missed having a space of my own to work with students. I have felt welcomed in Calgary’s coffee shops, libraries and independent book stores like Pages and Shelf Life, but sometimes noisy discussion or asking students to take chances needs a less public space. I often got requests to help nonprofits or other teachers find spaces to hold events that didn’t cost a lot to rent. During a CADA discussion about Calgary’s creative spaces a few people talked about opening up a community writing centre, a private donor stepped forward and a few months later Loft 112 opened its doors (unofficially). We will have a grand opening when the place finishes some renovations like an accessible bathroom and an apartment within the loft for visiting writers and artists and we get an official sign on the exterior.

    NOOK: I’m a big fan of derek beaulieu’s work and saw in Loft 112’s schedule for March that something called a ‘Typing Pool’ was coming up, with details not yet released. Very curious. Any chance we can have an exclusive teaser?

    LISA: As part of derek beaulieu's ENGL214 class at ACAD, he has gathered antique typewriters from all over the city. Students have been exploring the poetic possibilities of outdated technology in poetry and prose, text art and assignments. On MARCH 9th, a number of those strange old devices will be available for exploration. Derek proposes by using dead technology we are in fact learning how we interface with the tools we have now.

    6-8 typewriters (manual and electric) in working order will be set up at LOFT 112 for writers to use from 1-3pm. Go to derek beaulieu's wordpress site for complete details, and check out derek's books at the Library.

    NOOK: The upcoming Scrawl-A-Thon fundraiser sounds like a lot of fun - basically a writing marathon with pledges coming in for this summer’s WordsWorth writing residency. How can Calgarians get involved?

    LISA: We have writers who have signed up to participate in this fundraiser for The Writers’ Guild of Alberta summer youth writing residency. These writers, in order to participate in the Scrawl-A-Thon need to each raise $200 in pledges. On March 15 we will write for six hours in support of this fine youth residency. The public can help out in these ways:

    Go to our bio page and pick a writer (or 15!) and support their efforts through pledges.
    We need food and drink to keep us fueled. If you want to sustain the writers, please contact me at lisa.murphylamb@writersguild.ab.ca to make arrangements.
    Inspire us. Ideally I’d like a poet, musician, tap dancer, juggler, masseuse .... to inspire us on the hour every hour. If you would would to provide inspiration, please contact me at lisa.murphylamb@writersguild.ab.ca
    Learn more about the Scrawl-A-Thon. We even have room to take on more writers.
    Send a young writer our way. Find out what WordsWorth is all about and who our instructors are this year.

    A 'Nook tip - stay in touch with all of Loft 112's busy action by joining their Facebook page.

    March Flywheel

    by Phil

    Every month, on the second Thursday, filling Station magazine puts together an exciting showcase of literary talent for their Flywheel Reading Series. While supporting the work of local writers, emerging and beyond, Flywheel also hosts accomplished poets and authors from all over the world. This month, the Flywheel will land on Thursday, March 13, and the lineup of readers is rather exciting.

    It all takes place at Pages Books on Kensington, starting at 7.30pm, featuring readings by the U of C's 2013-14 Writer-in-Residence Sara Tilley, debut novelist Carrianne Leung, and 3rd place winner of the library's Just Write! contest, April Tian. You can read April's winning story on our Teen Zone blog.

    For more on the wonderful work of filling Station, there's no better place to start than the upcoming launch of issue #58. The launch will take place this Friday, March 7, at Shelf Life Books. Visit the filling Station for complete launch details.

    And find the books of Flywheel readers on the shelves of your local library...

    Skin Room, by Sara Tilley The Wondrous Woo, by Carrianne Leung

    Pressed Into Silence

    by Phil

    The day before the opening of Sochi's Olympic games 217 prominent writers from around the world signed an open letter to condemn Russia's anti-gay laws. "As writers and artists," the letter states, "we cannot stand quietly by as we watch our fellow writers and journalists pressed into silence or risking prosecution and often drastic punishment for the mere act of communicating their thoughts."

    The full letter letter can be read courtesy of The Guardian.

    So now Putin falls to his knees, apologizes, and repeals the laws, right?

    Of course not. But that's not the letter's intention. Among prominent Canadian authors who signed the letter (including Lawrence Hill, Jane Urquhart, Margaret Atwood, and Michael Ondaatje), Yann Martel appeared on CBC news from his basement in Saskatoon to explain why. Martel's hope is to "remind Russians that they can do better" and also to remind Canadians that "nations thrive the freer they are. Every nation needs to be reminded of that. Not just in Russia, but also here in Canada."

    The campaign, unfortunately, is not unique. Since 1921 PEN International has been promoting and fighting for the global freedom of expression. Since the letter to Russia was posted on February 6, PEN has posted 22 other headlines in the span of two weeks. It may seem far away from us here, but as the open letter to Russia eloquently states, these issues contribute "to the political and intellectual shape of the world far beyond their country's borders."

    Calgarians looking to celebrate freedom of expression, or just looking for an inspiring night out, have a lot to choose from during the Freedom To Read Week (February 23 – March 1). On Thursday, February 27th, at 7:00pm, the library will be at Owl’s Nest Books to present the winners of the Calgary Public Library’s Freedom to Read Contest.

    The following night Wordfest and the Writer's Guild of Alberta present GUILTY (READING) PLEASURES. Local artists Rosemary Griebel, Christian Bök and Jeff de Boer will discuss what they read purely for pleasure and the topics that obsess them the most. That's Friday, February 28, at Shelf Life Books. Reception and presentations from 7pm onwards.

    And of course — the #1 way to celebrate... READ!

    Local Lookout

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    If you couldn't get your hands on a ticket to see Neil Gaiman's sold-out appearance on February 24 as the U of C's Distinguished Visiting Writer, don't worry, the second half of February is chock-full of some seriously interesting literary events to stimulate our oh so ready-to-thaw brains. Both events listed below will take place at Shelf Life Books (100, 1302-4th Street SW).

    Thursday, February 20, at 7:30pm

    2014 SINGLE ONION LECTURE SERIES (Part 2)

    "The Thinkership of Conceptual Literature"

    The Single Onion offers part two of the 2014 Lecture Series, with an event featuring a lecture by Christian Bök and readings by derek beaulieu, Gregory Betts, and Ken Hunt.

    Click here for complete details.

    Friday, February 28, 2014, 7pm

    GUILTY (READING) PLEASURES

    Join the Writers Guild of Alberta, Wordfest and Shelf Life Books for an interactive evening of laughter, wine and storytelling in celebration of Freedom to Read Week. Local artists Jeff de Boer, Christian Bök and Rosemary Griebel will discuss what they read purely for pleasure and the topics that obsess them the most.

    The recipient of the 2014 Freedom to Read Award, presented by The Writers’ Union of Canada, will be announced and honoured at the event. Hosted by Shelley Youngblut


    Find all the poets' work on the shelves of your local library...

    Farewell, Sweet Study Guides

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    To make room on 4th floor for more study space and for indispensable genealogical records on microfilm, we are soon saying farewell to study guides in print form. While the information within literature study guides is indispensable, getting us through some of those dense texts required for high school and college English courses, the physical presence of the guides have been gradually replaced with online resources. So if you're struggling to get through an essay, cannot understand why Jay Gatsby keeps noticing that green light across the water, trying to wrap your head around Shakespeare, or just need to cheat a little bit, here's where to turn...

    The Calgary Public Library's E-Library offers Literature Resource Centre with full-text journal articles, critical essays, author biographies, author portraits, work overviews, contextual essays and explications. Also includes the Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature which provides 10,000 definitions of literary terms.

    Also in the E-Library we have the 'Shakespeare Collection' which "includes the Arden full-text, annotated scholarly editions of the complete works of Shakespeare, with introduction and appendices. The database contains primary source material, criticism from the 17th century to the present and general reference data." For those translations into modern-day english, search the library catalogue with the terms "Shakespeare Made Easy" and/or "Shakespeare On the Double".

    For the study of poetry and short stories, go directly to our write-up on the new Poetry & Short Story Reference Centre.

    All E-Library databases are free to access with your library card.

    Fare thee well, study guide. Your coffee stains, dog-eared pages, and pencil marks will be missed. Now here are some quick links to the best online resources for study guides:

    SparkNotes

    Our guides contain thorough summaries and insightful critical analyses. We offer more than 500 guides forEnglish literatureandShakespeare, and a vast number of guides forhistory,math,biology, and other subjects

    BookRags

    resources including encyclopedia articles, critical essays, student essays, biographies, primary sources, interviews, and study guides.

    Cliffs Notes

    CliffsNotes is the original (and most widely imitated) study guide. CliffsNotes study guides are written by real teachers and professors, so no matter what you're studying, CliffsNotes can ease your homework headaches and help you score high on exams.

    Pink Monkey

    A "G" rated study resource for junior high, high school, college students, teachers and home schoolers. The world's 'largest' library of free online literature Summaries, with over 460 Study Guides, Book Notes, and Chapter Summaries.

    The 'Weekend Wrap-Up

    by Phil - 1 Comment(s)

    First off, a big THANK YOU to everyone who spent last Saturday hanging out with us at Writers' Weekend 2014. It's the passion and dedication of Calgary's writing communities that keep us working hard to bring you the best presentations every year and we sincerely hope everyone went home with sacks full of wisdom-nuggets.

    If there was anything missing, or anything you'd like to see in the program for next time, please leave a comment below so we can get to work on the arrangements. Outside the theatre at the library's Resource Fair table we were under a bombardment of interest in the free online writing courses available in our E-Library. It's called Learn4Life and with your library card you have access to a wide range of highly interactive courses that you can take entirely online. Courses run for six weeks and new sessions begin every month. From L4L's main page if you click the 'Writing & Publishing' category, then choose 'Creative Writing' (we also offer Business Writing, Grant Writing, and Publishing) you will find a list of 26 courses. Enrolling is easy, but we have a step-by-step guide to get you started.Calgarys first Poet Laureate... Whos Next?!

    One thing that was missing from this year's Writers' Weekend was poetry. With just one day to dive into the always-growing world of writing resources, we cannot possibly cover everything every year, but it didn't leave a lot of room to discuss the upcoming deadline for nominations for Calgary's next Poet Laureate. The bad news is we won't have Kris Demeanor providing his bang-on reflections of our city in his work (it's a two-year term). The good news is another two-year term will begin and you can HAVE A SAY in the selection process for Calgary's next Poet Laureate. The deadline to submit nominations is Friday, February 14, at 4:30pm. Go to the Calgary Arts Development website for complete details.

    The 'Nook blog would also like to send out a big congrats to all the winners of the 'Just Write' contest. Looks like the future is in some highly capable, super creative hands. You can read the winning entries posted in our Teen Zone blog.

    And don't forget to let us know what you thought of the 'Weekend so we can go even bigger (or perhaps smaller) next year!

    Writing & Publishing Fantasy

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    We are now oh so very close to Writers' Weekend 2014, our day-long celebration of all the local writer resources that can possibly be stacked into six hours. At this point of final preparation there isn't much else we can say about how wonderful and inspiring our expert presentations + Resource Fair will be, except that we can't wait to get started. And speaking of getting started, we do want to remind everyone coming out for the first presentation, Writing & Publishing Fantasy, at 10am, that the Central library's front doors do not open until 10am. With the Weather Network forecasting a high of -9, please don't wait outside for the library to open to access the John Dutton Theatre. Our theatre entrance on Macleod Trail, just a few steps down the block, will be open early so please come upstairs and settle in.

    And if you aren't registered for Writing & Publishing Fantasy, our opening presentation from bestselling author Jodi McIsaac, you'll be missing out on tremendous insight into the craft of urban fantasy, as well as perspectives on new dynamics of publishing it.

    And one more heads-up:

    If you're like me and coffee is required prior to and during Jodi McIsaac's presentation, the coffee shop inside the Central library does not open until 10am either... so... yes, coffee en route. See you all Saturday!

    Screenwriting 101

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    We are now 7 sleeps away from Writers' Weekend 2014 so I thought we ought to take a look at one of the more specialized, unique presentations this year has to offer. Screenwriting 101 will take the stage from 2 - 3pm, promising an inspirational introduction to the form. Our presenter is Geo Takach, an award winning filmmaker, author, script consultant, and instructor that we are thrilled to be hosting.

    Unlike many forms of writing that require nothing more than a blank sheet and a pen to get started, the art of screenwriting requires a certain knowledge and framework to have a chance at success. Other than a brief attempt to make sense of Final Draft software I have no idea what tricks and rules and format a screenwriter must know to produce their work. Which is exactly what Writers' Weekend is all about - inspirational guidance from someone who does know.

    Whether you are an experienced writer, perhaps looking to polish up a submission for the WGA's Alberta Screenwriters Initiative, or a beginner full of ideas without the proper container to work them out, come to Writers' Weekend 2014 and connect with the information you need to keep moving forward. One hour with Mr. Takach, of course, cannot possibly cover all the ground aspiring screenwriters might need flattened out. In between the presentations on February 1st visit the Writers' Weekend Resource Fair - a gauntlet of local literary groups in the theatre lobby - and we'll work together to get the answers you need. In the meantime, here are some of the library's newest titles under the heading of "Motion Picture Authorship". Homework!

    The 21st Century Screenplay, by Linda Aronson

    The 21st-Century Screenplay is a comprehensive and highly practical screen-writing manual. It covers classic to avant-garde scripts, from The African Queen and Tootsie to 21 Grams, Pulp Fiction, Memento, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Whether you want to write features, shorts, adaptations, genre films, ensemble films, blockbusters, or art house movies, this book is your road map, it takes you all the way from choosing a brilliant idea to plotting, writing, and rewriting a successful script. Featuring a range of insider survival tips on creativity under pressure, time-effective writing, and rising to the challenge of international competitions, The 21st-Century Screenplay is essential reading for newcomers and veterans alike.

    Essentials of Screenwriting, by Richard Walter

    Hollywood's premier teacher of screenwriting shares the secrets of writing and selling successful screenplays. His students have written more than ten projects for Steven Spielberg alone, plus hundreds of other Hollywood blockbusters and prestigious indie productions, including two recent Oscar winners for best original screenplay. In this updated edition, Walter integrates his highly coveted lessons and principles with material from his companion text, The Whole Picture, and includes new advice on how to turn a raw idea into a great movie or TV script - and sell it. There is never a shortage of aspiring screenwriters, and this book is their bible.

    Story, by Robert McKee

    Robert McKee's screenwriting workshops have earned him an international reputation for inspiring novices, refining works in progress and putting major screenwriting careers back on track. Writers, producers, development executives and agents all flock to his lecture series, praising it as a mesmerizing and intense learning experience. In Story, McKee expands on the concepts he teaches in his $450 seminars (considered a must by industry insiders), providing readers with the most comprehensive, integrated explanation of the craft of writing for the screen. No one better understands how all the elements of a screenplay fit together, and no one is better qualified to explain the "magic" of story construction and the relationship between structure and character than Robert McKee.

    **book descriptions lifted from the library catalogue

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