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  • Nov 26 - Distinguished Visitor - Shyam Selvadurai presents 'Writing from the Hyphen' this Saturday
  • 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
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    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

    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...

    WRITING NON-FICTION WITH TED BISHOP

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

    HUGH BREWSTER ON GETTING PUBLISHED

    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!

    WRITING FOR FILM & TELEVISION WITH ELYSE FRIEDMAN

    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.

    WRITING ROUNDTABLE WITH KATHLEEN WINTER

    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.

    WRITING MYSTERY WITH MICHAEL ROBOTHAM

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

    MASTER CLASS WITH MICHAEL CHO

    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.

    ILLUSTRATING FOR BOOKS WITH SCOTT CHANTLER

    “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 Wordfest.com 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 Wordfest.com.

    Writers and Mixtapes: Pechakucha Style

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

    ONE-ON-ONE WITH SJÓN

    Saturday, October 18. Details.

    **event descriptions lifted off Wordfest.com

    Industry Insiders at Wordfest

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    With headliners like Palahniuk, Atwood, and Boyden at this year's Wordfest it's easy to get excited for the festival's kick-off on October 14. At my house the date with the most circles around it is October 16, otherwise known as "Barbara Reid Day", when Calgary audiences have two opportunities to see the author of Subway Mouse, Perfect Snow, Two by Two, and dozens more.

    Barbara Reid's first Wordfest appearance will take place right here in the Central library's John Dutton Theatre at 10am as she presents her new book The Night Before Christmas. This first one's for the kids (K - Grade 2) and you can find tickets here.

    Later the same day, across the street at the Epcor Centre, Barbara Reid will join Eric Walters and Anthony De Sa on a panel of 'Industry Insiders' to discuss Books in the Classroom. Hot topics for educators, librarians, and of course, the writers who write the books, will be discussed by these experienced, award-winning authors. Find tickets for 'Industry Insiders'.

    BARBARA REID is the critically acclaimed Canadian author and illustrator of over twenty books, including Picture a Tree, The Subway Mouse and Welcome, Baby. Her timeless storytelling paired with her vibrant Plasticine illustrations result in utterly original picture books that are loved by children and parents alike. Reid has received major Canadian children’s book awards, including the Governor General’s Award for Illustration for The Party, and the Amelia Frances Howard Gibbon Award for Perfect Snow. In 2012, she received the Order of Ontario. This fall, readers will be dazzled by her stunning version of The Night Before Christmas. Reid lives in Toronto, Ontario.

    ERIC WALTERS began writing in 1993 as a way to entice his grade five students into becoming more interested in reading and writing. At the end of the year, one student suggested that he try to have his story published. Since that first creation, Walters has published several novels which have all become bestsellers and have won over eighty awards. He is a tireless presenter, speaking to over 70,000 students per year in schools across the country. Eric is a father of three and lives in Mississauga, Ontario.

    ANTHONY DE SA is a teacher-librarian and author who grew up in Toronto’s Portuguese community. De Sa’s critically acclaimed book, Barnacle Love, became a finalist for the 2008 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the 2009 Toronto Book Award. At WordFest, De Sa will present his new novel Kicking the Sky.

    Wordfest

    by Phil

    It's almost here. The week when many of the world's best writers gather in Calgary to share their stories. With more than 65 events to choose from in the span of 7 days, covering a truly vast array of literary angles, it can be a bit daunting figuring out which writers not to miss.

    When the 2013 lineup was revealed in August names like Margaret Atwood, Michael Crummey, Joseph Boyden, and Lisa Moore had us all nodding along "Yes, yes... this is good" and now with the 64 page Wordfest guide (completely redesigned for 2013) in hand we can really dig into the essence of this year's festival des mots.

    One event I didn't notice until seeing the guide, which is kind of shameful considering the nature of this blog, was WRITERS BOOK CLUB, featuring Jowitka Bydlowska, Douglas Glover, Sue Goyette, and Elizabeth Ruth discussing how they approach the books they read. We all know the best advice for writing is READ READ READ, but are we getting the most out of our reading? Are we reading like writers?

    Another event I missed on my first scan, which I don't want to miss on October 18, is SCREECH: A DELICATE EVENING OF LITERARY THUNDER FROM BELOVED NEWFOUNDLAND WRITERS. This event will bring together Michael Crummey, Wayne Johnston, David Macfarlane, Lisa Moore, and Michael Winter for "a literary spin on a traditional 'screech-in' ". Hard to resist because of the potential chemistry of mixing this many artists from the friendliest place in the world. Hard to resist just to say I've been to a 'screech-in'. You can find the work of all these authors at your local library:

    Which Wordfest events are you going to this year? Let everyone know in the comment box so no one misses out. Happy Wordfest to all!

    Wordfest Workshops

    by Phil - 1 Comment(s)

    Of all the wonderful opportunities coming from October 14 to 20 courtesy of Wordfest - including more than 65 writers coming to town for an incredible range of events - none may be more valuable to the aspiring writer than the Wordfest Workshops. This year there are 4 workshops. One of them is already SOLD OUT so don't hesitate to get signed up for the few remaining spots. Update! Sept. 14 - MORE TICKETS FOR TERESA TOTEN NOW AVAILABLE!

    The 2013 festival lineup is now available at wordfest.com and it features a special Pre-Festival event. On September 25 Wordfest presents Amanda Lindhout with her memoir A House in the Sky - "a story of courage, resilience and extraordinary grace. Her curiosity about the world led her from rural Canada to imperiled and dangerous countries on every continent, and then into fifteen months of harrowing captivity in Somalia."

    Now, those workshops:

    Tuesday, October 15

    WRITING FOR KIDS WITH CARY FAGAN

    This intensive workshop includes hands on writing exercises, discussion and tips on igniting a child’s imagination through storytelling.

    Cary Fagan is an award-winning children’s author, a writer of adult novels, an editor and a contributor to a number of magazines and newspapers. He has twice been a Toronto Book Award finalist, and he has won the Jewish Book Award and the World Storytelling Award.

    Thursday, October 17

    WRITING FICTION WITH MICHAEL WINTER

    Award winning author and the mind behind Minister Without Portfolio shares tips on how to write compelling yet believable fiction at this workshop packed with writing exercises, insider advice and in-depth discussions.

    Michael Winter is the author of a number of novels, including The Architects Are Here and The Big Why. He has been short-listed for the Giller Prize and Roger Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and received the Winterset Award and Writers Trust Notable Author Award for his previous work.

    Saturday, October 19

    WRITING MYSTERY WITH PETER ROBINSON

    Bring a pen and notebook to this workshop, and learn more about the art of building tension and suspense in mystery writing through fun, interactive exercises and engaging discussions.

    Peter Robinson is the recipient of numerous awards for his Inspector Banks novels, including the prestigious Grand Prix de Littérature Policière for the French translation of In a Dry Season and several Arthur Ellis Awards for Best Novel.

    Saturday, October 19

    WRITING YA FICTION WITH TERESA TOTEN


    Learn how to mine real-life experiences as inspiration for stories geared to young adults in this workshop for writers of all ages and levels.

    Teresa Toten is the author of the acclaimed Blondes series, as well as other books including The Taming, co-written with Eric Walters, and The Game. Toten has twice been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award.

    *All event descriptions and artist bios lifted from wordfest.com

    Wordfest Presents Jeannette Walls

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    READ AN EXCERPT“One benefit of Summer was that each day we had more light to read by.”

    —from The Glass Castle

    And another benefit of summer, this summer, is that Wordfest is bringing the author of Half Broke Horses, The Glass Castle, and Dish right here to the Central library. One of the bestselling memoirists of all time, Jeannette Walls will present her latest stunning and heartbreaking novel, The Silver Star, a story about an intrepid girl who challenges the injustices of the adult world.

    Tuesday, June 25

    7pm, John Dutton Theatre

    TICKET INFO

    The event will feature a live interview with host Shelley Youngblut. Walls will read from The Silver Star, and her books will be available for purchase along with an opportunity to have her work signed after the event.

    WordFest is a not-for-profit organization that brings readers and writers together through the power of story. The 2013 main event festival will run from October 14 - 20.

    Other titles from Jeannette Walls available at your local library...

    Dish Half Broke Horses The Glass Castle

    Wordfest is Calling for Submissions

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    The Banff-Calgary International Writers Festival, also known as Wordfest, has got quite the exciting literary competition going. The Anne Green Award, named for the festival's founding director, will go the "artist whose project explores and challenges the traditional form of story and narrative". If you're a Canadian, you are eligible, and if you win you get $3,000, you get to present your award-winning work at Wordfest, and get pampered as a festival artist with airfare and accomodation.

    So what is a project that explores and challenges the traditional form of story and narrative?

    The criteria leaves a lot open to interpretation and that's exactly how Wordfest wants it. The committtee is hoping to receive "a wide range of submissions in varying formats and languages". Rather than have me skew an interpretation of the details and lead everyone down some mistaken path to oblivion, go to wordfest.com and get the full picture.

    There are two more things I can say for sure: 1) the deadline is May 15th, and 2) last year's Anne Green Award winner (in its inaugural installment) was Edmonton poet Kath MacLean. Click here to watch her award-winning video poems "Doo-Da" and "There Was A Young Man". You can also get into Kath MacLean's work by checking out her book 'Kat Among the Tigers' available now on library shelves. Click the book cover above to place a hold.


    While we're on the subject of submissions calls, don't forget the June 30 deadline for the Alberta Views 2013 Fiction Contest.

    And also the annual deadline to submit to FreeFall magazine for their Fall Open Issue is April 30. Click here for FreeFall's submission guidelines.

    EVENT 36 - Poetry off the Page

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

     

    60+ Events. 6 days...

    DON'T MISS THIS ONE:

    __________________________

    Event #36 - POETRY OFF THE PAGE

    October 12, 2012

    9:30-11pm, Vertigo Theatre Centre, Studio

    Ken Babstock • Ivan E. Coyote • Phil Hall • A.F. Moritz • Sandy Pool

    Award-winning and prolific, Canadian “page poets” use the stage as the page, transforming their readings into a charged event for a truly dynamic experience. Hosted by Lorna Crozier. TICKETS.

    Methodist Hatchet Missed Her Killdeer The New Measures Undark
    Ken Babstock Ivan E. Coyote Phil Hall A.F. Moritz Sandy Pool

    Festival starts October 9! Click here for the complete lineup.

    A Wild West Wordfest

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    It’s kind of scary to think that a month and a half has passed since we first posted about Wordfest’s exciting postcard story contest, TumbleWord. Is June really half over? Is summer slipping away from us before it even officially starts?

    Yes.

    But that's ok. Before solstice sweeps us into a painfully short season of hailstorms, during which the Calgary Stampede will enjoy its 100th year, Wordfest is helping the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth celebrate with a "mini-festival" that launches this Monday, June 18, and runs through to June 20. It's Wild West Wordfest. For 3 days the festival known for bringing readers and writers together is gonna bring readers and riders together, and the lineup looks great...

    (...all Wild West WordFest events are FREE.)

    Wild West WordFest Launch

    Monday, June 18

    5:30pm, Motion Art Gallery, Eau Claire Market

    Festival kicks-off with the winners of the TumbleWord writing contest and a reception. Hosted by Kris Demeanor.

    Anita Crowshoe

    Stories of the West - Tuesday, June 19

    Noon, Community Room, Eau Claire Market

    Spend your lunch hour with storyteller Anita Crowshoe and her amazing stories of our unforgettable heritage. Hosted by Dr. Yvonne Trainer.

    Cowboy Wild - Tuesday, June 19

    7pm, Art Gallery of Calgary

    David Campion and Sandra Shields present from Cowboy Wild, a photography book that reflects on the myths of the Stampede and the meaning of the West. Introduction by Brian Rusted.

    Nook Note* A book this beautiful might belong in your personal library, but just so you know, Cowboy Wild is available at the library... Click book cover to place your hold!

    ...and the grande finale, taking place right here at the Central library...

    Cowboy Cabaret

    Wednesday, June 20

    7pm, John Dutton Theatre, Calgary Public Library


    Doris Daley, Bob Dyck, Bruce Innes, Hannah Stilwell, Yvonne Trainer, Sheri-D Wilson and other special guests close out Wild West WordFest with a cowboy cabaret, featuring spoken word and song! Hosted by Donna Livingstone.

    Please RSVP to news@wordfest.com

    See y'all there!