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    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

    Teen Writing Contest

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    Are you a young writer (13 - 17) looking for an opportunity to take your creativity to the next level?

    Is there a young writer budding in the family? Someone who can transform this creepy photograph into 500 words and earn a batch of very sweet prizes?

    Complete contest details can be found in the Teen Zone blog, which also has a bunch great posts related to developing your creativity and connecting with Calgary's writing community.

    The winner will be announced on Saturday, February 1, in the middle of the library's upcoming Writers' Weekend. If you haven't already registered for this inspiration-packed day, check out the full listing of presenters here.

    And good luck to everyone who enters the contest!

    The Art of True Crime

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    On the morning of June 30, 2009, police in a small eastern Ontario city made a ghastly discovery: four females dead in a car submerged in a shallow canal. Sisters Zainab Shafia, 19, Sahar Shafia, 17, Geeti Shafia, 13, and Rona Mohammad Amir, 50, floated serenely inside the car, seemingly the victims of a terrible accident. That morning, Mohammad Shafia, his wife Tooba and their son, Hamed, arrived at the Kingston police station to report the four missing. In a sweeping covert investigation that spanned three continents, police uncovered layers of lies in the Shafias' story and they developed a horrifying theory: Zainab, Sahar, Geeti and Rona had been the victims of a meticulously plotted family murder -- Canada's first mass honour killing...

    On Saturday, February 1, don't miss the opportunity to hear award-winning journalist Rob Tripp present a behind-the-scenes look at the world of true crime writing. "Breaking Into True Crime" is the fourth presentation making up this year's Writers' Weekend and we are thrilled to be able to offer this unique window into a naturally mysterious process.

    What kind of background is required to become a crime journalist?

    How does a reporter gain access to such sensitive information?

    How can a writer organize all their facts and research to produce a gripping read?

    Come get some answers at Writers' Weekend 2014.

    Follow Rob Tripp on Twitter.


    ... In Without Honour, award-winning journalist Rob Tripp draws on three years of exhaustive research and exclusive interviews to make sense of a senseless crime in a way no other writer could. His unprecedented access tells a story beyond anything the jury heard: a story about a patriarch who fled war and strife in Afghanistan but who did not leave behind his devotion to repressive tradition. Tripp was the first journalist on the scene as the news broke and the only reporter to attend every day of court sessions, through to the convictions of Shafia, Tooba and Hamed on four counts each of first-degree murder, fuelled by what Ontario Superior Court Judge Robert Maranger called a twisted notion of honour. In this gripping and compassionate account, Tripp reveals the heartbreaking and stunning truth about the desperate lives of four women who died in the pursuit of freedom.

    **book description lifted from library catalogue

    Resource Fair, Part 2

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    Here is part two of two of our Writers' Weekend Resource Fair participants for 2014. There will be so much going on outside the theatre make sure you don't miss any of the 6 expert presentations. These local writing groups will be set up all day on Saturday, February 1, to take your questions, explain what they do, and guide you forward.


    Magpie Haiku and Tanka Poets

    Seven magpie ladies from Alberta... their haiku and tanka are humorous and powerful. They fly high with black shiny wings.

    Authors of the anthologies "Weathered Wings" and "A Piece of Eggshell".

    National Novel Writing Month

    NaNoWriMo is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on November 30. Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel.

    People’s Poetry Festival

    Launched in 2011, The People’s Poetry Festival is a celebration of poetry in Calgary. Showcasing local poets and poetry organizations, as well as amateur and aspiring poets and spoken word artists, The PPF seeks to tear apart the notion that poetry is reserved for academic elites and enlightened beatniks.

    Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators

    SCBWI is a non-profit organization which is one of the largest existing organizations for writers and illustrators. It is the only professional organization specifically for those individuals writing and illustrating for children and young adults in the fields of children’s literature, magazines, film, television, and multimedia.

    The Canada West chapter includes members in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

    When Words Collide Festival

    When Words Collide is a festival for readers, writers, artists and publishers of commercial and literary fiction, including genre, YA, Childrens books, and Poetry. Its purpose is to bring together the literary community, both readers and writers, in Calgary and beyond, for a sharing of information, for learning, and to build a sense of community.

    Writers' Guild of Alberta

    The Writers' Guild of Alberta is a provincial arts service organization that represents both professional and emerging writers in Alberta. Its mission is to inspire, connect, support, encourage and promote writers and writing, to safeguard the freedom to write and to read, and to advocate for the well-being of writers.

    Writers' Weekend Resource Fair

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    On top of the 6 presentations from local writing experts, Writers' Weekend 2014 will also offer the opportunity to meet many of Calgary's most helpful, friendly, and supportive writing organizations. From 10am to 4pm on Saturday, February 1, our Resource Fair will feature at least 13 representatives from a diverse range of Calgary's literary community. Here's who's coming this year (part 1)...

    Alberta Playwrights Network

    APN exists to nurture Alberta playwrights and provide support for the development of their plays.

    Alexandra Writers Centre Society

    "A place for all writers", AWCS has been serving the Calgary literary community for over thirty years, helping aspiring writers learn the skills they need to grow and evolve.

    Calgary Association of Freelance Editors

    CAFE is a professional association dedicated to the promotion and development of freelance editors in the Calgary area.

    Calgary Association of Romance Writers of America

    The purpose of CaRWA is to help members become published and establish and build careers in romantic fiction. We provide continuing support for members both individually and in the romance publishing industry. We also promote excellence in romantic fiction.

    Calgary Crime Writers (find us on Facebook)

    "Crime and mystery writing mostly, but post your news about any writing classes, launches, author appearances, blog posts, and other news of interest to Calgary and area writers."

    Crime Writers of Canada

    Crime Writers of Canada (CWC) is a national non-profit organization for Canadian mystery and crime writers, associated professionals, and others with a serious interest in Canadian crime writing. Our mission is to promote Canadian crime writing and to raise the profile of Canadian crime writers with readers, reviewers, librarians, booksellers, and media.

    Imaginative Fiction Writers’ Association

    “IFWA” was founded in 1988 to help imaginative fiction writers hone their skills and expand their knowledge base. To this end, IFWA engages in many activities including critiquing written work, providing marketing advice, suggesting writing games and exercises, and notifying members about interesting events, contests and writing opportunities, amongst other things.

    **All group descriptions lifted from their websites

    Stay tuned for more!

    And register for Writers' Weekend here.

    Writers' Weekend, 2014

    by Phil

    With the Winter program guide now released, so too is the lineup for Writers' Weekend 2014 - a full day of presentations taking place in Central library's John Dutton theatre on Saturday, February 1. You can register for all six starting December 23.

    Writing and Publishing Fantasy

    10 - 11 a.m.

    Jodi McIsaac, best-selling author of the Thin Veil urban fantasy series, kicks off the day with insight into the craft of writing and the new world of publishing.

    Don't Lick the Minivan! The Art of Humour Writing

    11 a.m. - 12 p.m.

    Leanne Shirtliffe, award-winning humour blogger, Huffington Post contributor and author of Don't Lick the Minivan shares her take on humour writing and writing about real life.

    Ask the Publisher

    12 - 12:30 p.m.

    Lyn Cadence, public relations strategist, publicist and coach with Frontenac House, answers your questions about what publishers do and how publishing works.

    Breaking Into True Crime

    1 - 2 p.m.

    Rob Tripp, award-winning journalist and bestselling crime writer, author of Without Honour: The True Story of the Shafia Family & the Kingston Canal Murders, gives us a behind the scenes look into the world of true crime reporting and writing.

    Screenwriting 101

    2 - 3 p.m.

    Want to see your story on the big screen? Join award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter Geo Takach, author and director of Will the Real Alberta Please Stand Up? for an inspirational introduction to screenwriting.

    Mike's Bloggity Blog: Blogging with the Best!

    3 - 4 p.m.

    Mike Morrison, creator of Mike's Bloggity Blog takes us into the world of Canadian entertainment blogging and the power of blogging to support our community.

    On top of expert presentations, the 'Weekend will also feature a Resource Fair showcasing more than 10 local writing groups. Stay tuned as we approach February for a closer look at this year's presenters and everything the day has to offer.

    Thank you Barb Howard!

    by Phil - 1 Comment(s)

    December has come much too quick. While I'm thrilled to be on the way out of an odd-numbered year (they're the worst!), the last month of the year is also the first month since summer that the library, sadly, is without the services of its 2013 Writer-in-Residence, Barb Howard.

    On behalf of all aspiring Calgary writers who took advantage of this opportunity, whether through manuscript consultations, attending one of Barb's many author readings/presentations, or a Reckless Writing session, the 'Nook blog would like to say THANK YOU so so much for answering our endless questions and guiding us forward.

    Keep in touch with Barb Howard's wonderful work at barbhoward.ca, and pick up her books from your local library...

    The Dewpoint Show Notes for Monday Western Taxidermy Embedded on the Home Front

    It's going to be a long nine months before the 2014 Writer in Residence season begins, but anyone looking for more kick-in-the-pants guidance from local writing experts won't have to wait all the way to September. Next week, with the release of our Winter program guide, the lineup for Writer's Weekend 2014 will be announced. The date is set: Saturday, February 1, and this year will feature another 6 inspiration-packed expert presentations from local writers, as well as the opportunity to meet many Calgary writing groups. Details will follow next week.

    Barb - we can't wait to read more of your work.

    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 sandralit.com.

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


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