The Margaret Atwood event yesterday (Feb 14) at the University of Calgary was like a rock show. I lined up an hour before starting time and got seats three quarters of the way back in the hall. Once all 850 seats were full, they closed the doors on the later arrivals. Stay tuned for a blog post with details.
I’ve now registered for the When Words Collide writing conference, the best bargain in town for Calgary writers. For $50 (advance registration until April 1) you get 2 1/2 days of hourly panels, readings, presentations, workshops, kaffe klatches with guest authors and editors, pitch sessions and blue pencil cafes – about eight choices per hour – plus evening parties hosted by local writing groups. The Saturday banquet is a reasonable additional $50 and you can sign up for master classes given by the guest authors during the days before the conference.
This will be the third annual When Words Collide conference in Calgary. I attended the first one and was so impressed with the energy and quality of the conference that I returned the next year – and will be there again August 9-11, 2013.
The conference is multi-genre, although Calgary’s science fiction and fantasy writers are the driving force behind it and their influence permeates everything. I find this a positive, perhaps because it’s a change from my usual writing events with their literary or mystery focus. Even though I don’t write science fiction or fantasy, every conference hour offered something relevant to my writing interests. I usually had a hard time choosing what to attend and was reluctant to take breaks for lunch or walks.
One thing I like about the conference is its mix of top heavy and democracy. They bring in some impressive guests, like Robert J. Sawyer, Canada’s top science fiction writer, who was there the first two years. Yet, everyone is welcome to sit on a panel. You just tell them you want to do it, the organizers e-mail their list of suggested panel topics, you pick the ones you can talk about and they’ll assign you one, two, three. You can also give a reading or share your expertise through a presentation or workshop. You don’t have to register for the conference to participate this way, although you can’t attend other conference events without paying your $50. This seems fair, when you consider all the work the organizers do for no compensation.
A change this year is a move to a new venue: The Carriage House Inn on MacLeod Trail South. This is great for me, since it’s much closer to my home than the previous venue in the northwest. With a shorter distance to drive, and maybe a supper break at home, I hope to have some energy left this year for the evening parties.
Today and tomorrow I’ll be attending two free events at the Calgary Public Library.
Tonight, Feb 1, my cousin-in-law, Diane Guichon, will be reading her poems at the Fish Creek Library as part of a poetry and photographs of Alberta presentation – with free wine and cheese. Her fellow readers are Calgary poets Bob Stallworthy and Micheline Maylor. If you want to go, check the library website to see if any places are remaining. Last time they had to turn people away. Your Calgary Public Library card is your ticket to enter.
Tomorrow, Saturday, Feb 2, is the free writers weekend in the John Dutton theatre at the Central Library. Presentations and panels run from morning through the afternoon on the topics of Writing Memoir and Biography, Engaging an Audience Through Online Writing, Ask the Editor, Children’s/YA Writing and Book Cover Design. A panel of writers will also discuss and answer questions about the writing process in the current publishing environment. Calgary writing groups for various genres will be hosting information tables. I’ll be organizing and helping to staff a table for the Calgary Crime Writers. Stop by and say “hi.” For more information, visit http://calgarypubliclibrary.com/services/programs-events/register-for-programs Keywords – writers weekend
I’m glad for this warm spell of weather so I can comfortably transit and walk to these events.
Starting Tuesday, Jan 22, I’ll be teaching a 10 week novel course to writers beginning their novel projects. I look forward to meeting the 10 people in the courses and hearing about their work. The course is full, but if you’re interested, a new session of A Novel Idea, taught by Anne Metikosh, will be offered this spring at the Alexandra Writers Centre.
The first weekend of February I’ll be taking advantage of a host of free programs at the Calgary Public Library.
Friday evening, Feb 1, my cousin-in-law, Diane Guichon, will be reading her poems at the Fish Creek Library as part of a poetry and photographs of Alberta presentation – with free wine and cheese. I’m told the last time Fish Creek Library held this event they had to turn away people at the door. Who knew poetry was such a draw? If you have a Calgary Public Library card, you might want to secure your spot by registering on the library website.
Saturday, Feb 2, is the free writers weekend in the John Dutton theatre at the Central Library. Presentations and panels run from morning to afternoon on the topics of Writing Memoir and Biography, Engaging an Audience Through Online Writing, Ask the Editor, Children’s/YA Writing and Book Cover Design. A panel of writers will also discuss and answer questions about the writing process in the current publishing environment. You can register at http://calgarypubliclibrary.com/services/programs-events/register-for-programs Keywords – writers weekend
Hope to see you there!
Happy New Year to all. If one of your resolutions is to take a writing course, I highly recommend the Alexandra Writers Centre Society.
I’ve been going there for the past fifteen years, first as a student and volunteer and later as an instructor.
The Centre offers a host of varied courses at a reasonable cost. Class sizes range from four to nine students. It’s a low pressure atmosphere where you learn a lot. This winter I will be teaching a 10 week course for beginning novelists called A Novel Idea and a weekend intensive on revising your manuscript called Getting the Words Right. As always, I look forward to meeting new writers and reading their work.
I hope to see some of you at the Alexandra Writers Centre. Best wishes for a fruitful year of writing.
Happy Holidays everyone. I’m on a three or four week break from writing. My first guests – one son and two cats – arrived Sunday night. More visitors to follow this weekend. I vow to plunge back into writing in early January. If our cold spell here in Calgary continues I’ll be glad to stay inside and write. I wish you all a happy and healthy 2013.
Saturday, Nov 17, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Join me and fellow Calgary writer, Garry Ryan, for an interactive workshop on making your characters come alive and about using E-Resources. Bring your questions and meet other writers. Everyone welcome. Workshop takes place at the Calgary Public Library, Central Branch, 616 Macleod Trail S.E. You’ll get to see my first ever power point presentation. To register visit Calgary Public Library .
My friend and promotion mentor, Susan Toy, recently published her first novel Island in the Clouds, a murder mystery set on the island of Bequia, where Susan lives part-time. To promote her book, Susan developed a blog feature called WHO in the World is Reading Island in the Clouds ???
My day trip to Vulcan, AB, inspired my copycat version WHO Out of this World is Reading Deadly Fall ??? Look who started it off.