Youth Camps



 Also, from The Writers Guild of Alberta:

Visit the WordsWorth page for information on the WordsWorth Summer Writing Residency in Bragg Creek, Alberta.
Our 2013 dates have been annouced: July 7-12 (ages 12-14) and July 14-20 (ages 15-19)

RWiR Workshop

And for those sticking around the Edmonton Area, I’ll be at Riverbend Library every Thursday from 3:00-4:30 beginning July 18th and running writing workshops for teens, 12-19.


Contests & Opportunities!

**Always remember to do your research** This blog will provide information on contests & opportunities but it is up to the writer to verify the legitimacy of the publisher/contest in question.

ACD Grant

To help increase participation and Albertan’s access to culture, the Government of Alberta is providing $375,000 in funding to organizations to put on events during Alberta Culture Days 2013, occurring September 27 to 29.

Up to five applicants will be selected as Feature Celebration Sites and will be eligible to receive up to $20,000 for three days of programming. Additional applicants will be selected as Host Celebration Sites and will be eligible to receive up to $5,000 for two days of programming.

In 2012, 64 different groups across the province seized this opportunity. See the Alberta Culture Days 2013 Grant Guide for full details on applying. Also, this site features a number of Event Planning Resources and Customizable Promotional Tools to help you plan all your Alberta Culture Days events.

Deadline closes May 3, 2013

Spring 2013 Contests Are Here! More Categories! More Prizes!

Deadline for entries is April 15.

Enter in one – or all – of three categories:

  1. Marie Barton Postcard Fiction Contest
    In honour of the late Marie Barton, a dedicated local writer, teacher and former member of the Canadian Authors’ Association.
    We challenge writers to tell a story based on a postcard in 100 words or less. Send us your postcard or quality photocopy of a postcard image along with your tale.
    Prizes: First, $100; second, $50; third, $25
  2. Eileen D. Pruden Award for Historical Fiction
    A new contest, thanks to a generous donation from the Pruden family.
    Open to adults age 40 and over. Your original story must feature a fictional character set sometime in Manitoba’s past. It must be unpublished and between 1,000 and 1,500 words.
    Prizes: First, $150; second, $75; third, $50
  3. Winnipeg Free Press/Writers’ Collective Fiction Contest
    Three categories: Junior student (Grades 7-8); Senior student (Grades 9-12); and Adult (age 18 and over). Stories must be original, unpublished works of fiction between 800 and 1,000 words for the junior student category and between 1,000 and 1,500 words for the senior student and adult categories.
    Prizes: Junior student & Senior student – $150, $75, $50 in each category, plus one Human Spirit award of $100; Adult – First, $200; second, $150; third $100

Head here for more information.

Call for Submissions: The Union in 40: A Special Section in Write Magazine

The Writers’ Union of Canada is turning 40 and we’re celebrating in Write with a special section asking members to imagine the Union in 40 more years. What will the Union look like and be doing/dealing with in 2053?

We’re looking for 150-200 word submissions imaging or re-imaging the Union 40 years from now. These can be serious, fanciful, funny, apocalyptic, angry or all of the above. They can be inspired by changes in technology, in publishing, in climate, in politics or whatever else you can think of! Anything goes.

All members are welcome to submit an idea, whether you just joined yesterday or have been a member since the beginning!  There will be a small honorarium for all submissions that we are able to use in the magazine.

Deadline: March 19, 2013

Submit to:

Hal Niedzviecki, Write Editor at  If you have any questions regarding this opportunity please contact Hal at

Writer Contest

The Winter Contest is open to all writers, and all entries will be considered for publication.

Deadline: Sun., March 31, at midnight, PDT.

•       $2,500 First Prize

•       $1,000 Second Prize

•       $500 Third Prize

•       Ten finalists receive $100 each.

See the Guidelines. Read prior winners and view the many recent awards garnered by our authors.


RWiR Check-In & #YEG Writes

© Shershellka | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

© Shershellka | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

As the steady stream of writer consults continues and I’m handed pages and manuscripts, poems and questions, I’m once again struck by how very lucky I am to have this job.

It’s remarkable (though not surprising) to see the amazing level of talent in this prairie province. What makes this part of the job even more wonderful is that not all the writers are looking for publication. Having a chance to read manuscripts drafted solely for family or the individual is a special kind of privilege.

I’ve seen fantasy and memoir, non-fiction and mystery. There are folks grappling with issues of their past, hopes for their future, and I’m blessed to work with authors like:

John B. who is currently working on a contemporary story that asks the big questions about love, loyalty, and just how far we’d go for friendship.

Patrick M. whose spy novel spans not just time, but geography and includes some of the history of the IRA.

Seeing people come to my office, having them sit and talk about the motivation behind the story, the why behind the character, I’m reminded of how much courage and sheer force of will it takes to write a story.

Writing, my friends, is not for the faint of heart and it’s not a job for cowards. You have to buckle down, sacrifice time with friends, shoulder familial disapproval, and all to what?–stare at a computer screen and hope that you have enough patience to bring the images in your heart and mind to the page.

Shoulder on, my friends. As Calvin Coolidge once said, “Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

If you’re interested in having your work reviewed, please visit here for the guidelines.


MacEwan University Book of the Year – Michael Ondaatje

From the website:

The MacEwan Book of the Year for 2012/13 is the The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje.

Tickets on sale now: Hear Michael Ondaatje read from The Cat’s Table on Thursday, March 21.

Since its inception in 1997, the MacEwan Book of the Year program has been guided by a committee of faculty, staff and students.

Each year, a work of contemporary Canadian fiction is chosen by the committee from nominations by the university community. The committee bases its selection on the book’s appeal and its potential to generate interest and discussion at MacEwan University.

In addition to the book being taught in English classes across the university, an exciting tradition of this program is the on-campus visit of the book’s author to discuss the book with students, staff and faculty. Activities held during the author’s visit include readings, workshops, Wall of Fame reception, and a student contest.

Emails to Natasha

Well, if anyone else uses Shaw, then you’ve also gotten the message that something went hinkey on their system on March 7th, and people’s emails were deleted.  Shaw was able to capture the email address (though not the content). I’m in the process of contacting those folk. However, just to be safe, if you’ve sent an email to me within the last few days and haven’t gotten a reply, please resend.


Guest Post – Illustrator Carolyn Fisher

Thanks so much to Carolyn for joining me today on the Metro Writer in Residence blog!

Writing with Scissors

At the Young Alberta Book Society AGM, I gave a talk about storyboards. A storyboard is a little map you use to plan how your book is going to look.

storyboard_template_600W_72dArtists use storyboards to figure out which chunk of story is going to go on which spread, to check that compositions are varied and that pictures look good together in sequence, and to make sure that the story arc and pacing work well in the fixed format of a picture book.

Picture book writers should use storyboards, too, for all the same reasons. When you’re writing a picture book, you need to think visually – after all, your book is half pictures. So for picture books, you write the things that the words say best and you leave space for the illustrator to draw the things that pictures say best. Why write that the sky was blue and the grass was green when the illustrator can simply show it?

Writers, you don’t need to draw the storyboard if that’s not your medium of choice. But you should try inserting page breaks to make sure that your story’s the right length, and that you have fifteen story chunks that can take you from page 4 – 32 of your storyboard. You might make illustration notes to help figure out if your story has enough visual scope.

When you pitch the manuscript, take out the page breaks and illustration notes. A good editor can tell if you’ve done your homework.

Download a storyboard template from my blog here:

Feel free to ask me questions in the comments if you want to know more.

Carolyn Fisher’s illustration has been commissioned by hundreds of magazines and newspapers. Her pictures have earned awards and been exhibited around North America.Her book Two Old Potatoes and Me was featured on the PBS TV show Reading Rainbow. When not illustrating and writing,Carolyn Fisher talks to kids and grownups about writing and art. Visit her at


What’s Happening in #YEG This Month?

  • Featuring Al Brant, Kevin Cook and Terry Morrison and a smokin’ band
    Main Theater event
    Box office :780-449-3378

    Al Brant, Terry Morrison and Kevin Cook, three of Edmonton’s best known songwriters, have joined forces with Mike Lent, Bill Hobson and Cam Nuefeld to present ‘Primed on Prine’ featuring the music and songs of John Prine.
    They have been collaborators over many years on various projects, the most prominent being ‘The Christmas Carol Project’; a songwriters interpretation of the Dickens classic tale.

    John Prine’s music continues to be an inspiration to many on the strength of his unparalleled ability to balance wit and humour with morality and human folly.