Martyn Godfrey Young Writers Award

From the YABS website:

We know a lot of awesome young writers and comedic kids. We think they deserve a little extra recognition, and the Servus Credit Union Martyn Godfrey Award is just the thing! This is an annual, juried contest open to all Albertan students in grades 4 through 9. Students are invited to submit their best funny, silly, or playful short story (500-1500 words) or short tale told in a graphic novel format.

Is there a prize?

You bet! There will be two Grand Prizes, one for Grades 4-6 and one for Grades 7-9. The Grand Prize winners will each receive an author visit for their schools, a collection of books by YABS authors and a new e-reader! Runners up will win books by YABS authors.

The contest opens August 1, 2013 and closes January 6, 2014, but send your entries early and you’ll be entered in a monthly draw for a book prize! At the end of each month, we’ll draw from the entries received so far. The earlier you enter, the more chances you have to win a book!

For more information, head here

Upcoming Workshops

September 29 ~ Culture Days Event, Writing Workshop with Janice Macdonald, St. Albert Library 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Local mystery author, Janice MacDonald, joins our regional writer-in-residence, Natasha Deen, for a full-morning writing workshop. Janice is best know for her Edmonton-set novels featuring amateur sleuth, Miranda “Randy” Craig. Explore all aspects of writing–plot, story, characters—as well as hints about publishing and making a living as a writer with Janice and Natasha. Please register for this free event by calling 780-459-1682 or at the Information Desk on the 2nd floor of the library.

September 29 ~Culture Days Event, Writing Workshop with Marty Chan, Strathcona Public Library 1:00 – 3:30 PM

Through personal anecdotes and interactive exercises, Marty Chan will reveal the secrets of writing well. He’ll explain the general differences between writing fiction, theatre and film; and, using simple techniques, he’ll break down the mystical art of writing into practical, easy-to-apply concepts. No need to bring existing writing, but be prepared to create some stories on the spot! Sun Sep 29, 1:00pm – 3:30pm, Rooms 3-4. Register online, in person or call 780-410-8600

October 16 ~ Talk, Cassie, Talk! ~ Strathcona Country Library, 7:00 – 8:30 PM

Join Stephen Leacock Award winner Cassie Stocks and Writer in Residence Natasha Deen for a hilarious and informative foray into the world of comedy writing, check-out aisles, and dancing ghosts. Register online, in person or call 780-410-8600.

Thea Bowering’s tips on publishing a short stories collection

Author Thea Bowering’s ambitious debut, Love at Last Sight, is an intimate and voyeuristic collection of short stories, several of which take place in Edmonton, where the former Vancouverite now lives. On Sunday, Sept. 29, she joins fellow debut author Michael Hingston and me at the Stanley Milner Library to talk about the process of writing and publishing her first book. (The event is free and begins at 1:30pm.)

Here, she debunks a few publishing myths and offers 3 tips to publishing your own short stories collection.

People say short stories are a hard sell. Is it true?

Short stories are often talked about as a hard sell in the publishing world. This has never made sense to me since much of Canada’s best known writing is short fiction. Everyone I know loves to read and listen to short stories. They seem to be easier to get published in collections and magazines than novel excerpts.

Are there other misconceptions?

The other thing you are told is that you need to find themes or threads that tie your stories together, so they seem like a novel. You are probably working with recurrent themes anyway, ones that interest you, so you don’t really need to worry about this until you write the book abstract to send along with your manuscript.

What’s the process of writing an abstract like?

This involves an uncomfortable week or so, sometime after the writing is done. If you’re thinking about—and reading—the others’ stories throughout your own writing process, you will understand your literary landscape and want to do what isn’t being done—or is being done only by a few, in a slightly different way than you. You might come up with an interesting thing that someone at a press will think of as new or unusual, as well.

The short story is an attractive form that can always involve something new: this may make some big presses nervous, but will attract smaller presses that are interested in innovative writing.

Tip #1. Read literary journals. Find ones that publish stories you like, are edited by editors you like. Submit to them. Pay attention to special issues, and submit when the topic is in line with your work.

Tip #2. Do the same thing with publishers. Find the ones who publish work (that is, short stories) you enjoy, presses that and who have a history of publishing work you admire and respect. Submit to them

Tip #3. Make a limited run chapbook if you have a story that is strong on its own. Chapbooks are most often designed for poetry, but why not a story? Now you have a nice little object to sell at readings and offer to an interested press.

Thea Bowering reads from Love at Last Sight

Thea Bowering, the author of the new book Love at Last Sight, joins me in the Writers’ Corner this Sunday, September 29, at the Stanley Milner Library at 1:30 pm. Together with Michael Hingston, author of the critically acclaimed novel The Dilettantes, we’re talking first books — how to get them published and what to expect.

Michael actually interviewed Thea about her collection already in his Edmonton Journal books column, which you can read here. In the video below, also via the Journal, she reads from her debut short story collection.

More NaNoWriMo events happening around you

More NaNoWriMo events courtesy of the Edmonton branch.

Edmowrimo Schedule of Events for 2013

Event: Plot Planning Party (Writing/Social Event)
Date: Saturday, October 26th

Time: 2:30-5:30 pm
Location: Program Room, Strathcona Branch – Edmonton Public Library (8331 – 104 St)
Details: Get prepared for NaNoWriMo 2013! Come out to meet your fellow wrimos and work on planning your novel’s characters, plot, and setting.

Event: Kickoff Party (Social Event)
Date: Saturday, October 26th
Time: 6:00-8:30 pm
Location: Armoury Resource Centre (10310-85 Ave)
Details: Come out to celebrate the start of NaNo with potluck snacks/treats, games, and maybe even a slideshow!

Note: The Plot Planning Party and Kickoff are back-to-back on the same date and are easy walking distance apart (about three blocks). We’ll be travelling as a group from one event to the other if you’d like to attend both, but you are welcome to drop in to either of these events at any time.

Event: NaNoEve Countdown (Online Writing/Social Event)
Date: Thursday, October 31st
Time: 10:00 pm to 1:00 am
Location: The Edmowrimo Chatroom (#edmontonwrimos on

Date: Friday, November 1st (Writing Event)
Time: 10:30 am – 8:30 pm
Location: Edmonton Room – Basement, Stanley A. Milner Library (7 Sir Winston Churchill Square)


Date: Sunday, November 3rd (Writing Event)
Time: 1:30-4:30 pm
Location: Program Room, Strathcona Branch – Edmonton Public Library (8331 – 104 St)


Date: Wednesday, November 13th (Writing Event)
Time: 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Location: Program Room, Whitemud Crossing Branch – Edmonton Public Library (145 Whitemud Crossing Shopping Centre, 4211 – 106 St)

Date: Saturday, November 23rd (Writing Event)
Time: 10:30 am-5:30 pm
Location: Program Room, Jasper Place Branch – Edmonton Public Library (9010 – 156 St)


Date: Monday, November 25th (Writing Event)
Time: Time: 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Location: Program Room, Idylwylde Branch – Edmonton Public Library (8310 88 Ave)


Date: Thursday, November 28th (Writing Event, Age 18 and over)
Time: 8:00-11:00 pm
Location: Upstairs, Rosie’s Bar & Grill (10475 80 Ave NW)
Note: Participants must be legal drinking age (18+), bring photo ID

Book Draw!

From now until October 15th, enter to win two fabulous books!

In a small Catskill Mountain town, someone is murdering her patients. Physician’s Assistant Annie Wolfe prays for someone, anyone, to stop the violence. After New York state police Captain Ronen Marvelic is assigned to the investigation, Annie soon learns that wishes, while coming true, can backfire. In more ways than one.



I was smarter. I was always smarter. A little cut-cut, drip-drip, blood saved and sprinkled.

Stuck in Yellowknife with her crazy grandmother, AJ is one angry girl. She’s lonely, too, and her blog has become her main source of contact with the world. It is there she reveals her innermost hurts—the absence of her mother, who has gone back to school; and of her father, who abandoned AJ when she was just a little girl; and the moving around she and her mother have had to do every few years for reasons she has never understood. And recently, she’s begun to cut herself—a powerful habit and shame she is trying to overcome.

Then a festival is held in Yellowknife, and AJ is befriended by a travelling musician, a man to whom she finds herself instantly drawn. Soon, she realizes that he may be her father.

Or is he?

Anita Daher’s chilling new novel will grip you completely from beginning to shocking end.

To enter the draw, email your name to regionalwir (at), or stick it in the designated boxes at the EPL/St. Albert/Fort Saskatchewan/Strathcona Library. Winner will be announced on October 15th and will have a month to collect the items from St. Albert Library. If they don’t collect the books by November 15th, the prizes will go to the next name drawn.

PLEASE NOTE: You do NOT have to enter the writing prompt to be entered in the draw. However, those who submit a writing prompt will be automatically entered to win.

Strathcona County Library’s Comic Book!

ComicWant to have yourself immortalized in the first comic book to ever be set in Strathcona County? Then head here and see how!

From the Indiegogo page:

Drea Boyd is a nice girl, living in a nice suburb — and feeling pretty much disconnected from everything.She finds solace in books and escapes into a fantasy world she creates. There, she’s Boy — a tough, smart cowgirl living in 1910 Alberta.

You can follow the stories in the first edition of “A Cowgirl Named Boy”, a creative collaboration between writers Trent Wilkie and Natasha Deen, and illustrator Dan Schneider.

Just to make it more interesting, this is the first time — in recorded history — that a comic book has been set in Strathcona County, a place that’s celebrating its 120th anniversary this year. We’ve even giving the founding father — Lord Strathcona — a cameo.

You’re supporting the work of independent Alberta artists — and we’re prepared to make it worth your while.

Your dollars will go to the costs of illustration and printing for this limited-edition project. There will only be 250 copies of “A Cowgirl Named Boy” printed, and we plan to release the comic on a high-grade parchment-style paper with a full-color cover.


Writer in Residence Retrospective – Chris Craddock (2010)

Craddock_headshotChris graduated from the University of Alberta’s BFA Acting Program in 1996. Since then he has written or co-written over 20 plays for Fringe, Main-stage and TYA audiences, as well as 2 feature films. Chris has also written three musicals, two of which received commercial productions in major cities.

Some highlights include: BASH’d a gay rap opera, which played three months off-Broadway and is the recipient of a GLAAD award. BoyGroove, which received a six week commercial run in Toronto and a Dora Award. 3…2…1, which toured to the Magnetic North Festival in Ottawa 2006. The Pharmacist/La Pharmacien, a bilingual feature film written by and co-starring Craddock is currently in audio-post. “Summer of My Amazing Luck” (adapted by the novel of the same name by Miriam Toews) toured extensively in Canada and is being developed into a feature film by Merit Productions in Winnipeg. His hit solo show Moving Along has toured across Canada (presented by such companies as One Yellow Rabbit and Theatre Network) and was filmed for Bravo Television’s Singular Series.

Chris was Artistic Director of Azimuth Theatre from 2001 to 2005, and Artistic Director of Rapid Fire Theatre from 2005 to 2009.

Chris has been nominated for eighteen Sterling Awards and has won five. He is the recipient of the Alberta Book Award, and the Centennial Medal of Alberta for his contribution to the Arts.

From the EPL WiR Page