June is almost here.

June is almost here. What does this mean? Well, it means that May will soon be over so you should hurry up and VOTE for your Alberta Readers’ Choice Award book and author. Thank you to everyone who joined us for the special Writers’ Corner event with Todd Babiak, Michael Hingston, Thersea Shea, and Diana Davidson. It was a fantastic afternoon of great insights into the writing process.

June also means that June 2nd is the deadline to submit a story, poem, or essay to volume 2 of the 40 Below Project. If you have a piece that is about or inspired by winter in Alberta then you should send something in. Send it right HERE.

June 11th is my seminar on self-publishing entitled The Self-Publishing Odyssey: Opportunities for Success and Heartbreak for the Self-Published Writer. In this talk I will take you all through my experiences with self-publishing. Tips, tricks, funny stories, sad stories, and all the different options that exist now for people interested in self-publishing. Please come to this. It is free to attend but you should register online here.

Finally, on June 29th I am excited to announce that the guest for Writers’ Corner will be former EPL Writer-in-Residence Chris Craddock. Chris Craddock is a champion of all things creative. He’s an actor/director/producer and he’s written for plays, television, film, you name it. A collection of his plays has just been published by NeWest entitled “Public Speaking and Other Plays”. Join us at the Strathcona Branch on June 29th at 1:30pm to hear Chris regale us with stories about being a success in EVERY SINGLE MEDIUM THAT EXISTS. Chris is great. Please come.

And then June will be over.

Another (Very) Special Writers’ Corner

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4 of the 5 shortlisted authors for this year’s Alberta Readers’ Choice Award are from the Edmonton area. We are thrilled to be welcoming all four of them to this very special Writers’ Corner in May to talk about their nominated works. Please join us for a great afternoon celebrating local literature.

Event: Writers’ (and Readers) Corner

When: Saturday, May 24th. 1:30 pm

Where: Jasper Place EPL Branch (9010 – 156 Street)

Join 4 of the 5 shortlisted authors for the Alberta Readers’ Choice Award as they come to talk about their nominated books. The writers will also be joined by local readers who enjoyed these books and they will be giving their takes on why each of these books is very special, from a reader’s perspective. Join us as we discuss and celebrate these great local books and authors.

Michael Hingston is the books columnist for the Edmonton Journal. Called “one of the sharpest young literary critics in this country” by 49th Shelf, his journalism has also appeared in the Globe and Mail, Salon, Eighteen Bridges magazine, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.

His first novel, The Dilettantes (Freehand), was a #1 regional bestseller and received a starred review in Quill & Quire; the Winnipeg Free Press said it “may well be the Great Canadian Comic Novel.” Hingston’s fiction also appears in the anthology 40 Below (Wufniks).

Born and raised in North Vancouver, Hingston now lives in Edmonton with his partner and two children.

Diana Davidson lives in Edmonton, Alberta.  Davidson’s debut novel Pilgrimage was published by Brindle & Glass in September 2013.  Pilgrimage is a book about the violent intimacy of a small place and is set at around the Lac St. Anne Métis settlement, Edmonton, and St. Albert in the 1890s.  Pilgrimage has been heralded as a work of “frontier feminism” by The Edmonton Journal Books Columnist Michael Hingston.  Kim McCullough, for Prism, has said “Davidson has masterfully turned the tables on these historical ‘facts’ by using them to create a fictional world more real than the one found in any history book”. The novel has been on The Edmonton Journal bestseller list all but two weeks since its debut.

Davidson’s other writing has been long-listed for the Canada Writes CBC creative nonfiction prize (2012) and has won the Writers’ Guild of Alberta “Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Prize” (2010).  Her work has appeared in 40 Below, Alberta Views, Avenue Edmonton Magazine, Little Fiction, The Winnipeg Review, Women’s Words as well as the academic anthologies Analyzing Mad Men and Spectral America.  She has a Ph.D. in literature and has taught at the University of Alberta and the University of York, UK.  She was chosen as one of Edmonton’s “Top 40 Under 40” by Avenue Magazine in late-2011.

Theresa Shea has published poetry, fiction, essays, reviews, and articles in a number of Canadian magazines and journals. Her novel The Unfinished Child dramatically explores society’s changing views of Down syndrome over the past sixty years. The story offers an unflinching and compassionate history of the treatment of people with Down syndrome and their struggle for basic human rights.

Born in Maryland and raised throughout the United States, she moved to Canada in 1977 and currently lives with her husband and three children in Edmonton, Alberta.

Todd Babiak grew up in a small house in an oil town, with a mother who read horror novels and a father who cut the lawn with his shirt off. He pursued politics and literature in university. He spent a good part of the 1990s in Montreal. These were almost-separation times. It was bracing.

His novel, Come Barbarians (Harper Collins) is a gripping novel of love and loss, murder, revenge and political conspiracy. Todd Babiak has created a complex, magnetic character forced to confront his bleakest hour and his darkest impulses.

Today he lives in Edmonton, a northern city of mystery and enterprise, with long writing trips to France. Sometimes a month, sometimes a year.

VOTE RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW FOR YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK OF THE YEAR

Voting ends May 31st.

May is Mill Woods Month!

 

May is Mill Woods Month for me as Writer-in-Residence. I will be spending a lot of time at the Mill Woods branch of the EPL in May. It’s time to branch out. Get it? Branch. Out. Get it? Ok then…

On May 5th is my very first writing workshop for the EPL. Since it’s my first one I thought that we would get together and do some basic writing exercises designed to help you find the voice of whatever it is you’re working on, whether it be a short story or novel or anything in between. Please come with whatever it is you use to write. Pens, pencil, laptop, whatever. Come prepared to write and share some of it with the group.

Monday, May 5th. 7pm. Mill Woods Branch (2331 66st NW)

No sign-in required but space is limited to 15 human people.

Now I usually have office hours here in the Stanley Milner Branch. They are Tuesdays through Thursdays from 11-5pm. For a week in May I will be taking my office hours in the Mill Woods branch. So in case you’ve been putting off paying me a visit because it’s a little out of your way then May is the month to come see me. Dropping in is ok but it’s best if you email me (writerinresidence@epl.ca) and set up an appointment and you can even send a sample of your work along for me to read first so we can talk about it.

May 13-15. 11am to 5pm. Mill Woods Branch Office Hours

Come and pay me a visit on the south side of the river.

And Finally, My second writer’s workshop

Tuesday, May 27th. 7pm Mill Woods Branch

Think of this as phase two of the workshop I do earlier in the month. You can come to both or either one. We will be exploring similar techniques as the first workshop but this will be the perfect opportunity to see if your writing has improved over the course of the month.

Once again, please bring your writing instruments and come prepared to write and share your work with others and also provide some helpful feedback to others.

See you on the south side!