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WGA Annual Conference 2019: Writing Across Worlds

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The Event

Our 2019 writers’ conference, Writing Across Worlds, will be held June 7 – 9 at the Coast Edmonton Plaza Hotel. Themes will explore literary works that cross forms, genres, and cultures, as well as how storytelling is crossing into new realms—from the digital sphere to the sleeves of our coffee cups—and into the psychological space of our daily routines. We will offer keynote lectures, panel discussions, networking and social opportunities, and individual workshops devoted to creative nonfiction, poetry, fiction, and speculative fiction. All writers from across the province and beyond are welcome to register. Three spotlight presenters include Griffin-nominated poet and novelist Ian Williams, (Reproduction, Penguin Random House, 2019), accomplished author Larissa Lai (The Tiger Flu, Arsenal Pulp, 2018), and Senior Agent with the Transatlantic Agency, Carolyn Forde. Before her current role with Toronto-based Transatlantic, Carolyn was an agent and International Rights Director at Westwood Creative Artists for 14 years. Our full schedule of sessions and presenters are currently showcased on our website.

Details and Prices

Writing Across Worlds
June 7 – 9, 2019
Coast Edmonton Plaza Hotel, 10155 105 St NW, Edmonton, AB

Registration PackageIncludesWGA MemberNon-MemberStudent
Full Conference Pass Early Bird (available February 19 – April 15)Conference activities June 7 – 9 (excludes Gala June 8)$175.00$250.00$100.00
Full Conference Pass (price in effect after April 15)Conference activities June 7 – 9 (excludes Gala June 8)$220.00$300.00$100.00
Friday OnlyFriday evening June 7 only$25.00$25.00$25.00
Saturday OnlyConference activities June 8 only (excludes Gala)$120.00$160.00$60.00
Sunday OnlyConference activities June 9 only$120.00$160.00$60.00
Alberta Literary Awards GalaGala Evening June 8$75.00$75.00$75.00

 

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation Policy:
If you cancel:You will receive:
On or before May 7, 2019100% of the registration fees refunded minus a nonrefundable $30 administration fee
May 8 – May 24, 201950% of the registrations fees refunded minus a nonrefundable $30 administration fee
After May 24, 2019No refund

Please visit our Conference and Gala FAQ if you need clarification on what your registration includes.

Register Now 

 

Conference Schedule

Click on a session or event block for full details about the sessions and presenters. All sessions and events take place at the Coast Edmonton Plaza Hotel, and room locations will be available closer to the date.

WGA Conference 2019: Writing Across Worlds

08:00
08:30
09:00
09:30
10:00
10:30
11:00
11:30
12:00
12:30
13:00
13:30
14:00
14:30
15:00
15:30
16:00
16:30
17:00
17:30
18:00
18:30
19:00
19:30
20:00
20:30
21:00
21:30
22:00
Friday, June 7
Friday, June 7
Friday Welcome Night
17:00 - 21:00
Join us for drinks and entertainment to kick off the conference!

Join us for drinks and entertainment to kick off the conference! Snacks will be served.
Doors open 17:00.
Program starts at 20:00.

Saturday, June 8
Saturday, June 8
Coffee Social
08:30 - 09:30
Join us for coffee and snacks to start the day.

8:30 - 9:30
Join us for coffee and snacks to start the day. If you did not attend the Friday Welcome Night, you may register your conference attendance here.

Saturday Morning Keynote with Larissa Lai
09:30 - 10:45

9:30 - 10:45

Larissa Lai has authored three novels, The Tiger Flu, Salt Fish Girl and When Fox Is a Thousand; two poetry books, sybil unrest (with Rita Wong) and Automaton Biographies; a chapbook, Eggs in the Basement; and a critical book, Slanting I, Imagining We: Asian Canadian Literary Production in the 1980s and 1990s. A recipient of the Astraea Foundation Emerging Writers' Award, and a finalist for seven others, she holds a Canada Research Chair at the University of Calgary, where she directs The Insurgent Architects' House for Creative Writing.
Photo by Monique de St. Croix

More details coming soon!

Public Speaking for Authors with Joan Marie Galat
11:00 - 12:30
A workshop for writers to become more confident with public speaking.

Audiences expect you to share yourself as well as your work. They want to know about your inspiration, habits and plans. Discover how to express yourself clearly and feel good about it next time you speak to a group or answer questions from the media.

Public Speaking for Authors
11:00 - 12:30
Public speaking workshop with Joan Marie Galat

Public speaking workshop with Joan Marie Galat
11:00 - 12:30

Audiences expect you to share yourself as well as your work. They want to know about your inspiration, habits and plans. Discover how to express yourself clearly and feel good about it next time you speak to a group or answer questions from the media.

Joan Marie Galat is an international award-winning author of more than 20 books for adults and children, including a Canadian best seller. Recent titles include Dot to Dot in the Sky, Stories in the Clouds (Whitecap Books); Solve This! Wild and Wacky Challenges for the Genius Engineer in You (National Geographic Kids), and Dark Matters—Nature’s Reaction to Light Pollution (Red Deer Press). She has worked as a radio show host, magazine editor, and freelance journalist. A frequent presenter, Joan has traveled from Canada’s Arctic Circle to a United Nations event in Seoul, to share her stories and promote science and literacy. Joan also operates MoonDot Media, offering freelance writing, editing, and training.

Story Games: Fiction Workshop with Thomas Wharton
11:00 - 12:30
Fiction writing workshop, TBA

Story Games
11:00 - 12:30

In this workshop we will explore ways that card games, word puzzles, and other rule-based forms of creative play can help us inject new life into our fiction.

Thomas Wharton’s novels, stories, and nonfiction have been published in Canada, the US, the UK, France, Italy, and other countries. His first novel, Icefields, received the 1996 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book in Canada and the Caribbean. His first collection of fantastical stories, The Logogryph, was shortlisted the International Dublin Literary Award. He has also published a YA fantasy trilogy, The Perilous Realm, which is currently in development for television. Wharton lives near Edmonton, Alberta and teaches creative writing.

What You Alone Love: A Workshop on Memoir
11:00 - 12:30
What You Alone Love: A Workshop on Memoir with Caterina Edwards

What You Alone Love: A Workshop on Memoir with Caterina Edwards
11:00 - 12:30

Details TBA

Caterina Edwards’ latest novel, The Sicilian Wife, (a literary Noir, was a National Post Best Book of 2015 and received rave reviews in Canada, the United States, and Sicily. Her five other books and several of her personal essays, in particular her memoir, Finding Rosa: A Mother with Alzheimer's, A Daughter's Search for the Past, have won major awards and diverse critical attention. The challenge of writing from one's experience led Caterina to co-edit two books of life writing and together with Jean Crozier, to create the Finding the Unique Writing Workshops. In 2016, Caterina was inducted into the City of Edmonton's Cultural Wall of Fame.

Lunch
12:30 - 13:30

Literary Meets Genre
13:30 - 14:45
Panel discussion about challenging distinctions between literary and genre writing

Panel discussion about challenging distinctions between literary and genre writing
13:30 - 14:45

As writers (and readers), we might have strong feelings about how to define literary fiction or genre fiction, or we might embrace and revel in the ambiguities and contradictions of these categories, and create literature that defies definition. Join these Alberta authors as they discuss writing that crosses and challenges the boundaries between literary fiction and genre fiction. Featuring Larissa Lai, Janice MacDonald, and Wayne Arthurson and moderated by Candas Jane Dorsey.

Larissa Lai has authored three novels, The Tiger Flu, Salt Fish Girl and When Fox Is a Thousand; two poetry books, sybil unrest (with Rita Wong) and Automaton Biographies; a chapbook, Eggs in the Basement; and a critical book, Slanting I, Imagining We: Asian Canadian Literary Production in the 1980s and 1990s. A recipient of the Astraea Foundation Emerging Writers' Award, and a finalist for seven others, she holds a Canada Research Chair at the University of Calgary, where she directs The Insurgent Architects' House for Creative Writing.
Photo by Monique de St. Croix

Wayne Arthurson is an Edmonton-based novelist and journalist of Cree and French Canadian descent, the author of the five novels, five books of non-fiction and numerous articles in a wide variety of publications. His novels include the award-winning Leo Desroches series, which won the 2012 Alberta Readers’ Choice Award in 2012 for Fall From Grace. Other novels include A Killing Winter, Blood Red Summer, The Traitors of Camp 133 and Final Season. He was the Writer in Residence for the Edmonton Public Library for 2016.

Best known for the popular academic Randy Craig Mysteries, the first detective series set in Edmonton, Alberta, Janice MacDonald has also produced non-fiction, short fiction, drama and music, and two rather spectacular children. A long time reviewer (her column, “If Words Could Kill” ran for several years in the Edmonton Journal) and devotee of mystery fiction, Janice wrote her thesis on detective fiction. She is also the author of the award-winning children’s book, Ghouls’ Night Out. Janice spent more than a decade teaching literature, communications and creative writing at Grant MacEwan, and now keeps the Government of Alberta safe from dangling modifiers. For more information than you could possibly require, head to janicemacdonald.net.

Candas Jane Dorsey is known as a writer of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Ursula K. Le Guin has described Dorsey as “brilliant as William Gibson, as complex as Gene Wolfe, with a humanity and passion all her own.” Quill & Quire contributor Greg Boyd remarked that “the best of her fictions are emotionally grounded in the Alberta landscape: its pure blue arch of sky is too expansive to enclose the imaginative spirit.” Dorsey is the author of several novels, collections of short fiction, and books of poetry, and her work has won the Crawford, Tiptree and Aurora Awards and several WGA awards. She is founding president of SF Canada, Canada’s National Association of Speculative Fiction Professionals. She is a founding partner of Wooden Door and Associates, a professional communications company. She co-founded the publishing company The Books Collective, which released more than one hundred titles in fourteen years. She has been an active member of the literary community and other arts communities in Alberta for more than forty years. Her work as a creative writing teacher, writer in residence, and mentor has influenced many students and emerging writers. She has been a member of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta for many years and previously served on the organization’s Board of Directors. She has won a number of awards for her writing and community advocacy work, including the WGA's Golden Pen in 2017, and she was inducted into the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2018. Her most recent book is ICE and other stories, published by PS Publishing, England, in fall 2018.
Photo by Christian Sauvé

TBA
13:30 - 14:45

Working with Agents (& Publishers) with Carolyn Forde
15:00 - 16:30
Presentation by literary agent Carolyn Forde

Presentation by literary agent Carolyn Forde of Transatlantic Agency
15:00 - 16:40

Previous to joining Transatlantic Agency as Senior Agent, Carolyn was a literary agent and International Rights Director at Westwood Creative Artists for 14 years.

She has represented authors who have won or been nominated for many awards, including but not limited to the following: Governor General’s Award, Scotiabank Giller Prize, RBC Taylor Prize, Writers Trust Hilary Weston Award, Trillium Book Award, Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-fiction, BC National Book Award, Toronto Book Award, Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award, Margaret and John Savage First Book Award, Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour, Speakers Award, Toronto Heritage Book Award, Hugo Prix for Best Foreign Thriller (France), Kobo Emerging Writer Award, Arthur Ellis Awards, LAMDA Awards, as well as many national and international bestsellers.

Alberta Literary Awards Gala
18:00 - 22:00
Please join us for an evening that celebrates literary excellence and Alberta's writing community!

Doors open for cocktails and mingling 18:00.
Buffet dinner 19:00
Dress code: semiformal/festive attire

Please join us for an evening that celebrates literary excellence and Alberta's writing community! We will present awards in nine categories that include fiction, nonfiction, drama, poetry, and children's literature. More details coming soon.

Sunday, June 9
Sunday, June 9
Coffee Social
08:30 - 09:30
Join us for coffee and snacks to start the day.

8:30 - 9:30
Join us for coffee and snacks to start the day. If you are attending Sunday only, you may register your attendance here.

Sunday Morning Keynote with Ian Williams: Crossworld Puzzles
09:30 - 10:45

09:30 - 10:45

Join poet and fiction writer Ian Williams for a poignant exploration on how writing intersects with our daily lives. Sometimes our writing competes to be top priority; sometimes it cannibalizes our experiences for material; sometimes it illuminates new perspectives. Inevitably, our writing process brings a unique set of challenges and rewards to our human experience of the world.

Ian Williams is a poet and fiction writer. His latest book, Reproduction, is a novel about how families are formed. His poetry collection, Personals, was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award. His short story collection, Not Anyone’s Anything, won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award for the best first collection of short fiction in Canada. His first book, You Know Who You Are, was a finalist for the ReLit Poetry Prize. CBC named him as one of ten Canadian writers to watch. He was the 2014-2015 Canadian Writer-in-Residence for the University of Calgary’s Distinguished Writers Program. In 2018, he became a trustee of the Griffin Poetry Prize. Williams teaches poetry at the University of British Columbia.

WGA Annual General Meeting
11:00 - 12:00

Lunch
12:00 - 13:00

Lunch
12:00 - 13:00

Digital Strategies for Writers
13:00 - 14:30
Discussion on digital strategies for writers

Discussion on digital strategies for writers
13:00 - 14:30

Details coming soon!

Four Places to Find Poems with Ian Williams
13:00 - 14:30
Four Places to Find Poems

Poetry workshop with Ian Williams
13:00 - 14:30

It’s time to stop waiting for inspiration! Ian Williams offers four specific and reliable ways to generate poems. Together we’ll try all four strategies, demystify the secrets of very productive writers, and supercharge our poetic output once more.

Ian Williams is a poet and fiction writer. His latest book, Reproduction, is a novel about how families are formed. His poetry collection, Personals, was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award. His short story collection, Not Anyone’s Anything, won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award for the best first collection of short fiction in Canada. His first book, You Know Who You Are, was a finalist for the ReLit Poetry Prize. CBC named him as one of ten Canadian writers to watch. He was the 2014-2015 Canadian Writer-in-Residence for the University of Calgary’s Distinguished Writers Program. In 2018, he became a trustee of the Griffin Poetry Prize. Williams teaches poetry at the University of British Columbia.

Being Weird on Purpose
13:00 - 14:30
Speculative Fiction Workshop with Candas Jane Dorsey

Speculative Fiction Workshop with Candas Jane Dorsey
13:00 - 14:30

In this workshop, writers will have the opportunity to discuss the special challenges and joys of writing speculative fiction with Candas Jane Dorsey, one of Canada's premier SF professionals. "Speculative fiction" is the overall term for all the different kinds of non-realism in literature, including SF, fantasy and the fantastical, the supernatural, magic realism, the New Weird and many more. Our conversation will cover some history, a bit of theory, and best practices of both the conceptual and the concrete, and will leave participants with suggestions for how to improve their speculative writing to be the best--and weirdest--they can possibly (or impossibly) be!

Candas Jane Dorsey is known as a writer of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Ursula K. Le Guin has described Dorsey as “brilliant as William Gibson, as complex as Gene Wolfe, with a humanity and passion all her own.” Quill & Quire contributor Greg Boyd remarked that “the best of her fictions are emotionally grounded in the Alberta landscape: its pure blue arch of sky is too expansive to enclose the imaginative spirit.” Dorsey is the author of several novels, collections of short fiction, and books of poetry, and her work has won the Crawford, Tiptree and Aurora Awards and several WGA awards. She is founding president of SF Canada, Canada’s National Association of Speculative Fiction Professionals. She is a founding partner of Wooden Door and Associates, a professional communications company. She co-founded the publishing company The Books Collective, which released more than one hundred titles in fourteen years. She has been an active member of the literary community and other arts communities in Alberta for more than forty years. Her work as a creative writing teacher, writer in residence, and mentor has influenced many students and emerging writers. She has been a member of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta for many years and previously served on the organization’s Board of Directors. She has won a number of awards for her writing and community advocacy work, including the WGA's Golden Pen in 2017, and she was inducted into the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2018. Her most recent book is ICE and other stories, published by PS Publishing, England, in fall 2018.
Photo by Hugh A.D. Spencer

Ask a Publisher
14:45 - 16:00
Presented by the WGA Youth Committee

Q&A with representatives of publishing companies and literary agent Carolyn Forde
14:45 - 16:00

Presented by the WGA Youth Committee.
More details coming soon!

Farewell Coffee Mixer

Farewell Coffee Mixer

Drop in any time after 15:00

For participants wishing to enjoy a final round of socializing or networking over coffee and farewell snacks—you may choose to use this time to debrief with fellow participants and conference speakers, to ask any final questions you have, and to deepen your connections with others.

WGA Conference 2019: Writing Across Worlds

 

Accommodations and Parking

A group discount rate of $129.00 per night is available at the Coast Edmonton Plaza Hotel. Visit our booking page to book online (discount code is pre-filled). Or call the Coast’s reservation line at 1.800.663.1144 and give the code CEP-GFC17794 to obtain the group discount. You may also visit the regular booking page and enter the code into the “group” field to access the discount.

Coast Edmonton Plaza has underground parking (self-parking) for $20.95 + tax for all overnight parking. For participants who are not staying overnight at the Coast, pparking is $5.00/hour or $18.00/day in the underground parking.

 

Registration

Please click the button below to register. You will be taken to a registration form, and will be redirected to a payment page after submitting the form. You may make your payment online with a credit card, or select Pay Offline during checkout if you wish to pay by phone or mail.

Register Now 

 

Our Thanks

Writing Across Worlds promotional materials by Leslie Irvine Design & Marketing.

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