Webinars and Online Workshops

Online Workshops

The WGA is happy to announce our online writing workshops. Click the tabs below for course descriptions and registration info!

Upcoming Online Workshops

Small Words with Muscle w/Vivian Hansen

Instructor: Vivian Hansen
Registration limited to 8 participants
Members: $125 Non-members: $150
6-7 weeks, begins April 15
*Online workshop uses Google Classroom. Participants must have a Gmail address.*

In this workshop, you will discover how you are poets in all aspects of writing.  We will work closely with sound, structure, imagery, meaning and prose poems to expose the elements of how poetry works.  We will do close readings of our own work and come away with new ideas and collections of poetry. Writers will receive instructor feedback for each week’s exercise as well as feedback for up to 12 poems at the end of the workshop.

Week One: Introductions, and What is this Muscle called Poetry?

Week Two Sound: How does this poetic Muscle sound when it vibrates?

Week Three Structure: How do we exercise this poetic Muscle?

Week Four Imagery:  How does the pleasure of a picture invite the pleasure of visual poetry?

Week Five Meaning: What do we mean when we say how deep we must go?

Week Six Prose Poem:  How does a poem become Prose, or Prose become poetry?

Vivian Hansen has published poetry, essays and memoir in Canadian journals and anthologies. She has four poetry books: Leylines of My Flesh (2002), A Bitter Mood of Clouds, and A Tincture of Sunlight (Frontenac 2013 and 2017).  Vivian teaches creative writing with Mount Royal University, the University of Calgary, and Alexandra Writers Centre. She has work forthcoming in The New Quarterly and Prairie Journal. Vivian is currently Writer in Residence with the Canadian Authors Association – Alberta Branch.

Registration for Small Words with Muscle is now closed.


Creating Visceral Scenes with Leslie Greentree

Registration limited to 12 participants
Members: $100 Non-members: $125
Duration: 2 weeks, begins April 14
*This course uses Google Classroom. All users must have a Gmail account to participate in the workshop.*


Over the course of this fiction workshop, we will build and rebuild the same scene from various perspectives, focusing intensely – one at a time – on different storytelling tools (setting, dialogue, movement, and sensory stimuli). By breaking apart a writer’s scene-building tools in this way, writers will be able to fully concentrate on, and explore, the power of each one. The final assignment will combine the various scene-building tools, and the assignments generated by them, into one final, fully formed scene. The final assignment will also incorporate use of interiority, eg: “telling.”

As we write, we will read four short scenes by various Canadian writers that illustrate the different narrative techniques participants will focus on in each assignment, with the goal of identifying the effectiveness of each narrative choices in building the particular momentum or mood of that scene.

Participants will submit their pieces to the instructor for private feedback; as each assignment comes due, participants will also be invited to share their pieces with their fellow workshop participants for unstructured constructive group feedback and discussion.

It is recommended that participants create a new scene 


    • This course focuses on exercising specific narrative techniques within the confines of a short fiction scene in any genre. 
    • The final 1,000 word scene the participant creates may be a complete piece, or part of a larger piece of fiction. 
    • It is recommended that participants write something new for this course; the purpose of the course is to intentionally exercise the use of specific narrative tools, not to workshop existing writing. 

About the instructor:

Leslie Greentree is the author of the short story collection A Minor Planet for You, which won the 2007 Howard O’Hagan Prize for Short Fiction, and two poetry books: go-go dancing for Elvis, which was shortlisted for the 2004 Griffin Prize for Poetry, and guys named Bill. Leslie has won CBC literary competitions for short fiction and poetry, and the Sarah Selecky 2013 Little Bird short fiction competition for a story that appears in her current short story manuscript, This is not the apocalypse I was hoping for. She co-wrote the play Oral Fixations with her life partner Blaine Newton; it was professionally produced in 2014 by Ignition Theatre. 

Registration for Creating Visceral Scenes is now closed.




The Get Publishing Webinar Series is part of a new stream of offerings named after the Get Publishing Communications Society (GPCS), which has ceased to exist as of 2016 and gifted its brand to the Writers' Guild of Alberta. The series aims to continue equipping the audience served by Get Publishing in its decade-plus of existence: writers who want to see their work published."

--Cheryl Mahaffy, last president of GPCS

Click here to learn more about GPCS

Upcoming Webinars:

We use ClickMeeting to conduct our webinars. After you register and pay for the webinar, you can expect an invitation from ClickMeeting via the email address you provide, within two weeks of the date of the webinar. The invitation contains a link to the webinar room, which you join at the appointed time. The webinars are recorded and available to you for one week after the live session. You will also receive that link via email. Thanks for joining us!

The following webinars are open to everyone.

Writing Thrillers and Other Dangerous Novels with Julie Rowe

Saturday, April 18, 2020
1:00 – 2:30 pm
Free for WGA members, $20 for non-members

Want to write a New York Times Bestseller? Thrillers, mysteries, and suspense novels consistently rank in the top 25 books on the NYT bestseller list. Some of the biggest authors in the world write dangerous novels—James Patterson, Agatha Christie, Dean Koontz, Nora Roberts, and John Grisham to name only a few.

Writing a good book with a dangerous edge has both pros and pitfalls. Julie Rowe, author of the military thriller Biological Response Team series and the thriller Outbreak Task Force series, will provide information, insight, writing exercises, and comprehensive feedback on your dangerous novel.

What you will learn:

    • The differences between the separate genres and subgenres of thrillers, mystery, and suspense novels
    • Understanding what drives your novel, the plot, the characters, or specific events
    • How to craft a cast of compelling and conflicted characters
    • Where and when to add life-threatening events, attacks, and crimes.
    • various outline methods, and finding your unique planning process
    • How to nail that all important first page of your novel

Every lesson includes questions and/or writing exercises designed to help you prepare to write (or revise) your dangerous novel.

Who should take this course:

    • Beginning writers who aren’t sure how to start writing a thriller, mystery, or suspense
    • Intermediate writers who want to tackle more intricate plotlines and characters
    • Experienced writers who want to step outside their comfort zone in a difference genre and/or plan an entire series

Full-time author and workshop facilitator, Julie Rowe’s first career as a medical lab technologist in Canada took her to the Northwest Territories and Fort McMurray, Alberta, where she still resides. Julie’s debut novel, Icebound, was released by Carina Press on Nov 14, 2011. Ten novels and eight anthologies have followed. Her most recent titles include Sleight of Hand Book #3 and Search & Destroy Book #4 of the Outbreak Taskforce series. Julie’s articles have appeared in magazines, such as Romantic Times magazine, Today's Parent magazine and Canadian Living. Julie facilitates communication workshops at Keyano College in Fort McMurray, and has presented writing workshops at conferences in the United States and Canada. You can find her at, on Twitter @julieroweauthor or at her Facebook page:

Register for Writing Thrillers and Other Dangerous Novels

  • We collect participant locations for statistical purposes.

Everything I Know About Short Stories with Lee Kvern

Thursday, April 23, 2020
1:00 - 2:30 pm
Free for WGA Members and Airdrie Public Library Members; $20 for non-members

From that first spark of STORY, this webinar will look at how to shape, hone and create a cohesive short story. I’ll talk about imagery, scene setting, editing, turning point, character development, keeping the tension on every page with focussed intention, along with tips and fun tricks I’ve learned over the course of twenty years that will make your story sparkle. 60 minutes chat, 30 minute Q+A.

Please fill out the form below to register. You will be sent the link to the webinar no later than 24 hours before the start.

Register for Everything I Know About Short Stories

  • We collect participant locations for statistical purposes.

Writing Place, Writing Self, Writing History: The Documentary Poem with Dr. Ryan Cox

Saturday, May 9, 2020
1:00 – 2:30 pm
Free for WGA members, $20 for non-members

The Documentary Poem, as Dorothy Livesay once noted, is a particularly Canadian genre. It represents an intersection of place and history with poet’s self. In this workshop we will explore techniques for writing poems in the documentary mode, and how to work with, through, and against historical documents in order to create poetry.

Topics covered:

    • The Documentary Poem: An Introduction
    • Approach 1: Dorothy Livesay’s Dialectic (Model text: “Day and Night” by Dorothy Livesay)
    • Approach 2: Writing over and through with Robert Kroetsch (Model Text: “The Ledger” by Robert Kroetsch)
    • Approach 3: Disrupting the Document with Play (Model Texts: The Place of Scraps and Un/Inhabited by Jordan Abel)

These will be supplemented by further examples of the concepts applied

Ryan J. Cox teaches English, Film and Cultural Studies at Keyano College in Fort McMurray. His poetry has appeared in The Windsor ReviewCarousel, and Arc Poetry Magazine. He also regularly contributes book reviews to Prairie Fire, and his critical writing has appeared in English Studies in Canada and Canadian Literature.

Register for: Writing Place, Writing Self, Writing History: The Documentary Poem with Dr. Ryan Cox

  • We collect participant locations for statistical purposes.

Accessing Past Webinars:

Click on the webinar you are interested in and fill out the form at the bottom of the description. After entering your information, you will be directed to a payment page. Following your payment, you will be sent a link to the webinar. Alternatively, you can phone our office (780.422.8174) with your credit card information.