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WGA Annual Conference 2022: Shifting Creative Gears

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Writers’ Guild of Alberta Annual Conference 2022 – Shifting Creative Gears

Our WGA 2022 Conference: Shifting Creative Gears, is scheduled for June 3 – 5, 2022. After two years of trying new digital programs to adapt our literary world to the pandemic, we are now looking at how our creative lives might shift going forward—perhaps we won’t return to “normal,” but instead take the things we learned during the pandemic to create a new vision of the literary world for the future.
 
In the spirit of shifting gears, we are planning a hybrid format for this year’s conference, offering online programming on all three days plus select in-person activities in four Alberta hubs. Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge, and Fort McMurray will each receive an in-person writing workshop which will also be streamed for online participants, a networking activity, and a group writing critique session on Saturday, June 4. Many online workshops, panels, keynotes, networking sessions, and group critique sessions will be available.

Your conference registration includes access to all activities June 3 – 5. You may attend any of the in-person hubs plus any of the online activities, or attend online activities only.

All registrants will receive access to recorded sessions for a limited time following the conference.

Pricing

Shifting Creative Gears
June 3 – 5, 2022


Held online through Zoom and Discord with in-person events at Alberta hubs, listed below

WGA MemberNon-MemberStudent
Early Bird Rates (Before May 8, 2022)$140$175$115
Regular Rates (After May 8, 2022)$175$205$135

Cancellation Policy

If you cancel:You will receive:
On or before May 8, 2022100% of the registration fees refunded minus a nonrefundable $30 administration fee
After May 8, 2022No refund

Hubs

The 2022 conference will include four hubs for in-person events in Edmonton, Calgary, Fort McMurray, and Lethbridge.

**Please note: Lunch will not be provided at the event hubs. Please bring a bag lunch, or visit a lunch provider close to the library.

HUBLOCATIONADDRESSHub Facilitator
EdmontonStanley A. Milner Library7 Sir Winston Churchill Square Centennial Plaza
Edmonton, AB
Giorgia Severini & Ashley Mann
Calgary
Calgary Central Library800 3 St SE
Calgary, AB
Dorothy Bentley
LethbridgeLethbridge Public Library – Main BranchCommunity Meeting Room, 
Second Floor
810 5 Ave South. 
Lethbridge, AB
Barb Geiger & Emily Victoria
Fort McMurray
Wood Buffalo Regional Library1 C.A Knight Way,
Fort McMurray, AB
Alisa Caswell

Conference Schedule

WGA Conference 2022: Shifting Creative Gears - Friday, June 3

19:00
19:30
20:00
20:30
Friday, June 3
Friday, June 3
Online Friday Evening Keynote with Ivan Coyote: Care Of - Letters, Connections and Cures
19:00 - 20:00
Online Friday Evening Keynote with Ivan Coyote: Care Of - Letters, Connections and Cures

Online Friday Evening Keynote with Ivan Coyote
Care Of: Letters, Connections and Cures


Friday, June 3
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Writer and performer Ivan Coyote has spent decades on the road, telling stories around the world. For years, Ivan has kept a file of the most special communications received from readers and audience members—letters, Facebook messages, emails, soggy handwritten notes tucked under the windshield wiper of their truck after a gig. Then came Spring, 2020, and, like artists everywhere, Coyote was grounded by the pandemic, all their planned events canceled. The energy of a live audience, a performer’s lifeblood, was suddenly gone. But with this loss came an opportunity for a different kind of connection. Those letters that had long piled up could finally begin to be answered. Please join Ivan as they read selections from over a decade of letters and correspondence that grapple with topics like family, redemption, forgiveness, and how art and letters hold the potential to connect and anchor us all.
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IVAN COYOTE is a writer and storyteller. Born and raised in Whitehorse, Yukon, they are the author of thirteen books, the creator of four films, six stage shows, and three albums that combine storytelling with music. Coyote’s books have won the ReLit Award, been named a Stonewall Honour Book, been long-listed for Canada Reads, and been shortlisted for the Hilary Weston Prize for nonfiction, and the Governor General's Award for nonfiction twice. In 2017 Ivan was given an honorary Doctor of Laws from Simon Fraser University. Coyote’s stories grapple with the complex and intensely personal topics of gender identity, family, class, and queer liberation, but always with a generous heart, and a quick wit. Ivan's stories manage to handle both the hilarious and the historical with reverence and compassion, and remind us all of our own fallible and imperfect humanity, while at the same time inspiring us to change the world. Ivan's 13th book, Care Of, was released in June 2021 by McClelland and Stewart.

Website: ivancoyote.com | FB: Ivan Coyote | TW: @ivancoyote | IG: @ivancoyote

Photo of Ivan by Emily Cooper Photography

HOST: For the past seven years, ELLEN KARTZ (she/her) has been the Communications and Partnerships Coordinator for the Writers’ Guild of Alberta. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, a BA in English from the U of C, and a professional writing certificate from Mount Royal University. In 2018, she self-produced a stage show and poetry chapbook, both titled The Tenderness of Stone about a trek she made through Nepal’s Khumbu Valley. In 2021, Ellen founded a small poetry chapbook press and launched a quartet of chapbooks by emerging queer Edmonton authors.

Friday, June 3
Friday, June 3

WGA Conference 2022: Shifting Creative Gears - Saturday, June 4

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
Saturday, June 4
Saturday, June 4
Online: Land Acknowledgement & Saturday Keynote: In Conversation with Alison MacLeod
09:00 - 09:50
Online: Land Acknowledgement & Saturday Keynote: In Conversation with Alison MacLeod

Online: Land Acknowledgement & Saturday Keynote: In Conversation with Alison MacLeod
Host: Katherine Koller

Saturday, June 4
9:00 am - 9:50 am


Alison MacLeod, author of Tenderness, in conversation with Katherine Koller. Tenderness is a novel about DH Lawrence and his struggle to publish Lady Chatterley’s Lover, its champion Jackie Bouvier before she became Jackie Kennedy, and censorship that ignited the sexual revolution of the twentieth century. Alison MacLeod is a UK-based Canadian writer previously longlisted for the Booker Prize and shortlisted for the Governor General’s award.
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ALISON MacLEOD grew up in Montreal and Halifax, and has lived in England since 1987. She is the author of three novels, The Changeling, The Wave Theory of Angels, and Unexploded, which was nominated for the Booker Prize. She has also published two collections of stories, Fifteen Modern Tales of Attraction and All the Beloved Ghosts, which was a finalist for the Governor General's Award for Fiction. Until 2018, she was Professor of Contemporary Fiction at the University of Chichester, when she became Visiting Professor, to work full-time on Tenderness. She lives in Brighton and is a Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund.

HOST: KATHERINE KOLLER writes for stage, screen and page. Her first plays, Cowboy Boots and a Corsage and Magpie, were for CBC radio. Her full-length stage plays include her Alberta LandWorks Trilogy: Coal Valley, The Seed Savers and Alberta Playwriting Competition winner, Last Chance Leduc. Her web series, about Edmonton youth changing their world, is at sustainablemeyeg.ca. Art Lessons, her novel, was a Finalist for the Edmonton Book Prize and the Alberta Readers’ Choice Award. Her story collection Winning Chance won a 2020 High Plains Book Award and the Exporting Alberta Award. Her flash fiction won a Strands International Competition in 2021 and her latest play, Riverkeeper, was a Finalist in the Jane Chambers Award and the Alberta Playwriting Competition.

Website: katherinekoller.ca | TW: @KatKoll

Online Workshop: How to Speak with Confidence in a Borderless World
10:00 - 11:15
Online Workshop: How to Speak with Confidence in a Borderless World

Online Workshop: How to Speak with Confidence in a Borderless World

Saturday, June 4
10:00 am - 11:15 am


Facilitator: Lisa Dublin

Writers need a platform and the virtual world has provided us with the opportunity to build an organic, thriving community and authentic presence from which to present our ideas, our books, our products and related services. Let's learn how.
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LISA DUBLIN is in the business of helping people win in both their professional and personal lives. Through a combination of inspiration, insight and strategy, she offers seminars, private coaching, video and written blogs, performance poetry, speeches and presentations to youth, executives and professionals.

Her topics of choice are: speaking and presenting with confidence, being immigrant and professional, winning race relations, goal setting and consistency, authenticity, and spirituality.

She holds an MA in Literatures in English from the University of Alberta, an MBA from the Australian Institute of Business, and a BA (First Class) in English Literature & Spanish from the University of the West Indies, Trinidad. She is also a certified speaker with Eric Thomas & Associates, and has spent the last couple years learning how to talk and teach EDI with heart.

She lives in Edmonton with her husband and three sons and loves running and reading.

Edmonton In-Person Workshop: Taking the Mystery Out of History: Balancing the Line Between Fact and Fiction in Your Work
10:00 - 11:15
Edmonton In-Person Workshop: Taking the Mystery Out of History: Balancing the Line Between Fact and Fiction in Your Work

Edmonton In-Person Workshop: Taking the Mystery Out of History: Balancing the Line Between Fact and Fiction in Your Work

Saturday, June 4
10:00 am - 11:15 am

Facilitator: Natasha Deen

Creating a work of historical fiction is more than slotting in the research you’ve done and it’s certainly NOT overwhelming your reader with too much historical facts. Bring your questions and join Natasha Deen for a discussion on how factors such as audience, word count, characters, your writing voice, and the tastes of the modern reader work together to inform your writing.

This event will be held in person in Edmonton and streamed live online
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Guyanese-Canadian author NATASHA DEEN has published more than forty works for kids, teens, and adults. Her books have been chosen as CCBC Best Picks for Kids and Teens as well as Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selections. Her YA novel, In the Key of Nira Ghani, was a Red Maple Honour Book and won the 2020 Amy Mathers Teen Book Award. When she’s not writing, she teaches Introduction to Children’s Writing with the University of Toronto SCS and spends an inordinate amount of time trying to convince her pets that she’s the boss of the house.

Website: natashadeen.com | TW: @natasha_deen | IG: @natasha_deen

Calgary In-Person Workshop: The Good Story - A Creative Writing Workshop
10:00 - 11:15
Calgary In-Person Workshop: The Good Story - A Creative Writing Workshop

Calgary In-Person Workshop: The Good Story - A Creative Writing Workshop

Saturday, June 4
10:00 am - 11:15 am

Facilitator: Jaspreet Singh

Novelist Jaspreet Singh will conduct a creative writing workshop, with a special focus on what makes a good story. The balance between fact and fiction, invention and truth, what happened and what could have happened. How does one bring life to characters and their objects and places? This workshop is for all writing levels.

This session will not be recorded or live-streamed.
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JASPREET SINGH is the author of the novels Chef, Helium, and Face; the story collection Seventeen Tomatoes; the poetry collection November; and most recently, the memoir My Mother, My Translator. His essays have appeared in Granta, Brick, The New York Times. His work has been published internationally and has been translated into several languages. He lives in Calgary.

Discord

Discord

Saturday, June 4
11:15 am - 11:30 am


Connect with other writers and discuss writing topics and the conference sessions on this unique App.

Discord

Discord

Saturday, June 4
11:15 am - 11:30 am


Connect with other writers and discuss writing topics and the conference sessions on this unique App.

Online Panel: Freedom of expression, responsibility in storytelling
11:30 - 12:45
Online Panel: Freedom of expression, responsibility in storytelling

Online Panel: Freedom of expression, responsibility in storytelling

Saturday, June 4
11:30 am - 12:45 pm


Panelists: David A. Robertson, Wakefield Brewster, Alison MacLeod
Moderator: Neil Surkan


The liberty of expressing oneself without the fear of censorship or adhering to any one set of societal expectations or standards is a multifaceted topic that compels us to ask: How does the responsibility writers inherently have as storytellers inform and/or shape freedom of expression?
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DAVID A. ROBERTSON is a two-time winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award, the 2021 Canadian Children’s Author of the Year (The Globe and Mail), and winner of the Writers’ Union of Canada Freedom to Read Award. He is the author of the memoir Black Water (HarperCollins Canada), which won the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction and the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award, and numerous #1 bestselling books for young readers, including The Misewa Saga (Penguin Random House Canada), a middle grade fantasy series which began with The Barren Grounds, as well as the picture books On The Trapline and When We Were Alone. He is the writer and host of the award-winning podcast Kīwēw, a sought after speaker, and a beloved guest at literary festivals as well as on radio and television programs. The Theory of Crows is his first novel for adults. Robertson is a member of Norway House Cree Nation and currently lives in Winnipeg.

Website: darobertson.ca | TW: @davealexroberts | IG: @davidrobertsonwriter

WAKEFIELD BREWSTER, Calgary Poet Laureate, 2022 – 2024. In January 1999, Wakefield Brewster stepped onto his first stage as a Poet and Spoken Word Artist. Today, he is known as one of Canada’s most powerful Professional Performance Poets. A BlackMan raised in Toronto by parents from Barbados, he has resided in Calgary since 2016, and here is where Wakefield has been able to flourish Poetically and Personally. Wakefield finds that beneath the many hats and hoodies he wears, resides a wonderful life. He would like to sincerely Thank You all for being a part of it.

FB: Wakefield Brewster | TW: @lyricalpitbull | IG: @wakefield_brewster | LI: Wakefield Brewster

ALISON MacLEOD grew up in Montreal and Halifax, and has lived in England since 1987. She is the author of three novels, The Changeling, The Wave Theory of Angels, and Unexploded, which was nominated for the Booker Prize. She has also published two collections of stories, Fifteen Modern Tales of Attraction and All the Beloved Ghosts, which was a finalist for the Governor General's Award for Fiction. Until 2018, she was Professor of Contemporary Fiction at the University of Chichester, when she became Visiting Professor, to work full-time on Tenderness. She lives in Brighton and is a Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund.

MODERATOR: NEIL SURKAN is the author of the poetry collections Unbecoming (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2021), which is currently a finalist for the 2022 W.O. Mitchell Award from the City of Calgary, and On High (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2018). He is also the author of the chapbooks Their Queer Tenderness (Knife-Fork-Book, 2020) and Super, Natural (Anstruther Press, 2017). His poems and literary reviews have appeared in numerous Canadian magazines, and he was recently awarded the 2021 Riddle Fence Poetry Prize.

Neil earned a PhD in English from the University of Calgary in 2021. He currently lives and teaches in Nanaimo, on the traditional and unceded territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, with Luca, Edi, and Lloyd.

Website: neilsurkan.com | TW: @NeilSurkan

Online Networking: Connection Café
11:30 - 12:45
Online Networking: Connection Café

Online Networking: Connection Café

Saturday, June 4
11:30 am - 12:45 pm


Our networking sessions are a chance to meet other writers and talk about the writing life.

Online Workshop: Deepening Your Speculation: Writing Towards (and Into) the Unknown
11:30 - 12:45
Online Workshop: Deepening Your Speculation: Writing Towards (and Into) the Unknown

Online Workshop: Deepening Your Speculation: Writing Towards (and Into) the Unknown

Saturday, June 4
11:30 am - 12:45 pm

Facilitator: Greg Bechtel

Ursula K. Le Guin once said, "the truth is a matter of the imagination," and this workshop aims to help writers mine the particular truths of their own speculative imagination. Speculative fiction encompasses a massive range of genres and sub-genres (science fiction, fantasy, horror, magic realism, and so on), but at its core it's always about writing into the unknown and imagining possibilities for things to be otherwise. Together, we'll explore how considering various types of estrangement can help uncover previously hidden gaps, opportunities, and (most importantly) possibilities for pushing the speculative elements of your stories in compelling new directions. Through a combination of discussion, illustrative examples, and writing exercises, this workshop will help writers discover, deepen, and intensify the beating heart of their own speculative stories (and truths), whatever they may be.

Note: While all are welcome, this workshop is primarily geared towards writers who already have at least some preliminary ideas for a speculative fiction story (of any length) that they either want to write or are in the process of writing.

______________________________

GREG BECHTEL’s debut story collection, Boundary Problems, won the Alberta Book of the Year Award for trade fiction and was a finalist for the ReLit Award, the William L. Crawford Fantasy Award, and the City of Edmonton Robert Kroetsch Book Prize. His occasionally prize-winning stories and essays have also appeared in several magazines and anthologies, including Avenue Edmonton, The Fiddlehead, Prairie Fire, Imaginarium 4: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing, and the Tesseracts anthologies of Canadian speculative fiction.

Greg has served as Writer in Residence for the Canadian Authors Association (Alberta Branch) and the Berton House Writers' Retreat (Dawson City, Yukon) and has facilitated numerous workshops on speculative fiction, general fiction, and creative nonfiction writing. Since 2011, he has also taught Creative Writing, Writing Studies, and English Literature as a part-time instructor at the University of Alberta, where he completed his PhD on Canadian syncretic fantasy.

TW: @GBechtelWriter

Lunch and Online Connection Café
12:45 - 13:45
Lunch and Online Connection Café

Lunch and Online Connection Café

Saturday, June 4
12:45 pm - 1:45 pm


More details coming soon!

Lunch and Online Connection Café
12:45 - 13:45
Lunch and Online Connection Café

Lunch and Online Connection Café

Saturday, June 4
12:45 pm - 1:45 pm


Our networking sessions are a chance to meet other writers and talk about the writing life.

Online Workshop: Listening to the Land: Exploring Our Connections to Place
13:45 - 15:00
Online Workshop: Listening to the Land: Exploring Our Connections to Place

Online Workshop: Listening to the Land: Exploring Our Connections to Place

Saturday, June 4
1:45 pm - 3:00 pm

Facilitator: Jenna Butler

The lands we come from and the places where we ground our daily lives root deeply into our concepts of home and underpin our creative work. These places are intricately linked to our sense of self and our ability to sustain ourselves and our communities. Together, we’ll delve into our responsibilities to the lands on which we live and the complexities of being in relationship with the spaces we call home. In multiple genres, we’ll engage with Dionne Brand, Trevor Herriot, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Katherena Vermette, Rita Wong, and other writers as we listen, and speak, to place.

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JENNA BUTLER is an award-winning Canadian poet, essayist, editor, and professor. She is the author of three books of poetry, Seldom Seen Road, Wells, and Aphelion; a collection of ecological essays, A Profession of Hope: Farming on the Edge of the Grizzly Trail; and the Arctic travelogue Magnetic North: Sea Voyage to Svalbard. Her newest book, Revery: A Year of Bees, essays about beekeeping, climate grief, and trauma recovery, was a finalist for the 2021 Governor General’s Literary Awards in Non-Fiction. A BIPOC writer committed to diverse narratives of place, Butler is a professor of creative and environmental writing at Red Deer Polytechnic and an off-grid organic farmer in Treaty 6.

Website: jennabutler.com | FB: Jenna Butler | TW: @butlerjenna | IG: @larchgrovejenna

Group Critique: All Genres, with Wayne Arthurson
13:45 - 15:00
Group Critique: All Genres, with Wayne Arthurson

Group Critique: All Genres, with Wayne Arthurson

Saturday, June 4
1:45 pm - 3:00 pm

Facilitator: Wayne Arthurson

Group critique sessions allow participants to get feedback on their writing as well as sharpen their own critiquing skills in a group setting. Participants will have their writing read aloud and a facilitator will lead a constructive and respectful critique.

If you wish to submit a writing sample (up to 500 words) for one of the critiquing sessions, you will receive a link to the online form in your registration confirmation email.

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WAYNE ARTHURSON is an award-winning writer of Cree and French Canadian descent. He is the author of eight novels, five books of nonfiction and over 200 articles in magazines and newspapers, and an Associate Agent with The Rights Factory.

IG: @waynethurson

Online Panel: Digital Initiatives for Writers
13:45 - 15:00
Online Panel: Digital Initiatives for Writers

Online Panel: Digital Initiatives for Writers

Host: TBA


Saturday, June 4
1:45 pm - 3:00 pm


Event description and bios coming soon!

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Discord

Discord

Saturday, June 4
3:00 pm - 3:15 pm


Connect with other writers and discuss writing topics and the conference sessions on this unique App.

Online Panel: Copyright – What Writers Need to Know
15:15 - 16:30
Online Panel: Copyright – What Writers Need to Know

Online Panel: Copyright – What Writers Need to Know

Saturday, June 4
3:15 pm - 4:30 pm


Panelists: Jeananne Kirwin, Asma Faizi, Meera Nair
Moderator: Natasha Deen


With the fast pace of the digital revolution, it seems like copyright law is also changing rapidly, and it can be hard to sort out what has changed with the law versus what has changed about perception. Host Natasha Deen will talk to experts on copyright and intellectual property law about what writers need to know about what copyright means and how to protect their interests.

This event is sponsored by Access Copyright.
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As a writer, JEANANNE KATHOL KIRWIN received an honours B.A. in English from Yale University. She has published an award-winning book, contributed to poetry and other anthologies, written for numerous publications, and co-edited a collection of 114 stories by women lawyers. She received two book commissions and pens a copyright law column for WestWord magazine.

As a lawyer, Ms. Kirwin received a Juris Doctor degree from University of Toronto. Called to the Alberta bar in 1985, she received a Queen’s Counsel designation in 2016. She authored numerous articles on copyright law, presented on that subject, and remains a steady advocate for writers. She edited an intellectual property journal and acted as principal to three articling students. She volunteers relentlessly and received a philanthropy award in 2020.

Jeananne lives in Amiskwaciy Waskahikan (Edmonton, Alberta) with Patrick, her husband of 35+ years. Their proudest achievement is having raised four kind and happy children.

Website: jeanannekatholkirwin.ca

ASMA FAIZI has practiced in all areas of intellectual property law, with particular focus on litigation, copyright law and patent law. She has a Master of Science in Pharmacology and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Toronto.

Asma is currently General Counsel and Privacy Officer at Access Copyright – a not-for-profit organization that represents the works of hundreds of thousands of Canadian and foreign writers, visual artists and publishers. Access Copyright also has a creator-focused innovation lab, dedicated to exploring the future of rights management and content monetization through Blockchain and other technologies. Prior to Access Copyright, Asma was Senior Legal Counsel and Privacy Officer at SOCAN (Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada) – a not-for-profit organization that represents the Canadian performing rights of Canadian and international music creators and publishers.

Asma is also the President of the Afghan Women's Organization. She has been advocating on behalf of Afghan women for over twenty years, in Canada, and internationally, on human rights issues.

MEERA NAIR holds a doctorate in communication from Simon Fraser University with a research interest in systems of copyright, both historical and contemporary. Prior to that pursuit, a BSc in mathematics had led her to the IT sector for ten years, most of that time as a small business owner engaged in consulting for technology-transfer projects. In 2014 she moved to Edmonton to take up the position of Copyright Specialist for the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology; she speaks regularly at academic conferences on the topic of Canada and Copyright.

Meera’s enthusiasm for this subject stems from a deep dive into Canada’s nineteenth century history, where it became evident that Canadian inability to serve its own writers and publishers was a consequence of being caught between British Imperialism and American capitalism. While much has changed since then, some challenges remain and continue to affect writing and publishing in Canada. She occasionally blogs about these matters at fairduty.wordpress.com. In her opinion, her two principal claims to fame are: (i) raising a daughter (now an adult); and (ii) that Commander Chris Hadfield once tweeted out her work.

TW: @FairDuty

MODERATOR: Guyanese-Canadian author NATASHA DEEN has published more than forty works for kids, teens, and adults. Her books have been chosen as CCBC Best Picks for Kids and Teens as well as Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selections. Her YA novel, In the Key of Nira Ghani, was a Red Maple Honour Book and won the 2020 Amy Mathers Teen Book Award. When she’s not writing, she teaches Introduction to Children’s Writing with the University of Toronto SCS and spends an inordinate amount of time trying to convince her pets that she’s the boss of the house.

Website: natashadeen.com | TW: @natasha_deen | IG: @natasha_deen

Online Panel: Importance of short works
15:15 - 16:30
Online Panel: Importance of short works

Online Panel: Importance of short works

Saturday, June 4
3:15 pm - 4:30 pm


Panelists: Norma Dunning, Anne Sorbie, Heidi Grogan, Colin Martin
Moderator: Jason Norman


Frequently thought of as the neglected stepchild of the literary world, the short story plays a crucial part in the development of many writers. Short works are often how a writer becomes published for the first time, and even paid for the first time, but they are not just a place for a writer to practice their craft until they're ready to start a novel. While some short story collections have broken through with commercial and critical success over the years, they still remain an afterthought for most readers and ignored by publishers. How do we raise short works to their rightful place in the collective consciousness, and more importantly, keep it there?
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NORMA DUNNING is an Inuk writer, professor and grandmother. Her second collection of short stories, Tainna (the unseen ones), received the 2021 Governor General's Award for literary fiction. Annie Muktuk & Other Stories received the Danuta Gleed Award and the Howard O'Hagan in 2018. Her second collection of poetry, Akia (the other side) is releasing in July and her first work of nonfiction, Kinauvit? (what's your name), is releasing in September. She lives in Edmonton.

FB: NormaDunning2017 | TW: @NormaDunning5

ANNE SORBIE has published three books, including the poetry collection, Falling Backwards Into Mirrors (Inanna, 2019). Her work has appeared in magazines, e-zines, journals and anthologies, and on CBC Canada Writes. Her poetry has been translated into Farsi and broadcast by Ottawa Persian Radio (2021), and shared in Piacenza, Italy as part of Global Poetry Patchwork (2020). She is a staunch believer in equity and an active community advocate. Her writing often focuses on the lives of women.

HEIDI GROGAN's writing and work address issues at the intersection of trauma, social justice, and spirituality. She has published in ROOM magazine, Weavings, and the Boobs Anthology (Caitlin Press, 2016). For 15 years, she taught creative writing to women healing from sexual exploitation and edited their publication, Cry of the Streets. She has engaged adults healing from trauma in multiple Calgary programs, attending to the links between poverty, literacy, and literary fluency.

A long time member of Calgary's creative writing community, COLIN MARTIN has previously served as the President of the Board for the Alexandra Writers' Centre Society, filling Station Magazine, and as the founding editor of NōD Magazine. He currently teaches academic, technical, and creative writing for Mount Royal University and the Alberta University of the Arts, and employs Primrose the CanLit Sort of Husky Dog as his partner in various crimes against good taste and behaviour.

TW: @lumpyonionploy

MODERATOR: JASON LEE NORMAN is a writer from Edmonton. He edits Funicular Magazine and publishes Monto Books.

TW & IG: @bellyofawhale

Online Workshop: The land reacts to us when we belong
15:15 - 16:30
Online Workshop: The land reacts to us when we belong

Online Workshop: The land reacts to us when we belong

Saturday, June 4
3:15 pm - 4:30 pm

Facilitator: Paulette Blanchette-Dubé

We must witness if we are to have any sense of belonging and place. This session focuses on giving participants “permission” to sit, watch and write. They will gain insight into a mountain woman’s perspective, hard won after living and writing in the mountains for 30 years; and hopefully, come away from the session knowing that how one thinks is the way to attempt any kind of writing. The land reacts to us when we belong, intimates that if we allow ourselves the courage to expect nothing, we gain everything.

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PAULETTE BLANCHETTE-DUBÉ is a local Jasperite who has developed and presented sessions on topics such as sustainability, stewardship, responsibility and other environmentally sensitive driven topics for the Palisades Centre in Jasper National Park. As a French Immersion Humanities teacher, she adopted many trees in her lifetime and taught her students to do the same. She is the author of six books of poetry and two novels, which garnered recognition when it counts. She was invited to the Banff Centre to present her poetry and insights into the necessity of nature for human beings and was recently named Writer-in-Residence at the Jasper Municipal Library.

FB: Paulette Dubé | IG: @pauletteblanchettedubé & @paulettedube48

Discord

Discord

Saturday, June 4
4:30 pm - 4:45 pm


Connect with other writers and discuss writing topics and the conference sessions on this unique App.

Online Open Mic with host Wakefield Brewster
16:45 - 17:45
Online Open Mic with host Wakefield Brewster

Online Open Mic with host Wakefield Brewster

Saturday, June 4
4:45 pm - 5:45 pm


Details coming soon!

______________________________

WAKEFIELD BREWSTER, Calgary Poet Laureate, 2022 – 2024. In January 1999, Wakefield Brewster stepped onto his first stage as a Poet and Spoken Word Artist. Today, he is known as one of Canada’s most powerful Professional Performance Poets. A BlackMan raised in Toronto by parents from Barbados, he has resided in Calgary since 2016, and here is where Wakefield has been able to flourish Poetically and Personally. Wakefield finds that beneath the many hats and hoodies he wears, resides a wonderful life. He would like to sincerely Thank You all for being a part of it.

FB: Wakefield Brewster | TW: @lyricalpitbull | IG: @wakefield_brewster | LI: Wakefield Brewster

Saturday, June 4
Saturday, June 4
Fort McMurray: In-Person Workshop: Living the Gimmick: How to use Prompts, Themes, and Gimmicks to Improve your Writing and Inspire
10:00 - 11:15
Fort McMurray: In-Person Workshop: Living the Gimmick: How to use Prompts, Themes, and Gimmicks to Improve your Writing and Inspire

Fort McMurray: In-Person Workshop: Living the Gimmick: How to use Prompts, Themes, and Gimmicks to Improve your Writing and Inspire

Saturday, June 4
10:00 am - 11:15 am

Facilitator: ryan j. cox

How long can you sustain a poem using a single vowel? What story do you write knowing that the closing sentence must be “That was a lovely tea party indeed, Mr. Crocker?” How many different ways can you describe a blackbird? Why would you want to do any of this? With a strong focus on process, this workshop will examine how you can leverage ideas like these to develop your skills, expand the borders of your writing, and move past the blank page.

This event will be held in person in Fort McMurray and streamed live online
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ryan j. cox teaches English, Film and Cultural Studies at Keyano College in Fort McMurray. His poetry has appeared in Carousel, and Arc Poetry Magazine. He has also contributed to Prairie Fire, English Studies in Canada and Canadian Literature.

Our thanks to Fort McMurray Hub partner, Arts Council Wood Buffalo.

Lethbridge In-Person Workshop: How to write Engaging Fiction: A motivational-interview approach to get you and your characters to change
10:00 - 11:15
Lethbridge In-Person Workshop: How to write Engaging Fiction: A motivational-interview approach to get you and your characters to change

Lethbridge In-Person Workshop: How to write Engaging Fiction: A motivational-interview approach to get you and your characters to change

Saturday, June 4
10:00 am - 11:15 am

Facilitator: Barb Geiger

The real challenge publishing in today’s highly competitive market starts at the structural rewrite stage. Learn how to reconceptualize the idea of conflict and tension as we take a work-in-progress and bring it to the next level through the open door method.

This event will be held in person in Lethbridge and streamed live online.
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BARB GEIGER writes speculative fiction, works as an editor for On Spec Magazine, and thinks a lot about how to improve the teaching of creative writing. She lives in Lethbridge, Alberta.

Four In-Person Networking Activities
11:30 - 12:45
Four In-Person Networking Activities

Four In-Person Networking Activities

Saturday, June 4
11:30 am - 12:45 pm


Facilitators:
Edmonton: Matthew Stepanic
Calgary: Lisa Murphy-Lamb and Sharon Stevens
Fort McMurray: JS Marlo
Lethbridge: Emily Victoria and C.P. Hoff

Our networking sessions are a chance to meet other writers and talk about the writing life.
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EDMONTON:
MATTHEW STEPANIC
is a queer writer who lives and works on Treaty 6 territory in Edmonton. He is the co-founder of Glass Bookshop. He is a co-author of the collaborative novel, Project Compass (Monto Books, 2017), and the author of Relying on that Body (Glass Buffalo Publishing, 2018), a poetry chapbook about RuPaul’s Drag Race. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry Is Dead, CV2, Eighteen Bridges, and others.

TW & IG: @mlstepanic

CALGARY:
LISA MURPHY-LAMB
, author of Jesus on The Dashboard (Stonehouse, 2017) is director of Loft 112 a literary, creative, community space in Calgary's East Village. Previous to the pandemic, this small space hosted between 30-50 events a month. Since 2020, Loft 112 has been curating community projects that promote writers and artists to work safely at home and then bring their work together to create dynamic collaborations when safe. In 2021, Loft 112/Lisa Murphy Lamb was the recipient of the Sandstone City Builder award. She learned a lot of how to network in the bars of Brooklyn with Sharon Stevens who will co-facilitate this opportunity.

SHARON STEVENS, an multi award-winning media artist and activist, is an instigator who’s made a career of integrating art, activism, feminism, and social justice into a series of projects that enlighten, enliven and entertain.

With 30+ years as a practicing artist, Sharon has been involved with many of the city’s arts institutions and has served on boards, juries, committees and staffs. Since 2014, she has been the part time staffer at Alberta Media Arts (a PASO). She has produced a body of video work ranging from documentaries to feminist narratives to animation.

Sharon has been known to be in two places at once to make the best of networking. She loves travel where she can network with strangers in bars and libraries.

FB: sharon.stevens.9849 & equinoxvigil | IG: @oxyyc & @equinoxyyc

FORT MCMURRAY:
J.S. MARLO
grew up in Shawinigan, a small French Canadian town, attended military college, married a young military officer, and raised three spirited children. Over the years, she enjoyed many wonderful postings in many different regions of Canada. After her children left the nest, she began writing. Three years later, she captured her dream of becoming a published author with her underwater novel, Salvaged. Many of her romantic suspense novels are set in Canada or feature Canadian characters. She has also written a few time travel and cozy mysteries. J.S. isn't sure where time flew, but decades later, she ended up writing under the Northern Lights in Alberta while spoiling a gorgeous little granddaughter.

Our thanks to Fort McMurray Hub partner, Arts Council Wood Buffalo.

LETHBRIDGE:
EMILY VICTORIA
is a Canadian prairie girl who writes young adult science fiction and fantasy. When not word-smithing, she likes walking her over-excitable dog, drinking far too much tea, and crocheting things she no longer has the space to store. She works at a library where she takes home far too many books.

C.P. HOFF lives in southern Alberta with her husband and children. She has written for the local paper, which might be impressive if she lived in New York, and if anyone read the local paper. Hoff is a founding member of WordBridge – Lethbridge Writers’ Conference. Her novel, A Town Called Forget, was longlisted for the Stephen Leacock Medal For humour. Her novels West of Ireland and Canterberry Tales, respectively, were named in Kirkus Review’s Best Books of 2020 and Best Books of 2021.

Four In-Person Group Critique Sessions: All Genres
13:45 - 15:00
Four In-Person Group Critique Sessions: All Genres

Four In-Person Group Critique Sessions: All Genres

Saturday, June 4
1:45 pm - 3:00 pm


Facilitators:
Edmonton: Tololwa Mollel
Calgary: Vivian Hansen
Fort McMurray: Jane Jacques
Lethbridge: Danika Stone

Group critique sessions allow participants to get feedback on their writing as well as sharpen their own critiquing skills in a group setting. Participants will have their writing read aloud and a facilitator will lead a constructive and respectful critique.

If you wish to submit a writing sample (up to 500 words) for one of the critiquing sessions, you will receive a link to the online form in your registration confirmation email.

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EDMONTON:
Edmonton-based TOLOLWA MOLLEL writes books, plays, and stories for performance for all ages in English and Kiswahili, the national language of Tanzania where he was born. He has published 24 books for the young in both languages. Some of the books are translated into various African, Asian, and European languages. Tololwa also performs stories, solo or with other performers or artists. He has been spreading his passion for story, performance and writing to the young and old through story workshops, performances and presentations in Alberta schools and communities.

Website: tololwamollel.com

CALGARY:
VIVIAN HANSEN
has published essays in Coming Here, Being Here, and Waiting. Her collection A Bitter Mood of Clouds (Frontenac House 2013), is a Long Poem about Arne Petersen, who received gender reassignment in Denmark in 1953. A Tincture of Sunlight (2017) about Old Man, a WWII veteran and biologist. Leylines of My Flesh (Touchwood 2002), chronicles the immigration experience of Danish Canadians. Vivian teaches creative writing at University of Calgary, as well the Alexandra Writers' Centre. Vivian holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. She served as Writer in Residence with the Canadian Authors Association– Alberta Branch. She has work forthcoming in (M)othering: an anthology.

Website: vhansen.ca

FORT McMURRAY:
JANE JACQUES
has taught University English at Keyano College, Fort McMurray, for over 30 years, and she has developed courses in creative writing, the history of children’s literature, and the literature of King Arthur. She’s also the managing editor of NorthWord: A Literary Journal of Canada’s North, which has recently released its 25th issue.

Our thanks to Fort McMurray Hub partner, Arts Council Wood Buffalo.

LETHBRIDGE:
DANIKA STONE
is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both teens: Switchback (Macmillan, 2019), Internet Famous (Macmillan, 2017) and All the Feels (Macmillan, 2016); and adults: Sip Sip Bang Bang (Dancing Dog Press, 2021), Edge Of Wild (Stonehouse, 2016), The Dark Divide (Stonehouse, 2018) and Fall of Night (Stonehouse, 2020). Her upcoming novel, Inescapable: A Ghost Story (Stonehouse) will hit stores worldwide in the spring of 2023.

Switchback was selected as one of the “best YA books of 2019” by The Canadian Children’s Book Center and featured as a “Top 10 YA for Everyone” in Canadian Living Magazine. Her Waterton mystery series was selected by Chapters for their “Our Favourite Canadian Fiction” category.

When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online. She lives with her family and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.

Ms. Stone is represented by Moe Ferrara of BookEnds Literary Agency.

Featured Author Event: Social Fabulations with Amanda Leduc
15:15 - 16:30
Featured Author Event: Social Fabulations with Amanda Leduc

Featured Author Event: Social Fabulations with Amanda Leduc
Host: Larissa Lai

Saturday, June 4
3:15 pm - 4:30 pm


Fables and fairytales are elemental when it comes to exploring the realm(s) of possibility, but that exploration often leads to addressing very real topics like social injustice and the implications of current societal climates. How does the contemporized fable, and speculative fiction in general, allow us to delve into and illuminate the plights of the real world? Find out with Amanda Leduc and Larissa Lai.
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AMANDA LEDUC is the author of the novel THE CENTAUR'S WIFE (Random House Canada, 2021) and the nonfiction book DISFIGURED: ON FAIRY TALES, DISABILITY, AND MAKING SPACE (Coach House Books, 2020), which was shortlisted for the 2020 Governor General’s Award in Nonfiction and longlisted for the 2020 Barbellion Prize. She is also the author of an earlier novel, THE MIRACLES OF ORDINARY MEN (ECW Press, 2013). She has cerebral palsy and lives in Hamilton, Ontario, where she serves as the Communications Coordinator for the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD), Canada's first festival for diverse authors and stories.

TW: @AmandaLeduc | IG: @Amanda.Leduc

HOST: LARISSA LAI is the author of eight books including the novels Salt Fish Girl and The Tiger Flu. Recipient of the Jim Duggins Novelist's Prize, the Lambda Literary Award, the Astraea Award, and the Tiptree Honor Book and finalist for seven more, she holds a Canada Research Chair at the University of Calgary and directs The Insurgent Architects' House for Creative Writing there.

WGA Conference 2022: Shifting Creative Gears - Saturday, June 4
Saturday, June 4

WGA Conference 2022: Shifting Creative Gears - Sunday, June 5

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
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Sunday, June 5
Sunday, June 5
Online Event: Ask An Agent
09:30 - 10:45
Online Event: Ask An Agent

Online Event: Ask an Agent with Hilary McMahon
Sunday, June 5
9:30 am - 10:45 am


If there’s something you’ve always wanted to know about publishing but didn’t know whom to ask, this is your opportunity...Hilary McMahon will draw on more than two decades of agenting experience to present the realities of today’s publishing landscape. She’s prepared to give honest answers to your questions, to inform your writing and career choices. Please note questions should be relevant to a general audience, not project specific.

If you wish to submit a question to Hilary for this session, you will receive a link to the online form in your registration confirmation email.
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HILARY McMAHON is the executive vice president and CFO of Westwood Creative Artists, who over the past 25 years has built up a robust and diverse range of authors. Her list is as eclectic as her personal taste, with recent highlights ranging from true crime – The Case of the Murderous Doctor Cream by Dean Jobb – to picture books – Jordan Scott’s I Talk Like A River – to upmarket commercial fiction including Bobbi French’s The Good Women of Safe Harbour and Lisa Rochon’s Tuscan Daughter. She is proud to represent many Alberta writers, including Glenn Dixon, Ashley Bristowe, Thomas Trofimuk and Rahma Rodaah.

Website: wcaltd.com | TW: @WCA_LitAgency; @hilary_mcmahon

Discord

Discord

Sunday, June 5
10:45 am - 11:00 am


Connect with other writers and discuss writing topics and the conference sessions on this unique App.

Online Workshop: Crafting Comedy - Unlocking Your Inner Comedian
11:00 - 12:15
Online Workshop: Crafting Comedy - Unlocking Your Inner Comedian

Online Workshop: Crafting Comedy - Unlocking Your Inner Comedian

Sunday, June 5
11:00 am - 12:15 pm

Facilitator: Frances Koncan

Some say comedy is an innate gift that only a select few possess... others say it's a skill that anyone can learn. Personally, I think it's a little bit of both! In this online workshop, we'll explore both the building blocks of humour, joke-writing, and comedy as well as our own individual lived experiences, perspectives, and ideas to exercise our comedic muscles and unlock our authentic voice as writers. Through a combination of listening, watching, and most importantly writing, we'll focus in on how humour can be used to strengthen our writing - and hopefully have a few laughs along the way!

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FRANCES KONCAN is a writer of mixed Anishinaabe and Slovene descent whose work in theatre, film, television, and journalism. They have an MFA in Creative Writing from the City University of New York Brooklyn College and half a music degree from the University of Manitoba. Her writing for television includes the APTN youth shows That's AWSM! and Bull's Eye. She has bylines in the Winnipeg Free Press, CBC, and Intermission Magazine and her plays have been published in the anthologies Refractions: Scenes and Voices of a Generation. Her most recent play, Women of the Fur Trade, will be available to purchase in Fall 2022 from Playwrights Canada Press. They would appreciate the royalties but understand if you just illegally download a PDF. She tried stand-up comedy once but a white man told her she wasn't funny.

TW: @franceskoncan | IG: @franceskoncan | TikTok: @franceskoncan | LI: @franceskoncan

Online Panel: The Importance and Impact of Romance
11:00 - 12:15
Online Panel: The Importance and Impact of Romance

Online Panel: The Importance and Impact of Romance

Sunday, June 5
11:00 am - 12:15 pm

Panelists: Jennifer Snow, Tenille K Campbell, & Farah Heron
Moderator: Alicia Cox Thomson


Romance is one of the most popular, yet most misunderstood genres in literature. Romance publishing sales help keep the industry afloat, but respect can be elusive. However, an increase in diverse authors, titles and opportunities has caused a shift in reception that many hope to see continue.

Host Alicia Cox Thomson will be joined by romance writers to discuss why romance is important to the literary world and should be regarded as such, as well as the impact of diversity and the future of the genre.

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JENNIFER SNOW is known for her romantic comedies and female-driven dramas for TV and film. Her produced work includes Mistletoe & Molly and 14 Love Letters with more MOW rom-coms airing in 2022 including Christmas in Maple Hills. She’s also written true-crime and thriller screenplays as work-for-hire assignments for various production companies.

Prior to becoming a screenwriter, Jennifer published over thirty award-winning, bestselling romance and women’s fiction novels with Harlequin, Grand Central, Penguin Random House and Entangled Publishing. Her stories of love, romance and love lost have earned Jennifer a loyal following – as well as accolades-- around the world and have been translated into over ten languages. In 2014 and 2015, she won the Booksellers Best Award and her Brookhollow series was a finalist in both The Aspen Gold Awards and Golden Quill Awards. She has received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly. She also writes gripping, dark psychological thrillers under her pen name J.M. Winchester. Her thrillers have been optioned for film adaptation. As a former Audrey’s Books Writer in Residence and an Edmonton Public Library Spotlight Writer, Jennifer hosts multiple writing workshops a month and has published many writing how-to articles in various trade publications. A Canadian born in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Jennifer has lived in many parts of Canada including Alberta and British Columbia, but now resides in Torrevieja, Spain with her husband, son and three mischievous cats.

Website: jennifersnowauthor.com | TW: @jennifersnow18 | IG:@jensnowauthor | Pin: JSnowAuthor | Amazon: amazon.com/author/jennifersnow

TENILLE K CAMPBELL is a Dene/Métis author from English River First Nation in Northern Saskatchewan. She completed her MFA in Creative Writing from UBC and is enrolled in her PhD program at University of Saskatchewan. Her newest poetry collection, Nedí Nezu(Arsenal Pulp Press, 2021) is an exploration of the beautiful space that being a sensual Indigenous woman creates in life, in relationships, in the land. Her inaugural poetry book, #IndianLovePoems (Signature Editions, 2017) is an award-winning collection of poetry that focuses on Indigenous Erotica – using humour and storytelling to reclaim and explore ideas of Indigenous sexuality. She is also the artist behind sweetmoon photography and the co-creator of the blog, tea&bannock.

IG: @sweetmoonphoto

FARAH HERON is a critically acclaimed writer of romantic comedies for adults and teenagers. Her books have been praised in Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, and The Globe and Mail, and have been named as best books of the year by CBC books and NPR. She lives in Toronto with her family.

Website: farahheron.com | FB: @FarahHeronAuthor | TW:@FarahHeron | IG: @farahheronauthor

MODERATOR: ALICIA COX THOMSON has been working in the media industry for 20 years as a digital editor and content producer for some of Canada's biggest lifestyle brands, including Chatelaine and HGTV Canada. Now a writer on lifestyle, design and the arts, she's been published in Chatelaine, Maclean's, Today's Parent, CBC Life, Elle Canada, Refinery29, Canadian Business and more. Alicia has written about romance and the publishing industry, including the 2020 Chatelaine feature "Why are romance novels so white?", and is currently working on her first romance novel.

TW: @aliciahcox

Online Group Critique: Query Letters
11:00 - 12:15
Online Group Critique: Query Letters

Online Group Critique: Query Letters

Sunday, June 5
11:00 am - 12:15 pm

Facilitator: Joan Marie Galat

Group critique sessions allow participants to get feedback on their writing as well as sharpen their own critiquing skills in a group setting. Participants will have their writing read aloud and a facilitator will lead a constructive and respectful critique.

If you wish to submit a writing sample (up to 500 words) for one of the critiquing sessions, you will receive a link to the online form in your registration confirmation email.

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JOAN MARIE GALAT is the author of more than 20 books for children and adults. Her titles include Solve This! Wild and Wacky Challenges for the Genius Engineer in You (National Geographic Kids), Mortimer: Rat Race to Space (DCB) and Dot to Dot in the Sky, Stories of the Aurora (Whitecap Books)—a Crystal Kite Award winner. A freelance writer/editor, she provides consults on getting published and corporate training including workshops on writing, email etiquette, storytelling, and other topics. Visit joangalat.com and moondotmedia.com for details. You can also connect with Joan on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Websites: joangalat.com; moondotmedia.com
FB: Joan Marie Galat | TW: @JoanMarieGalat | IG: @jmgalat | LI: Joan Marie Galat | YTube: Joan Marie Galat

Lunch and Online Connection Café: Navigating the Writer's Life Alongside Familial Relationships
12:15 - 13:15
Lunch and Online Connection Café: Navigating the Writer's Life Alongside Familial Relationships

Lunch and Online Connection Café: Navigating the Writer's Life Alongside Familial Relationships

Sunday, June 5
12:15 pm - 1:15 pm


How does a writer with a partner and offspring find time to write? Does limited writing time create a creative tension, or frustration? Join Ali Bryan and Neil Surkan for an engaging conversation around the trials and joys of the writer’s life while navigating familial relationships and its demands.

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ALI BYRAN is an award-winning novelist and Pushcart Prize nominated creative nonfiction writer who explores the what-ifs, the wtfs and the wait-a-minutes of every day. She is the author of three novels with three more slated for publication in 2023. Her short-form work has been published in literary journals and magazines in Canada, the US and the UK. She lives in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies, where she has a wrestling room in her garage and regularly gets choked out by her family.

NEIL SURKAN is the author of the poetry collections Unbecoming (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2021), which is currently a finalist for the 2022 W.O. Mitchell Award from the City of Calgary, and On High (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2018). He is also the author of the chapbooks Their Queer Tenderness (Knife-Fork-Book, 2020) and Super, Natural (Anstruther Press, 2017). His poems and literary reviews have appeared in numerous Canadian magazines, and he was recently awarded the 2021 Riddle Fence Poetry Prize.

Neil earned a PhD in English from the University of Calgary in 2021. He currently lives and teaches in Nanaimo, on the traditional and unceded territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, with Luca, Edi, and Lloyd.

Website: neilsurkan.com | TW: @NeilSurkan

Online Featured Author: In Conversation with Mariko Tamaki
13:15 - 14:30
Online Featured Author: In Conversation with Mariko Tamaki

Online Featured Author: In Conversation with Mariko Tamaki

Sunday, June 5
1:15 pm - 2:30 pm


Featured Author: Mariko Tamaki
Host: Giorgia Severini


Mariko Tamaki has written many acclaimed works, including graphic novels, YA prose novels, and serialized comics for Marvel and DC. During this conversation, she talks to Giorgia Severini about what it’s like writing for these different forms and her career trajectory that led to her latest works, including the new YA novel Cold and her recent stint as the lead writer on the Detective Comics series.

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MARIKO TAMAKI is a New York Times Best Selling writer of comics, prose and television. Her collaborations include This One Summer, with Jillian Tamaki, and Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me, with Rosemary Valero-O'Connell. For her work, Mariko has received Eisner Awards, Caldecott and Printz Honors, as well as a GLAAD Award. Mariko is the curator of Surely Books, an LGBTQIA comic imprint with Abrams Books.

HOST: GIORGIA SEVERINI recently became Executive Director of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta after working for the organization in various other capacities for 13 years. She is also a theatre director, playwright, and dramaturge, who recently directed and dramaturged an online reading of the TYA play Anna Saves the Marsh by Adam Schwartz for rEvolver Festival, and takes part in Edmonton’s Script Salon play reading series as co-producer with Katherine Koller. Also a lifelong comics enthusiast, the pandemic led her to find another outlet for creativity and self-expression in making comics.

Giorgia's photo by Monique de St-Croix

Online Workshop: Weather, Climate, Environment, … of this World or Others
13:15 - 14:30
Online Workshop: Weather, Climate, Environment, … of this World or Others

Online Workshop: Weather, Climate, Environment, … of this World or Others

Sunday, June 5
1:15 pm - 2:30 pm

Facilitator: Dr. Stephen Jeans

Join Stephen Jeans, PhD, Earth and Space Sciences Lecturer, for an open discussion that will prove to be sky-high, ocean-deep, and likely surprising on many planets. Bring your questions about the natural world and its interaction with humans as we explore this hot, growing field for writers that has many contentious aspects and directions. Climate, soils, biodiversity, minerals, water, and other global systems are open to conversation, along with related topics such as consumption, management, scientific uncertainty, and good communication practice.

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STEPHEN JEANS, PhD, publishes academic articles, develops courses on topics of Environmental Science, Geology, Physical Geography, and Astronomy, and teaches -- for Ambrose University in Calgary, Alberta, and other universities, profit/non-profit educational agencies, and energy companies. Dr. Jeans is member of a team that recently won a Dialogue on Science, Ethics, & Religion grant from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, within which he will be developing talks and public events around the themes of sustainability and resilience.

Online Connection Café: Ask the Historians
13:15 - 14:30
Online Connection Café: Ask the Historians

Online Connection Café: Ask the Historians

Sunday, June 5
1:15 pm - 2:30 pm


Facilitators: Shelly McElroy & Amber Paquette

Would your work-in-progress benefit from insights that only historians can provide? This is your chance to join Amber Paquette, City of Edmonton's former Historian Laureate and Director of Miskamowin, with Shelly McElroy, Historian in Residence at the Calgary Public Library, together during this engaging session shifting gears from the present into the past.

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SHELLY McELROY is the curator of Pioneer Acres Museum in Irricana, Alberta. She has a background in education, agriculture, counselling, and museums. Her primary field is the natural grass pasture behind the museum where she works that is full of crocuses, meadowlarks, and the occasional unwelcome skunk.

Shelly thinks we are happiest when we spend time in nature, take daily walks, have moments to reflect, and find stories that give us context, meaning and hope. What can we learn from the past that can help us live more appreciative and thoughtful lives today? One of the themes we’ll explore is how agriculture shaped life in Calgary and area in the early twentieth century (and how it still does). She will share her day-in-the-life experiences as a curator at a rural museum. Lastly, the role of museums is changing, and we will reflect on their significance as we move into the future.

AMBER PAQUETTE is a Nehyaw and Métis multi-disciplinary artist, filmmaker, writer and poet. She was born and raised in Amiskwaciwâskahikan. Her life's passion and work have long been inspired by the rich history and culture of her ancestors. Her family connections and kinships are rooted in both the Michel and Papaschase First Nations, as well as the Métis Nation of Alberta.

Amber has worked as community researcher, story-teller and Indigenous People's Interpreter for several years. She served two years as the City of Edmonton's 6th Historian Laureate while centering her focus on historic representation of First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities whom have resided on Treaty 6 Territory since time immemorial.

Discord

Discord

Sunday, June 5
2:30 pm - 2:45 pm


Connect with other writers and discuss writing topics and the conference sessions on this unique App.

Online Panel: Children’s Literature - Frames of Reference
14:45 - 16:00
Online Panel: Children’s Literature - Frames of Reference

Online Panel: Children’s Literature - Frames of Reference

Sunday, June 5
2:45 pm - 4:00 pm


Panelists: June Hur, Meghan J. Ward, Nicola MacCameron, & Eric Walters
Moderator: Dorothy Bentley


Join panelists, Governor General’s Literary Award winner Eric Walters, On the Line (co-authored with Paul Coccia), picture book author Meghan J. Ward, The Wonders That I Find, YA historical romance author June Hur, The Red Palace, and fantasy author Nicola MacCameron, Leoshine, The Princess Oracle, as they discuss their frames of reference when writing for children and teens.

Host and children’s author Dorothy Bentley will explore what they include, what they leave out, how serious topics are handled, and why some works are bumped-up to an older audience.

This event is sponsored by Young Alberta Book Society

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JUNE HUR is the bestselling author of YA Korean historical mysteries. In addition to being nominated twice for the Edgar Awards, she’s been featured on Forbes, NPR, and the CBC. Born in South Korea and raised in Canada, she studied History and Literature at the University of Toronto. She currently lives in Toronto with her husband and daughter.

Website: junehur.com | TW @writerjunehur | IG: @junehwrites

MEGHAN J. WARD is an outdoor, travel and adventure writer based in Banff, Canada, and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Meghan has written several books, including photo travel books and a children's book, as well as content for films, anthologies, blogs and some of North America’s top outdoor, fitness and adventure publications. She has a forthcoming travel memoir to be published by Rocky Mountain Books in Fall 2022.

Website: meghanjoyward.com | FB: meghanjoyward | TW: @meghanjward | IG: @meghanjward

NICOLA MacCAMERON thrives between hard-won earthy wisdom and flights of spectacular fantasy. She is proud of her Third Culture Kid identity, having lived on three continents and now settled on the Canadian Prairie. She is wife to one man, mother to one child, and piano teacher to many. Through authoring and narrating books, she hopes to bestow to you "treasure through story."

ERIC WALTERS began writing in 1993 as a way to entice his grade 5 students into becoming more interested in reading and writing. At the end of the year – and the end of the novel- one of the students suggested that he try to have this story published. This book, Stand Your Ground, became Eric’s first published novel.

Eric has now published 115 novels and picture books. His novels have all become best-sellers, have won over a hundred awards, including 8 Forest of Reading awards and the 2021 Governor General’s Award. His work has been translated into more than a dozen languages. He is a tireless presenter, speaking to over 100,000 students per year in schools across North America.

Eric conceived of the I Read Canadian Day. He collaborated with organizations, publishers, booksellers and writers/illustrators to launch the first day which took place on February 19, 2020 and involved almost 2000 schools and libraries across the country championing Canadian books with their students and patrons.

Eric was born in Toronto in 1957. After the death of his mother when he was four years of age, he and his older sister, Janice, were raised by their father. He attended York University where he obtained his B.A. (Hons) specialized major in psychology, his B.S.W., and M.S.W. and then his B.Ed. from the University of Toronto. Eric lives in Guelph with his wife, Anita, and they have three grown children, Christina, Nicholas, and Julia and six grandchildren.

Over the past 15 years he has been the driving force and co-founder of The Creation of Hope, an organization that serves orphans and needy children in Kenya. In 2014 Eric was named a Member of The Order of Canada. The citation reads – For his contribution as an author of literature for children and young adults whose stories help young readers grapple with complex social issues.

MODERATOR: DOROTHY BENTLEY's first picture book, Summer North Coming was published in 2019 by Fitzhenry & Whiteside, and her first middle-grade novel, Escape from the Wildfire, is forthcoming from LorimerKids, fall 2022. Read her poetry in the new (M)othering Anthology, or in the latest issue of NorthWord, a literary magazine of Canada's North. When she isn't working for the WGA as Program Coordinator for the Southern Alberta office in Calgary, she may be found paddling a kayak on the Bow River or eating peanut M&Ms while fishing for Walleye on the Clearwater River in Wood Buffalo.

Website: dorothybentley.ca | FB: Dorothy Bentley | IG: @dorothydbentley

Photo of Dorothy Bentley by Rachel Ellen Photography

Photo of Meghan J. Ward by Alexis McKeown

Online Panel: Beyond Alberta – Getting our Writers Known Nationally and Internationally
14:45 - 16:00
Online Panel: Beyond Alberta – Getting our Writers Known Nationally and Internationally

Online Panel: Beyond Alberta – Getting our Writers Known Nationally and Internationally

Sunday, June 5
2:45 pm - 4:00 pm


Panelists: Uchechukwu Peter Umezurike, Trina Moyles, & Hilary McMahon
Moderator: Peter Midgley


As much as we support and value writers within Alberta, it can be a challenge for writers to be recognized by the rest of Canada and the world. Host Peter Midgley will talk to Alberta authors and other publishing professionals about how Alberta authors can receive more national and international reach and recognition, and how they can encourage the wider literary world to see what Alberta has to offer.

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UCHECHUKWU PETER UMEZURIKE is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Calgary. An alumnus of the International Writing Program (USA), Umezurike is the author of Wish Maker (Masobe Books, 2021) and Double Wahala, Double Trouble (Griots Lounge Publishing, 2021), and a co-editor of Wreaths for Wayfarers, an anthology of poems (Daraja Press, 2020). His poems and short fiction have been widely anthologized online and in print magazines, and he has interviewed over forty writers for Brittle Paper, Africa in Words, Read Alberta, and Prism International.

FB: uumez | TW: @UcheUmezurike | IG: @uche_peter_umez

TRINA MOYLES is the author of Lookout: Love, Solitude, and Searching for Wildfire in the Boreal Forest (2021) and Women Who Dig: Farming, Feminism, and the Fight to Feed the World (2018). Her award-winning work has been published in The Globe and Mail, The Walrus, Chatelaine, and Alberta Views. In 2019, her essay "Herd Memory" won the Jon Whyte Memorial Award, and in 2020, received a National Magazine award. She is currently completing her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia.

Website: trinamoyles.com | Facebook: Trina Moyles | TW: @trinamoyles | IG: @trinariannemoyles

HILARY McMAHON is the executive vice president and CFO of Westwood Creative Artists, who over the past 25 years has built up a robust and diverse range of authors. Her list is as eclectic as her personal taste, with recent highlights ranging from true crime – The Case of the Murderous Doctor Cream by Dean Jobb – to picture books – Jordan Scott’s I Talk Like A River – to upmarket commercial fiction including Bobbi French’s The Good Women of Safe Harbour and Lisa Rochon’s Tuscan Daughter. She is proud to represent many Alberta writers, including Glenn Dixon, Ashley Bristowe, Thomas Trofimuk and Rahma Rodaah.

Website: wcaltd.com | TW: @WCA_LitAgency; @hilary_mcmahon

MODERATOR: Working as a freelance editor, festival director, lecturer, in-house editor, clerk of court, bartender, actor, janitor, door-to-door salesman has given PETER MIDGLEY enough material for twelve books for children and adults, and many articles. His latest book is let us not think of them as barbarians (NeWest Press).

Website: midgley.ca | FB: Peter Midgley | LI: Peter Midgley

Photo of Peter Midgley by Shawna Lemay

Online Group Critique: Poetry
14:45 - 16:00
Online Group Critique: Poetry

Online Group Critique: Poetry

Sunday, June 5
2:45 pm - 4:00 pm


Facilitator: Colin Martin

Group critique sessions allow participants to get feedback on their writing as well as sharpen their own critiquing skills in a group setting. Participants will have their writing read aloud and a facilitator will lead a constructive and respectful critique.

If you wish to submit a writing sample (up to 500 words) for one of the critiquing sessions, you will receive a link to the online form in your registration confirmation email.

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A long time member of Calgary's creative writing community, COLIN MARTIN has previously served as the President of the Board for the Alexandra Writers' Centre Society, filling Station Magazine, and as the founding editor of NōD Magazine. He currently teaches academic, technical, and creative writing for Mount Royal University and the Alberta University of the Arts, and employs Primrose the CanLit Sort of Husky Dog as his partner in various crimes against good taste and behaviour.

TW: @lumpyonionploy

Discord

Discord

Sunday, June 5
4:00 pm - 4:15 pm


Connect with other writers and discuss writing topics and the conference sessions on this unique App.

Closing Panel: Using Pandemic Lessons to Shift Gears
16:15 - 17:15
Closing Panel: Using Pandemic Lessons to Shift Gears

Closing Panel: Using Pandemic Lessons to Shift Gears

Sunday, June 5
4:15 pm - 5:15 pm


Panelists: Omar Mouallem, Amanda Leduc, Marty Chan, & Waubgeshig Rice
Moderator: Joan Marie Galat


The last two years have been a challenge for the literary world as the pandemic forced us to explore different ways of reaching audiences. Though still living with uncertainty, we need to ask if our goal is to return to “normal,” or if we want to take our digital lessons and use them to transform the writing scene for the future. What did we like about our experiments over the past two years? What do we miss from before? Going forward, how can we best create an engaging environment for writers and readers that is more accessible and inclusive than in the past?
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OMAR MOUALLEM is an Edmonton-based author, filmmaker, and educator. His journalism has appeared in The Guardian, WIRED, and NewYorker.com, and his latest book, Praying to the West, was named one of the Globe and Mail’s 100 best books of 2021 and nominated for two Alberta Literary Book Awards in the categories of Memoir and Nonfiction. His short documentary The Last Baron, about the unlikely link between a Canadian fast-food institution and the Lebanese civil war, is currently being expanded into a feature film to be released later this year. Omar is also the "fake dean" of Pandemic University, a virtual school he founded in support of writers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

TW: @OmarMouallem; @PandemicSchool | IG: @omar_aok; @PandemicUniversity

AMANDA LEDUC is the author of the novel THE CENTAUR'S WIFE (Random House Canada, 2021) and the nonfiction book DISFIGURED: ON FAIRY TALES, DISABILITY, AND MAKING SPACE (Coach House Books, 2020), which was shortlisted for the 2020 Governor General’s Award in Nonfiction and longlisted for the 2020 Barbellion Prize. She is also the author of an earlier novel, THE MIRACLES OF ORDINARY MEN (ECW Press, 2013). She has cerebral palsy and lives in Hamilton, Ontario, where she serves as the Communications Coordinator for the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD), Canada's first festival for diverse authors and stories.

TW: @AmandaLeduc | IG: @Amanda.Leduc

MARTY CHAN writes books for kids, plays for adults, and tweets for fun. His latest novel for reluctant readers, Willpower, received a Gold Medal Standard from the Junior Library Guild. In theatre, Marty’s best known for his hit plays, The Bone House and Mom, Dad, I’m Living with a White Girl.

FB: MartyChanAuthor | TW: @Marty_Chan | YTube: martychanauthor

WAUBGESHIG RICE is an author and journalist from Wasauksing First Nation. He has written three fiction titles, and his short stories and essays have been published in numerous anthologies. His most recent novel, Moon of the Crusted Snow, was published in 2018 and became a national bestseller. He graduated from the journalism program at the university formerly known as Ryerson in 2002, and spent most of his journalism career with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a video journalist and radio host. He left CBC in 2020 to focus on his literary career. He lives in Sudbury, Ontario with his wife and two sons.

FB: waubgeshigrice | TW: @waub | IG: @waub

MODERATOR: JOAN MARIE GALAT is the author of more than 20 books for children and adults. Her titles include Solve This! Wild and Wacky Challenges for the Genius Engineer in You (National Geographic Kids), Mortimer: Rat Race to Space (DCB) and Dot to Dot in the Sky, Stories of the Aurora (Whitecap Books)—a Crystal Kite Award winner. A freelance writer/editor, she provides consults on getting published and corporate training including workshops on writing, email etiquette, storytelling, and other topics. Visit joangalat.com and moondotmedia.com for details. You can also connect with Joan on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Websites: joangalat.com; moondotmedia.com
FB: Joan Marie Galat | TW: @JoanMarieGalat | IG: @jmgalat | LI: Joan Marie Galat | YTube: Joan Marie Galat

Sunday, June 5
Sunday, June 5
Online Panel: The Salve of Narrative
13:15 - 14:30
Online Panel: The Salve of Narrative

Online Panel: The Salve of Narrative

Sunday, June 5
1:15 pm - 2:30 pm


Panelists: Zoey Roy, Betty Ann Connelly, Susan Olding
Moderator: Patti M Hall


Drafting words onto the page acts as the catalyst for healing and change. Zoey Roy, author of The Voyageurs: Forefathers of the Metis Nation, Betty Ann Connelly, author of Resilience: My Life of Flight, Fear, and Forgiveness, and Susan Roy, author of Big Reader: Essays, will join with Patti M. Hall and explore how their works served to transform their lives.
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BETTY ANN CONNELLY travelled the world for over 28 years as a flight attendant. She also volunteered with the Canadian Red Cross for five years, teaching violence prevention in schools and to community groups.

After retiring from flying in 2003, Betty started her own consulting business, giving workshops to private corporations, governments and non-profits. She also enjoyed performing stand-up comedy at a club in Calgary.

Her life suddenly changed in 2007 when a car accident resulted in a traumatic brain injury. The experience revived long buried memories of a traumatic past that required all her courage to face, memories that have now become Resilience: My Life of Flight, Fear and Forgiveness. Betty lives in Calgary, AB, Canada, where she loves to walk the many hiking trails.

SUSAN OLDING is the author of Big Reader: Essays, and Pathologies: A Life in Essays, selected by 49th Shelf and Amazon.ca as one of 100 Canadian books to read in a lifetime. Her essays, fiction, and poetry have appeared widely in literary journals and magazines throughout Canada and the U.S., including Arc, The Bellingham Review, Grain, Prairie Fire, Maisonneuve, The Malahat Review, and the Utne Reader, and have won a National Magazine Award, the Edna Staebler Prize for the Personal Essay, and other honours. She lives with her family in the traditional territories of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ nations, in Victoria, British Columbia.

MODERATOR: PATTI M. HALL is a writer, memoir coach and publishing manager for authors crafting memoirs that serve their readers and expand the hearts and healing of the authors. Patti is the author of Loving Large: a mother’s rare disease memoir, published in 2020.

Website: pattimhall.com | FB: pattimhallwriter | IG: @patti_m_hall

WGA Conference 2022: Shifting Creative Gears - Sunday, June 5
Sunday, June 5

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.


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Our Thanks

Promotional support from The Prairie Journal




Promotional materials by Leslie Irvine Design & Marketing

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