The WGA Online Reading Series is back! This summer we will be featuring WGA members with books released in 2021 and presenting a safe event for them to talk about their books. All events will be live streamed through the WGA YouTube channel. Audio versions of the readings will be shared shortly after.
Online Reading Series 2021
[tabs style=”vertical”][tab title=”Online Reading Series Events”]
Click the tabs to read more about the featured authors!
[/tab][tab title=”Micheline Maylor – November 5″]
Micheline Maylor: The Bad Wife
Date: Friday, November 5, 7:00 pm
Host: Anne Sorbie
Micheline Maylor reads from her new book, The Bad Wife, followed by a conversation with Anne Sorbie.
This reading is sponsored by University of Alberta Press.
Dr. Micheline Maylor was Calgary’s Poet Laureate 2016-18. Her latest poetry collection is The Bad Wife (2021), and Little Wildheart (U of Alberta Press) was long listed for both the Pat Lowther and Raymond Souster awards. She recently won the Lois Hole Award for Editorial Excellence in Alberta. She teaches creative writing at Mount Royal University and has been recently translated into Farsi.
[/tab][tab title=”Beth Sanders – October 20″]
Beth Sanders: Nest City: How Citizens Serve Cities and Cities Serve Citizens
Wednesday, October 20, 7:00 pm
Host: Kelly Shepherd
Beth Sanders reads from her new book, Beth Sanders:, followed by a conversation with host Kelly Shepherd.
This reading is sponsored by Read Alberta.
Beth Sanders MCP RPP is the author of Nest City: How Cities Serve Citizens and Citizens Serve Cities. She is an award-winning city planner, including the International Integral City Meshworker of the Year in 2013. She has worked for municipalities across Western Canada, including as general manager of planning and development in Fort McMurray, in the heart of the oil sands, when it was the fastest growing municipality in North America in the mid-2000s. In 2007 she founded POPULUS to shepherd efforts to make city habitats that serve citizens well. Beth is a fourth-generation settler of English, Irish and Norwegian descent living in the territory of the Treaty 6 First Nations and the homelands of the Métis people. She makes herself at home in Edmonton, a welcoming city where the first footsteps that marked this place belonged to the Cree, Dene, Saulteaux, Nakota Sioux, Blackfoot, Métis and Inuit. (Bio source: bethsanders.ca)
[/tab][tab title=”Ali Bryan – October 13″]
Ali Bryan: The Hill
Wednesday, October 13, 7:00 pm
Host: Heidi Klaassen
Ali Bryan reads from her new book, The Hill, followed by a conversation with Heidi Klaassen.
This reading was pre-recorded and is sponsored by Read Alberta.
Ali Bryan is a novelist and creative nonfiction writer based in Calgary, Canada. Her first novel Roost, won the Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction and was the official selection of One Book Nova Scotia. Her second novel, The Figgs, was a finalist for the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour and has been optioned for TV by Sony Pictures. She twice longlisted for the CBC Canada Writes Creative Nonfiction prize, twice shortlisted for the Alberta Literary Awards Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Award and won the 2020 Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Story. She is a Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards Emerging Artist recipient. Her debut YA novel, The Hill, was released in March 2021 from Dottir Press. The Hill was longlisted for the 2021 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize and was a contender for Airdrie Reads 2021. Her short-form work has been published in Alberta Views Magazine, HASH Journal, Understory Magazine, Reservoir Road Literary Review, The Good Life Review, The Phare Literary Magazine, Passengers Journal, WestWord Magazine and Invisible City. She has work forthcoming in Cape Cod Poetry Review, Cloud Lake Literary, and The Queen’s Quarterly. (Bio source: alibryan.com)
[/tab][tab title=”Barb Howard – October 6″]
Barb Howard: Happy Sands
Wednesday, October 6, 7:00 pm
Host: Anne Logan
Online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SETczIt_DiM
Barb Howard reads from her new book, Happy Sands, followed by a conversation with Anne Logan.
This reading was pre-recorded and is sponsored by Read Alberta.
Barb Howard’s latest book is the novella Happy Sands published by the University of Calgary Press’s Brave and Brilliant series. Barb is a former Author in Residence for the Calgary Public Library and a recipient of the Canadian Authors’ Association Exporting Alberta Award and the Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Story.
Barb’s previous books include the short story collection Western Taxidermy (NeWest Press), the novella Notes for Monday (Recliner Books), the novel Whipstock (NeWest Press) and the young adult novel The Dewpoint Show (Fitzhenry & Whiteside). She is co-editor of the nonfiction anthology Embedded on the Home Front: Where Military and Civilian Lives Converge (Heritage House).
Barb is the Calgary writing mentor for The Shoe Project— a national literary and performance workshop for newcomer women. She is also a mentor in the WGA/AWCS Own Voices Alberta 2021 program. Barb is a current member of the board of Calgary Arts Development and a past president of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta.
[/tab][tab title=”Jennifer Bowering Delisle – September 29″]
Jennifer Bowering Delisle: Deriving
Wednesday, September 29, 7:00 pm
Host: Katherine Abbass
Online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaiGBXXcxXE
Jennifer Bowering Delisle will read from her new book of poetry, Deriving. The reading will be followed by a conversations with host Katherine Abbass.
Jennifer Bowering Delisle is the author of Deriving, a collection of poetry, and The Bosun Chair, a lyric family memoir. She regularly teaches creative writing and is a board member of Edmonton’s NeWest Press. She is a settler in Amiskwaciwâskahikan/Edmonton/Treaty 6.
[/tab][tab title=”Robert Proudfoot – September 22″]
Robert Proudfoot: Come By Here, My Lord – Seen in a Mirror Dimly
Wednesday, September 22, 7:00 pm
Online at: https://youtu.be/TpC8FDclXW
Robert Proudfoot will read from his new work of fiction, Come By Here, My Lord – Seen in a Mirror Dimly. The reading will be followed by a conversation with a host TBA.
Robert’s Bio coming soon!
[/tab][tab title=”Pamela Medland – September 15″]
Pamela Medland: Echo of Ash
Wednesday, September 15, 7:00 pm
Host: David Martin
Online at: https://youtu.be/iVg3mBgV9Tg
Pamela Medland will read from her new book of poetry, Echo of Ash. The reading will be followed by a conversation with host David Martin.
Pamela Medland is a Calgary poet whose work has appeared online and in print in literary journals and anthologies such as Freefall, Grain, Room and, most recently, We Are One: Poems from the Pandemic. Medland’s chapbook, Bright Blade, was published by Loft 112 in 2020. Echo of Ash, a journey of grief, is Medland’s first full-length poetry collection.
[/tab][tab title=”Dan Martin – September 8″]
Dan Martin: An Orphan’s Journey
Wednesday, September 8, 7:00 pm
Hosted by Steven Sandor
Online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzsOtOEez9Y
Dan Martin will read from his latest YA novel, An Orphan’s Journey. The reading will be followed by a conversation with host Steven Sandor.
Dan Martin is a semi-retired psychotherapist living in Edmonton, Alberta. Throughout his writings, when Dan describes wilderness settings or wild animal habitats, they are places he has known and terrain he has explored. Dan grew up in a family of guides and outfitters in Northern Alberta, and he is a former licensed game guide. He worked several years as a field officer with Alberta Forestry Lands and Wildlife before completing three degrees with concentrations in psychology and clinical social work.
Dan’s writings often feature complex characters in malevolent as well as nurturing roles. Characters are frequently an eclectic projection of personalities Dan has known during many years as a psychotherapist, counseling male offenders, children who are victims of abuse, psychopathic personalities, as well as ordinary people dealing with oppression or life adjustment problems.
Dan has Independently published four novels, two short stories, and is currently working on his fifth novel, Taming Spirit. His novels can be viewed on his website at danmartinbooks.com.
He has previously published his work in the University of Alberta English 309 Magazine.
[/tab][tab title=”Sharon Butala – September 1″]
Sharon Butala: This Strange Visible Air: Essays on Aging and the Writing Life
Wednesday, September 1, 7:00 pm
Hosted by Alice Major
Online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSuadL9l1gA&ab
Sharon Butala will read from her new book, This Strange Visible Air: Essays on Aging and the Writing Life. The reading will be followed by a conversation with host Alice Major.
This episode of the WGA Online Reading Series is sponsored by Read Alberta.
Sharon Butala has been writing now for over forty years and published 20 books. Her 21st, out on September 13, 2021, is an essay collection: This Strange Visible Air: Essays on Aging and the Writing Life (Freehand Books). She has been on the bestseller lists more than once, and has won a lot of prizes – (including the Marian Engel Award for Women Writers in Mid-Career, the Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence, The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Prize, and was recently shortlisted for the Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize) – although none of the ‘biggies’ – so far. She’s only eighty so there’s still lots of time. She is an Officer in the Order of Canada, an inductee into the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, has three Honorary Doctorates. And even though it’s ridiculous, she keeps on writing!
[/tab][tab title=”Onyinya Odih – August 25″]
Onyinye Odih: A Mother’s Love
Wednesday, August 25, 7:00 pm
Hosted by Sue Farrell Holler
Online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGFSDIrBzMs&ab
Onyinye Odih is a speaker, author, educator and more; she expresses herself in several ways to fulfil her desire to build stronger families.
As a teaching practitioner, she has worked with families for many years and her understanding of parents and their engagement/involvement with their children has been an outstanding achievement for her. In the course of teaching she developed a love for reading books to children and this further developed to writing stories for children.
She has great love for children and hopes to use her stories to speak for them and to them. She lives in Calgary, Alberta with her family and she loves reading children’s books.
[/tab][tab title=”Neil Surkan – August 18″]
Neil Surkan: Unbecoming
Wednesday, August 18, 7:00 pm
Hosted by Berend McKenzie
Online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98vbwthQRbk
Neil Surkan is the author of the poetry collections Unbecoming (forthcoming Fall 2021) and On High (2018), both from McGill-Queen’s University Press, and the chapbooks Their Queer Tenderness (Knife-Fork-Book, 2020), and Super, Natural (Anstruther Press, 2017). He lives in Calgary.
[/tab][tab title=”Karen Spafford-Fitz – August 11″]
Karen Spafford-Fitz: Pickpocket
Wednesday, August 11, 7:00 pm
Hosted by Charlotte Cameron
Online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MbwC64BItc
Originally from Kingston, Ontario, Karen Spafford-Fitz is a life-long book lover who studied English Literature and Literature at Queen’s University. After completing a degree in Education as well, she taught elementary and junior-high students in Toronto and Edmonton.
Karen soon began writing her own stories and is now the author of eight middle-grade and young adult novels. Many are set in Edmonton and have been recognized as “The Year’s Best Books” by Resource Links Journal and the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.
[/tab][tab title=”Charlotte Cameron – August 4″]
Charlotte Cameron: Love and Courage in Troubled Times
Wednesday, August 4, 7:00 pm
Hosted by Nancy Bell
Online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyV1DflQlrs
Charlotte Cameron is thrilled that a completely revised version of her novel about the medieval Cathars, which was shortlisted in the 1994 Sixth Alberta Writing for Youth Competition, has been published by Fictive Press as a contemporary YA novel, entitled Love and Courage in Troubled Times.
During her 28-year teaching career in Edmonton, Cameron wrote several historic plays about Albertans. No Gun for Annie, about Annie Jackson, Edmonton’s first policewoman, was staged at the Edmonton Fringe Theatre Festival in 2000. Running: The Alex Decoteau Story premiered at the Edmonton Fringe in 2001, and was published by Fictive Press in 2014.
After moving to Gabriola Island, BC, in 2005, Cameron wrote October Ferries to Gabriola, a radio play celebrating the brief visit to the island by author Malcolm Lowry and his wife, Margerie. It was performed on Gabriola and published by Fictive Press in 2017. Cameron participates in storytelling events at the Gabriola Museum and is president of the Poetry Gabriola Society. Love and Courage in Troubled Times (FictivePress.com, 2021) is available in eBook, Kindle and print-on-demand format from online booksellers.
[/tab][tab title=”Wendy Portfors – July 28″]
Wendy Portfors: Through My Eyes: 74 True Stories of Survival, Strength and the Power of Believing
Wednesday, July 28, 7:00 pm – 7:45 pm
Hosted by: Dorothy Bentley
Online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlBdfwyaBsk&ab
Wendy is a retired banker turned author. She writes a variety of genres. She recently released a new book titled Through My Eyes: 74 True Stories of Survival, Strength and the Power of Believing. She reached out to authors across Canada and compiled a collection of heartwarming stories for this anthology. She has also been published in several other anthologies. Her first book titled Remembering Love, Balboa Press, was released in 2016 and chronicles her journey caring for her husband and ultimately to her struggles as a widow.
Wendy has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul – angels all around and Chicken Soup for the Soul – Making Me Time. She has produced a children’s book and a colouring book. She is a member of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta and several writing groups.
Wendy enjoys golfing, hiking, and travelling, and has been to more than twenty-five countries. Wendy is remarried and with her husband Dave, travels internationally while house and pet sitting. They live in Turner Valley, Alberta, when in Canada. You can reach Wendy at [email protected]; wendyportfors.ca.
[/tab][tab title=”Sophie Stocking – July 21″]
Sophie Stocking: Walking Leonard and Other Stories
Wednesday, July 21, 7:00 pm – 7:45 pm
Hosted by: Lori Hahnel
Online at: youtube.com/watch?v=gJLvmSo-S5c&ab
Burdened by the notion that a career should encompass everything, Sophie Stocking changed her major so often, she narrowly escaped a degree in General Studies. Chapters in social work, architecture and motherhood followed. She finally noticed she’d always been writing, and in terms of encompassing everything, stories fit the bill. Sophie found the courage to pursue fiction at the Alexandra Writers’ Centre and went on to study under Aritha van Herk at the University of Calgary. Her debut novel Corridor Nine was released by Thistledown Press in 2019, followed by her collection Walking Leonard and Other Stories published by Guernica Editions in 2021.
[/tab][tab title=”Natasha Backs – July 14″]
N.L. Blandford: The Perilous Road To Her
Wednesday, July 14, 7:00 – 7:45pm
Hosted by: Susan Calder
Online at: youtube.com/watch?v=3xxPMAk1_qo&ab
N.L. Blandford has entered the literary world with her debut novel The Perilous Road to Her. Her poetry was first published when she was 13 and recently her drabble titled “Love of a Lifetime” won the Arlene Duane Hemingway Unconditional Love Drabble Challenge. She resides in Calgary, Alberta where she has built a life of dream exploration with her husband, mild mannered dog, Watson, and stubborn but loveable cat, Sebastian.
[/tab][tab title=”Leif Gregersen – July 7″]
Leif Gregersen: Alert and Oriented X3
Wednesday, July 7th, 7:00-7:45pm
Hosted by: Alexis Kienlen
Online at: youtube.com/watch?v=StE2mgmBRVc&ab
Leif Gregersen is a writer, public speaker and teacher who believes in positively impacting other people’s lives one person at a time. He grew up in the suburbs of Edmonton, and though he has travelled extensively he feels a deep sense of love and community for Alberta. He has published 11 books in the past ten years.
[/tab][tab title=”Adriana Davies – June 30″]
Adriana Davies: From Sojourners to Citizens: Alberta’s Italian History
Wednesday, June 30th, 7:00-7:45pm
Host: Marco Melfi
Online at: youtube.com/watch?v=6I4_6xvvxYM&ab
Adriana A. Davies, Cavaliere d’Italia and Order of Canada recipient, was born in Italy, grew up in Canada and has a doctorate from the University of London, England. She authored From Realism to Abstraction: The Art of J. B. Taylor (University of Calgary Press, 2014), The Rise and Fall of Emilio Picariello (Oolichan Press, 2016) and From Sojourners to Citizens: Alberta’s Italian History (Guernica Editions, 2021). With Jeff Keshen, she commissioned and edited The Frontier of Patriotism: Alberta and the First World War (University of Calgary Press, 2016)
[/tab][tab title=”Joanne Morcom – June 23″]
Joanne Morcom: Big Blue Sky: Haiku and Reflections
Wednesday, June 23, 7:00-7:45pm
Hosted by: Josephine LoRe
Online at: youtube.com/watch?v=HIUSuBnyO3U
Joanne Morcom is a poet, self-publisher, book reviewer, workshop presenter, social worker, Certified Laughter Leader and Joyologist who lives in Calgary. Big Blue Sky: Haiku and Reflections is her fifth poetry collection.
HOST: Josephine LoRe has an MA in Comparative Literature from l’Université de Rouen in France. She is a member of the League of Canadian Poets, the Writers’ Guild of Alberta, and numerous other writing societies. josephinelorepoet.com
[/tab][tab title=”Glenn Dixon – June 16″]
Glenn Dixon: Bootleg Stardust (pre-recorded)
Wednesday, June 16th, 7:00-7:45pm
Hosted by: Greg Rhyno
Online at: youtube.com/watch?v=rW1uRxVlDyE
Glenn Dixon is an author, documentary film maker and musician. Bootleg Stardust (Simon & Schuster) is his fourth book. His third, Juliet’s Answer, was a number one best seller in Canada and has now been published in twelve countries and translated into German, Spanish and Chinese. He has travelled through 75 countries and written for the New Yorker, National Geographic, Psychology Today and the Globe and Mail. He currently lives in Calgary where he is pretending to be a rock star.