The countdown is on for the annual writers conference hosted by the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County. This year they are exploring several facets of the writing life, which will aid writers in all stages in their writing career.
The conference title is Expanding Your Writing
They have secured three incredible presenters.
Leif Gregerson – Magazine Writing
Katherine Koller – Dialogue in Play Writing
Brenda Hennig – Alberta Foundation for the Arts – Grant writing
Dr. Jenna Butler – unable to attend – new presenter to be advised
Each session will give expert information on how you can expand your writing, your career and your knowledge of the art of writing.
Whether you are a novice, or a well seasoned writer, this conference is open to all. It will aid you in exploring new aspects of writing, opportunities available and new avenues to prospect.
Venue: Community Room 2, Community Center, 401 Festival Lane, Sherwood Park, Alberta
Time: Registration 8:30 am Sessions 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Authors: there is also an opportunity to promote your books.
Want to get your book promotion included on their Facebook Page on the day of the conference? Send them your short book write-up–think ‘book blurb’– front cover jpeg image, and a link to where it can be purchased.
Your book promotion will be posted for $15 during the conference.
Have a book trailer or video? Promote your book for $25 for the day.
With the resounding success of Everything Everywhere at Once the conversation has turned to non-typical heroes. This is a good thing, not only for viewers, writers and readers, but for society as a whole.
Women have been objectified for far too long by filmmakers, the media and the fashion industry. Now is the time to celebrate women, who have been, and are heroes, in everyday life for their families, their careers, themselves. They nurture, accomplish, protect and succeed in all walks of life, at every age and in every ethnicity. The cultivated image of a female distorts and decimates what women are in ‘real’ life. That needs to change. We grow older, put on weight, have wrinkles – we are flesh and blood.
There are a growing number of novels with midlife women as the main protagonists. The topics range from later in life romances, to empty nesters getting a new lease on life to life after divorce, or death of a spouse. These are to be celebrated – it is real life and it shows the strength of women.
In my romance/reincarnation novel, The Twesome Loop, I have a protagonist, who is downtrodden in both of her lives and finds a way out from under her tormentors.
Year 2000 – Melissa is a single midlife woman, who cared for her aging parents until their deaths, sacrificing her own personal life to do so. She is targeted by a man whose only interest is her fortune. He tricks her into marriage. She finds her strength and self worth in an unlikely place.
Year 1800 – Gabriella is a young woman forced into a marriage of convenience by her father to further his standing in society. She is instrumental in ridding herself of her cruel, domination older husband.
Ben Monroe has spent most of his life in Northern California, where he lives in the East Bay Area with his wife and two children. He is the author of In the Belly of the Beast and Other Tales of Cthulhu Wars, the Seething, the graphic novel Planet Apocalypse, and short stories in several anthologies.
You can find more information about him and his work at www.benmonroe.com
There is always something magical about immersing ourselves into a story. We escape reality for a chapter or two, maybe even longer if time allows. Stories have been entertaining, educating and fascinating humans for eons. From campfire tales to fairy stories to modern literature, we have passed on these narratives from generation to generation. Beginning with word of mouth and traveling troubadours to parchment scripts to printed books and now to electronic devices.
Stories are a part of our culture, our locality and our history. Some may disappear, others stand the test of time. We have the ability to share them with future generations and keep them in the world.
I have a troubadour in my novella, The Rython Kingdom. He travels from feudal to feudal land (lands owned by the monarchy and gifted to Lords) and is invited to the King’s court. He knows this is a great honour and tells a tale over a couple of days, unaware there is a release spell within its words of an evil sorceress.
Celebrate storytelling week reciting your favorite stories to your children or grandchildren, pass on these generational tales so they may be forever told.
I write and produce picture books. I call them that because they are not necessarily for children. My slogan is ‘for kids aged between 6 & 99yrs old!” I’m interested in stimulating a dialogue between adults and children about their experience. I hope that’s what my books make the readers want to do. Talk and discuss and reflect on their own experience. I love art and literature so picture books are the perfect medium for me. Some of my books are not even ‘stories’ rather than concepts.
2. Do you draw from your English background and upbringing?
I guess I do, but almost inadvertently, so not directly. However, Spaceball uses the city of Manchester England as a theme for location and Old Trafford is mentioned. Perhaps in the way I express myself in the books. I do have another book planned which is based in London England.
3.Where did the idea for Spaceball come from?
I wanted to write an exciting book using the dynamic themes of soccer and space. I think all ideas just come from challenging your own understanding. i was reading about Einstein and gravity and i thought this might be a cool way of understanding an aspect of gravitational force, amongst other things. The book is actually about how we understand our own histories and the ‘forces’ that influence that aswell.
4. What message does the book give children?
See question 3 above. I’m interested in bringing the reader to a point where they want to consider their place in history and how their social history differs from other cultural perspectives. The whole book pivots on the expression ‘the history of everything’. The child telling the story stops to consider what that means.
5. How long did the process of writing Spaceball take?
About a month. Not long at all once I knew what I wanted to do. I let the planets guide me! The illustrations took longer but it was so much fun to do, and I wanted to create images that especially children would feel were organic, to encourage them to make their own books with collage and crayon and whatever they can get their hands on.
6.How does writing a book, short stories and writing poetry differ?
For me with picture books there’s always an idea you’re developing and revising constantly, editing while writing but also afterwards, going back to it again and again is important, checking for fluency, ‘sense’ and whether what you’ve done honours your intention. Projects can change a lot as well. The research phase is always very interesting and so much of the spontaneity of my writing happens when I’m reading around. I think it’s not so much genre but authors that have different processes. Books have personally taken me longer to produce though. A short story can be 500words. I don’t write much poetry but when I do it’s almost like a wave of energy, so it’s quite quick for me. Whether it’s any ‘good’ is another matter!
7.Where do you get ideas from?
From Walmart. 🙂 They have them on special right now. Just kidding. I think you can train your mind to be receptive. Ideas are everywhere I think, it’s not difficult for me. I have a to-do list on my wall of the next ten picture books I want to do, but there are loads of ideas on scraps and memos in various places. I think you have to have a type of curiosity that isn’t easily satisfied if that makes sense, and a willingness to take a ‘fact’ and explore what might have been or what another perspective might bring. I think the imagination is a way of connecting and exploring one’s understanding and associations from different perspectives and perhaps extending that understanding. I have ideas that are years old and I like to leave them in my head for a while, pickling and marinating! I think you can tell I like cooking 🙂
8.Do you have a project(s) in progress?
Yes I think I answered this in question 7 above. More specifically I’m just completing a picture book now called ‘What’s your favourite colour’ illustrated by Stella Avolio. Another project has been planned and will start soon called ‘Farewell’ with a different illustrator and I have a book I really want to do, the London-based one I referred to above, but I want to both write and illustrate that myself.
9.What is your view on reading and writing for children?
Reading for children is very important. I was read to as a child and I loved the experience. I haven’t done an audio book yet but I’d love to get round to it. It’s great to have a book animated by real voices.
As I said (if I understand your question) I don’t write for children necessarily, but more for the social interaction between generations, to generate discussion between adults and children.
10.Where can readers find you and your books?
All my books are online. Google Matthew Bennett Young and you will see!