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Literary News & Fun On Friday’s…

January 10, 2014
mandyevebarnett


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My community announced the new Writers in Residence for 2014 recently – the details are below.

I would like to say if you have the opportunity to meet and gain wisdom and help from a Writer in Residence, then do so. Having an expert review your work and give you authoritative assistance, all for free, is worth its weight in gold. If you are unsure contact your local library for their residency details.

Margaret Macpherson Margaret_smaller

Margaret Macpherson has worked as a full-time professional writer, teacher and editorial/educational mentor for the last decade. With a Masters of Fine Arts (Creative Writing) from UBC and she was widely published in newspapers and magazines both nationally and internationally before moving to Alberta in 1994.

After a career in journalism and teaching, which took her to the East Coast and Bermuda, Margaret began playing in long narrative prose. She has subsequently published seven books, both fiction and non fiction, including a biography entitled Nellie McClung: Voice for the Voiceless which won the Canadian Authors Association (CAA) Exporting Alberta Award in 2004.

Her collection of short stories Perilous Departures (2004), and her first novel, Released (2007) were both nominated for Manitoba Book Awards and her last novel Body Trade won the DeBeers Northwords Prize in 2012.

An essayist, poet and storyteller, Margaret has worked as a fiction editor for three different literary magazines and regularly performs poetry and aural story telling.
She represented Alberta in the National CBC Poetry Face-Off (2006) and has won (and lost) the coveted Story Slam championship.

An expressive arts practitioner, Margaret mucks about with oils and pastels and has sold the odd watercolour. She has written and co-produced a CD of original music and has had one of her plays produced in Vancouver’s NewWorks festival.

Although Edmonton has been home for the last 18 years, Margaret grew up in the Northwest Territories, and has lived extensively in Halifax, Bermuda, Vancouver and Nelson, BC. She lives with her husband, three kids and a very black cat.

Jason Lee Norman

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Jason Lee Norman was born and raised in the Edmonton area. With a degree in English from the University of Alberta and a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester he returned to Edmonton in 2009 to make his fortune. He is the author of two short story collections: ‘Americas’ and ‘Beautiful Girls & Famous Men’ and is the co-founder of the #yegwords (Words with Friends) creative writing collective which holds regular events in Edmonton throughout the year, including the very popular Word Crawl.
In 2013 he introduced Edmonton to 40 Below: Edmonton’s Winter Anthology. 70 pieces of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction all about or inspired by winter in Edmonton. 40 Below was published by Jason’s small publishing concern Wufniks Press.

In the past few years Jason has nominated himself for dozens of awards but has won very few. He hopes to one day finish his novel so that it may receive a scathing review in the National Post. Thus completing the circle of life

Full article here:  http://metrowir.com/

Literary Magazine link: http://www.everywritersresource.com/literarymagazines/

And for the fun part of today : Invent your own country! It can be on earth or another planet. Inhabited by humans or aliens. Hostile or idyllic.  Let your imagination go wild.FunDay

I may be late…

January 19, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Palm Springs 068

Hello All,

I am going to apologise as my blog post today will be late! I am attending a seminar : Digital Tools: A Workshop for Writers & Editors.

So as they say ‘watch this space’…! By the way today’s word is Verdant ; definition ‘green with growing plants’ so feel free to take your own spin on it in my absence.

As I drove to the seminar through a stark white and grey winter scenery I remembered today’s word – verdant. I have come to admire the  resourceful  Albertans I live among, who manage their harsh weather on these prairies with block heaters for their vehicles, winter tyres (tires!) and covered malls. Life does not stop for minus something stupid temperatures or massive amounts of snow. It is all taken in their stride, as natural as the seasons themselves.

Alberta Legislature

Alberta Legislature (Photo credit: ericzchu)

The first time I saw a Canadian in T-shirt and shorts at only +2 I was totally nonplussed. What were they thinking it was still freezing? However, five years later the +2 does feel warm after minus 35…it’s all a matter of perspective and experience. Once the warmth arrives no matter how slight it is taken advantage of. It may come as a surprise but our summer’s are hot but short in comparison to the long winter months. This is the time Albertans go all out to enjoy it. Every day is spent outside for as long as possible in an extensive range of activities from gardening to sports to hiking to barbequing. Gardens, or yards as they are referred to here, are resplendent in a multitude of colourful flowers, lush lawns and patio furniture of all shapes, colours and types.

Our first spring was a real surprise as it seemed the trees and plants sprouted green shoots overnight and within a few days bare branches and earth were obscured by foliage. Every living thing hurries to enjoy the summer – human, animal or plant.

In short it is a life lesson – make the best of what you have while you have it.

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