Writers’ Guild event welcomes aspiring local writers

A Writers’ Guild of Alberta event marks an ideal way to kick off the Alberta Arts Days weekend.

On the evening of Sept. 26th, Blaine Newton, Kimmy Beach and Leslie Greentree have organized a Writers’ Guild of Alberta (WGA) event, described as a fun evening at which local writers at various stages of their careers will speak briefly about the benefits of being part of the Writer’s Guild. They will also touch on their respective genres, said Greentree.

“The Guild has benefitted us all, and we decided that we’d really like to share those experiences with current and aspiring writers in the area,” said Greentree. She also noted among the educational moments will be lots of socializing and meeting fellow writers, which is one of the most important aspects of being part of a writer collective.

“Most importantly, there are so many aspiring writers in every community who need a bit of encouragement to set them on their writing path. Membership in the WGA does that – it offers lots of different programs and benefits that connect and support writers at all stages of their careers, but it’s especially beneficial to new writers.

“There are a lot of people who are interested in writing, but it can be difficult to know where to begin. And the best way to learn is to connect with an organization like the Writers’ Guild – they offer support and guidance, and the company of other writers who are already doing that work.

“It offers a community and can specifically link you to resources and opportunities to connect with other writers, and to build your skills through workshops and various events.”

The event will be held in the Coconut Room upstairs in Sunworks with free snacks and a cash bar. It will be open to anyone and organizers hope to fill the room with local members of the WGA plus twice as many prospective members who don’t even realize yet how much the Guild support will help give their writing aspirations a boost, said Greentree.

Several speakers will be featured as well as a representative from the Writers’ Guild, as Greentree mentioned. Speakers include Greentree, Newton, Beach, Carl Hahn, Shelley Newman and Colin Sterling. “The speakers were chosen to represent that range of writing genres that the Guild is there to support – fiction, non-fiction, poetry, playwriting – and people at very stages of their writing careers.”

But the evening is also primarily a social time. “We will be walking around looking for faces that we don’t recognize to say, ‘Hi, how are you, let’s chat’. The Guild offers lots of great benefits, but the most important thing is connecting you to other writers because it’s such a solitary kind of work. The social aspect of this event is very important to us.

“The writing community in Red Deer is very strong and vibrant, and it’s very welcoming,” she added.

“In part, I’d also like to target seniors thinking about writing memoirs, as well as young writers, as the Guild has some great youth events and a youth committee that’s exploring ways to better connect with youth. But, really, we want everyone who’s interested in writing to show up and check it out.”

For more information, give the Writers’ Guild office a call at 1-800-665-5354.