UAlberta Extension: Writing Week #2 (July 20–24)

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Join the University of Alberta's Faculty of Extension on July 13-17 and July 20-24, 2020 for two weeks of insightful writing workshops

About this Event

Join the University of Alberta's Faculty of Extension on July 13-17 and July 20-24, 2020 for two weeks of insightful online writing workshops and learn from local professional authors in an interactive online experience!

View and register for the online workshops taking place for July 13-17.

Online workshops run Monday through Friday, for a total of 7.5 hours a week (1.5 hours of instruction, peer review and professional feedback each day). Optional mentorship sessions are available by request and direct arrangement with instructors.

Creative writing and professional development workshops for Workshop Week #2 include:

  • The Business of Freelance Writing (with Omar Mouallem)
  • Ekphrasis: Writing Inspired by Art (with Wendy McGrath)
  • Online Writing for Fun and Profit (Blogging) (with Trent Wilkie)
  • Less, But Better: Using Narrative to Improve Your Writing (with Jim Morrow)

Celebrate and share new writing on Friday at noon through an Online Open Mic. The series will culminate at the end of July with an Online Writing Gallery.

Open Enrolment: No prerequisites; no program admission required!

Online workshops are $95 / each

Writing Week #2 Workshops (July 20-24):

The Business of Freelance Writing

Omar Mouallem

9:00 AM to 10:30 AM

Description: Learn how to develop an independent journalism career and manage your business. Topics we'll address include: types of journalism and writing work available to freelancers; finding, developing, and organizing ideas; selling stories and yourself; and market research techniques. We’ll wade into business nitty gritty—who pays, how much, and what’s in a contract—as well as best practices. Throughout the course, students are offered feedback towards pitching and selling a story in the market of their choosing.

Workshop Outcomes:

  • Gain tools and life skills to succeed as a freelance journalist
  • Identify appropriate markets for your work
  • Develop strategies to plot your freelance writing career, including finding a niche and doing tasteful self-promotion
  • Create ready-to-go templates for the following: bio, article queries, “pitch bank,” invoices, and income reporting
  • Develop a pitch to sell in the market of your choosing.

Omar Mouallem’s narrative journalism and personal essays have appeared in Rolling Stone, The Guardian, The Ringer and The Walrus. His reporting and essays have earned him 11 National Magazine Awards nominations, including three Golds.

Ekphrasis: Writing Inspired by Art

Wendy McGrath

1:00 PM to 2:30 PM

Description: Art can provide writers with endless possibilities for inspiration. In this workshop students will examine ekphrastic writing by various authors and explore how art can influence their own work. Students will create a body of original work inspired by art and can share their work in a group setting, offering and receiving constructive critique from fellow participants and the instructor.

Workshop Outcomes:

  • Understand the broad definition of ekphrastic writing
  • Gain experience in writing your own pieces of ekphrastic writing
  • Explore the wider possibilities of cross-pollination between writing and other art forms

Wendy McGrath’s most recent novel Broke City (NeWest Press) is the final book in her Santa Rosa Trilogy. Previous novels in the series are Santa Rosa and North East. Her most recent book of poetry, A Revision of Forward (NeWest Press) was released in Fall 2015. McGrath works in multiple genres--“Before We Knew” is her latest poetry/music collaboration with musician/producer Sascha Liebrand. She has also completed a collaborative manuscript of poems inspired by the photography of Danny Miles, drummer for July Talk and Tongue Helmet. Her poetry, fiction, and non-fiction has been widely published.

Online Writing for Fun and Profit (Blogging)

Trent Wilkie

3:00 PM to 4:30PM

Description: Be it blogging, opinion writing, live journaling, or just talking about the things going on in your life, there is a way to do this while challenging yourself as a writer and make it profitable. In this workshop we will talk about writing exercises aimed at making your writing more diverse, how to pitch ideas to businesses, and how to make your writing both attractive to the eye and the mind. While touching on elements of photography, journalism, research, and online presence, this workshop will make each writer a fully rounded media outlet (blogger).

Workshop Outcomes:

  • Develop the foundations of your own online ‘magazine’ (blog).
  • Learn to use affordable online tools that to advance your writing
  • Discover how to represent yourself well in both writing style and online appeal
  • Write what you know to your advantage
  • Create healthy expectations of the response to your work.

Trent Wilkie is a husband/father/writer/journalist/performer in Edmonton. Trent has written for CBC Radio, Fangoria Magazine, VUE Weekly, Edmonton Sun, Exclaim Magazine, Fort Sask Record, Theatre Network, Fringe Theatre Adventures, and his award-winning blog (and podcast) The UnDad. As well, Trent has also been a wilderness guide for over 10 years which he now considers therapy that only comes at the cost of comfort. When taking time off from trying not to be boring, Trent likes to relax while watching horror movies, celebrating his family, and trying to write the perfect three chord song

Less, But Better: Using Narrative to Improve Your Writing

Jim Morrow

7:00 PM to 8:30PM

Description: Writing is a way of organising facts and explaining a sequence of actions. But how those facts and actions are put in order matters. This workshop will explain how writers can use narrative devices and anecdotes to make every word tell. It will also discuss the methods that famous fiction and non-fiction writers used to develop stories and make complex ideas seem simple.

Workshop Outcomes:

  • Make their writing easy to read
  • Appreciate the importance of concision
  • Know when to use active and passive voice
  • Use anecdotes and revelation to create a compelling narrative.

Jim Morrow is a writing and communications instructor at the University of Alberta's Faculty of Extension. He is also a Research Associate at the Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies and an Adjunct Professor of Sociology. Prior to his academic work, he was a journalist and editor for several international news organisations and print publications.

Cancellation Policy:

If your plans change and you can no longer attend Writing Week, your tuition fees will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee as long as the cancellation request is received at least 5 days prior to the start of your first workshop.

If you wish to cancel after this time, refunds will not be given.

In the event that the Faculty of Extension cancels a workshop, your tuition fees will be refunded in full.

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