Writers’ workshop coming to Morinville

By Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – Those who feel they have a book or at least a story in them have an opportunity to take part in a writers’ workshop at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre Sept. 30. The event is being sponsored by the Writers Guild of Alberta and is being hosted by the Morinville Public Library to coincide with Alberta Arts Days. Author and playwright Marty Chan, a former Morinville resident, will be teaming with Jessica Kluthe to present the two hour session for anyone who writes or has an interest in starting.

“It’s our chance to show people some basic tips and tricks on how to work on a manuscript and how to develop a story idea,” Chan said. “It’s a way for us to show that it doesn’t matter where you are; you can always come up with a good story.”

Chan said his section of the two-hour session will deal with developing conflict in a story. “There’s a really simple primer that writers can use to remind themselves – when they’re working on a scene or chapter – to create tension in that scene or conflict in that scene so they can engage or maintain reader’s interest.”

It is something Chan has had plenty of experience with. A creative writer for the past 15 years, he began writing for the theatre world, moved on to television, and then began writing children’s novels. His latest is called Barnabas Big Foot – A Close Shave and tells the story of a small-footed sasquatch who must outmanoeuvre a mad scientist. But regardless of the genre, conflict is an essential element of fiction writing and something Chan is happy to share with other writers and would-be-writers.

His partner in the Sept. 30 workshop is Jessica Kluthe, a non-fiction writer and writing instructor, who will talk about memoirs. “She’ll be talking about how to take those really personal experiences and translate them into stories that are relevant to readers who may not necessarily be your family members,” Chan explained.

Whether interested in fiction or non-fiction, Chan said the workshop is open to anyone who wants to learn about writing. “This is for anybody who’s had an inkling [or] an idea but never knew how to translate that idea into a story,” he said. “It’s very much an introduction to writing.”

The writer’s workshop takes place Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. at the Community Cultural Centre. There is no cost to participate in the workshop. Those interested in attending the session are asked to RSVP to the Writers Guild of Alberta at mail@writersguild.ab.ca or call 780-422-8174.

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