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Speaker Biographies and Sessions Information




Crafting Great Villains

Presenter: Adam Dreece
Session #1

Workshop: Every great villain is the hero of their own story! Come and learn how to make your own villains who are so awesome that you'll love them more than the heroes (Well, almost).


Session #2

Presenter: Barbori Garnet
Session #2

Workshop: Students will learn about bringing stories and characters to life through the use of description. Students will be guided through exercises to help them enrich their stories and also start to create a front and back cover of their very own book.


Cook Up a Story!

Presenter: Bill Bunn
Session #3

Workshop: Ever wondered how to cook a delicious story? We’ll use an old story recipe. Add one small hero. Add a medium-sized villain. Stew over high heat. Add one onion. Add a dash of this and that to suit your own taste. Then, bring it to a boil. In no time at all, we’ll whip up a spicy story, hot and fresh!


Personal Totems

Presenter: Carole Bondaroff
Session #4

Workshop: A Hands-On Workshop with CAROLE BONDAROFF. Discover your “totem animal,” and improve your drawing skills through “illustration.” Based on your birthday, you will learn which indigenous, Alberta animal best represents you, and your personality. We will explore drawing and/or collage techniques making your “Totem Animal” come alive with line, colour and texture. Supplies: You will need white paper (8.5 x 11 inches or larger) (The heavier the paper, the better.) A pencil and eraser Coloured pencils, and/or coloured markers, and/or pastels For collage: a glue stick, and coloured tissue paper or construction paper.


Other Voices

Presenter: Carolyn Pogue
Session #5

Workshop: Come and write wild with us! In this workshop, we will write with the voices of the quiet ones — chickadee, deer, pickerel, aspen — you will decide. Who speaks for the elk, the river, the ladybug? Is it you? Come ready to explore your wild mind.


The Character Game

Presenter: Carrie Stanton
Session #6

Workshop: What makes a good character? What is your story without a believable villain? How can you create characters that grow? This session will focus on making your characters "come alive" as they jump out of your head on onto your paper. Skills to help you take charge of The Character Game!


How to Create Heroes Readers Will Love

Presenter: Craig DiLouie
Session #7

Workshop: Why do great characters make great stories, and how do you create great characters? Using the movie SHREK as an example, author Craig DiLouie provides tips and tools for creating characters that come alive, bring the reader into the story, and complete a satisfying journey.


Fantastic Voyages

Presenter: Gail Sidonie Sobat
Session #8

Workshop: Explore the realm of fantasy with its mirror worlds & supernatural characters/creatures. Discover ways to build other worlds that are long ago or far away. Learn why three is the magic number & why your hero/heroine should never be perfect. Gail will share tips & ideas from her own fantasy journey as the writer of the Ingamald trilogy.


On Your Mark, Get Set... GET WRITING

Presenter: Irene Punt
Session #9

Workshop: How do you create funny picture books and cool junior novels? GET WRITING! How do you become a published author? KEEP WRITING! NEVER GIVE UP! Make your everyday adventures extraordinary stories! Irene Punt will share her writing secrets with you. The written exercise will provide a fun and useful tool to plot your stories.


Creativity and Writing Games

Presenter: J.M. Dover
Session #10

Workshop: Writing is fun, but have you ever found it hard to come up with original ideas for your writing? What if you could play a game and learn how to make your words jump off the page? In this exciting workshop, you’ll discover new ways to play with words, expand your creativity, and take your writing to the next level. All you need is paper or a notebook and a pencil or pen.


Well, That's Mysterious!

Presenter: Jan Markley
Session #11

Workshop: Do you love a good whodunit? We'll uncover the secrets to writing a mystery story, and use our new skills to craft a head scratching tale of puzzlement. Bring your sleuthing abilities, curiosity, and ideas!"


Amaze Yourself With Your Own Imagination

Presenter: Janet Gurtler
Session #12

Workshop: With Janet's help you'll create an imaginary character that will come to life on your pages. You’ll be amazed at how well you’ll know your character’s story by the time we finish the workshop! Don't worry, it's easy, (and fun) but come prepared to write!


Your Characters Will Jump Off The Page!

Presenter: Janet Wees
Session #13

Workshop: Discussion of how your voice and unique style enhance your writing will be accompanied by activities of expression, description, dialogue and narrative, enabling your audience to see, identify with, and care about your characters. You are the storyteller; weave your magic!


Illustration Session: Cut, Paste, Create!

Presenter: Jennifer Stables
Session #14

Workshop: Materials: various papers (cardstock, newspaper, coloured paper), pencil, pencil crayons, markers, paint (optional), scissors, glue. Use the art of collage to bring your illustrations to life! Jennifer will guide participants as they learn to create fun characters and scenes by collaging a variety of papers. Learn how to transform common scraps of paper into something magical!


Story Magic: A Storytelling Workshop

Presenter: Karen Gummo
Session #15

Workshop: Professional Storyteller, Author, Illustrator Karen Gummo Presents story magic and recipes for success. Prepare to be entertained, challenged and included in the process of story making. I will perform stories and verses and invite participants to help create a group story. Games and tricks will bring on the magic! Supplies: 150 cm length of string that is tied to make a circle or even better, a polyester cord where ends are melted together over a candle (the kind that is used for cat’s cradle). Also bring an open mind, enthusiasm, a journal and a pen or pencil.


Scare the Pants Off Your Readers

Presenter: Marty Chan
Session #16

Workshop: Who doesn’t love a good scare? Marty Chan shares the secrets to writing creepy stories that will make readers jump with fright. He’ll reveal his techniques to create tension-filled stories that will keep readers on the edge of their seats from the first page to the last.


The Mystery of the Triple Z!

Presenter: Michele Martin Bossley
Session #17

Workshop: The ZZZ Theory— is that a total snooze (no sleeping in class!) or a way to make your writing better? Learn how to use the three Zs in writing— put zip into your stories by writing what you feel, check out how to zap your characters to life and find out how to zoom into the action of a story and keep it fast-paced with some fun activities and real-life writing tips. Materials: a pencil, eraser, paper, and if possible, a mystery object in a paper or plastic bag. If a family member could put something in the bag for the participant so they don’t know what it is, that would be great, but the student can choose something if they need to. Suggested ideas would be an apple, avocado, other fruit, a small toy, a stress ball, anything that is safe to touch that we can use for descriptions. I will be using a potato.


Writing Relatable Characters

Presenter: Michell Plested
Session #18

Workshop: Characters, when written well, pull you into the story and make you part of their world. But how do you create characters that can do that for you? This workshop will help you develop technics to create characters you and your readers can relate to who will bring your stories alive.


Rhythm and Poetry (R.A.P.)

Presenter: Robey Sabo Stothart
Session #19

Workshop: Join 6social.org in creating safe and charged environments while imagining a new world through hip hop poetry. Explore themes of conflict, peace and struggle with one of Calgary’s top musicians, DJ and hip hop artists. Named to theYYSCENE top albums of the year 2019, Sabo Forte continues to establish himself as one of the city’s most engaging songwriters. In this session, students explore Rhythm And Poetry (R.A.P.) while discovering new tips and techniques on how to construct a 16 bar verse.


Word Play!

Presenter: Stephanie Hrehirchuk
Session #20

Workshop: Word Play! It starts with one word, then two. We follow the energy to string together a surprising sentence. Get out of your head and have some fun playing with your words!


Session #21

Presenter: Susan Forest
Session #21

Workshop: Dialogue is a key element of story, where the reader gets to see characters come to life, act, and interact. Come to this workshop ready to brainstorm a scene through imagination and discussion, then use multiple techniques to write that scene with dialogue, action, and emotion. The workshop will finish with an opportunity for questions and answers.


Write Now!

Presenter: Susanne Heaton
Session #22

Workshop: Susanne offers this insightful workshop on tapping into the creative writing process. Discover various “out of the box” techniques to help you tap into your creative genius. This session will be practical, playful and fun. Prepare to be amazed at your results.


Creating Pictures With Words

Presenter: Suzy Vadori
Session #23

Workshop: Words can paint pictures in our minds - fantastic, vivid scenes that make us feel like we're really there. During this exciting writing workshop, we'll explore ways to describe everyday objects, nature scenes and magic in the most interesting way possible.


Caution: Writers at Work

Presenter: Lois Donovan
Session #24

Workshop: Ideas are everywhere! They sometimes lurk in the strangest places, just waiting to be found. In this session you will explore how random things can spark your imagination and ignite a story. A random collection, and a writers notebook will have you on your way to learning how to turn everyday experiences and everyday objects into exciting scenes for a story, a poem, or even a novel. Be prepared to amaze yourself!


Making Graphic Novels

Presenter: Kelly Tindall
Session #25

Workshop: From sketching your first character to holding a graphic novel in your hands! Shuster Award-nominated cartoonist Kelly Tindall walks you through the process of making your very own comics.


Writing Graphic Novel Scripts

Presenter: James Davidge
Session #26

Workshop: Have you ever wanted to write a graphic novel? Author James Davidge (The Duchess Ranch of Old John Ware, Mathemagick, The Driftwood Saga) will work with students to help them build the beginning script for one of their comic book ideas. James will introduce the key vocabulary used in the industry and address some considerations when laying out a comic book page. Materials: Paper and something to write with (pencil, pen).


And You Thought English Class Didn't Matter

Presenter: Joni Delaurier
Session #27

Workshop: Using lyrical devices (similes, metaphors, etc) to make compelling descriptive song lyrics.


Digging Deep

Presenter: Troy Kokol
Session #28

Workshop: Get your hands dirty writing about the hidden treasure found deep below the surface!


Stories in Your Pocket!

Presenter: Shenaaz Nanji
Session #29

Workshop: Let us learn the Master Writers' Magic, then Abracadabra! Turn our scary moments, bad memories, and sweet dreams into mini stories that fit into our pockets.



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