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Shapeshifting Story - the blurred lines of short and long fiction and how to rein them in

Date & Time:
September 16, 2016 | 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
TIA House | University of Calgary | 10th Floor Social Sciences Building
Deborah Willis and Melanie Little

Two renowned writers and editors present insights into working with short and long fiction, linked stories, and the critical elements - both what they have in common, and what is distinct - required for each form of storytelling. Topics will include the challenges of preparation and process, the respect required for the plot element of each form, and the nuances of shifting from one to the other. Melanie Little (WiR 2005-2006) and Deborah Willis (2012-2013) will lead a discussion about what they have learned from their own process of transitioning between genres, as well as share perspectives from the editorial side of the table.

Melanie Little is an award-winning author and editor of fiction and non-fiction for adults and children. Her debut collection of stories, Confidence, was shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed Award and selected as a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book. Her 2008 novel-in-verse for young adults, The Apprentice’s Masterpiece, was a Canadian Library Association Honour Book, a gold medalist at the Independent Publisher Book Awards, and a White Raven selection for the International Youth Library in Munich.

Melanie has taught creative writing at Dalhousie University and at workshops across Canada. She has served as founding editor of Calgary’s Freehand Books, editor at large for Annick Press, and Senior Editor of Canadian Fiction at House of Anansi Press. She was awarded the BPAA Lois Hole Award for Editorial Excellence for her work on Marina Endicott’s Good to a Fault, and books she has edited have won the Giller Prize, the Governor-General’s Award, and the Alberta Readers Choice Award, and have twice been finalists for Canada Reads. She currently lives in Toronto, where she works as a freelance editor and is completing a novel and a new collection of stories.

Deborah Willis' (WiR 2012-2013) first book of short fiction, Vanishing and Other Stories, was nominated for a Governor General's Award for fiction and translated into Italian and Hebrew. Her new work has appeared in The Iowa Review, The Virginia Quarterly, The Walrus and Zoetrope. She was the CDWP writer-in-residence in 2012-2013, during which time she worked on her forthcoming collection of fiction. The Dark and Other Love Stories will be published in February 2017 by Norton in the U.S. and Penguin in Canada.

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