Categories: Entertainment

Chan, Kluthe come home for Arts Days

Playwright/children's writer Marty Chan will be one of the leaders of a workshop for aspiring writers from high school age to seniors this Friday at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre.

This weekend, Alberta Arts Days is a province-wide festivity that celebrates our culture, heritage and artistic diversity.

This coming Friday, the Morinville Public Library has partnered with the Writers’ Guild of Alberta to present Writers Writing About Home: A Workshop with authors Marty Chan and Jessica Kluthe.

Having met through the guild, the two former Morinville residents were quite enthused about discussing how growing up in a small town influenced their writings.

Chan is a playwright and children’s fiction writer that is just releasing a new Grades 4 to 6 book through Thistledown Press called Barnabas Bigfoot: A Close Shave.

Meanwhile, Kluthe, a University of Victoria creative writing MFA graduate, was shortlisted for an Alberta Literary Award. Traces is the first chapter of a non-fiction memoir about her Italian grandmother’s days as a midwife in Calabria, Italy.

“Just the fact that Marty is pretty well known and Jessica is an emerging talent makes this a good combination. Marty is very fiction-based whereas Jessica is more serious. If anything people will be curious how they tackle their different genres. For Morinville residents, the real draw is seeing how far they’ve gone with their careers,” says Writers’ Guild of Alberta program co-ordinator Nicole Quiring.

The two-hour workshop is open to anyone from high school and older.

“Even if you have no experience, but have a burning desire to start, this is a workshop for you,” Chan says.

The workshop is scheduled to run Friday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the newly constructed Morinville Community Cultural Centre. In addition, Chan will be hosting a mini-release of Barnabas Bigfoot from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. complete with an autograph signing.

The 189-page book, part one of five-part series, introduces Barnabas, an adolescent Sasquatch living with his tribe in British Columbia. Barnabas has one big embarrassing secret: his feet are too small.

Barnabas is sasquatch-napped and taken to West Edmonton Mall where he escapes and spends a night in a tunnel. Befriended by a young girl Jamie, Barnabas discovers new aspects to feeling like a fish out of water.

“It’s not about outward appearances. It’s about inner strength. Even though he has small feet, it won’t prevent him from rising to the greatness he is destined for,” Chan explains.

Although the free workshop is open to anyone, participants are required to pre-register by emailing the Writers Guild of Alberta at mail@writersguild.ab.ca.

Anna Borowiecki: Anna Borowiecki joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2000. She reports on local people and events in the arts, entertainment and food industry. She also writes general news and features.