Categories: Entertainment


Local wordsmiths are in for a trilogy of treats today as the city’s StArts Fest schedule opens the cover on three exciting events.

Author (and St. Albert Public Library’s newly installed regional writer-in-residence) Margaret MacPherson is set to start the day off with a workshop on traditional publishing. It’s meant to be an introductory guide for novice novelists.

“It’s basically a walk-through of my experience with traditional publishers,” she said. “I’ve had four publishers and from each of those books I’ve learned things about the industry. It’s what I know about getting in, getting your foot in the door to get a traditional publisher.”

The lecture and Q&A will also include an overview of some important terms, what a typical contract looks like, what people should expect from the process, copyrights, tips on polishing your prose, and the “top ten reasons your book doesn’t get picked up.” She will include some hints and suggestions on helping local writers to kickstart their careers and one day finding their names on book jackets.

There won’t be much discussion about self-publishing, she added, as she has never gone down that route. She intends to touch on it, however.

“The markets are shrinking and it’s harder and harder to get a traditional publisher.”

Industry Insider: The Foes, Follies and Fortunes of Traditional Publishing takes place this morning starting at 10 a.m. at the library.

She then zips across the street to the Art Gallery of St. Albert to be the lead poet for Poetry on Perron.

“Forget lunch!” she exclaimed. “I have a huge day.”

A plethora of poets will each get five minutes to share their rhythms and rhymes with local audiences. This 18+ event starts at 1 p.m.

From there, Prose on Perron takes on The Cajun House at 2:30 p.m. MacPherson won’t be participating in this spoken word contest called the Story Slam: St. Albert Style but she did have a hand in coaching several of the performers. It’s a direct reflection of the first workshop (on creating a five-minute story) that she gave during her residency here in this city. She guided them on how to make “impactful and profound, exciting and concise” stories.

Three judges will be chosen at random from the audience. The top two winners (out of the 10 performers) will receive prizes.

“There’s going to be some excellent – and competitive – storytelling,” she averred. “It’ll be fun and the audience will be entertained and affected by the stories that are told. I’m really looking forward to the day.”

To learn more about these and other StArts Fest events, please visit www.startsfest.ca.

Scott Hayes: Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns and profiles on people.