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An upward circle for bookish group

The Saint City Writers aren't anonymous authors. The little group that could is hitting full stride as its new anthology launches next week, and many of its members are finding outside success.
2011 book sup Anthology 6 - Cover Front Page
The Saint City Writers are releasing their sixth anthology next week. It's a watershed moment for the group as many of its members are finding success getting published outside of the group. SAINT CITY WRITERS/Photo


Book Launch

Running in Circles – the sixth anthology by the Saint City Writers

Featuring the writings of Allison Curran, Patricia Dunnigan, Kay Guthrie, David Kligman, Heather Lee, Carla Maj, Carolyn Martindale, Iris McNiven, Alice Sears, Troy Sherdahl, Ralph Timleck, Patricia Trudeau, Ken Waldron

Meet the authors and enjoy a selection of readings from this collection of fiction, poetry, memoirs, and whimsy. Copies of the book will be on sale for $15.

7 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 26

Forsyth Hall in the St. Albert Public Library

Attendance is free. Visit for more details.

If you haven’t heard of the Saint City Writers yet, you will soon. Its members seem to be everywhere these days, getting published in magazines, collections and books left, right and centre.

It’s not really a surprise. The group might seem like a quiet, little collective but they have spent years building their supportive practice and now they are ready to unveil their annual anthology. It looks promising that this will be the watershed moment that will prove the secret worth of these wordsmiths.

That’s why the group is using the occasion of the launch of its sixth anthology entitled Running in Circles to offer a showcase of the successes of several of its members.

“It’s definitely exciting. We have a lot of new people who just joined the club recently so the momentum is still there. There is a lot of excitement about it because that will be the first time people have participated in it, so for some it’s the first time they were published ... There is definitely excitement about this because it's new for a lot of people,” said Ewa Kolacz, who also doubled as the self-published book’s designer and producer.

Like so many similar writers’ circles, the Saint City Writers offers a supportive environment with regular meetings where people come in and share new works, offer constructive criticism, and even engage in shared practice with writing prompts and other exercises to inspire those creative juices. It’s also a drop-in group so there’s no pressure, which one might think would lead to reduced repeat participation.

That’s just not so in this case. Participation has definite rewards, Kolacz said.

“A lot of people come in and stay so those people who stay join the anthology. It is exciting to see your name in a table of contents.”

Look for works by Allison Curran, Patricia Dunnigan, Kay Guthrie, David Kligman, Heather Lee, Carla Maj, former St. Albert Gazette editor Carolyn Martindale, Iris McNiven, Alice Sears, Troy Sherdahl, Ralph Timleck, Patricia Trudeau, and Ken Waldron. They’re a diverse group whose writings cover the gamut from memoir to poetry to fiction and all of the niche subgenres in between.

In addition to the launch and the writers offering readings of their works, the event will feature a showcase that will focus on the club’s members who have experienced success in other literary milieus. Look for Patricia Dunnigan (with her book Twisted Sisters), Kay Guthrie (with her children’s books The Little Owl Who Wouldn’t, The Boy Who Discovered Christmas, and The Sign), Carla Maj (with copies of both editions of the 40 Below Edmonton winter anthologies), Troy Sherdahl (with his Poetry in Flight Edmonton Transit bus card), and Pat Trudeau (with her newest book, Mirror Image) among many others. Trudeau, who moonlights as a painter, also contributed the cover art for the book. Bruce Thompson is of much the same creative surplus. He will be displaying and selling his paintings during the showcase as well.

The showcase will also feature John Betton who has copies of the anthology Out of This World: The Best Short Stories of the MOON with his story ‘Filmmaker’. It’s a fine moment for Betton who has long aspired to the credit he now boasts of. He has had four stories published this year alone. Not bad for a late bloomer.

“I'm 76 years old and I’ve wanted to write all my life but I didn't really get going until I retired. I've been at it now for roughly 10 years and the whole objective was to publish some fiction. I’ve always wanted to be a fiction writer and so getting stories published ... was a thrill,” he explained with a subtle sense of humour that can only be obtained from long years of dialogue practice.

“It was really thrilling. You don't expect to be thrilled in that way at this stage of life.”

The free launch event takes place next Tuesday during what would otherwise be the group’s regular meeting night. The Saint City Writers group meets every second and fourth Tuesday of each month at the St. Albert Public Library. Membership is free. For more information, email Kolacz at [email protected].

Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

About the Author: Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Ecology and Environment Reporter at the Fitzhugh Newspaper since July 2022 under Local Journalism Initiative funding provided by News Media Canada.
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