In 2014, the CNFC will celebrate our 10th Anniversary! Our annual conference will place in Calgary, Alberta. Dates to be announced soon.
Our 2013 CNFC Conference was held at The Banff Centre, Friday to Sunday, April 26-28.
The Keynote Address was given by Karen Connelly, pictured here.
Here’s what we did:
Friday, April 26
4:00 pm onwards Check-in – Front Desk, Professional Development Centre (PDC)
4:00 – 6:00 pm Meet and Greet – PDC Lounge 201
Say hello to old friends, meet new ones and enjoy refreshments upon your arrival.
6:00 – 7:15 pm Dinner, Vistas Restaurant
7:30 – 9:30 pm Welcome Reception and Cabaret. Max Bell Lounge. Reception generously hosted by the Banff Centre.
Welcome – Myrna Kostash, President, CNFC. Host – Monica Meneghetti
Note: Please sign up to read for 3 mins. (max) at the Cabaret!
Sign-up sheet available at the Meet and Greet and during dinner at Vistas Restaurant.
Saturday, April 27
7:30 – 8:45 am Breakfast, Vistas Restaurant
9:00 – 10:30 am Workshops – Max Bell Rooms 150 & 159
Workshop #1 “Ownership: Stories and Lies”
Moderated by Myrna Kostash
Tyler Trafford: Every piece of nonfiction, from journalism to creative nonfiction, contains at least one lie. This lie, for example, may belong to the writer, to a subject interviewed, or to sources. Because authors claim ownership of their work through bylines, credits and attribution, should they also claim ownership of the lies? What are the types of lies hidden in a story? Why are they told? How are they uncovered? Who owns them? If an author disclaims ownership of a lie, should that apply to the entire work?
Kate Braid: Writing about the past – your own or another’s, living or dead – has proven fraught with often-unanticipated literary as well as ethical questions starting with the technical issue of how to turn a series of events into a story. What about quotes? When, if ever, should you use fictional techniques? What are the implications (including libel and family feud) of using real names and identifying details? And what about life after publication? Bring your own questions and experiences!
Workshop #2 “Writing History into Your Work”
This interactive session with Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail will explore how to use history to tell stories through articles, essays, narrative nonfiction, and personal or family memoirs. Using examples from research expeditions in Montreal, Vancouver, the Yukon and Wyoming, participants will learn about key historical resources online and in their communities, sensitive issues to be aware of, and available markets for their work.
10:45 – 12:15 pm Plenary – “What the Heck is Going On?”
Room Max Bell 251. Moderated by Joan Dixon
Three industry experts will talk about the current status of digital publishing. Steven Ross Smith from the Banff Centre will speak about old and new practices in literary arts and publishing, while agent Don Sedgwick will discuss the new publishing landscape, the myths and realities of e-books, and how authors can develop new strategies for success. Allison McNeely will cover digital publishing in magazines and the challenge of producing website editorial as a monetary venture.
12:30 – 1:30 pm Lunch, Vistas Restaurant
1:30 – 3:00 pm Workshops – Max Bell Rooms 150 & 159
Workshop #1 “Stories from the Road – Travel Writing”
Moderated by Cathy Ostlere
Travel writers Marcello Di Cintio and Glenn Dixon have met particular challenges in their work. Trying to make notes in a rain-soaked jungle or dealing with someone pointing a gun at you tends to take your attention away from the writing process. Marcello and Glenn will discuss their individual approaches to the genre and lead you through their tricks of the trade, from initial ideas to finished manuscript to funding the whole sordid adventure.
Workshop #2 “Perspiration Leads to Inspiration” – Master Class
Lynne Bowen will share her techniques on where to begin after the research is done. Organizing one’s material can yield unexpected literary benefits: facts are easy to locate; themes are clarified; geographical and chronological limits are identified; and character understanding is deepened. Lynne will also share how working with material that is organized reveals exciting and rich metaphorical possibilities.
3:15 – 4:30 pm Keynote Address – Karen Connelly
“New Instrument, Another Music: Moving from Fiction and Poetry to CNF”
Max Bell Lounge. Moderated by Myrna Kostash.
Karen Connelly is the author of nine books of best-selling nonfiction, fiction, and poetry, the most recent being Burmese Lessons, a love story, a memoir about her experiences in Burma and on the Thai-Burma border. She has won the Pat Lowther Award for her poetry, the Governor General’s Award for her non-fiction, and Britain’s Orange Broadband Prize for New Fiction for her first novel, The Lizard Cage. Her latest book, Burmese Lessons, was nominated for a Governor General’s Award and British Columbia National Award for Canadian Nonfiction in 2009.
Her other books include Grace and Poison, One Room in a Castle, This Brighter Prison, The Disorder of Love, and The Small Words in My Body. Married with a young child, she divides her time between a home in rural Greece and a home in Toronto.
4:45 – 6:00 pm Cocktail Hour – Max Bell Lounge
Reception generously sponsored by the University of King’s College in Halifax; hosted by Don Sedgwick, Executive Director of the new MFA program in Creative Nonfiction
Don Sedgwick will briefly outline the exciting new MFA in Creative Nonfiction at King’s and answer any questions about course content, instructors, reading lists, or applications. A splendid opportunity to enjoy some food and drink, courtesy of University of King’s College.
6:00 – 7:15 pm Dinner, Vistas Restaurant
7:30 – 9:00 pm Readers’ Choice Awards – Max Bell Lounge
Host: Alisa Gordaneer
After dinner, we will hold our Saturday evening highlight: the Readers’ Choice Awards. We will hear readings from each of the nominated works, after which we will vote by secret ballot. Refreshments will be available while we wait for the big announcement.
Sunday, April 28
8:00 – 9:00 am Breakfast, Vistas Restaurant
9:15 – 11:45 am Annual General Meeting – Max Bell 251
Items to be discussed: Reports from the Executive, including the financial report, items arising from AGM 2012, and any New Business.
We are ready to move to Society status and ready to imagine our next five years. We have come a long way; now it’s time to talk about where we’re headed. Come and join us.
12:15 – 1:30 pm Lunch, Vistas Restaurant.
Lynne Bowen www.lynnebowen.ca
Lynne Bowen is the author of six books of Western Canadian history written for a general audience. Her other writing includes video scripts, magazine articles and a column in the Times-Colonist newspaper. She was the Rogers Communications Co-Chair of Creative Nonfiction Writing at the University of British Columbia from 1992 to 2006. Among the awards her books have won are the Hubert Evans Nonfiction Prize and the Lieutenant-Governor’s Prize for Writing British Columbia History. Her latest book, Whoever Gives Us Bread, The Story of Italians in British Columbia, was shortlisted for the City of Vancouver Book Award in 2011 and won the F.G. Bressani Literary Award for Creative Nonfiction in 2012.
Kate Braid www.katebraid.com
Kate Braid`s recently published memoir of 15 years as a carpenter (Journeywoman: Swinging a Hammer in a Man’s World, Caitlin Press) was 25 years in the writing. Over that time she also wrote, co-wrote or edited three biographies and five books of poetry — two of the poetry books based on her time in construction and the other three, biographically based about painters Emily Carr and Georgia O’Keeffe, and pianist Glenn Gould. The Carr biography (Emily Carr: Rebel Artist) has been translated into Japanese. Braid`s essays and poems have been widely anthologized. She lives with her partner in downtown Vancouver.
Marcello Di Cintio marcellodicintio.com
Marcello is the author of three books of travelogue, Harmattan: Wind Across West Africa; Poets and Pahlevans: A Journey Into the Heart of Iran, and Walls: Travels Along the Barricades which was nominated for the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction, the B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, and the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. Di Cintio’s work can also be found in The Walrus, Reader’s Digest Canada, Canadian Geographic, Eighteen Bridges and EnRoute. Di Cintio has consulted with budding nonfiction writers as the writer-in-residence at the University of Calgary and the Palestine Writing Workshop, as a volunteer with Servant’s Anonymous — an organization that advocates for former sex-trade workers — and as an instructor at the WordsWorth youth writing camp. He lives in Calgary.
Glenn Dixon www.glenndixon.org
Glenn has been published in National Geographic Magazine, the New York Post, the Walrus Magazine, the Globe and Mail and even Psychology Today. He has traveled through almost seventy countries and written two books of travel. Pilgrim in the Palace of Words was released in 2009 (the Dundurn Group, Toronto) and is a journey through the 6,000 languages of Earth. Tripping the World Fantastic (April, 2013) looks at the music of the world.
Myrna Kostash http://www.myrnakostash.com
Myrna Kostash is an Edmonton writer of books of literary nonfiction, personal essays and radio documentaries, and is an aspiring playwright. Her last book was Prodigal Daughter: A Journey to Byzantium.
Allison McNeely www.allisonmcneely.com
Allison is a writer and editor of the new media persuasion living in Calgary, Alberta. She is the senior web editor at RedPoint Media and the web editor for Avenue magazine. Previously, she worked as the web editor for Wine Access magazine and as a weekend news curator for OpenFile Calgary.
Danielle Metcalf-Chenail www.daniellemc.com
Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail is a writer and historian with a passion for Canadian stories. She is the author of For the Love of Flying (Robin Brass, 2009) and has published articles with Canada’s History (formerly The Beaver), Avenue, and Beststory.ca. She is currently at work on Polar Winds: A Century of Flying Canada’s North (forthcoming from Frontenac House) and a historical novel, Chasing Skies. She has hunted down history across North America and the U.K. but currently calls Edmonton home.
Steven Ross Smith www.fluttertongue.ca
Steven Ross Smith, poet, performance poet, fiction, and non-fiction writer has published twelve books. fluttertongue book 3: disarray, won the 2005 Saskatchewan Book of the Year Award. Pliny’s Knickers, a collaboration, won the 2006 bpNichol Chapbook Award. His latest poetry book, fluttertongue 5: everything appears to shine with mossy
splendour was published in 2011. He has worked with the publishing entities Grain magazine and Underwhich Editions. Smith is The Banff Centre’s Director of Literary Arts and of Banff Centre Press.
Don Sedgwick http://www.ukings.ca/don-sedgwick
Don Sedgwick was the publisher of Doubleday Canada and Seal Paperback Books, as well as the national marketing director of McClelland & Stewart. For the past ten years he has been the president – and now chairman – of the Transatlantic Agency, which represents more than 250 authors in Canada and around the world. He was recently hired as the executive director of the new MFA in Creative Nonfiction at the University of King’s College in Halifax.
Tyler Trafford www.sunonthemountains.com
Tyler Trafford graduated from The University of Calgary and worked in the 1970s and early 80s as a reporter, editor and columnist in Calgary, Australia and Florida. He returned to writing in 1993, writing biographies, histories, and works of fiction, including The Story of Blue Eye, which was shortlisted for the 2005 Grant McEwan Authors Award. Tyler’s most recent work, Almost A Great Escape, A Found Story, will be released by Goose Lane Editions (Canada) and Sperling & Kupfer (Italy) in March, 2013. He now divides his time between Calgary and his studio on the Oldman River near
Pincher Creek, Alberta, where he and his wife, Judy, ride their horses in the Rockies and the Porcupine Hills.
We are a group scattered across Canada. Our annual Conference brings us together for a lively, convivial weekend of readings, talks, workshops, discussions, and our Annual General Meeting. Previous keynote speakers have included distinguished authors Andrew Nikiforuk, Heather Robertson, Charles Foran, Erna Paris, Sarah Leavitt, and John Vaillant. Workshop and Plenary sessions have covered such topics as copyright, self-marketing, the memoir, hybrid forms of CNF, travel writing, the nonfiction novel, and creative nonfiction in international contexts. It’s a weekend not to be missed.
Want a taste of what our Conferences are like? Check out our past events:
The 2012 Annual
Creative Nonfiction Conference
was held in Vancouver, at Carey Centre, UBC, May 23-24, 2012
“Friendly, supportive, informative, fun.” ”
“Brilliant, absolutely brilliant!”
Highlights of our 2011 Conference held April 29-May 1 at the Banff Centre
“The Graphic Memoir and Creative Nonfiction,” Sarah Leavitt, author of Tangles: A Story About Alzheimer’s, My Mother and Me
“The Trouble with ‘Momoirs’,” Host: Christin Geall, columnist, memoirist and teacher