Wednesday, 12 October 2011 15:52

Prairie Quills set to host writing workshop

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By Jessi Gowan — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Long-time writer and editor R.P. (Rod) MacIntyre will be in Swift Current on for a reading at the Swift Current Library on Oct. 21, and a workshop at the Best Western Conference Room on Oct. 22.

The workshop, which focuses on editing techniques, is presented by the Prairie Quills Writers and the Saskatchewan Writers Guild.

“Since he was going to be here for the workshop, we thought that he would be an interesting guest speaker for the pre-teen to teenager group,” explained Tekeyla Friday with the Swift Current Library. “He is one of the editors of Thistledown Press, a publishing house in Saskatoon, so he can help answer some questions. There are teenagers out there who like to write, and want to know how to get published. Who better to tell them than an editor?”

Opportunities to pick the brains of experienced writers are something that emerging writers should take advantage of, and workshops on editing can offer insights into an acquired skill that usually takes years to master.

“It’s a great way to become aware of the process and work that goes into creating a book and writing,” Friday said.

“Attending the reading would also encourage teens to get engaged in the reading or writing process. Arts are important, and we don’t often have opportunities to meet those who are well known in those industries or fields. It’s important to bring these things to library, to bring that opportunity to both the students and the presenters.”

In the late 1990s, MacIntyre lived in Swift Current for nine months, as a Writer-In-Residence. During that time, he gave numerous readings and workshops in the area. He still enjoys making the venture out.

“Writers don’t get out much and these events are a welcome change, and contribute to our meagre annual incomes,” explained MacIntyre.

MacIntyre, who writes a lot of teen fiction, is inspired by every day events. He creates what he calls ‘what if’ scenarios.

“My heroes are often young people who have struggles in their lives. Everybody has struggles in their lives, but telling a story about it depends on how you present it,” he explained. “Your dog chasing cars is an everyday event: what if he catches them is a story idea. Then you create characters to go with your story idea.”

He added there are an endless variety of elements that go into making stories, and his workshop on editing only talks about his. However, he noted ‘story structure’ is universal and the ability to see it in your own work is an invaluable aid to editing. As an editor, MacIntyre has edited more than 40 books of all genres and he noted his workshop offers an insight into what writers can look for in their own work.

MacIntyre will read from his various works on Oct. 21 at 1:30 p.m. at the Swift Current Library.

For more info about the reading, contact Tekeyla Friday at 306-778-2752 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

He will also be conducting a workshop on editing, from first draft to polished manuscript, at the Best Western Conference Room on Oct. 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Registration is only $45. For more about the workshop, contact Dianne at 306-773-1055 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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