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Column: Simon Rose recaps stint as Airdrie Public Library's Writer in Residence

In November, I was honoured to serve as the second Writer in Residence with the Airdrie Public Library (APL) and soon discovered that the community is home to a large number of talented, enthusiastic, and motivated writers in a variety of genres. During my time with the APL, I was also reminded of the continuing importance of libraries within local communities and in providing support for both established and emerging writers.
Airdrie opinion

In November, I was honoured to serve as the second Writer in Residence with the Airdrie Public Library (APL) and soon discovered that the community is home to a large number of talented, enthusiastic, and motivated writers in a variety of genres.

During my time with the APL, I was also reminded of the continuing importance of libraries within local communities and in providing support for both established and emerging writers. As writers, we often spend much of our time alone, as we work to create our stories and novels. This is an integral part of the creative process, but we also need to connect with others sometimes. This has perhaps assumed even greater importance during the COVID-19 pandemic, as we’ve spent so much time in isolation. APL's Writer in Residence program provided a fabulous opportunity for writers to connect, exchange ideas, offer encouragement, and learn more about the writing life.

I was delighted to work with a number of writers during my month with the library. Some writers asked me to assess a sample of their work, while others were more interested in chatting about next steps when it came to publishing their work, marketing, promotion, or developing a career as a professional writer. Due to the continuing pandemic, all our meetings took place on Zoom or over the phone, but we still managed to cover a lot of ground each time. My presentations for APL also took place over Zoom and covered such topics as writing for publication, writing for children and young adults, and developing a career as a professional writer. At each session there were always lots of questions from the audience and I was able to help encourage participants to continue working on their own creative writing projects.

Thank you to APL Director Pam Medland, and Programming and Customer Engagement Manager Eric Pottie for all their help during my time as the library's Writer in Residence. It was a pleasure working with them and with the many members of Airdrie's artistic community. Based on my experience this fall, I can tell there’s an incredible amount of writing talent in the Airdrie area. I have no doubt that you’ll soon be seeing published work by local writers, in a wide range of genres. I hope Airdrie will continue to honour and embrace the community’s writers and other artists, and I have no doubt  APL will continue to deliver the highest quality of programs in the future.

Simon Rose served as APL’s second Writer in Residence. Based in Calgary, he is the author of eighteen novels, more than a hundred nonfiction books, many articles, and works as a writing instructor at the University of Calgary. Learn more about Simon and his work at simon-rose.com




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