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Sawyer to lead sci-fi workshop

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If it's true that there's a book inside everyone, a series of events in Winnipeg this fall will help with the extraction process.

Workshops on graphic novels, mysteries, historical fiction, literary fiction, writing about family and science fiction are on offer, with the latter led by Robert J. Sawyer, a Canadian novelist who has won the Hugo, Nebula and virtually every other award in SF.

Sawyer's session runs Nov. 23 and is offered by the Manitoba Writers' Guild. Another MWG workshop, with poet and fiction writer Steven Heighton (Afterlands, Every Lost Continent), focuses on creation of vivid characters and runs Oct. 27. To register for either MWG session, call 944-8013.

The Winnipeg Public Library hosts a free workshop on research and historical fiction Oct. 24 at 7 p.m., featuring Joan Thomas (Curiosity, Reading by Lightning), Jan Horner (Mama Dada, Elizabeth Went West) and Janice MacDonald (the Randy Craig mystery novels). MacDonald will also lead a full-day session on mystery writing Oct. 25 at McNally Robinson (register at McNally Robinson).

A free workshop offered by the U of M's Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture features David Robertson (Seven Generations) discussing how to write a graphic novel. Call 480-1065 to register for the Oct. 31 event.

Former Winnipegger Rhea Tregebov, whose novel The Knife Sharpener's Bell was set in the North End, comes to the U of W to give a talk on the family and fiction and "how an author incorporates personal experience into writing." Call 779-9044 to register for the Nov. 3 session.

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Thor's Day comes two days early this week when Winnipeg writer Chadwick Ginther launches Tombstone Blues, Vol. 2 of his Thunder Road series, in which the gods and giants of Norse mythology wreak havoc in present-day Manitoba.

In Vol. 1, working-stiff hero Ted Callan woke up to find himself covered in mysterious tattoos that gave him the power of Thor, God of Thunder. Now, in Vol. 2, Callan's use of those powers calls for the real Thor, with potentially apocalyptic results. The launch is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday at McNally Robinson Booksellers.

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Ontario novelist Richard Wagamese has won the inaugural Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature, bestowed by the Canadian Organization for Development Through Education.

Wagamese's novel Indian Horse (Douglas & McIntyre), which tells of the effects of racism, residential schools and alcohol on a promising young hockey player, won the $12,000 first prize, while Tara Lee Moore won the $8,000 second prize for As I Remember It, and former Ontario lieutenant governor James Bartleman won the $5,000 third prize for As Long as the Rivers Flow.

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After more than a dozen books of poetry Winnipeg's Dennis Cooley digs into history, mythology and the earth itself with his new collection, The Stones.

Cooley's new work meditates on stones, from skipping stones and curling rocks to the materials or Europe's great cathedrals and monuments. He launches the poetry collection Oct. 17 at 8 p.m. at McNally Robinson.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 12, 2013 A1

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