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PAPER CHASE: Speed novel writers to share stories

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Manitobans who have recovered from the effects of caffeine and carpal tunnel syndrome after attempting to write a novel in one month are gathering Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. at McNally Robinson to celebrate.

At what's billed as a Thank God it's Over event, local National Novel Writing Month participants will discuss their challenges and share some samples of their new works.

According to event organizer Andrew Balfour, local participation in the annual November literary madness has grown so much that the province is now split into regions. In addition to 1,432 Winnipeggers, 102 other writers came from Southern Manitoba and 39 from Northern Manitoba.

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Former MP and public policy professor David Walker has drawn on his experience in politics and academia to write a political thriller, which he will launch Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. at McNally Robinson.

Walker's novel, Wild World, is the first of what's intended to be a series. It deals with a Canadian university researcher and an American anti-terrorism expert who are caught up in a web involving arms dealers, counter-intelligence and a terrorist plot. Walker spent nine years in the House of Commons after being elected in 1988, and was a professor of public policy and urban studies before that.

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Canadian rock musician turned writer Dave Bidini (Writing Gordon Lightfoot, Tropic of Hockey) brings his trademark narrow-brimmed hat to Winnipeg this month for a series of events.

He will lead a day-long master class in non-fiction for the Manitoba Writers' Guild on Dec. 9, perform seasonal readings at the Millennium Library at noon on Dec. 10 and take part that evening in a reading and conversation as part of the guild's In Dialogue series.

Bidini will be joined by writer and artist hannah_g, co-director of the artist-run centre aceartinc, for the In Dialogue event, starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Free Press Café.

For tickets to In Dialogue or to register for the master class, call the Guild at 944-8013.

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It's a sign of the digital times. The Canada Year Book, Statistic's Canada's longest-running and most popular publication, has produced its final printed copy.

From here on in, anyone wanting to access the year book's wealth of data can search online on the StatsCan website, a spokesman for the federal department says. The year book started as an almanac in 1867. The last edition, which came out in November, can be ordered at or by phoning 1-800-267-6677.

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Winnipeg writer Jodi Carmichael is hoping to increase understanding of Asperger's syndrome with her illustrated chapter book Spaghetti is NOT a Finger Food.

Her book, illustrated by Sara Ackerly, follows a boy named Connor on his typical day as he tries be as cool as the other kids and accidentally leaves a trail of hilarious destruction. The book, published by California-based Little Pickle Press, will be available as an ebook through Amazon starting in December, but by March will be available on all electronic platforms.

Once the book is fully available, Carmichael plans a launch event as a fundraiser for the Asperger's Society.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 1, 2012 J8

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