Hopes for Tropes

Classified Categories: Educational Opportunities

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Hopes for Tropes

Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society

Date: Saturday, April 27, 2024
Time: 10am – 1pm
Instructor: Niall Howell
Member price: $60 (with member coupon AWCSM25)
Non-member price: $80

In fiction, the word genre is often unfairly associated with formula, seen by some as being a breeding ground for derivative, writing-by-numbers schlock, while hailed by others as a framework when, embraced thoughtfully, can be used to tell gripping tales that convey the complexities of the human experience as powerfully as any giant from the ‘capital L’ Literary cannon.

For those of us who love to write it, genre fiction can be a toolbox filled with a limited number of familiar instruments which force us to be creative within comfortable confines—we know parameters can be a good thing. But how do we steer clear of the common pitfalls critics of classification are all too eager to sound alarms over? How do we ensure our writing is loyal to the form, but at the same time fresh, necessary, even essential?

This three-hour workshop will explore the use of genre tropes in long form fiction and attempt to address the ways in which these familiar characteristics can be embraced, subverted, and even rejected. We will look at overlap between genres, namely between crime/noir fiction, horror, and coming-of age tales in hopes of generating discussion on genre and looking at some of the tools needed to get past roadblocks attendees have encountered in their works in progress in any genre of fiction.

Participants in this in-person workshop are encouraged to have an active work in progress or be in the planning stages for a novel-length work. 

This workshop takes place in person at the Alexandra Writers’ Centre.

For more information and to register visit IN PERSON Hopes for Tropes (alexandrawriters.org).

Niall Howell lives in Calgary, Alberta with his wife, two sons, and pets. His debut noir novel Only Pretty Damned was shortlisted for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize for Literary Fiction and is a part of a Nunatak First Fiction Series. His Second novel, There Are Wolves Here Too was released in fall 2022. Niall’s short fiction has been featured in The Feathertale Review and FreeFall. He is currently working on his third book. For the time being, he can be found on X/Twitter @niall_howell. 

We are a community that thrives on support and encouragement. Based on the philosophy of no writer left behind, the J. Michael Fay Subsidy Program is available to anyone who finds themselves in financial need but really wants or needs to participate in one our programs are classes.

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