‘Wordbridge’ aims to assist Lethbridge’s local authors

January 15, 2019 by  

A one-day literary festival hopes to help build a community among writers in Lethbridge, Alberta, next month.

Local writers will gather with the goal of helping would-be authors get published and navigate a tricky print industry. The event, punningly called ‘WordBridge’”=, will consist of a series of panels and keynote speeches, interspersed with opportunities to mingle and network.

WordBridge will be held mostly at the main branch of the Lethbridge Public Library. Panels will deal with writer-friendly topics such as the decision of whether to self-publish, how to work with an editor, and recommended resources to improve writing skills. There is also a ‘Shanghai Surprise Panel’, and the popular ‘Live Action Slush’ panel, in which prospective writers have a chance to hear what editors and literary agents might think about their samples. This is a simulation of the dreaded “slush pile” into which unsolicited manuscripts enter and never emerge.

While writers are more likely to hand out chapbooks than business cards, connections and community are still crucial to getting a name in print. WordBridge hopes to highlight Lethbridge’s “vibrant writing community.” Literary communities are kept alive through events like poetry readings and release parties, often advertised through poster printing or social media. WordBridge will conclude with just such an event – a ‘Snack and Chat’ at Mortar & Bricks featuring award-winning Albertan poet Candas Jane Dorsey.

The event takes place on February 9.