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Getting Lucky: Writing and Luck


When: March 6 - 7, 2015

Where: Research and Innovation Lecture Hall, Room 119, University of Regina | Regina, SK

Parking in Lot 8 or at meters—Free on Saturday

Presenters: Angie Abdou, Tara Beagan, Michael Helm, Christian Bök, Connie Gault

Talking Fresh is a two-day writers’ festival that targets Regina and a wider Saskatchewan community including aspiring writers and anyone interested in writers and books. Now in its 13th year, Talking Fresh tackles the impact of "luck". This year writers and artists explore luck (or lack thereof) and the influence it has on writing careers and aspects of writing through the theme of “Getting Lucky: Writing and Luck”

Talking Fresh begins on Friday, March 6 with a panel discussion involving all five writers, and focuses on the weekends theme. The evening will feature readings by the four out-of-province writers.

On Saturday, March 7 our writers will conduct workshop-style sessions related to their particular perspectives. These presentations will be practical and focus on the craft of writing. They are intended for writers of all levels and the festival is open to the public, as many people will find these sessions interesting and interactive.


Friday March 6, 2015 - Panel and Readings

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm: Panel Discussion
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm: Reception (cash bar)
7:30 pm: Readings

Saturday March 7, 2015 - Craft Talks and Book Launch

9:40 am - 10:30 am: Tara Beagan "Wound a Knee: Swimming Against the Current in the Mainstream"
10:40 am - 11:30 am: Michael Helm "Luck, Fate, and the Fiction of Character"
11:30 am - 1:30 pm: Group Lunch at the University Club (Cost on your own)
1:30 pm - 2:20 pm: Christian Bök “Writing Beyond the Lyric —— (A Workshop for Poets)"
2:30 pm - 3:20 pm: Angie Abdou “Get Lucky: Creating an Audience for Your Work”
3:30 pm: Launch of Connie Gault’s new book A Beauty


Flash Mob for Connie Gault's book launch!

In celebration of the launch of Connie Gault’s new book A Beauty, join NDH/ Rouge-gorge with guest artists and friends in a Flash Mob Marimekko Madison Dance! If you’d like to be part of it, please join one or more of 2 rehearsals. For any one wanting to wear Marimekko, we have a selection of garments to choose from. Connie Gault’s launch is the culmination of the SWG Conference Talking Fresh.

When: 5-6:30 pm, Thursday Mar. 5th and Friday Mar. 6th.
Where: New Dance Horizons, 2207 Harvey St.


Author Biographies:


Angie Abdou

Angie Abdou is a fiction writer and teacher who has a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Calgary. BC BookWorld called her short story collection, Anything Boys Can Do (2006), an “extraordinary literary debut” and the Victoria Times Colonist commended its original take on female sexuality. The Globe and Mail praised her first novel, The Bone Cage (2007), for its “beautiful writing” and The Quill & Quire called it “vivid, intense, and authentic.” The Kootenay Library Federation chose The Bone Cage as the official book for the inaugural “One Book One Kootenay” reading series. The Bone Cage is also taught in university-level Sport Lit courses across Canada and the United States. It was included on Canadian Literature‘s “All-Time Top Ten List of Best Canadian Sport Literature.” It was also a finalist for CBC’s Canada Reads 2011 and the 2012 MacEwan Book of the Year. Angie’s second novel, The Canterbury Trail (2011), is a dark comedy about mountain culture. It was a finalist for the Banff Mountain Book of the Year, and it won a 2012 IPPY, gold medal for Canada West. Angie has nearly twenty years of teaching experience and has been involved in writing programs throughout the country. She was raised in Moose Jaw, SK and now lives in Fernie, BC with her husband and two children. She is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Athabasca University


Tara Beagan

Tara Beagan is a proud halfbreed of Ntlaka’pamux and Irish “Canadian” heritage. A prolific writer/director/producer/actor, she served as Artistic Director of Native Earth Performing Arts from February 2011 to December 2013. She has been Playwright-In-Residence at Cahoots Theatre Projects, NEPA, and the National Arts Centre. She will be in residence at the Writer’s Trust of Canada’s Berton House this winter.

Tara’s debut play, Thy Neighbours Wife (UnSpun Theatre) garnered three Dora Award nominations in ’05, winning for Outstanding New Play. Ensuing plays include Dreary and Izzy (NEPA at Factory Theatre), Here, Boy! (halfbreed productions at Buddies in Bad Times Rhubarb! festival), and head writer/co-director for the Crate Productions collective, The Fort at York in 2007. Quilchena, (halfbreed productions at SummerWorks) which Beagan also directed, debuted in 2007. Beagan’s Miss Julie: Shehmah  (KICK Theatre) premiered in 2008, earning five Dora nominations. Tara was one of four playwrights on the ambitious Theatrefront serial project, The Mill.


Christian Bök

Christian Bök is the author not only of Crystallography, a pataphysical encyclopedia nominated for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, but also of Eunoia, a bestselling work of experimental literature, which has won the Griffin Prize for Poetic Excellence. His conceptual artworks (which include books built out of Rubik’s cubes and Lego bricks) have appeared at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York as part of the exhibit Poetry Plastique. The Utne Reader has recently included Bök in its list of “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World.” Bök teaches English at the University of Calgary.


Michael Helm

Michael Helm was born in Saskatchewan. His most recent novel, Cities of Refuge, was a national bestseller in Canada and was a Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Award finalist, a Giller Prize nominee, and a Globe and Mail and Now magazine Best Book of the Year. His earlier novels are The Projectionist, a finalist for the Giller Prize and the Trillium Award; and In the Place of Last Things, a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the regional Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book. His personal essays and writings on fiction, poetry, and the visual arts have appeared in North American newspapers and magazines, including Tin House and Brick, where he serves as an editor. He teaches at York University in Toronto, ON.


Connie Gault

Connie Gault is the author of two short story collections, numerous plays for stage and radio, and a novel, Euphoria, which won the 2009 Saskatchewan Book Award for Fiction and was short-listed for the High Plains Fiction award and the Commonwealth Prize for best book of Canada and the Caribbean. Her new novel, A Beauty, will be published in February, 2015. A former prose editor of Grain magazine, Connie has also edited books of fiction. She has worked with many emerging writers, most recently at the Banff Centre for the Arts, at St. Peter’s College, Muenster, and through the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild Mentorship Program.




For those coming to the Regina launch who don't know the University of Regina main campus, please see the above map. The launch will be held in the Research and Innovation Centre Lecture Hall, Room 119. (There is parking in lot 8. It's free on Saturday, but on Friday it is metered parking.) From there, if you walk into the Riddell Centre, opposite the lot and turn left, you can walk through College West to the R and I Centre.




Major Funding for this Event Provided By: 

Partial Funding By:



SWG is Funded By:



Flash Mob presented by:       


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