Writing workshop helps authors grow their stories 

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The Point, an artist-run centre in Whistler, wants to help burgeoning writers put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) with their Growing a Story workshop, running on Mondays from Oct. 15 to Nov. 19.

Each week, sessions will focus on a new aspect of writing a fiction or non-fiction story, from the building blocks of narrative to crafting a scene and developing a voice.

"The course is geared towards writing one project, approximately 2,500 words," said Rebecca Wood Barrett, a published writer and award-winning filmmaker who will be leading the workshop. "The idea is that they have something in mind by the second week or so and just keep gearing the exercises to that one idea."

The end goal: to help writers fully form their work and send it out into the world for literary competitions or possible publication. Students will also get in-class feedback to polish their pieces. "Critique is really useful," Wood Barrett said.

"By learning to critique other writers' work, it gives you tools to go back to your own work and polish it. (It's) really useful for any writer to be able to look at their own work with a critical eye."

There are 15 seats available. Writers don't need to have a story started or even an idea in mind, just a "paper and pen — or laptop."

"It's really encouraging to see people grow," Wood Barrett added. "Anybody that finishes something is usually really excited about it."

Online registration is open now at a cost of $120.

Visit www.pointartists.com to sign up.

Improve at improv

Also at The Point, sharpen your theatrical improvisational skills with a six-week course on creating scenes, characters and themes on the spot. The workshop also runs from Oct. 15 to Nov. 19, with a session for kids from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. and another for adults from 8 – 9:30 p.m.

"Improvisation makes us live in the moment, improves self-confidence, creates a world from our imaginations," The Point explained in a news release. "It's a process of creating, being spontaneous, playing, listening, reacting and changing."

Led by Whistler's Aude Ray, whose musical performances include freestyling everything from spoken word poetry to theatre and dance, the workshop costs $100 or $20 for drop-in. Registration is currently open at www.pointartists.com.

Lucky 13

The latest film from snowboard giant Burton will be screened Oct. 12 at Millennium Place. Capturing top-name boarders hitting mountains around the globe, 13 was created by the same team that made Standing Sideways, Burton's 2011 hit.

The movie includes shots from right here in Whistler, as well as Lake Tahoe, Alaska, and parts of Europe. In a Q & A on Burton's website, filmmaker Tim Manning said Kamchatka, Russia was the most exotic location the team visited. "You could just be standing on a volcano, looking at seven other volcanoes and three of them are spewing smoke, Jurassic park style," he said. "Plus on that particular trip, there were seven languages being spoke all the time...The whole trip was a weird, trippy experience."

Catch the free all ages show at 7 p.m.

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