Edmonton Creative Writing Collective
February 23, 2012

Metro Edmonton: ‘Connecting literary lovers’

Metro Edmonton has a delightful little preview piece on tonight’s action in today’s edition. Thanks to Jennifer Laraway from Metro for the push.


Whether you like to have flings or full on love affairs with literature, you do not want to miss tonight’s Words with Friends event.

Taking place at Bohemia, located in the heart of Edmonton’s art district (10217 97 St.), tonight’s gathering is designed to connect local writers, performers and literary lovers alike.

Words with Friends embraces everything from poetry and storytelling to stand up comedy.

While some of the presenters are booked in advance, creator Jason Norman encourages anyone interested in sharing their work to attend.

“People need to hear their own work, read it aloud, and get into a rhythm in order to get true feedback,” he says. “It always sounds different in our heads.”

It was that need for feedback that got Norman inspired to collaborate with local poet Kasia Gawlak to create the first event.

The two initially teamed up over Twitter before their first event last June.

Since then, Norman has learnt a lot about putting on events.

“I have zero event planning experience,” he shares confidently. “The biggest thing I have learnt is how important it is to get on people’s calendars.  Edmonton isn’t just competitive with art events but with all events and I’m not interested in trying to convince someone to attend our event over another. We want everyone to be able to come.”

But, having an open invite doesn’t always guarantee turnout success. With the first Words with Friends, Norman found himself personally reaching out over the phone and Twitter to get people to commit.

“In the end, it made all the difference in helping the event grow and connecting with new artists,” he says.

The group is now looking forward to hosting their first get together of 2012, which starts at 7 p.m. tonight.  If all goes well, expect to see Words with Friends branch out this year.

“We hope to do a word crawl,” says Norman.

“Just like a pub crawl, we’ll take people around to different venues and independent book sellers in order to explore the art scene and grow the connections.”

For more information on Words with Friends, check out yegwords.ca.