Imaginative Fiction Writer's Association
We are holding hybrid meetings. you have a choice to attend the meeting in-person at the sentry box (1835 – 10th avenue sw, calgary, ab, t3c 0k2) or attending online over zoom., our next meeting date: thursday, december 7, 2023 starting at 7:00 p.m. an email with details for connecting online will go out to all ifwa members.*, * (please contact ifwa at the email below if you are not a member of ifwa and wish to attend the meeting), who are we.
As a Calgary writing group, the Imaginative Fiction Writers Association (“IFWA”) was founded in 1988 to help imaginative fiction writers hone their skills and expand their knowledge base. To this end, IFWA engages in many activities including critiquing written work, providing marketing advice, suggesting writing games and exercises, and notifying members about interesting events, contests and writing opportunities, amongst other things. We are a writing group, not a book club.
We have members (collectively known as “IFWits”) at all stages of development, including beginners, those trying to break into the market, and published and award winning authors. The group also counts many small publishers and well-known authors as friends.
So what is “imaginative fiction”? The current focus of the group is predominantly the speculative genres of fantasy, science fiction and horror, but we are open to all genres.
IFWA is a registered non-profit society with bylaws and an elected Board. An Annual General Meeting is held at each October meeting.
Membership is $20.00 per year and can be paid at a monthly meeting.
IFWA meeting will be held at 7:00 pm, the first Thursday of every month, at the Sentry Box. 1835 10th Ave. S.W. Calgary – Map:
Those interested in joining IFWA can simply drop in to a meeting. You must go through the back door, as the store closes at 6:00 PM. If the door is locked, please knock.
- Critiques begin at 7:00 pm.
- Formal skill development session from 8:00 pm to 8:30 pm
- The Business portion of the meeting begins at 8:30. Please submit all news (except brags) to the President via email or one of the forums.
- Discussions at the near-by pub, from 9:00 pm onward.
Contact: Please feel free to contact IFWA’s President, Michael Gillett, with inquiries. [email protected]
Other IFWA Sites:
Facebook Group (Private Group for IFWA Members only): https://www.facebook.com/groups/544750819000698/?fref=ts
A guide to Canadian writing groups
Whether you write as a hobby or have loftier goals, you don't have to do it alone. Joining a writing group is a great opportunity to meet other writers, hone your craft and find a mentor.
- Calling all writers! The 2022 CBC Nonfiction Prize is now open
The groups listed here are a sampling of what the Canadian literary community has to offer. Are you part of a writing group that is open to new members and want to be on our list? Email us at [email protected] .
- 4 reasons you should join a writers' group
British Columbia | Alberta | Saskatchewan | Manitoba | Ontario | Quebec | New Brunswick | Prince Edward Island | Nova Scotia | Newfoundland & Labrador
Christianne's Lyceum of Literature and Art What: An inclusive set of programs and writers' workshops Where: Vancouver, B.C. Who: Writers of all ages
Comox Valley Writers Society What: Supports writers in the development of their craft. General meetings monthly, small writing critique groups, monthly Prose and Poetry at the Courtenay Library, annual community outreach literary event – the North Island Writers Conference. Where: Courtenay, BC Who: Writers of all ages
Kelowna Writers' Group What: Writers meet the first Tuesday of every month at the Kelowna library. Where: Kelowna, B.C. Who: Writers of all genres
Kelowna Word Guild What: Monthly meetings to provide support to writers who are Christians through workshops, critique circles, skill building exercises and other areas of need. Also host events to showcase the writers, regional one day conferences, and writer retreats. Where: Kelowna, B.C. Who: Christian writers
New West Writers What: Writing critique group Where: New Westminster, B.C. Who: Writers of all genres
Sooke Writers' Collective What: A writers group offering support, feedback, an annual anthology, workshops and mini-retreats. Where: Sooke, B.C. Who: Writers of all levels and genres
Sunshine Coast Writers and Editors Society What: An inclusive group of writers and editors that meets monthly and has community-minded projects. Where: A combination of Zoom and various venues on Sunshine Coast, B.C. Who: Writers and editors of all levels of experience, ethnicities and is inclusive of the LGBTQ2 community
Surrey Libraries writing groups What: Writing groups for adults and teens Where: Surrey, B.C. Who: General public
Vernon Critique Group What: A group of fiction writers offering critique and feedback on each other's work on the third Saturday of each month. Where: Vernon, B.C. Who: Fiction writers
Victoria Writers' Society What: Participate in small, informal groups where writers present their works in progress and receive critical feedback. There are currently groups focused on short stories, novels, general fiction and creative nonfiction. Where: Victoria, B.C. Who: Members of the Victoria Writers' Society
British Columbia Association of Travel Writers What: A group for B.C. travel journalists and writers Where: British Columbia Who: Meetups are open to the public
The Grind Writers' Group What: Writers of all levels and genres Where: Vancouver, B.C. Who: General public
Heart & Mind Writing Group What: Writers of all levels and genres Where: Sicamous, B.C. Who: General public
Alexandra Writers' Centre Society What: Community of emerging writers of all ages Where: Calgary, Alta. Who: General public
Edmonton Writers' Group What: Informal group of aspiring and published writers Where: Edmonton, Alta. Who: General public
Imaginative Fiction Writers Association What: Critique of written work, marketing advice, writing games and exercises Where: Calgary, Alta. Who: Members of the Imaginative Fiction Writer's Association
Parkland Poets What: Community of poets who share their work Where: Stony Plain, Alta. Who: General public
Strathcona County Writers What: Writers of all levels and genres Where: Strathcona County, Alta. Who: General public
Saskatchewan Writers Guild What: Professional organization that offers development and workshops for all genres Where: Saskatchewan Who: Members
Brandon Writers' Collective What: Writing group for all genres Where: Brandon, Man. Who: General public
Interlake Writers Guild What: Writing group for all genres Where: Selkirk, Man. Who: General public
Manitoba Writers' Guild What: Professional organization that offers development and workshops for all genres Where: Manitoba Who: Workshops are open to both members and the general public
Immigrant Writers Association (IWA) What: Programs, activities, and services that empower and support immigrant writers in their journeys. Our mission is to encourage immigrants to express themselves through writing. Where: Toronto, Ont. Who: Canadian immigrant writers
InkWell Workshops What: Drop-in creative writing workshops Where: Toronto, Ont. Who: Adults with mental health and addictions issues
Firefly Creative Writing What: Writing workshops, coaching and retreats Where: Toronto, Ont. Who: General public
KW Writer's Alliance What: Organization helping to connect and develop writers of all genres Where: Waterloo, Ont. Who: General public
London Writers Society What: Organization helping to connect and develop writers of all genres Where: London, Ont. Who: General public
Memoirs Writing Group What: Group discussions to help writers develop their writing voice with feedback to assist with the editing process Where: Brampton, Ont. Who: Adult writers
Ottawa Independent Writers (OIW) What: A gathering place for people with a passion to weave fiction and non-fiction stories, write poetry and plays and string words together in a variety of other formats. Where: Ottawa, Ont. Who: Adult writers
OUTwrites Queer Writing Collective What: queer-positive, sexually diverse group for all levels Where: Toronto, Ont. Who: General public
Sudbury Writers' Guild What: Community-based writing group for all levels and genres Where: Sudbury, Ont. Who: General public
Toronto Public Library What: Various groups and workshops focused on a variety of genres, including memoir, fiction and poetry. Where: Toronto, Ont. Who: General public
Toronto Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers What: Group group for science fiction and fantasy writers Where: Toronto, Ont. Who: General public
Toronto Writers Collective What: Free writing workshops for underserved communities Where: Toronto, Ont. Who: Adult writers
Writers' Community of Durham Region What: Professional organization that offers development and workshops for all genres Where: Durham region Who: Workshops are open to members and the general public
Writer's Community of York Region What: A collective of local authors, poets and industry professionals who endeavour to build a supportive and encouraging framework for writers and their craft. Where: All communities and localities within York Region. Who: WCYR members and registered members of the general public.
Shut-up & Write/Tais-toi et écris Montréal What: Community of writers who share their work, in any genre. Where: Montreal, Que. Who: General public
Quebec Writers' Federation What: Professional organization that offers development and workshops for all genres Where: Montreal, Que. Who: Workshops are open to members and the general public
Writers' Federation of New Brunswick What: Professional organization that offers development and workshops for all genres Where: New Brunswick Who: Members
Prince Edward Island
PEI Writers' Guild What: Professional organization that offers development and workshops for all genres Where: P.E.I. Who: Workshops are open to members and the general public
Evergreen Writers Group What: Creative writing group comprised of poets, short story writers, novelists, and playwrights Where: Dartmouth, N.S. Who: General public
Word Nerds Teen Writing Group What: Teen-oriented writing group Where: Colchester-East Hants, N.S. Who: Teen writers
Halifax Public Library Writers' Circle What: Weekly meetings for support and inspiration at various library branches Where: Bedford, N.S. Who: Adult writers
Yarmouth Write Away Group What: Monthly writing group that welcomes all genres. Where: Yarmouth, N.S. Who: General public
Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia What: Professional organization that offers development and workshops for all genres Where: Nova Scotia Who: Members
Newfoundland & Labrador
Writers' Alliance of Newfoundland & Labrador What: Professional organization that offers development and workshops for all genres Where: Newfoundland & Labrador Who: Members
- A guide to writing prizes for Canadians
- A guide to Canadian literary magazines and journals open to submissions
Meet The Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society
The Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society (AWCS) was incorporated in 1981 as a non-profit organization and registered charity, and has been offering creative writing programs for all writers in the Calgary area with a mission is to enhance the creative writing experience through learning, community and support. The organization has many award-winning and published Canadian authors and continues to have new and emerging writers of all genres join their membership of over 350.
Together with AWCS’s creative writing classes and workshops, programs and events are designed to enhance the core offerings and bring writers and the community together. Programs include Student readings, monthly Open Mics, an annual Writer in Residence program, and community events that bring prominent Canadian writers for special speaking presentations and workshops.
We spoke with AWCS Program Director, Robin van Eck:
Q: What makes AWCS different from other writing – based organizations in Calgary ? What are your influences and inspirations , local or afar ?
A: Like other local writing organizations in the area, we foster a community of writers who can come together and share and learn, get feedback and support on their work. Where we differ is in our focus on ALL writers. We offer courses and workshops and other programs for the brand new writer who may have had an inkling of an idea to write at one point in their life but never did anything with it and now wants to give it a try and we offer programs for those who may be a little more seasoned and want to improve on their craft to create the best possible version of a story or poem or creative nonfiction piece. While many of the other writing organizations out there might be focused on one genre or style of writing, we are multi-genre focused. We offer courses and programs on poetry, creative nonfiction: articles, personal essay, travel writing, nature writing, memoir, fiction: contemporary, science fiction, romance, mystery, urban fantasy, noir etc.
We are also focused on writing as an art form, as a means for catharsis, to inspire and foster creativity in an individual. Courses such as journaling, working through Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way , women’s issues, truth and reconciliation, engaging with our senses and the landscape around us, all help to nurture the artist inside and connect with our world in a new way.
And of course we can’t forget out about our youth program. Reality is Optional Creative Kids Program is more than just writing. It’s a great group of kids who are writers and artists. We have a cartooning club and poetry slams. Lots of great fun for everyone.
Q: Who are some of the writers that have been nurtured by AWCS , and where might our readers be able to read and find their work ?
- Betty Jane Hegerat has published numerous books, her most recent young adult book, Odd One Out, can be purchased at Owl’s Nest Books and other independent book sellers.
- Sarah L. Johnson recently published a collection of short stories called Suicide Stitch. It can be purchased from Owl’s Nest Books and online at Amazon. Her first speculative fiction novel, Infractus, will also be coming out later this year.
- Rea Tarvydas ’ first short story collection, How to Pick Up a Maid in Statue Square will be coming out this fall.
- Karen Lee wrote a memoir, The Full Catastrophe, also available at Owl’s Nest Books.
- Inge Trueman’s novel, A Rootbeer Season , is available at Owl’s Nest Books.
Besides book deals, many of our members have had short stories and poems and essays published in literary magazines across North America and have been finalists for contests and awards across the country.
Q: Why is the “ Free Fall ” method of writing AWCS method of choice , and how can this help writers ?
A: The free fall method of writing was first designed by WO Mitchell . Our founder, Michael Fay, had the opportunity to work with Mitchell back in the late 1970’s and adopted and adapted his method and made it the basis for all writing for the AWCS. Because of that, it’s always been a part of us, but also something we firmly believe in.
The hardest part for a writer is shutting off that inner critic and just allowing words to flow onto the page in whatever way they want to. We’re so worried about it sounding bad or that our ideas are going to be judged that for many it can stall the writing process. Free Fall writing allows the writer to just let the ideas flow. It’s a great way to get around writer’s block, it’s a great way to discover new ideas, it’s a great way to get over a hurdle when you’re in the midst of story and don’t know where to go. It’s freeing, it’s liberating, it’s creative.
Q: What are your plans for cSPACE Marda Loop ( future programming , how you plan to interact with other tenants etc. )? How do you imagine that being in this space will affect your membership , organizational sustainability and future .
A: We have been in discussions with Calgary Association of Lifelong Learners and Alliance Francaise (fellow cSpace Marda Loop tenants) to see how we can work together. Writing and other forms of art go together very well, and it’s our hope that we can collaborate with various groups and create some dynamic collaborative art.
We believe this new space will be a place that our writers will want to come to, whether it’s to take part in a course or workshop or drop in program or just hang out with friends and talk about writing and share ideas. I think we will fill more classes and be able to continually develop the programming that our writers want.
Q: For those who have never had the pleasure of attending a workshop at AWCS , could you please describe to aspiring writers what they might expect ?
Our classes are small. No more than 10-12 participants. This allows a better way of learning and sharing and connecting. Our instructors are supportive and encouraging and no one will ever be judged for what they write. The classes are typically a lot of writing exercises to energize and motivate, as well as group discussion and some lecture. It’s a very interactive experience and can be very rewarding.
Writers are very solitary people by nature, but what we have learned over the last 35 years and what we try to share with people is that it can’t be done alone. There comes a point where you can no longer see the story for what it is because you’re so close to it. That support you get from other writers is invaluable and necessary to continue to develop your craft.
Writers also struggle with a lot of self-doubt. When you get together with other writers you realize you’re not alone and there are people who can help you because they are going through the same thing.
Q: Do you have any advice to aspiring writers in town ?
A: All I can say is come check us out. There’s something for everyone!
Our fall courses are online now.
Want to try free fall writing? Drop in to our current location, every Friday from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. It’s lots of fun and a great group of people.
For Calgary is a city where creative enterprise thrives in vibrant communities.
To develop creative places that activate people and ideas to ignite collaboration and community-led change.
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cSPACE Marda Loop Location
ADDRESS: 1721 29th Avenue SW, Suite # 125 Calgary, Alberta T2T 6T7
OFFICE HOURS: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm
cSPACE acknowledges that we live, work and play on the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy, which includes Siksika, the Pikani, and the Kainai. We also acknowledge the Tsuut'ina and Stoney Nakoda First Nations, the Métis Nation (Region 3), and all people who make their homes in the Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta.
cSPACE believes that by ensuring our culture is Inclusive, Diverse, Equitable and Accessible (IDEA) that we are open to vast creative potential. Read more about our IDEA commitment here .
Monday to Saturday 8am-8pm
We are closed Sundays and all major holidays.
The Calgary Association of Romance Writers of America
supporting writers of romance fiction
The Calgary Association of the Romance Writers of America (CARWA) is a friendly group of writers who meet
- to support and motivate each other,
- to study the craft of writing, and
- to learn how to promote ourselves and our books in order
- to build careers in the various sub-genres of romance writing.
- attendance at chapter-sponsored events
- discounted workshop registration
- Facebook Secret Group for “water cooler discussions”
- Facebook Page for promoting our books
- access to our current Membership List to be used for networking purposes
We also hold two annual one-day workshops: a Spring Craft Workshop and a Fall Industry workshop.
Until the COVID-19 emergency is over, meetings will take place on ZOOM.
If you are interested in joining us, please click the JOIN tab for instructions. We’d be happy to meet you!
Membership Antidiscrimination and Antiharassment Policy: RWA is committed to providing all of its members with an environment free from discrimination and harassment. RWA does not discriminate against or allow harassment of any member based on race, ethnicity, religion, color, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity or expression, ancestry, pregnancy, or any other basis prohibited by law. In order to create a safe and respectful environment, discrimination and harassment of any sort is prohibited in RWA.
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Creative Writing Club
Join us to play literacy games, work on your creative writing, explore different writing styles, and get help on your school writing assignments.
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Alexandra Writers’ Centre, cSpace 1721 29th Ave SW – 4th floor
11:00am – 12:30pm
Spring session dates:
- Saturday, June 10th
Queer Calgary and the Writers’ Guild of Alberta are happy to be collaborating on a monthly writing group facilitated by author R.M. Olson.
The sessions will take place on the second Saturday of each month, excluding July and August as we break for summer. If you have a current work in progress, bring it along for critiquing. Otherwise, come ready to write and make friends!
This group is open to members of Queer Calgary and/or members of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta.
About Queer Calgary:
The main goals of Queer Calgary is to be a safe place for you to meet other queers, explore new and old interests and to support community connection.
To that end we hold several community events a month to date, we’ve held movie nights, Board Game events, sip N stitches, beer nights, coffee chats, and have lots of exciting events coming up!
We believe the queer community is healthier when we are connected together.
Beyond just being a place for community events we are also focussed on the mental health of our community and though we are not there yet are working hard to provide support groups and other community resources.
- Facebook page
- Facebook group
About the facilitator:
R.M. Olson writes space opera science fiction that features queer and neurodivergent characters, found families, friends-to-lovers, and a whole lot of action. They’ve published fourteen novels, along with various novellas and short stories, and have two more series currently in the works. R.M. loves space opera as a genre, because it gives them freedom to flesh out their characters and relationships (platonic and romantic) while still having all the wild mile-a-minute action scenes that they love. In 2021 R.M. quit their job as a lawyer to become a full-time author, and hasn’t looked back since. Besides writing, R.M. has ridden the Trans Siberian railway, jumped off the highest bungee jump in the world, gone cage-diving with great white sharks, faced down a charging buffalo bull, and knows how to milk a goat. Currently they reside just outside of Calgary, Alberta with their four children, multiple cats, and a dog the size of a small bear. They go hiking and skiing more often than they probably have time for, eat more chocolate than is probably good for them, and read more books than is probably prudent.
This 'true' story is anything but
Long before the advent of social media there were absurd, often circulated "true" stories that were anything but.
Frequently in the '70s and '80s I heard the tale of the young girl who was supposedly kidnapped from (insert local name) Mall. The story usually involved a male who took the girl into the men's restroom, cut off her hair, and was able to spirit her out of the mall because now she looked like a boy. The story ended with the caveat "The reason you haven't heard about this on the news is because the police are keeping it a secret to help them find (insert girl name here) more quickly."
If the abduction of Jacob Wetterling, Amber Alerts, and the Code Adam program teach us anything, it's that this is the exact opposite of the response from law enforcement. The reason this story was never on the news, not from Crossroads, not from Rosedale, not from Southdale, is because it didn't happen.
Then there's the baby name story. Have you heard the one about the (insert ethnic group you wish to disparage) mother who named her baby girl Female because that was what it said on the hospital crib ID? Again, didn't happen, but thanks for letting me know your prejudices.
There's a new one going around, this time on Facebook. It's not stupid or mean, like the ones I listed above. It's dangerous.
Here's the part that's true: QuikTrip, a chain of convenience/fuel stores in the southern U.S. (as opposed to Kwik Trip here in the Midwest, two separate unrelated companies) partners with a program called Safe Place. Safe Place is a program for youth/teens in crisis, usually runaways, who can go to a QuikTrip and wait while an employee calls a help line and finds the child emergency assistance. Last year the Safe Place program through QuikTrip fielded 373 calls.
Here's the part that's not true and potentially dangerous: Memes on Facebook are circulating claiming that QuikTrip and/or Kwik Trip are emergency safe places for runaways, victims of sex trafficking, victims of domestic violence, and a host of other social ills, and that the stores have "safe rooms" where a person can hide while store personnel contacts law enforcement to arrive and safely escort the person from the store. Neither chain has a "safe room" nor are they prepared to shelter/protect a victim from a pimp or an abuser. Such a scenario would endanger employees, victims, and customers and could quickly escalate to violence and involve weapons. As comforting as it might be to think such a service exists, the liability alone precludes such a program.
Furthermore, spreading the supposed availability of this "safe room" also endangers everyone who could be involved if a victim arrives at a store, there is nowhere to hide, and their oppressor then finds them there. Violence is a real possibility.
If you encounter such fraudulent claims on Facebook or on any social media site, please don't share them. The risk of endangering others is too great.
Safe Place, an emergency program for teens in distress is real. Secret safe rooms at gas stations are not.
Times Writers Group member Karen Cyson is a child-care provider in Stearns County and the coordinator for Central Minnesota Mensa. Her column is published the third Sunday of the month .
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A Nicolas Cage Social Satire For the Books
Writer-director Kristoffer Borgli discusses the making of his new movie Dream Scenario .
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This week, host Isaac Butler talks to Kristoffer Borgli, the writer and director (and editor!) behind the new movie Dream Scenario , starring Nicolas Cage. In the interview, Kristoffer discusses the writing and revision process for Dream Scenario and explains how he tweaked the main character once Cage signed on. He also talks about why he shoots on film, why he likes to both direct and edit his work, and how he’s able to maintain good vibes on set.
After the interview, Isaac and co-host Cameron Drews discuss the importance of flexibility in creative work.
In the exclusive Slate Plus segment, Kristoffer talks about getting feedback from trusted friends. Then he explains why he invited Taiwanese bodybuilder and performance artist Frank Yang to crash at his house for a while.
Send your questions about creativity and any other feedback to [email protected] or give us a call at (304) 933-9675.
Podcast production by Cameron Drews.
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About the Show
Slate interviews Americans about their jobs.
Isaac Butler is the co-host of Slate's Working podcast. He previously hosted Lend Me Your Ears , a podcast about Shakespeare and politics, and co-wrote The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America with Dan Kois. His latest book is The Method: How the 20th Century Learned to Act .
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New Zealand’s curling team, with nowhere to go, find a home at a Canadian retirement village
Group of four men in their 20s and 30s struggled to find accommodation in Calgary while training for the 2026 Winter Olympics until an unlikely solution was offered
W hen the clock strikes 2pm on Friday at the Chartwell Colonel Belcher retirement residence in Calgary, Alberta, something unusual happens. As the octogenarians gather to enjoy beer and wine during happy hour, they are joined by the youthful faces of New Zealand’s men’s curling team. About 12,000km from home and unable to find a place to stay when they arrived in Canada, the men were offered an apartment at Belcher and have been happily settling in to the rhythms of their unlikely new home ever since.
The national team – Brett Sargon, 31, Ben Smith, 24, Hunter Walker, 21, and skipper Anton Hood, 23 – moved to Canada in early September, to strengthen their training and better their chances in the 2024 World Men’s Curling Championship in Switzerland – for which they have just qualified – and making the Milano-Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics . It is an ambitious goal: the last time New Zealand’s team made it to the Olympics was in 2006.
But when they arrived in Canada on their largely self-funded trip, they encountered a frustrating problem: rental options were scarce and expensive.
“It’s been quite a journey,” Sargon says. “We were really struggling to find accommodation. Everywhere we looked everyone wanted one-year rent and the rent was extortionately priced.”
The team decided to try their luck requesting affordable short-term accommodation via their curling networks on social media. A post made on their behalf amassed hundreds of shares and the team promptly received an unexpected invitation: the Chartwell Colonel Belcher retirement residence had an apartment available and wanted to know if they were interested.
“Cassandra Murray, here at Chartwell, came to our aid, which was absolutely incredible,” Sargon says.
Sargon, who arrived in Calgary a few days ahead of his teammates, was the first to move into one of the self-contained units at the retirement home in early September. It was a Friday and he was alerted to the weekly happy hour taking place at the village bar.
“I thought, perfect, that sounds like a bit of me,” he says, and headed along, where he introduced himself to a few of the residents.
“The warmth and the reception they showed me was really, really incredible.
“I could absolutely understand if they were apprehensive about younger guys moving in but they were so warm and wanted to know all about New Zealand and our story.”
Sargon formed Team Hood – named after the team’s skip, or captain, as is tradition for curling teams – a couple of years ago, with the hope of becoming New Zealand’s national team. But the group quickly realised there was a gap between their skills and the level of play coming from teams in countries such as Canada, Switzerland, Sweden and Scotland.
Curling involves players sliding stones on a sheet of ice towards a target made up of four concentric circles. Sweepers with brooms or brushes can influence the path of the rock by sweeping the ice ahead of it, as it travels towards the target.
“The plan was to move to Calgary and train as much as we could, and play against some really high-level competition because there are resources here that New Zealand doesn’t have. The depth of competition here is insane compared to what we get back home,” Sargon says.
“Most of the conversations we have with people back home about curling is actually us explaining what curling is – lawn bowls on ice, with rocks and sweeping.”
Canada’s love of curling has been reflected in the myriad curling stories that the retirement village residents have shared with the team. Sometimes, the residents are eager to pass on advice.
“One of them has even offered his services for free,” Sargon laughs. “We’ll see if we can take him up on that, even if it’s just to get him down to the rink and get him involved.”
But some residents need no encouragement; during one of the team’s first weekends curling at a club a 30-minute drive away, a busload of 14 new Team Hood fans turned up to support them without prior warning. “They brought their signs, and they had packed their lunches – it was pretty cool and quite surreal to experience that.”
The intergenerational living arrangement echoes Sweden’s experiment to house students and retirees together in an attempt to combat loneliness and promote social cohesion. The benefits of such models and other scenarios that connect older generations to the young are well-documented.
“We’ve had some really heart-wrenching stories from some residents, where their children have passed away and they don’t have a whole lot of family close by, so I think [being here] is bridging that social gap,” Sargon says.
Cassandra Murray, the retirement’s living consultant, says Team Hood has been a welcome and lively addition to the village.
“Having the team around is something else to talk about and look forward to,” she says. “It’s a different kind of relationship, especially if you don’t have any family nearby.
“I think often people forget how exciting, new and different life can be when you’re a senior.”
The residents were involved in a very important game of bingo when the Guardian called. But Murray later passed on a comment from the group: “They said they really enjoy getting to know the team and hearing about how their playing is going and how their time in Calgary has been.
“It has been a welcome and positive addition that many other places should look at if they can. We have been thrilled to have new faces.”
- New Zealand
- Asia Pacific
- Older people
- Winter Olympics
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Easy & Clear Steps to Group Shapes, Pictures, or other Objects in Word
Ever felt frustrated at the amount of time it takes to resize and edit multiple images and shapes one by one? Panicked as you feel the time slipping away? Well, worry not because here is a perfect solution: grouping shapes, images, and any other object you’ve used! You can treat a bunch of shapes and images as though they’re one. Spend time learning how to group in Word to save your precious minutes later.
How to Group Shapes, Pictures, or Other Objects in Word (Step By Step)
To group shapes, pictures, or other objects in Word on both Windows and Mac, follow these steps:
Step 1: Open your Word document and ensure the objects you want to group are placed on the page.
Step 2: Click on the first object to select it.
Step 3: Hold down the "Ctrl" key on your keyboard and click on the other objects you want to include in the group. This way you will be able to select multiple objects at the same time.
Step 4: Navigate to the "Shape Format" tab or "Picture Format" tab, then within the ribbon menu, click on the "Group" option and select "Group".
Step 5: Now, you can move, resize, or edit the grouped objects as a single unit.
Step 1: Begin by opening your Word document and ensuring that the objects you wish to group are correctly positioned on the page.
Step 2: Select the first object by clicking on it.
Step 3: While holding down the "Command" key on your keyboard, click on the other objects you want to include in the group. This action allows you to simultaneously select multiple objects.
Step 4: Proceed to the “Shape Format" tab and then click on the “Arrange” option in the ribbon menu.
Step 5: In the Arrange drop down menu, locate the "Group" option and select "Group" from the dropdown.
Step 5: You can now effortlessly move, resize, or edit the grouped objects as a unified entity.
How to Ungroup Shapes, Pictures, or Other Objects in Word (Step By Step)
Now if you wish to ungroup Shapes, Pictures, or Other Objects in Word, you need to follow these steps:
Step 1: To ungroup, click on the grouped objects and navigate to the "Picture Format" tab or "Shape Format" tab. Then, within the ribbon menu, go to the "Group" option.
Step 2: Click on "Ungroup" to separate the objects. Now, the objects and pictures can be individually moved around.
Step 1: To ungroup, click on the grouped objects on your Word Document
Step 2: In the ribbon menu, go to the "Shape Format" tab, and locate the "Arrange" option.
Step 3: Within the Arrange drop-down menu, select "Group", and then choose "Ungroup" to separate the objects. This allows individual movement of objects and pictures.
How to Group in Word for Free with WPS Office
Why choose wps office.
WPS Office is a preferred choice for those seeking a simple and efficient method to group shapes, pictures, or other objects in Word documents.
Here's why you should consider using WPS Office for this purpose:
User-Friendly Interface: WPS Office boasts a user-friendly interface designed for effortless navigation, catering to individuals of all experience levels, from novices to seasoned users.
Effortless Grouping: The Writer tool within WPS Office provides clear and simple steps for grouping shapes, pictures, or other objects. You don't have to spend unnecessary time searching for options or performing complex maneuvers. WPS Writer streamlines the process, ensuring that you can achieve your desired results with ease.
Compatibility: WPS Office is compatible with various file formats, including those from Microsoft Word. This means you can easily import your existing Word documents and apply grouping functions without any compatibility issues.
Cost-Effective Solution: WPS Office is a cost-effective alternative to some of the more expensive office suites on the market. You can enjoy the benefits of efficient object grouping in Word without the hefty price tag.
Regular Updates: WPS Office is consistently updated to provide users with the latest features and enhancements. This ensures that you always have access to cutting-edge tools for managing your documents effectively.
How to Group in WPS Office
To Group Objects, Shapes, or Pictures in WPS Writer:
Step 1: Begin by clicking on one object or picture to select it, then hold down the "CTRL" key or click on other objects or pictures that you want to group.
Step 2: Now, go to the "Drawing Tools" tab or the relevant ribbon menu where you'll find the "Group" option. Click on it to select "Group".
Step 3: If you ever need to ungroup the objects, click on the grouped object and return to the "Drawing Tools" tab.
Step 4: Within the "Drawing Tools" tab, locate the "Group" option, then click on "Ungroup" to separate your pictures or objects.
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Q1. Why can't I group objects in Word?
You may not be able to group objects in Word due to the following reasons;
Firstly, the Group button might be unavailable when only one shape or picture is chosen. Ensure that you select numerous shapes or pictures for grouping.
Secondly, you can not utilize the Group tool with Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) icons directly. To group SVG icons, you must first convert them to shapes.
Lastly, if your selection incorporates a table, worksheet, or GIF image, the Group button will not be available. Make sure you've picked compatible objects for grouping to prevent this cause.
Q2. What is the shortcut key for group objects?
To group objects, you can use the keyboard shortcut “CTRL + G” on Windows or “Command + G” on macOS. However, make sure to select all the objects you desire to group before using the shortcut. If the shortcut doesn't function, verify that the software you are using supports object grouping.
Streamline Document Formatting with WPS Writer
Learning how to group in Word is a skill that can significantly streamline your document formatting process, saving you valuable time and effort. Whether it's organizing images, shapes, or other elements, grouping provides a quick and efficient solution. Moreover, opting for WPS Writer in the WPS Office suite is a smart choice, given its user-friendly interface, compatibility with various file formats, and cost-effective nature.
If you're ready to experience the benefits of easy and efficient object grouping, it's time to make WPS Writer your preferred tool. Take the next step by downloading WPS Office and unlock the potential for seamless document management.
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Three of Sean 'Diddy' Combs' former artists express support for Cassie after rape and abuse allegations
At least three artists who were signed to Sean "Diddy" Combs' record label have expressed support for their onetime label mate Cassie, who accused the rapper and music mogul of rape and repeated abuse over nearly a decade in a lawsuit filed in federal court Thursday.
Cassie, whose legal name is Casandra Ventura, and Combs had an on-and-off relationship for more than a decade. In the lawsuit, filed in New York, she alleged that he frequently beat her, forced her to engage in sex acts with male prostitutes — acts he referred to as “freak offs” and sometimes recorded — and, on one occasion, as she was trying to end their relationship in 2018, forced his way into her home and raped her.
Ventura and Combs reached a settlement in the lawsuit Friday. In a statement, both parties said the matter was resolved amicably. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
Aubrey O’Day, who was discovered by Combs on the reality-TV show “Making the Band 3” and launched to fame as a member of the urban pop group Danity Kane, expressed her “full support of Cassie,” in a statement Thursday.
“It isn’t easy to take on one of the most powerful people in this industry,” she said. “May her voice bring all the others to the table, so we can start having more transparent conversations about what is actually happening behind the scenes.”
Asked specifically by NBC News whether she had witnessed Combs abuse anyone or been abused by him, O’Day said: “I need to take a moment before I speak about it further. There are layers.”
On Thursday, Dawn Richard, another former member of Danity Kane, said on the social media platform X that she was “praying for Cassie and her family, for peace and healing” and that Ventura is “beautiful and brave.”
Wanita “D. Woods” Woodgett, also of Danity Kane fame, shared a statement of support on her X and Instagram accounts.
“I haven’t posted anything on this platform for a very long time, but today ... there is a very good reason to,” she wrote on X early Friday, adding that Ventura is “incredibly brave to shine light” on what she “endured in the dark.”
Woodgett also said: “Im sorry you had to go through it alone. Im praying for your continued strength and I offer my full support to you.”
None of the posts expressed personal knowledge about the specific accusations against Combs. It is not clear how well O’Day, Richard and Woodgett know Ventura, 37.
Richard and Woodgett did not immediately return requests for an interview Friday. Combs fired Woodgett and O’Day from Danity Kane in 2008 on national television.
At the time, he said O’Day needed to “humble” herself and that he believed Woods had gotten “caught up in the wrath” of O’Day.
“I got love for Aubrey. I don’t have any beef with her,” he said then. “I just want to work with the young lady that I signed, not the person that fame has made her.”
Combs 'vehemently denies' lawsuit allegations
In the lawsuit, Ventura alleged that Combs brought her into his “ostentatious, fast-paced, and drug-fueled lifestyle” not long after she met him and signed her to his Bad Boy label in 2005, when she was 19 and he was 37. The suit, which describes Combs as a “vicious, cruel and controlling man” who lured Ventura into a romantic relationship and “almost immediately assert[ed] possession and control over her,” also alleged he plied her with drugs.
The suit includes a trigger warning for “highly graphic information of a sexual nature, including sexual assault.” It alleged he forced her to have sex with male prostitutes while he masturbated and filmed them.
Attorney Ben Brafman said Combs “vehemently denies these offensive and outrageous allegations.”
“For the past six months, Mr. Combs has been subjected to Ms. Ventura’s persistent demand of $30 million, under the threat of writing a damaging book about their relationship, which was unequivocally rejected as blatant blackmail,” Brafman said in a statement. “Despite withdrawing her initial threat, Ms. Ventura has now resorted to filing a lawsuit riddled with baseless and outrageous lies, aiming to tarnish Mr. Combs’s reputation and seeking a payday.”
In response, Douglas Wigdor, Ventura’s attorney, indicated both sides had spoken before the suit was filed.
“Mr. Combs offered Ms. Ventura eight figures to silence her and prevent the filing of this lawsuit,” he said. “She rejected his efforts.”
O'Day's criticism of Combs dates back years
Combs, 54, has gone by such names as Puff Daddy, Puffy, Diddy and Love. He founded Bad Boy in the early 1990s and produced “Making the Band” for MTV. He is regarded as a trailblazer of hip-hop, fashion and media, having created the Sean John clothing line and launched the Revolt TV channel. Combs’ net worth has been estimated at $1 billion.
O’Day would challenge him on the “Making the Band” reality series and has been openly critical of him for years.
In September, after Combs announced that he would give publishing rights back to Bad Boy artists, O’Day said, “As I’ve gotten older, I’ve let go of a lot of the trauma and I’ve learned to really appreciate some of the more personal beautiful moments I’ve had with him,” referring to Combs, during an episode of the “Only Stans” podcast.
She also said that she was being offered “a few hundred dollars” to sign away her rights to ever disclose what she experienced as a member of Danity Kane and “to stay hushed” on Combs.
As part of the deal, she said, she would be required to release Combs “for any claims or wrongdoings or actions prior to the date of the release” and sign a nondisclosure agreement that states she would never publicly disparage him, as well as his mother, Janice Combs; his son, Justin Combs; Bad Boy; EMI or Sony.
Representatives for Combs did not provide NBC News with a comment for this article.
“I just wish that Puff would do what he’s saying he’s doing. I wish he would pay us what we deserved for all the work that we did. And I wish he would make right his wrongs,” O’Day said in September. “At the end of the day, I urge everyone to think about the headline versus the truth and really what this seems to be is a way to shut a lot of people up. And what would be the motivation to do that?”
“I think we're going to learn soon enough what it is,” she added.
Janelle Griffith is a national reporter for NBC News focusing on issues of race and policing.
Diana Dasrath is entertainment producer and senior reporter for NBC News covering all platforms.
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Readout of President Joe Biden’s Meeting with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China
President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. today held a Summit with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), in Woodside, California. The two leaders held a candid and constructive discussion on a range of bilateral and global issues including areas of potential cooperation and exchanged views on areas of difference.
President Biden emphasized that the United States and China are in competition, noting that the United States would continue to invest in the sources of American strength at home and align with allies and partners around the world. He stressed that the United States would always stand up for its interests, its values, and its allies and partners. He reiterated that the world expects the United States and China to manage competition responsibly to prevent it from veering into conflict, confrontation, or a new Cold War.
The two leaders made progress on a number of key issues. They welcomed the resumption of bilateral cooperation to combat global illicit drug manufacturing and trafficking, including synthetic drugs like fentanyl, and establishment of a working group for ongoing communication and law enforcement coordination on counternarcotics issues. President Biden stressed that this new step will advance the U.S. whole-of-government effort to counter the evolving threat of illicit synthetic drugs and to reduce the diversion of precursor chemicals and pill presses to drug cartels.
The two leaders welcomed the resumption of high-level military-to-military communication, as well as the U.S.-China Defense Policy Coordination Talks and the U.S.-China Military Maritime Consultative Agreement meetings. Both sides are also resuming telephone conversations between theater commanders.
The leaders affirmed the need to address the risks of advanced AI systems and improve AI safety through U.S.-China government talks.
The two leaders exchanged views on key regional and global challenges. President Biden underscored the United States’ support for a free and open Indo-Pacific that is connected, prosperous, secure, and resilient. The President reaffirmed the United States’ ironclad commitment to defending our Indo-Pacific allies. The President emphasized the United States’ enduring commitment to freedom of navigation and overflight, adherence to international law, maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea and East China Sea, and the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula .
President Biden reaffirmed that the United States, alongside allies and partners, will continue to support Ukraine’s defense against Russian aggression, to ensure Ukraine emerges from this war as a democratic, independent, sovereign, and prosperous nation that can deter and defend itself against future aggression. Regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict, the President reiterated U.S. support for Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorism and emphasized the importance of all countries using their influence to prevent escalation and expansion of the conflict.
President Biden underscored the universality of human rights and the responsibility of all nations to respect their international human rights commitments. He raised concerns regarding PRC human rights abuses, including in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong. On Taiwan, President Biden emphasized that our one China policy has not changed and has been consistent across decades and administrations. He reiterated that the United States opposes any unilateral changes to the status quo from either side, that we expect cross-strait differences to be resolved by peaceful means, and that the world has an interest in peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. He called for restraint in the PRC’s use of military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. President Biden also raised continued concerns about the PRC’s unfair trade policies, non-market economic practices, and punitive actions against U.S. firms, which harm American workers and families. The President emphasized that the United States will continue to take necessary actions to prevent advanced U.S. technologies from being used to undermine our own national security, without unduly limiting trade and investment.
The President again emphasized that it remains a priority to resolve the cases of American citizens who are wrongfully detained or subject to exit bans in China.
The two leaders reiterated the importance of ties between the people of the United States and the People’s Republic of China, and committed to work towards a significant further increase in scheduled passenger flights early next year, in parallel with actions to restore full implementation of the U.S.-China air transportation agreement, to support exchanges between the two countries. The two leaders also encouraged the expansion of educational, student, youth, cultural, sports, and business exchanges.
The two leaders underscored the importance of working together to accelerate efforts to tackle the climate crisis in this critical decade. They welcomed recent positive discussions between their respective special envoys for climate, including on national actions to reduce emissions in the 2020s, on common approaches toward a successful COP 28, and on operationalizing the Working Group on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s to accelerate concrete climate actions. President Biden stated that the United States stands ready to work together with the PRC to address transnational challenges, such as health security and debt and climate finance in developing countries and emerging markets.
Building on the November 2022 meeting in Bali where they discussed the development of principles related to U.S. – China relations, the two leaders acknowledged the efforts of their respective teams to explore best practices for the relationship. They stressed the importance of responsibly managing competitive aspects of the relationship, preventing conflict, maintaining open lines of communication, cooperating on areas of shared interest, upholding the UN Charter, and all countries treating each other with respect and finding a way to live alongside each other peacefully. The leaders welcomed continued discussions in this regard.
The two leaders agreed that their teams will follow-up on their discussions in San Francisco with continued high-level diplomacy and interactions, including visits in both directions and ongoing working-level consultations in key areas, including on commercial, economic, financial, Asia-Pacific, arms control and nonproliferation, maritime, export control enforcement, policy-planning, agriculture, and disability issues.
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Penny Hardaway and his Memphis basketball team will spend Thanksgiving in the Bahamas.
Part of a loaded Battle 4 Atlantis field, the Tigers (3-0) are half of a marquee matchup with Michigan (scheduled to tip off at 4 p.m. Nov. 22 at Imperial Arena on Paradise Island). Depending on how things play out, they either will revive their rivalry with Arkansas on Thanksgiving Day or face Stanford for the second time in as many seasons.
The Tigers will face North Carolina, Villanova, Texas Tech or Northern Iowa on Nov. 24.
The Commercial Appeal's Tigers basketball beat writer Jason Munz will provide comprehensive coverage as it all unfolds, producing stories, photos and video that can be found only at commercialappeal.com .
But there's a way to enhance that experience. If real-time updates, exclusive content and in-depth interaction delivered to you directly via text message from a Memphis basketball expert is more of what you're looking for, Munz has you covered. Simply sign up for his subscriber-only Memphis Tigers Basketball Insider text group to receive breaking news, daily analysis, insider insights and direct answers to your most pressing questions.
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Reach sports writer Jason Munz at [email protected] or follow him @munzly on X, the social media app formerly known as Twitter .