May 25th, 2024

Writer in Residence ready to mentor aspiring authors


By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on November 17, 2021.

photo by William Au Virtual Writer in Residence Richard Van Camp says he is excited to mentor aspiring authors as part of the Lethbridge Public Library's Writer in Residency program.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

The Lethbridge Public Library is offering aspiring writers a chance to connect with and learn from a published author through their Writer in Residency program.
Virtual Writer in Residence Richard Van Camp is a proud Tlicho Dene from Fort Smith, Northwest Territories. He is the author of 26 books in 26 years, best known for his 1996 novel The Lesser Blessed, which was adapted into a film by director Anita Doron in 2012.
In the past several years, Van Camp has been the Storyteller in Residence for the Calgary Public Library, and the Writer in Residence at the Metro Federation of Edmonton Libraries. He has also been the Writer in Residence at the University of Alberta, Yellowhead Tribal College, MacEwan University, and the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford.
“You name it, I’ve probably been their writer in residence,” said Van Camp.
Van Camp said it is an honour and privilege to be the online writer in residence for the Lethbridge Public Library.
He explained that he will be booking one-on-one sessions over Zoom with aspiring writers that need mentorship.
“Because I published with 12 different publishers and I had two different agents that represent me, my wish is that I could help writers with their writing but not only with their writing, but I’d also like to get them one step closer to approaching an agent or publishing house,” said Van Camp.
Van Camp will be meeting with writers three nights per week for the next seven weeks and then conducting some weekend workshops specializing in fictional writing, the art of storytelling and reclaiming family medicine.
“What I loved about being the writer in residence is you know I have 26 books out in the last 26 years, and this is really my time as a midcareer writer to start giving back to my community,” said Van Camp.
He added that he is excited to meet writers, because some members of the community that have already booked their one-on-one sessions with him have already been published but they want to learn how to market themselves better.
“Some of them have ideas and they want to know how I put pen to paper, some of them are sitting on three or four different polished manuscripts and they want to know how to approach an agent or publisher,” said Van Camp.
The Writer in Residency program is presented with the support of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and it is offered free of charge to members of the Lethbridge Public Library and Chinook Arch Regional Library System.
“I love being the online writer in residence for any kind of organization. I love helping and I love seeing people succeed,” said Van Camp.
He added that he is just excited to see everybody online, to read their work, to be a cheerleader and a mentor.
“It just means the world to me to be considered a mentor and I look forward to helping out any way that I can,” said Van Camp.

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