Have you ever wanted to try your hand at writing a screenplay, but don’t know where to start? Now’s your chance to learn more about writing for the silver screen, thanks to the Thompson-Nicola Regional Library (TNRL) and their Screenwriter in Residence, Kamloops-born and -raised screenwriter Ken Hegan.
Hegan’s residency has now started, and throughout the fall he will be providing a variety of programs, including one-on-one consultations with writers across the Thompson-Nicola Regional District. Submit a writing sample in advance, and Hegan will provide detailed feedback about it. Depending on the writer’s location within the region, consultations may be available in-person at a library branch, via phone, or by video-conference. Writers can indicate their preference when requesting an appointment.
Starting in October, Hegan will be hosting a series of film screenings at the Paramount Theatre in Kamloops, with special appearances and live Q&A periods with writers, directors, and others involved in the making of those films. Registration will be required to attend in-person, and a virtual format will be available.
Hegan will also be holding group workshops on a variety of screenwriting topics, including how to hook your audience in the opening scene; how to write comedy that slays; and how to pick the right story to make into a film.
This is the second year that the TNRL has been able to host a Writer in Residence. In 2019, more than 400 people participated in events and programs with mystery writer Deryn Collier, including 41 TNRD residents who received one-on-one coaching.
“Hey Kamloops! I’m super excited to be the TNRL’s first-ever Screenwriter in Residence,” says Hegan. “A great honour. Kamloops has character, Kamloopsians are great storytellers. Plus there are so many great locations for movies and TV shows, I’ve long believed there should be a big movie studio here. My mission as Screenwriter in Residence is to help locals dream up Kamloops stories that can be seen around the world.”
Hegan was born and raised in Kamloops, and was the Vancouver Public Library’s 2019–2020 screenwriter in residence. He has written for networks such as CBC and TSN, and co-wrote the opening essay for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics opening ceremony. He is the winner of a Gemini Award for excellence in Canadian television, and made his feature film Outrunners in Kamloops last year.
“Kamloops has character, a quality that’s so valuable to writers, and the entire region is incredibly cinematic (I love filming the desert/sagebrush hills west of town and would love to film in Ashcroft and Cache Creek),” says Hegan. “When I wrote my Outrunners screenplay in Brocklehurst during the 2020 lockdown, I’d dream up scenes in the morning, then I’d rollerblade around North Kamloops to find perfect streets to film them on.”
Hegan is excited to work with local screenwriters, but is also looking forward to providing assistance to those working in other formats. With articles published in Rolling Stone and GQ, his experience as a writer spans genres and decades. He has written popular travel columns for MSN and the National Post, and his writing has netted him more than 25 film, TV, and print awards and nominations, including three gold National Magazine Awards for Best Humour Article.
The Writer in Residence program is designed to encourage the development of the written arts in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, connect writers and the general public, and provide the writer with time, space, and resources to work on their own writing projects.
Full details about the 2021 TNRL residency can be found at https://bit.ly/3nSj067.