Lee Kvern, Calgary Public Library’s Writer-In-Residence

Lee Kvern was our honored Guest Speaker on November 17, 2015. Click on this truly delightful blog for more information)

Lee Kvern was born in Red Deer, the daughter of an RCMP officer.  She earned a Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design and Illustration.  Lee will finish her residence with the CPL shortly, but starting in April, she will be the Writer-in-Residence at the Alexander Centre, a writer’s workshop/retreat in Calgary.

Lee Kvern was an interesting and engaging speaker.  She started writing in 1990 and had some early success followed by 10 years of rejections, during which time she accumulated a husband and two children.  Later, she enrolled in writing classes and courses which were valuable to her in honing her craft.

From 2000 until the present, Lee has published three books:

  • After All, which she calls “my funny book”
  • The Matter of Sylvie, which she says needs to be read with a box of tissues at hand.  It is loosely based on her severely disabled sister.  Lee revealed that her sister is a resident of the Mitchener Home.  Lee became an activist, fighting to keep the home open.
  • 7 Ways to Sunday is a collection of 16 short stories, sort of the “best of…” Lee’s writings.

Lee then read from The Matter of Sylvie and After All, following which she participated in a lively question and answer session with the Club members.  She mentioned that she dreamt The Matter of Sylvie and that she wrote it for her mother.  She said she is a “seat-of-the-pants” writer and doesn’t use an outline.  She just knows the beginning and where it will end.  She said writers are readers and her early influences were Alice Munroe (hugely inspirational), Flannery O’Connor and Ernest Hemingway.  She mentioned that her husband, an artist, designed her first book cover.  Lee still exercises her artistic side by paining on furniture.



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