Angie Abdou wanted to be a writer from the time she first fell in-love with a book: Dr. Seuss’ One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish at age four. However, in those self-conscious teenage years, Angie backed away from this dream. In her twenties, she found herself living a parallel life to the one she most wanted. Instead of writing her own books, she taught other people’s books and put her extra energy into athletic pursuits. She eventually took up marathon running and qualified for the prestigious Boston Marathon. One week before the event, and a month before her thirtieth birthday, Angie was in a head-on highway collision and broke her back. She woke up in Calgary’s Foothills Hospital not knowing if she would ever walk again. During the long recovery, Angie decided to pursue her first dream. She collected how-to-write books and turned her attention to writing fiction. The near-death experience taught her the absurdity of letting fear of failure get in the way of an attempt. Angie has since completed a Ph.D. in Canadian Literature and Creative Writing. She has also published seven books. Angie can be heard regularly on CBC radio, where she does a monthly book column on Daybreak Alberta with Russell Bowers and occasional recommendations on The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers. Angie’s most recent book, Home Ice: Reflections of a Reluctant Hockey Mom, hit the national bestsellers list in Canadian nonfiction and made #1 spot on Amazon.ca’s bestselling hockey books.
Parenting Young Athletes
Angie spent a year reading cutting edge research on best practices in parenting and coaching young athletes. She also turned a hard eye on her own family life, past and present. Here Angie shares the lessons of her year of rethinking her approach to youth sports – and the realizations that changed the way she approached her children, her marriage, and her career.
For her novel, In Case I Go Angie engaged in cross-cultural research with the Indigenous Nation whose lands had become the setting of her story. She did some things right, but the things she did wrong became the focus of a national controversy. Learn from Angie’s mistakes as she shares her story of learning to do things differently in a changing world.
Here Angie shares the story of the near-death experience that led her to shake off the fear of failure and pursue her true dream of becoming a novelist.
Here Angie shares her lessons of reading locally for the Daybreak Alberta book recommendation column that she has now been doing every month for four years. Why support local artists? What is to be learned from reading locally? What have Alberta authors taught her about the place she lives and works?
Literacy and Reading and Libraries
Angie has a variety of inspiring and humorous speeches that focus on the value of reading and writing at every stage of life.
Health and Wellness
In relation to her novel The Bone Cage, Angie has given keynotes about health and wellness, particularly to healthcare professionals who work with athletes.
“Angie Abdou provided the keynote address for the Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop 2018 LitFest, confidently engaging attendees with a presentation that spoke to her artistic practice as a writer, but also resonated with personal experience and insight. She was able to successfully incorporate elements that were interesting, relevant and accessible for the intended audience, and we received glowing feedback from participants of our LitFest gala event. I would highly recommend Angie as a speaker.”
-Jean E. Pendziwol, Chair, 2018 LitFest Organizing Committee
“Angie Abdou is amazing! The Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop (NOWW) takes great pride in attracting high-quality Canadian writers to our annual LitFest. This past May, we invited Angie to be our keynote speaker, which usually also involves hosting a reading and a workshop. Angie’s was one of the best keynotes I’ve heard – she was funny, engaging, informative, knowledgeable, and was obviously well prepared. She also facilitated a master class, which was one of the best – if not the best – I’ve ever attended. I would highly recommend Angie for any type of literary event/keynote speaking, workshop facilitation, or reading.”
-Graham Strong, writer and NOWW board member
“Having had the pleasure of seeing Angie Abdou speak on multiple occasions, it is clear to me that she is as gifted a speaker as she is a writer. Her talks, readings, and presentations have always been insightful, emotional, informative, and often humorous. As a speaker, she is engagingly human.”
-Cory Willard, former President of the International Sport Literature Association
“Angie Abdou’s rare magic is that she combines intelligence and erudition, energy and passion, wit and wisdom with a healthy leavening of infectious humour. The scope of what she can talk about is wide and varied. And she is as adept at giving a solo presentation as she is at panel discussions or interviews. It is why she became indispensable to me when I programmed events at the Vancouver Writers Festival.”
-Hal Wake, former Artistic Director of the Vancouver Writers Festival
“Angie Abdou is a popular presenter at our literary festival. Her presentations are always intelligent, warm, and engaging. I know I can rely on Angie to arrive at the Festival fully prepared for her reading sessions. She is also continually willing to jump in and help where needed, whether it’s to moderate a panel, emcee an event, or cover for a last minute cancellation.”
-Sarah Simison, Director of Saskatchewan Festival of Words