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As the days grow longer, I hope you're enjoying the sunshine. Spring must be just around the corner. I saw a robin on my walk yesterday, and a brave little clump of daffodils that unseasonable weather had tried to beat down without success. (Clocks spring forward on Sunday, March 10!).

Another sure sign of spring is the Spring Writes Festival, which takes place on May 2 to 5 in Nanaimo (see Member News below). As the new executive director of the FBCW, I look forward to meeting you there.

It's with sadness that I learned today of the passing of one of our members, renowned poet Patrick Lane. Patrick was presented with the Governor General’s Award for Poetry for Poems New and Selected, the Canadian Authors Association Award and three National Magazine Awards. Our condolences and thoughts go out to his wife Lorna Crozier, also a renowned poet and Fed member.

If you have any questions about Spring Writes or any of our services, please email us at or you can reach me at

Wishing you inspiration in your writing,

Ellen Niemer
Executive Director

Member News 

The winners of the Literary Writes 2019 poetry contest were announced on March 1. Congratulations to Fran Bourassa of North Vancouver (for her poem "The Other") and Lesley-Anne Evans of Kelowna (for her poem "What You Can Carry"). They tied for first place in the adult category.

In the young writers’ category, which was judged by Renee Saklikar, Poet Laureate of the City of Surrey, four poets received Honourable Mentions, led by Ulricke Bucksteg-Neuhoff, a grade 10 student from Nanaimo, for her poem “Who Is ‘The Other’?”

Other Honourable Mentions went to Danica Custance, a grade 9 student from Maple Ridge for her poem “Another’s Other”; Ayesha Pervez, a grade 12 student from Delta for her poem “Men Of My Heritage” and Harley McFarlane of Maple Ridge for her poem “Whole”.

The BC Short Contest will be opening soon! Watch for details in Write On and on the FBCW website.

Spring Writes 2019 returns to Nanaimo on May 2 to 5. The full schedule is posted on our website. Packed with exciting workshops, motivating speakers and blue pencil sessions, it's a wonderful opportunity to hone your craft and network with our vibrant community of BC writers. Don't be disappointed. Sign up early.

Special room discounts are being offered by the Coast Bastion Hotel. To book a room, call 1-800-716-6199 and use code CBI-FC539168. The rooms that are reserved for Spring Writes attendees will be released on April 2. We will keep you informed of other discounts available.

The publishing-themed Spring edition of WordWorks is in production with Ursula Vaira as our guest editor. 

Check out our Events page for upcoming events and information.

Contests & Awards 

Islands Short Fiction Contest is in its 14th year. More than $2,200 in cash and prizes will be awarded in Adult, Youth and Junior categories. Deadline is March 29 at noon.

The Second Annual Pottersfield Prize for Creative Nonfiction offers first and second prize winners a contract for book publication as well as an advance on royalties. Deadline is March 31.

Muriel's Journey Poetry Prize honours the vivacity and outspoken presence of poet-activist Muriel Marjorie. Deadline is April 1.

The 2019 Victoria Writers' Society Annual Writing Contest features cash prizes in fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry. Deadline is May 1.

Far Horizons Award for Short Fiction invites emerging writers to submit their short stories. The winning story will be published in The Malahat Review and earns a $1,000 prize. Deadline is May 1 at midnight PST.

Calls for Submissions 

filling Station Magazine accepts singular or simultaneous submissions of previously unpublished poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, critical non-fiction (about literature and occasionally about visual art), and visual art. Theyre always on the hunt for great writing and artwork. 


I Value Canadian Stories lets you send a message to Members of the Industry & Heritage Committees who are writing final reports for the Copyright Act review. Let them know that they need to support restoring compensation to creators and publishers for education copying.

Cascadia Poetics LAB AGM will be held on March 10. Enjoy some poetry, review the past year's programming, get a preview of this fall's festival and share delicious foods. 

Red Tree Poetry reading on March 17 will feature poet Dan Kirk. Open mic starts at 7 pm at The Abbey, 2689 Penrith Avenue in Cumberland.

Sidney LitFest celebrates readers and writers and the books that bring them together. It runs from April 11 to 14 at the SHOAL Centre and the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney.

Workshops & Retreats

Micro-Memoirs: Compelling and Concise ia a free workshop featuring Nakusp writer Galadriel Watson on April 6. Learn how to create mico-memoirs in 750 words or less!

Poetry as a Healing Art: A three-day residential writing retreat will be held at Honeymoon Bay Lodge & Retreat Centre on April 22 to 25. Dr. Laura Apol will lead workshops in truth-telling, reimagining/reclaiming the story, and other healing techniques.

Sage Hill's 2019 Programs include a 2019 Spring Poetry Colloquium with George Elliott Clarke from May 17 to 31 (deadline to apply is March 11) and Summer Writing Courses from July 2 to 12 (deadline to apply is April 1).

I hope these listings inspire you to take a workshop, delve into a new genre or renew your commitment to your genre of choice. 

All the best,




Copyright © 2019 The Federation of BC Writers, All rights reserved.

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