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This issue of WriteOn is packed with news for BC writers and events through September and early October. As always, we appreciate your feedback. If you have an event to share or ideas for upcoming issues of WriteOn, please write to us at: Enjoy!
Doni Eve, WriteOn Editor


6 Sparks and a Flash - FBCW 2019 Flash Fiction contest - $350 prize

A new flash fiction contest just for BC writers gives contestants six words to include in their entries. Entries for the Federation of British Columbia Writers 2019 Flash Fiction contest must include the words cobble,  status, woven,  wait,  avocado, and intermittent.
The 500-word maximum for each entry includes the title, said contest coordinator and FBCW board member Keith Liggett. "Flash fiction needs a start, it needs a spark ... I thought I'd give people six sparks.”
"I'm hoping to rejuvenate writers, to get them to step out of their normal box, and do something different," Liggett said. 
The contest is open to British Columbia writers only. Sign-ups via Submittable begin Sept. 1, with the final deadline at midnight, PDT on Oct. 1. The prize will be $350, and the contest will be judged by B.C. author Angie Abdou. The winner will be announced on Nov. 1, 2019. 
Contestants can go to BCWRITERS.CA for more details. 
The Federation of BC Writers is a non-profit organization which promotes excellence and professionalism in the literary arts in British Columbia. For more information or to join, contact

WordWorks – The Reconciliation Issue

A very special edition of WordWorks, the Federation of BC Writers' flagship magazine, will be in mailboxes soon. Editor Ursula Vaira said she learned a lot putting this issue on reconciliation together and still has a lot to learn.
“This I know,” Vaira said. “There is much that writers can do to seek relationship with one another. From relationship, all good things begin.”
You’ll enjoy a range of featured columnists, with much to offer. Douglas White III (Kwul’a’sul’tun) shows how a language of caring and love revealed to him “the heart of reconciliation.” Randy Fred tells how the act of writing broke open his long silence about the abuse he suffered at residential school. Cherie Dimaline has compelling answers to the question, “Who should tell Indigenous stories?” Wawmeesh Hamilton explains why journalists “shouldn’t shy away from telling Indigenous stories just because they’re not Indigenous.” The late Greg Younging left us his superb Elements of Indigenous Style: A Guide for Writing for and about Indigenous Peoples. And Ann Graham Walker writes about the Fed’s involvement in projects that bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth together to write.

Look for WordWorks in your mailbox by September 15th. Federation of BC Writers' members can choose to receive the print version of WordWorks or not. If you want the full colour magazine to arrive by Canada Post, make sure you check the box on your member profile. Log into your profile here: Scroll down to “Which Subscriptions are you interested in receiving” and click the box for WordWorks for delivery to your mailbox three times a year.


Meet Cynthia Sharp!

Fed board member, regional rep for Greater Vancouver, 2019 Writer in Residence at Richmond Public Library. Cynthia Sharp is a busy and creative force to behold! She says being a regional rep is an absolute high. “I’ve been especially blessed to be in an active region with helpful area reps, a large Fed membership and a vast array of already established literary communities to network with, not to mention mild weather so we can still get around in the winter,” Sharp said.
“These past few months have seen a number of wonderful events for our membership. Our December Meet ’n’ Greet and publishing discussion led to my middle school students, who came with their families, deciding to join the Fed and become involved as a youth writing group. It’s been such a treat to have those two parts of my life, teaching and writing, come together, with monthly workshops specifically for teens. The youth have taken on poetry, short story writing, community and skills building literary games, workshopped material together and even joined our wider community on stage for Earth Day, where we were honoured to have poet and flash fiction writer Jane Munro feature, along with many other Fed members. We’ve also had wonderful high school student volunteers such as David Guo run our book tables at events.”
“Our adult members have been hard at work too. From member Taylore Daniel leading us in a Yoga for Writers presentation, to spoken word artist R.C. Weslowski leading a workshop on clowning, we’ve been learning and engaging with the talent among and around us.”
Sharp said one of the highlights of the year was the publishing fair in conjunction with the Vancouver Public Library, where 86 people came out to hear tips from experts in the field. “Many Fed members travelled in from Vancouver Island and all around the province to lend a helping hand. The Federation of BC Writers is an incredible community - locally, regionally and provincially. I look forward to meeting and networking further with members.”
Cynthia Sharp is the author of Rainforest in Russet, available from Silver Bow Publishing

Cynthia Sharp. Photo by poet Angela Rebrec, with Fiona Tang's drawing in the background. The Burnaby Writers Society invited a few Fed members to compose to the art at Deer Lake Gallery, along with their own members, bringing several writers' and artists' communities together for their Spring Finale.
Do you know a Federation of BC Writers’ member that we can profile? Maybe it’s you! Please send a brief bio and photo to:

News and opportunities for writers

A scam targeting writers
By Linda Wall

Last week I was contacted via email through my profile with Federation of BC Writers for my ‘dream job’ as an editor for the company called BROOKFIELD COMMUNITIES. Brookfield Communities ‘seems’ to be based in Arizona/Nevada. After going back and forth via email and google hangouts with a lady named Sarah Taylor. I had an online interview for the editing position and was told they would make a decision the next morning. After a few questions of my availability for training that day I was told I got the job. She sent a contract for me to sign and return – the name on the signing contract is PAVAN BHALLA.

Then she told me she’d send me info and a cheque to buy a laptop to be dedicated for me to use for their work only… told to deposit via mobile app to my account and then would be given instructions on how/where to buy laptop, and next steps. The next email was a cheque image issued from a company in Edmonton called Bavaria BMW. That was my first ‘red flag’.

Anyway, I proceeded to follow directions to deposit the cheque to my account – had never used mobile deposit, so had to do all the downloads and configurations. While trying to figure out how to do a screen shot of the deposit, I got a call from my bank that this cheque is from a CLOSED account.
The bank person told me that sending cheques via images is NOT the legitimate way for a company to pay, nor is sending money for the client to buy a laptop – the company should supply it from their location. So – anyway, just a heads up – this company/person is a SCAM.
After telling Sarah that my bank called and said the cheque was on a closed account (Bavaria BMW) she tried to send a second cheque (image) from a company in Ontario. At that point I informed her that it's all a SCAM and that they'd been reported to Federation of BC Writers and RCMP and to not contact me again. Haven't heard from her since.

Writers’ Trust of Canada needs new executive director

For details you can view the job description online. This is a full-time position located in downtown Toronto. The deadline to apply is September 13, 2019.

Call for nominations for Canada’s next Parliamentary Poet Laureate

In June, the Parliament of Canada recently issued a call for nominations to begin the search for Canada’s ninth Parliamentary Poet Laureate. There is still time to nominate candidates: the deadline for nominations is September 16, 2019.

The role of the Parliamentary Poet Laureate is to promote the importance and value of poetry among all Canadians. Pursuant to the Parliament of Canada Act, the Poet Laureate may perform the following duties: compose poetry, especially for use in Parliament on occasions of state, sponsor poetry readings, advise the Parliamentary Librarian on the Library’s collection and acquisitions to enrich the collection’s cultural holdings, and perform related duties at the request of the Speaker of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Commons, or the Parliamentary Librarian. The Poet Laureate holds office for a maximum of two years.

For more information on the Poet Laureate and the nomination process, please visit the Parliament of Canada Web site at You may also contact the Library of Parliament Information Service at 1-866-599-4999.

Call for webinar presenters for Editors Canada 2019-20 season

Editors Canada, known for delivering high-quality training for editors and other communication professionals, is inviting proposals from experienced professionals for the 2019–20 season.
They are looking for proposals from professionals with expertise in editing, communication and related areas to prepare and present webinars or programs of webinars in English and/or French, with particular interest in the following topics:
  • Proofreading
  • Structural editing
  • Stylistic editing
  • Fundamentals of editing
  • Developing a publication schedule
  • Writing effective emails
  • Niche editing topics
  • Strategic or advanced software skills
Webinars in these topics should specifically relate to Editors Canada's Professional Editorial Standards.
Editors Canada webinars are informational and educational. They're looking for webinars that are 60–90 minutes in length (or longer webinars that can be broken up into shorter sessions). Instructors will be offered a flat fee based on webinar length and a portion of the sales of recordings, in addition to a bonus if the webinar receives over 20 registrants.
If you have a session to present that would fit this format, complete the webinar proposal form as soon as possible (deadline is Saturday, September 21). Include only one webinar proposal per form.
To see examples of previous webinars and to get an idea of what topics have already been covered, view the webinar recordings. If you have any questions about Editors Canada webinars, please address them to

Events and learning

How to Self-Publish a Book - For the Tech Challenged Author
Federation of BC Writers’ members receive 20% off! (Use coupon code LEARNFOR20). Link to the course:
This ongoing course is offered by Authors Tech School instructor Barb Drozdowich. Barb is a longtime FBCW member and sought-after workshop presenter.
Course description:
Each year, more and more authors are realizing that they don’t have to take the traditional publishing route to get their work out into the world. Self-publishing is a great option for many writers, but the actual process of publishing a book yourself can feel overwhelming.

So overwhelming that you might not ever get started in the first place.

In “How to Self-Publish a Book,” you’ll learn everything from putting together your manuscript to getting an ISBN number to formatting and distributing your book. The easy-to-understand, step-by-step format will guide you through the entire process. Before you know it, you’ll be sharing your brand new book with your friends and family!

Your instructor is Barb Drozdowich, an author and consultant who has published 18 of her own books and has several more in the works. Barb has been teaching writers for more than two decades, specializing in demystifying technology and breaking down complex processes into simple, manageable steps.

When you sign up for “How to Self-Publish a Book”, you’ll get immediate access to 19 videos (more than two hours of content!) that cover key topics such as:
  • How the publishing industry has changed and what that means for potential authors
  • All aspects of publishing: Writing, editing, designing, formatting, uploading, marketing
  • What you need to know about file formats
  • The necessary pieces to include in a book file
  • Where to sell your book
  • Red flags to look for if you go with a self-publishing service
Plus, plenty of additional links and resources along the way for even more information.

This is an ongoing course – you can sign up and take it whenever it is convenient for you. Just click on the link, create an account and pay the discounted fee (the 20% discount is only available to FBCW members!). You get unlimited access to the videos. They can be watched whenever you have time – you can stop and start back up when you want to continue. Don’t forget your coupon code: LEARNFOR20.

Victoria Writers' Autumn Meet & Greet
If you're in Victoria on Friday, September 6, please come to the Victoria Writers' Autumn Meet & Greet from 5 to 7pm at James Joyce Bistro / Peacock Billiards (1175-C Douglas St, across from the Bay Centre). Come talk meet fellow writers and about writing and publishing and everything in between with local BC Fed members plus writers from Canadian Authors-Victoria and the Victoria Writers' Society. Free admission.
Cornelia Hoogland, writer-in-residence for the Whistler Literary Society (of Whistler Literary festival fame) for the months of September and October will be reading at the libraries in Squamish, Pemberton and Whistler, as well as at the festival. She provides mentorship to a number of writers and her own project concerns recording sounds at dawn, and working poetry into the recordings––finding the human bandwidth within the natural world. Her latest book is Trailer Park Elegy published by Harbour. Her work includes
Cosmic Bowling: The I Ching Poems with Ted Goodden, forthcoming with Guernica Press, and Trailer Park Elegy (Harbour, 2017) finalist, League of Canadian Poets’ Raymond Souster Award. Website She lives on Hornby Island, B.C.
Social at the Gibsons Public Market
Friday, Sept 6  2pm-4pm: write-in. We will write in silence till 3:40pm, then share our work or talk about writing.

Write Your Story: Memoir writing workshop with author Darrel J. McLeod -Author of MAMASKATCH: A Cree Coming of Age. Winner of the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award for Non-fiction. Sat., Sept. 14th, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm.
Sooke Region Museum Pavilion, 2070 Phillips Road, Sooke. Space is limited.
FREE event presented by the Federation of BC Writers and Sooke Region Historical Society. With support from the Province of British Columbia. Bring a pen, a notebook and your memories. Register at: For more information or if you need assistance registering, please contact

Restarting Your Stalled Story: Writing Workshop with Betsy Warland (Full. Waiting list is open) September 14, 10:30 am – 1:30 pm at the Gibsons library.

Reading with Betsy Warland
September 14, 2:30 pm at the Gibsons library – free. Registration is open.

BETSY WARLAND has published 12 books of poetry, creative nonfiction, and lyric prose including her bestselling 2010 book of essays on writing, Breathing the Page—Reading the Act of Writing. Whether teaching and mentoring in The Writer’s Studio at SFU, mentoring and editing in Vancouver Manuscript Intensive, being a manuscript consultant or teaching workshops and courses, Warland has been working intensively with emerging writers and authors for the past 35 years. She will read from her most recent and forthcoming works.

Memoir as Muse: Writing Workshop with Betsy Warland (Full. Waiting list is open) September 15, 10:00am – 4:00 pm at Chaster House, $65/ Fed members, $80/ non members. More information:

An evening with Anny Scoones and Wally du Temple
The Sidney and Peninsula Literary Society will host the first reading of a four-part Fall Reading Series at the SHOAL Centre in Sidney on Friday, September 20 at 7 pm. Authors Anny Scoones and Wally du Temple will be discussing and reading from their latest books.   

In Scoones’ latest book Island Home: Out and About on Vancouver Island, her travels on Vancouver Island exploring its many nooks and crannies have resulted in a fascinating and layered history of the people and places of the island. Scoones has written six books. She lives in James Bay with her partner and her dog Archie, plus a multitude of cats she brought with her from North Saanich, where she lived on her historic Glamorgan Farm. She currently teaches ESL (English) downtown, recently became a yoga instructor, and still competes at the annual Saanich Fair on her horse.

Thoroughly respectful of First Nations, Du Temple’s book Dream Catcher and Reconcilliation is part memoir, part essays, and part letter to his grandson. Particularly notable is an episode in which Du Temple and other social workers worked to alert the BC government of the tragedy occurring during the Sixties Scoop. Du Temple has had several careers - social worker, teacher, and a wilderness canoe outfitter. He is a champion for better understanding of the abuses suffered by First Nations concerning residential schools, housing, treaties, water and the Indian Act.

Tickets are $10 for this event and are available from Tanner’s Books and on-line at  A ticket package for the reading series is $30 from Tanner’s only. All proceeds from ticket sales will go to support the 2021 Sidney LitFest. Further information -

Childhood Memories: Interviews for TV program
Saturday, September 21, 10am-4pm. Gibsons Public Library. Share your childhood stories for Eastlink Community TV's new show, Childhood Memories. Preserve your memories and help preserve playful history! To sign up or for more information, contact Brittany Broderson at (778) 462-3005 or

Multicultural Give Peace a Chance festival
Every year Global Peace Alliance, Surrey celebrates the International Day of Peace with the multicultural Give Peace a Chance festival and acknowledgement of Literary and Visual Arts Contest winners. Performers and artists are invited to take part and present song, dance or speech on the theme of peace; love, friendship, family, forgiveness, kindness, the destructiveness of war, climate change or any other topic emphasizing the positive nature of humanity and its survival.
To participate:
  • Please include a short introduction 2 lines as to who you are,    
  • the name of your performance - a short explanation of what you will be doing (a video of your performance if available)
  • the number of people in your group, (they give a small honorarium $80 single – $150 depending on group size, more if there are sponsors )
  • the music that you will need (bring on a stick) and lighting colors if it can be done.
Stage information:
Stage opening: 50' wide x 25' 3" high
Downstage line to upstage curtain at centre: 15’ 4”
Downstage line to upstage curtain at sides: 10’ 2”
Stage height from front row 1’ 3.5”
We are proud to live in a country such as Canada where our peaceful communities can show the world that change can occur from tension, fear, and uncertainty to relief, resilience and durable peace.
COMMUNITY: If you know of a peace group or a community group or a cultural group that would like to have a table to exhibit or pass information. Let them know as well. They are asking for a small donation of $50. But nobody will be turned away if there’s hardship. 
VOLUNTEERS: Volunteers for the day are welcomed.
Contact: Niovi Patsicakis, M.Ed. McGill
President of Global Peace Alliance, Surrey Society

Lit Café - Autumn Leaves: Readings of Poetry
The eighteenth instalment of Lit Café - a quarterly offering of readings by five featured authors, hosted by Alexandra Neighbourhood House. Autumn Leaves: Readings of Poetry, will feature original works by Bill Arnott, Kyle Christensen, Winston Le, Ben Nuttall-Smith, and Cynthia Sharp. Following their readings, there will be a Q&A panel discussion, and an open mic for aspiring authors. Refreshments are available by donation; but otherwise the event is free to the public - no registration required!

Autumn Leaves: Readings of Poetry will be held on Monday, September 23, 2019, from 7-9 pm, at Alexandra Neighbourhood House Crescent Beach location, 2916 McBride Ave. – Surrey.
Neil Fernyhough, Manager, Community Programs
Alexandra Neighbourhood House

Word Vancouver
A celebration of writing and reading featuring both international and Canadian authors. Sept. 24-29, 2019. Vancouver.
Behind the Keyboard - webinar with Eileen Cook
September 26, 2019, 7 pm-8pm PDT. Join us for the first Behind the Keyboard webinar! We are thrilled to bring you Eileen Cook as our first guest. She'll be reading from You Owe Me a Murder, followed by an interview and then a mini workshop to get you on track with your own writing. Co-hosted by Nicolle Browne and Cynthia Sharp.

Eileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in nine languages. Her books have been optioned for film and TV. She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer. She's an instructor/mentor with The Creative Academy and Simon Fraser University Writer's Studio Program where she loves helping other writers find their unique story to tell. Eileen lives in Vancouver with two very naughty dogs. 


A festival that celebrates the works of Asian Canadian writers and artists with readings, panel dicussions and workshops. Vancouver Sept. 27-28, 2019.

Book launch  - Around the World in a Dugout Canoe
By Qualicum Beach author John MacFarlane. Mulberry Bush Bookstore, Qualicum Beach, Sat., September 28, 1pm – 2pm. Book release and author signing.
Around the World in a Dugout Canoe
The Untold Story of Captain John Voss and the Tilikum
Harbour Publishing


Developing Memorable Characters
Presented by Suzanne Anderson
Sunday, September 29, 9:00 – 12:00 at Beban Park Social Center in Nanaimo.
Cost $40. Register at or 250-756-5200.
Readers fall in love with characters in stories. Learn about the different types of characters, how to develop them, and how to make them memorable. There will be in-class exercises to develop your own characters. Suzanne presents writing workshops throughout BC.
How to Get Your Book Published
Presented by Suzanne Anderson
Sunday, October 6, 9:00 – 3:00  at Beban Park Social Center in Nanaimo.
Cost $80. Register at or 250-756-5200.
If you have finished writing your book, the next step is getting it published. You will learn how to find a publisher, craft a query letter, write a proposal, and what an agent does for you. Suzanne Anderson is the co-owner of Half Acre Publishing and the author of three books.

Cascadia Poetry Festival
Oct. 4-5, Cumberland, BC.
Online tickets sales are now up and running for the Cascadia Poetry Festival – Oct. 4th and 5th in Cumberland BC. Check out workshop offerings, featuring Matt Rader, Sonnet  L'Abbé, Jordan Abel and Megan Cursons.  
Meaghan Curson's festival workshop is Poems for Cumberland – Stitching Together Altered Landscapes – A Village and Forest Walking Tour. This workshop will be a great inspiration for our upcoming featured Red Tree event, Poems For Cumberland, this November at the Cumberland Masonic Hall. Stay tuned for more details!  

If you are interested in festival volunteer opportunities, please email or call 250-891-9163. This is a great way to participate behind the scenes and receive a free festival pass!

Also, anyone looking to stay at the Riding Fool Hostel, call 250-336-8250 to book. There are rooms available with a women's dorm, a men's dorm, family rooms and private rooms.
As well, the first Red Tree reading of the new season features Neil Garvie on September 15th at the Abbey. More details available here.

Victoria Festival of Authors 
Oct. 2-6, 2019. The fourth annual Victoria Festival of Authors launches Fall 2019. A week of local and national authors and readers celebrating words and engaging with ideas. Events include inspiring readings, diverse voices on discussion panels, and workshops to develop your own craft.

Write Poetry in the Forest with Ursula Vaira
Saturday Oct. 5: 10:30am –12.30pm., Gibsons, the rotunda in Dougall Park. By donation. Let’s walk under trees and have "large and melodious thoughts descend upon us"! (to quote Walt Whitman). We’ll explore the woods through our six senses re relearn our natural ways of interacting, communicating, and being with the rooted beings.

Rain or shine? Sure. Bring warm dry clothes. A snack so we can eat together. A blanket or plastic so we can sit on the ground sometimes. A notebook and pencil (waterproof if you have).

Ursula Vaira is the author of And See What Happens: the journey poems. She’s the founder and publisher for 18 years of Leaf Press, a literary poetry publisher in Lantzville, BC. She’s now the editor for WordWorks, the magazine of the Federation of BC Writers.

The Vancouver Writers Fest’s flagship Festival 
Ot. 21-27, 2019 with local and international writers on and around Granville Island. Events available for all ages.

Tickets on Sale
Monday, September 9: For Members
Wednesday, September 11: For School Groups
Monday, September 16: For Everyone

More information:

Whistler Writers Festival
Oct. 17-20, 2019.

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West Coast Editing 
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Word on the Lake Festival
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