Monthly Archives: October 2009

Perfect Cut Nominated for OLA Award!

I will always think of Yellow Knife as the city where I received the thrilling news that The Perfect Cut is one of ten books across Canada nominated by the Ontario Library Association for the White Pine Award.

“Ontario Library Association Teen Reading Program featuring Canada’s best in YA fiction!”

Yipee!!! White Pine Nominee

This is One Happy Writer

I am sitting in Javaroma Cafe in Yellow Knife – one of the few places – as far as I can tell with WiFi. We’ll be heading out to the galleries soon, but blogging and suite come first every day.

It’s cold and I’m going home tomorrow for bubbly with family and friends. Lots to celebrate: Besides the White Pine nomination, Jennifer is engaged to Nicky!!! Wow!


Filed under Events and Readings

BC BookWorld: Tell Premier Campbell to Listen to His Government’s Report

With public money, Premier Gordon Campbell has created his own
$40,000 national literary prize, B.C.’s National Award for Canadian
Non-Fiction, which he annually presents in person at a lavish
ceremony at the Pan Pacific—all financed by B.C. taxpayers. The
prize money for this award was recently raised to $40,000—from
$25,000—matching the Ontario-based Griffin Poetry Prize and
Scotiabank Giller Prize. Campbell’s own national literary award
receives far more public funding per year than /B.C. BookWorld/

which serves 100,000 readers per issue, via 900 outlets in the
province, and has been identified in a B.C. government report at
“the most important cog in the infrastructure” that supports writing
and publishing in the province.

It is the most-read independent
publication about books in Canada, even thought it is targeted to
B.C.’s 13% of the population. Now all of /B.C./ /BookWorld/’s
funding via Pacific BookWorld News Society has been suddenly
withdrawn, with three weeks’ notice. The Premier’s book award is
doing fine.

*If you feel inclined to express your opinion as to why /B.C. BookWorld/ deserves to exist, please send a few paragraphs in an email to

Or you can take a supporter/subscription by sending a cheque for $25 made out to Pacific BookWorld News Society, 3516 West 13th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V6R 2S3. PayPal option at

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Filed under Give Me a Break

Re: Furlong Urges Public to Pitch in for Event: Take a Bus

Well, hopefully this is legal and Vanoc won’t hack into my computer and remove this post because it might seem to be “Anti-Olympic.”

First of all, I bus everywhere. I like the sky-train and I’ve used the RAV line to get around. So, I’m not a car-girl, although I do have access to a car when I need/want it.

That said, if John Furlong wants Vancouverites to “do our Olympic Duty and take a bus,” perhaps he should consider providing free transit for locals during the Games. And before you all protest that this is just too costly, keep in mind that Seattle does it every day.

Also, can we expect to see Mr. Furlong waiting for a bus while he sips a latte and chats to the premier on a rainy, wet Vancouver day in his fake Cowichan sweater?
Let’s hope.

Take a Bus Dude!

Take a Bus Dude!

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Filed under Give Me a Break

Shame on the BC Liberals: Complete Funding Cut to BC BookWorld

I just received this. Please forward to as many writers and readers as you can. And send a letter of protest to the government:

“The provincial government has suddenly rescinded ALL funding to BC BookWorld, the most-read publication about books in Canada.
Notice of this pre-Olympics decision to break a 22-year-old relationship with the newspaper came from Andrea Henning, executive director of Arts & Culture, during a brisk phone call, without any explanation or paper trail, and with less than a month’s notice.

On the same day, the BC publishers’ association and the BC magazine publishers’ association similarly learned all their funding had been removed. To avoid more bloodletting, literary arts groups have formed the Coalition for the Defence of Writing and Publishing in B.C.

You’re a writer, so by all means, write a letter to the Premier or your MLA—or to us—if the spirit moves you, to protest these draconian measures. But, more importantly, if you want B.C. BookWorld to serve authors for another 22 years, become a Supporter / Subscriber. If you are willing to spare the cost of two movie tickets, we can save B.C. BookWorld as a public institution that serves 100,000 readers throughout the province, via more than 900 outlets.

It’s not charity. It’s a good deal. Send a cheque for $25 made out to PACIFIC BOOKWORLD NEWS SOCIETY, and we’ll mail B.C. BookWorld to your home or office address throughout 2010. In essence, I am asking one thousand authors to collectively replace Gordon Campbell’s government.

It’s a case of double jeopardy. If we’re not making the newspaper, it’s unlikely my colleague David Lester and I will be able to maintain our free reference site—for and about more than 9,000 B.C. authors—at (for which we have never received a penny).

That’s the gist of the situation. It’s up to you. Show us that Gordon Campbell made the wrong decision. Send your Supporter / Subscriber cheque ($25) today to PACIFIC BOOKWORLD NEWS SOCIETY, 3516 West 13th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V6R 2S3.

–Alan Twigg, Publisher”

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Filed under Uncategorized

A Writer’s Dream – 6 Days to Just Write

This afternoon I am off to Whistler Mountain for six days with a friend. She is the perfect travelling companion for a writer because she is thrilled to spend the day reading, while I am on my computer creating my next novel. We’ve been on the road together before – in Mexico, and various West Coast locations, but this will be the first time we are going to stay in a chi chi resort with a spa, a pool, an exercise room and kilometres of hiking trails under the shadow of Whistler/Blackcomb.

I plan to take a break and ride the peak-to-peak, and if I weren’t still wounded, I’d do the zip line as well.

I can probably get in six solid, undisturbed hours of writing a day. I’m leaving here with 37,000 words (mostly good ones). It will be interesting to see what I return with. My goal: another 10,000 mostly good words…

On Monday the 19th of October, when I get back to Vancouver, I will face the critique group at Christianne’s Lycuem. I’m terrified and grateful all at the same time.

And what was I thankful for this year on Thanksgiving?
WIFI = Freedom!!!!

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Filed under Writing Tips

Some Great Photos of Olympic Village Thanksgiving Walk

Check out another new web albumRainbow over the City: James and I walk around the seawall at Olympic Village on Thanksgiving Day.
What a nice way to walk off the turkey sausages and French toast!

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Filed under Stuff to do

My Favourite Movie So Far at VIFF

This morning we saw This Way of Life.
New Zealand 2009, 85m
Director: Tom Burstyn

From the moment it began until the final credits, the whole audience, including myself and my daughter were oblivious to everything but the real-life characters on the screen before us. This movie touched on so many themes – respect, love, living in grace, poverty, what is wealth, parenting, living for the moment, forgiveness…I would buy the DVD – it is that good. Shot in New Zealand, this is a documentary about a family who have nothing and yet they have everything.

If you get the chance, see it.

Tonight’s pick: Will Not Stop There from Croatia. Looks pretty weird…

The best thing about the VIFF today? I ran into a Dawson City friend: Dan Sokolowski, excellent guy and producer of the Dawson City International Short Film Fest. We’re off for dinner and catching up. I miss Dawson. Need to visit soon, but first Yellow Knife in a week!
The North gets into your blood.
Gotta go eat sushi.

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Filed under Stuff to do

Buy Julie Burtinshaw’s Books at Amazon! Widgets

About Perfect Cut: Seeing lots of great reviews like this one:

The detail and depth Julie Burtinshaw went into to describe this young mans life was iunbelievably well done. I started this book, and neglect life until I was finished. From the very beginning I was drawn in to the story, as I have an interest in adolescent psychology, and I was not disappointed. For anyone looking for a great book that is about more than just first kisses or friend problems, I recommend this to you. Words cannot describe how much I LOVED this book. Thank you.


Filed under Blogroll, General

I Try to Write Every Day – No Matter What

Here’s a tip for writers, published or not. Make a real effort to write every single day, not matter what else is going on. For most of us, life is busy. It’s the rare person who can focus only on their writing. For the majority, at the very least we have jobs, and many of us have families -you know – short people who are always hungry or need a ride somewhere or a band-aid.

I promised myself I would make a real effort to write a bit of my new novel every day and so far I have been successful. Mind you, sometimes I only get an hour to work on my book, but you know what? On a good day when the creative juices are flowing, I can get some good words down in that sixty minutes.

On a bad day, I might spend forty of those sixty minutes writing “barf,” but I can usually tell when things are going that way and switch to research mode.

Those sixty minutes I stole today in the middle of end-of-the-month-edits and working for the Teen Suicide Prevention Group came from (and I hang my head in shame), turning off a Hell’s Kitchen re-run. Worse, I’d already seen that episode (You stupid cow)! last week or last month. But isn’t that what procrastination is all about? Wasting time. It’s not like I was reading my book (Blue Angel by Francine Prose) – that would be valuable time, but no – I was watching daytime TV 😦

In order to steal a few precious minutes out of a busy day, it’s necessary to be aware of what I am doing. That, I think is the secret to reclaiming time. So often people (writers) tell me, “I just don’t have the time to write,” and sometimes that’s the truth, but before you utter those words or think that thought, ask yourself: “Who am I kidding?”

If your answer is “only me,” than turn off the TV, stop vacuuming, put down the windex, don’t bother with the Baked Alaska and don’t worry about the leaves accumulating in the garden. Put it all out of your mind and WRITE.

You’ll be surprised at how quickly the word count builds.


Filed under Writing Tips