Monthly Archives: February 2011

Writing Symposium in Victoria, BC

An exciting symposium, “Secure Footing in a Changing Literary Landscape.” The Victoria symposium takes place on Friday March 11 from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm at Ambrosia Conference & Event Centre, Powell Room, 638 Fisgard Street. The Vancouver workshop on Thursday March 10 is already sold out. Please help us make the Victoria event equally successful.

This is the one-day event that will help writers explore the importance of developing a writing community, discover how to build a web presence, reach out to readers in the new digital literary landscape, and negotiate a contract. The symposium is open to both Union members and non-members and is designed to assist writers at different phases in their careers. Registration forms are available on the Union website at . Fax them to 416-504-9090, email them to or call Valerie at 416-703-8982 x 224 to register.


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Filed under Stuff to do, Travelling In the World, Writing Tips

Attention Writers: Artists Retreat Whistler Mountain

Well, as you all know, I am a great one for fleeing home and hearth for a writer’s retreat. So far this has taken me to Iceland, the wonderful Yukon, so why not closer to home? Why not Whistler Mountain? I don’t know when I am happier at Whistler; the summer when it is hot and dusty or the winter when the snow falls, or perhaps those can’t make up their mind shoulder seasons?
Here is a great place to go to write or paint – in a group, to share expense, and there’s lots of room to call your own.
I know the artist who owns this place and she is lovely, so give her a call and book some ‘me’ time.

Let's get the party started – I'm Ready for a Little Me Time at Whistler

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Filed under Stuff to do, Travelling In the World

Keen Readers: Youth Literacy Website for Reluctant Readers and Parents

One of Vancouver’s Cwill authors has recently been involved in the development of an excellent new website promoting youth literacy. It is absolutely a site to bookmark. Keen Readers
It’s (the site) for parents of reluctant readers and includes interviews with middle-grade and young-adult authors (a new one each month), as well as MG/YA book reviews. The site is North American in scope and authors will come from both Canada and the US.
What a great idea!
Find writing contests for both youth and adult writers and much more. Keen Readers is currently looking for content, so if you have something to contribute, visit their website and get writing today!

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Filed under writing contests, Writing Tips

Rejection Woes: When Editors Don’t Bother to Reply

One of the things that is really hard for me to handle as a writer is when I am not rejected properly. I can handle rejection – it’ s part of writing for a living and even the most successful writers have to deal with this (think Stephen King, and there are many others). As an editor, I always, always let writers know why their article made not have made the cut, and the cool thing is, most of those ‘rejected’ writers come back at me with a really good and publishable piece for suite.
I can’t imagine just ignoring them. Which brings me to today’s rant. This has bugging me for months, so here goes.
Last summer, I sent an article into Westjet Magazine (Up) about things to do within an hour of Montreal – they’d asked for this type of submission, and I had the information, having spent so much time in Quebec and loving every second. I didn’t get a reply, not after months, not even a “sorry, but your article sucks…” I asked around and discovered that they had a reputation for this, so I didn’t feel quite so bad. Instead I sent off a reminder type email and another one after that.
They never bothered to reply and reject me properly, which is why I no longer post their deals on this site. I used to do that because it’s so great to get away from routine for a while and hop a cheap flight to warmer climes or great mountains, and I got lots of hits on that part of this blog. Too bad, Westjet – I didn’t ask for my work to be accepted, just rejected nicely. It only takes a few minutes to write a quick “Thanks for submitting to us, but…” email. And that goes a long way.

This is just a funny sign and it made me laugh when I needed a laugh

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Filed under Give Me a Break

Posting photos: WP versus Blogger

I have posted some photos on my other blog: Building a Laneway house in Vancouver, because the snow fences are now up to protect trees. It was so frustrating working with blogger, because unlike wordpress, they have a photo quota and mine was up, so I had to link to a picassa web album from my pc and back to mac.
It made me wish I’d started that blog on wordpress, but I wanted to compare the two platforms. Needless to say, wordpress gets my vote.

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Filed under Give Me a Break