Monthly Archives: April 2012

New York Press Accepting Submissions Now is a brand new press looking for writers:

“We’re looking for innovative, quality writing from fearless writers everywhere in the
world. Poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and genres as-yet unnamed are welcome.”

Check out their website – they are accepting submissions now! This might be the opportunity you are looking for!

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Julie Burtinshaw Interveiw With Be The Media

Check out this interview I did with for the podcast, radio show, “Be The Media,” on Vancouver Island.
It’s titled the Wired Author and is full of good information for authors and readers alike.

This was only one of the great things I got to do while on my retreat on Vancouver Island – unfortunately, I tore out some tendons and returned home in an ankle brace and walking with a cane… argh….

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Friday was the Second Anniversary of the BP Oil Spill – Vacation Land? Yes According to BP

Audubon is asking that everyone acknowledge this day by walking to work or carpooling or hoping on your bike or taking transit.

They are dedicating this week to “taking action to restore the Gulf to health, to help prevent future disasters, and to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.”
From their email:

The Gulf Still Needs Us
The birds, other wildlife, and local communities along the Gulf are still struggling to recover. The full impact of the disaster is yet to be known. What we do know is this: billions of birds migrate through the Gulf region every year. It is home to a vast diversity of wildlife and, of course, millions of people. We owe it to the people and the wild creatures of the Gulf to:

Make sure BP’s fines are dedicated to restoring the Gulf ecosystem;
Apply the lessons from the disaster to future drilling endeavors; and
Work as a nation to reduce the need for drilling by cutting our fossil fuel use.

This message is especially important to those of us in BC who are determined to not see oil tankers in our pristine coastal waters. The images of the BP oil spill remain burned in my mind, and as disturbing as they are, I hold on to them because I know that Joe Oliver, and the Alberta and Harper government have a huge PR machine and are spending countless dollars on pushing the Endbridge Project through.
We can’t let this happen, and if you need a reminder as to why, think BP.

BP gave 30 million to their PR campaign…and continue to lie to people around the world: BP Oil Spill Two Years Later

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Day Three Bethlehem House Writer’s Retreat

I am feeling very good about the work I am getting done here and now feel fully prepared for my workshop at the Kamloops Young Writer’s Festival as well as my panel discussion on publishing at the Symposium of Manitoba Writer’s coming up in May. What a difference peace and quiet makes to my output, both quality and quantity. I’m very grateful for this opportunity to work in such a lovely setting.

Because it is Earth Day, I wanted to talk a little bit about the meals here at Bethlehem House and more importantly, the philosophy behind those meals. Since the Retreat Brochure says it best:

The culinary services at the Centre are central to supporting a nourishing environment for persons on their spiritual and or professional paths. In season, much of the Centre’s organic produce is harvested directly from our own garden. Nourishing the body/soul by sharing a meal is an essential part of any gathering at the Centre with food respectfully prepared by our Red Seal Chef.

I didn’t know what that was either, until I Googled it, but what I did know right away and without the help of a search engine, was that the meals here have been really, really good. My kind of food – a large, fresh salad at both lunch and dinner, a variety of vegetarian and non vegetarian proteins and mouth watering deserts – my favourite so far, the most delectable chocolate mousse and after a full day of writing, I need something sweet and made from scratch.

Breakfast: oatmeal, fruit, toast and cereal – good brain food for a day of writing.


The Dinning Room with a View at Bethlehem House

I really appreciate that everything is composted and recycled here and eventually added to the garden – great stewards of the earth!

There is a monastery a property over with a great little gift store and a  collection of comical llamas. Unfortunately, by the time we found out about this, it was closed 😦 Image



We leave tomorrow, but I hope to return at some point. This has been a fantastic few days away from the noise and interruptions of the real world. Recommended 

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Earth Day: Enjoy the trees!

Earth Day: Enjoy the trees!

Westwood Lake in the evening

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April 22, 2012 · 9:23 am

Spring Valley Guest Ranch Writer’s Retreat Deadline

Deadline extended to May 4, 2012

Applications will be accepted (no late fee) until 4:30 p.m. May 4, 2012 for the Spring Valley Guest Ranch Retreat June 8-22. 

For more information, please visit

or contact the retreat coordinator at 

This is a great spot for anyone still considering a summer retreat.

I Know I’ve been going on and on lately about retreats, but I”m at one now and I’ve spent the whole day writing (and eating)

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Great Northern Canada Writing Contest

Great Northern Canada Writing Contest.

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Filed under Stuff to do, Travelling In the World, writing contests, Yukon Yarns

Great Northern Canada Writing Contest

If you have fallen under the spell of Northern Canada, this contest is for you!

The winter/spring months I spend in Dawson City at the Pierre Berton House changed my life forever. When I set off on that journey to north, little did I suspect that, I would, as a sun loving southerner from the Outside, fall so in love with the Yukon. If you have experienced this, then this contest is the perfect place to express your feelings and thoughts.

From the NorthWords website:

To enter, submit a piece of prose, either fiction or non-fiction, of up to 1,000 words about life in the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Image. Previously published items are not eligible.

Entries should be typed and double-spaced with the title, but not your name, on each numbered page. Please submit a separate cover sheet with your name, address, phone number, email address, word count and whether your piece is fiction or non-fiction.

Entries must be mailed to:

Great Northern Canada Writing Contest
Box 1256,
Yellowknife NT X1A 2N9

We do not accept emailed or faxed entries.

Deadline is April 30, 2012. That means they must be postmarked by that date.

First Prize is $500 and publication in above&beyond, Canada’s Arctic Journal.

Special Emerging Writer Prize of $250 and publication in above&beyond, Canada’s Arctic Journal, for writers who have never been published for payment. To qualify, identify yourself  “emerging writer” on the cover sheet you submit with your entry.

Winners will be announced at the 5th Annual NorthWords Writers Festival in Yellowknife, NWT on May 31 – June 3, 2012.

The following are not eligible: Staff and contractors of above&beyond magazine and their families, writers who have been published in above&beyond in the last five years, organizers and paid staff of the NorthWords Writers Festival and their families.


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Day One Writer’s Retreat Outside of Naniamo, BC

My writing pal, Virginia (Ginger) and I set off this morning for The Bethlehem Retreat Centre on Vancouver Island, minutes outside of Nanaimo on the shores of Westwood Lake. Typically, we missed out first ferry, but we didn’t have any time deadlines, so although we arrived a few hours later than planned, it was a perfect, sunny day to ride to be on a BC ferry.

While on the ferry, a guy approached us and proceeded to brag to us all about his latest drinking exploits, including where to find the best bars, best vodka, best alcohol, best party…yawn… you get the idea, on the island. Finally, he stopped talking about himself for a second and asked, without any real interest, “So, where are you girls headed?”
I looked him dead in the eye, through my florescent orange sunglasses and replied, “A nunnery.”
Ginger, to her credit, did not crack up completely as his face literally fell and his jaw hit the deck. “Let’s walk around the boat,” she suggested.
“Sounds good to me,” I could barley keep a straight face and he was still at a loss for words when we shot him a parting, “See Ya. Have fun!”
A good laugh. Now a bit about this retreat, which is technically not a nunnery, but a Benedictine Retreat, where “Benedictine values and beliefs about humanity, healing, spirituality and peace are given expression through hospitality and presence at the centre.”
It’s all true – a writer’s dream. We were warmly welcomed and shown to our beautiful suite that overlooks Lake Westwood, and after unpacking and getting our computers set up, the bell rang and we joined the other guests in the dining room, where we were given our own, private table and a salmon feast.
After dinner, we went for a long walk along the edge of the lake and watched the sun disappear from the public swimming beach nearby. I love it at dusk on a windless night when water goes flat, dead calm.

Pretty soon, I will finish this post and crawl into bed with my book. At 8am, the breakfast bell will chime and our first full day will begin. I look forward to how much I will get done over the next few days. At the same time, I look forward to doing nothing at all, should the mood strike me. Either way, as any writer will tell you, both of these options – throwing yourself into your work or throwing yourself into your reflections are sure ways to end up with something really valuable on the page.

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Saskatchewan Book Awards – Get your tickets!

I wish I could go, but I won’t be in Saskatchewan until July for the St. Peter’s Abbey writer’s retreat – can’t wait!

Saskatchewan Book Awards 19th Awards Gala Her Honour, the Honourable Vaughn Solomon Schofield Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan will attend the 19th Saskatchewan Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 28th, 2012 at the Conexus Arts Centre in Regina.

Ms. Solomon Schofield was sworn in as Saskatchewan’s 21st Lieutenant Governor in the Legislative Chamber on March 22nd, 2012. The Lieutenant Governor will be a very special guest among hundreds of attendees, including the Honorable Bill Hutchinson Minister of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport, as well as a cross-section of Saskatchewan’s authors, publishers, corporate executives and philanthropists.

When: Sat, April 28

Where: Conexus Arts Centre in Regina.

As the only provincially-focused book awards program, we present over a dozen awards to celebrate the achievements of Saskatchewan authors and publishers. Gala tickets are $90 each, or $700 for a table of eight. To purchase tickets, and for more information on the Saskatchewan Book Awards Gala 2012, go to For interviews and other media relations contact 306-569-1585 or

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