Category Archives: Events and Readings

My First iBook: Darkness Between the Stars Has a New Format

It’s finally happened! The Darkness Between the Stars a book that I am very proud of is now available to download at iTunes. From Goodreads: This book should be read by every parent and teen. This is a story that shows how teenagers can have much stress and pressure to succeed which could lead to depression and thoughts of suicide when life becomes to overwhelming. Parents should not ignore signs and strange behavior and try to seek help before their child gets totally out of control. This book would be great for a must read book in high school. Discussions should be held regarding how to get help for depression and also how suicide effects entire families for the rest of their lives. I myself have learned a lot from reading this and hope many others will read it too. This can possible save lives.

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Award winning author Julie Burtinshaw has written compelling and provocative novel about the realities of teen suicide. This is a gritty, honest heartfelt book that is ultimately filled with hope. And not easily forgotten.

Now available to download at your iTunes store.

Pages: 219
Size: 1.0 MB

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VPL South Hill Library Talk Today

Thanks to the Writers’ Union of Canada for sponsoring my talk today at the VPL South Hill Library on Fraser Street. I will be talking to a grade 12 law class from John Oliver High School about myself, my writing and a couple of my books, including The Darkness Between the Stars and The Perfect Cut.

This is a great opportunity to talk to students about my life as a writer and to give them some personal insight into what drives me to write about teens and for teens. In this changing literary landscape, these chances to speak directly to kids are fewer and farther between so I am grateful to the Writers’ Union for this afternoon’s face-to-face with my readers. It will be fun 🙂

Darkness-Stars-final-front

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UBC Creative Writing Locution Night – A Perfect Literary Evening

This evening I participated in UBC’s MFA first locution of the year at the Cottage Bistro on Main Street.

Locution, if you are curious (as I was) is:

1. A particular word, phrase, or expression, especially one that is used by a particular person or group.

2. Style of speaking; phraseology.
(Free Online Dictionary)

Besides myself, three talented upcoming writers/poets read: Jen Neale, Esther McPhee, and Nadine Bachan. I’m always in awe of the talent that comes out of UBC’s creative writing program. I saw some of that talent and creativity tonight.  It was a wonderful evening.

I had the opportunity to read from a book I’ve been working on for quite a while. I’m always a bit nervous when reading from a first or second draft, but I find that by hearing the words spoken aloud, I can better understand what works and what doesn’t. And to be offered the chance to do this in front of a room full of fellow writers was such a gift!

Thank you UBC for inviting me. And thank you for introducing me to a great little Bistro full of words and music.

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Happy Birthday Christianne’s Lyceum of Literature and Art

On Saturday, August 18th, Christianne’s Lyceum in Vancouver, celebrated its 5th birthday with bubbly, scrumptious eats and a line-up of local authors reading from their work. I was excited to be one of those writers and read a short piece from a work in progress. Other readers included Irene Watts, Gayle Friessen, Sarah Ellis, and many more. As the first reader, (racing to catch a water taxi to Bowen), I had the opportunity to thank Christianne for her huge contribution to the children and young adults in the Vancouver Literary scene – she’s done so much over the past five years to bring books and art to young people.

Throughout the year, the Lyceum offers bookclubs (often with an author visit), workshops and much more. Because Christianne wants everyone to have the chance to participate, she often holds fundraisers so that she can offer scholarships when necessary.

For authors interested in reading their work (and sometimes that’s the best way  polish a manuscript, there are open mic nights for both teen and adult writers on Friday nights. Check out her website for dates and times.

And if you love literature, art and kids, there are always volunteer opportunities.

Over the past five years, I have been lucky enough to have facilitated a few bookclub meetings and I’ve also taken part in other events at the Lyceum. I am so thankful both for the support I’ve received, but more importantly, I am grateful that there is someone who is giving kids who love art, reading and writing a supportive, interesting and encouraging place to be creative. I’m sure that if I had had that as a kid, I would have started my writing career much earlier!

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The Kamloops Young Writer’s Festival – an Inspiring Event

Further to my previous post about the Kamloops Young Writer’s Festival:

On Thursday morning Norma Charles, Lee Edward Fodi and Lori Sherritt-Fleming piled into Norma’s van and headed for Kamloops. We stopped at my favourite café in Hope, The Blue Moose, because it’s impossible to pass Hope and not give into my craving for their fair trade, delicious coffee and chocolate chunk brownies. All of us indulged before heading up the very wet and cold Coquiahalla Highway. We made great time, possibly because when you put four writers in a van, there is never a lack of things to talk about.

We arrived at the Thompson River University around 4 and what a lovely campus. We were treated like stars – put up in lovely suites and pampered by the teachers and volunteers with a wine and cheese and snack reception. I can’t say enough about these volunteers and the huge amount of work they put in to make this weekend such a success for all of us.

On Friday Morning my helpful colleagues made sure I limped into the Clock Tower on campus on time – these torn tendons are really slowing me down. I had two seminars to teach, each just over two hours long and despite some issues with technology (nothing new about that for me), my morning class got off to a great start and just got better and better. We focused on character in both the morning and afternoon classes with some fun YouTube vids dispersed throughout.

Every student in my classes, whether they were in grade twelve or grade seven put all of their creative energies into the exercises I’d designed for them and the results were impressive and incredible. I know for a fact that some of these kids will be tomorrow’s great writers. Because of their high level of interest and participation, the day flew by and pretty soon all of us were back in Norma’s van and heading toward home; a happy and exhausted group.

As we approached Hope, we came upon Crystal Strangahan and KC Dyer by the side of the road.

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As can be seen from the looks on their faces, they too had been chatting the whole way and somehow missed that sign just outside of Merritt that says something like: You will not find a single gas station between here and the end of the world.

We didn’t keep driving, but they had Roadside Assistance and within the hour we all met up again at the Blue Moose for more tasty calories and a group debrief about the great time we had in Kamloops.

Big thanks to all of the students, the staff and the volunteers. I was thrilled to be a part of this festival!

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I’m Excited for the Kamloops Young Writer’s Festival

Today I finished up my creative writing workshops for the Kamloops Young Writer’s Festival and I’m really excited about the two workshops I will be leading for older teens. For fun, I’ve put together a powerpoint with some great vids, along with some really creative and fun interactive exercises all designed to help the students with any current projects they might be working on, whatever their chosen genre.

Talking to Students and teaching creative writing –Satisfying!

Roadtrip! On Thursday morning, Norma Charles is picking my up, then we will scoop up Lee Edward Fodi and Lori Sherritt-Flemming, grab some java and hit the road, arriving in Kamloops in time for the Welcome Reception, that involves wine, cheese, nibblies and good conversation. Altogether, there will seven of us running workshops to cover both elementary and secondary students. Here is the list of presenters and I’ve seen most of them in action, so I know the kids are in for a treat. Prepare to be amused and creative!

Elementary

Lee Edward Fodi
Lori Sherritt-Fleming
Norma Charles

Secondary

Denise Jaden
Crystal Strangahan
Julie Burtinshaw
Susan Buis

In the meantime, I’ve got a toothache because I got a crown today and my torn tendons continue to force me to hobble around in an ankle brace. I’m hoping Kamloops will distract me from the world of hurt 🙂

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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.
Enjoy

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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