Category Archives: Events and Readings

Symposium on Manitoba Writing: Let the Stars Shine in Our Bones

The website for the upcoming Symposium on Manitoba Writing is up and looking great. I am excited to be on one of the panels:

Friday, May 11 from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm

Two established writers for young adults consider the growth in Manitoba YA writing, its place in a Canadian YA context and how developing trends in YA writing and publishing might affect its future.

Susan Rocan
Julie Burtinshaw

You can check out my page here, and I will have loads to say about YA publishing – both here in BC and across the country.

Leave a comment

Filed under Events and Readings

BCreative 2012 Conference: Early Bird Prices, Savings for Creatives and Students!

A new conference aimed to stimulate British Columbia’s creative economy through collaboration between government, business, the creative sector and researchers will be held at Simon Fraser University’s Vancouver campus May 10-12, 2012.

BCreative 2012 will feature keynote addresses from prominent creative leaders from around the globe, including the co-author of two UN Creative Economy reports Edna dos Santos-Duisenberg, one of the big three Creative Cities thinkers Charles Landry, and Canada Council CEO Robert Sirman.

In a setting infused with artistic expression and creative thinking, the conference aims to inspire and facilitate conversations directed at developing policy and leveraging resources to help British Columbia become a leader in the creative sector in the twenty-first century.

The conference will also include a series of ‘Ignite’ talks, short five-minute presentations designed to enlighten the audience about the presenters’ personal and professional passions. The ‘Showcase’ component of the conference will provide a space and audience for British Columbian artists to share their creative talents.

Over 25 speakers are scheduled to appear at the conference, including authors Timothy Taylor and Garry Thomas Morse, Magazines Canada CEO Mark Jamison, and SFU School of Communications professor Richard Smith.

To register for BCreative or for additional information, please visit the BCreative website.

What: BCreative 2012 Conference and Showcase
When: May 10-12, 2012
Where: SFU Vancouver
Cost: Early bird (effective until March 31): Government/Business $395; Academic/Non-profit $250; Creatives/Students $150

Leave a comment

Filed under Events and Readings, Stuff to do

Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Annual Writing Contest a Huge Success!

CCBC receives overwhelming response to Book Week 2012 Writing Contest. Toronto, Feb. 28

To celebrate Book Week 2012 (May 5–12) and its accompanying theme—Read a Book, Share a Story—the Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) kicked off its annual Writing Contest for kids and teens in November, 2011. Canadian students were asked share their stories or poems and the response this year was overwhelming. The CCBC received over two thousand submissions for the contest—four times the amount received last year. Winners will be announced on May 9. Their winning stories and poems will be posted on website.


Filed under Events and Readings, writing contests

Young Author’s Conference, Kamloops, BC – 2012

Kate would miss me. So would Mom and Dad…and lots of other people.
I’m pretty sure of that….
What I’m not so certain about is whether they’d be better off without me.

From Darkness Between the Stars

I super excited at being asked to participate in the YOUNG AUTHORS’ CONFERENCE, being held on Friday, May 4, 2012 at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC, which is one of the prettiest places in our province. I drove there from Ashcroft a few years ago, got totally lost trying to find the airport and wished I could stay longer and go for a swim in the lake.

I will be doing two creative writing workshops with secondary students – it’s going to really fun – love working with this age group.

Thanks to the BCLCIRA 2011 conference for letting me attend last year’s conference, which is how I initially got onto the radar of the Kamloops/Thompson school district.


Darkness Between the Stars

Leave a comment

February 29, 2012 · 1:20 pm

Illinois Woman’s Press Association (IWPA 2012 Contest)

It’s that time of the year already. The IWPA 2012 Communications Contest is upon us and once again, I have been asked to be one of the judges. Active since 1885, the IWPA acts as both an advocate and a voice for women in press and I am honoured to participate in this annual event.

So for the next week, the phone is off the hook while I read through the many entries that arrived in a big box late last week – everything from Feature Stories to News Reporting. If this year’s entries are anything like last years, I can look forward to passionate, interesting and engaging writing. What better way to spend the next little while!

If you want to know more about the IWPA, their website is a wealth of information, links and much more. From their site:

The past 126 years of the Illinois Woman’s Press Association c ombined with the 70+ years history of the National Federation of Press Women has been a powerful force in supporting literacy, women’s issues, the First Amendment and freedom of information. We have developed powerful partnerships with such organizations as the Council of National Journalism Organizations, the National Women’s History Museum and the World Press Freedom Committee.

Leave a comment

Filed under Events and Readings, What I'm Reading

Governor General Literary Awards Finalists Announced Today

Today the Canada Council for the Arts released the list of finalist for the GG Awards. I’ve copied the English Fiction list here but interested readers can get the full list the Canada Council Website.

My son gave me a Kindle Reader, just because he is such a great kid, and I think I will download a few of these titles to try it out. At first I was a little wary of the whole idea of reading on an e-reader, but my little den is overflowing with books, so I am looking at the reader as a space-saving device. So far, I have downloaded only one very small book, one I am using for research for the novel I am working on. I like that the reader is so light – easy to stick into my purse and carry with me wherever I go. It has a very long battery life, so, unlike my IPhone, I don’t have to remember to plug it in every night. I really like the search function, and the quick access to a dictionary. I think I am converted, although I still love traditional books and will continue to buy the ones I plan on keeping.

Our next book club book is The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival, by John Vaillant and I’ve got the hardcover edition because I’ve enjoyed and wanted to keep his other books. It costs more, almost double to buy a traditional book, but sometimes it’s worth it!

GG Fiction List:

David Bezmozgis, Toronto, The Free World
(HarperCollins Publishers; distributed by HarperCollins Canada)
(ISBN 978-1-44340-399-3)

Patrick deWitt, Portland (Oregon) [originally from Vancouver Island], The Sisters Brothers
(House of Anansi Press; distributed by HarperCollins Canada)
(ISBN 978-0-88784-289-4)

Esi Edugyan, Victoria (British Columbia), Half-Blood Blues: A Novel
(Thomas Allen Publishers; distributed by Thomas Allen & Son)
(ISBN 978-0-88762-741-5)

Marina Endicott, Edmonton (Alberta), The Little Shadows
(Doubleday Canada; distributed by Random House of Canada)
(ISBN 978-0-385-66891-0)

Alexi Zentner, Ithaca (New York) [originally from Kitchener, Ontario], Touch
(Alfred A. Knopf Canada; distributed by Random House of Canada)
(ISBN 978-0-307-39944-1)

Leave a comment

Filed under Events and Readings, What I'm Reading

BC/Lower Mainland Chapters of the International Reading Association

On Friday, Oct. 21 – myself, with several other CWILL members will be in attendance for LOMCIRA’s and BCLCIRA’s conference, which will be held this year in Burnaby, BC.

This is a provincial PD day, so I hope to meet lots of teachers and have the opportunity to talk to them about Darkness Between the Stars, which addresses the issues of teen suicide in a direct and honest way.

As most of you know, this week, a bill calling for a National Suicide Prevention Strategy was passed in the House of Commons. Bob Rae said:

Lives lost, kids struggling with identity and bullying, young people suddenly feeling adrift and abandoned, veterans returning home from duty, older people struggling with health and uncertain of the way ahead. What we now realize is a simple truth: Suicide is not just a personal tragedy, a life cut short, an existential decision that leaves disbelief and devastation behind. It has become far more. Just as those who take their lives have no sense of the impact their decision will have on those who survive them, we can no longer turn away and pretend something is not very wrong.

It is so important that we shed, once and for all, the taboo around suicide and discuss it openly with our kids, friends and family. I know Darkness will help to get the conversation going, so I am very excited about the conference and the opportunity to introduce the book to teachers.

Also, I love graphic novels and looking forward to those presentations.

The other CWILL authors attending and their books are:

Dan Bar-El, Title: Pussycat, Pussycat, Where Have You Been?

Norma Charles, Title: Run Marco Run

Lee Edward Fodi, Title: Kendra Kandlestar and the Crack in Kazah

Vi Hughes, Once Upon a Bathtime

Tanya Kyi, 50 Underwear Questions

Duane Laurence, Sammy Squirrel & Rodney Raccoon – To The Rescue

Jacqueline Pearce, Mystery of the Missing Luck

Pam Withers, Title: First Descent

Leave a comment

Filed under Events and Readings