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Members' Corner

Ben Nuttall-Smith


Thank you to George Opacic

Mary Ann Moore


Congratulations to David Fraser

Susan McCaslin


Mother Sea

Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki


Bench Canoes of the Salish Sea

Annie Siegel


Mr. JR Pickwell

Wiley Ho


One Fifty

Suzanne Anderson


Self Published Books Now Excluded from the CIP

Sherry Conly


Tell Your Story, and Get Paid to Do It!


Snapshots of the FBCW Spring Writes Festival


A Labour of Love: An Interview with Lynda Archer



Sharon McInnes


Publication of The Federation of British Columbia Writers 2014 Bowen Rd, Nanaimo, BC V9S 1H4 bcwriters.ca Editor in Chief Shaleeta Harper, communications@bcwriters.ca Business Manager Thomas Baxter, TomBaxter@bcwriters.ca Interior Designer/Illustrator Coby McDougall Visuals Editor & Cover Designer Chris Hancock Donaldson


ell your story. That was the theme of the Spring Writes Festival in Nanaimo, BC earlier this year, and it’s the theme of this issue. With 300 attendees, there were almost 300 different stories about those four days in late April, all slightly different, almost all unwritten. Every moment of our day is a story that we either choose to embrace, ponder, and write, or to let drift away as a passing moment, pleasant but unremarkable. There are several stories from those bustling days that members have sent to us, little pieces of the festival captured in the pages of this magazine (18). In this issue we’re also looking at the story of some of our longtime members. We’re browsing the winning entries from our Literary Writes Contest, We’re discussing the story of how someone becomes a freelance journalist, and the story of the Canadian publishing landscape today. The editors of WordWorks looked at all these little pieces of writing, and made one story. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

Shaleeta Harper

FBCW Board Advisor Ann Graham Walker Fiction Editor Andrea McKenzie Raine Poetry Editor Chelsea Comeau Guest Editor Ellen Niemer Cover Artist Mick Kosevic © The Federation of British Columbia Writers 2017 All Rights Reserved


Content of WordWorks Magazine is, with very occasional exceptions, provided by members of the Federation of BC Writers. If you would like to submit something, or if you have a story idea you would like to see included in WordWorks, please visit bcwriters.ca/wordworks/submit


WordWorks is pleased to advertise services and products that are of genuine interest to writers. Space may also be provided to honour sponsors, whose generous contributions make it possible for the Federation of BC Writers to provide services to writers in BC. For information about advertising policies and rates, see bcwriters.ca/WordWorks/advertisers


Editorial decisions are guided by the mandate of WordWorks as "BC’s Magazine for Writers", and its role as the official publication of the Federation of BC Writers. WordWorks will showcase the writing and poetry of FBCW members'; provide news and feature coverage of writing and writers in BC with an emphasis on writing techniques and the business of writing; carry news about the Federation of BC Writers, and its work supporting and advocating for writers.

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A Nanaimo resident and graduate of Vancouver Island University’s Creative Writing & Journalism program, Sherry writes for Boulevard Magazine-Central Island, Island Parent, Inspired Senior Living, and a handful of others. She is most inspired by the talents of British Columbia artists and musicians, and has a deep appreciation for the ability to reach others through the written word. You can see more of her writing at clippings.me/sherryconly#

Jill Talbot

Jill Talbot attended Simon Fraser University for psychology before pursing her passion for writing. Jill has appeared in Geist, Rattle, Poetry Is Dead, The Puritan, Matrix, subTerrain, The Tishman Review and is forthcoming in PRISM and The Cardiff Review. Jill won the PRISM Grouse Grind Lit Prize and 3rd place for the Geist Short Long-Distance Contest. She was shortlisted for the Matrix Lit POP Award for fiction and the Malahat Far Horizons Award for poetry. Jill lives on Gabriola.

Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki is a writer, visual artists, and electrical engineer living in Port Moody. She immigrated to Canada from former Yugoslavia in early nineties. She started writing literary fiction three years ago. Her story Snow Angels has earned an Honorable Mention in the Glimmer Train's 2016 Very Short Fiction contest, and was selected for publication in the American Fiction anthology by the New Rivers Press of the Minnesota State University. Tatjana is presently working on a novel in stories set in Serbia and Canada, with a heroine named Bistra. writer-tatjana-mirkov-popovicki.blogspot.ca/ facebook.com/bistrasworld/

JP McLean

JP (Jo-Anne) McLean writes contemporary fantasy thrillers from her home on Denman Island. Reviewers call The Gift Legacy series, addictive, smart and fun. Her debut novel, The Gift: Awakening, received Honourable Mention at the 2016 Whistler Independent Book Awards. Find her at jpmclean.net.

Susan McCaslin

Susan McCaslin has published fourteen volumes of poetry including her most recent, Painter, Poet, Mountain: After Cézanne (Quattro, 2016). Her forthcoming Into the Open: New and Selected Poems (Inanna, 2017) will be launched in Sept. 2017. She has also published a memoir, Into the Mystic: My Years with Olga (Inanna, 2014). Her Demeter Goes Skydiving (University of Alberta Press, 2011) was short-listed for the BC Book Prize and first-place winner of the Alberta Book Publishing Award. Susan lives outside Fort Langley, BC, where she initiated the Han Shan Poetry Project as part of a successful campaign to protect an endangered rainforest along the Fraser River. susanmccaslin.ca

Suzanne Anderson

Suzanne has written three books including Self Publishing in Canada: A complete guide to designing, printing and selling your book. She has presented workshops at Vancouver Island University and Simon Fraser University. She has been a guest speaker at several events, including Word On The Street (Vancouver) and the Okanagan Valley Writers Festival.

Doni Eve

Doni Eve is a former journalist and editor and has worked in Ottawa, Montreal, Regina, Victoria and Sooke. She draws on Vancouver Island’s characters and settings in short fiction published in three anthologies from the Sooke Writers’ Collective. She still has a day job and volunteers to help local groups and writers with marketing, PR and promotion and looks forward to transitioning to writing novels.

Annie Siegel

Annie Siegel was was born in New York City and spent most of her childhood in a town 25 miles north of Manhattan. After graduating from University of Buffalo with a BA in Interdisciplinary Arts (music, art and creative writing), she came to British Columbia in 1970. She has made her living as a bookstore employee, farmer, visual artist, musician and teacher, and have lived on Denman Island since 1989.

Mary Ann Moore

Mary Ann Moore brings her passion for poetry and for writing as a spiritual and wellness practice to the writing circles she offers in Nanaimo and beyond. Her poetry, fiction and personal essays have appeared in chapbooks, literary journals including Prairie Fire, Carousel, Room, Freefall and Vallum; anthologies; and on CD. Mary Ann’s full-length book of poems, Fishing for Mermaids, was published by Leaf Press in 2014. She writes a blog at apoetsnanimo.ca and offers a mentoring program called Writing Home: A Whole Life Practice which is outlined on her website: maryannmoore.ca.

Ben Nuttall-Smith

Ben’s many publications include an historical novel, a memoir, a biography, several chapbooks and two illustrated children’s books. Ben’s poems and short stories have appeared in national and international magazines, anthologies and online publications. Ben Received The Surrey Board of Trade Special Achievement Award in 2011 for outstanding service.

Anne Tenning

Anne Tenning is a member of the Stz’uminus First Nation. She has been an educator for 17 years, and is currently the District Vice Principal of Aboriginal Education in School District 68 Nanaimo Ladysmith. Anne is passionate about increasing Aboriginal perspectives & understandings in education, particularly the lasting legacy of residential schools.

Sharon McInnes

Sharon McInnes lives on Gabriola Island, where she writes and gardens and enjoys the birds. She's just finished her first novel, an environmental love story'.

Wiley Ho

Wiley Ho is a second generation immigrant from Taiwan, and has always been awe-struck by the hardships endured by the early immigrants to this country. They helped pave the way for later comers (such as themselves) who get to enjoy the equality and riches they could only dream of.

Mick Kosevic

The mask pictured on the cover was carved by a friend who wanted it to be touched and felt, not only viewed. So I decided to represent the artist's intent in a photograph showing both tangibility and perspective. Mick started shooting with film in Vancouver in the mid 80s before switching to digital in 2003.

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ear Writers,

I hope you’ve been enjoying the summer! I think we earned it this year, after all those months of wet socks and grey skies. If you’ve managed to designate time to write, amidst all the other summertime stuff, have you found the time to submit to our Summer Short Story Contest, “True Confessions From My Summer Vacation”? Submission deadline is August 31st. We were delighted that 2017 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize winner, Jennifer Manuel, agreed to judge the contest, and are really looking forward to reading

your submissions. It has been a really good year for the FBCW so far. The British Columbia Arts Council told us they will be funding the Elder Projects we do in partnership with Wendy Morton, at least for the next couple of years ,when it will be time to re-apply. (For information on our Elder Projects, go to theelderproject. com) We were successful in obtaining a modest Community Gaming Grant which is part of the reason we are able to bring you this issue of WordWorks in colour. (How do you like our new colour WordWorks?) And our Spring Writes Festival, held

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in Nanaimo at the end of April to coincide with our AGM, was a success. We had about three hundred people in attendance. Maybe things got a little hectic at times because, while the Festival grew and grew, the “staff ” of Shaleeta plus me did not. I want to thank all the volunteers who helped us out in so many ways. You were just great. Here at the Fed, we work hard to not just do the same thing year after year but to build value into your membership and give you more reasons to be a part of our community of writers. We have just added a professional directory to our web page, so that our professional members have an easily searchable platform to market their skills, and so that people needing those services—editor, manuscript mentor, book designer, workshop leader, whatever—can easily search for a professional and get clear information. Have you checked it out? Let us know what you think. We already had a searchable member directory, where you can market your writing, but we’ve tried to make that clearer and more accessible on the webpage too, with a “Find

A Writer” button. More news: we’ve also just introduced a blog on our web page, featuring topics of interest to writers. (Just as with our quarterly magazine, WordWorks, we invite members to approach us with their ideas for submissions). Also, we’ve started an Instagram account where you can promote your book launches, send us pictures of your writers group gathering or even a picture of you in your writing lair. Oh, and we’re about to launch a discussion forum on our web page. Watch “Write On” for news of these and other new member offerings. I did not expect this to turn into such a list, when I started, but I guess there really has been a lot going on. Let us know what you think and what we can do to make the FBCW an even better community of writers. And if something isn’t right? Please tell us so we can try to fix it. Best wishes, Ann Graham Walker president@bcwriters.ca







his section provides information about accessing and getting the most out of memberships, and is for non-members and members. The topics are compiled from the most common problems and questions that we see. Let us know if you'd like something specific tackled!


WordWorks accepts submissions of all kinds. Anyone can send writing to WordWorks for consideration, but for best results, you should query the editors, ideally regarding a topic that relates to the theme of the next issue. To see the upcoming themes, go to: bcwriters.ca/wordworks/submit/


If you have looked at the next theme, and come up with a topic that is both interesting and relevant, you can email me* with your ideas. You only need to include a few sentences to describe what you’d like to write, and let me know how long you will need to write it, and how long you would like it to be. I may suggest a different issue, or a different length, I may have a reason for not accepting the query, or I may approve it, and ask you to begin.


There are several reasons a person sending us a query could be rejected. The most common is that it is very similar to something written recently—we try our best to avoid repeating topics. Another reason is that the person suggesting the article is not experienced enough in what they hope to write about. Alternatively, it could be a topic we don’t thing enough readers would be interested in, or we could just have too many accepted submissions

already. It is rarely a reflection of the talents of the writer, and more often just circumstance.


As often as you would like, but WordWorks editors do their best to accept only one, and sometimes two, articles from each person a year. Other than extreme circumstances, we will not allow a person to write articles in back to back issues of WordWorks, so that more people have a chance to be published.


Once a query has been approved, terms will be sent to the writer--we will ask for a specific topic and word count to be sent on or before a date. With the submission you will send a short bio-40-80 words--and any relevant photos. You will be asked to fill out a form saying that the work is your own. After it has been submitted and reviewed, the edited version will go back to you as a PDF. You are welcome to review this finished product, and suggest changes. Once the issue has been sent to print, the editor will tally the number of words that were in the final version, and you will receive a cheque for .22/word, $50.00/poem, and $25/image (not including an author photo). If the writer is not a member, they will be required to have a portion of the final amount go to a membership fee. Come back next issue to read about How to be listed in the Professional Directory! Thanks, and email me* anytime if you have questions or problems! Shaleeta Harper

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hile teaching at Capilano College in 2007, George Opacic was asked by a student to attend a meeting of the North Shore Writers' Association. That was to be his first introduction to writers group meetings. Later, at the end of 2009, George transferred to Margo Lamont’s Grind Writers, which met on Main St. in Vancouver. Margo was, at that time, Secretary of the FBCW. In 2010, Margo coerced George to consider contributing to the FBCW by taking the position of Treasurer. At that time, this writer was Regional Rep for the Fraser Valley. It was George who provided guidance in running Meet & Greets and organizing various regional events and workshops. George also provided invaluable guidance to the Board on the running of meetings, helping to keep the peace where disagreements easily arose. In 2011, under President Craig Spence, George added the position of 1st VP to that of Treasurer. These two positions were held until November 2012, when he became President. George made it clear that he would do so only on an interim basis. During that time, George also was the webmaster and editor of the VOX, which is now known as Write On. The Fed had

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become almost a full-time job. Previous to George agreeing to take on the Presidency, the Fed had suffered through dissent and burnout. George Opacic pulled us through the worst of that period of upheaval, preparing the way for this writer to become President in 2013. George was designated active Past President. That position lasted through 2015. Through 2016, George was a Director until he finally found a way to slip off the Board in 2017. Now who will pick up the mail, deposit cheques to banking, answer myriad questions and pick us up when we go astray? Always willing to assist his fellow scribblers, George Opacic continues his service, most recently as Director and Editor-in-Chief of his fledgling Rutherford Press, to be found at rutherfordpress.ca George, we wish you long life, great success with Rutherford Press and with your own writing. On behalf of The Federation of British Columbia Writers, thank you for your years of faithful service. Ben Nuttall-Smith bennuttall-smith.ca


The Federation's Second Honourary Ambassador MARY ANN MOORE


avid Fraser, the second recipient of the Federation of BC Writers’ Honourary Ambassador Award, is a prolific poet and spoken word performer who supports other poets and writers through literary and spoken word events, festivals, and a literary journal. He was presented with the award by Naomi Beth Wakan, Nanaimo’s first Poet Laureate and first Honourary Ambassador for the FBCW, at the Spring Writes Festival in April 2017. David and his wife, abstract expressionist painter Patricia Carroll, moved to Vancouver Island from Toronto in 2001 where David had been a high school English teacher. They settled in Nanoose Bay and still call the small community home. David appreciates the garden, and his border collie Jade. He goes hiking, skiing, plays golf and tennis and is an avid reader. He enjoys travelling and winters in Palm Desert. David began a literary journal called Ascent Aspirations Magazine in 1997 in which he published an international array of poets, many for the first time. He is now the edi-

tor and publisher of “Friday’s Poems” which appear on the Ascent Aspirations website at ascentaspirations.ca. David and storyteller Cindy Shantz founded The WordStorm Society of the Arts, which has been hosting poets, writers, spoken word artists, and musicians at various venues in downtown Nanaimo since 2007. The last such reading event will take place in September 2017 featuring Rhonda Ganz and Yvonne Blomer. WordStorm isn't disappearing, though, the non-profit society will continue as an “umbrella” organization, helping to organize special literary events, with David continuing as the organization’s artistic director. One of the Nanaimo monthly events Wordstorm now sponsors regularly is 15 Minutes of Infamy. David founded the Hazelwood Writers Festival which took place at the Hazelwood Herb Farm in Cedar for seven years. He was the key organizer and driving force behind the Cascadia Poetry Festival III in Nanaimo in May 2015. The monthly Living Room gatherings came out of the Cascadia Poetry Festival and took place at the North Nanaimo branch and the Harbourfront branch of the Vancouver Island Regional Library for two years. The “living room” setting offered writers an opportunity to share their work in a non-judgmental gathering. In making her presentation to David, Naomi Wakan spoke about how he encouraged her poetry writing, invited her to read at events, and helped to gather quotations

and choose poetry for their joint venture called On Poetry. Naomi said: “In all these moments, David has been endlessly patient, supportive, adaptable and really there for me. I know many of you poets here today must feel the same way about David; that is, endlessly grateful.” David said, when I spoke to him, that Naomi was a tremendous boost for his work and an awesome critic. As well as supporting others, David is an accomplished poet with many publications to his credit including several anthologies in which his poetry and short fiction appear. Among his six collections of poetry is After All the Scissor Work is Done, published by Leaf Press in 2016. In October 2009 and 2010, David participated in Random Acts of Poetry that brought poetry to the streets of Canada. He has performed his poetry in British Columbia, Ontario, California and Switzerland. I nominated David for the Honourary Ambassador award due to his accomplishments and because I too have been encouraged by him, impressed by his talent, and amazed by his organizational skills. We were in a group called the Easy Writers, of which he is still a member, where I appreciated his insight regarding my poems and his good humour. David has been writing noir crime novels lately, featuring his character Jack McQueen. Keep an eye on what David’s up to at davidpfraser.ca.

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You sailed into our bones before we were born Nothing is as we know it without you We are your body, your microbes, your skin boats— ocean lovers and betrayers We are particles your currents made live but we hardened and became particulates We are plastic prodigals Our selves won’t break down Though you regenerate over eons we may not unless we turn, soften recycle, weep We are bailing, we are refugees We are dying We are afraid You have made these motley coracles we are though we think ourselves floating on the surface We go deep we go down with you, or turn, turn repent with the prophets into our change

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Literary Writes Winners 2017 Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki Bench Canoes of the Salish Sea Winner: Postcards and Poems Contest

Annie Siegel Mr. JR Pickwell

Winner: Creative Non-Fiction Contest


Wiley Cho One Fifty

Honourable Mention: Postcards and Poems Contest Page 9 ◆ WordWorks ◆ Summer 2017




see them sitting still on public benches in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Benches in parks and city squares, benches in bus stations. Dilapidated benches worn out by tired bodies dressed in Salvation Army clothes. They are people of all sorts, from all corners of the world, ravaged by substance abuse. I see people sitting on benches, among the shifting inhabitants of this neighborhood, who crouch in back alleys, stand on corners, line up in front of soup kitchens and the safe injection site, foraging the cityscape. I see all this as I drive by, my car-trunk stuffed with bags of groceries. I am a newcomer, an immigrant from a land of bombed bridges and lost hopes. I learn about the canals and creeks that used to crisscross what is now the Vancouver City, the passages used for eons by the Coastal Salish People. I learn that Vancouver now sits on land stolen from the Fraser River Delta swamp by the first white settlers. They filled in the waterways and disconnected the canoe routes to create this beautiful patch of land, this astronomically priced real estate. I admire Vancouver’s posh residences perched on rocky shores

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and high grounds overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I visit the North Shore reservations where I learn about cramped barges and canoes, about the exodus from the south shore. I learn that these mountains catch and accumulate the ocean’s moisture, soaking the land and old graveyards, once crowded with rows of tiny baby graves. Months of insistent rain, year after year, decade after decade, drain like tears into the Burrard Inlet. I stay in a low-cost rental until I figure out how to navigate this new world. Then I shift into a suburb, one of many good neighborhoods, once colonies of fishermen, loggers, and laborers, communities that worked hard to make a living in this isolated settlement at the end of the world. I keep away from the darkest cracks of the city. Newcomers mix up this unmelting pot where people live, work, play, and keep to themselves. People still sit on benches in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. They sit in twos or threes or fours in their unmoving canoes. They sit quietly as if waiting for the waterways to return.



y immigration interview officer’s name was J.R. Pickwell. The gold trimmed cardboard nameplate was the first thing I saw as I walked into the no-frills office up four flights of marble stairs in the old Federal building, downtown Vancouver. That little nameplate proudly proclaimed this officer’s expertise at separating the wheat from the chaff and distinguishing the fictional from the factional. It was prominently positioned on a large, old-fashioned wooden desk that immediately made me feel like I was back in grade school expecting to be reprimanded for some misdemeanour I had or hadn’t committed. I had reason for concern: I was a maverick dressed in sheep’s clothing. Showing up to an immigration interview in my everyday commune attire was not an option. Imagine the immediate black marks if I had walked into the interview office wearing my floor-length commune-made turquoise corduroy skirt with multi-coloured flower embroidery and red sash, ankle-high lace-up shit-kicker boots with men’s grey wool work socks, and brassiere-less upper body draped in a maroon semi-low-cut tee-shirt. My outerwear would have consisted of a black, yellow and white stripped poncho I had reconstructed from a woollen horse blanket, and a previously very used bright orange floater coat patched with x’s of black electrical tape. How the commune women had managed to come up with an entirely respectable looking ensemble that, with minimal alterations, fit my oversized, large-footed body was nothing short of a miracle. I

guess some of them, certainly not me, had the foresight to expect that someday, someone would have to get a real job. Or go to an immigration interview. They dressed me up in an olive-green shirtwaist dress, beige trench coat, low-healed sling-back shoes, matching handbag and someone’s brassiere that had managed to avoid our July 4, Independence Day bonfire. My long unruly hair was tied into a dignified bun. I almost didn’t recognize myself. Mr. Pickwell appeared to be in his mid forties. He had a considerably less than robust build, was slightly balding and wore two-tone horn rim glasses. His mud-coloured suit and tie blended in perfectly with the faded yellow ochre of his office walls and well-worn surface of the hardwood furniture and floor. After inviting me to sit down in one of the two sturdy wooden chairs directly across from his desk, he offered me a semi-smile and asked, “So tell me, why do you wish to live in Canada?” I had my strategy prepared. I had no intention of mentioning that I lived on a commune with American graduate student drop-outs who fled the States in the hope of obtaining free homesteading land and forming a society unhampered by bureaucracy, the military draft, capitalistic materialism and traditional middleclass values. Instead, I told him that when I graduated from the University of Buffalo, I wanted to see the country where my dad was raised. So I traveled across the country, fell in love with Canada, and decided to stay after visiting some college friends who were living in the Fraser Valley.

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I then emphasized my family’s Canadian connection and left out the more controversial aspects of my living situation. I played up the fact that although dad was born in New York City shortly after my grandparents emigrated to the U.S. to get away from the Russian pogroms (just like in the movie Fiddler on the Roof), the family moved to Montreal in 1911 when dad was four. His younger brother and sister were born in Canada. I made a vague reference to my cousins in Montreal (without stating that they were really only cousins by marriage) and said that my great Uncle Louis also came to Montreal. I didn’t say that he came as a stowaway on a ship after going AWOL from the Czar’s army; or that he just passed through Montreal on his way to our relatives in New York. “Unfortunately, dad had to drop out of McGill and go to New York City because he wanted to be an artist and there were no art schools in Montreal at that time, and then he met mom and stayed there…(breath)… and then my grandpa lost his tailoring job because of the depression and had to bring the whole family back to NY to live with relatives. “ I’m not sure if Mr. Pickwell was influenced by my Canadian-via-family patriotism, but he nodded and we passed on to my “qualifications”. Immigration Canada had a points system in 1970. Applicants had to obtain at least fifty points to be considered for landed status. I received five points for my college education and another five for secondary school French classes and conversing at home. The part about school was true, but “conversing” (that’s the word that J.R. used) at home was a wild exaggeration. Just for the record, I never used that word. I merely said that since Dad was raised in Montreal, he was able to help me with my French. The truth was, what little French he remembered he spoke with such a rough, guttural accent that it was totally

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incomprehensible to me. He learned it on the streets of St. Laurent where the Jewish and Quebecois boys used to play handball against the curbs in their adjoining territories. The only other time he communicated in French was when he had a little too much to drink (which was rarely) and sang “Frère Jacques” while he played his harmonica. At the end of the half-hour interview J.R. told me that I had achieved fifty points, in part due to my bi-lingual background. “Unfortunately,” he said, “I cannot pass you because you do not have suitable employment.” Our resident landlord had written a letter stating that I was employed as a farmhand. Even though I hadn’t disclosed the detail that I received zero remuneration for my labour or that the farm was a commune or that the owners were a bunch of radical, left-wing Simon Fraser University professors (most of whom had been fired from their positions two years previously for, among other activist activities, instigating a student strike), J.R. Pickwell still did not believe that my farmhand job would “benefit the country”. “Why,” he asked me when the interview was completed and I had my borrowed coat and hat in hand, “would you apply for immigration as a farmhand in a country full of farmers and labourers when you could go down to a nearby school board and get a letter saying that you were on the substitute teachers list. Teachers”, he added, “are on the essential employment list… Get your parents to send your diplomas. I can keep your file open for two weeks.” It took almost two weeks for my documents to arrive at the farm. Once again, I assembled all the garments and gadgets resuscitated from the depths of commune trunks and backpacks, and drove down to the Langley School Board Administration building to offer my services as a substitute teacher. The secretary in the front office informed me they had more than enough

replacement teachers for this term. With nothing to lose, I explained that all I needed to fulfil my immigration requirements was a letter confirming that my name was on that list; and I needed that letter right now because the deadline was today. “Well … I could put you on the list, although I doubt if you’ll ever be called …” “Yes, please! Thank you so much!” I didn’t say, but I sure was thinking, oh joy! There’s no way I am going to dress up in this 1965 middle class monkey suit to go teach a bunch of screaming ankle biters in a cement-walled institutional lockup for kids. Yes, please don’t call me. Much to my surprise, the secretary nodded and proceeded to type the letter right then and there. I immediately drove to the downtown Vancouver Federal Building where I handed my good-news letter and copies of my diplomas to Mr. J.R. Pickwell. Was I imagining it or did he really seem quite pleased to receive them? My official “Welcome to Canada” landed immigrant status document arrived at the farm’s P.O. Box just in time. A week later, just before Christmas 1970, the commune was busted at approximately 8:00 in the morning by I don’t know how many police officers, immigration and miscellaneous regulatory bureaucrats, and five big dope-sniffing German Shepherds in, believe it or not, nine cop cars from Vancouver. Despite their prolonged search, no dope was found; but five adults, four kids, one baby and two dogs were given the heave-ho for having no immigration documents. They had twenty-four hours to get out of the country. Not me. I got to stay, and forty-six years later I’m still here, respectable, responsible and very proud to be a Canadian citizen. The funny thing is, eventually I really did become quite a good teacher.



y great-grandfather would have been the same age as Canada this year, though he never set foot in this great land. I wonder what he would have thought of his great-grandchildren today, living on the West Coast of Canada, like we own the place. Like we were never uneasy foreigners trying to eke out a living, like we were never indentured labourers who lived and died on the railway, like we were never unbearably lonely because our wives were barred from joining us, and so we shyly wooed the local women—those who deigned to look at us—with whom we started clandestine, new families. Great-Grandfather: Can you fathom such change in just 150 years? Your great-granddaughters can now read, write, vote—heck—hold public office! Would you recognize your great-great-grandson here in my arms, who looks neither Chinese nor European? What would you make of my husband, your great-grandson-in-law, who is presently making monkey faces at your bloodline? He, with his shaggy blonde beard and impossibly high nose, who has learned a few words of Mandarin and is contorting his mouth earnestly at his infant son, “Ni hao ma?” He is tickling your cherubic descendant, gazing into his tilting blue-brown eyes. Can you hear your greatgreat-grandson giggling, all wiggly-jiggly, his fat legs kicking.

From the farmlands of China to the Chinatowns of Western Canada we came, all those decades ago, setting up shops, laundromats, and chophouses that served Chinese-Canadian food—you know the kind—where you can order wonton noodle soup and French toast with Canadian back bacon in the same breath. When the rare day off was to mark the Lunar New Year or the premature death of a loved one. Where neither laughter nor tears could change our determination for a better future. Great-Grandfather: I know you never got to see this great country, only gleaned from the occasional letter of the hardships and heartaches of your sons who toiled on Gold Mountain, some of whom you never heard from again. I wish you and I could ride the trains today, on the tracks laid by your boys, straight from the Pacific Coast through those man-eating Rockies, roll on through the golden wheat fields and past the power seat of Canada, stopping only when we reach the Atlantic Ocean. And after that, we’d still have all of the exotic North to explore! All the cultures and tongues we would encounter! We would all ride in the same coach together, a tangle of ethnicities, sitting close enough to smell and share our foods, complaining about the weather and our politicians. We might even argue, wonder and imagine what Canada will be like for our great-grandchildren in another 150 years.

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any Canadian authors were surprised to receive an email from Library and Archives Canada (LAC) informing them that self-published materials are no longer eligible for Cataloguing in Publication (CIP) services. The new policy took effect on May 29, 2017. There was not much notice and no explanation for the change. According to the LAC website, they define “self-published” as publications that are produced and marketed at the expense of individual authors. This includes print-on-demand (POD), subsidy publishing and collaborative publishing as well as strictly self-published books. Basically, any book not published by a trade publisher is no longer eligible. CIP is a program for publishers and libraries that is coordinated by the LAC. It allows books to be catalogued months before they are published and the information is sent to both libraries and booksellers. CIP has always been an integral part of the professional look of a book. I have been encouraging authors who intend to self-publish to apply for CIP since 2004 when the first edition of Self Publishing in Canada was released. Many libraries and bookstores will not consider a book without CIP. A representative of the LAC says the reason for the policy change is because research done last year shows that self-published materials were less likely than other categories of materials to be found in Canadian libraries. Because the numbers of self-published

Summer 2017 ◆ WordWorks ◆ Page 14

books are small, the CIP program was not useful to Canadian libraries. Because they have limited financial resources, the LAC decided to make the cut. They are quick to point out, though, that self-published books are still eligible for ISBN and still subject to cataloguing through Legal Deposit. A book that is added to the Legal Deposit collection is catalogued after publication and not before. Lynne Jordon, Deputy CEO of the Greater Victoria Public Library, says that CIP is not a factor considered in purchasing decisions. She explained that the library staff have enough expertise to incorporate material into their collection and ensure it is discoverable. The format of the copyright page does not impact their decision to acquire a book. Rather, they choose books to meet the community’s needs. The trend toward non-acceptance of self-published books appears to be international. In the U.S. self-published books are exempt from the Library of Congress CIP, as well as POD books and books published by firms that have published less than three authors. In the U.K. self-published books are not exempt from CIP, but POD books are. Implications to Authors So what are the implications of this new policy to writers who want to self-publish besides missing out on pre-publication promotion? Right off, the lack of CIP

will now identify a book as self-published. As those of us who self-publish try to break down barriers, this policy throws one up. Therefore it is imperative that your book be edited, properly formatted, and have a professional cover. While this has always been necessary for the potential for book sales, it is now more important than ever. On their website, the LAC recommends that self-published authors approach their local libraries or bookstores to promote their books. This presumes that no self-published author wants national promotion. Although it is true that the majority of self-published books tend to be more of a local nature, there are still many authors who want to hook into a national market. In the past, CIP has helped with that promotion. While public libraries tend to be open to carrying books by local authors, many

bookstores are not so keen on the one-bookone-account type of deal. Most of them want the book to be part of the national computer system Bookmanager, and that leaves self-published authors scrambling to find distribution. In BC there are two distributors – Sandhill Book Marketing in Kelowna and Red Tuque Books in Penticton. Sandhill only distributes non-fiction books and their catalogue is on their website. Red Tuque distributes both fiction and non-fiction and sends more than 2,000 catalogues out to Canadian libraries and bookstores twice a year. There is a cost to having a distributor that some authors do not want to pay. A distributor normally receives a 60% discount on the cover price. What can a Canadian writer do if they want to self-publish and be recognized as a professional? First of all, get an ISBN. It is

free in Canada and will have your book included in certain databases. Secondly, make sure you send your book(s) to Legal Deposit. Canadian publishers (including self-publishers) must provide two copies of every book they publish to Legal Deposit. Only one copy is required if the print run is less than 100 books, including POD copies. Legal Deposit also requires a copy of digital books sent in a PDF or EPUB format. Your book goes into a catalogue that is distributed to libraries and bookstores, so I cannot emphasize strongly enough how important it is to use these resources. Particularly now that self-published books can no longer have CIP. The self-published author needs every edge in order to compete with trade published books.

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aunching a freelance writing career—really diving deep and stepping out of “conventional” society—is truly a gamble. But there is power and magic in putting your faith into your craft, gathering up all the assignments you can possibly carry, and filling your calendar with deadlines. I began freelancing a year ago, and now write for a handful of British Columbia-based magazines. Some assignments are routine, others absolutely engaging, but it’s all part of building up a robust portfolio. Being new at this I’m aware that I’m by no means an expert, but I have talked to a few experts—most recently with Lyndon Grove, who has built an enviable writing career. Now in his 80s, Grove has been freelancing as a writer and editor since starting out as a broadcast journalist. He has written and ghostwritten books, spent decades as a copywriter, edited WestWorld Magazine for a number of years, and was the founding editor of Vancouver’s premier lifestyle magazine NUVO. In short, he has done it all, and is a great source of wisdom. Grove’s key advice was exactly what I was expecting: “Discipline is key. It’s what one needs to be a writer or an artist. One needs talent, discipline, and luck.” He added, “Some are born with lots of talent but may Summer 2017 ◆ WordWorks ◆ Page 16

lack the discipline to pursue it.” Truer words were never spoken. When you have multiple deadlines staring you in the face, and a reputation to build and uphold, you’ve got to hold yourself accountable, and schedule in solid times for working. Sometimes that means other things in life take a backseat. The dishes might not get done that day, because you need to do an interview and write the article while the conversation is still hot in your mind. Or, your husband watches the baby while you hole up with your laptop so you can research the subject and prep questions. There have been nights and weekend afternoons where I have needed complete tunnel vision to get my work done, and to polish it into work I can be proud of. If you continue working at a full-time job while you launch your freelance career, choose a time of day when you know you can be on-task, writing or researching, and stick to it. I stay at home with my child and freelance. I get up before he does, to do my research. During naptime, I can conduct interviews and sketch out the articles. In the evenings just before or just after he goes to sleep, I do some more work. My schedule varies day to day, but this is what a typical deadline week looks like.

Of course, a major benefit of a freelance career is flexible scheduling. No longer are you chained to your desk from 9-5. You can stop and start as you please, schedule interviews at a time that suits you (within reason), and if you’ve got the dreaded writer’s block, you can go have a shower, read a book, or do some gardening, whatever you prefer. That kind of freedom makes it well worth striking out on your own. In addition to scheduling, it’s also important to find your strategy. “Every writer works out his or her own strategies, and everyone has a different approach,” says Grove. "Some work best in the morning, some at night, some like to write on yellow legal pads, some go straight to the computer. After a while, you find out what works for you.” I rely on my computer and a regular coiled notepad. I create one document for notes and interview questions and answers, and then another to write the piece. The coiled notepad acts as a sort of catch-all and a back-up, in case technology fails, as it inevitably will—usually at the worst possible moment. Tearing rejected pages out of a notepad is also hugely satisfying. If you rely on a computer, save your work frequently. I can’t stress this strongly enough. Relationships are a vital foundation. The

ability to build a freelance career depends on relationships that you develop along the way. If people you work with have projects, respect your work, and know they can rely on you, they will call you. Some of Grove’s most important career moments have come from his personal connections and previous experience. For example, his days as a broadcast journalist at CHQM led to a job editing the station magazine, Q, which featured local arts and events. That led to copywriting and then ghostwriting/editing. “Things seem to lead one to another, kind of an accidental career. It wasn’t entirely planned, it just happened,” he says. “Working in radio as a writer and producer/announcer, I developed associations and contacts that led from one thing to another in domino fashion.” I’ve discovered a similar effect, having stayed in contact with several colleagues from my undergrad degree. In the same vein, networking is hugely important. Build a LinkedIn profile, if you haven’t already. Put yourself out there and network with other writers and editors. Today’s freelancers have the benefit of being able to send an email or browse job listings online. Check sites like Upwork for freelance opportunities to get an idea of what people are looking for. Sign up if you like. They’re hugely competitive and notoriously low paying, but if you are truly starting from scratch like I was, they can be helpful. I hadn’t signed in for months, and received an interview invitation for content curator for a local start up. I didn’t get the job in the end, but I have been selected for future freelance assignments. In the rejection letter, the business owner explained that he works with over 60 companies who will all likely need content written, and he will pass my name forward. That’s huge. It may not be immediate work, but I have faith that it will lead to more opportunities. Whether you do or do not land an assignment, take the time to map out what other opportunities could be attached to it and use them in your networking strategy. A year ago, I started writing for an events column when a former colleague let me know that an editor was looking for a local writer for an offshoot of a Victoria lifestyle magazine. I was in the right place at the right time, the editor was happy with my work, and I’m

now a regular columnist. I wrote an article “With any subject, once you get into it, once for a performer in that magazine, and now I you do the research, you will find things that write copy and correspondence for her. She interest you. Look for the twist and bring out keeps me hopping, so I always have steady the amusing story,” he says. The beauty of it is, if you work hard and work. It’s not a typical arrangement, but it’s certainly one that has allowed me a lot of show discipline, you will be rewarded with flexibility and consistent contact with the topics that excite you and over time, you can media. It has also provided connections and choose what you want to write about. One opportunities with other publications. Once week, I wrote about housing projects, and you start writing for someone, and you prove the next, about an artist who is so alive with yourself, and your ability to adhere to strict vision and creativity that I got an absolute deadlines, more work will come your way. It thrill learning what makes her tick. As with truly is a domino effect and it feels wonder- any job, it’s a trade-off. The ultimate goal, I ful to know that several editors trust you and believe, is to not only be able to make a living will always have assignments for you. It feels doing what you love, but to be able to work even more wonderful when they start to un- within your niche, to write about what you derstand what your preferred topics are and can’t wait to tell others about, what really excites you. flag those for you. It’s a daunting prospect, but if you’re In terms of topics, a good rule of thumb disciplined, schedule wisely, find your strateis to be as open-minded as you can. Some gy, network, and stay open-minded, you can subjects may seem uninspiring, but your gift build a career as a freelancer. as a writer is to find the spark in a story. That’s not to say that you should write about something you are morally opposed to, or that you wouldn’t be comfortable with your mother reading, but stay open. You never know Your step-by-step guide to designing and typewhat you might setting your own book using Adobe® InDesign® end up enjoying. Though he prefers writing humorous, Book Design Made Simple gives DIY authors, editors, somewhat satirical small presses, and graphic designers—novices and experts pieces, Grove has alike—the power to design their own books. It’s the first written and edited comprehensive book of its kind. Download Part I for free for a wide range of from our website and get started on designing your book! topics, from cookbooks, to an enIncludes glossary, index, tertainment guide bibliography, 300+ images for families and Available at bookstores, children, to a hisChapters, and Amazon tory of the roads epub available at B&N.com in British ColumISBN 978-0-9940969-2-0 bia, written for the 512 pages • $59.95 British Columbia Automobile Association. He figured this topic would be incredibly dull, but Triple Gold Medal Winner! once he got down to it, it was a very www.BookDesignMadeSimple.com enjoyable project.

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Page 17 ◆ WordWorks ◆ Summer 2017





Ian McMahon-Point, Kaitlyn McMahon-White, Malyla George, Keanu Johnson, Joan Hubert, Emma Hubert, Courtney Johnson


udience members likely noticed something very interesting as they filed into the Shaw Auditorium of the Vancouver Island Convention Center on the evening of Friday, April 28th, 2017, to attend the Gala event of the Federation of BC Writers Nanaimo Spring Writes Fes-

tival—aptly titled, “The Stories That Find Us.” Seated prominently at the front of the room was a group of Indigenous youth— all high school students from Nanaimo District Secondary School. They were seated in chairs normally occupied by the City of Nanaimo’s Mayor and Council. Wheth-

er they, or any of the audience members, knew it or not, the decision of these youth to occupy those seats was highly symbolic. For these youth are leaders. And they had just collectively accomplished something extraordinary. They were there that night to read their very first pieces of published works—poems in a chapbook entitled Every Word Has a Spirit. Much work had happened behind the scenes in the weeks leading up this momentous night. First, under the gentle, and often humourous, guidance of poet Wendy Morton, the students spent a day learning how to tap into their authentic abilities as poetry writers. Next, came the most special day of the entire project. This is when the youth met the Elders. I was in the meeting room that day, watching as all 15 Indigenous youth and all 15 Indigenous Elders gathered. Each youth was paired with an Elder. The youth spent time listening to the Elders’ stories, recollections, and experiences—quietly taking notes and asking questions. Each youth treated their Elder with the utmost of honour and respect. They were fully engaged in this process and their dedication spoke to the significance of the work at hand. Throughout the room, 15 conversations unfolded. Sometimes, laughter filed the air. Other times, Page 19 ◆ WordWorks ◆ Summer 2017

quiet tears—both from some of the Elders and some of the youth. The stories that the Elders were sharing were not always easy to hear. Stories of days gone-by, when life was a lot different than it is now. For many, painful memories of time spent in residential school—away from the families that loved them so dearly. Even when the conversations became heavy and steeped in emotion, the Elders and youth supported each other, with encouraging hugs and uplifting praise. One-by-one, the interviews concluded and each youth hunkered down for the most challenging task—to take those interviews and transform them into poems that captured the essence of the Elder’s stories. The Elders sat next to their youth during the writing process, offering guidance. By the end of the day, each student had produced a draft of their poem. The youth then presented their Elder with a cedar rose, crafted by the students themselves, as a gesture of their gratitude for the Elder’s time and sharing. In the span of just one day, I could see transformation in these young people. Several weeks of editing and publication prep ensued. Before any of us knew it, April 28th—the day of the official launch of the chapbook—was upon us. A book launch was hosted that afternoon at the

NDSS cafeteria with the exquisite Winds of Change mural serving as the backdrop. Most of the students and Elders involved in the Elder Project were there, along with family members, district and community representatives, Federation of British Columbia Writers representatives, (as sponsors of the Elder Project, with the help of funding from the BC Arts Council) reporters, and of course, the incomparable Wendy Morton—who is the heart and soul of this project. Two-by-two, the youth and Elders made their way to the microphone and the youth would read the poem about their Elder. With their words and voices, the youth paid heartfelt tribute to each of these incredible Elders. Later that day came the Gala event, which was attended by some of the youth and Elders. Seated in the audience were nearly two hundred people that included family members, some of their teachers, and some very prominent authors—including Headline artists Steven Price and Angie Abdou. Mayor Bill McKay also sat in the audience, witness to these youth occupying seats normally held by him and the members of Council. An all-women’s group from Snuneymuxw called Footprints of the Wolf opened the night with beautiful songs and culture. Snuneymuxw writer Celes-

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tine Aleck then read from her collection of work. And then it was time for the youth to read their poems from Every Word Has a Spirit. When called, each one came up to the microphone—reading their poems with confidence and conviction. Including Emma, whose anxiety usually makes public speaking impossible. With a shaky voice, she too bravely stepped up to the microphone. Once the last youth had sat back down, most of the audience was moved to tears. And just like that, a group of Indigenous youth stole the entire show. In my 17 years as an educator, there are few occasions that have filled my heart with the level of pride that I felt that night. I couldn’t help but to wish that I could somehow forward-wind time by ten or twenty years and see what these youth are up to in their adult lives. I have no doubt that they will be successful. Perhaps some will be reading their new published works at writer’s galas such as this. Perhaps some will be in those seats as members of City Council. Perhaps some will be the teachers in the audience. Who knows? But based on what I saw throughout this project, the future is full of potential and excitement for these 15 incredible young people!

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f you packaged up all the ideas about the art, craft and business of writing that were explored, discussed, and tried-out at the Spring Writes Festival in Nanaimo April 27-30, injected them into one writer’s brain, and said ‘Go out into the world and write, my child,’ you would unleash a prodigy. Over the four days there were a baker’s dozen and then some workshops and master classes covering everything from the effective use of language, to reworking and reviving poetry, to avoidance of identy theft, to hooking and holding onto readers, to partnering poetry with dance… From 10 a.m. Thursday to 3 p.m. Sunday writers gathered at Nanaimo’s Harbourfront Library, St. Paul's Anglican Church, and The Vancouver Island Conference Centre to achieve critical mass, sharing thoughts and experiences. The quality and scope of the workshops was made possible by funding from the Nanaimo Hospitality Association and the City of Nanaimo Department of Culture and Heritage, major sponsors of the event, and of course by the Federation of BC Writers,

which hosted and organized it—putting in hundreds of hours in a year-long runup to four days of intensive literary activity. "There's no question this was a huge project that became more and more huge as its success grew" Acknowledged FBCW President, Ann Graham Walker. "In the end, we had three hundred attendees, and twenty participating artists. The FBCW has never organized anything on this scale before, and we are proud and delighted to have hosted such a successful community event with the help of our volunteers and the generous support of the city, as well as the vital participation of the Snuneymuxw First Nation of Nanaimo." Writing can be a lonely vocation, so workshops like those offered during Spring Writes are important opportunities to get together and learn from one another. The leaders have proven skills in the genres and techniques they talk about—experience that can leapfrog emerging or seasoned writers ahead on the curve, or give them new directions to follow. Not all the ideas come from the work-

shop leader. though. When participants add their experiences into the mix, workshops head in new directions that surprise even the presenters. Executive Director Shaleeta Harper agrees. “Sharing ideas, experiences, and struggles—these are valuable aspects of an event like this. You learn as much from fellow writers as you do from the experienced instructors,. Writing is usually a solitary craft, but it gains much from community” Sometimes a workshop is specifically designed to push beyond the boundaries. The Poetry and Movement workshop brought writers and dancers together under the direction of Crimson Dance’s Holly Bright. Particpants ventured into an experimental soundscape where they were moved (literally) by the resonance of words. Workshops participants will be reliving their experiences through how and what they write over the coming months and years—and hopefully the experience will help unleash the prodigies within.

Page 21 ◆ WordWorks ◆ Summer 2017

HOW TO CRASH A LIBRARY JILL TALBOT Maps can change a life, a person, returning us to dreams, to our childhood, to the poetic, to what is real. —Anne Lamott


wrote this at the Nanaimo Spring Writes festival a month ago. Now I want to erase half of it. I used to do what you’re supposed to do—offer a resolution or an exist. The problem with this way of writing about life, about real experiences, is that it sets up an odd paradigm where one must keep writing false resolutions just to stay afloat. I have to admit, I used to be one of those terrible people who rolled their eyes when people said, writing saved my life. Perhaps, however, writing gave me life. An on-going affair. It’s hard to write the truth about the present. Much of my brave work wasn’t brave at all, for it hid behind the lie that it was in the past. There are no exits, no separation between what was and what is. There are only moments—moments when it feels like the harbourfront library is crashing and moments—brief moments— of stillness. There is this moment, when I’m about to tell you something I probably shouldn’t. Staring at the huge block letters on the library wall—FICTION, TEENS and

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NON-FICTION. Is that how the order’s meant to go? I think I’m still in teens, maybe even fiction. Perhaps I moved from fiction to teens and that’s why it feels like I’m regressing when really I’m finally facing the music. Or finally facing the plushie crabs, as it were. When did I become someone who says as it were? I’m about to win an award and no one I know came. People are already gathering at the atrium, awkwardly waiting for something to happen. My eye has been twitching for days. When did I stop caring? Perhaps around the same time my eye started twitching? Do I look remotely personable? Is that what I don’t like, being presented, or is that the easy part? We may be living in a game of 99 lies and a truth. Or 99 lives and a truth? If you figure out which it is, let me know. I wonder why nobody is talking to me until I realize that perhaps nobody knows who I am. I’m not sure I know who this girl is with boots, a pinstriped blazer, Rock Republic hoodie and dirty glasses. Maybe that explains the eye twitch. Any other writer would have someone here to tell her how her eye looks, offer

an Ativan and gossip about—I don’t even know what people gossip about. I imagine I’m on an United Airlines flight and Fight Club has taken over. I am Jack’s fish fingers. Normal people imagine a plane crash. It takes a special brand of anxiety to imagine a library crash—but I feel it happens, almost reach for a life vest and oxygen mask. Better than an Ativan. Still nobody talks to me. But I manage to talk to myself and that’s successful in my books. Books, by the way, which I just returned months late. It occurs to me suddenly that it could be a psych ward plane. It also occurs to me that I should pee before it’s too late. It occurs to me that all of these people are here for someone else. I still wait for the day when I have a meltdown at one of these things—a part of me wishes I could just get it over with. Sitting now all ready, we’re all staring out the library window with bird shit and cloudlike lights above us—paper lanterns or something. All waiting for the crash. At least I am. But I have been waiting for a crash for weeks. By the way, I look like crap, I checked. There are green men running signs, I guess they mean the way to the exit. I think they might mean we’re already in hell.

When is this thing starting? We fly directly into an asteroid. I stop writing and therefore am unable to inform you of the next part. Somebody comes to rescue us, I guess. I have a meltdown in AA then head for Nanaimo from Gabriola, terrified that I will end up in a psych ward with my writing trapped in my laptop without power. End up at the FBCW festival meet and greet, immediately passed a quiz. Rather, somebody hands me a piece of paper, I definitely don’t pass. I escape to the bathroom where I write in my notebook on the floor. Afraid of someone finding me I remember where I am. Then I realize that people will come here and what a sight this must be. Then I realize something else, I still don’t care. I’m a writer. I have had a bad day. Let me write. At the harbourfront library I get annoyed at having to ask for the bathroom to be unlocked until I realize they have to do that because of people like me. People like I was. The last time I was in a place nice enough to resemble this convention center it was for a psych convention where I was a part of the posterchildren series. I’m searching for that girl but I don’t see her. I often wonder if it’s an accident that the traumatized so often love Alice’s Ad-

ventures in Wonderland when Lewis Carroll was a pedophile. Alice’s world is not unlike the chronically traumatized. If you get a manual clock you can train yourself to wake and unwake, at least this is my theory. In the ICU I spent a week finding ways to make objects in the room appear and disappear, made the clock go backwards or stop all together. I use writing in a similar way. However in mixing truth with untruth, writing often leaves me more confused. Can I admit that? That writing doesn’t heal all wounds? That it only blurs the lines between reality and fantasy? Time doesn’t heal all wounds either. I’m the least successful meet and greeter but it sure as hell beats bingo in psych ward pajamas. Sometimes I’m not even sure if I am a writer, less so now than before. It used to be that writing was unreal; briefly writing was the only real thing. Now everything is Wonderland. Sometimes I don’t even recognize my own name. With less than one line filled into the ice breaker game I decide to sit down before I have a heart attack. I decide that there’s a difference between being an observer and an outsider— certainly between being an observer and a posterchild. I imagine everyone wearing psych ward pajamas. I know people say to imagine people naked but that’s always caused


me more problems—even the thought of imagining people that way terrifies me. Does that actually work for anyone? I imagine that everything’s okay. For weeks the quote, "If You’re Going Through Hell, Keep Going," has been in my head. Attributed falsely to Churchill, who knows who actually said it. I would love to see this person’s map of hell. If this were a story, I would be at the moment of truth, the crash of the library. But this is life where we keep going. So I set a goal—finish one line. Other people have five lines. But for them, nothing is crashing. Now, I suppose, is where I say that I found a resolution. I stopped the plane from crashing. I learned a lesson about belonging. I tried to grasp that one—as long as I am writing, I belong. The problem was, I had to always be writing. Perhaps that I had the ruby slippers all along or that Kansas was overrated. Or that the scribbles from the floor became a bestseller. I used to chase after those. That day on the bathroom floor may have been when I finally lost them. The absence of a resolution is unsettling but leaves room to notice the birds, enjoy a cigarette rather than speed-smoke through it, and be fully human. To know the difference between fantasy and reality; fiction and nonfiction. Maybe writing is like cooking. No one else needs to know the original ingredients, but the chef ought to. Most writing advice would suggest otherwise, but most writers don’t wake up not knowing who they are. Do I now say that instead I found myself? I went from fiction to teen to nonfiction? I kept going. I made my own map. I only promised you one truth. When I was a posterchild I just needed one line— one resolution—devoid of any map for I barely moved. As a writer, there is no end. As writers, you must want me to say that that’s the good news. I promised you nothing.

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he upstairs hall at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre was more than just the place where attendees registered for April’s Federation of BC Writers’ Spring Writes Festival. Throughout the festival, the hall was a magnet for writers, publishers and industry experts. The lounge chairs provided a quiet refuge where you could catch your breath between sessions, the tables hosted impromptu meetings, and many used the space to meet up with old friends and new, and inhale the ambience of all things books. On Friday evening, the space was turned into a wine bar with entertainment by magician Thomas Baxter and author Annie Siegel, who read her FBCW award-winning, short story, Mr. JR Pickwell. By the end of the event, no one was a stranger thanks to a scavenger hunt of sorts that had attendees asking their neighbours to initial a square on their form if they were born elsewhere, spoke a second language, published a book last year, or any number of oddball questions. If you were lucky enough to fill an entire line on the scavenger form, you got a free book! In the midst of the festivities, the FBCW presented David Fraser with an Honorary Ambassador Award for his years of dedicated service. On Saturday, a Publishing Fair was held in the second-floor auditorium, and the hall filled with exhibitor booths. The event, which was open to the public, ran from 9:00 until 3:00 with speakers, panellists and audience Q&A. This was a tremendous opportunity for writers to learn some of the fundamentals of the pub-

Summer 2017 ◆ WordWorks ◆ Page 24

lishing industry from insider experts including Craig Shemilt of Island Blue Book Printing and Printorium Bookworks, Bennett Coles, author and CEO at Promontory Press, and Barb Drozdowich, author and technical trainer. Those who attended learned about printing and distribution; the ins and outs of traditional, indie and hybrid publishing; and the basics of an on-line author platform. The Q&A session shed light on a wide variety of issues brought forth by writers from all stages of the writing and publishing process. In the hall outside the auditorium, exhibitors showcased professional writing and publishing services and products. The industry was well represented with a number of publishers, cover and interior designers, and design and publishing consultants. The Professional Editors Association had a presence, as did the Nanaimo Harbourfront Regional Library whose Espresso Book Machine can print books on the spot. And if you were in the market for a larger print run, you could head down to Island Blue’s book printing booth. The Federation offered its members a table at which to sell their books, and many writers went one step further and hosted their own tables where they sold books and generously shared their writing and publishing experiences. Indeed, the Publishing Fair and exhibitors’ hall were highlights of the Spring Writes Festival and a valuable resource and networking opportunity for both new and seasoned writers.



ad I known I would later be on a quest to find a writer who plays guitar, I might have started my research sooner. The Nanaimo Spring Writes festival was the perfect place to meet authors, share stories and get to know a little more about them. The workshops and networking events provided ample opportunity to connect with established authors and experts in the publishing field. Presenters and participants revealed valuable insight, ideas, tips and strategies to overcome writing challenges that face us all. Captivated by the discussions, it never occurred to me to ask if anyone also happened to play guitar. I had heard about the Spring Writes festival from a social media post shared by our local writers group. I went online to learn more and was impressed with the range of workshops and events, the quality of the presenters and the fact that all events were either free or very affordable. I had never been to a writers’ confer-

ence and could see this event offered a rich itinerary at a price that was not out of reach of struggling authors. It didn’t need much convincing. I booked time off from my day job, found a hotel in downtown Nanaimo and signed up. The first event I attended was also the first event of the festival – the Write Word workshop with Rachel McMillen. Before the workshop began I chatted with others at the table, delighted to discover I was sitting next to an author whose work I had admired from afar for many years. By the end of the workshop my notebook was bursting with hastily scribbled learnings and ideas I could put into action. The Write In at the Lighthouse Pub on Thursday afternoon offered more connections, ideas and potential stories as did the workshops and lunch event on Friday. What struck me about the events was the support and encouragement willingly offered by presenters and participants to fellow writers. The value of this generosity and of the candid suggestions feely offered

was immeasurable. At the official Meet and Greet on Friday afternoon there were already many familiar faces. Participants who had met that morning greeted each other as old friends. In case we needed a little help getting to know one other, everyone was handed a Bingo card upon arrival with squares requiring a signature from a person in the room with a unique quality. The room buzzed with laughter and conversation as people connected in the search for someone who “had recently been to Mexico” or “could tap dance”. I asked everyone I met if they could play guitar. If not, it didn’t matter, as we became caught up in each others’ stories. Later, I found the Bingo sheet, incomplete, crammed in my notebook and it made me smile. I never found anyone who could play guitar and didn’t win a prize but the warmth and generosity of those I met linger still.

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ynda Archer is an FBCW member whose first novel, Tears in the Grass, was published by Dundurn Press in 2016 and recently shortlisted for a Lambda Literary Award. She began the novel in 2002. I was intrigued by this lengthy (thirteen year!) labour and delivery and wondered if she’d have some words of wisdom for those of us writing a first novel and perhaps feeling a tad impatient. SM: How did this story come to you in the beginning? LA: I grew up in Saskatchewan and have a deep, spiritual connection to the prairie. Although I’ve not lived in Saskatchewan for many years I always go back for my ‘prairie fix’. I thought that if that landscape had that kind of meaning for me, it must be even greater for First Nations people … and the book evolved from there. I like John Irving’s comment, that writers don’t choose their topics, the topics choose them.

Summer 2017 ◆ WordWorks ◆ Page 26

SM: How long did it take to write the novel? LA: I started writing it during my MFA program, probably in 2002, and finished it in 2006. SM: What happened between 2006 and 2015, when it was sold to Dundurn? LA: My agent shopped the book around to several large publishing houses and when it didn’t sell, she suggested I move on to the second novel that she knew I was working on. I was also writing short stories, two of which were published in that time period. However, I wasn’t content to leave Tears in the Grass in a drawer. I’ve also come to believe that neither was my main character, Elinor, a 90 year old Cree woman, content to stay in a drawer. In the earlier version she died half way through the novel. In the revision I resurrected her and she remains to the end. An indigenous friend has told me that ‘the ancestors were calling me’ and

I answered their call. SM: I love the title. Some writers believe it’s important to have your title before you start writing. Was Tears in the Grass your title from the beginning? LA: No. My title was Coming Home. And there were others before that. Ultimately it’s the publisher who chooses the title but we discussed various options before coming to the present title we both liked. SM: What education or mentoring in fiction-writing have you had? LA: After retiring as a clinical psychologist, I turned to writing in a committed way. I did correspondence courses through Humber College, where I was fortunate to work with some fantastic mentors including D. M. Thomas. Then I got my MFA in Creative Writing at Spalding University in Kentucky where I worked with five different mentors. Working with these mentors was incredibly helpful. SM: You had an agent for Tears in the Grass. What advice do you have for emerging writers about the value of securing an agent? LA: In Canada it’s possible to go straight to a small publisher or press without an agent. But for me, with this first novel, I was lucky to secure a well-known agent who shopped the book around and shared the feedback she got from editors with me. SM: You are a white woman whose main character, Elinor, is a Cree woman. Did you get any criticism because of that? LA: The only real criticism I got was from white folks. Nothing from my agent, nothing from my editor. None of the indigenous people I have met, in Canada

or the US, have been critical--in fact they are grateful. They have gifted me, hugged me, become dear friends, bought the book, shared their own stories of residential school and struggles beyond that. I have been named an ally to the aboriginal community and part of the reconciliation movement. There may be indigenous people who are critical of my book, but no one I have met so far. SM: What is the best thing that’s happened to you because of this book? LA: Without doubt the people I’ve met, some of whom have become dear friends. SM: What advice do you have for writers working on their debut novels? LA: A few things come to mind: • Read. Read. Read. Read in your genre, read outside your genre. • Follow your passion, an idea, an interest that is really important to you, that you want to learn about, that you want others to understand. • Have others read your work. Listen to what they say. But always remember it’s your story. One reader told me to leave out my bison character— but I didn’t. And many readers have told me how much they value Big Brown. • Set specific writing goals, a certain number of words or pages or a certain amount of time per day. • Read your work aloud. I find that helps with the flow and word choice. • Keep writing. Keep sending your work out. Yes, there will be rejections. Everyone gets them. Many rejections are impersonal form letters, however, there are always some who give specific comments about your work and how you might revise it. Those have always been helpful to me.

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If you are an FBCW member with a newly published book, (self or traditionally published) let us know! We'd be happy to promote it here. Books from the past 6 months are given priority, but we are happy to promote older books if there is room.

Bitter Legacy

Lily in the Loft

CB Clark The Wild Rose Press, June 2017 ISBN: 9781509214884, 16.99

Carol L. MacKay

Sharla-Jean Bromley returns to her hometown after a seventeen-year absence with vengeance in her heart. From the very beginning, her plans go awry when she meets devastatingly handsome Josh Morgan, the man to whom her father left half of his multi-million dollar lumber mill. Josh, suspicious of Sharla-Jean’s reasons for returning to town after such a long absence, vows to keep control of the company he feels is rightfully his. She is equally determined to prove she can run her father’s mill, even though it means working side-by-side with Josh, a man whose very presence evokes an attraction that is increasingly difficult for her to ignore. In the process, they must overcome a villain who’s determined to destroy both the lumber mill and their lives. Will Sharla-Jean succeed and heal the anguish that has long filled her soul? Wills he and Josh find the passion of a lifetime?

Frances loves to write, especially in her favourite spot—the barn loft. Encouraged by her aunt, she sends a poem to The Western Producer, hoping it will be chosen for the Young Co-operators’ Club pages—a section of the newspaper just for young writers like her. And she waits ... and she waits. Will the newspaper editor ever print her poem? Set in 1947, Lily in the Loft is a fictional story based on the experiences of thousands of children across the prairies and other parts of Canada, who eagerly awaited “newspaper day” to see their words in print via the venerable YC Pages of the Western Producer. The book is illustrated by Saskatchewan artist, Val Moker. Carol L. MacKay is a children's writer and poet. Her stories and poems have appeared in Ladybug, Highlights for Children, Cricket and other magazines for children. Carol's poems for adults have been published in The Fiddlehead, Prairie Journal, The Antigonish Review, The New Quarterly and in numerous anthologies. She is based in Qualicum Beach.

CB Clark is the author of three romantic suspense novels published by The Wild Rose Press. ‘My Brother’s Sins’ and ‘Cherished Secrets’ were published in 2016, and ‘Bitter Legacy’ in June, 2017. CB has always loved reading, especially romances, but it wasn’t until she lost her voice for a year that she considered writing her own romantic suspense stories. She grew up in Canada’s Northwest Territories and Yukon. and now lives with her husband and dog at their home near Quesnel.

Summer 2017 ◆ WordWorks ◆ Page 28

Your Nickel's Worth Publishing, May 2017 ISBN: 9781927756911, $14.95

Available from ynwp.ca, in Chapters/ Indigo stores in AB, SK and Nanaimo, or chapters.indigo.ca. Contact: carol@carolmackay.com

At the Heart of the Missing

Thin Air of the Knowable

Explore the Alaskan Coast

Annie Daylon McRAC Books, April 2017 ISBN: 9780986698088, $12.95

Wendy Donowa

Patrick Hill Rutherford Press, April 2017 ISBN: 9780995174368, $20.00

Daylon’s new psychological thriller tells the heart-racing story of a woman’s desperate fight to escape her depraved captor and the tenacious search of a brilliant PI to unravel a three-year-old mystery, keeping a secret promise he made long ago . . . Rose Harrington is a strong, independent young woman whose world has been rocked by loss. Three years ago, her sister Margo went missing. Despite an exhaustive search by police and the assistance of Rose’s friend and private investigator, Shaughnessy Flynn, Margo has never been found. Three months ago, Rose’s beloved mother died. Feeling disconnected, needing to get back on track, Rose plans an off-the-grid vacation to Hawaii. Meanwhile, Private Investigator Shaughnessy Flynn is suffering from a profound loss of his own, that of the tragic death of his six-yearold son. He too is looking to change his life, to get back on track. When Rose disappears in the same way that her sister Margo did, Flynn knows he must solve this mystery. He failed Rose once; he can’t fail her again.

An elegiac and incisive debut that blends poems of social justice with poems of ordinary life

After a 15,000 mile, 14 month family trip in our self-built boat to the south seas, we sailed up from Bora Bora into Glacier Bay. Along with a temperature change, sometimes we could not get within two miles of a glacier face because of the floating ice. It was so exciting, and, wanting to see more of the wild coast, I organised one boat to sail with three different crews up to Prince William Sound; along the south coast to Glacier Bay; and back to Vancouver. Join us on this rare, challenging trip viewing glaciers, in Prince William Sound, the uninhabited Icy Bay with its spectacular 18,150’ mountain, Yakutat Bay with Hubbard Glacier’s six mile face, the biggest in north America, the uninhabited Lituya Bay which has recorded the world’s highest wave, 1720’, higher than the Eiffel Tower, and into Glacier Bay. The thrill of sailing the coast, reviewing history, the effects of the Little Ice Age, and exploring these bays, while surrounded by nature’s raw and powerful environment, was stunning. “Cruise ship passengers, been or going, will enjoy the different perspectives seen from our sailboat. Book available from patrickhillcruising.com Rutherford Press or Amazon.”

What happened to Margo? Where is Rose? What secret lies At the Heart of the Missing?

Brick Books, April 2017 ISBN:9781771314602, $20.00

In her first collection, Thin Air of the Knowable, the physical landscapes of Wendy Donawa’s life—West Coast, Caribbean, prairies—ground many of her poems and often reflect the inner geography of her preoccupations. A road-trip poem moves from prairie winter, “an icy scatter of gravel / the moving centre of this unpeopled world,” past a cattle liner on its way to the slaughter house, but it also passes beneath the sky’s “blazing scroll of light,” and magpies “flashing black and teal in the sun.” Landscape also functions metaphorically to suggest how historical settings play out in the exigencies of individual lives. Other preoccupations include poems that reflect on poesis itself—the strange poem-making compulsion to capture that which is largely inexpressible (hence “the thin air of the knowable”), and the role of dreams, memory, and intuition in shaping a poem’s knowledge. Donawa is, in many ways, a political poet, yet manages to put flesh and blood into everything she writes.

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Frequent, Small Loads of Laundry Rhonda Ganz Mother Tongue, April 2017 ISBN: 978-1896949604, $19.95

In her debut collection, poet Rhonda Ganz brazenly mixes darks with lights and pegs out the quirky and bizarre, both real and imagined, with all seams showing. From spontaneous combustion to suicide, from psychopaths to pterodactyls, Ganz is obsessed with the way people behave in moments of intimacy and domesticity. With her sharp wit and painterly abstractions, she pairs the banal with the absurd to expose the flaws of love—the frayed edges of belief and despair. Her poems are informed by crime fiction, reality tv and bad dreams, and have appeared in Rattle, The Malahat Review, Room, on city buses and in the anthologies Rocksalt: An Anthology of Contemporary BC Poetry, Poems from Planet Earth, Poet to Poet and Force Field: 77 Women Poets of British Columbia and in Harvard Design Magazine’s issue “Shelf Life.” She has been a featured reader at Planet Earth Poetry, WordStorm, Word on the Street, and at the Galiano Literary Festival. Born in Kenya, she now lives in Victoria, where she works as a graphic designer and editor. She shares a home with one human and varying numbers of cats. She has been known to write poems on the spot for people in hotel lobbies, parks and cemeteries. Summer 2017 ◆ WordWorks ◆ Page 30

October Ferries to Gabriola

Reflections -An Inward Journey

Charlotte Cameron Fictive Press, March 2017 ISBN: 9781927663554

Jule Briese March 2017 ISBN 780995 808515

October Ferries to Gabriola was inspired by the life of the British novelist Malcolm Lowry, whose novel Under the Volcano is considered a 20th century masterpiece. In 1946, Malcolm and Margerie Lowry visited Gabriola Island. Although the Lowrys’ visit was brief, it spawned Lowry’s last (and uncompleted) novel, October Ferry to Gabriola. Playwright Charlotte Cameron identified with the novel’s fictional couple’s search for a home where they could live, love and write when she and her husband were looking for a home on Gabriola. After the Camerons moved to the island, Charlotte’s fascination with Lowry continued, leading to years of research about Lowry and his visit to the island. The result: October Ferries to Gabriola, a drama that juxtaposes the lives of Lowry and his second wife, Margerie, with the plight of a contemporary couple. Both couples come to Gabriola Island seeking refuge, a place of redemption and hope, creativity and rebirth. Both couples are dealing with similar troubles: alcoholism, tragedy and homelessness, hopelessness, guilt and angst. As the play moves back and forth in time, from 1946 to the present day, Cameron raises a host of existential questions and explores our endless quest for a paradise on earth. October Ferries to Gabriola is available in print-on-demand and ebook formats from digital publisher FictivePress.com.

Reflections - An Inward Journey is a book of poetry drawing upon inspiration from nature and the wisdom and guidance offered from my angels and guides. Oh, to feel like a tall blade of grass, flexible, dancing in the wind, able to bend without breaking no matter what the direction of the wind. Releasing that urge to be the wind in the lives of others by allowing others to embrace, that which resonates from within their sacred spaces. I strive to live more fully by reaching out to others and learning to let go of expectations. Strive also to be more compassionate, loving and gentle with myself. My path now has a different quality about it. Namaste Jule

Dancing into Reunion Jule Briese November 2016 ISBN 780995 808515

YesterCanada: Historical Tales of Tears in the Grass Mystery and Adventure Lynda Archer Elma Schemenauer

Within my heart I always knew at some point I would write about those magical days leading up to the reunion with my daughter whom I put up for adoption shortly after her birth. Dancing Into Reunion focuses on the intensity of emotions and sharing of thoughts and feelings surfacing during those magical days leading up to our adoption reunion. The universal themes of loss, grief, joy and movement towards healing are also woven into this memoir. The unique dance existing between prose and haiku in the Japanese literary form Haibun offered the perfect format for Dancing Into Reunion. A professionally made CD featuring three songs I have written and sung as part of my healing journey reconciling the grief of loss can be found inserted into the back cover of each book Namaste Jule

Borealis Press of Ottawa, October 2016 ISBN: 9780888876508, $19.95 The Vancouver-based ship Baychimo survived crewless in the Arctic for 38 incredible years, maybe longer. Her story is in Elma Schemenauer's book YesterCanada: Historical Tales of Mystery and Adventure. An entertaining memento of Canada 150, YesterCanada presents 30 historical tales spanning this great land and the centuries from the 1200s to the 1900s. Here are a few of the mysteries you'll find in its pages: Where is the lost city of the Skeena? Who rang the chapel bell in Tadoussac, Quebec one foggy April night in 1782? Why did a Minnesota farmer abandon his farm, walk to Saskatchewan, and build an ocean-going ship far from any ocean? In YesterCanada you'll also meet adventurers like Ontario's daring Lady Agnes, pious Nova Scotia pioneers, gold-seekers of Alberta, and the Manitoba Cree chief who gave his life for the woman he loved. YesterCanada is a 248-page paperback including 30 illustrations and a bibliography. It’s available in some stores and libraries. It can also be ordered online from Chapters Indigo, Amazon, or the publisher, Borealis Press. For more information, please visit: elmams.wix.com/elma

Dundurn Press, March 2016 ISBN: 9781459732117, $17.99 Finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, and set in Saskatchewan in the late 1960s, this is a story of three generations of Cree women--Elinor, Louise, and Alice, setting out to uncover a long-buried secret that will change all of their lives. The novel confronts the trauma of residential schools, and the long, dark shadow they cast over a family’s life. “…Archer’s bold prose, heartfelt characters, and imaginative plot weave a story of loss and redemption, trauma and healing, justice and remembrance. This lovely novel faces hard truths and ancient wounds, while illuminating corners of hope and solace.” Neela Vaswani, Education activist, American Book Award Recipient, author of You Have Given Me a Country: A Memoir Lynda has published short fiction and essays in The New Quarterly, The Dalhousie Review, Carve Magazine, The Canadian Family Physician. Tears in the Grass is her debut novel. Lynda holds an MFA and a Ph.D. in Psychology. Many years of practice as a clinical psychologist have shown Lynda that truth is stranger than fiction, and fiction engenders compassion. www.lyndaarcher.ca

Page 31 ◆ WordWorks ◆ Summer 2017

TRUE CONFESSIONS From my Summer Vacation

Federation of BC Writers 2017 Short Fiction Contest

Beyond the Floathouse, Deep Breath: Lifelong Learning with Friends A Book of Haiku Evolutions and Family Myrtle Siebert Self-Published, November 2016 ISBN: 0780988070929, $18.00 Beyond the Floathouse, Lifelong Learning with friends and family is book #3 of the Floathouse Series and the sequel to Gunhild’s Granddaughter. This book is about a very shy, ordinary girl, who grew up enveloped by an insular loving family in a home surrounded by water on the remote BC coast. Thanks to her principal’s encouragement to apply for a university scholarship Myrtle discovers a whole new world beyond the opening door of education. Her unanticipated opportunity becomes a significant key to a multi-faceted career and travel adventures. From teaching to entrepreneurship to home building to volunteering, her path continues, always with a focus on learning new things, including attempts to keep up with technology. Available for purchase from Myrtle’s website myrtlesiebert.com, Amazon, and many independent book stores. Read more on her blog, see her description on the Federation’s member list and find her on Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Summer 2017 ◆ WordWorks ◆ Page 32

edited by Terry Ann Carter Leaf Press, May 2017 9781988811000, $12.00

Celebrated haiku poets from many countries share their creative process—from spark to finish. "The nature of a poem to which we give birth is unpredictable. Once in a while, it emerges perfectly formed and functional and can go out into the world with no doctoring. More often, it has the steady glow of life, but needs corrective surgery, either for a blocked heart or a broken limb. Most likely, however, it sparks briefly then flutters out and no effort will resuscitate its flicker. You'll find examples of all three births inside—and more.” George Swede, cofounder of Haiku Canada and former editor of Frogpond. Poet and paper artist Terry Ann Carter is the author of five collections of poetry (A Crazy Man Thinks He's Ernest in Paris, Black Moss Press, 2011, was shortlisted for the Archibald Lampman Award) and five chapbooks of haiku. She has given haiku workshops around the world and participated in the Basho Festival in Ueno, Japan. President of Haiku Canada, and founder of Haiku Arbutus Study Group, Terry Ann is a community fellow at the CSRS (Centre for Study of Religion and Society) at the University of Victoria, where she is examining the Zen Buddhist influence on English language haiku poetry.

$350 cash prize Deadline August 31 1000 words or less

learn more at bcwriters.ca/contest





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