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Write On! Contest 2017   

Submissions open now Deadline April 1, 2017 Winners will be announced April 30, 2017

Submission Rules: 

3 Categories: o Non-Fiction (1500 words max) o Fiction (1500 words max) o Poetry (1 page single spaced max) o Submit entry as a Word Document ( Font Times New Roman, Size 12)

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1st prize - $150, 2nd prize - $100, 3rd prize - $75 3 honourable mentions in each category. Winners and honourable mentions will be published in RCLAS E-Zine, Wordplay at Work. Fees $10 per submission for members, $20 per submission for non-members. Maximum three submissions per person, total combined in any of our categories. Previously published work will be accepted as long as author retains copyright. Cover letter to include Name, Address, Email, Phone, Category, Title, Payment info. Judges: Chelsea Comeau (Poetry), Alvin Ens (Fiction), Bryant Ross (Non-Fiction). Submissions to judges are anonymous. Current Board Members are not eligible to submit. Winner’s Reading Event TBA

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SUBMISSION and Payment OPTION 1: Pay via Paypal at AND email entry and cover letter to SUBMISSION and PAYMENT OPTION 2: Email Word Document entry to (DO NOT mail submission) and mail your cheque or money order to: Royal City Literary Arts Society Box #308 – 720 6th Street New Westminster, BC V3L 3C5 For further information Email:


2017 RCLAS Write On! Contest Judges Chelsea Comeau is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in The Claremont Review, Quills, CV2, Piffle and BUST Magazine. In 2011, Amber Tamblyn chose her poem as the winning entry in the BUST Magazine poetry contest. In 2014, she attended the Banff Centre's Writing With Style programme with Lorna Crozier. In 2015, she was the Canadian winner of the Leaf Press chapbook competition. She attends poetry retreats twice a year with Patrick Lane and Lorna Crozier.

Alvin Ens writes prose and poetry for both the Christian and secular media. He comes to us with a wealth of experience in writing, editing and teaching writing skills. He was a high school English teacher and edited the creative writing magazine, advised the annual yearbook, chaired the English Department and organized the school and district public speaking. He has been the editor of the last six Fraser Valley Poets anthologies. He has written eleven books of family history, poetry, a novella and has written widely for magazines and contests. He belongs to two local writing clubs.

Bryant Ross is the host of Vancouver Story Slam, Vancouver’s longest-running monthly storytelling event. Bryant was the Vancouver Story Slam champion in both 2009 and 2014, and has featured at numerous literary events including the Under the Volcano Festival of Art and Social Change, the Vancouver International Storytelling Festival, and the Main Street Car Free Day. He is a father, an artist, a thirty-five-year veteran of the Township of Langley Fire Department, and a damn fine baker of pies.

Anosh Irani has published three critically acclaimed novels: The Cripple and His Talismans, a national bestseller; The Song of Kahunsha, which was an international bestseller and was shortlisted for Canada Reads and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize; and Dahanu Road, which was nominated for the Man Asian Literary Prize. His play Bombay Black won the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play, and his anthology The Bombay Plays: The Matka King & Bombay Black was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award. His work has been translated into eleven languages. His new novel, The Parcel, is published by Knopf. It was recently chosen as one of the “Books of the Year” by the Quill and Quire and the Globe and Mail, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.


H.W. Bryce

H. W. (Herb) Bryce was born in Saskatchewan and has lived and worked there and in Ontario, Alberta, Spain, Italy and England. He has been a typesetter, a reporter, a newspaper and book editor, a teacher, and a courier. He has had numerous feature articles and creative writings published over the years – in England, Canada and the U.S. A former blogger for a seniors-service company, Mr. Bryce has in recent years had his poetry and stories chosen for publication in various anthologies, here and in California. Having joined the Globe and Mail upon graduation with a degree in English and Journalism, Herb was challenged a few years later to use his previous year’s holidays or lose them. He combined them with the current year and set out to do the festivals of Portugal and Spain. He got as far as Madrid, and stayed. But it got too hot there, so he joined a group to travel south through the Sahara. The group broke in two and Herb joined the group to travel across North Africa. The team of four got as far as Egypt when, while camping beside a canal, they were robbed. After the police apprehended the culprits, they treated the travel team to a boat ride on the Nile and a camel ride into the Sahara Desert – hence the photo of the man on the camel featured on his blog site Later, in Jerusalem, they were kidnapped and held for hours while the military police, suspecting them of being spies for Israel, questioned them about their true intentions – which were simply to travel and learn. They were released unharmed. The group disbanded in Athens. Herb flew to Rome. He soon landed a position as principal of the Audio-Visual English School in Bari. After a stint there, Herb began to miss the seasons. He took a train and a ferry to England. He landed a teaching job at St. Thomas More Secondary School. The next year, he moved on to teach English at Acton Technical College, Liberal Arts. Herb settled in and enrolled in the Greater London drama school courses. Two of his fellow students invited him to a house party. Reluctant, Herb dodged the date. But his new friends insisted. The second party was fateful, for that is where he met the woman who became his wife and bore their three sons.

But the old journalistic and writing bug bit and he joined Hamlyn House book publishers where he edited and wrote for various publications. When politics and economics bit back, he went to Worthing as a reporter – court reporter, city hall reporter, etc. – at the Gazette and Herald. And when circumstances reduced his income every time he got a raise, he moved his growing family to Hamilton, Ont., where he joined The Spectator. Taking a stab at business, Herb bought a printing company north of Toronto – just as the economy was failing again. Similar businesses all across the city were going belly-up. He sold at a loss. His next stop was as editor at the Niagara Falls Review. While there, he was called on to judge contests, such as a 4-H Club public speaking contest. The 4-H judging rules taught him a lot about the art of judging, particularly about being objective. Herb next wound up as editor of the Manning Banner Post. But when a serious illness struck him, he decided to take up teaching. With a certificate from the University of Alberta, he joined the staff at Holy Rosary Catholic school in Manning, being transferred later to Glenmary School in Peace River. Eventually, Herb moved his family to the West Coast, where he worked as a newspaper delivery person, and as a courier at the same time, and, of course in his field of publishing, with Hancock House, which post he held for many years. Herb was stricken ill in 2002 and was forced into retirement. A few years later, his wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The impetus for his current poetry theme of empathy and peace stems from his decade of being a care giver to his wife during her struggle with Alzheimer’s. His book of poetry, Chasing a Butterfly is due to launch soon. Available online at Published through Friesen Press, it is available under these ISBNs: Paperback: 978-1-4602-9934-0 Ebook: 978-1-4602-9935-7 Hard Cover: 978-1-4602-9933-3 Visit Herb’s Blog Books, Blogs and Butterflies here

Faith Ain’t by Herb Bryce

Fame. It comes in all styles. Welcome or not. Ask Ernie McDree about that. He promised his mom when he left home that he’d not come back until he was famous; not a day sooner. “Never mind the rich part,” he’d said, “just give me the fame. I want to be remembered.” “So remember your heart,” she said with an admonishing wag of her finger. So it was a major struggle to not call her when he won his first major writing competition. Or when he was first published in a literary magazine. After all, no real national recognition came from that. Real fame had to be national. It had to pay enough that he could stop slinging hamburgers and sweeping floors in office buildings. It had to acknowledge him as a “writer!” The specialized fame he bathed in now was not “writeworthy.” Not “Momworthy.” So Ernie McDree kept at it, writing, writing. He would curl his lanky frame around a pouf,* prop his laptop on it and lean against the old patchedup couch with its tufts of stuffing spilling out, and write. It took more than the prescribed ten thousand words to learn his craft. It took a lot of hamburgers and a lot of floors to keep up the rent. Gradually, he got the hang of it. Then he sold his first story. He celebrated down at the local, very sad pub. And the night with a pickup. It was the start of his routine as he began to be regularly published in magazines and specialty publications. Especially the specialty magazines. Soon, he was receiving requests for stories. He was on his way. He quit his night job. No more sweeping; he was headed for the sweepstakes. He was so busy that he couldn’t find time to work on the big piece, the ticket to fame. After a while, Ernie discovered a bitter truth: writing is up and down. The requests petered out. Times, they had a-chang-ed. So much so had the “writing management” and their style of writing changed, that he began receiving

rejections. He received so many rejections that he could barely keep body and soul together as a unit. “Unfortunately,” he told his on-again, off-again girlfriend, “I’m becoming accustomed to rejection.” But writing is a fever, and Ernie kept writing. The girl friend was off again. So he wrote some more. He slung more hamburgers. He swept more floors. He finished the third rewrite of his epic novel, and resubmitted it. While he waited for the expected acceptance, he wrote poetry, several samples of which were accepted by prestigious magazines. He was crushed when the novel was rejected. Again. He spent half his meagre earnings on cheap wine, the drink he imagined helped to kill Malcolm Lowry. Eventually he received notice: the building owner was selling: Everybody out! He found a seedy room in a seedy motel. But awake and hating it one morning, he recalled that Lowry had overcome rejection, and alcoholism, enough to keep writing – and that he didn’t have to live “Under the Volcano.” That was when the motel keeper ousted him. Unbelievably, when he broke into his abandoned and shabby apartment, he found an invitation to write a novel. He tossed it aside because it was dependent upon too many required elements. Too “writing to market.” His fridge was full of funk, and his belly was full of bile. Distracted, he opened some of his mail. Bills, bills. Past rent overdue – dunning bills. He gazed out of his second-storey room, past the blinking neon sign, to the pavement below. Not far enough. Lost, Ernie McDree shuffled through the remaining unopened envelopes. Absently, he opened one. To his amazement, the envelope made like an ATM: it spat out a cheque. Payment for a story he’d submitted so long ago he’d lost track. He opened another. It, too, made like an ATM. Stirred by this good fortune, he calculated: enough to eat cheese and mac for months, and write. But, what? Too embarrassed to chronicle his downfall – too close to home – he drew a blank. The invitation to a novel lay bare on the floor. Well, what else had he? He forced himself to write. To sustain his frail rail body, he found yet another janitor job. Then, the miracle. The publisher, who had issued the invitation, published the novel. The book enjoyed huge sales – in its niche market. The niche press mobbed him. He was famous. Lionized and dining on free meals for a month.

Never mind that there was no time to write any more between press interviews, appearances on specialty TV and signing sessions at sex clubs! One particularly challenging signing session at a particularly seedy sex club, at which he was hit up by several particularly unsavoury characters, Ernie became bilious. He tore himself away from the stodgy after-the-signing horsd’oevres and the overflowing booze and staggered back to his untidy bachelor pad where he’d adopted a nouveau-riche lifestyle in the trendiest part of town. Whatever it was that had been tickling the back of his mind had shifted to the front. He dry-wretched. He paced. He spotted the pathetically few pages of his follow-up novel. He could no longer deny it. This hit novel of his was pure ego, a potboiler, written specially for money and fame – written “for the market.” He’d caved in. “If that’s what people are buying, that’s what I am selling.” His conscience bit him. Hard. He crumpled the half-written letter home that he’d started before the signing session, and cried. Mother was right, he thought, I should have remembered my heart. Ernie McDree then disappeared. As far as the public was concerned, this tousle-haired bean pole was a sophomore failure. His second book was the first book, in a different guise. So he had had only one book in him – and that one was a stinker. He was forgotten overnight. Years later, a keen young journalist, having read about Malcolm Lowry and Under the Volcano in English class, winkled Ernie McDree out of hiding, and “outed” him. “But, once a writer,” she wrote, “always a writer”. Ernie McDree, looking grey and grizzled with his long white beard and gaunt, wrinkled face, was the most unlikely Mr. Heal Your Heart blogger that everyone loved and nobody knew, except for the flattering cartoon of a matronly mom-looking woman. Ernie blinked into the mass of flash cameras, answered a million questions, and hoped to die from embarrassment. Life after that was a huge adjustment for Ernie – again. But people accepted him in his new role. There was something about those haunted grey eyes that spoke of experience, and of heart. So Ernie McDree finally sat down, curled his lanky frame around his faithful pouf, leaned against the disreputable leather couch he’d managed to keep with him through it all, and wrote:

Dear Mom— Hey, Mom. I am sorry I haven’t made that million yet and that is the reason I haven’t written to you all these years. But I hope the little cheques have helped you through. I have to tell you, Mom, I’ve tasted fame – and fame ain’t all it’s cracked up to be…

*Pouf: a round or square piece of padded furniture with an upholstered cover, used as a seat or footrest. N. American term: hassock

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- copyright H.W. Bryce


#Haiku(like) #micropoetry

ONE BREATH POETRY (from Naomi Wakan’s book title)

Haiku “Handout” Facilitator—Franci Louann; Co-Founder, Co-Manager at www.poeticjusticenew We don’t fiddle with 5, 7, 5 in English. That notion has been long gone, though many primary school teachers are still attached to using haiku as an exercise in counting syllables. A Japanese sound beat is not the same as an English syllable, and the 5, 7, 5 syllable rule tends to result in poems that are too long for the spirit of Japanese haiku. Being mindful of brevity, let the haiku find its own best expression.

Haiku resources: The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival HAIKU INVITATIONAL for 2017 will accept entries from March 1 to June 1. Results for 2016 are now posted at To read from the archives or for more information about submitting haiku, visit Seabeck Haiku Getaway is an annual haiku weekend held in October in Seabeck, Washington. See HAIKU CANADA promotes creation and appreciation of haiku and related forms, fosters friendship and mutual support among haiku poets in Canada and abroad, and hosts an annual conference in May. For more information, visit PACIFI-KANA, the BC and Territories region of Haiku Canada, has an email list to inform members—and guests—about regional haiku activity. If you’d like to be added to the e-list, contact regional coordinator Vicki McCullough at VANCOUVER HAIKU GROUP meets the third Sunday of the month, September to November and January to June, at Britannia Centre off Commercial Drive. Membership is open to anyone interested in developing traditional styles of Japanese and contemporary English-style haiku, as well as other forms of composition relating to the haiku genre. For more information, contact Here are some other haiku information websites:

My favourites: online reference—, for 65 ‘rules’ haiku book—Haiku one breath poetry, Naomi Wakan, Pacific-Rim, 1993 haiku: moss-hung trees a deer moves into the hunter’s silence Winona Baker A haiku specialist from Nanaimo, Winona Baker received the top global prize in a 1989 World Haiku Contest in honour of Matsuo Basho’s 300th anniversary. This won Winona a trip to Japan, complete with translator.

When I present haiku workshops, I like to display: (65) HAIKU RULES THAT HAVE COME AND GONE Naomi Wakan’s book—Haiku one breath poetry Winona Baker’s book—CLOUDS EMPTY THEMSELVES Island Haiku Anne McKay’s (2 of 4) books—…sometimes in a certain light & …still dancing pacific-kana haiku news – spring 2005 with my poem for Anne McKay (1932-2003) haiku mind (108 poems, etc.) my two poems (with prize-winning ‘haiku-like’ stanzas)


those birds sing so earnestly at 4 a.m. guests for lunch sisters long separate peace lilies in a vase this long green beak piercing eyes of indigo orange crown flashing this birdof-paradise this bloom against grey sky jacaranda purple more royal than ever as we say goodnight on the sidewalk two snails kiss

Franci Louann November 2007 Second Prize, Kisses and Popsicles Contest 2009 Published in the Royal City Poets anthology 2012 (Silver Bow Publishing)

SCENES FROM NATALINA´S GARDEN Franci Louann brown birds bathe in the dog’s water dish, drink milk from his bowl above the water tank a pink-breasted dove paloma rosada

the plums are redder now they´ll be ready in two weeks for Navidad a pale pink rose full open, gently curled rivals the scent of rain

empty nest in the grape vine canopy the pigeon waiting… on the TV aerial a small bird sings the loudest

Franci Louann November 2007 2nd Prize, Burnaby Writers Society Contest 2010; theme was “Water”. Published in between earth and sky international anthology 2012 (Silver Bow Publishing)

Upcoming RCLAS Events RCLAS Write On! Contest 2017 Call for Submissions 1st prize - $150, 2nd prize - $100, 3rd prize - $75 Full Details here:

Dates: • Submissions open now • Deadline April 1, 2017 • Winners will be announced April 30, 2017 • 3 Categories: o Non-Fiction (1500 words max) o Fiction (1500 words max) o Poetry (1 page single spaced max)

RCLAS presents “Songwriters Open Mic Night” Date: Tuesday, February 7, 2017. 7:00pm – 9:00pm, free admission. Location: The Heritage Grill, Backstage Room, 447 Columbia St, New Westminster, BC Hosts: Enrico Renz, Lawren Nemeth and Poul Bech More info Description: Original music only, performed by the songwriters! Great venue: good sound, food, beverages and a friendly, supportive audience that actually listens! RCLAS presents “Tellers of Short Tales” Date: Thurs, February 16, 2017. 6:00pm – 8:00pm, free admission. Location: Anvil Centre, 777 Columbia St, New Westminster, BC Host: Nasreen Pejvack Featured Reader: Fauzia Zohra Rafique Open Mic Sign Up More info Description: A program of monthly readings designed to engage fans of the short story genre with emerging and published short story writers. Also, an open microphone will be available for writers who would like to share their stories. Poetic Justice Date: Sunday, February 19, 2017. 11:30am – 1:30pm. Location: Boston Pizza at Columbia Square, 1045 Columbia St, New Westminster, BC. Host: James Felton Feature Poets: Daphne Marlatt and Roy Miki Open Mic Sign Up More info

RCLAS Workshop: “Great Writers are Great Readers” Date: Tuesday, February 21, 2017. 6:30pm – 8:30pm, Free admission Location: New Westminster Public Library, 716 6th Ave, New Westminster Facilitator: Aidan Chafe Pre-register or call 604-527-4667 Description Attendees will learn the value of being a great reader of poetry. Great writers, from Dickenson to Cohen, were readers first, and writers second. They understood the value of learning the craft through inspiration: to do great work is to know great work. As writers we aspire to achieve the best kind of writing. In order for us to succeed in this task we need to be exposed to, and understand, what makes writing great. Through examples of accomplished poets Aidan will introduce each workshop attendee to the quality of writing they should be striving for. He will also give specific and detailed examples of how great writers have inspired and informed his own writing. Provided will be a list of poets, both modern and contemporary, to research, plus free resources for attendees to go home and peruse online. Aidan Chafe is the author of the poetry chapbooks Right Hand Hymns (Frog Hollow Press, 2017) and Sharpest Tooth (Anstruther Press, 2016). His poetry has appeared in journals such as Cordite Poetry Review, Contemporary Verse 2, Eastlit, Scrivener Creative Review and UnLost. Aidan is a Director of the Royal City Literary Arts Society. RCLAS presents “Children’s Chronicles” Date: Saturday February 25, 2017. 3:30pm – 5pm, Admission is free. Location: The Gallery at Queen's Park, New Westminster, BC Feature Author: Alan Woo, author of Maggie's Chopsticks. Description: For children 8-12 years of age. Story time, writing and discussion. More info

RCLAS Workshop: A World of Your Own Creation , a short fiction

workshop Facilitator: Anosh Irani Date: Thursday March 2, 2017. 6:00pm – 8:00pm Location: Anvil Centre, Room 411-A, 777 Columbia St, New Westminster, BC Pre- Register via email to Workshop Fees: RCLAS Members $15/ Non-Members $25 Payment via Paypal available on our website here: Writers create worlds. Worlds that move us, disturb us, cause a dent in our consciousness. But where to start? In this short fiction workshop. Author Anosh Irani will discuss how to move from that initial idea to creating complex characters, examine the writing process and the main elements of short fiction such as

dialogue, structure, and so on, and most of all, how to move with our individual stories from one draft to the next without losing the very spirit that the stories were created from. Anosh Irani has published three critically acclaimed novels: The Cripple and His

Talismans, a national bestseller; The Song of Kahunsha, which was an international bestseller and was shortlisted for Canada Reads and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize; and Dahanu Road, which was nominated for the Man Asian Literary Prize. His play Bombay Black won the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play, and his anthology The Bombay Plays: The Matka King & Bombay Black was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award. His work has been translated into eleven languages. His new novel, The Parcel, is published by Knopf. It was recently chosen as one of the “Books of the Year” by the Quill and Quire and the Globe and Mail, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. RCLAS presents “Wordplay” with Alan Girling Date: Thursday, March 2, 2017. 7:00pm – 9:00pm, free admission. Location: Buy-Low Foods Community Room, 555 – 6th Street, New Westminster Host: Alan Girling More info Description: Wordplay is our monthly idea-generating drop-in series for writers of all kinds. Find new approaches to your writing; unlock that treasure chest in your head! This group generates some fabulous first drafts; all you need to bring is writing tools, paper, and a ready mind. This is not a critique group; let’s have some fun!

Save The Date:


Janet Kvammen, RCLAS Vice-President/E-zine Antonia Levi

RCLAS Members Open Call for Submissions No theme required to submit. Themes: Spring/Yellow/Light Deadline February 22, 2017 Issue 43 Tribute Poems for Favourite Poet/ Rain/ Crows Deadline March 22, 2017 Issue 44 Mothers/ Blue/ Ekphrastic Deadline April 22, 2017 Issue 45 Ongoing Submissions for upcoming “New Westminster” Special Feature Poetry, Short Stories, Book excerpts, articles & lyrics are all welcome for submission to future issues of Wordplay at work. Submit Word documents (Please include your name on document title) to

Janet Kvammen Photography

In Their Words with host Alan Girling. Readers: Barbara Jean, Aidan Chafe and Valerie Adolph. January 17, 2017

Thank you to our Sponsors & Venues 

City of New Westminster

Arts Council of New Westminster

New Westminster Public Library

Judy Darcy, MLA

Anvil Centre

Boston Pizza, Columbia Square

The Heritage Grill

Renaissance Books

Buy-Low Foods

Centennial Community Centre

The butterfly is perfuming It's wings in the scent Of the orchid. Matsuo Basho

See upcoming events at Facebook

February 2017 Wordplay at work ISSN 2291- 4269 Contact: RCLAS Vice-President/ E-zine

February 2017 RCLAS Ezine Wordplay at Work, Issue 42  

ISSUE 42 ISSN 2291- 4269, 66 pages. February 2017 Writer of the Month: H.W. Bryce News and Events. 2017 Write On! Contest Judges Announceme...

February 2017 RCLAS Ezine Wordplay at Work, Issue 42  

ISSUE 42 ISSN 2291- 4269, 66 pages. February 2017 Writer of the Month: H.W. Bryce News and Events. 2017 Write On! Contest Judges Announceme...