Page 1

Board of Directors President: Nasreen Pejvack Vice–President: Janet Kvammen Secretary: Lozan Yamolky Treasurer: Carol Johnson Director at Large: Alan Girling Director at Large: Alan Hill Director at Large: Lisa Strong

Our Dedicated Volunteers Assisting RCLAS Board Deborah Kelly (Acting Workshop Host)

Ruth Kozak (In Their Words) SheLa Nefertiti Morrison Julia Schoennagel (Wordplay)

2018 WRITE ON! CONTEST WINNERS $150 first prize $100 second prize $75 third prize Congratulations to all our winners! Thank you to everyone who submitted!

POETRY WINNERS (Poetry Judge: Sylvia Symons) Poetry First Place JUDE GOODWIN – There I was again Poetry Second Place: Andrew Lafleche – enclosure Poetry Third Place: Angela Rebrec – When His Voice Resounds, He Holds Nothing Back Poetry Honourable Mentions Alex Hamilton-Brown – As We Were Barbara Carter – love in chains on the beach Ruth Hill – Rainforest Matrix

NON-FICTION WINNERS (Non-Fiction Judge: Grayson Smith) Non-Fiction First Place JENNIFER M. SMITH – IN A LAUNDRY ROOM ON VIRGIN GORDA Non-Fiction Second Place: Angela Post – Changing Connections Non-Fiction Third Place: Bryant Ross – Kind-Hearted Woman Non-Fiction Honourable Mentions Bryant Ross – House Jacks (SheLa) Nefertiti Morrison – Baby Pool Gangstas Joyce Goodwin – A Journey Home

FICTION WINNERS (Fiction Judge: Clara Cristofaro) Fiction First Place: CLAIRE LAWRENCE – SILENCED Fiction Second Place: Chelsea Comeau – Ghosts Fiction Third Place: Bryant Ross – The Dragline Fiction Honourable Mentions H. W. Bryce – Lili Marlene Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki – Eagle Mountain Tiffany Crawford – Future PRIMEative

The winning poems and stories will be featured in upcoming issues.

Fiction — June 2018/Summer Issue

Poetry — September 2018

Non-Fiction — October 2018

5th ANNUAL FRED COGSWELL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN POETRY http://rclas.com/awards-contests/fred-cogswell-award/

"Fred Cogswell (1917-2004) was a prolific poet, editor, professor, life member of the League of Canadian Poets, and an Officer of the Order of Canada." First Prize: Second Prize: Third Prize:

$500 $250 $100

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA:  Book must be bound as a book, not a chapbook.  Book length must be a minimum of 60 pages in length.  Selected poetry must be written in English by a single author.  Book must be original work by the author (translations will not be considered at this time)  Original date of publication falls between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017.  Book must be published in Canada.  Book must be written by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident alive in submission year.  Electronic books are not eligible. In case of dispute about the book’s eligibility, the Society’s decision will be final. Miranda Pearson is the judge for our 2018 Fred Cogswell Award For Excellence In Poetry.

Reading Fee: $25 (all funds Canadian). Payment can be made through PayPal (there is a link below) or by money order (payable to “Royal City Literary Arts Society”). If you pay with Paypal, please include a copy of your receipt with the submission package. Two copies* of the book must be submitted to the Royal City Literary Arts Society, along with the reading fee (or proof thereof), and must be postmarked no later than October 1, 2018. The society’s mailing address is: Royal City Literary Arts Society Fred Cogswell Award Box #308 - 720 6th Street New Westminster, BC V3L 3C5

Shortlist will be announced Oct 15, 2018. Winners will be announced Nov 1, 2018.

Winning authors & titles will be included in the December issue of RCLAS’s Wordplay e-zine. *Submitted books will not be returned; they become the property of the Royal City Literary Arts Society.



KB Nelson started writing poetry as a young child and has continued to do so all of her life. One of her childhood influences was hearing her father read the poetry of Robert Service when her family lived in the Yukon. KB also dabbles in writing short fiction, has a novel in progress, and is working on a collaborative art/poetry project. With one foot firmly in the camp of Art and the other in Science, she finds inspiration for her writing in the world around us and the relationships within it, as well as a pure love of words. Her writing ranges from straightforward narratives to the totally surreal. A graduate of SFU’s Southbank Writer’s Program, she has won awards in both poetry and short fiction including the 2017 Cedric Literary Award for poetry. You can find her writing in Icebox, Nourish-Poetry, SurVision and Get Bettering. KB has been seen playing drums with an amateur jazz combo, and she started piano lessons as an adult beginner several years ago. The blurred line between music and poetry is always a fertile ground for imagination. She resides with her husband in Langley, having lived in Courtenay, Victoria, Vancouver and Maple Ridge as well as stints in Ontario, New Brunswick, Yukon, Alberta and New Zealand. She is the mother of two grown sons. KB Nelson is a pseudonym.

Days shorten and mornings are chilly but we’ve not had our fill of summer and revel in mid-day heat. On greengrocer’s shelves, a gastronomic conceit and magic word—local! Palindrome-like, it attracts the eye, reminds us of our own bountiful sun, rain and fertile black loam. Saturday market—our chance to imbibe the local tone, chat, see, be seen, peruse the farmers’ harvest. They present their work, as would an architect or artist, for our appraisal: Sensual swell of late season cherries. Pewter lights in tardy blueberries. Green velvet parentheses of kale, exclamation marks of leeks, warty pumpkins like aliens, tomatoes’ ruddy fulsome cheeks.

Apples, apples, apples! Tiny crab-apples for jam, for chutney, familiar Macs, exotic Cripps Pink, choose a lush decadent Fuji and feel your lips wet. Press your teeth against that taut aromatic skin ‘til it rips, pops open, you crunch and suck, try to catch the sweet juice as it drips down the inside of your little finger. When precocious dark checks in, overwhelmed by a gilt harvest moon and brisk evening, thoughts turn to the next change of season. Our golden intoxication in the variety and glut of the harvest will give way to winter’s damp dull sobriety, so we mound our joyful summer’s yield on ice or in cool cellars, or capture it in gem-like jars of delights, that too soon will add summer cheer to prosaic fare on grey winter nights.

Sinisteria Š KB Nelson Heavy mauve clumps of hanging blooms visceral odour evoking round grandmothers hysterical belles delicate purples wistful greens slowly invading invading invading vines creeping around lattices and stakes and arbours whispering over the open casement twisting around the drapery cord curling around the reading glasses missed on the window sill last night

Dance Of Light And Darkness © KB Nelson We arise under blue-black skies then, subtle as a first waking thought belated dawn defines the horizon. A small winter’s joy— to behold the slow dance. Darkness retreats pulls entices draws the light or is it the brightness who accepts the lead in this display? An unhurried dance so languid too sleepy for our twitchy organic sensibilities. One step is our day and another, night adagio, a season pas de deux, a year. With uncountable dancers, choreography is the stuff of astronomers. Its music modulates over eons. We flit through our lives, sparks beneath this slow stately dance of light and darkness.


You know those times when you look at somethin' and then it sorta flops in your eye and looks inside out or somethin'?

Well, me and Janga, we just ducked a sub-orbital patrol and was topside on Beta-niner. Shots and puff, settling into a quiet mellow.

So there's me, leanin' back on my chair, checkin' out the design on the ceiling tiles, wonderin' if they're supposed to be butterbugs or the launch view of engine flare. I look one way it pops up; squint and it's a stamp. Wonderin' what it would look like to Typhlian sonar.

I look over to the doorport and spin me if I don't see the patrol stroll in. Some total hardback, plebe in tow. Lookin' for some topside time, I figure. No salt. But then Janga sees them and whump! he's all action. Welcome as sealfail, shoulda just left it smooth.

He flips up the table, yanks me down and pulls his equalizer. Of course the officer flips off a stylus shot. So all a-snap we’re in a shoot-out and the patrol don't even know who we are. Janga sometimes had, like, lapses of judgment.

So you're thinkin' we had this swank battle, that's cuz you never been shot at. The stylus round just melts through the table like it were made of wormskin. As Janga falls over his hand squeezes a blast at the ceiling which drops a slab on the hard-back. So five seconds in, there's just me and the plebe.

Now here's the peculiar part. The optical illusion, like. I'm peekin' round the table not knowin' what to do and he's standin' next to the remains of his officer lookin' about to spew his rations. Our eyes meet and all a-sudden I don't know if I'm lookin' at his eyes or in a mirror. Like we're flash froze, I can't look away and he can't look away and I can't see nothin' but these eyes I don't know who they belong to. I know he sees it too, he's scared to blink or look away much's he wants both.

I don't know who blinked first, but just boom like that we was back like before, 'cept not. Cuz we knew we was two the same, just different clothes and kit. That plebe sorta caved, put up his stylus and walked outa there without one word.

I clicked he'd be back with more patrol, to collect the flattened officer if nothin' else. Nix I could do for Janga. I helped myself to his tender card and daddled outa there. Shut his eyelids first. Never could understand why folk do that but it seems to need doin'. And I think I said goodbye. Strange what the crunch of a moment can cause one to do.

Oh I got away, just fine. So what am I doin' here on Bastille 1, in this Gaia-forsaken can? Well, of course that tender card got traced right back to Janga soon's first time I used it. See, Janga weren't the only one who sometimes had lapses of judgment.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- copyright KB Nelson


“Whoops!” Her step just missed an impressive pile of dried bear scat. “Oh God, I’m such a klutz.”

The morning sun had started to pull early June smells out of the bog. Carley slowed, took a deep breath and glanced up at the mountain peaks. She hoped a visit to her favorite Pitt Meadows paradise would do some mind-clearing magic for her today.

She continued along the trail, just enough presence of mind to not stray into the mire. Words from her daughter’s teacher had been bouncing around inside her head since the day before.

“Becka’s one of the brightest kids in my class, oh my, yes. But her story, the subject matter is . . . hmm . . . inappropriate? For eleven year olds? And some of the language . . . Sorry, I um, don’t think we can include it as it is.”

Carley figured Becka’s teacher had a point. Teachers should know what’s appropriate for eleven year olds, that’s their job for goodness sake. Carley’s train wreck of a mom was a pretty good example of how parents can be clueless. Determined to do better, she’d tried reading parenting articles but they always concluded with “You know your child best, you can choose what’s best for her.” What a load of horsefeathers. Neither crystal ball nor college degree had popped out of her uterus along with the afterbirth.

Becka’s class was compiling stories and artwork for a keepsake of their final year in elementary school. Perceptive and precocious, Becky had crafted a moving portrait of a gay teenaged girl’s struggles with peers and parents. The language was a bit crude and Carley was a bit taken aback. But by the maturity and thoughtfulness even more than the content.

“I know Mom, I don’t talk like that, but the characters in my story do! It’s my story and I’m telling it my way – please, you gotta back me up on this,” Becka had pleaded with pre-adolescent drama.

Carley was proud her daughter could write so well, was such a good student overall. She’d taught Becka that school—and its rules—were important but now those lessons were in conflict with her creativity. She sighed out loud, “all this fuss over a few shits and son-of-a-bitches.”

A sudden violence of charging bird—wings flapping, scarlet forehead over menacing beak—startled Carley from her thoughts. She quickly backed away from the agitated crane, appalled that she may have disturbed a nesting site.

“Take it easy, lady,” she said, “no harm intended! I’m a mama too!”

Carley gazed at the protective bird as it composed itself and stalked off.

“I’m a mama, too,” she repeated thoughtfully.

Carley smiled, turned on her heel and started marching back to her car. She’d have a meeting with Becka’s teacher today. They would have a discussion about what is “inappropriate.”

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- copyright KB Nelson

Ghosts in the House Š KB Nelson There are no ghosts in a new house. We moved south of the river, left behind a box of ghosts and memories. Years before, we had moved west across the country, left behind a box of ghosts and memories. On the north side of the river remain ghosts of tears and shouting and pizza, older ghosts of perfect children who knew only enough to tie shoes, to love, and oldest yet, the spent ghost of mommy-me. On the east coast we left ghosts of fecundity, breast milk and judgment. We left the ghost of fresh new love. These resident ghosts will inspire their new housemates, so I hope. I have no ghosts in my new house yet.

Share © Nasreen Pejvack Crow, flying, gliding searching for food houses as far as eyes can see cars and objects People, black, blond and red heads —and their garbage Bear comes out of hibernation with her cubs hungry, looking for food all she sees fences and roads fill the landscape aggressive people — and their garbage Sea creatures tangled up in human waste, toxins Advanced techno-toys our obsessions oblivious to consequences we seize and conquer everything

WILL ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Š Nasreen Pejvack

He strolls in his favourite park, feeding the ducks, even though he knows he is not supposed to. He sits on the bench that has his memorial plaque; it’s inscribed with a beautiful Robert Frost poem for his love. For a long while after she passed he was not able to sit here. He thinks of her last days and how difficult it was for her with all that pain, although remembering their forty beautiful years of life together helps to counter his sadness. They had never disagreed on anything, and friends and family envied their life together. He lingers in the park a while longer, then walks to the pharmacy to pick up his package. He arrives home and goes directly to the kitchen to make himself a cocktail. He returns to his room, drinks heartily, and begins to look back on his life as he lies down on his bed. He soon feels cold but has no energy to get up, so he pulls the

cover over himself and smiles grimly, “It will be even colder soon.”

He opens his eyes, and feels tightness around his wrist. He realizes they have found him. He takes a deep breath, “Do they think that they have rescued me? A man of my age and discernment; can one not decide even then? They must have read my note. That is my will!” He closes his eyes, sighing, “What right do they have to judge, and tie me to a bed? My fault, I did not plan well. With my next shot at it, I will ensure there is no return – and no note.”

Peanuts by Jerena Tobiasen

I’ve had a great life. I’ve created a cozy home amongst the trees and spent most of my time foraging for food. I’ve rarely ventured far from home. . . until the day the old man came. It had been a quiet spring and was still too early for most vacationers to arrive at nearby campgrounds and cabined resorts. I had heard voices and chaos when the old man and his companions arrived the night before, but I didn’t rise to greet them. The next day, the sun slowly crested the mountains and by late morning its warmth began to embrace the cool fresh-water lake that lapped at the shore mere feet from my home. With it came a strong odour of frying bacon and maple syrup. I preferred seeds, nuts, berries and fungi. I also enjoyed small frogs and bird eggs when they were in season. Sometime after noon, when the sun shone stronger on the lake, I noticed the old man for the first time. He was pale in colour, as if he’d spent the entire winter indoors. The few wisps of hair that sprouted from his pink scalp were devoid of any colour, but the sun glinted off it making it look silvery. He reclined on a flimsy folding chair that sagged under his weight, a newspaper spread across his chest as if shielding him against the day. He looked remarkably similar to many others I’d seen occupy the cabin that nestled among the fir trees behind him. Two young boys popped out of the bush and engaged him in conversation.

“Can we go fishing yet, Grandpa?” asked one of the boys. “Soon,” the grandpa answered. “I’d like to finish reading my paper first.” “Grandma said you’d take us fishing this afternoon,” the smaller boy insisted. “I will. Just let me finish the paper, then we can put the row boat in the water.” “Okaaaay,” the boys sighed in unison and disappeared into the cabin. “Grandma, did we bring peanuts?” Peanuts! Whoa! Now they have my attention! “Over there,” the grandma answered, but I couldn’t see where there was. I heard several noises from within the cabin and presumed the boys were searching. “Found them!” a young voice shouted. The cabin’s screen door banged behind the boys as they returned to the grandpa’s side, the older boy carrying the bag of peanuts. I had a penchant for peanuts. They were not indigenous to my area and only appeared with the vacationers. Not all vacationers, mind. Just the ones who knew that some of the local residents are fond of them. I scooted over to the edge of the clearing and waited. My nose twitched as I inhaled the heady aroma of fresh peanuts. I tiptoed from beneath the brush and froze, waiting to see whether they’d notice me. “Look Grandpa!” the younger boy shouted. He was pointing at me. But for my twitching nose, I remained motionless.

“That’s a chipmunk, right grandpa?” the older boy asked. “Does it have stripes on its face?” the grandpa asked. “Yes,” the older boy answered, crouching down to better examine me. “His coat is reddish with black and white stripes and he has white lines around his eyes.” “He looks like he’s wearing a mask,” the younger boy interrupted. When the older boy stood up like a human, he still held the bag of peanuts in his arm, unopened. I took three tentative steps toward him and froze again, willing the bag to open. “Bring me the bag.” The boy handed the bag to the grandpa, who used a sharp tool to slash it open, then held the bag toward the younger boy. “Take two peanuts and put them on the stump. Then step back and see what happens.” The boy did as he was told, placing those peanuts right in the middle of the old tree stump that sat four feet in front of the grandpa’s chair. My body rebelled, no longer obeying my brain’s cautious commands. Of its own accord, it began to scoot toward the tree stump. Stop! my brain screamed, and my body froze. For many heart-beats, it was a battle of brain over body as I inched toward that tree stump and the delicious-smelling peanuts being warmed in the sun. Before I knew what had come over me, there I sat, on top of the stump with a warm peanut shell in my hand-like paws. I rolled it around, checking every segment for a sweet spot into which I could sink my teeth. When I found it, I sat up quickly, surveyed my environment for danger, and bit hard into the shell. I nearly fell over, the aroma of the seeds was so tantalizing, but I fought to control my desire, and forced myself to eat the first seed daintily. As I savoured the mashed meat

sliding down my gullet like butter, I began gnawing on the second one. And, when that was finished, I cracked the second shell. Moments later, I sat on that sun-warmed stump, empty-pawed, surrounded by a pile of fragmented peanut shell. I cleaned my face, and gave my ears a scrub, then I sat up resting on my haunches, my paws folded neatly in front of me and stared at the old man. “What do you think boys, should we give him more?” the grandpa asked, extending the bag to the older boy. Warning bells clanged in my head, as the older boy moved toward the stump. I darted under the brush. When I turned around, the boy was standing next to his grandpa again, and more peanuts sat on the stump. “Stand away, boys,” the grandpa said to his snickering grandsons. I watched the boys shuffle toward their grandpa and sniffed to make certain my environment was safe. Then I dashed to the top of the stump and found five lovely peanuts warming in the sunshine. Imagine my disappointment when I realized that I had eaten my fill. What to do? What to do? I wrung my paws as I pondered a solution. Hastily, I stuffed two peanuts into each of my very flexible cheeks and trapped the fifth one between my teeth. Instinct told me to scuttle back to my home and return quickly in case more peanuts appeared on the stump during my absence. I chided myself to hurry, but scurrying wasn’t an option. The weight and volume of the nuts slowed me down. While, my custom was to dart through tiny spaces, the mouthful of legumes hampered me. At one point, I became stuck in some branches and had to back track a few inches.

When I finally arrived home, I removed the goobers from my mouth and stuff them into the opening of my burrow. When all five groundnuts were arranged in my pantry, I raced, rather than scooted, back to the tree stump. At the edge of the clearing, I paused, concerned about the noise coming from the grandpa and his two grandsons. I realized too that the grandma had joined them. “Shhh! Stop laughing,” the grandma said. “He won’t come closer if you keep up that noise.” The boys grew quiet. The grandparents didn’t move. Confidently, I scooted across the clearing and up the side of the tree stump and froze midstep. What the heck! I marvelled, ogling the heaping pile of peanuts sitting on top of the stump. I couldn’t help myself: I squeaked out loud. I looked toward the old man and his family, then back to the plethora of groundnuts. What should I do? I can’t fit all of them in my mouth. Eight maybe, but, my gosh, there must be twenty or thirty! I took a delightful sniff and pondered my predicament. I know . . . I’ll take as many as I can carry and call for help with the rest. So, like any healthy, male chipmunk, I stuffed as many peanuts into my mouth as could fit, and lumbered back to my home, along the people path, my chin skidding occasionally on the well-worn trail. At the foot of the tree that crowned my burrow, I extracted the shells and stuffed them into the opening. When I could stuff no more, I yelled as loud as I could, asking my family to come and help me. I scurried around the tree and entered the burrow through a concealed entry. From inside, I tugged each crispy carcass along the corridor to my larder and arranged them in neat rows for later consumption. My heart pounded with urgency.

When at last I erupted from my burrow, five family members greeted me. I explained hastily what we had to do, and they followed me back to the tree stump. At the clearing, I burst into the campsite and scooted up the side of the stump. Come on! I squeaked to the others. When I reached the top of the stump, I froze mid-step and issued one long and plaintive wail. Except for the few shell bits remaining from the first two nuts that I’d eaten, the stump was empty. I was squeakless, and frankly felt quite deflated. I had begged my family to help me carry an amazing stash of peanuts, promising each of them a share for their help. What a fool! I scolded myself. You promised them the world and now there is nothing! It’s all gone! Sheepishly, I looked toward the underbrush where my family looked on with disgust. “Are you crazy?” one of them chirped. “Humans can’t be trusted,” another squeaked. Two squealed with laughter as they realized that I had been duped. But for one, they turned and left, taking their giggles with them. Even the grandpa and his family laughed at me. My youngest sister had stayed behind, though, and looked at me with her sad brown eyes. I hung my head in shame and embarrassment. “Boys! Don’t tease,” the grandma scolded. As the older boy moved toward the stump, I scooted to the shelter of the bush and crouched next to my sister. I’m sorry, her eyes said. In the next moment, my sister’s eyes became wider than I’d ever seen them, and I followed her gaze toward the stump. There on the top, in the lovely sunshine, sat all of the peanuts once

again. I waited as the old man and his family disappeared into the cabin, leaving the beautiful peanuts behind. Hesitantly, I climbed the stump. I turned to my little sister, still squatting under the brush, and chirped that the coast was clear. In a heart-beat, she was perched beside me. I waited while she devoured one of the lovely goobers, then we stuffed our mouths with legumes and lumbered to my nest. Each time we returned to the stump, I was relieved and grateful to see that the diminishing pile had not been touched. When the stump was devoid of nuts, and my larder was overflowing, I helped my sister carry her share home. Exhausted, I returned to my burrow and munched on the twin seeds of one last pod, tidied the shell bits into the refuse tunnel, and crawled into my nest for a nap. During that nap and many naps since, I dreamed of the old man who brought the delicious peanuts, but I never saw him again, and I never wondered where he went. Instinctively, I sensed that he’d never return.

Peanuts copyright Jerena Tobiasen

Upcoming Events – Spring 2018 Info: secretary@rclas.com RCLAS presents “Wordplay New West” Date: Thursday, April 26, 2018. (New Date and Time) Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm, Free admission. Location: Buy-Low Foods Community Room, 555 – 6th Street, New Westminster Host: Carol Johnson More info https://rclas.com/recurring/wordplay/ 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! RCLAS presents “Songwriters Open Mic Night” Date: Tuesday, May 1, 2018 Time: 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 https://www.facebook.com/groups/150810881784465/ Description: Original music only, performed by the songwriters! Great venue: good sound, food, beverages and a friendly, supportive audience that actually listens. RCLAS presents “In Their Words: A Royal City Reading Series” Date: Thurs, May 17, 2018, 6:00pm – 8:00pm, Free admission Location: Anvil Centre,Room 413B, 777 Columbia St, New Westminster Host: Ruth Kozak 3 Featured Readers: Jacqueline Carmichael reads Caroline Leavitt (Fiction) Eileen Kernaghan reads Gwendolyn MacEwen (Poetry) Neall Ryan reads Percy Bysshe Shelley (Poetry)

Description: In Their Words happens on the 3rd Thursday of every other month. Feature speakers present their favourite author from any genre in poetry, fiction, non-fiction or drama. Presentations include a brief commentary about the author and a reading of selections that exemplify what the presenter loves about the author’s work. A short Q&A follows each presenter. RCLAS Writing Workshop: "CREATING BELIEVABLE CHARACTERS AND SETTINGS" Facilitator: Ruth Kozak Reserve your spot: secretary@rclas.com Date: Saturday May 26, 2018 Time: 1:30pm – 3:30pm Location: Anvil Centre, Room 411B, 777 Columbia Street, New Westminster Workshop Fees: RCLAS Members $15/Non-members $25 Pay via Paypal here: https://rclas.com/workshops/ Description: Whether you are writing a short story or novel, when you create

characters it is important to make each one distinct and different in order to keep your story interesting. In a novel that has a lot of characters, readers can have a hard time keeping track unless there are clear distinctions. When you introduce a new character, you must provide a clear impression of that character's uniqueness. Characters, even in fantasy stories, need to seem ‘real.’ Try to create characters so memorable that they stay in the readers' minds for the rest of their lives. What is their back-story? What made them like they are? How do they speak? What do they think about? What are their aspirations? All of these things are important ingredients in building characters.

How to do this will be the subject of this workshop. This will include not only writing description, dialogue but also tips on how to keep track of your characters, what and how much research is needed, keeping Bios of your main characters and how much information is needed for minor characters? How do you create believable settings? The settings of your story are important and should engage the reader. Paying attention to detail, using all 5 senses, are some of the techniques that will be discussed, along with necessary research if you are writing from a past time. Even fantasy story settings must seem believable. Whether you are writing from present time to ancient times details of setting are important. Author, Ruth Kozak, wrote her novel SHADOW OF THE LION based on a historical time-line with mostly historical characters but some fictional. How did she write these characters, including a child, warriors and women, so that they seem so real to the reader? Ruth’s historical novel SHADOW OF THE LION: BLOOD ON THE MOON was published by MediaAria-CDM of UK in 2014. Volume 2 THE FIELDS OF HADES was published in 2016.

Ruth has been a travel journalist since 1982. She edits/publishes an on-line travel zine. She taught writing classes for VSB and currently conducts workshops at the Heritage Grill (formerly at WAVES) in New Westminster, Brock House, Jericho, and does a variety of in-home workshop or presentations to writing groups as well as editing and writing coaching. She has also participated in the ‘LitFest New West” at Douglas College. www.ruthkozak.com

...and a reminder for all you poets and poetry lovers: “Poetic Justice/Poetry New West” Sunday Afternoons (except Holiday Weekends) Time: 2:00pm – 4:00pm, Free admission. Location: The Heritage Grill, Backstage Room, 447 Columbia St, New West Description: Two Featured poets and Open Mic. Admission is free but donations are welcomed. For information visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/poeticjusticepnw/ and https://www.facebook.com/groups/215251815176114/ Email poeticjusticepnw@gmail.com RCLAS presents “Songwriters Open Mic Night” Date: Tuesday, June 5, 2018 Time: 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 https://www.facebook.com/groups/150810881784465/ Description: Original music only, performed by the songwriters! Great venue: good sound, food, beverages and a friendly, supportive audience that actually listens.

RCLAS presents “The Write on! Contest Awards” — an afternoon of winning stories and poems Date: Saturday JUNE 9, 2018. Time: 1:30pm to 3:30pm Location: Anvil Centre, RM 411B, 777 Columbia St, New Westminster Winners List: https://rclas.com/awards-contests/write-on-contest/

RCLAS presents “Tellers of Short Tales” Feature Author: Andrew Parkin Date: WED June 20, 2018. (Please note the date/day of week) Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm, Free admission. Location: Anvil Centre, 4th Floor, 777 Columbia Street, New Westminster Host: Deborah L. Kelly Open Mic will be available for writers who would like to share their stories. More info https://rclas.com/recurring/tellers-of-short-tales/ Description: A program of monthly readings designed to engage fans of the short story genre with emerging and published short story writers. BIO: Andrew Parkin, a member of the League of Canadian Poets, is also a member of the Royal City Literary Arts Society in New Westminster. He has just finished his twenty-fifth book. He published his first poems in Ariel magazine in Canada. Since then Dancers in a Web, Yokohama Days, Kyoto Nights, Hong Kong Poems (reprinted), and Star with a Thousand Moons have also appeared from Canadian publishers. Two other collections, The Rendez-Vous and Another Rendez-Vous have appeared from Peter Lang in Germany. His scenariode for Sir Run Run Shaw, Star of a Hundred Years, was first published in India with a Hindi translation by the poet Anuraag. It was reprinted by EKSTASIS with “Gourds” under the title Star with a Thousand Moons. Two short poems were crafted as hand-made and illustrated ‘artists books’ by the Parisian engraver, Jacqueline Ricard. These are now collectors’ items. Andrew has also published short fiction and a recent novel, Private Dancers or Responsible Women (2014). This appeared in paper, hard cover and e format. He has now finished its sequel, Bruno’s Secret. Both novels draw on his memories of Military Intelligence work in Berlin during the Cold War. His writing has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies and has been translated into Chinese, French, and German. He was educated at Pembroke College Cambridge, where some of his poems appeared in the anthology Pembroke College Poets, along with those of Spenser, Thomas Grey, Ted Hughes and many others. Canadian since 1970s, Andrew has worked in four different continents and given readings in Oxford, Cambridge, and Yale campuses, as well as in Paris for the Printemps des Poètes, but is now permanently based in Vancouver. In July 2015 he was invited to Göttingen to talk about and read from his own writing. In April 2016 he read for Poetry Canada Month with then Poet Laureate Candice James in New Westminster Public Library. In July 2016 he was in Hong Kong to talk about his own writing at a conference on digitalization and literature. He was also filmed reading his poetry for an archive of Hong Kong writers. At the Fall readings of the Chinese Canadian Writers’ Association in Vancouver in 2016, Andrew read his “The Dao of Poetry” and in 2017 his “Handscroll of the Seasons” (the theme poems of these occasions). Andrew was a full professor at UBC and later at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he is Professor Emeritus and Hon. Senior Tutor of Shaw College. He is also an Hon. Life Member of the Canadian Assoc. for Irish Studies, Hon. Adviser to the Chinese Canadian Writers’ Association, and Hon. Adviser to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (Beijing). He thinks of the Vancouver area and B.C. as a sailor’s paradise and a haven for writers, offering good working conditions and wonderful inspiration from nature.

RCLAS presents “Wordplay New West” Date: Thursday, June 28, 2018. Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm, Free admission. Location: Buy-Low Foods Community Room, 555 – 6th Street, New Westminster More info https://rclas.com/recurring/wordplay/

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! RCLAS Writing Workshop: " The Art of the Response" Facilitator: Shazia Hafiz Ramji Reserve your spot: secretary@rclas.com Date: Saturday June 30, 2018 Time: 1:30pm – 3:30pm Location: Anvil Centre, Room 411A, 777 Columbia Street, New Westminster Workshop Fees: RCLAS Members $15/Non-members $25 Pay via Paypal here: https://rclas.com/workshops/ or directly to PP account secretary@rclas.com Description: In The Art of the Response we will discover our stories using techniques of response. Participants will be introduced to practices of attention using sources such overheard conversations, news, and memory. For the first part of the workshop, we will look at a short scene from a book of fiction that can also be easily applied to non-fiction as well. We will have a roundtable discussion to analyze the structure. After analysis, we will respond to the structure by doing a freewrite on “scene.” This process encourages a response to oneself by recognizing experiences of change and transformation that can form a foundation for beginning fiction and non-fiction. By the end of this exercise, we will understand how to use the material of our reactions, thoughts, and feelings to create responses in scenes for fiction and non-fiction. For the second part of the workshop, we will discuss ekphrastic writing: writing in response to art. We will have a roundtable discussion and freewrite to generate a list of impressions. Then, we will apply the “scene” structure from the first part of the workshop to create a narrative ekphrastic poem. By the end of this workshop, participants will understand how to use techniques of response and attention to apply the basic structure of narrative in stories and poems. Bio: Shazia Hafiz Ramji received the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry and was a finalist for the 8 Alberta Magazine Awards and the National Magazine Awards. Her writing has recently been longlisted for The Fiddlehead’s short fiction prize and has appeared in Quill & Quire, Metatron’s ALPHA, and Hamilton Arts & Letters. Her first chapbook is Prosopopoeia (Anstruther Press, 2017) and her debut book of poetry, Port of Being, is forthcoming from Invisible Publishing in fall 2018.


SAVE THE DATES JUNE 16, 2018 RCLAS Annual AGM 1:30pm - 3:30pm - at Anvil Centre JUNE 23, 2018 “Visual Verse” Opening Reception & Poetry Reading Poetry and Art Pairings featuring Poetry by RCLAS Members & Art by “New West Artists” Members 1pm – 4pm at The Network Hub, Upstairs at the River Market, 810 Quayside Drive, New West Quay. “Show and Sale” open for viewing weekdays 12-5pm. JULY 4, 2018 Poetry in the Park—Opening Night Every Wed Eve 6:30pm – 8:30pm through Aug 29 Queen’s Park Bandshell. Feature Poets and Open Mic https://poetryinthepark.com/


Janet Kvammen, RCLAS Vice-President/E-zine janetkvammen@rclas.com General Inquiries: Lozan Yamolky secretary@rclas.com

RCLAS Members Open Call for Submissions No theme required to submit. Deadline June 4. 2018 Themes to consider include: Summer Form poetry Nature Ongoing Open Call for an upcoming “New Westminster” Theme Feature. Submit Word documents (Please include YOUR NAME and Title on document name) to janetkvammen@rclas.com Poetry, Short Stories, Book excerpts, articles & lyrics are all welcome for submission to future issues of Wordplay at work.

Thank you to our Sponsors & Venues 

City of New Westminster

Anvil Centre

Arts Council of New Westminster

Buy-Low Foods

The Heritage Grill

New Westminster Public Library

See upcoming events at www.rclas.com


May 2018 Wordplay at work ISSN 2291- 4269 Contact: janetkvammen@rclas.com RCLAS Vice-President/ E-zine

Profile for RCLAS

May 2018 RCLAS Wordplay at Work Issue 54  

May 2018 EZINE ISSUE 54 ISSN 2291- 4269, 59 pages. Feature Writer of the Month: KB Nelson. Write on! Contest Winners Announcement and Aw...

May 2018 RCLAS Wordplay at Work Issue 54  

May 2018 EZINE ISSUE 54 ISSN 2291- 4269, 59 pages. Feature Writer of the Month: KB Nelson. Write on! Contest Winners Announcement and Aw...

Profile for rclas