Sunday, July 29, 2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
Have you sent in your story yet? There is still time!!!
Here are the guidelines in a nutshell. (For more detail, go to http://www.siwc.ca/).
Submission Rules and Guidelines
All submissions must contain original material, and may not have been previously published, accepted for publication, or have been a winner in another contest prior to the August 3 deadline.
2007 Contest Categories
Each of the following four categories has a first prize of $1000 and an Honourable Mention prize of $150.
1. Storyteller’s Award: short stories 3,500 – 5,000 words
2. Non-fiction Award: maximum length 1,500 words
3. Poetry Award: one poem per submission; 36 lines max.
4. Writing For Young People Award: short stories, max. length 1,500 words.
Standard manuscript format - double-spaced, typed, one side only of white 8-1/2 x 11" paper (letter-sized), each page to include title and page number only. No staples, please. Poetry may be single-spaced.
Blind submissions - the author's name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript except cover page.
Include a cover page listing the writer's name, address, email address, phone number, entry title, word length, and award competition category.
In addition to hard copy, all entrants must be able to submit their work by email if requested.
Entries are also accepted by email. Please follow the submission guidelines as noted above and copy your submission into the body of your email. Send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Attachments will be deleted, unread.
Send your cheque or money order for $15 per entry to Surrey Conference Centre, Unit 400, 9260 - 140 Street, Surrey, BC, Canada, V3V 5Z4
No entries will be returned. If you want the receipt of your entry acknowledged, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard.
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: All entries must be received at the addresses noted above by 4 p.m., Friday, August 3, 2007. No late entries will be considered.
Winners will be informed by October 1, 2007. Prizes will be awarded at the Awards Ceremony on the first evening of the Conference, Friday, October 19, 2007. Winners will be listed on the conference website http://www.siwc.ca/ in the week after the conference.
Writers under 18 years of age should check out Surrey Public Library’s Young Writer’s Contest.
And the best of all luck to those who enter.
...get a great review!
The Georgia Straight's John Burns reviewed my friend Kari Lyn Winters picture book this week -- check it out at
Kari is a multi-talented person -- founding member of the Tickle Trunk Players, playwright, actress, teacher and one of the most cheerful and upbeat people I know. A month ago we taught together at the CWC summer camp. It was there that I was the lucky recipient of the first reading of a new Jeffrey and Sloth book -- a most excellent story that some clever publisher should snap up right away.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
It's accurate to the time of printing, but as with any human endeavour, things will likely change a wee bit by the time October rolls around. The website is the surest, most accurate source of info at any time.
This also brings us closer to the deadline for the Writer's Contest associated with the conference. One week and a day away-- August 3, 2007. Entries are starting to pour in -- more than $4000 in prizes to be won.
For the best detail, check out the website, but if you have any questions, feel free to fire them at me with wild abandon -- and I will answer in kind, I'm sure.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
My take is that the film deals sensitively with a very bleak subject. It doesn't offer facile answers, but looks at the lives, families and friends of a half-dozen or so of the people who died that year. And a look at the interviews (included on the disc) of the people who worked on the film shows that they thought deeply about the subject matter they were filming. All of them had access to the suicide prevention line and made use of it.
The question they were left with was why money hasn't been set aside to put up jump-barriers on this bridge -- by all accounts one of the most common sites of public suicide in the US. A person jumps off the Golden Gate an average of once every fifteen days. There have been more than 1500 suicides since the bridge was built. It makes me wonder about the Lions Gate bridge...
I took the picture above when I was in San Francisco in April this year.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
...copies sold of Harry on the first day, according to a report I just read from Scholastic US. Wonder how Raincoast did? CBC reported that more than 7,000 people attended the Vancouver Kidsbooks event at Van Deusan Gardens alone.
Wonderful news for all, especially the readers.
But remember, [she sez, still waving her Potter Pooper Placard] -- when you've closed the book on Harry...
And now, since I am making myself sick on Hot Tamales (the candy variety -- not the savoury) I will head back to reading Harry. I am only on Chapter 12...
Saturday, July 21, 2007
...that's what they called us. The 'Potter Mock-Protest' made the CTV news last night for a brief appearance, where James McCann and I tried to make a case for Canadian authors who have books coming out in the Summer of Harry.
As further proof of my Positive Potter Point-of view, here is a shot of the two beautiful witches I took to the launch last night -- one of whom has been planted on the couch all day today, blissfully reading the final installment.
And to finish -- a picture of a group of rowdies at the Canadian Authors Association table before the rains returned -- writers Anthony Dalton, Gordon Mumford and Bernice Lever (doing her bit to promote literacy by flashing her Word on the Street T-shirt).
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Monday, July 16, 2007
Making the rounds of various media outlets across the country...
AUTHORS STAGE MOCK PROTEST DURING HARRY POTTER WEEKEND
In a cross-country effort, three Canadian authors are joining hands to celebrate writing for young people by promoting their books on the weekend of the release of J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows".
“Other people write books too, you know.” That’s the message James Bow, an Ontarian writer of fantasy novels for young people, hopes to get across with his one-man picket beside the midnight line-up of fans waiting to get their hands on the last book in the Harry Potter series.
Bow, wearing a wizarding hat and a “will write for food” placard, will be stationed outside the Toronto independent bookstore Another Story, as it opens at midnight to accommodate eager muggles. He will return the next day at noon to read from other novels and sign his own.
In Vancouver, authors James McCann and kc dyer will launch their latest novels at the Summer Dream Literary Arts Festival in Stanley Park "in defiance of the Potter juggernaut".
"As a writer of books for young adults, I know how much my industry owes to the imagination of J.K. Rowling," says dyer. "I discovered Harry just after the second book was published and am a huge fan. But we'd like to use this occasion to bring attention to some of the other wonderful books that are being published for young people in this country."
Both McCann and dyer are affiliated with Children's Writers and Illustrators of BC (CWILL BC), an organization that helps promote writers and illustrators of books for youth in British Columbia.
These tongue-in-cheek protests, are designed to bring attention to Canadian books children and young adults could read once the final page turns on Rowling's Harry Potter epic.
Who:James Bow, author of "Fathom Five" (the Dundurn Group)
kc dyer, author of "Ms. Zephyr's Notebook" (the Dundurn Group) http://www.kcdyer.com/
James McCann, author of "Pyre" (Simply Read Books) http://www.jamesmccann.info/
When: Friday, July 20, 2007 - 11:59 p.m. - 1:00 a.m. EDT (James Bow)Saturday, July 21, 2007 - noon - 1:00 p.m. EDT (James Bow)
Saturday, July 21, 2007 - 1:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. PDT (kc dyer, James McCann)
Where: Another Story Bookshop, 315 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto (James Bow)
Summer Dream Festival, Lumberman’s Arch, Stanley Park, Vancouver (kc dyer, James McCann)
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Hello Faithful Readers of the Ether...
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Friday, July 06, 2007
From CWILL BC member and Most Excellent Writer Alison Acheson:
Thursday, July 05, 2007
This has been a Very Bad Day. It started off well, but...
At this moment, I find myself in the position of trying to count my blessings. Never a good sign. The biggest blessing at present is that there are a mere 3 minutes left in this day. And then it will be another day and a chance to start again. A fresh start. (Note: Incurable optimism is a necessary genetic component of any fool who might think they could possibly make a living out of wrestling words down onto a page.)
In a further effort to put the day behind me, I am currently boiling jam jars. When things go wrong, make jam. (I actually haven't made jam for five years or so, having adopted the credo only an hour ago. But I'm sure things would have improved had I thought of it earlier.)
Writing Tip of the Day:
Sometimes, in spite of our best efforts to remain cloistered until the latest project is done, life creeps in between the pen and the page. Or the fingertips and the computer keys. At times like these, it's important to remember that while running away from one's cares and responsibilities rarely works -- it doesn't hurt to try. Maybe you should just bolt for awhile. Otherwise, you might end up making jam in the middle of the night. What kind of responsible person does that sort of thing? Just run away. It's safer. Plus you might end up doing something worth writing about -- or fictionalizing, at the very least.
I was interviewed today by a newspaper column writer on the subject of censorship, but I will save all my deep thoughts on the subject for tomorrow -- a new day. Hopefully a safer day.
Monday, July 02, 2007
Am sitting at an incredibly foggy-screened terminal in a faceless little internet cafe in Abbottsford, BC. My laptop computer is refusing to acknowledge any access to wireless on the campus, so I have hied myself down here to quickly catch up on my email and any other electronic excitement to be had. The woman on the other side of the counter has a severe disease I can only hope is past the communicable stage. The thrill of the hunt for internet access intensifies!
First class at the CWC Summer Camp today -- great fun, much imagination in the 16 grade 6 students who are in my class. Tonight they are learning circus tricks and dramatic movement, all of which will add deep resonance to their writing tomorrow, I am sure. They are a lovely group, but I am sorry to say that the meatballs at the dinner table (combined with the lack of internet) sent me fleeing to town. Found sushi and this place, so all is well.
Will take a few pictures tomorrow, but today have failed miserably, so this post will have to go unillustrated.
Writing Tip of the Day: Today with my CWC group, we worked on developing character and all the little things that allow for a greater dimensional depth. However -- for the purposes of the stories we are writing together, it mostly boiled down to identifying the primary goal of the character and then planting a giant PROBLEM in the way. Nothing like a decent problem to see what a character is really made of...
Sunday, July 01, 2007
Hmm. Not many options for striking change of title...