Saturday, January 5, 2019

submissions invited: stories about girls & mythical objects

Kamloops [British Columbia] author/editor Alex McGilvery is putting together an anthology of stories. Each story is to be about what happens when a girl finds a mythical object. Examples:  crown, veil, cross, sword, cup. Stories are to be 3000 to 6000 words long. Can you write one? Here's Alex's call for submissions: 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

creating a kids' picture book

Good tips on creating a children's picture book:

Saturday, December 29, 2018

BY THE BOOK, a novel by Alex McGilvery, reviewed by Elma Schemenauer

At first Paul doesn't notice God coming to visit because he's concentrating on cooking oatmeal. Oatmeal is the breakfast specified for Tuesday mornings. The oatmeal-cooking and oatmeal-eating directions, along with other instructions, are in the Book. This is an immense leather-bound volume Paul has. If he follows the Book, God won't be displeased with him, and won't smite him with a lightning bolt. At least Paul hopes not.


But when Paul comes face to face with God in his kitchen, it becomes clear that the Almighty requires something beyond following the Book. In fact, God wants Paul to leave home and go on a quest. Where Paul is supposed to go isn't clear, but God promises to guide him along the way. Paul is to take along one page from the Book, not the whole thing.


Paul sets out on his quest with a companion, Daniel. His activities along the way include forestry, gardening, drinking from a supernatural crucible, tasting an Archbishop's food to check if it's poisoned, serving a prison sentence, and playing games with children who seem wiser than their elders. When Paul and Daniel need guidance, the page from the book provides it, changing according to their needs and circumstances.


There's a WAITING FOR GODOT feeling to this novel. Though Paul and Daniel travel far, I didn't sense them arrived at break-through moments that greatly advanced their understanding of life. I found this a bit unsatisfying, but I enjoyed their journey in any case. The author's sense of humour and imagination kept me turning the pages.


One of the book's key ideas is that many people go through life afraid of being punished for displeasing God. The author feels they should change this attitude. They should move from a negative to a positive mind-set, from fearful keeping of rules to exercising free choice. The author prefers choosers to rule-keepers. However, it never became clear to me how choosers' lives should play out, and what effect their choices will have on themselves and others. Maybe the author means for us to discover that for ourselves.


The book is 117 pages long and sells for about $10 paperback, considerably less as an e-book. It can be ordered from:


Chapters Indigo

Lulu [scroll down]

Friday, December 28, 2018

Writers Festival in Calgary August 9-11, 2019

The following message is from Alex McGilvery of the Kamloops-based Interior Authors Group. Thanks, Alex.

When Word Collide which happens in August in Calgary has to be one of the best bargains for writers. A few days left to get registered for 45 dollars. 


Alex Mcgilvery

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Saturday, December 22, 2018

submissions of poetry invited

The following is from the Alberta-based publisher Durville/UpRoute 

Vistas of the West: Poems and Visuals of Nature is the third book in UpRoute's Every River Poems series. Scheduled for publication in the fall of 2019, Vistas is a collection of poetry and visual art featuring the beauty of [the western Canadian] mountains, foothills, prairie landscapes, and their natural inhabitants. We will be delighted to consider your previously unpublished poems about topics of nature, wildlife, and the land. Submissions of family, and friendship themes are also welcome, as long as a connection to the natural environment is clearly implied. All styles of poetry will be considered. The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2019. 

I believe they also consider pictures. More info at

Monday, December 3, 2018

Looking for an editor and/or ghostwriter?

Are you looking for an editor and/or ghostwriter? Here's an updated partial list of such folks in BC. It's alphabetical by last name. 

Duane Anderson, PENTICTON, [ghostwriter & writer, not editor],, 

Meribeth Deen, BOWEN ISLAND,,


Vesta Giles, KAMLOOPS,,


Norma Hill, PENTICTON,,


Leigh Macfarlane, KELOWNA,,


Alex McGilvery, KAMLOOPS,,


Erin Linn McMullan, TOFINO,,


Leena Niemela, QUALICUM BEACH,


James Osborne, VERNON,,


June Powell, KAMLOOPS,


Dawn Renaud, PENTICTON,,


Lori Rilkoff, KAMLOOPS,


Donna Squires, KAMLOOPS,


Blazej Szpakowicz, KAMLOOPS,,


Linda Wall, KAMLOOPS,,

Thursday, November 15, 2018

giving thanks can make you a better [not bitter!] writer

Article here on giving thanks & its impacts on the writing life:  . (Ignore the ads if you wish.)