Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Federation of BC Writers Conference & AGM

Federation of BC Writers Conference & AGM

May 2015, Summerland, BC

Here, in no particular order, are observations and bits of information I gleaned from this event [where I spoke on the topic Organizing and Pacing Your Story].


-Outgoing president Ben Nuttall-Smith has worked hard on behalf of the FBCW, and continued to do so at this event. He mentioned the BC Editors Association [a branch of the Editors Association of Canada]. I wasn't aware of its existence but this is useful information for BC authors seeking an editor.


-I understand Coco Aders-Weremczuk is the newly elected president of the FBCW. She's a member of our Kamloops-based Interior Authors Group, so we Kamloopsians and IAGers can bask in her reflected glory. Coco's current work in progress is a novel set in the 1700s. It's about a single mother during the American Revolution.


-Past president George Opacic of Richmond stressed the importance of avoiding identity theft on the Internet, and dealing properly with taxation as an author. Unfortunately I couldn't stay for his presentation but learned from speaking with him.


-Executive director Craig Spence has recently become the editor of Ladysmith- Chemainus Chronicle [newspaper]. A multi-published novelist, he amused us with his reading about the [disgusting-sounding] Eagle-brand cheesecake he made as a university student and contributed to potluck meals.


-Okanagon-based author Paul Seesequasis grew up in Saskatchewan, as I did. Among other accomplishments, he founded the Aboriginal Voices magazine. Paul is currently editor-in-chief at Theytus Books. He amused us with his witty choice of illustrations for his PowerPoint presentation, and by not divulging the name of a publisher who rejected his book proposal. He gave us a hint: the name refers to a flightless bird.


-Abbotsford artist and author Loreena M. Lee's publications include Canadian historical novels set in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, the first being Within These Bonds. Loreena's books are of particular interest to me because my recently published prairie Mennonite novel Consider the Sunflowers takes place in the 1940s.


-Among Vernon editor and author Sheilagh Simpson's works in progress is a novel about the settlement of Mars.


-Surrey playwright and author Edi DePencier is writing a trilogy based on the lives of three women who ruled Rome near the end of the Empire. Many people haven't heard of them because they weren't official rulers. Men were but evidently women pulled their strings.


-Poet and journalist Ann Graham Walker is an exemplary FBCW regional representative, her area being Vancouver Island. By the way, the FBCW needs more regional representatives and assistants. The role sounds interesting and useful. If you'd like to volunteer, I understand the person to contact is Craig Spence. One way to reach him is by messaging him via Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/CraigSpenceWriter .


-Penticton author Dawn Renaud teaches writing and guides authors through the self-publishing process. I bought her novella Finding Grace and look forward to reading it.


-Author James Osborne has two novels slated for publication. The first is due for release soon by Endeavour Press Ltd. in London, UK.  It’s a suspense/thriller about domestic terrorism called The Ultimate Threat. The other is a "cozy" murder mystery called The Maidstone Conspiracy. It’s being published by Solstice of Missouri, likely in late summer or fall.


I could go on and on about the people I met and their contributions to literature, the FBCW, and the writing community at large. However, I'll wind up my report at this point. More information about the 500-member FBCW is at http://bcwriters.ca/ .








Elma Schemenauer CONSIDER THE SUNFLOWERS: 1940s-era novel about love, Mennonites, faith, & family. Set in Vancouver & rural Saskatchewan. Order from Chapters online http://tinyurl.com/ny8smwk or Borealis Press http://tinyurl.com/lfdo9pf  . More info at http://elmams.wix.com/sflwrs  .


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