Thursday, September 29, 2016

your book: how many copies?

Apparently the average self-published book sells 200 copies during its lifetime. The average traditionally published book sells 1000. Of course we authors try to do better than that if we can. In Canada a book that sells 5000 copies is often deemed a bestseller. In the United States the number is several times that.


Regarding printing: Digital printing [using high-powered laser or inkjet printers] is generally appropriate for books with a print run of fewer than 3000. For those with a print run of 3000 or more, offset printing is generally the technology of choice.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

CONSIDER THE SUNFLOWERS in The Whimsy Store, Saskatoon

My novel CONSIDER THE SUNFLOWERS is in The Whimsy Store, 417 - 33rd Street West, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Here I am with Chantel [left] in this interesting store. They specialize in things made by Saskatchewan folks. Other interesting places near by.

Monday, September 19, 2016

CONSIDER THE SUNFLOWERS is in Rosthern, Saskatchewan

My 1940s Saskatchewan Mennonite novel CONSIDER THE SUNFLOWERS is now available in Rosthern, Saskatchewan--at the Station Arts Centre. You can have tea or lunch while you're there & browse through their beautiful gallery & gift shop.

Station Arts Centre
701 Railway Avenue
P.O. Box 1078
Rosthern, SK S0K 3R0
306 232 5332


Open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 am - 4 pm
Closed Sunday & Monday
Open on event nights

Other Rosthern attractions include: Mennonite Heritage Museum, Rosthern Clothes Basket (an MCC thrift shop), several restaurants, & the nearby Seager Wheeler Farm. Rosthern is about halfway between Saskatoon & Prince Albert, at the junction of highways 11 & 312.


Friday, September 16, 2016

Monday, September 12, 2016

many writing & poetry contests, no entry fees

Enter poetry and writing contests at FanStory.   Enter all of these contests (and many more) for a one time membership fee.  Cash prizes with no entry fee. You'll also get feedback for everything you write. More Information


Writing Contests


Four Line Poem
Write a four line poem that has a specific syllable count. The first line has 1 syllable, the second line has 5 syllables, the third line has 5 syllables, and the last line 9 syllables. The subject can be anything.
Deadline is Today! - Still time to enter! Sep 12th


Antonym Poetry Contest
Write a four line poem. The first line is only one word. Second and third line can be formatted as you wish. The last line is the antonym (opposite meaning) of the word on the first line.
Deadline In 4 Days. Sep 16th


Paranormal Flash Fiction
In this flash fiction contest we are challenging writers to write a flash fiction piece that is between 500 and 800 words on the topic provided. The topic is 'paranormal'.
Deadline Sep 21st


3 Line Poem
Write a three-lined poem that has a specific syllable count to enter this contest.
Deadline Sep 26th


Acrostic Poetry Contest
Write an acrostic poem. An acrostic poem is a poem where the first letter of each line spells out a word. View an example in the announcement.
Deadline Oct 1st


A character can make a story. Write a story that based on the scene pictured in this announcement.
Deadline Oct 5th


Faith Poetry Contest
The theme for this poetry contest is 'faith'. We are looking for poems that in some way pertain to this theme. It doesn't matter if it's spiritual, political, intellectual or emotional as long as faith is clearly represented.
Deadline Oct 11th


Palindrome Poetry
A palindrome is a word (or sentence) that reads the same backwards as forward. So 'Madam' is a palindrome.For a palindrome poem you incorporate it into your poem but do so with the sentences. See an example in the announcement.
Deadline Oct 18th


Lune Poetry Contest
A Lune poem is a short and fun poetry form with only three lines. View the contest announcement for an example.
Deadline Oct 24th


Newbie 5-7-5
Write a poem that has three lines and follows a specific syllables count. View an example in the announcement.
Deadline Oct 31st


Halloween Poetry Contest
For our Halloween poetry contest we are looking for poems that somehow capture the fun, horror or excitement of this time of the year.
Deadline Oct 31st


Halloween Horror
Write a horror or thriller story for our Halloween writing contest. The story can have a Halloween theme or you can use your imagination to create a story that will put your readers on edge.
Deadline Oct 31st


Share A Story In A Poem
In this contest you are challenged to write a poem that tells a story and also rhymes. We've included examples of this type of poetry storytelling in the announcement.
Deadline Nov 5th


Haiku Poetry Contest
For this contest you are challenged to write a Haiku poem. Haiku is a form of poetry that only uses three lines. Can you paint a mental image using only three lines?
Deadline Nov 11th


Sonnet Poetry Contest
Just like Shakespeare did, discover the rhythm and rhyme scheme of the Shakespearean sonnet.
Deadline Nov 17th


What If?
For this contest you are presented with a &quotwhat if" for your character. What if your character woke up in a cell.
Deadline Nov 22nd


Free Verse Poetry Contest
Write a free verse poem. This is a method of writing poetry that does not follow any structure or style. See an example and details in the announcement.
Deadline Nov 27th


Blank Verse Poetry Contest
Write a blank verse poem for this contest. A blank verse poem is written without rhymes. It does have a set metrical pattern. See the details in the announcement.
Deadline Dec 2nd


Etheree Poetry
The Etheree poem has 10 lines with a specific syllable count.
Deadline Dec 8th


Quinzaine Poetry
A quinzaine is a 3 line poem that only has fifteen syllables.
Deadline Dec 14th


Love Poem Poetry Contest
Write a love poem. Your love poem can be fictional or non-fictional. It can be a humorous or a serious love poem. The choice is yours.
Deadline Dec 20th


Non-Fiction Writing Contest
We are looking for personal essays, memoirs, and works of literary non-fiction. It can be spiritual, political, or funny. Creative approaches welcomed.
Deadline Dec 28th


ABC Poetry Contest
For this contest you are challenged to write a ABC poem. ABC poetry has five lines and often is used to express feelings. See the announcement for an example.
Deadline Jan 3rd


Cinquain Poetry
Write an 'Cinquain' poem for this contest. A cinquain poem is a poem that follows a specific format. Read the announcement for a sample poem.
Deadline Jan 9th


2-4-2 Poetry
Write a 2-4-2 syllable poem. It has three lines. The first line has 2 syllables, the second line has 4 syllables and the last line 2 syllable. The subject can be anything.
Deadline Jan 13th


Write About This
Write a story based on the image pictured in this announcement. What is happening here?
Deadline Jan 17th


5-7-5 Poetry Contest
For this contest you are to write a short poem. It should only have three lines. But the structure is that of a Haiku. The first line has 5 syllables. The second line has 7 syllables. The third line has 5 syllables again. Write about anything.
Deadline Jan 24th


Newbie Writing Contest
For our New Arrival 'This Sentence Starts The Story' contest we challenge you to write a story that starts with this sentence: 'Hell found me.'
Deadline Jan 28th


Write a Minute poem for this contest. A fun poem to write. It follows the "8,4,4,4" syllable count structure.
Deadline Feb 2nd


Share Your Story
A memoir gives us the ability to write about our life. But you can write about life with the option to create and fabricate and to make sense of a life, or part of that life. Write a piece of your life!
Deadline Feb 7th


Horror Story Writing Contest
Put your readers on edge or terrorize them for this horror writing contest.
Deadline Feb 12th


Tanka Poetry Contest
For this contest you are challenged to write a Tanka poem. Tanka is a form of poetry with a specific syllable count. See the announcement for an example.
Deadline Feb 16th



These are just a few of our contests. View the full listing here.





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Friday, September 9, 2016

getting great book reviews frugally

Free download here of a useful book on getting & making the most of reviews for your book: .


moral dilemmas make stories better

I don’t entirely agree with the following article. Don’t think authors always need to make key characters such strong people or give them such major conflicts. Depends on the kind of story one is writing. On the other hand, there’s food for thought here: .

Saskatchewan history & historical literature

SASKATCHEWAN HISTORY & HISTORICAL LITERATURE: I enjoyed speaking on this topic in Humboldt, Saskatchewan on August 31, 2016. Here's the Humboldt Journal article about the event:

Page 3 Humboldt Journal
September 7, 2016

Schemenauer brings her book to Humboldt

By Christopher Lee
Journal Reporter

Humboldt got a small history
lesson on Aug. 31 when Elma
Schemenauer came to the Reid-
Thompson Public Library.
Schemenauer brought her book
Consider the Sunflowers to the
library for a reading and while she
was there she spent some time going
over the history of Saskatchewan as
well as Humboldt.

“I’ve done a lot of writing about
history in the past and I just love it.
I like to share it and I’m also very
interested in literature so historical
fiction is interesting to me. I just
wanted to share that with people,”
she said.

Schemenauer started her presentation
in 1692 when fur-trader
Henry Kelsey became the first European
to explore Saskatchewan
and moved through time touching
on Bishop Alexandre-Antonin Taché
becoming one of the first missionairies
in Saskatchewan in 1846, the
Louis Riel-led rebellion in 1885,
the promise of free or cheap land in
Saskatchewan in 1885, the landing
of the Schemenauer family near
Humboldt in 1902, and continued
on touching on the war, and the
Depression among other events.

The presentation was specially
created for her show in Humboldt,
says Schemenauer, but added
that she would very much like to
continue giving the presentation to
other communities as well.

Schemenauer’s book is about a
woman who lives in Vancouver,
which she enjoys very much, but
makes the decision to move back
to Saskatchewan to marry her
boyfriend. Once moved back she
discovers she does not enjoy
country living nearly as much as
she expected.

The book took Schemenauer 14
years to write and is based loosely
on her parents, she says.

Reid-Thompson Public Library
Librarian Rose Ward says the book
provided a great insight into the
lives of pioneers including their lack
of medicare, the terrible weather
they faced, and the everyday things
we take for granted today.
“They persevered, they just kept
going and they were happy.”

Bringing Schemenauer to Humboldt
made a lot of sense, says
Ward, because of her connection to
the Humboldt area, having grown
up in Elbow, and having married
into the Schemenauer family from

Ward was very pleased with how
the reading went noting that she
saw an entirely different crowd than
are normally at the library's book

“That’s good to know that there’s
other faces in the community that are
willing to come to the library and
listen to readings.”

Seeing all those faces meant a
great deal to Schemenauer as well
because as a writer she notices how
lonely it can be at times.

“You sit at your computer day
after day all by yourself just inhabiting
with people in your mind
They’re totally imaginary or partly
imaginary… it’s worth it when you
can talk to people about your work
and have them be interested.”
Schemenauer says it makes all
those hours at the computer worth

The next book reading will be
held at the Humboldt & District Gallery
on Oct. 3, when Mary Harlkin-
Bishop brings her Tunnel of Time
series to town.


If you're interested in my 1940s-era Saskatchewan Mennonite novel Consider the Sunflowers, please note it's available in some libraries including the one in Humboldt. It's also available in stores including:
* The Whimsy Store, Saskatoon, SK
* Station Arts Centre, Rosthern, SK
* Back Home Bakery, Elbow, SK
* Galloway's Pharmacy, Central Butte, SK
* Chapters, Kamloops, BC
* University Bookstore in Kamloops, BC
* House of James, Abbotsford, BC
Or order from Chapters Indigo online, or the publisher, Borealis Press, . More information at .


Thursday, September 8, 2016

CBC TV series "This is High School" filmed at South Kamloops Secondary School airs Sunday October 2

The following message is courtesy of Victoria Weller, Commissioner for the Thompson-Nicola Film Commission. Thanks, Vicci. The series looks fascinating




See the world premiere of CBC TV 6 part series THIS IS HIGH SCHOOL filmed at the South Kamloops Secondary School, Sunday, October 2nd at 8:00 p.m. on CBC.




ABOUT THE CBC TV SERIES (Filmed in Kamloops)


THIS IS HIGH SCHOOL is a six-part series set in an extraordinary, ordinary school -- where teachers, led by a passionate principal, go the distance to prepare their students for adult life. But when you're dealing with teenagers, nothing is ever straightforward.

This fly-on-the-wall series captures the challenges facing both educators and students alike in a 21st-century public high school [South Kamloops Secondary School]. It delves deep into an institution that has a formative influence on all of us, and captures a moment of transition. But it isn't an expos.

Each episode, viewers watch as two students struggle with fitting in, falling out, exam pressure, peer pressure, first love and last chances, and other pervasive issues facing youth today. In the end, they overcome their challenges with the help of the school's tireless staff. The students always come out having learned something--and often the teachers have, too.

If anything, THIS IS HIGH SCHOOL is a love letter to teachers, celebrating the amazing work and downright heroism that educators bring to their job every day.

As posted on their Facebook:

*Being a teenager can be hard. Please ensure your comments are kind and fair."


Please feel free to distribute this email


Kind regards



Victoria (Vicci) Weller MA

Film Commissioner


Did you know that Dragonflies live underwater for up to two years?!


Thompson-Nicola Film Commission

(click on picture to view brochure)

4th Floor - 465 Victoria St., KAMLOOPS

British Columbia, Canada V2C 2A9

250-377-8673 x7058 office

1-877-377-8673 toll free in BC

250-319-6211 cell  |

Twitter: @TNFC  |  SKYPE: vweller1



The information contained in this transmission may contain privileged and confidential information of the TNRD – Thompson-Nicola Regional District. It is intended for review only by the person(s) named above. Dissemination, distribution or duplication of this communication is strictly prohibited by all recipients unless expressly authorized otherwise. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message. Thank you.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

literary agents seek young adult fantasy & scifi

17 literary agents seeking young adult fantasy & science fiction:


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

short-story contest: citizens of Commonwealth countries

Here’s a short-story contest for citizens of Commonwealth countries including Canada.  No entry fee seems to be required: .