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British Columbia's Community of Writers

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  • 30 Mar 2021 7:22 PM | Bryan Mortensen (Administrator)

    The Federation has grown so much recently.  We have passed a 1000 members and have more programing an services than we have ever offered before.  As such, the time has come for a refresh of our website to match the needs of our members and the writing community. 

    Over the coming days, you are going to find many changes to the site.  There will be more interactive content, more info on programs, and a simplified navigation system.   While we are making these changes, the back end is staying the same.  If you could navigate the old site's member features, you'll still be able to navigate the new site.

    There may be a few times as the site updates that navigation may be difficult.  Rest assured this will only be temporary. 

    Thank you for your patience.  I look forward to you all seeing the work that has been done.

    All my best,

    Bryan Mortensen

    Executive Director



  • 29 Mar 2021 5:00 PM | Bryan Mortensen (Administrator)

    We are so grateful for this coverage form the Comox Valley Record.  Check out their article about funding news!

    https://www.comoxvalleyrecord.com/entertainment/courtenay-based-writers-federation-receives-funding-boost/

  • 17 Mar 2021 12:00 PM | Bryan Mortensen (Administrator)


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    March 17, 2021.

    The Federation of British Columbia Writers announces Jessica Brody,

    as Keynote Speaker for the BC Writers’ Online Summit

    COURTENAY, BC — The author of best-selling ‘Save the Cat! Writes a Novel’ is the

    Keynote speaker for this year’s BC Writers’ Summit. This week-long event runs from May 15 to

    May 21st, entirely online.


    “We are ecstatic that Ms. Brody has agreed to be our keynote speaker and to do a special

    members-only Fireside chat. Running this event entirely online has allowed us to bring in

    someone who may have been out of reach in previous years,” said Bryan Mortensen, Executive

    Director at The Federation of British Columbia Writers.

    “As we cross the milestone of 1000 members on our 45th anniversary, our goal is to

    expand our programs and services throughout the province, especially in rural remote

    communities.”


    Summit participants can expect a range of workshops and events that cross genres,

    mediums, and audience skill levels. The summit is also offering Blue Pencil Query Letter

    Reviews, which can be added to the Summit Pass for only $35. This includes a 15-minute

    feedback consult with an editor from Darling Axe. There are only 40 spots open for the reviews,

    so book early. Registration for the Summit officially opens today, through the Federation of BC

    Writers website, https://www.bcwriters.ca/BCSummit.


    ###


    For more information, press only:


    Bryan Mortensen

    Executive Director

    Federation of British Columbia Writers

    bryan@bcwriters.ca

    250-999-2082


    For more information on Registration:


    Angela Douglas

    Director of Communications

    Federation of British Columbia Writers

    angela@bcwriters.ca


  • 15 Nov 2020 5:31 PM | Bryan Mortensen (Administrator)


    The Federation of British Columbia Writers is proud to announce the winner of this year's Flash Fiction Contest 2020!

    Judge Karen Schauber has prepared the following remarks about this year's winner and runner up.  We thank her on behalf of our organization and our contestants for her work and dedication to the craft of short fiction.

    What a wonderful showing of talent and enthusiasm for the flash fiction form with seventy-eight qualifying entries in this year's Federation of British Columbia Writers' Flash Fiction Contest 2020. Each piece was read blind and given full consideration by first readers Barbara Black & John Gould. Thank you to Barbara and John both, for their careful reading and for sending these short-listed gems my way. Judging so many talented writers is not a simple process. With blind judging, all entries begin on equal footing, no matter the skill level, experience, or writing credentials of the participants. What speaks to one judge may elude another. And although there is only one winner here, so very many of the entries showed genuine merit. Voice, authenticity, along with powerful emotion and clear writing, always shine through. Remember that judging is a subjective process. So, if your piece did not rise to the top this year, it may very well the following, with a different judge, who brings a different sensibility and aesthetic. Please submit again.

    This year's winner is: "My People Came Down from the Mountains" by Vicki McLeod

    From the first opening sentence the language here is evocative, sumptuous, and masterfully laid. Richly textured and hand-picked, words and phrasing like ' brittle ghosts', tough and canny, ears akimbo, gambol and sway, descendants scattered like streams and creeks... sets this piece apart and holds the bar high. In flash fiction imagery is everything. And here, in the connective tissue of words, eidetic imagery is in effect. The reader is kept well immersed. There is a musicality in the unfolding of this piece with keen attention paid to cadence and rhythm. And, its impressionistic flavouring, a blending of folklore with fable, rings true all the way to the denouement, rarely striking an inauthentic note. The breadth of voice, subject, and setting here, feels unique, and utterly its own.

    "This is a story that distinguishes itself." -Karen Schauber

    A little about our contest winner, Vicki McLeod

    Vicki McLeod is a writer, coach and award-winning entrepreneur. She is the author of Effective Communication at Work, Speaking and Writing Well in the Modern Workplace (Rockridge Press 2020, #Untrending, A Field Guide to Social Media That Matters, How to Post, Tweet, and Like Your Way to a More Meaningful Life (First Choice 2016) and co-author of Digital Legacy Plan, A Guide to the Personal and Practical Elements of Your Digital Life Before You Die (Self-Counsel Press 2019). Her recent book You and the Internet of Things, A practical guide to understanding and integrating the IoT into your daily life (Self-Counsel Press 2020), is currently listed as a BC Top Seller in BC Bookworld. Her story, Georgie, was recently longlisted for the 2020 CBC nonfiction prize. A graduate of the Simon Fraser University Writers Studio, she leads retreats and workshops, writes poetry, personal essays and a newspaper column. You can find her on beautiful Vancouver Island on the west coast of Canada, in pajamas, making something.


    A special mention and second place is given to: "Wish You Well" by Anneliese Schultz 

    Beautiful, poignant, and heart-wrenching, this story is masterfully crafted, hitting all the right notes with neither embellishment nor extra word. As flash fiction, it is concision at its best. There is an elegance in how the subject is treated and paced. And although this is a theme that has been done, if not overdone, here, it engages the reader with finesse—in self-reflection and without confrontation, presenting keen insight into the human condition, and pushing boundaries in fresh and unexpected ways. Most expertly, and importantly in flash fiction, it sticks the landing, leading the reader to an ending that smoulders.

    "A powerful piece."  -Karen Schauber


    Thank you to our shortlist:

    • Doley Henderson for "A River Journey"
    • Larry Brown for “Condo”
    • Lulu Keating for “Green Panic”
    • Sonja Larsen for “Mermaids of East Vancouver”
    • Vicki McLeod for “My People Came Down from the Mountain”
    • Cathleen With for “Oshi”
    • Lulu Keating for “Pale Pony Express”
    • Cornelia Hoogland for “Somewhere My Love”
    • David Reichheld for “Washing Up
    • Anneliese Schultz for “Wish You Well”

    Karen Schauber's Bio


    Karen Schauber is a Flash Fiction writer obsessed with the form. Her work appears in 50 international literary magazines, journals, and anthologies, including Bending Genres, Cabinet of Heed, Cease Cows, Ekphrastic Review, Fiction Southeast, New Flash Fiction Review, and Spelk.'The Group of Seven Reimagined: Contemporary Stories Inspired by Historic Canadian Paintings' (Heritage House, 2019), celebrating the Canadian modernist landscape painters, is her first editorial/curatorial flash fiction anthology, winning 'Silver' in The Miramichi Reader's "The Very Best" Book Award for Short Fiction", 2020. Schauber curates ‘Vancouver Flash Fiction’, an online flash fiction Resource Hub, and in her spare time, is a seasoned Family Therapist. A native of Montréal, she has called Vancouver home for the past three decades. She is a member of the Canadian Authors Association, Federation of British Columbia Writers, and Writers' Union of Canada.


    http://KarenSchauber.weebly.com
    http://VancouverFlashFiction.weebly.com

    http://GroupofSevenFlashFiction.weebly.com
    https://www.facebook.com/VancouverFlashFiction/
    fb @Karen Schauber
    twitter @karenschauber


    http://www.hgdistribution.com/book_details.php?isbn_upc=9781772032888



  • 30 Oct 2020 7:21 PM | Bryan Mortensen (Administrator)

    Nine authors are on the short list for this year’s BC & Yukon Flash 2020 Fiction Contest presented by the Federation of British Columbia Writers. 

    The contest has been judged by Karen Schauber who is a Flash Fiction writer obsessed with the form. Her work appears in 50 international literary magazines and anthologies, including Bending Genres, Ekphrastic Review, Fiction Southeast, New Flash Fiction Review, and Spelk Fiction. The Group of Seven Reimagined: Contemporary Stories Inspired by Historic Canadian Paintings (Heritage House, 2019), celebrating the Canadian modernist landscape painters, is her first editorial/curatorial flash fiction anthology.

    The short list is:

    • Doley Henderson for "A River Journey"
    • Larry Brown for “Condo”
    • Lulu Keating for “Green Panic”
    • Sonja Larsen for “Mermaids of East Vancouver”
    • Vicki McLeod for “My People Came Down from the Mountain”
    • Cathleen With for “Oshi”
    • Lulu Keating for “Pale Pony Express”
    • Cornelia Hoogland for “Somewhere My Love”
    • David Reichheld for “Washing Up
    • Anneliese Schultz for “Wish You Well”


    Winners will be announced on November 15th, 2020.


    The first prize is $350 and the winning entry will be published in WordWorks, the magazine of the Federation of British Columbia Writers. The B.C. Yukon Flash Fiction Contest, a competition for original, unpublished flash fiction stories, up to 500 words in length invited submissions from around the world. The contest closed on October 1st.  To ensure all work was judged fairly, all entries were required to be submitted without the name of the author inside the document. No limit was set on how many entries an author could submit.

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!


    Visit https://www.bcwriters.ca for more information about the Federation of British Columbia Writers.


  • 21 Sep 2020 8:37 AM | Doni Eve

    Check out the latest WriteOn newsletter packed with events and opportunities for writers this Fall. https://mailchi.mp/bdb4fd3abd54/events-contests-opportunities-submission-calls-for-writers?e=6be2a4b9dd

  • 17 Sep 2020 12:18 PM | Angela Douglas (Administrator)



    WW: Amy Reiswig, writing in Focus Magazine, said that The End of Me is a hybrid of haiku and short story. Do you like that definition?
     
    JG: I do, I do. It’s illuminating because it’s actually how I came to write in this form. I was reading a lot of the old masters of haiku, and writing haiku, just sort of playing around, and I realized I was having more fun doing that than writing stories. Somehow getting closer to what I wanted to do in fiction. So I decided to try to see what the haiku of fiction would be. What if I brought some of the same principles, the quickness and lightness, the openness to paradox and irony, and just this huge pressure on concision that you find in haiku—what if I brought that to my stories? It was later on that I realized that there were other people working in the very short form, that of course there’s a history to it. 

    WW: That’s so interesting because your sudden stories have got all the elements of fiction and they’re powerful enough to handle philosophy—just like poems and haiku. How do you achieve this in such small spaces? 

    JG: I don’t know, is the short answer. I think writers looking to try it should, as with any form, do a lot of reading, and spend a lot of time experimenting. In a short story the idea is to begin in the middle. In a very short story you really have to begin very close to the core moment of the story, right? A lot of the skills of a short-story writer would be sharpened by the extra compression required of the very short story. 
    One thing I’ll say about my approach is that it may be a bit distinctive, even heretical. Most writing guides these days tend to encourage a writer to do a whole bunch of writing, get heaps of material down and then start weeding through—start cutting back to locate the good stuff. In my case, I actually do a fair bit of the work of compression before I start writing. My sense of haiku is that you don’t sit down and slog at it, you don’t pound out fifty lines and then cut it down to three. It’s more about an attentive, open waiting for an experience to coalesce in some way that you can articulate. There’s a waiting and a preparation, and for me, that’s an important part of the process of composition. I’ll have something on my mind, something that’s puzzling or unsettling, a human predicament that intrigues me. I’ll sit with it for a while, trying to let that idea find a way to be expressed. Through what character, in what fictional situation, in what voice, and so on. 
    When I do start putting words down, I want there to be quite a bit of force behind them. So, again, the idea of the haiku is to try to execute it in one go. That doesn’t mean you nail it right away, but you try to get the essence down all at once. Then it might be months or years of work, not just tinkering but continuing to drill down into the material. With flash or sudden fiction, I think the process of revision is extra important, because there’s a huge premium on language. You have to make it count, and keep finding a way to go deeper. 

    WW: I really like that idea. Thank you, John, for spending time with me. Congratulations on being a finalist for the Giller—I wish you every other success with the book too. 



    Visit johngould.ca to find links for three films by Corey Lee of enriquePoe Moving Pictures adapted from Kilter: 55 Fictions. 
    A useful resource for people in BC is Vancouver Flash Fiction and their FaceBook page run by Karen Schauber. 
    Interview edited for length. 

  • 29 Aug 2020 12:24 PM | Doni Eve

    We are very pleased to have a judge of the calibre of Karen Schauber for this year’s flash fiction contest – BC-Yukon Flash 2020. Karen generously shared some key pointers about creating flash fiction and what she will be looking for in the contest.

    Karen says: “Flash fiction is the hottest rising literary trend in Canada, and it is my happy obsession. I am thrilled to be serving as judge this year for the Federation of BC Writers BC-Yukon Flash 2020 flash fiction contest. Thank you for inviting me. I'm delighted to be working with first readers, Barbara Black  and John Gould, both of whom have impeccable flash fiction writing and publication chops.”
     
    1. What draws you to writing flash fiction?
     
    “I am besotted with the form, with the scope and depth that occupy such very tiny spaces; with the handpicking of words; with its emotional resonance - how it lingers; with the process of sculpting, refinement, and compression; how it can paint a picture of the human experience in a brief ordinary moment....how each piece is a marvel.”
     
    3. How did you get started writing flash fiction?
     
    “I discovered flash fiction reading journals and magazines on my iphone. I read flash fiction daily and enjoy discovering new voices – the talent out there is magic. Early on, I stumbled upon workshops teaching flash fiction online, mostly out of the US and UK, and have since participated in many three-day, ten-day, and month-long intensives, each honing a different aspect of the form. The workshops are lots of fun, generative, and attended by highly creative, respectful, and generous writers from across the globe. I also participate in a local writing circle and highly regard opportunities for critique and feedback. In the past three years I've published flash fiction in more than 50 international literary journals, magazines, and anthologies. Most of my pieces incorporate subtleties and artifice of surrealism and magical realism. Last year, I edited and curated a flash fiction anthology, The Group of Seven Reimagined: Contemporary Stories Inspired by Historic Canadian Paintings. It has placed 'Silver' in The Miramichi Reader's "The Very Best" Book Award for Short Fiction", 2020. I’m totally hooked.”
     
    3. What is the best advice you've received on writing flash fiction?
     
    “There are two pieces of advice I keep returning to:
     
    ‘Trust the Reader’—The quickest was to lose a reader's trust is to tell them what you mean. After you're done writing your story, go through and get rid of any places where you are trying to explain what is happening in the story. Instead, let the reader see what's happening by your very specific use of unusual detail and a banquet full of sensory information. Anton Chekhov said it this way. ‘Don't tell me that the moon is shining, show me the glint of light on broken glass’.   —Meg Pokrass (UK)
     
    ‘On Revision’—Cut it down as much as is possible before the piece falls down (like Jenga). ‘See how much you can cut, until the piece no longer works. It is then that you realize what the kernel is; the heart of the piece.’  —Emily Davidson (Vancouver)
     
    Also, visit Vancouver Flash Fiction, which features 'Flash Fiction Writing Tips' penned by masterful writers from across the globe, every Sunday.”
     
    4. What are you looking for in the contest submissions, and in the winning flash fiction?
     
    “I'm looking for work that is beautifully written, in either its simplicity or sumptuous imagery; a demonstration of intentional word choice. The piece should have the emotive reach of a painting. And it should be immersive, inviting the reader to explore the recesses of their own imagination in-between the lines and white spaces. It should be layered, with more to discover in each subsequent read. It should not feel rushed but carefully crafted. And be evident that it could not have been written in any other form than compression. By the end of the story, something at its core should have undergone a transformation (either internal or external, imagined or proscribed, far-reaching or miniscule). Above all, the writer's delight with the flash fiction form should come through.
     
    Any genre is welcome - literary, sci-fi, humour, magical realism/surrealism, historical/alternate history, contemporary, experimental; as long as it is fiction.”
     
    About Karen Schauber:
     
    Karen Schauber’s work appears in 50 international literary magazines, journals, and anthologies, including Brilliant Flash Fiction, Bending Genres, Ekphrastic Review, Fiction Southeast, New Flash Fiction Review, and Spelk Fiction. The Group of Seven Reimagined: Contemporary Stories Inspired by Historic Canadian Paintings (Heritage House, 2019), celebrating the Canadian modernist landscape painters, is her first editorial/curatorial flash fiction anthology. Schauber curates Vancouver Flash Fiction, a flash fiction resource hub and critique circle, and in her spare time, is a seasoned Family Therapist. A native of Montréal, she has called Vancouver home for the past three decades. She is a member of the Canadian Authors' Association, Federation of British Columbia Writers, and The Writers' Union of Canada.

    http://KarenSchauber.weebly.com
    http://GroupofSevenFlashFiction.weebly.com
    http://VancouverFlashFiction.weebly.com
    https://www.facebook.com/VancouverFlashFiction/
    https://www.facebook.com/Gof7Reimagined
    fb @Karen Schauber
    twitter @karenschauber
    instagram @karen.schauber
     
    http://www.hgdistribution.com/book_details.php?isbn_upc=9781772032888

  • 13 Jul 2020 12:24 PM | Doni Eve


    On July 5, 2020, the Federation of British Columbia Writers board voted to name Jacqueline Carmichael as the new president. Jacqueline replaces Keith Liggett, who stepped down in March. On accepting the role, she thanked vice president Doni Eve for keeping the organization on track, and the board for their work governing without a president over the past few months. 

    “Because of their diligence and keeping the best interests of the Fed and our membership at heart, we’re poised for growth. Our board and volunteers are working together to bring new services and opportunities to our members and the writing community around BC and the Yukon," Jacqueline said. “I’m looking forward to working with new executive director Bryan Mortensen. There are some great initiatives underway." 

    "Our members and volunteers are the strength of the organization in a pandemic moment and always. The Federation of BC Writers is just that, a federation - all of us, a vibrant and growing community of writers. Not isolated. Together, we're finding new ways to support each other and grow our writing practices, to celebrate each writing moment and each victory, big or small. One example of how we are doing this is the monthly Sunday Webinar education events led by board member and author Barb Drozdowich."

    “Tune in to our social media channels or one of our menu of summer events on Zoom and you'll see it reflected right away on that small screen with all those people, not so distant after all: our board has been working hard, and as a membership, we've picked up some new tools, developing powerful new ways to write, to learn, to volunteer, to grow and thrive, to promote and to recognize each other. We may be in Maple Ridge, Quadra Island, Whitehorse, North Van, Sooke, Dawson City, Prince Rupert or Nakusp, but thanks to WriteOn and WordWorks, social media and videoconferencing, and a network of volunteers and representatives, we're close enough to see each other smile, to hear the pause between sentences, to start a project together, to build our writing practice together."

    “The board volunteers and staff are looking forward to serving you and the greater writing community we're all part of. Thank you for joining us on that journey. Please stay well and cozy."

    Jacqueline lives in Port Alberni and has been on the Federation of BC Writers board for two years. She is the organizer of the current BC-Yukon Quite Determined Eco-Friendly Online Literary Road Trip in response to the pandemic. She is the author of Heard Amid The Guns: True Stories From the Western Front (October 2020, Heritage House) and My Read-Aloud Tales About Social Distancing. She is a graduate of SFU's The Writers Studio fiction and graduate fiction programs. A long-time journalist, she is the former publisher of the Westerly News in Tofino/Ucluelet; her work has appeared in the Edmonton Sun, The Dallas Morning News, Entrepreneur Magazine, and others. She is active with Alberni Valley Words on Fire and The Writers Union of Canada. 
     
    Feel free to get in touch with Jacqueline at 
    fbcw.islands@gmail.com or 250-726-6072. "I'm looking forward to hearing from you," she said.



  • 13 Jul 2020 12:22 PM | Doni Eve


    After serving in leadership roles in not-for-profits and at the University of Alberta over the last 12 years, I’m excited to be the new executive director for the Federation of British Columbia Writers.  Like many of you, I am an emerging writer.  In my case, that is code for “hoping to be published in the not-too-distant future.”
     
    Our work as writers is vital to our communities. We are the storytellers shaping not just our history, but ideas and experiences. We shape the world by doing our work as artists. And I want to help each of you tell your story, regardless of what medium you use.
     
    As executive director, my primary objective is to continue supporting our members while seeking opportunities to enhance and expand our programming and services.  My greatest wish in this role is that members feel they are getting true value for their memberships.  I look forward to getting to know you all as I settle in and am excited to see what we can accomplish together.
     
    I am honoured to join such a unique and vibrant community.

     
    Kind regards,
    Bryan Mortensen
    Executive Director
    Federation of British Columbia Writers

    fbcwriters@gmail.com

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