April 13-15 2018 at the New West Quay


FBCW Spring Writes Festival Events – Friday & Saturday  

  1. Friday Events

    1. 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM: Meet & Greet
      The Boathouse Restaurant
      Presented by the Federation of BC Writers. Join us in the lounge to connect with friends, old and new, from around the province. Have a bite to eat and/or a drink (cash bar). Feel free to bring your books to share.

    2. 6:00 PM: Book Sales and Networking
      Hyack Ballroom, the Inn at the Quay
      Network with other readers and writers and peruse books for sale by our four featured authors – Gail Anderson-Dargatz, JJ Lee, Roberta Rich, and Rob Taylor – and by FBCW members.
    3. 7:00 PM: The Friday Evening Gala
      Hyack Ballroom, the Inn at the Quay
      The Gala features four well-known BC writers. Gail Anderson-Dargatz is the author of A Recipe for Bees and The Cure for Death by Lighting, both international bestsellers and finalists for the Giller Prize. Her novels Turtle Valley and A Rhinestone Button were national bestsellers in Canada. Gail’s most recent novel, The Spawning Grounds, is already a national bestseller. JJ Lee is the author of The Measure of a Man: The Story of A Father, A Son, and A Suit, which was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award, the Charles Taylor Prize, the Hubert Evans BC Book Prize, and the Hilary Weston Writer’s Trust Prize for Nonfiction. Lee is the winner of a GOLD National Magazine Award and served on the jury for the BC Book Prize, CBC Canada Writes, the Hilary Weston Writer’s Trust Prize, and the Governor General’s Award. He mentors the nonfiction workshop at Simon Fraser University’s The Writer’s Studio. Acclaimed historical fiction writer Roberta Rich is the author of The Midwife of Venice, The Harem Midwife, and A Trial in Venice, all published by Penguin Random House. Vancouver poet Rob Taylor is the author of “Oh Not So Great”: Poems from the Depression Project, The News, and The Other Side of Ourselves. Also a prose writer, Rob’s short stories and essays have appeared in Queen’s Quarterly, The Dalhousie Review, Grain and Little Fiction/Big Truths. In 2015 he received the City of Vancouver’s Mayor’s Arts Award for Creative Writing (Emerging Artist), and in 2017 The News was a finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. Rob coordinates Vancouver’s Dead Poets Reading Series and lives with his family in Port Moody. The Gala will feature these four writers reading from their latest works, followed by a panel discussion and Q&A emceed by New Westminster Poet Laureate Alan Hill.
  2. Saturday Events

    1. 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Write-In
      The Network Hub, River Market (next to the inn)
      Presented by the Federation of BC Writers. 
      Facilitated by Heather Jessup, the write-in is an opportunity to kick-start your creative juices in the company of other writers and to share your work in a safe space. Heather Jessup has taught English Literature, Creative Writing, and Art History and Critical Theory at Dalhousie University, Saint Mary’s University, and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She is now an instructor in the English Department at Langara College in Vancouver, located on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, who have given the College the name snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓, House of Teachings. Her first novel, The Lightning Field (Gaspereau Press 2011) was a finalist for the Thomas Head Raddall Award, John & Margaret First Book Award, and was nominated for the International Dublin IMPAC Literary Award. Her second book This Is Not a Hoax: Unsettling Truth in Canadian Culture is forthcoming with Wilfrid Laurier University Press in 2018. 
      Limited to 12 people.
    2. 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM: Overcoming our Fears to Write Powerful Stories with Gail Anderson-Dargatz
      Hyack Room North, the Inn at the Quay
      Presented by the Federation of BC Writers.
      Our fears can stop us from finishing a book, or even starting it. We may feel we need to stick to writing only what we know and write from personal experience, but then worry about what Mom will think. And we so often avoid our protagonist’s conflicts, for the same reasons we avoid our own. The result: passive protagonists and wandering storylines. Gail Anderson-Dargatz will draw from more than twenty years of experience as a writer, teacher and developmental editor to explore the many ways we avoid conflict in our projects and our writing lives and will offer solutions to help kickstart your writing and develop your project to the fullest. Limited to 36.
      $25 for Members, $30 for Non-members
    3. 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM: Associative Leaps in Poetry (and how to use them in your prose) with Rob Taylor
      Hyack Room South, the Inn at the Quay
      Presented by the Federation of BC Writers. By looking at traditional poetic forms from around the world, participants will consider how we jump, as readers and writers alike, from one sound, image or scene to the next, and will explore ways to open up both their poetry and prose to greater movement and risk. This workshop will involve handouts and short writing exercises, so please come prepared with pen and pencil. Limited to 36.
      $25 for Members, $30 for Non-members
    4. Lunch at Inn at the Quay
      Presented by the Federation of BC Writers
      Lunch is complimentary for attendees of Saturday events at Inn at the Quay, but you must reserve your lunch ticket by April 10, 2018.
    5. Federation of BC Writers – Annual General Meeting 
      for FBCW members only 
      Hyack Room South, Inn at the Quay – 12:15 – 2:15 
    6. 2:30 PM – 5:00 PM: A Guided Hallucination into the Past with Roberta Rich
      Hyack Room North, the Inn at the Quay
      Presented by The Federation of BC Writers. Writing historical fiction is like standing in the middle of a lovely painting— Canaletto, Caravaggio, Rubens—holding out your arms and saying to the reader: come, let me show what life was like then. This is how people ate, slept, made love, cooked their meals, heated their houses, sewed their clothes, worshiped their divinities, disposed of their corpses, courted, gave birth, and – if indeed they did, bathed – hundreds of years ago. Participants will learn the ways and means of creating this lost world through description, dialogue, and setting. The workshop will also include a discussion of the bedrock of all historical fiction—research. The format of the workshop will be a talk on the craft, writing exercises, and a brief Q & A. Limited to 25.

      $25 for Members, $30 for Non-members
    7. 2:30 PM – 5:00 PM: The Unexpected Memoir with JJ Lee
      Hyack Room North, the Inn at the Quay
      Presented by The Federation of BC Writers. This event will focus on two writing exercises based on JJ Lee’s own experience writing his acclaimed memoir, The Measure of a Man. The first will help writers develop compelling questions that will act as points of departure for their projects. The other will explore a method to recapture vital memories that may elude writers. Limited to 36.
      $25 for Members, $30 for Non-members

To register for any or all of the above events, please click here for our Eventbrite registration page.
(newwestfestivalofwords.eventbrite.ca). If you are a member, please email communications@bcwriters.ca for a discount code.

Blue Pencil Cafe 
Presented by New West Writers
at The Network Hub at River Market
Saturday April 14, 2018 1:00pm – 4:00pm
FREE! Just need to pre-register – Click here for more information and to register
Writers can wonder: Does my opening have a hook? Are my characters believable? Have I built suspense? Would you want to read more? Talking to an experienced reader/writer can help break through the doubts that attack all writers. This workshop will be supporting and encouraging others by hosting City of New Westminster Poet Laureate Alan Hill, Jennifer Sommersby, and Betsy Warland, to offer face to face feedback at a Blue Pencil Café. Each writer is invited to bring along no more than 600 words of prose in any genre or two poems for a supportive discussion with one of our guest writers. The panel members will not pre-view the pieces. Writers will be offered a 15-minute slot between 1 – 4 pm. Featuring Alan Hill, Jennifer Sommersby, and Betsy Warland.

Alan Hill – is the Poet Laureate of the City of New Westminster. He has published two full collections of poetry and been published in over forty literary magazines and periodicals across Europe and North America.  In Canada, his publication credits include CV2, Event, Canadian Literature, Acta- Victoriana, Dalhousie Review, Antigonish Review, Sub- terrain, Windsor Review, Poetry is Dead and many others.  https://www.allianceforarts.com/blog/2017/2/21/new-westminster-names-alan-hill-as-new-poet-laureate

Jennifer Sommersby – a writer, copy\line editor, and committed bibliophile. She writes romcoms/women’s fiction under the name Eliza Gordon; her latest release is Dear Dwayne, with Love from Lake Union Publishing (January 23, 2018). Her debut YA novel (under her own name) Sleight is the first in a duology and publishes on April 3, 2018, from Harper Collins Canada and Sky Pony Press (US). Jenn/Eliza is represented by Dan Lazar at Writers House. https://www.jennsommersby.com/

Betsy Warland – poet and creative nonfiction writer, has published 12 books. A mentor and teacher in The Writer’s Studio at S.F.U. and Vancouver Manuscript Intensive, her private manuscript consulting and editing service has assisted numerous writers for the past three decades. Her 2010 book, Breathing the Page—Reading the Act of Writing, was a bestseller. Warland received the City of Vancouver Mayor’s Award for Literary Achievement in 2016. http://www.betsywarland.com/
Pre-registration for the event is required. You have until April 10. For details go to:


New West Writers stands out as one of the core groups of Metro Vancouver’s finest local talent of emerging and established poets, writers and authorsIt publishes an annual Literary Magazine, Collage – next edition available from April 14, 2018. For more information go to https://newwestwriters.com/

Slam Poetry Reading
Presented by NWSS Creative Writing Club
at Old Crow Coffee Company
Saturday April 14, 2018 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Join the New Westminster Secondary School Writing Club for a Slam Poetry reading in the back room of Old Crow Coffee Co.

Read Aloud: An Evening of Writers
Presented by LitFest New West
at River Market Food Hall
Saturday April 14, 2018 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Come and be enriched with the works of four acclaimed poets, Aidan Chafe, Curtis LeBlanc, Mallory Tater, and Shazia Hafiz Ramji, share from their compelling collections of work. Hosted by Sean Cranbury and Dina Del Buchia from the Real Vancouver Writer’s Series. The evening will also include readings from the winners of the LitFest New West Short Story Competition, which was sponsored by Dale Darychuck, QC.

Sunday April 15, 2018

Publicity and Marketing Workshop
Presented by City of New Westminster Art Services
at Anvil Centre Room 417
Sunday April 15 2018 9:00 am  12:00 pm
Registration Fee: $20.50 (1 class) – Click here for registration
Wondering how to get the word out about your show? Looking for tips to do publicity on a shoestring? This workshop will focus on low-cost ways to use media relations, social media, advertising and more to connect with your audience and tell your own story effectively. Instructor: Emma Lancaster

Poetry New West
Presented by Royal City Literary Arts Society
at the Heritage Grill
Sunday April 15 2018 2 pm – onwards


The Inn at the Quay is accessible for people with mobility issues. If you need special seating arrangements or other accommodations because of a disability, please let us know!

Shaleeta Harrison

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