Community Papers

Writing for a Living Fraser Valley’s professional writers support

Five writers from the Fraser Valley chapter of the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC) will visit University of the Fraser Valley’s Abbotsford campus on March 12 to share their experience on Writing for a Living with students, graduates and others interested in writing careers.

UFV English Students Association president and chair of the event, Jess Wind is looking for solidarity.

“A relationship with a professional would remind me that I don’t have to work at Starbuck’s ever again.”

Keen to apply her skills as a writer, Wind wants to subvert the “useless arts degree” mentality and write for real.

The event features a panel of Valley writers: Janet Love Morrison, Ronda Payne, Lynda Grace Philippsen, Kathleen Rake and Heidi Turner. They will answer participants’ questions and network “speed dating-style” with writers who are starting out.

Fraser Valley Chapter president Philippsen said, “We’ve all been there. We all relied on mentors and know how important they are. Networking is a huge part of success as a professional writer whether you are beginning or established in your career.”

This community-based event is a first for Fraser Valley PWAC which formed in September 2012.

Numerous donors have offered writing-themed prizes to help students and graduates connect to the writing community and develop their skills. Abbotsford News editor Andrew Holota, UFV’s writer-in-residence Daniela Elza, and three panellists have stepped up to offer one-on-one coaching sessions.

In addition, Abbotsford Arts Council’s executive director Gail Gromaski contributed a one-year free AAC membership and a ticket to any one of the AAC’s upcoming Art of Marketing series. Thrifty Foods will contribute food platters and the UFV Alumni Association will supply the wine.

Since its foundation more than 25 years ago, PWAC has welcomed student and associate members.  Most benefits of full membership are included without being required to meet the criteria for publication that full membership demands. Those include a press card, mentoring, networking, references, professional development, information about job opportunities and more. Student members can access all of that for the price of one calorie-rich specialty coffee a month. Really, it’s all win-win.

Writing for a Living is a free event, but participants must pre-register. Contact Michelle.Riedlinger@ufv.ca before Friday, March 7.

•    Date:     Wednesday, March 12

•    Time:     6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

•    Place:    UFV King Road Campus A225/229

•    Cost:      Free admission by pre-registration only. Wine and refreshments at intermission.

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