Celebrating all things write

The 12th annual Word on the Lake Writers’ Festival may be a while away, but writers will want to sharpen their pencils

Presenting: Musician MaryAnn Harris and author Charles de Lint have signed on to Word on the Lake Writers Festival.

Presenting: Musician MaryAnn Harris and author Charles de Lint have signed on to Word on the Lake Writers Festival.

The 12th annual Word on the Lake Writers’ Festival may be a while away, but writers will want to sharpen their pencils or boot up their computers for the 2015 writing contest sponsored by Askew’s Foods.

Contestants may submit original, unpublished works of fiction, non-fiction, poetry or writing for young people (middle grade and young adult.)

First-place winners will receive a cash prize of $150 plus a 2015 conference package, including banquet ticket ($225 value) and be published in  a Word on the Lake Anthology which will be available at the festival.

The contest closes at midnight on April 4. Winners will be contacted prior to the conference, which takes place May 15 to 17 at the Prestige Harbourfront Resort and will be recognized at the Saturday night banquet.

Plans are well underway for another exciting festival.

Sessions will include both skill development workshops and open forums with presenters based on questions and answers in an intimate setting. Already part of this year’s lineup are Charles de Lint, MaryAnn Harris, Norma Charles, Gail Bowen, Kathryn Para, Ann DeGrace, Garry Fjellgaard, Jodie Renner, Grant Lawrence, Brian Brett, Margaret Curelas and Kelsey Attard.

Charles de Lint is the author of more than 70 adult, young adult and children’s books.

Regarded as one of the trailblazers of the modern fantasy genre, he is the recipient of the World Fantasy, Aurora, Sunburst and White Pine awards, among others.

He is a poet, artist, songwriter, performer and folklorist, and he writes a monthly book-review column for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

He and his wife, MaryAnn Harris, a fellow artist and musician, recently released companion CDs of their original songs, samples of which can be heard on de Lint’s website.

Harris enjoys a busy, creative work life as a multi-media artist, musician and vintage fashion entrepreneur in addition to her literary work as first editor, publicist, business manager and muse throughout her husband’s writing career.

Norma Charles is a writer of many children’s books and has been a teacher and a teacher/librarian. She has had 18 books for children published, with several more on the way.

One of her recent novels, Run Marco Run, is about a 13-year-old’s urgent quest for help to release his father from kidnappers in Colombia. This book was the winner of the 2012 Moonbeam gold medal Award and second-place winner of the 2013 Chocolate Lily.

A much-awarded author, Gail Bowen’s first Joanne Kilbourn mystery, Deadly Appearances (1990), was nominated for the W.H. Smith/Books in Canada Best First Novel Award, and A Colder Kind of Death (1995) won the Arthur Ellis Award for best crime novel; all 14 books in the series have been enthusiastically reviewed.

Bowen has also written plays that have been produced across Canada and on CBC Radio.

Kathryn Para is an award-winning, multi-genre writer. Her fiction, non-fiction and poetry have been published in several publications. She is the 2013 winner of Mother Tongue Publishing’s Search for the Great BC Novel Contest. Her novel, Lucky has been short-listed for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. Her stage play, Honey, debuted in 2004. She has also written, directed and produced short films.

Anne DeGrace is the author of four novels published by McArthur & Company (Toronto): Treading Water, Wind Tails, Sounding Line and Flying with Amelia. Her resume includes illustrator, journalist, bookseller, publisher, librarian and incorrigible volunteer.

Award-winning singer/songwriter Gary Fjellgaard was raised on a farm on the Canadian Prairies. He is a champion of vanishing values and the frontier spirit. His western heritage, cattle drives, wagon treks and working folks with ties to the land have been an inspiration for the lyrical imagery in his songs.

Jodie Renner is a sought-after freelance fiction editor and award-winning author of two craft-of-writing guides: Fire up Your Fiction and Writing a Killer Thriller, with a third, Captivate Your Readers, out soon.

Renner is also a well-known blogger, and her craft-of-writing posts appear on various blogs, including her group blog, The Kill Zone.

Grant Lawrence has long been a leading voice in Canadian arts and entertainment. A popular CBC personality, he is the author of two bestselling books, Adventures In Solitude and The Lonely End of the Rink.

Both titles won the Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award at the BC Book Prizes, marking the first time in the history of the BC Book Prizes that the same author has won this prize twice.

Lawrence is also a Canadian Screen Award winner, the former lead singer of the Smugglers and the goalie for the Flying Vees beer league hockey team.

Brian Brett, former chair of the Writers’ Union of Canada and a journalist for four decades, is best known as a poet, memoir writer and fictionist.

He is the author of 12 books including the poetry collection, The Colour Of Bones In A Stream, and the novel, Coyote: A Mystery. His memoir, Uproar’s Your Only Music, was a Globe and Mail’s Book Of The Year selection.

Raised on a diet of Victorian fiction and Stephen King, it’s  not surprising that Margaret Curelas writes and edits fantasy and science fiction. After years of working in libraries and editing fiction, she co-founded Tyche Books in 2011.

Kelsey Attard is the managing editor of Freehand Books that publishes literary fiction, short stories and creative non-fiction.

Visit www. shuswapassociationofwriters.ca and go to the Word on the Lake tab for details on the festival.



Salmon Arm Observer

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