Write Vancouver Conference to Expand Writing Horizons and Celebrate Canon Dr. J.I. Packer
By Boaz Wadel
The third annual Write Vancouver conference offers a rare opportunity for writers to boost their competence and grow their networks. Sponsored by The Word Guild, it will take place on May 23 and 24, 2014.
This annual conference has resulted largely from the vision and painstaking work of Vancouver, British Columbia-based author and scholar Beverley
Boissery. A professional member of The Word Guild (www.thewordguild.com), a Canada-wide association of writers, book authors, and editors whose Christian worldview informs their writing, Boissery believes that such writers should be working continually to raise their skill level, and to form networks with like minded writers.
Boissery explains, "Writing is a lonely business and, at many times, we all feel that no one will listen, that no one will care. But Write Vancouver is held on ground where stories have been told for thousands and thousands of years to community after community.
"Our theme this year is 'Exploring the Horizons of Possibility,' and so we will challenge writers not only to explore new horizons with their writing, but also to explore and build new communities to alleviate the times of loneliness."
Keynote speaker Wade Larson will challenge attendees to do just that. As co-founder, president, and chief operating officer of UrtheCast, the Vancouver-based company that built, installed, and operates the world's first ever HD video cameras in space, he knows about challenging projects and expanding one's horizons.
The Friday night session -- a literary soiree -- promises to be a unique celebration. Those present will honor the Venerable Canon Dr. J. I. Packer, one of the world's foremost evangelical thinkers, a lecturer, and author of about 50 books (including best seller Knowing God) and countless articles.
The evening will kick off with a delicious four-course dinner, followed by a celebration of Dr. Packer, one of Canada's living treasures. It will wrap up with a lighthearted discussion titled, "God, Mr. Darcy, and the Need for Iconic Characters," featuring agent and author Karen Ball and a surprise guest.
Saturday the staff and attendees get down to work in earnest. The line-up features an array of workshops in the areas of fiction and nonfiction writing, crowdsourcing, getting published, and developing a professional writing career-to name a few. Individual critique sessions are available throughout out the day. The faculty are some of the "best in the business."
As already noted, Wade Larson, in his keynote address, will challenge attendees to explore the horizons of possibility.
New York Times bestselling author Kathy Tyers returns to teach a session titled "Creating Living, Breathing Characters" and to be available for individual critique sessions.
What is passion? Karen Ball, acquisitions editor, literary agent, and author, will lead an interactive exploration of why we do what we do and how to do it better in "Write Your Passion."
Multiple award-winning British Columbia author Gail Sattler will share some of her scene secrets in "Scene and Sequel: aka How to Keep the Pages Turning."
Cheryl Bear, international convention speaker and twice award-nominated recording artist from the Nadleh Whut'en First Nation, will talk with Beverley Boissery about "Telling Your Story."
Are you serious about your writing? Gordon Kirkland has spent 40 years writing and will teach "Writing is a Profession. Are You a Professional?"
Beverley Boissery, author, editor, teacher, publisher, and scholar, will moderate "Think Tank: What Does It Mean to be Christian and a Writer?"
Diane Tucker -- a published poet (Bonsai Love) -- will join Marnie Wooding*, a Zondervan author, storyteller, and writer coach for visual media and publishing, in "Publishing Q and A."
Join British Columbia editor and author Kallie George for "Picture Book Nuts 'n' Bolts." She'll give a brief overview and more.
Loranne Brown knows from her experience as a journalist for the Globe and Mail, Vancouver Sun, and other publications that research is essential. Learn from her in "Getting Beyond Google."
Novelist Melanie Anastasiou from St. Alban's, England, returns to co-teach "Crowdsourcing: Kickstarting a Quarterly from Zero to Launch in Five Months," with Jennifer Landels, freelance writer and editor, and Susan Pieters, writer of fiction and creative nonfiction.
How do you get your first book published? Join Deb Sears as she talks with local authors, including Sandy Oshiro Rosen, Jack Taylor, and Sandra Vander Schaaf during the "Recently Published Authors Panel."
In addition to the workshops, conference attendees who have books for sale can also register to participate in the Book Arcade; scheduled just after the lunch break.
Kathy Tyers says of last year's event, "Write Vancouver's venue was perfect for a relaxed but professional weekend. My only regret was that, since I was on faculty, I didn't get to hear as many of the other teachers as I would have liked. I heard great things about them."
And from London, England, Mel Anastasiou says that she finds Write Vancouver "an energizing, informative, and convivial couple of days in a beautiful setting. I leave the conference feeling great and raring to get back to my writing each year."
Other attendees echo those sentiments. This year promises a repeat of those experiences.
Though billed as Write Vancouver, some conference staff come from such places as Montana, Oregon, and England. And the conference draws attendees from Alberta and Washington State and as well as other parts of British Columbia. Organizers hope that Write Vancouver's professional excellence will result in its becoming one of the premier writers' conferences anywhere in North America.
Write Vancouver will be held at Tapestry, located at 3338 Wesbrook Mall on the University of British Columbia campus. Check-in begins Saturday at 8:15 a.m.