Thursday, June 14, 2007

News now here rather than on my website

I'm now using my blog to replace the News page of my website. I hope to add new information, resources, opinions, and event listings every day or so.

Of course you all know about the
Surrey International Writers' Conference. Three days of great presentations, panels, author and agent interviews, trade show, book signing sessions, etc. This year's line-up is impressive, and registration begins soon. You can sign up for early notification of the registration date at the website.

I'll be doing my usual gig of reading manuscripts in the Blue Pencil Cafe, presenting the workshop - Having Your Say - Writing personal essays and opinion pieces, and selling my book 101 Writing Exercises to Get You Started & Keep You Going and the new A Writer's Year. And this year, as well as being a sponsor of the Nonfiction category of the the conference contest, I'm co-judging with my good buddy Elizabeth Lyon. I'm looking forward to reading the shortlisted essays and articles and being on hand when the winner picks up their $1,000. All the contest info. is

During the conference, I hope to put faces to a few of the names I've recently encountered in the YA/Children's Literature section of Compuserve's Books and Writer's Community. What a supportive group of newbie and published writers to share with and learn from! Whatever you write, check out the forums to find writers working inyour genre.

The fact that you're here, means you have some interest in blogs. But to know more, and learn how they can benefit your writing, attend the Tues. June 26 meeting of the Shebeen Club when the topic is 'Blogging as Writer's Practise. Irish Heather Pub, 217 Carrall Street in vancouver's Gastown.

I'll be sorry to miss it, but it conflicts with the mandatory volunteer meeting for the Vancouver International Folk Music Fesitival. This will be my third year helping out in the Information Booth - a highlight of my summer. I was in the audience for years, along with my daughter who loved the freedom of spending a day in the sun on site with a couple of friends, only having to check back in once an hour. I quit going when it got too crowded, but when I started as a volunteer in 2005 I discovered that it's still possible to find a quiet spot to soak up the sun and listen to the music in the distance. Working my three shifts at the Info tent, I get to meet all kind of out of towners and new and older follkies, reunite people with their wallets, cellphones, and children, and soak up the music from a shady spot.

Over the past few months I've been acting as unofficial marketing consultant to the Young People's Opera Society of BC. They're staging the world premiere of a new work entitled The King Who Wouldn't Sing in early July and the rush is now on to put bums in seats for the 8 scheduled performances. It's exciting to be in on the ground floor of a brand new organization as it struggles to get support and public awareness, and involved with people such as Patricia Dalquist (librettist) George Austin (composer and Musical Director) and Barb Gould (Executive Director of the Society, and tireless advocate).

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