Five for Friday

She lives! Apologies for leaving you hanging for so long, waiting to find out about more of our presenters. I've spent the last week unexpectedly gathering a number of "oh, so that's what that feels like" tidbits for the writing research file. Not an experience I care to repeat, but at least everything that happens to us in life is fodder for our writing, right?

But now I'm back, and to make up for unintentionally abandoning you and the hat for more than a week, today I'm going to share a whole handful of this year's presenters with you. Please join me in welcoming them to SiWC.


First up today is author Jen Sookfong Lee:

JEN SOOKFONG LEE was born and raised in Vancouver's East Side, where she now lives with her husband and son. Her books include The Better Mother, The End of East and Shelter, a novel for young adults. Her poetry, fiction and articles have appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies, including ELLE Canada, The Antigonish Review and Event. A popular radio personality, Jen was the voice behind CBC Radio One’s weekly writing column, Westcoast Words, for three years. She appears regularly as a contributor on The Next Chapter and Definitely Not the Opera, and is a frequent co-host of the Studio One Book Club.

Welcome, Jen!

You may have noticed that our presenters all have one thing in common: they ALL have full, busy lives. Inspiring, isn't it, to think of all they manage to get done and what that can mean for your own writing goals? This next presenter is definitely no exception.


New to SiWC this year busy author Linda L. Richards:

Linda L. Richards is the author of five novels, is editor and co-founder of January Magazine and a leading expert in electronic book publishing technologies. Linda has lived in Los Angeles and Munich but was born in Vancouver, Canada. She is currently based in the Gulf Islands off Canada's West Coast with her partner, the artist David Middleton, their crazy dog, Jett and their Galiano wild cat, Tiger-Lily. A faculty member of the Simon Fraser University Summer Publishing Program, she enjoys working with new writers. When she isn’t writing books, writing about books, teaching or reading, Richards enjoys hiking the wild beaches near her home, quite often thinking about her current work in progress.

Welcome, Linda!


Also new to us this year is agent Andy Ross:

Andy Ross has been a literary agent since January 2008. Prior to that, he was the owner of the legendary Cody's Books in Berkeley, California for 30 years.

Andy is actively seeking to represent books in narrative non-fiction, history, current events, science, journalism, literary and commercial fiction and young adult fiction. He represents books in other genres as well. Andy has served on the faculty of numerous writers conferences and has conducted workshops on writing non-fiction book proposals and working with a literary agent.

Welcome, Andy!

Isn't this exciting? It's so much fun to reveal the roster. We're pretty proud of the group we've assembled this year. We hope you love it, too. But we're not done yet. I did promise you five today, didn't I? The trusty hat is getting a workout!


Looking for some insight into freelance writing and social media this year? Meet Amanda Vogel:

Amanda Vogel, MA, has been a freelance writer since 1998 for high-profile Canadian and U.S.-based health, fitness and women’s publications. In addition to being a course instructor for Simon Fraser University's New Media Journalism program, Amanda has written for Best Health, Oxygen, Chatelaine,,, Glow, SELF, Women's Health, Prevention, Shape, Fitness, All You, Fit Pregnancy, Cooking Light, Today’s Parent and Health. She co-authored a book called BABY BOOT CAMP: The New Mom’s 9-Minute Fitness Solution (Sterling, 2010) and, in the same year, ghost wrote a book about yoga. As a social-media consultant, Amanda manages Facebook and Twitter accounts for multiple fitness brands and public figures. Her blog,, was a finalist in Best Health Magazine’s 2011 Blog Awards.

Welcome, Amanda!


One more for today. Last, but certainly not least, is the one-of-a-kind Sam Sykes in his own words, speaking of himself in the third person:

Sam Sykes is an author. Isn't that great? Sam Sykes wrote The Aeons' Gate trilogy, which has delighted absolutely everybody who has ever read it ever. Sam Sykes is not permitted to visit Taiwan for reasons he cannot go into here. Most people think Sam Sykes is a pretty talented and handsome young man.

Welcome, Sam!


That's all for today. More soon!