SiWC Blog

kcdyer, Saturday November 8, 2008 - 9:58pm

At last...the winners of the largest category -- the Storyteller's Award.

This award is sponsored by its judges -- let's meet them, shall we?

Diana Gabaldon is the author of the award-winning, NYT-bestselling Outlander novels, described by  Salon magazine as “the smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting “Scrooge McDuck” comics.” The adventure began in 1991 with the classic Outlander (“historical fiction with a Moebius twist”), continued through four more New York Times-bestselling novels—Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, and The Fiery Cross— and a nonfiction (well, relatively) companion volume, The Outlandish Companion, which provides copious details on the settings,...

kcdyer, Thursday November 6, 2008 - 2:40pm

Continuing our on-going celebration of our contest winners, today we present the three finalists in the Poetry competition. Let's meet the judges:




Bernice Lever gets high on words. A poet with 8 poetry books, including, Never A Straight Line, 2007, she has also written a college textbook and other non-fiction works. Living on Bowen and retired from college English teaching, she gives editing and marketing advice, and writing workshops. She enjoys performing her poems and prose pieces as she has read on 5 continents. Best known as editor of Waves, a literary magazine from 1972-1987, Bernice has won awards for her poems, such as the Wm. Henry Drummond poetry prize, 2008. She continues to write on this peaceful...

kcdyer, Wednesday November 5, 2008 - 9:43pm

And now, an excerpt or two from our SiWC 2008 Contest winners in the Writing For Young People category. But first, here's a word about our judges:


Shelley Hrdlitschka

Shelley is the best-selling author of 8 books for teens. She has released two new books this year, Gotcha! and Sister Wife. Shelley lives and writes in Deep Cove. She is this year’s recipient of the SiWC Surrey Board of Trade Special Achievement Award.


 James McCann

Growing up on the icy plains of Manitoba, James McCann spent most of his time as a teen reading comics and playing Dungeons and Dragons. Both of these hobbies taught him his storytelling tools that he now uses as an author and creative writing instructor. He is the author of...

kcdyer, Monday November 3, 2008 - 9:00pm

Today -- a short excerpt from each of the Non-Fiction contest finalists -- the winner, and the two honourable mentions.

But first -- a word about the judges...

Elizabeth Lyon has worked as an independent book editor and writing teacher for two decades. She enjoys the challenge and discovery that are a part of editing works, each one an original creation. Elizabeth is the author of A Writer’s Guide to Fiction, A Writer’s Guide to Nonfiction, The Sell Your Novel Tool Kit, Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody Can Write, and National Directory of Editors & Writers. Elizabeth considers her sixth book, Manuscript Makeover, on revising fiction, as a culmination of her experience helping novelists. The Writer,...

kcdyer, Sunday November 2, 2008 - 7:07pm





With thanks to Jim Wilson of Oregon for the are the names of the winners of the SiWC 2008 Writing Contest. The winner of each category is followed by the two honourable mentions:

Storyteller's Award Mall Girl by Elissa Vann Struth      Beseech by Ray Jones      Glass Curtains by Susan PietersPoetry Award Testimony Suite by Angela Long      Walking With Water by Dan Neil      The Secret by Virginia McCausland Nonfiction Award Forgotten Lives by Roxanne Gregory      Comme Il Faut by Anne Herman      Droplets of Hope by Angela Long Writing for Young People Award Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe      Secret Friends Club by Dana Remillard      October...

kcdyer, Sunday November 2, 2008 - 5:55pm

Just a quick note to say that I _think_ i have met all the requests for handouts from the various presentations. If you sent in a request and I did not reply, please re-send to




also blogging as leftwriter

kcdyer, Saturday November 1, 2008 - 1:53pm

From Lisa Rector:

The winner of the 2008 Lisa Rector Young Writers’ Scholarship is Sophia Ma. She won for her piece “Pushing Back the Tide”, a powerful, moody poetic piece with an unusual POV and sophisticated use of language that beat out more than 100 other submissions from students worldwide. Sophia is a grade 10 student at Handsworth Secondary in North Vancouver. (Two of the top 5 finalists actually came from that school). 

HUGE congratulations to Sophia.

 Here's her winning entry....


Pushing Back the Tide        Death comes for her on an August night. He is disguised as two voices and one note. She doesn’t stand a chance.        Voice One is male, tenor, callous in a teenage way. She knows this voice better than her...

kcdyer, Saturday November 1, 2008 - 10:47am

Got a few words of praise from Dystel & Goderich agent Jim McCarthy to pass on -- not for the conference itself, but for the attendees. Jim writes:

...and mention what a delight the conference was. I was really impressed by how smooth and efficient everything was, not to mention that the quality of the pitches I heard was among the highest I’ve encountered at any conference I’ve been to.

 Thanks, Jim! Sounds like the Pitch Practice sessions with Bev Boissery were a hit!



also blogging as leftwriter

kcdyer, Friday October 31, 2008 - 8:03pm





...about the conference this year. Here's a selection (likely far from complete) of blog posts about SiWC 2008:

Attendee Pamela Patchet

Trade Show Participant Joei Carlton

Attendee Chandra Rooney

Attendee Nina Munteanu (with bonus pix of presenter...

kcdyer, Friday October 31, 2008 - 7:12pm

Lisa tells me that the entries from Shane Campbell, a grade 12 student from Lord Byng Secondary in Vancouver, and Ariana Vaisey, a grade 9 student from Coquitlam were so close as to be almost a tie. Therefore, today we'll share both these wonderful entries with you, beginning with Shane's story, the second place winner.

The Diary of Eric Daniels

July 25th, 1994

Dear Diary,

My name is Eric Daniels. I’ve never been much of a writer but in hopes of being famous one day I’ve started to record my daily life in you, my diary. So here’s the update: my brother is a tool. A week ago he managed to convince both my parents and my school counselor that I am “mentally unstable” and imagine a demon named Merv. That’s right, Merv. Now any...