Science Fiction and Fantasy Icons Attend Shuswap Writers Festival

Robert Sawyer and Terry Brooks are among the best science fiction/fantasy writers in the world today and they will both be in Salmon Arm June 25th to 27th for the Shuswap Lake International Writers’Festival.

Brooks will take his listeners through the process of creating a science fiction novel, from coming up with the idea through organization, plot, characters, setting and other aspects that need to be considered.

In separate workshops, Sawyer will explore techniques for taking what is happening today and extrapolating it into what might happen in the future, and constructing believable characters to populate a story, especially the challenges of non-human characters. (If you just dying to appear in one of his books, see the Celebrity Auction items on the Festival website!)

Brooks and Sawyer then join forces for a dialogue on the field of science fiction writing in general and open the floor to questions and comments from their audience. A lively session is promised.

In an intensive round table session, three writers will have the opportunity for an intensive critique of their work by Brooks and Sawyer, plus Vancouver Island’s Matt Hughes. Writers interested in this workshop should send 3 copies of 20 pages of their novel by May 20th to “Sci-Fi Round Table”, at the Festival office, c/o Elaine Blanc, RR1, S13, C23, Tappen BC V0E 2X0. These will be sent to the speakers for in-depth review. The three writers chosen to participate will be notified prior to the Festival.

Other writing genres at the Festival include children’s literature, poetry, journalism, self-publishing and marketing, contemporary and historical fiction. A special workshop of interest to business people and others who are called to speak in public is on “Writing a Killer Speech”. More about these in future columns.

Numerous sessions are designed specifically with the avid reader in mind rather than focusing only on writers. Here is your opportunity to hear the authors read more extensively from their work and talk about evolution of their careers. Some of the best writers and writing on the market today will be at the Shuswap Festival, along with their books.

For writers, one of the most important aspects of a festival such as this is access to editors, agents and publishers through which they have the opportunity to market their work. At present, five have confirmed their attendance and more are expected shortly. Two appointments for 15 minute sessions will be arranged from choices on your registration forms and more can be booked at the Festival. More on these when the list is complete.

The 2004 Shuswap Lake International Writers’ Festival will be held at the Prestige Inn, Salmon Arm BC on June 25th through 27th. The weekend is composed of readings and workshops by well known authors, evening entertainment, celebrity auction finale and the annual Joyce Dunn Memorial Writers’ Competition awards. This is a special event for writers and book lovers. Details and registration forms can be found on the website ( or obtain from Elaine Blanc phone/fax 250-835-8349, email

Don’t forget the deadline for the Joyce Dunn Memorial Writers’

Competition is May 15th. And remember to bid on the many unique items on the Celebrity Auction. Offerings can be viewed on the website.