Shuswap Lake International Writers’ Festival Set for June

The second annual Shuswap Lake International Writers? Festival is slated for the Prestige Inn, on the waterfront in Salmon Arm, BC, June 25th through 27th, 2004. The weekend begins with the Friday night Opening Gala, including the keynote address, readings by the authors/speakers, a reception, and book signings, followed by workshops all day Saturday, a performance by MASK (the Musical Actors & Singers of Kelowna) Saturday night, more workshops Sunday, and the Joyce Dunn Memorial Writers?

Competition Awards Sunday afternoon. Seventeen speakers will cover many aspects of writing contemporary and science fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children’s literature, stage presentations, speech writing and articles. Six sessions will run concurrently, so there are lots of choices. Rub elbows with well established and emerging writers in a gorgeous setting, as you gain valuable professional development, mentoring and charge your writer’s batteries.

The 2004 battery of speakers, with photos, biographies and their workshop titles are now on the website at www.shuswapwritersfest.ca.

These include historical fiction writer and poet Jack Whyte, contemporary fiction writers Gail Anderson-Dargatz, Audrey Thomas, and Steven Galloway, Deanna Kawatski, author of the autobiographical Wilderness Mother and Clara and Me, Rob Sawyer “the guru of Canadian science fiction” and his American counterpart Terry Brooks, the versatile Matt Hughes who writes science fiction/fantasy, thrillers and is one of the best speech writers in Canada, poets bill bissett, Gregory Scofield and Garry Gottfriedson, children?s authors Sarah Ellis and Deborah Hodge and illustrator Bob Beeson. Bernie Hucul and Dave Harper will also take Festival participants inside the production of a book.

How often do you get to spend a weekend with such a star-studded cast?

Several of the authors have kicked off an exciting “Celebrity Auction”

as a Festival fund-raiser. See the website for details of their offerings, items connected very personally to their donors and of significance to their readers. You can even wind up in a book!

Perhaps one of the most significant aspects of the Festival for aspiring writers is the chance to have their work critiqued by professional editors, agents and publishers. Check the program carefully, as some of them require prior presentation of your work.

The artwork on this year?s home page, posters and brochures is a gorgeous stylized landscape titled “Shuswap Hills” by Salmon Arm artist Marg Shand. The elements that make up the Festival weekend are only a few of the many fields represented by Shuswap/Interior BC writers and artists. If you don’t live here, you need to be introduced to our local muses. If you do, maybe a chance to rediscover them is due.

Information about the Joyce Dunn Memorial Writers’ Competition appeared last week. If you missed it, check that on the website too, as there are categories for youth and adults in both prose and poetry with three prize levels in each category.

The last weekend of June is summer holidays. Bring the entire family to Salmon Arm with you. They will find plenty to do in our beautiful summer playground while you attend the Festival.

For more information, contact Elaine Blanc at 250-835-8349, email eblanc@telus.net or Fran Bach at 250-679-5362, email meaghen@charter.net