Three rows of six posters with differently shaped heads face toward a window that is reflecting tree branches and fall leaves.

Event Review: Vancouver Writers Fest 2018: Recap of “Three-Degrees-from-Normal”

Written by Nancy Tinari; copy edited by Katie Beaton

A yellow board has several posters advertising different Vancouver Writers Fest 2018 events.

The “Three-Degrees-from-Normal” panel event occurred on October 19, 2018, and it featured authors Kevin Chong (The Plague), Claudia Dey (Heartbreaker), Waubgeshig Rice (Moon of the Crusted Snow), and Rabindranath Maharaj (Adjacentland), with Claudia Casper moderating the conversation. In their new books, all of these authors wrote about crisis situations.

These writers also have in common tremendously vivid imaginations; however, the discussions about where the ideas for their books came from made these three-degrees-from-normal scenarios seem eerily plausible. Even though their settings and situations may seem extreme, they are all intimately related to what is happening in the world right now.

We got a taste of each writer’s imaginative world from Casper’s introductions and brief readings by the authors. Casper then asked the panellists to explain how the scenarios and ideas expressed in their novels could be related to current events.

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A blue banner with the words "Vancouver Writers Fest Bookstore" is surrounded by brilliant light and trees near a quay-like environment.

Event Review: Vancouver Writers Fest 2018: “Lives Off-Road” with Three Fearless Women

Written by Nancy Tinari; copy edited by Adrienne Munro

On Friday, October 19, I had the pleasure of attending the Vancouver Writers Festival on Granville Island. I’ve attended sessions there for many years now, and I invariably find the panels of writers inspiring and thought-provoking.

This year was no exception. In this article, I’m writing about an event entitled “Lives Off-Road,” featuring writers Kate Harris, Jan Redford, and Joanna Streetly, with moderator Amanda Lewis. (Lewis is the editorial director of Page Two Strategies, a company that helps writers with all aspects of producing self-published non-fiction books.)

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Remembering Editor Ellen Seligman at the Vancouver Writers Fest 2016

Written by Nancy Tinari; copy edited by Maggie Clark

The Vancouver Writers FestOn the evening of October 18, 2016, three of Canada’s top writers spoke at the Vancouver Writers Fest to give a moving depiction of the late Ellen Seligman. Seligman, an editor with McClelland & Stewart for almost four decades, was esteemed for her work with many of Canada’s best-known writers, including Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, and Jane Urquhart.

The panel discussion was moderated by Jared Bland; the writers taking part were Michael Helm, Steven Price, and Madeleine Thien. Seligman edited Helm’s and Price’s most recently published books (After James and By Gaslight, respectively) during the final year of her life, and she had previously edited Thien’s book Dogs at the Perimeter. These writers’ anecdotes about Seligman revealed an editor who, even in the face of mortal illness, remained unparalleled in her insights, devotion to her writers, and dedication to her work.

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EVENT LISTINGS: October 2012

Do you have an event planned (or know of one) that you’d like to appear in these listings? Send us the details.

October 13, 2012: International Plain Language Day

Are you a Plain Language advocate? Mark your calendar for October 13, 2012, the date of the International Plain Language Day virtual conference. Several Canadian-based organizations are planning online events to mark the day. See online program.

  • Location: online


October 16–21, 2012: The Vancouver Writers Fest

This year marks the 25th anniversary of The Vancouver Writers Fest, a great reason to purchase tickets to attend readings by your favourite local, national, or international authors. As always, Writers Fest needs volunteers to help stage the six-day festival. If you can help, fill out this online registration form.


October 17, 2012: EAC-BC meeting: What Editors Need to Know about ebooks

What goes into making an ebook, and what do editors need to know about it? Find out at EAC-BC’s October 2012 meeting.

At the meeting, speaker Lara Smith will review different ebook formats and the kinds of content best suited to each, discuss different conversion methods, and compare in-house and conversion-service workflows.

She will also:

  • review a typical conversion and explain what kind of work is required after export, particularly to accommodate various e-reading devices,
  • review the inside of an EPUB file and metadata requirements,
  • discuss digital rights management options,
  • discuss how deciding to produce an ebook can affect the editing process.

About the speaker: Lara Smith is the print and digital coordinator at D&M Publishers, where she focuses on production for print-on-demand and ebook conversions. She is fluent in traditional and digital printing technologies, passionate about workflow, and amazed at how fast the digital world is evolving.

  • Time: 19h00–21h00
  • Cost: free for EAC members; $10 for non-members; $5 for students with valid ID
  • Location: YWCA on Hornby, 535 Hornby Street, Welch Room, 4th floor, Vancouver
  • Registration: at the door


October 19, 2012: Planet Earth Poetry Reading Series

Love poetry? Live in Victoria? Check out one of the Planet Earth Poetry readings, held each Friday, September through May. The readings are billed as a “launching pad for the energies of writers and poets established and not” and as a place where “all manner of poets and writers are welcome; a place for excellence, innovation, collaboration, diverse projects and experiments.”


October 19–21, 2012: Surrey International Writers’ Conference

The Surrey International Writers’ Conference attracts authors, editors, and agents from across North America. Once again, EAC-BC will be providing editors for the popular editor/agent/producer interviews; if you’d like to be considered, please contact PR chair Jessica Lowdon.


October 20, 2012: PEAVI seminar: Advanced Proofreading

This exercise-based seminar, hosted by the Professional Editors Association of Vancouver Island, will be helpful to you if you wish to advance your proofreading skills, prepare for job advancement, or study for EAC’s proofreading certification test this fall.

Course material will be supplied, but you should bring a current dictionary, pencils and pens, a calculator, and a ruler or other measure that you now use on the job.

This seminar will focus on beyond-the-basics proofreading skills, offering you the opportunity to examine excerpts from complex documents and to learn how to fine-tune your proofreading eye to catch every error. With documents ranging from recipes to journal articles, you will be challenged to use your judgment to weigh the pros and cons of making changes, querying authors, or making no changes at all.

Instructor Ruth Wilson will spend time discussing the process a proofreader must follow when part of a larger production team. She will also provide examples of process checklists from publishers and organizations.

About the instructor: Ruth Wilson has more than 25 years’ experience editing and proofreading trade books, professional journals, association publications, and corporate materials. She worked for many years with Vancouver book publisher Self-Counsel Press, but in 1997 she decided to spread her wings as an independent consultant. She is now a partner in West Coast Editorial Associates.

Ruth is also a respected instructor in the Writing and Communications Program and the Summer Publishing Workshops at Simon Fraser University, where she teaches proofreading, editing, and Plain Language skills. She has also served on several national committees of the Editors’ Association of Canada. In 2011 she was honoured as a recipient of EAC’s President’s Award for Volunteer Service.


October 26, 2012: Planet Earth Poetry Reading Series

Love poetry? Live in Victoria? Check out one of the Planet Earth Poetry readings, held each Friday, September through May. The readings are billed as a “launching pad for the energies of writers and poets established and not” and as a place where “all manner of poets and writers are welcome; a place for excellence, innovation, collaboration, diverse projects and experiments.”


October 27, 2012: EAC-BC seminar: Structural + Stylistic = Substantive Editing

Substantive editing brings order to chaos and breathes life into moribund manuscripts. By reorganizing and revising, you can help authors reach their readers effectively. But facing a disorganized, incomplete, or overstuffed manuscript can be daunting.

In this seminar, instructor Yvonne Van Ruskenveld will discuss techniques for assessing non-fiction manuscripts, identifying problem areas, creating solutions, and working with authors. Whether you edit newsletter articles or full-length books, you will learn strategies and techniques that can enhance your substantive editing skills.

Here’s what people who attended this seminar in March 2012 had to say:

  • “Yvonne was a fantastic speaker—very practical with a great sense of humour.”
  • “Well organized, well paced, offered opportunities to practice and to ask questions.”
  • “Felt confident I was getting solid info.”
  • “A nice mix of discussion, lecture, and hands-on material.”

About the instructor: Yvonne is an experienced editor and writer who enjoys transforming sprawling, jumbled manuscripts into interesting, readable publications. She has worked both as a freelancer and as managing editor for an educational publisher. Her clients have included publishers large and small, other businesses, governments, a commission of inquiry, non-governmental organizations, and academics. She has worked on manuals, reports, brochures, websites, trade books, and textbooks. Yvonne is a partner in West Coast Editorial Associates.

  • Time: 9h00–16h00
  • Cost: $120 for EAC members who register by October 5, 2012 (after: $140); $180 for non-members who register by October 5, 2012 (after: $200)
  • Location: SFU Vancouver, 515 West Hastings Street, 2925 Hemlock Printers seminar room, Vancouver
  • Registration


CONTEST: poetry and short story

Contest sponsor: The Vancouver Writers Fest
Contest deadline: October 21, 2012

Calling all poets and short-story writers—The Vancouver Writers Fest is holding its annual poetry and short story contest. Entries are being accepted for unpublished work in two categories: poetry (up to 500 words) and creative short fiction (up to 1500 words).

Prizes will be awarded (first prize: $500; second prize: $350) for the top two entries in each category. First-place winners will be published in subTERRAIN magazine, and all winners will be published on The Vancouver Writers Fest website.

  • Entry fee: $15 for each story or poem submitted
  • Deadline: October 21, 2012; 17h00
  • More information