WCWF Anthology

Hi All. Well, we’ve come through the other side of the Festival. A month has now passed and loose ends are almost tied up.

The Anthology will be ready before Christmas.

The price is $18 each.

Payment can be sent via e-transfer to:


Don’t hesitate to email me at the same email address if you have any questions. Remember we’ll need your full name and address along with the payment.

Pictures Please…

If you have any pictures from the Festival or with your writing contest certificate–please forward them so we can put them on the website! We’d love to see and display them online.

Just So You Know…

We’ve gone through the feedback forms. You’re all amazing! Thanks so much for taking the time to do that.

With the feedback forms we can only get better.

This year there were a few glitches and definitely things we hadn’t anticipated, but with your help we’ll be able to correct those and charge forward with the best Okanagan writing event!

The Book Bar…

The Book Bar will continue to be online and promoted monthly. Please check it out and support your fellow authors.

See you soon.


Congratulations to All the WCWF Writing Contest Winners!

With full congratulations, the winners for the inaugural Wine Country Writers’ Festival Writing Contest were: 

POETRY— Judged by Josephine LoRe

FIRST PLACE: “There Will Be Moths” by Linda Hatfield

SECOND PLACE: “August” by Sally Quon

THIRD PLACE:  “evolution of the word ll” by Laurie Anne Fuhr

HONOURABLE MENTION: “From the Garden” by Leanne Shirtliffe

NON-FICTION: Judged by Simone Blais

FIRST PLACE:  Prejudice and Necrotizing Enterocolitis by Johanna Van Zanten

SECOND PLACE: Stan: Alone in the Attic by Cherie Hanson

THIRD PLACE: Eocene Walk by Donald Gayton

FICTION:  Judged by Lorna Schultz Nicholson

FIRST PLACE: The Rhee Family by Finnian Burnett

SECOND PLACE: Fat Friday by Garry Litke

THIRD PLACE: Sweet Michael Sky by Andrea Heidebrecht 

HONOURABLE MENTION: The Day Jesus Came to Work by Svea Beson

The Anthology is $18 and can be purchased via e-transfer or PayPal to WCWFestival@gmail.com


Today the Wine Country Writers’ Festival Launches… We’re so Excited.

Hi Everyone.

Today is the Master Class at 2:30 PST.

All the links for the Festival Weekend will be sent out today at 2PM (Vancouver, B.C. time).

Check your Email.

Contact me if you haven’t received anything…. remember to check your spam. It will be coming from Jim Jackson.

The email includes links to all rooms and classes.

Please DO NOT share or forward links as it can cause tech problems.

Have a GREAT weekend. LEARN lots. I want to HEAR ALL ABOUT IT!!

Happy Wine Country Writers’ Fest.


Registration is CLOSED. Details Being Ironed Out…

Hi everyone.

The day is coming quickly. Now it’s a matter of details and having things run as smoothly as possible. Isn’t this exciting?!

So, mailers will be going out to the email you provided with your registration. Watch for them.

Specific times for Blue Pencils and Pitches are being Finalized.

Links will be sent the DAY OF …

Any questions? Just email WCWFestival@gmail.com

Looking forward to “meeting” you all on Friday.


Deadline LOOMING….

The deadline for REGISTRATION is NOON pst Monday September 20, 2021

There is ONE 6-minute PITCH SPOT still available with Sam Hiyate. Cost $25

Here are some TIPS for pitching. Take a look.

There is TWO BLUE PENCIL SPOTS still available. Cost is $15

We are nearing capacity for The FREE Saturday Workshops.

Master Class has spots Available. Cost is $20

Get your BLUE PENCIL submissions in if you haven’t already! And… Don’t forget to submit to the SLUSH and A QUERY LETTER (the query letter only applies to the Master Class).

And don’t forget to plan your day. Here’s the SCHEDULE.

Remember too that this week we’ll be busy sending out links for the Friday and Saturday events. There may individual emails through the gmail.com and larger emails to everyone via MailerLite. Please make sure you check your sp*m folders. Don’t hesitate to email if you have a question.

Any questions email: WCWFestival@gmail.com


Slush Pile Update…

There’ve been a few questions about the Slush Pile….

Submit your first page of your story/manuscript: This means a page like you would submit to an agent. It should be double spaced, 12 font Times New Roman.

Pages submitted will be drawn at random and read aloud. As many as possible will be done but be aware that yours may not be read. Random is the thing.

If the panel says stop…

The reader stops…

Critique/discussion starts…What is good? What is not so great? How could it be better?

If you want to discuss your individual work with one of the presenters, sign up for a $15 blue pencil which is a 12 minute one on one of your first few pages (750 word).

Now get those slush pages in….

Remember one page, double spaced….

Send to WCWFestival@gmail.com with SLUSH in subject line or on top of page.


Keynote Speaker…

Hi Everyone! As promised, here is the information on our Keynote Speaker.

Welcome Roark Critchlow!

Roark has generously agreed to give a keynote speech on Friday September 24th. We will learn about his journey from small town guy to Hollywood actor. Check out his bio below and make sure you plan to join us on Friday September 24th for the Keynote before the Master Class.

Roark Critchlow is a Canadian actor and writer. He grew up in Summerland , BC, studied theatre at the University of Victoria and spent 5 years building a theatre and tv career in Vancouver before spending 20 years in Hollywood. 

There he starred on Days of our Lives, Pretty Little Liars, V as well as playing guest star on over 90 productions.  6 years ago he returned to Summerland to spend time with his family and pursue a writing career in earnest.  

He has completed one novel, is working on his second and recently formed a songwriting partnership with Chayce Kennedy. 

Visit his website: (not suitable for children, sensitive readers/viewers) Nonsensical Ravings of a Lunatic Mind

In order to get access to the Keynote and opening Words of Wine Country Writers Festival, you must be registered. The Festival is FREE to attend. Master class, Pitches, Blue Pencil, and Book Bar have fees attached but are at the request of attendees.

More information coming soon…Lots of it!


Have You Planned Your Classes? Don’t Forget the Slush Pile!

Did you check the schedule? The schedule is jam packed with great presenters!

The last class of Saturday September 24 at 1700-1750 (5pm -5:50pm–PST) will be a SLUSH PILE.

What’s a slush pile? Wikipedia does a great job of defining it as follows:

In publishing, a slush pile is a set of unsolicited query letters or manuscripts that have either been directly sent to a publisher by an author, or which have been delivered via a literary agent representing the author who may or may not be familiar to the publisher.

as per Wikipedia
Source: Steve Laube Agency

Polish off that first page of your manuscript or story and send it to wcwfestival@gmail.com

Pages will be randomly selected and read to the panel who will then tell everyone their thoughts on the writing, the premise, the hook… How very exciting.

This means you can hear the good and perhaps the not-so-good, of each reading. Learn from the different styles, voices, and techniques. Listen to what the expert panel has to say.

This is an opportunity for anonymous feedback from industry professionals. Send in those SLUSH PILE SUBMISSIONS to: wcwfestival@gmail.com

Send them now–come on…what are you waiting for?

The other part of the schedule is below or click HERE for the break down.

Remember, even if you’re just doing the FREE classes, you still need to be registered. Space is limited so you best do it now.

Source of cover pic: DrewChialAuthor.com


The Schedule is Here…

Hi everyone. I know you want to plan your time so here are the schedules for Friday September 24 and Saturday September 25. While the times are all in place there could be some shifting of workshops as we get closer to the event.

Friday September 24 will begin at 2:30 PM PST

On Friday, everyone is invited to the opening of the Festival and the Evening Social.

Saturday September 25, 2021 Please join us for the FREE workshops. There will be two classes running at the same time.

Pitches and Blue Pencils will be in a break away room between 11:50- 1300 so you don’t need to miss any classes. Individuals will be informed of their specific times as we get closer to the event.

More information will be coming very soon. Stay tuned…

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email wcwfestival@gmail.com



The Schedule is Coming Soon…

Can you believe that we’re almost at the end of August? Wow… September seemed so far off but not any longer which means the Wine Country Writing Festival is right around the corner.

Stay tuned because there’ll be a lot of news coming up over the next couple of weeks.

The Schedule…

First we want to let you know that we’re working now on the FREE Saturday Sessions workshop schedule!

It’s our goal to get this out by September 01, 2021 so everyone can begin to plan their day.

If You’re Doing a Blue Pencil…

Start polishing off those first few pages so they can be submitted PRIOR to the event. The presenter who is doing your blue pencil will need time to read and make notes.

If you haven’t signed up for a blue pencil, there are still a few spots left and cost is $15 for 12 minute session.

What’s a Blue Pencil? Click HERE

If You’re Submitting a Query Letter for Critique in the Master Class…

Get your query letter all ready for a professional opinion. These will be read and critiqued by agent Sam Hiyate for the Master Class.

This can be done anonymously if you want.

If you want to join the Master Class…

The Master Class will be on Friday September 24th.

Cost is $20. There are a few spots still available if you want to attend.

Until next time, keep writing! More information will be coming soon. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email: wcwfestival@gmail.com

(Header Picture Source: Unsplash: Jess Bailey)