WCWF Keynote and Presenters

On September 23 and 24, 2022 the Wine Country Writers’ Festival will welcome great literary minds of all kinds to meet at the Penticton Lakeside Hotel and Conference Centre. Space is Limited. Register Early. Meet the Keynote and Presenters.

NOTE: Registration is a TWO step process: 1. Click on Register button to be redirected to the registration page and 2. return here to complete payment by either PayPal or by e-transfer to wcwfestival@gmail.com .

Payment at bottom of page.

Keynote Speaker

Chief Clarence Louie

Chief Clarence Louie is the Chief of the Osoyoos Indian Band,

A lifelong student of “Native American Studies”, Clarence shares his experiences (Key Note Speaking) and best lessons learned to Native people, Government and Corporate agencies across the U.S and Canada as well as overseas – Australia, New Zealand, Germany and France, in a simple direct business smarts approach, “Every First Nation comes from a working culture.

Our ancestors worked hard for a living. Today life is as complicated or messed up as you make it. To improve your quality of life, you either go to school or get a job. Words without action, excuses and blame, leads towards more welfare dependency and poverty. It’s hard work and making money that improves one’s standard of living and provides for First Nation social needs.”Chief Louie believes that “Aboriginal people and government must make Economic Development – self-sustaining job creation and business growth an everyday priority. A real decent paying job that provides real opportunity is the very best social program on any Rez!”
The Osoyoos Indian Band’s corporate motto is “In Business To Preserve Our Past By Strengthening Our Future.”

Chief Louie was first elected Chief of the Osoyoos Indian Band in December 1984, as part of the Okanagan Nation in south central British Columbia.

Maclean’s Magazine listed Chief Clarence Louie as one of the “Top 50 Canadians to Watch” in their January 2003 issue.

Also in 2003 the U.S. Department of State selected Clarence as 1 of 6 First Nation representatives to participate in a 2-week tour of successful American Indian Tribes.

In 2006 he was awarded the Order of British Columbia and in 2008 he received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2016 he received the Order of Canada and in 2018, Louie became the first Indigenous person to be inducted to the Canadian Business Hall of Fame. In 2019 he was inducted into the British Columbia Hall of Fame.In 2021 he was awarded an Honorary Degree from the University of British Columbia and later that same year McClelland & Stewart published his first book Rez Rules.

WCWF Presenters 2022

Melanie Anastasiou–Pulp Literature

Mel Anastasiou is a founding editor with Pulp Literature Press, and her special interests at the press include novel acquisitions and structural editing.  

Mel is the author of the illustrated writing guides, The Writer’s Boon Companion, Thirty Days Towards an Extraordinary Volume and The Writer’s Friend and Confidante.  She also writes several series of mysteries, and her novel Stella Ryman and the Fairmount Manor Mysteries was longlisted for the Leacock Medal and won a Golden Trophy award.

She is the author of the illustrated writing guides, The Writer’s Boon Companion, Thirty Days Towards an Extraordinary Volume and The Writer’s Friend and Confidante.  Her novel Stella Ryman and the Fairmount Manor Mysteries is available through Pulp Literature Press, and her other mystery series, The Monument Studio Mysteries and The Hertfordshire Pub Mysteries can be found on amazon.com.

Melanie will be conducting the Writers’ Block Workshop With JM Landels and Genevieve Wynand.


is an award-winning Canadian writer living in Vernon, BC. She is a graduate of the University of Regina School of Journalism and the MA in Creative Writing (Narrative non-fiction) program at City University London, UK.

In her former life as a journalist, she worked at newspapers across the Prairies, including the Lethbridge Herald and the Medicine Hat News. In 2016, Natalie won Prairie Fire’s Banff Centre Bliss Carman Poetry Contest. Her stories have appeared in publications around the world, including The New York Times.

Called ‘A grittier, more authentic ‘Eat, Pray, Love,‘” Natalie’s literary travel memoir, I Have Something to Tell You, is set in two equally exocit worlds, her hometown of Medicine Hat, and Bangkok.

Natalie owns the marketing and PR firm Read Head Studio Inc., and she is also the founder of Read Local Okanagan, a pop-up book stall that helps readers discover works by writers from across the valley.

Workshop: The Wild Self

What is the story you truly need to tell?

What is the story the world needs from you?

In this workshop, discover tools to help overcome blocks and reveal the truths and perspectives that will give your memoir depth, vulnerability and resonance. 

Andrew Buckley

Andrew Buckley is a film school-educated writer, which means he’s spent most of his life with no money and a high opinion about bad movies. Sometime around the turn of the century he attended the Vancouver Film School’s Writing for Film and Television program, graduating with excellence.

He pitched and developed several screenplay projects for film and television before turning to his chosen career of novel writing (this was due, in part, to his discovery that ‘professional walrus cleaner’ wasn’t a real profession).

​In addition to writing, Andrew speaks to thousands of elementary, middle, and high school students each year about storytelling and writing through the delivery of interactive and engaging workshops and presentations.

His novel writing series for teens to adults has received unanimously positive reviews, and he speaks at writing conferences and comic-cons whenever he has the chance.

Andrew is also the co-founder and lead instructor at Wordsmith Academy, is working on several new novels, has a stunning amount of other ideas, and is currently attempting to bend time and space to allow for more hours in the day.

He now lives happily in the Okanagan Valley, BC with one beautiful wife, three kids, two needy dogs, and a multitude of characters that live comfortably inside of his mind. 

Workshop: The ‘Not So Happily Ever After’ Storytelling SUBJECT MATTER: Fiction Writing, Inspiration

This fun and interactive storytelling workshop takes a look at fairytales and their wonderfully dark and gruesome origins, before they became all cute and disney-fied.

The workshop includes a short presentation about story and plot, character archetypes, three act structure, how to plan out your writing projects, and explores a number of fairy
tales (complete with the audience acting them out).

Flash group-work follows with people creating their own fairytales complete with a moral lesson. Some groups are chosen to pitch their ideas (time allowing). 

Finnian Burnett

Finnian Burnett is a college instructor and a doctoral student who would rather spend their time writing flash fiction.

Finn has won or shortlisted in several flash fiction contests, including the Bath Flash Fiction contest and the Wine Country Writer’s Festival 2021.

They’re published in Reflex Press, the Ekphrastic Review, Virtual Verse, Five Minute Lit, and more.

Finn’s most recent novel was just picked up by a small press and they’ve turned their attention to writing a queer Shakespeare retelling and a Star Trek themed novella-in-flash. They can be found at finnburnett.com

Workshop: Who Owns It? Creating LGBTQ and Other Diverse Characters With Sensitivity and Authenticity.

In this workshop, queer trans author Finnian Burnett will explore the divide between own voices and inclusive writing.

Part generative writing and part instruction, this workshop will give writers the tools and techniques they need to write characters outside of their own lived experiences. 

Dave Butler


Dave Butler is the author of the Jenny Willson mystery series, published by Dundurn Press.

He’s a forester and biologist living in Cranbrook, British Columbia, in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains.

His writing and photography have appeared in numerous Canadian publications. He’s a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal winner, and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

When he’s not writing, Dave is professionally involved in sustainable tourism at local, national and international levels and he travels extensively.

He’s a Professional Author Member of the Crime Writers of Canada.

Dave is represented by Sam Hiyate at The Rights Factory  and is a founding member of, and regularly posts at Free Range Writers.com.

Workshop: Eco-Mysteries and Thrillers: Building Great Fiction from Facts

In this workshop with award-winning author Dave Butler (who returns to his Penticton roots for this conference), learn how to build strong and credible plots by answering key “what if?” questions, and by using your characters to explore diverse perspectives.

For this session, be ready with some ideas, or some inspiring “what if?” questions to kick start your next environmental mystery or thriller.

Corinna Chong

Corinna Chong received her MA in English (Creative Writing) from the University of New Brunswick. 

Her first novel, Belinda’s Rings, was published by NeWest Press in 2013, and her reviews and short fiction have appeared in magazines across Canada, including GrainRicepaperRoomRiddle FenceThe Malahat Review, and PRISM international

She won the 2021 CBC Short Story Prize for “Kids in Kindergarten.”

Her short story collection, The Whole Animal, is forthcoming from Arsenal Pulp Press in Spring 2023.

She’s currently working on a novel called Bad Land, set in the Canadian badlands of Drumheller, Alberta.

Since 2011, Corinna has lived in Kelowna, BC, where she teaches English and Fine Arts as part of the Diploma in Writing and Publishing at Okanagan College. 

In addition to writing and teaching, Corinna has served on several editorial boards for literary publications, including Qwerty and The Fiddlehead.

She also does freelance design work and has been the Designer and Visual Editor for Ryga: A Journal of Provocations, produced by Okanagan College, since 2011.

Corinna’s Workshop: Narrative Structure: The Bones of a Great Story

“Act I, get your guy up a tree. Act II, throw rocks at him. Act III, get your guy outta the tree.”

            ­–Julius Epstein

Anyone can tell a story, but telling a great story is no easy feat. While having a strong premise and compelling characters are important, structure—how the various parts of the story are sequenced and arranged in relation to one another—plays an integral role in building a great story. In this workshop, we will examine structural models that can be applied to narratives of all forms (including short stories, novels, and films), as well as tap into the key structural approaches that can help writers create and maintain momentum, push past the dreaded middle slump, and build towards a cohesive manuscript. 

Laurie Anne Fuhr

Laurie Anne Fuhr, prolific multimodal poet of page, screen, and stage, is the author of night flying (Frontenac House 2018), shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry.

In May 2022, her poem Water Sign appeared in the Poet Laureate of Cobourg’s water-themed virtual chapbook.

Her poems also appeared in the first anthology of the Espresso Poetry Collective (of which she is a founding member); Uncommon Grounds, released during the pandemic, is available at http://www.espressopoetrycollective.ca.

Laurie is an active member of Poetry In Voice (bringing poetry to schools), a member of the Writers Guild of Alberta and the League of Canadian Poets, and a poetry instructor with http://www.alexandrawriters.org.

Follow Laurie on Facebook and Instagram: multimodal_poet.

Laurie’s Workshop: Writing Good Poetry: What Publishers Want

A traditional definition of poetry is broad, and usually begins with line breaks. After that, the specifics get a little fuzzy.

With so many different styles of poetry available, how do we know we’re writing good, quality poetry that readers crave and editors want to see today?

In this talk and workshop, poet, poetry instructor, and avid reader Laurie Anne Fuhr explores this question, shares engaging examples, and provides writing exercises to help you strengthen qualities that are considered the earmarks of good poetry in several styles.

This workshop is suitable for curious writers of all levels, genres, and styles.

Laurie’s Workshop Poetic Devices: The Secret Ingredient for Every Genre

Poetic devices and figures of speech are essential in adding flavour to the menu of any writing.

In poetry, depending on the style, we often use them in due quantity. But a judicious sprinkling of them can elevate your fiction, creative non-fiction, YA, memoir, and other writing to a whole new level of deliciousness for the reader.

Sometimes, the ability to understand and use these devices is the secret  ingredient that successful authors use to set their work apart.

Join poet Laurie Anne Fuhr for a poetic devices taste-test that is sure to tantalize your creative tastebuds.  

Miranda Krogstad

Spoken word poet meets eternal optimist, Miranda’s poetry ranges in topic from child’s play to empowerment, giving life’s obstacles a feel-good finish. 

A member of the 2014 slam team, a member of the 2013 International spoken word program at the Banff Centre, a Calgary Arts Development grant recipient, and a 2-time Canada Council for the Arts grant recipient, she has since co-founded the spoken word network YYSpeak to create a communal and supportive space for spoken word artists. 

A big supporter of local arts, Miranda has featured at staples such as Feminine Voice, Expressions, Raw Voices, Say Word, CYHMN and U of C Spoken Word.  She has also brought her poetry more widely into country and beyond, into cities like Honolulu, Portland, Montreal, and Winnipeg.  

By day, Krogstad presents in schools and youth programs on creativity and empowerment, and has spoken at charitable organisations and events such as the Calgary Bridge Foundation for Immigrant Youth, the University of Calgary’s Mental Health Symposium, Sister to Sister, and more. 

She hopes to spread positivity and confidence through the art of poetry and encourage others to share their voice.


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Workshop–more info coming soon…

JM Landels–Pulp Literature

JM Landels is author of the fantasy bestseller Allaigna’s Song: Overture, and is a founding editor of Pulp Literature Press.

In addition to her work as a writer, editor, artist, and publisher, she teaches swordplay and riding — sometimes both at the same time — in Langley, BC.

She draws on this experience, as well as her time as a rock musician and childbirth educator, to inform her fantasy and historical fiction.

Her second novel, Allaigna’s Song: Aria was released in April of this year and she is currently working on a new series, La Bergère, featuring a shepherdess-turned-spy in seventeenth-century France.

Writer’s Block: Why There’s No Such Thing and How to Get Around it Anyway

The latest word on writer’s block seems to be that it doesn’t exist. 

Which is an entirely unhelpful point of view if you’ve ever been stuck staring at a blank page. 

In this workshop we’ll look at tricks our brain plays on us to stop the flow of words, and techniques we can use to turn the creative tap back on.

Josephine LoRe

Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond her control, Josephine LoRe will not be able to join us this September. We wish her well and look forward to welcoming her to next years Wine Country Writers’ Festival.

We apologize for the inconvenience and so appreciate your patience and understanding.

Mehrnaz Massoudi

Workshop: Managing Stress with Mehrnaz gives writers and editors tools to enhance creativity and improve productivity.

Not every author can spend a year’s sabbatical by the Mediterranean while writing their manuscript!

Day-to-day stress – not to mention deadlines – can affect creative performance by triggering limiting beliefs and patterns. 

But creating a space of emotional freedom can manage or mitigate those beliefs and patterns so we can tap into our creative essence.

Based on more than a decade’s research and application through one-on-one coaching with clients and in workshops, this 50-minute session will focus on stress-management techniques that include Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT – or “tapping”), breath work and visualization.

By the end of the workshop participants will have learned pragmatic and effective tools to help them access creativity and improve productivity. 

Christina Myers

Christina Myers is a writer, editor, and former journalist. 

Her novel, The List of Last Chances (2021), was recently longlisted for the Leacock Medal literary award (winner to be announced in fall 2022.)

She was also the editor of the award-winning anthology BIG: Stories about Life in Plus-Sized Bodies.

She teaches an intro course to creative non-fiction at SFU’s continuing studies creative writing department, and will be teaching a fiction course there starting in October.

She is currently at work on her next novel as well as an essay collection, from her home on the west coast of Canada, and is co-host of an ongoing reading series called Words in the Burbs.

She is represented by Westwood Creative Artists. 

Workshop: Get to the Finish Line: Strategies for the First Draft

Completing the first draft of a writing project can feel like an overwhelming journey with a far-off finish line that’s hard to see – and harder yet to get to.

How can a writer accomplish it?

You need the right map, some good tools, and a motivated mindset.

Join us for some practical and inspirational tips and guidance to help you find the path – and feel confident on the trip. 

Laura Thomas

A published Christian author, Laura writes heartwarming encouragement for your soul and is a hope*writers certified writing coach.

She has three Christian romantic suspense novels published as well as a Christian teen fiction trilogy, marriage book, middle-grade novel, several anthology books, devotionals, articles, and stories in magazines and online. She is represented by literary agent Pete Ford at Credo Communications.

Laura is a chocoholic mom and gigi, and is married to her high school sweetheart. Originally from the UK, they live in Kelowna, British Columbia, as audacious empty-nesters.

Find her books, blog, bio and writer’s coaching at www.laurathomasauthor.com

Workshop: Writing Through The Seasons

This workshop will encourage writers to draw on life experiences and observations as it ignites fresh inspiration with a creative, seasonal strategy.

Whatever season of life you are in, this practical workshop will help you pursue your passion with a year-round approach to your writing journey as we pluck pearls of wisdom from spring, summer, autumn, and winter.


  • To inspire and encourage writers to glean from every season of life—past and present—in order to write from the heart with passion and purpose.
  • To consider a calendar year of writing in season-sized chunks.
  • To gather fresh writing ideas and renewed creativity.
  • To rekindle joy and not be overwhelmed by the writing life!


In a writer’s life, nothing is wasted! Every experience and observation—past and present—can be used as a well from which to draw deeply, whether working on fiction or non-fiction.

Genevieve Wynand–Pulp Literature

 Genevieve Wynand is an editor for Pulp Literature, and an award-winning poet and writer with work in print, online, and included in public-art displays.

Her words can be found, among elsewhere, with PRISM international, Tricycle, Complete Sentence, Unlost, The Heron’s Nest, Frogpond, First Frost, Kingfisher, Presence, Prune Juice, and Introvert, Dear.

Genevieve will be conducting the Writers’ Block workshop with Melanie Anastasiou and JM Landels.


What’s Your Writing Process?

Ask you favorite presenter how they stay focused, or what time of day they write, or perhaps even what they’d change. Prepare your questions and we’ll put it to the panel.

Poetry Question and Answer

Do you have questions or comments for your favorite poet? Jot them down and we’ll ask them.

Paths to Publishing

It’s not just traditional and self-pub anymore. The industry is morphing and changing all the time. Let’s chat about Indie, Traditional, Desk-Top, e-Publishing, Small Press… There are choices out there.

Ask a Writer Anything

Want a look into the secret lives of writers? Want to know just what makes them tick and why they chose this wild path? Come with your questions to ask a selection of our presenters.

Cross-Creative Inspiration

How does one creative fuel another? Can cooking inspire a new poem? Can playing the harmonica help you overcome writers’ block? A selection of our presenters with various creative outlets talk about how they all jibe.


The Zoom Room will be a dedicated room for a couple of Zoom presentations and pitches. This is not a “virtual” experience. You will have to attend the WCWF to participate.

Friesen Press Presents Diane Cameron via Zoom

Diane Cameron is a Publishing Consultant at FriesenPress – the largest publishing services provider in Canada.

Her publishing career spans over 15 years, which includes working for traditional, academic, and self-publishing companies in both Canada and abroad.

Diane’s vast experience and expertise has helped hundreds of authors successfully navigate the publishing landscape and bring their books to life.

Zoom Workshop: The Ins and Outs of Self-Publishing

The publishing industry today looks much different than it did a decade ago. In that time, self-publishing has outgrown its longstanding ‘vanity’ stigma and become a viable publishing option for many writers. 

This workshop provides an overview of the self-publishing experience and offers advice to authors on how to successfully navigate it. We’ll discuss the how-to, the must-dos, and the many benefits of self-publishing your book.

Jonas Saul

Jonas Saul to join us via Zoom all the way from Greece.

Jonas Saul is the bestselling author of the Sarah Roberts Series and has written and published over forty-five thrillers. After selling several million books, he signed with the Gandolfo Helin & Fountain Literary and Dramatic Rights Management. 

Check out the websites and see what services are offered.

He is a literary manager with Imagine Media Group Literary Management and the editor-in-chief at Imagine Press Inc.

Imagine Media Group is a literary management company run by writers for writers, with the ability to get books in front of Hollywood studios and major publishers.

Jonas will be doing a presentation and also be taking pitches on behalf of IMGLM. Spots are limited. More info will be coming soon.

Jonas is also the editor-in-chief at Imagine Press services for writers.

Write Your Way To Success


Zoom Workshop: All About Agents

Join Jonas Saul to discuss what an agent is looking for, what to expect from you agent, and how to break into the business.

It’s art, it’s writing, but it’s also a business.

Stick around for Q and A session during the second half. Get those questions ready.

Anna Comfort O’Keeffe

Anna Comfort O’Keeffe came to the position of publisher at Douglas & McIntyre with nearly twenty years’ experience in the publishing industry.

After graduating from UBC in 2000 with a degree in philosophy, she started working as a freelance editor while earning a diploma in Publishing Techniques and Technologies from Langara College, then studied publishing in Simon Fraser University’s Summer Fiction Intensive and Master of Publishing programs.

In 2005 she started as a production assistant at Harbour, and rapidly rose to Production Manager then Managing Editor, overseeing the editing and design of forty titles per year. In 2020, she assumed the role of Publisher of Douglas & McIntyre, directing the development of Douglas and McIntyre’s national publishing program.

Even though she works on books all day, and sometimes all night, she still wishes she had more time to read.

Douglas and McIntyre

Douglas and McIntyre, which is one of Canada’s pre-eminent independent book publishers, specializing in books of national interest including history, art, current affairs, Indigenous subjects, literary fiction and cookbooks.

This means you can pitch directly to the publisher without an agent.


Scrivener will be in the house…. Well, via Zoom.

The people at Scrivener have generously put together a taped presentation to teach the basics of Scrivener.

This is a great way to format and have all your documents in one place.

Make sure you check out the Zoom Room for the Scrivener 101!

Keep up on Scrivener News!


You will be redirected to a page to register and then return here to pay.


If you email Faye at wcwfestival@gmail.com she’ll take $20 off the registration price.

Do it now though as this offer may not last very long.

She can invoice you directly for e-transfer or PayPal.

Wine Country Writers’ Festival Increases on August 1st to $179

But WAIT! If you email Faye at wcwfestival@gmail.com you can get $20 off by direct invoice to PayPal or E-Transfer. Don’t wait. The deal could end anytime without warning. PAYMENT FOR: September 23 and 24 join us at the Penticton Lakeside Hotel and Conference Centre for the WCWF Only $179.