WCWF Keynote and Presenters

Please note that this page will be expanded. There will be panels added and presenters updated. This will give you an indication of what will be in store for September 23 and 24, 2022. There will be updates as we go.

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.

Click on Register button to be redirected to the registration page and return here to complete payment.

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.

NATALIE APPLETON 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.

Natalie’s literary memoir, I Have Something to Tell You, is a coming-of-age story pitched as a mix between The Alchemist and Bridget Jones’ Diary, set partly in her hometown of Medicine Hat, and in 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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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 http://therightsfactory.com/authors/dave-butler/ 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.

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 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.

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.

LINKS

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MirandaKPoet Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/mirandakpoet Website: http://www.mirandakrogstad.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/MirandaKPoet Youtube: MirandaKPoet LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/miranda-krogstad-41a34ab4

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


a pearl in this diamond world…

Josephine LoRe’s words have been read live on stage and in global zoom-rooms, put to music, danced, and integrated into visual art.  Her poetry has been published in literary journals and anthologies in eleven countries and four languages, including Canada’s FreeFall and Vallum, the Tiny Seed Journal and Fixed & Free in the US, Constellate Magazine in England, The Next Page Anthology in Ireland, and the Wintering Issue of the Wild Word Journal in Berlin, Germany.

She has two collections, Unity and the Calgary Herald Bestseller The Cowichan Series. She is a member of the League of Canadian Poet, the Writers’ Guild of Alberta, Haiku Canada, GUSTS Canada, an Associate Board Member and Editor with Parkland Poets, and numerous virtual and in-person poetry societies in Canada, the US, and abroad.

She has taught writing workshops through Calgary’s Alexandra Writers’ Center Society, When Words Collide and the first Wine Country Writers’ Festival, where she also served as Judge for the Poetry Competition.  She was invited by the Writers’ Guild of Alberta to adjudicate a major literary prize in 2021.

She has been interviewed in Washington, DC for Quintessential Listening Poetry Online Radio, and has been invited to feature in New York and San Francisco.

Josephine is grateful to live and create on land traditionally inhabited and traversed for centuries by the Piikani, Siksika, Kainai, Tsuut’ina and Nakota peoples, their antecedents and their descendants.  

https://www.josephinelorepoet.com/

Workshop: Metaphor and Universality in Writing

Through our writing, we wish to be understood on a literal level, but beneath this are buried layers of abstractions, connotations, archetypal symbolism and deeper meanings which we hope will resonate with readers, creating concurrent waves of universality and personal connection.  Metaphor is the key.

How can we intentionally create this richness in our writing … our poetry, our creative non-fiction, our prose?

In the interactive workshop Metaphor and Universality, I will use literary examples to illustrate the power of metaphor.  Participants will get the chance to develop their own schema of allusion and resonance.  I will be offering prompts based on these examples and invite participants to share if they so choose.

Christina Myers

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

She was the editor of the award-winning anthology BIG: Stories about Life in Plus-Sized Bodies, and the author of The List of Last Chances, a novel about a cross-Canada road trip.

She teaches creative non-fiction and is currently at work on her next novel and an essay collection, from her home on the west coast of Canada. 

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.

GOALS:

  • 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!

TAKE AWAY:

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.

Visit her at genevievewynand.com.

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

Panels:

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

Wine Country Writers’ Festival

For September 23 and 24 join us at the Penticton Lakeside Hotel and Conference Centre. Early Bird price is $139 Regular Price: July 01, 2022 $159

CA$139.00