UBC Okanagan workshop explores writing fiction as a career

Experts share advice and tips at free public session Mar. 30

Want to turn a writing passion into a career? The Department of Creative Studies at UBC Okanagan invites the public to join editor Chris Labonté as he discusses the ins and outs of building a career as a fiction writer.

Labonté, who is Acquiring Editor, Fiction, with the publishing firm Douglas and McIntyre, will be joined by two guest speakers from the writing world: Ian Weir, an award-winning screenwriter, playwright and novelist, and Adam Lewis Schroeder, novelist and short story writer.

The workshop takes place in the Arts Building ARTS115 at UBC Okanagan, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 30.  It is free of charge.

A blend of lecture and lively discussion, the afternoon will provide professional advice and practical tools for individuals interested in building a successful career as a fiction writer, says Nancy Holmes, head of the Department of Creative Studies.

"This session is designed expressly to meet the needs of emerging writers," says Holmes. "It promises to be interactive, flexible and fun."

Topics include tips on how to write effective query letters; strategies for approaching publishers, editors, and agents; and insights on completing grant applications. Also discussed are: marketing and self-promotion; working with magazine and book editors; negotiating a book contract; pitching; and making a living when writing income is sparse.

Chris Labonté has published widely and has taught creative writing at Langara College and UBC in Vancouver, including a popular 13-week course called Building a Career in Writing.

Adam Lewis Schroeder is the author of the story collection Kingdom of Monkeys, a Danuta Gleed Award finalist, and the novel Empress of Asia, nominated for the Amazon.ca/Books in Canada First Novel award and the B.C. Book Awards' Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize.  His newest novel, just released, is In the Fabled East.

Ian Weir is the writer and executive producer of the acclaimed crime thriller Dragon Boys, a CBC miniseries. He was also creator and executive producer of the long-running CBC teen drama Edgemont. Weir's stage plays have been produced across Canada and in the U.S. and England. He has won two Geminis, four Leos, a Jessie and the Writers Guild of Canada Canadian Screenwriting Award.  His debut novel, Daniel O'Thunder, has just been nominated for a Commonwealth prize.

Call Nancy Holmes at 250-807-9369 or email nancy.holmes@ubc.ca for  more information.

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