The Fernie Writers Conference opened registration for the 2020 conference and awarded its first Writer-in-Residence. The conference brings award winning authors to Fernie to lead one-week, four-day and three-day intensive writing workshops on August 17-23, 2020.
“With everything seeming to be doom and gloom, this will be a light at the end of the tunnel.” says conference director Keith Liggett. “With BC starting to open up, this will add a bit of normalcy to the months ahead, we can begin a slow return to our earlier lives.”
This year the Conference Workshop Leaders cross a broad spectrum of the writing community. Pam Houston brings her personal touch and intimacy to writing a memoir. John Keeble, author of acclaimed novels, brings his storyteller’s touch. Tom Wayman, crossing poetry, short story and novel, bring the journeyman’s tools to his workshop. Sid Marty. What can you say? A rancher, a conservationist once banned from all Alberta parks, Sid brings his emotional words. Sue Purvis and Sara Fish offer a mix of writing critique with lessons in getting it done. We have playwright/SAG actor, Rod MacIntyre to teach how to tread to boards. Jayme Moye takes her Banff Award winning ways and shows how to break into the magazine world. If you need to broaden your skill set, Harry Kerker will show you how to bring photography into your bag of tricks. For the Youth Sessions, Danielle Gibson is back to guide their words.
There are editors and agents sliding in during the week. The afternoons are filled with panel discussions ranging from literary publishing to finding an agent. And every night there is a reading or performance.
Also of note, the Fernie Writers Conference awarded the first Writer-in-Residence to Rod MacIntyre of Christina Lake. The residency will run from October 17 to November 7, 2020. Rod will give a reading at the start and one at the end and lead a five-session evening workshop. The balance of the time will be his to work on a project.
Rod MacIntyre is the award-winning author of The Rink, The Blue Camaro, and Feeding At Nine among others. His latest title, Mahihkan Lake was a finalist for the 2016 Saskatchewan Book Awards for Fiction. He was a founding member of PUC (now the Playwrights Guild of Canada) and the WGC (Writers Guild of Canada, formerly ACTRA) served on the boards of CanCopy (now AccessCopyright) and three separate terms with the SWG (Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild). He has held residencies and readings across Canada but this is his first in British Columbia. Rod holds an Honours BA, English and Sociology, U of S, 1970. He now makes his home in Christina Lake, BC with his partner Sharyn Swann, where he golfs, hikes, rides motorcycle and repairs diatonic harmonicas.
The Call for Submissions brought in a broad variety of writers. The committee chose Rod because he is a SAG member and has three plays that have staged and published. In his playwriting experience, Rod brings added dimension, above and beyond his depth in poetry, fiction and non-fiction, that convinced the committee he would be the right person for the first Residency.
The Fernie Writers Conference Writer-in-Residence is a joint effort by the Conference, the Federation of BC Writers and the Conference lodging partners–Fernie Lodging Company and Lizard Creek Lodge. The Fernie Writers Conference is grateful for the support of our partners in making this Residency possible.
The Writers Conference registration is modified due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. To hold a spot in a workshop, simply make a small fully refundable deposit. Most workshop groups are eight or less. Social distancing will comply with the standards recommended by BC Health. There are numerous local scholarships provided by Conference sponsors.