News…In a Waiting Pattern

Well, tomorrow is April 1st, 2020. Only six months to the Wine Country Writer’s Festival.

Will it happen?

No one knows.

Jim and I are hopeful but also realistic. We know the times are uncertain and there won’t be any real answers for a while.

The one thing I would like to do, is encourage you all to continue to write and create.

Tomorrow I will begin a month of Nano. This is an exercise of writing every single day. My goal is to complete 3,000-5,000 words per day. A novel is around 90K so my goal is to have a finished draft at the end of April. I’ll be posting numbers on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook at 6pm pst. Feel free to comment and post your numbers as well if you’d like to come along on the ride.

Stay safe and stay healthy.

Let me know what you think. Just shoot me an email to WCWF20@gmail.com if you like.

Talk soon.

Go write!


Checking In…

Hi Everyone. Things can certainly change within the blink of an eye so I thought I’d check in and say Hi.

I hope this finds you all well and healthy. With the world news changing from hour to hour, it’s been a challenge to keep up with what’s happening.

At this point, there have been no cases of Covid-19 in the Okanagan region of British Columbia. Extraordinary measures are being taken everywhere to slow the spread and we all need to do our part.

We, the organizers of the Wine Country Writer’s Festival, are hopeful that with the six- month cushion between now and the event, that the virus and social isolation will be over. Finger crossed.

We are closely monitoring the situation and will advise of any changes as we get closer to September.

In the meantime, please be kind to one another.

Here are three Wine Country Writer’s Festival generous sponsors.

SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY Creative Writing |

SFU Continuing Studies


GRANT THORNTON LLP


Raven’s Oddities


We are still taking registration. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us at WCWF20@gmail.com


The Venue

The Wine Country Writer’s Festival is being held at the Penticton Lakeside Resort and Conference Centre. Located on the edge of Okanagan Lake and at the end of Penticton’s Main Street. It is within walking distance of beaches, restaurants, bars, and shopping.

When I attend a writing conference I *try* and stay at the venue for one simple reason….comfort.

You see, sometimes I just need a quick break or I want to brush my teeth…being at the venue means I can whip upstairs and not have to wait until I get back to wherever I’m staying. The other nice thing about staying at the venue is the ability to socialize with other conference goers who are also staying.

The Lakeside Resort has offered a Conference Rate of $164 for a standard two queen room. When you make your reservation mention that you’re booking under Wine Country Writer’s Festival and ask for the discounted rate. Parking is $10/day They can be contacted at

P: 250-493-8221 http://www.pentictonlakesideresort.com

Here are some pictures of the venue.

Penticton in September is still a busy place. The sun is shining, apples are nearing their harvest, and Wine Country vibes continues to reverberate throughout the valley as wine tours flourish.

Don’t wait to book your accommodation. Whether you’re camping, AirBnB, or in a hotel…Don’t be scrambling at the end of summer to book a room in Penticton for September because you could be disappointed.

Other nearby hotels are:

Ramada by Wyndham–this is about a 5 minute drive away. Located on Eckhardt Avenue. It is walkable in about 20-30 minutes. 250-492-8926

The Days Inn–is close to the Ramada. Couple minute drive to Lakeside Resort. 15-20 minute walk: 250-980-3952

The Sandman–ten minutes walk from the venue. 250-493-7151

Please know that these are not recommendations or endorsements for any venue. It is your responsibility to secure accommodation and is not the responsibility or intention of WCWF organizers to assist, recommend, and/or endorse.

Don’t hesitate to contact WCWF20@gmail.com if you have Questions.


We’re excited…

Soon we’ll be announcing some of our generous sponsorships that we’ve received. These are amazing opportunities for the Festival to be EVEN better!

One is a **Scholarship** sponsorship for one person to attend the Master Class, All day Festival, and wiener roast as their guest. We’ll announce how to apply. If you know of someone who can’t afford to attend please pass on the great news.

Registration is still open. We’re on round two pricing.

The Master Class is only $35. The all day workshop Festival is only $67. Wiener Roast is still only $8. (All in is $110–such a great deal!)

We also have a Marketing and Branding Specialist joining us. She has a degree in marketing and a huge background in strategic branding. This is invaluable information for anyone who has self-published. She will be giving a workshop and blue-pencils. Her information and bio/pic will be added in the near future.

There’s only a few pitch sessions still available. If you have your heart set on pitching your novel to Sam Hiyate, Agent and Agency CEO of The Rights Factory–you best register as soon as possible and save your spot. Once the sessions are full a wait-list will be started.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Email: WCWF20@gmail.com

Stay tuned for more information coming very soon.


Early Bird is nearly gone…

There will be a price jump on February 1, 2020 for the Wine Country Writer’s Festival.

The response has been amazing. Many are registered and are now just hangin’ out until September with nary a worry in the world.

Here’s the calendar:

Master Class: currently only $30 for a three hour session.

February 1–price increase to $35

August 1–price increase to $40

All Day Conference on September 26, 2020: currently only $60 and includes a blue pencil and pitch if requested.

February 1–price increase to $67

August 1–increase to $75

The wine social after the Master Class will be at your own expense–but there could be some surprises as we have a few things brewing….

The fire and wiener roast on the beach is $8 and will stay at that price.

Blue pencils are filling fast and there’s only a few spots left for pitches. You must be registered and paid in full in order to secure a spot.

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns. WCWF20@gmail.com


What if I’m too shy?

Attending a conference can be an intimidating bit of business. Phew. I remember my first one. I was terrified.

I walked into the room judging everyone–I never felt judged–not once. It was my own insecurities that held me back. I thought omg they’re all writers and I won’t fit in at all.

That wasn’t very fair of me because as it turned out there were many writers at the same stage as me–just starting. We met and chatted and I found out we had more in common than not.

I’ll also tell you that writers who’ve been at it for years, still learn things at writing events. The world is not a stagnant place and neither is the act of writing. It’s evolving as we grow in character and experience. Technology is constantly changing and imaginations are a fantastical thing that bring new stories and worlds. It’s amazing.

But, if you’re feeling shy or nervous to attend, please know that there’s absolutely no reason you have to talk to anyone. That’s the nice thing about an event like Wine Country Writer’s Festival, you can engage as much–or as little–as you feel comfortable doing. Sometimes attending with a friend calms the nerves too so that’s also an option.

Often the energy at a festival is invigorating and mentally stimulating. You learn that others have the same issues and how they deal with them. You may see how professionals struggled at one point–just like you–but persevered.

Never stay away from an event because you’re shy or don’t feel you belong. Feign laryngitis or wear shades all day and go in spite of yourself. Make it your day to achieve what you want to…there’s no right or wrong way.

If you love to write…

If you dream of writing…

If you aspire to share your story…

If you’re a closet poet…

This event is for you. Don’t miss out.


A Little Business…A Little Fun…

Business:

In exactly two weeks, February 01, 2020, the early bird prices will increase for the festival. If you registered that’s great but you must complete payment.

Things like blue pencils will not be reserved unless payment has been completed.

Current prices are:

Master Class with Sam Hiyate (See specifics on the NEWS thread) only $30 (will increase to $35).

Full Day Festival with workshops, blue-pencils, pitches, Book Bar, panels, and more… only $60 (will increase to $67)

Fire on the Beach with a wiener roast and music will always be $8.

Fun:

No matter what you call it: A Writing…

…Festival

…Conference

…Event

or a Get Together…It all comes down to surrounding yourself with like-minded people who ‘get’ you.

Being a writer is a very isolating choice of pastimes. Whether you do it professionally, part-time, or are new to the craft, there’s always something to learn especially when you get outside that proverbially comfort zone.

While September may feel like forever away, believe me when I say–it’ll come fast. So start getting your self ready to answer the inevitable: “What do you write?” Don’t let the question throw you because we’ve all been there but if you start to think about it now it won’t be so daunting.

The Wine Country Writer’s Festival is for everyone. The event is meant to be casual, inclusive, and boutique in nature.

Remember there’s no need to be nervous because no one can write what you write because there is no other YOU!


Why you should register early…

One of the most common questions asked is: Why would I register now when the event is over eight months away?

I’ll admit it’s a good question and I’m going to tell you why now would be a great time to make sure you’re all signed up and paid.

  1. If you sign up now you can relax and live life. You don’t have to think in two months…Hmmm, did I register? It would all be done.
  2. You can save money. The early bird price of $60 for the Festival will go up on February 01, 2020.
  3. If you want a Blue Pencil the sooner you register the better.
  4. If you want to pitch to a professional agent spots are extremely limited and will be given on a first come-first served basis.
  5. In order for the organizers to ensure that adequate space is reserved at the venue (the Lakeside Hotel and Conference Centre) we need to know how many will attend. We don’t want to squish you into a room anymore than you want to be standing instead of sitting. Believe me when I say that it makes a big difference.
  6. You don’t want to miss it. Believe me–it’s gonna be a pretty dang awesome event and I want you there.

Email me at WCWF20@gmail.com to register. Instructions for payment via e-transfer will be provided.


Check the Presenters Page…

We have a couple of new names added to our list. We’re excited to have both Christina and Dwayne on board for the Wine Country Writer’s Festival.

There will be one or two more added and then that’ll be it.

Blue pencils are filling up–it’s so exciting to have your work read and critiqued by someone in the industry. It’s a great way to work toward getting a finished and polished product. Don’t forget to book a blue pencil when you register.

There are pitch sessions available if you have a manuscript that you’d like to pitch to an agent.

If you haven’t registered yet, do it before the price goes up on February 1, 2020.

Remember:

  • check and agree with conditions
  • note on the form that you want to register ($60 until Feb 01/20)
  • note if you want to go to the Master Class (excellent value at $30–held the night before)
  • note if you want a blue pencil–no charge.
  • note if you want to pitch to an agent–no charge–spots limited.
  • note if you want to join us at the wiener roast/fire/music on the beach after the festival (only $8–yes there will be veggie dogs available. please let me know if that’s what you need.)
  • book your hotel room early. Penticton is a vacation town and though it’ll be quieter in September it’s still very popular.

Any questions? Email me at WCWF20@gmail.com

That’s it for now. I’m enjoying all the emails and look forward to meeting lots of new people.


The Master Class…

The thing about a Master Class is that it is longer and more detailed than a Festival workshop. Don’t be daunted by the name because it’s not for the super skilled or for the crackerjacks of the pack– the teacher or instructor is a Master. It’s a place to learn from the best.

Wine Country Writer’s Festival Master Class will be conducted on Friday September 25, 2020 from 5-8 pm at the Lakeside Hotel and Conference Centre.

Cost is $30 to do a three hour class with a CEO and President of a Toronto and Calgary based Literary Agency The Rights Factory.

Here is an overview of the Master Class. You don’t want to miss it.

What Publishers Want (and Authors Need): 
Today’s literary marketplace remains a mystery. Often new writers ask themselves, what do I do next? How do I write a query letter that will stand out? What are editors really looking for? Most importantly, how do I know that my work is ready to be submitted? And when should I choose to perhaps Self-Publish?

Sam Hiyate will examine the publishing world in Canada, the U.S. and international markets in this 3-hour masterclass. What are the market’s needs, wants, trends and ‘must haves’? Come with your questions. 

What are you waiting for? Move your writing to the next level and learn from the best. Register today.

There will be limited pitch sessions available with Sam Hiyate on Saturday September 26, 2020. You must be registered to save a pitch spot. There will be no cost for a ten minute pitch.