Summer 2020

Well, it’s like one we’ve never seen before and frankly I hope we don’t have to again.

I’d like next summer to be full of hugs and gatherings.

Both Jim and I are looking forward to September 2021 to launch the first ever Wine Country Writer’s Festival in Penticton, British Columbia.

Save the date. SEPTEMBER 24/25 (MAYBE SOME ACTIVITIES ON 26TH TOO….we’ll see).

July 31, 2020 is the last day to request a refund for this years Festival. All others will be carried over to 2021 and not be subject to any price increases if applicable.

Sam Hiyate is already confirmed as the Guest Of Honour for next year. It going to be FANTASTIC! No doubt in my mind.

For now, wear your mask, keep your distance, and stay healthy.

Come check out my blog My Twisted Writer Brain at where some of the scheduled presenters are being profiled in blogs. There’s already great information from Michelle Barker; Writer and Editor; Christina Myers will be featured as will Carol GoldenEagle. More to follow.

Follow Jim Jackson and myself on Facebook or Twitter.

Remember to mark you calendar for SEPT 24/25, 2021 for Wine Country Writer’s Festival.

It’s Official…We Need to Postpone WCWF 2020

Hi Every one.

We apologize for taking so long to inform you of the postponement. I guess there was some hopeful thinking but in light of the current pandemic situation we’ll have to wait a bit longer for the inaugural event.

The medical officer of British Columbia announced last week that there will be no groups allowed over fifty people so due to the ongoing pandemic we are rolling our Festival over to 2021. 

At this time, all the registrations will be rolled over as well. Refunds may be requested through to August 01, 2020. If you or someone you know requires a refund please have them contact me, Faye Arcand, at

We are deeply saddened by this as we were so excited for the Inaugural WCWF but we will be well prepared for SEPTEMBER 24/25 2021. Jim and I hope you’ll all be able to join us next year.

For now please…

1. Unbook your hotel room

2. Unbook your flight

3. Mark your calendar for September 24/25, 2021.

Stay tuned to the website for more information going forward. You can follow at 
Thank you for your patience and understanding at this difficult time. Please stay safe and healthy. And stay in touch.

Don’t hesitate to contact me through the website or at if you have any questions.

Still Waiting…

I hope you’re all doing alright during this time of isolation. It’s been a challenge to say the least. I always thought isolation would bring inspiration but perhaps that’s only when you choose it for yourself instead of it being a government directive.

As we look forward to September 26, 2020, and the Wine Country Writing Festival we find ourselves still in a wait and see stance. The health and welfare of our guests is our most important consideration and decisions will be made accordingly.

Yesterday, in a televised new cast Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer, announced there will be no “large events” happening in B.C. this summer. 

Now, what that looks like –we don’t know yet. We know the P.N.E. (Pacific National Exhibition) will be cancelled but that’s involves thousands of people. Will it cause the cancellation of our 200 max Festival? It’s too early to tell.

Perhaps September 2020 will happen…perhaps it won’t… As soon as we make a decision we’ll advise everyone.

Just keeping you in the loop. Don’t hesitate to email me at

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 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.


SFU Continuing Studies


Raven’s Oddities

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

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

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 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:

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.

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…


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.


No matter what you call it: A Writing…




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!