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.


  • 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.

What’s a “Blue Pencil?”

Some call it a “red” pencil but that still doesn’t really answer the question does it?

A blue pencil is a process by which you, the writer, submit up to one thousand (1,000) words of your work prior to an event so that a professional writer/industry person may look over it and then meet to discuss it with you.

The meetings are about ten minutes long and because the pages have been previously provided an immediate discussion can occur. The critique may come in the form of corrections, suggestions, or opinions but is often invaluable in moving your work to the next level.

As the Wine Country Writer’s Festival, blue pencils will be offered on a first-come-first-served basis. You must first be registered and paid in full to receive an appointment. There is no extra fee for a blue pencil.

When you register please indicate whether or not you’re interested in a blue pencil.

Registration is open: go to “Get a Pass” on the website to complete the conditions. In the note section please indicate your registration preference:

Master Class 5 pm- 8 pm on September 25, 2020, with Sam Hiyate. A master class is not for the advanced writer. It simply means that the class is longer and more in-depth. Join the Master Class at the Lakeside Hotel and Conference Centre = $30

All day Saturday, September 26, 2020, Festival Workshops at the Lakeside Hotel and Conference Centre = $60

After the Festival (approximately 8 or 9 pm–ish), when all the learning is done for the day, we’ll walk together down Lakeside Avenue to a beachside fire pit for a wiener roast and soft music. This will end at approximately 11pm. Tickets to be purchased before hand = $8

Total for all + $98

If you have any questions please contact me at WCWF20@gmail.com

Register before the price increase on February 1!

Thanks for your patience…

Well, the holidays are almost over. Phew–It seems like we’ve been celebrating for a very long time. To counter that, I’ve already planned for a New York New Year’s Eve which means that at 9:01 I can be all tucked into bed. That’s the advantage to living on the west coast.

Just so you know, the Wine Country Writer’s Festival is never far from my mind. I have some proposals to go through in the next day or two and some final decisions to make. If you haven’t put in a proposal for instructing a workshop or panel then please do so before the end of the year.

Things are falling into place very nicely but there are many details that need to be addressed.

We have several people already registered and paid. Remember that the early bird price only goes until midnight January 31, 2020. The price for the all day Saturday workshops is still only $60, the Master Class (just means more detailed and longer–you don’t need to be an expert)will be held the evening before and is $30, and the music/beach/hotdog at the end of the Saturday sessions will be $8. That’s only $98 for all that wonderful networking and learning.

Keep your eye on the site and I’ll have more for you very soon.

Happy Holidays and all the Best for a Safe and Healthy New Year.

Check the Presenters Page…

Photo by Thought Catalog on Pexels.com

Wow…what awesome talent we have presenting for the Wine Country Writer’s Festival.

We will have a classes on ….

  • poetry
  • flash fiction
  • building your platform
  • memoir
  • how to build a story…
  • creative nonfiction

And that’s just the beginning.

Because we’re smack dab in the middle of the holidays we’re taking it slow. In the New Year you’ll learn about the writing contest, the blue pencils, the fire on the beach … Wowsers! There’s so much going on.

Early bird pricing for the basic pass to the Festival won’t last forever so grab a friend and purchase your ticket.

If you have any questions or concerns please email WCWF20@gmail.com

And our Guest of Honour Is…

A top agent…

In fact he’s the President and CEO…


The Rights Factory Literary Agency

Sam Hiyate

President and CEO 

Sam worked at the literary magazines Blood & Aphorisms and The Quarterly in the 90s. He ran the edgy micropublisher, Gutter Press, from 1993 to 2002, as publisher. He launched the literary division of The Lavin Agency in 2003, where he built a list of clients and did his first deals. Sam’s projects for the agency have been in various categories, including memoir, literary and commercial fiction, narrative non-fiction and graphic novels.

He’s looking for works of all categories with distinct and compelling voices. He loved to discover and help new writers prepare their works for the market, and to help them build a career with their talent. Sam is actively speaking about creative writing, publishing and agenting. his newest project is donttalktomeaboutlove.com, a LitSite with writing and art about love.

Interested in: 

Business, Commercial Upmarket Fiction, Crime, Cross-Genre, Graphica, Food, Health, Lifestyle, Literary Fiction, Memoir, Mystery, Self-Improvement, Thriller

We’re very excited to have Sam on board. He will be teaching a Master’s Class on the Friday night before the event. There will be a separate charge for this. He will also be in attendance at the Wine Country Writer’s Festival to take pitches and instruct some workshops. Stay tuned for more information…


Hi Everyone. We’re excited that registration for Wine Country Writer’s Festival is now open.

There have been a lot of updates recently and this page will keep you informed of the changes and announcements that will continue to hit the site.

Keep an eye on the the Presenters page. More profiles will be added in the coming weeks.

The Guest of Honour has been confirmed and will be announced soon. Here’s a hint…Get your pitches ready because he’s going to want to hear them. The GoH will also be doing a Master’s Class at an additional fee. Stay Tuned….sooooo excited.

Photo by Tayeb MEZAHDIA on Pexels.com

If you have any questions or concerns please contact us through WCWF20@Gmail.com It may take a day or two but someone will answer your questions or concerns.

Don’t miss the exciting announcements that will be coming on a regular basis and most importantly Save The Date: September 26, 2020