Three Fed Members on the Fiddlehead Shortlist!

Congratulations to all the shortlisted poets, including Fed members Barbara Pelman and Shaleeta Harrison, along with our outstanding executive director and past president, Ann Graham Walker! It’s wonderful to see our members making shortlists, not only in BC, but around the country and world!

Call for Submissions — Fernie Writer-in-Residence May 1-22, 2020

The Federation of BC Writers and the Fernie Writers Conference are calling for submissions for the Fernie Writer-in-Residence term from May 1 to 22, 2020. Applications will be accepted from February 1 through Midnight (PDT) March 15, 2020. The Writer-in-Residence will be announced before April 1, 2020.

The Fernie Writers Conference events are held at Fernie Alpine Resort. During the year, there are several weekend Mini-Conferences. The main Fernie Writers Conference will be August 17-24, 2020 and offers participants week-long and three-day intensive workshops in fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

The Writer-in Residence will lead one workshop session at the May 1, 2, 3, 2020 Mini-Conference. The writer will be expected to give a public reading at the beginning of the residency and toward the end. The writer will lead a five-session evening workshop for adults (no more than ten writers) and a similar number of sessions with youth in the community.

The Writer-in-Residence will receive a $1500 stipend and $500 for leading a session at the May Mini-Conference.

Beyond that, the Writer-in-Residence will be able to work on a project of their own, benefiting from a three-week block of time.

The adjudication will be by Keith Liggett (President of the Federation of BC Writers and Director of the Fernie Writers Conference), one member-at-large of the Federation of BC Writers, and one member of the Fernie community. The Writer-in-Residence must be a member of the Federation of BC Writers, a Canadian resident of BC or the Yukon and have a demonstrated publication and workshop history. There is no requirement as to genre, but a writer with experience across non-fiction, fiction and poetry may be given preference.

The decision of the adjudicators will be final.

Interested writers should apply through the Federation of BC Writers Submittable site accessed through the Fed web site or through the Fernie Writers Conference site at

Any questions should be directed to Keith Liggett

Application materials should include:

  1. A one page cover letter.
  2. Ten pages (standard manuscript formatting) of the proposed project with a one page synopsis/explanation.
  3. Two-page CV detailing publishing and workshop experience.
  4. Two craft references.

The Fernie Writer-in-Residence is supported by generous grants from the Federation of BC Writers, Fernie Lodging Company, Snow Creek Cabins, Lizard Creek Lodge, Fernie Alpine Resort, and other community members.

To apply through the Submittable page set up for this purpose, click HERE.

The FBCW is Now Offering Sunday Afternoon Webinars

The Federation of BC Writers is excited to collaborate with Barb Drozdowich in offering Sunday Afternoon Webinars on topics relevant to the writing life!

These new webinars will be presented by seasoned teachers who will help writers, regardless of where they live – from Whitehorse to Tofino. All that is needed is an internet connection, a computer and a comfy chair.

One Sunday a month, we will address the needs of authors with a variety of craft and marketing subjects. The webinars will combine live teaching with a Q&A session at the end.

Our first Sunday session starts on Feb 23rd with an overview of the Canadian Publishing Landscape in 2020. With the world of publishing changing so quickly, this webinar will catch you up to date with real information and answers to common questions.

The topic we will talk about in March is 5 Tips to Improve Your Confidence in a Social Media World. In future months, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from an illustrator and children’s author, some editors, a poet and even learn more about marketing a book when you live in a small city or town.

If you would like to pitch a webinar for our series, please contact Barb Drozdowich at

Here is more information about the first 2 webinars planned:

Webinar #1 – Sunday Feb 23rd from 2PM – 4PM
Understanding the Publishing Landscape in 2020

Want to publish your book but you are running into trouble?

Too many foreign sounding words. Too much blah, blah, blah.

Are you doing your best but are getting frustrated?

In “Understanding the Publishing Landscape” we will demystify this ever-changing world by answering the following questions:

·      What are the steps of publishing regardless of who is the publisher?
·      What is the difference between Traditional publishing, Self-publishing and Vanity publishing
·      What is an agent and is an agent necessary for the publishing process?
·      What is a retailer vs what is a distributor?
·      What should you pay for, what is free?
·      What questions should you ask when seeking assistance?
·      What red flags should you look for?
·      How can you vet your choices?

Barb Drozdowich comes from a background of technical training and has been serving as a technical virtual assistant to authors since 2010. She is the author of 27 books focused at the needs of authors. She is an area representative for the Federation of BC Writers and lives with her family in Abbotsford.

Prices – Member $20.00 Non-member $45.00 
Link to purchase tickets –

Webinar #2 – Sunday March 8th from 2PM to 4PM
5 Tips to Improve your Confidence in a Social Media World
You are a writer and are hoping to use social media to get the word out about your book.
Are you tired of stumbling around, confused by the language, the requirements?

Let Barb Drozdowich lead you through 5 easy things that you can do to walk confidently in this environment. Focusing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram you will:

·      Learn what hashtags are and why they are important
·      Learn how to create an effective social media bio
·      Learn to use language that is appropriate for the platform
·      Learn the rules that you need to follow
·      And learn what to say to use this powerful world to your advantage.

Barb is the author of 27 books. She serves as a technical trainer and technical virtual assistant to authors around the world. She’s spent 15 years in front of a class teaching science before she took on the challenge of running the technical training department of a bank. She has been working with authors since 2010.

Prices – Members $20.00 Non-members $45.00 
Link to purchase tickets –

Half Price for New Members

This year, the Federation of BC Writers is offering a one time special promotion for groups of writers wanting to experience our membership benefits. Groups of three or more writers can join together for half price by banding together and emailing or executive director at Please send just one email for each group of three or more writers. Welcome!

Bill Arnott’s Beat

I knew I was a writer … 

… around the time I signed my first book. The purchaser, someone I’d known for years, looked at me with an excitement I’d never seen on them prior to the publication of my modest trade paperback – a book about personal development and designing a good life – what we labeled self-help in the day. It became a national bestseller. Fifteen years later people still buy copies and seem to enjoy them. Authors I admire said kind things about it. A number of those who gave glowing reviews actually read the book. I was able to send cheques to Make-a-Wish Foundation of Canada, granting wishes to children with life threatening illness. It was all rather heady.

When I read the writing now I find a lot of it cringe-worthy. I’ve improved my craft since then. But that book still makes me proud. Writing it I began to find my voice, even though I lathered that voice in vanilla, tiptoeing a path I felt would offend no one. Remarkably I still managed to insult a few idiots. THAT was when I knew I was a writer. Not before. Not during signings, charitable donations or doe-eyed looks. Don’t get me wrong, that was enjoyable, but it didn’t convince me of my capabilities as a writer. It was the moment I realized I’d written something that shared a sliver of personal world view to engage, stimulate, provoke, reaching readers in a way that made them FEEL – whatever those emotions ended up being – joy, sadness, or in the case of some, the realization I was not in fact opinionated, but wrong. 

After my initial confusion (how can you find THAT offensive?!) I had my first sense of being authentic as a writer. It gave me the courage to scrape away the bland frosting, my subsequent book being forthright and opinionated. Fewer people have read it. I’m more proud of it. 

I won’t fault someone writing for a broad audience. We all have different goals. If you’re doing so with a voice that’s your own that makes you proud and still fills readers with emotion, I applaud you. It’s a fine feeling. And if you write something you file away for no one but yourself and still feel good about it, I applaud you too. If you’ve triggered an emotion by doing so, then you already know you’re the real deal.

Learning HOW to write is easy. There are plenty of instruction manuals gathering dust on book store shelves. Determining WHY you write sets you apart, providing focus and objective. Yes, you’ll continue to work, challenge yourself and tackle inevitable obstacles. But you’ll never question your life as a writer.


Author, poet, songwriter Bill Arnott is the bestselling author of Wonderful Magical Words, Dromomania, and Gone Viking: A Travel Saga. Bill’s been a featured author/performer at hundreds of literary and music events. When not trekking the globe with a weatherproof journal and horribly outdated camera phone or showing off his cooking skills as a culinary school dropout, Bill can be found on Canada’s west coast, making friends and generally misbehaving.