Writers converging on Whistler 

Whistler’s 7th annual lit-fest, the Whistler Readers & Writers Festival, is set to take place Sept. 12-13, 2008. With 15 different seminars, sessions, workshops and readings available to select from, the biggest challenge for aspiring, emerging, devoted or lapsed writers is choosing between sessions on live wrestling, story-wrangling, or Techniques of the Inquisition. Streams on fiction writing, non-fiction and magazine writing, as well as memoir and writing from life are programmed, with guest writers including Wayne Grady, William Deverell, Nancy Warren, Shaena Lambert, Leslie Anthony, Susan Reifer, Candas Jane Dorsey, Mel Hurtig and Rebecca Wood Barrett,  For more information, visit www.theviciouscircle.ca and download the festival program. Tickets are available online at www.theviciouscircle.ca , and start from $20.

This week, local children’s writer Sara Leach takes a look at the value of workshops and writing festivals. Leach, a teacher and founding member of the Whistler Writers Group, will team up with fellow scribe Pam Barnsley to facilitate two sessions on Saturday, Sept. 13 at the festival. Feedback Blitz: How to Give and Receive Feedback , will take place Saturday at 4 p.m. Saturday morning will kick off with free drop-in class at 8:30 a.m., Top 10 Tips to Crank Up Your Writing, a host of exercises geared at getting hands moving across the page.

 

 

The importance of the critique

Constructive feedback critical to writing

 

By Sara Leach

You’ve completed writing your novel. It’s as good as you can make it. What next? If you’re looking to get your work published, it’s time to let your baby out into the big scary world. So you send it out to Publisher X or Agent Y, right? Not so fast. First, let another reader see it. But not just anyone.

A good husband never says your jeans make you look fat. A good girlfriend tells you the straight up truth. The same is true of writing. Our family members want us to succeed and feel good about ourselves. They don’t always give us an unbiased opinion of our work. This is where a good critique group comes in. A critique group is a group of writers who come together to share and comment on each other’s work. While it is the job of family members to extol the virtues of your writing, no matter how much work it might still need, a good critique group offers constructive feedback about your writing, while keeping your self-esteem intact.

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