Denman Writing Workshops 2017

Stewart Goodings

Don’t delay!  Registration for workshops at Denman Island’s annual Readers and Writers Festival July 13 – 16 is now open.  Here are this year’s intriguing opportunities for aspiring writers:

Caroline Adderson, the award-winning Vancouver author, will be leading the five day Writing Week program.  Her novels (Ellen in Pieces, The Sky is Falling, etc.) have garnered both critical and popular acclaim, and she has mentored many younger writers in her active teaching career.  The Writing Week is an interactive small group experience designed for writers who are ready to share excerpts/drafts from their emerging novels, short stories, memoirs.  Caroline and the fellow participants (a maximum of ten) will provide constructive feedback during the morning sessions, while the afternoons will be spent revising and doing writing exercises.  Previous attendees have attested to the value of this program, and local writers Bill Engleson and Jo-Anne McLean, as well as Victoria resident Diana Jones have had books published following their involvement at this intensive writing program.

Five other invited author/presenters will give shorter 3 hour workshops:


Charlotte Gray, the renowned popular historian (Sisters in the Wilderness, The Massey Murder, The Gold Diggers) will lead a workshop entitled “Bringing Life to History.” She will share her approaches to achieve this challenging objective, and help participants with research, writer’s block, and self-editing.  As Charlotte says, “Just because it’s true doesn’t make it interesting; just because it’s interesting doesn’t make it true.”



Kim June Johnson is a singer and songwriter from Hornby Island.  In a first for the Festival, she will offer a workshop on “The Craft of Songwriting.”  Songs are just another type of literature (as Dylan, Baez and Cohen prove) and this workshop will stimulate participants to discuss what makes a great song, to learn about creative habits, and to actually write a song under guidance from Kim June.



Missie Petersthe well-known spoken word artist and improviser from Victoria, will present a workshop on the theme “Spoken Word:  Learn how to take your writing from the page to the stage.”  This is a chance to understand ‘slam’ and to be more confident reading onstage.  She will ask participants to bring a pen and paper for writing and to ‘be ready to be on your feet’.



Andrew Struthers hails from Victoria and his books (Around the World on Minimum Wage, The Green Shadow) combine humour and deep insight.  His workshop titled “Writing for Laughs” will show participants how humour works on the page, how to generate funny ideas and how to avoid making the reader cringe with humour that doesn’t quite hit the mark.



Andrew Nikiforukthe investigative journalist now living in Campbell River has written about the abuse of natural resources and the impacts of energy consumption (Energy of Slaves, Slick Water), and will be the main resource person in a session devoted to current crucial environmental issues.  This will be a facilitated dialogue with others interested and active in environmental activism and writing.


Fuller details about the schedule and costs of these workshops are available here.  Remember, registration for these workshops is now open and they will fill up fast!

May 4, 2017

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