The Writing Week is now full.  If you wish to have your name on a cancellation list, please email the registrar at:

The Writing Week with instructor Caroline Adderson

Monday to Friday July 15 – 19, 2019
9:00 – 1:00 daily in the Arts Centre

Price of Workshop:  $400
Class limit:  8 participants
For description of this Workshop click here: The Writing Week


 Blue Pencil Café is now full; if you wish to have your name on a cancellation list please email the registrar at:

Blue Pencil Café   

Friday July 19th and  Saturday July 20th  

The Denman Island Readers and Writers Festival offers an opportunity for writers to get a professional manuscript review at the Blue Pencil Café, a program revived from previous years.  Writers submit a revised and polished portion of a manuscript for written commentary, followed by a forty-minute consultation.

The Blue Pencil Café host is Jeanette Taylor of Quadra Island, who has four books in print with Harbour Publishing and another currently in final revisions.  She teaches fiction and nonfiction classes designed to help writers build upon their strengths and develop new skills.  She serves as a one-on-one coach through the Scribes Writing Services Collective, and writes their blog at:

Taylor will provide detailed observations on the strengths and challenges of submitted pieces.  “Thanks so much for your excellent suggestions, corrections and guidance,” wrote Annie Siegel following a Blue Pencil Café for the Denman Writers group last year, “I was up half the night of our sessions wired with ideas – even got up at 2:30 a.m. to write some of them down.”

Register, starting May 1, for one of eight available consults on Friday July 19th or Saturday July 20th.  Registrants will send up to four pages (approximately 1200 words) from the start of a fiction or nonfiction chapter or essay by e-mail before July 2nd.    Details will be sent to registrants at the end of May.  The registration form gives an option for Friday or Saturday for your Blue Pencil Café session; you will be allotted a time at a later date.

Price for Blue Pencil Café is $60.00


 Half-day Workshops  

Thursday July 18th, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm at the Community School
Dante Ambriel:  Creative Playwriting Workshop

We will begin with a brief discussion about the five elements necessary for a great play, which are:

  1. The Opening Event and Main Character – which is usually a crisis that involves the main character.
  2. The Characters – each one revealing their own personal motivation (conscious and/or unconscious) in relation to the main character as they circle the main character’s issues.
  3. The Hidden Story – which unfolds as the primary event unfolds.  This allows the audience to discover a Hidden Story in parallel time with the characters.
  4. The Transformation – which is usually caused by the effect of the Hidden Story on the characters in the play; this information also affects the audience’s perspective towards the entire story.
  5. The Release – an unexpected event, usually brought on by one of the supporting characters, that completes the catharsis both for the characters and the audience.

In addition to this play map, we will explore pacing and timing which are crucial to the development of the play as it unfolds.  This is done using file cards that can be colour coded for each of the five elements and can be moved independently of each other and reinserted into a time line of the story to change the events and elements chronologically until the right balance for the overall play is achieved.

Each person should bring some idea of an Opening Event and I will work with each participant over the three hours broken into one hour segments:
First Hour – will be spent sketching in a main character and the supporting characters and discussing how to apply dialogue to enhance the characters and support the story itself.
Second Hour – will be spent creating a hidden story, a transformation and a release.
Third Hour – will be spent pulling it all together and applying pacing and timing to the story.

When the workshop is over each participant will have completed what is called a “Treatment” for their play.  Each person can then flesh out the dialogue, which we will have already discussed in detail, and they will have a completed play to present in the future.

Class limit:  10

Thursday July 18th, 2:00 – 5:00 pm at the Community School
Andrew MacLeod     Just the Facts

Some days facts appear to be out of fashion.  We live in an age of truthiness where our leaders seem to lie without repercussion, poisoning our public discourse.  And yet the strongest antidote – the only one with hope of working in the long run – remains a command of solid facts that are difficult to deny or dismiss.  Though threatened, they are more necessary than ever.  As philosopher Bertrand Russell put it, “Those who forget good and evil and seek only to know the facts are more likely to achieve good than those who view the world through the distorting medium of their own desires.”  For nonfiction writers, fortunately, facts necessarily remain the core building blocks of what we do and they are the place to start for anyone wanting to put something true into print.

Join reporter and author Andrew MacLeod for a workshop on taking your nonfiction toolbox to the next level.  Topics may include interview techniques, research skills and using freedom of information laws to find out what you need to know.  Once you have the facts, it’s up to you what to do with them.

Class limit:  10


Thursday July 18th, 2:00 – 5:00 pm at the Community School
Billeh Nickerson   The Poetry of Place

Join editor, educator and poet Billeh Nickerson for a workshop on how writers can develop the good, the bad, the ugly and the snuggly of place in their work.  This class will feature writing exercises, group discussions and other explorations.  Participants need not be poets.

Class limit:  10


Saturday July 20th, 9:00 am – 12:00 noon at the Arts Centre
Heather O’Neill:    Moments of Grace   ** This Workshop is full.**

Together we will explore how to create and stage the transcendent moments that make literary fiction magical.

Class limit:  10


Price for Half-Day Workshops is $70

If you are a resident of Denman Island and a member of Arts Denman you may be eligible for an Art Education Grant