Thank you to all who participated this year in Vancouver, the conference was sold out!
WEDNESDAY, MAY 23, 2012
2:00 – 5:00 pm CNFC Business Meeting
We’ll be discussing, among other things, a proposal to change from being a “company” to being a “society”.
5:30 – 6:30 pm Dinner
6:45 – 10:00 pm Cabaret Readings & The Readers’ Choice Award
An opportunity for all attendees to offer 5-minute readings from their work. This will allow members to develop a wider sense of what is being written by CNF writers across Canada.
Members will also read short excerpts of creative nonfiction works nominated for our Readers’ Choice Award. Conference attendees will determine the winner by majority vote.
Wine, beer and nibblies will be provided.
THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
9:00 – 10:30 am Workshop 1 or 2 (Take your pick.)
1. Dealing with Time in Creative Nonfiction
A craft-oriented workshop looking at the different approaches to portraying time in CNF (especially memoir). Retrospection, chronology, dramatis personae, verb tenses, flashbacks, and narrative distance will be explored, with examples. We’ll also look at the use of repetition, and how such layering of time can enrich narrative in CNF.
Workshop leaders: Christin Geall, David Leach
2. Writing From the Archives
A workshop on the challenges of finding and using archival materials (including archival materials in foreign countries). Also, the issue of permissions and copyright, and how to make such materials lively and intriguing.
Workshop leader: Julija Sukys
10:45 am – 12:15 pm Keynote Speaker, John Vaillant, author of bestselling The Tiger, as well as The Golden Spruce
The title of John Vaillant’s talk will be BACKSEAT DRIVING: Building Character and the Narrative Engine in Long-form Non-fiction.
12:30 – 1:30 pm Lunch
2:00 – 3:30 pm Workshop 3 or 4 (Take your pick.)
3. Literary Cross-Dressing
A workshop on weaving other genres (ie. poetry, fiction, lyrics, etc.) into effective creative nonfiction, or converting your creative nonfiction article or essay into a screen or stage play, story, poem or hybrid form.
Workshop hosts: Alisa Gordaneer, Cathy Ostlere
4. WRITING ABOUT POLITICALLY OR SOCIALLY CHARGED TOPICS, either in serial or book form.
A “nuts and bolts” workshop on the practical challenges of research and writing, from costs to accessing sources to determining whom to trust in charged landscapes and subject areas. Are the challenges the same for both genders? Where are the markets for such topics, and how does one access them? What do they pay, and what restrictions might they place on your treatment of the topics? Host: Deborah Campbell (“This Heated Place”), who has travelled to the Middle East many times to witness and write about the political and social situations in places such as Israel-Palestine, Iran, Syria, and Lebanon.
3:45 – 5:15 pm Plenary Session: The Latest on E-Books
A session on the E-book – a survey of recent developments, market conditions, contract changes; also: how to convert your published books into ebook formats, how to market them, costs and earnings, what’s selling and where, etc.
Host: Michelle Demers, author of The Global Indie Author
5:30 – 6:30 pm Dinner (then transition to Writers’ Union AGM this evening)
8:00 pm Keynote Speech at Writers’ Union AGM, Holiday Inn, 1110 Howe Street, Vancouver
John Vaillant, Keynote Speaker
John Vaillant is a non-fiction author and journalist who was born in Cambridge, MA, and has lived in Vancouver for the past thirteen years. His first book, The Golden Spruce, won the 2005 Governor General’s Award for Nonfiction as well as the Writers’ Trust Nonfiction Prize. It dealt with the felling of the Golden Spruce on Haida Gwaii by Grant Hadwin.
His 2010 work, The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival is about a man-eating tiger incident that happened in the 1990s in Russia’s, where most of the world’s Amur tigers live. It is a mixture of investigative journalism, social history, geography and nature writing. The Tiger won the BC National Award for Canadian Nonfiction, and the Globe & Mail’s Best Book for Science 2010 award.
Michelle Demers is a freelance writer, fine art photographer, screenwriter and short fictioneer. She provides contract services for the film, television and publishing industries, including scriptwriting, story editing, and ghostwriting. She currently teaches a course on self-publishing for Capilano University, and has also published a self-help manual, The Global Indie Author: How Anyone Can Self-publish in the US and Worldwide Markets.
Christin Geall teaches creative nonfiction at the University of Victoria. Her work has been selected by Creative Nonfiction and recently appeared in Walk Myself Home (Caitlin Press) and 21st Century Motherhood (Demeter). Her essays are forthcoming in Women Writing on Family: Tips on Writing, Teaching and Publishing (Key) and Becoming: Women’s Stories (Nebraska). www.christingeall.com
Alisa Gordaneer lives in Victoria, BC, where she writes poetry and both creative and technical nonfiction. She teaches creative and business writing, and contributes a monthly column about the arts to Victoria’s Boulevard magazine. She’s won many awards for both her poetry and journalism, including awards from the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Foundation, and Association of Alternative Newsweeklies.
David Leach’s widely published freelance writing has included humour articles, personal profiles, arts reviews, investigative journalism, and first-person travelogues, and has been nominated for nine National Magazine Awards (winning a Gold in 2009). He has received a Western Magazine Award for arts and culture, won two Northern Lights Awards for Travel Journalism and been anthologized in Way Out There: The best of explore (GreyStone). His first book, Fatal Tide: When the race of a lifetime goes wrong, was published by Penguin Canada.
Is an award-winning author (“This Heated Place”) and journalist who has spent the past decade reporting from such places as Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Colombia, Cuba, and Russia. Much of her work is immersive journalism that involves living among the societies she covers. She teaches narrative nonfiction writing at the University of British Columbia and guest lectures widely.
Cathy Ostlere’s first book, Lost: A Memoir (Key Porter 2008), began as a series of poems but grew into creative non-fiction essays and eventually a memoir. Essays excerpted from Lost have been short-listed for the National Magazine Awards, Western Magazine Awards, CBC Literary Awards, and Prism International and Event Magazine Non-fiction Contests. In 2009, Lost was shortlisted for the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-fiction. In 2010, she co-wrote Lost: A Memoir, a 90-minute one-woman play. She is currently writing a film script also based on the book. Her second book, Karma, a verse novel, was released by Penguin Canada and U.S. in 2011.
Julija Sukys is the author of Epistolophilia: Writing the Life of Ona Simeait
(University of Nebraska Press, 2012) and Silence is Death: The Life and Work of
Tahar Djaout (University of Nebraska Press, 2007). She is currently completing a book based on the life, letters, and oral history of her paternal grandmother who spent 17 years in forced exile on a Siberian collective farm. Sukys has made
extensive use of both public and private archives in her work, and has a particular interest in women’s lifewriting (letters and diaries).