Writers take note: Words in the Woods a new feature in Alberni

The venerable Forest Fest is coming and Ivan Coyote is among those who will be giving readings.

Vancouver author and spoken word performer Ivan Coyote will give a workshop as part of the Writers in the Woods feature at Forest Fest 2011 later this month. (July 6

Vancouver author and spoken word performer Ivan Coyote will give a workshop as part of the Writers in the Woods feature at Forest Fest 2011 later this month. (July 6

Forest Fest and the Words in the Woods Writers Festival is hosting a series of workshops July 29-31 at McLean Mill.

Published authors in a variety of genres will be sharing their knowledge and skills. Space is limited, and one workshop has already sold out, but there is still time to register for workshops on prose, poetry, and children’s writing.

Ivan Coyote, a perennial favourite at Forest Fest, is well-known and loved by Port Alberni audiences for her dynamic presentation of stories about ordinary people. Her three-hour presentation will focus on preparing writers to perform their work, with tips on body language, microphones, and selling books.

Everyone has a story, and award-winning journalist Brian Brett will give some pointers on memoir writing, and how to use the precise language of poetry to tell a compelling story.

Brett has published in almost every major newspaper and most of the major magazines in Canada. He has taught at the Victoria School of Writing and Malaspina University-College (now Vancouver Island University), and currently teaches at UBC.

Caroline Woodward, who has published five books, will highlight techniques for developing memorable characters. Her workshops employ a unique blend of theatre and creative writing to help writers know their characters inside and out.

Wendy Morton has been the unofficial “poet in residence” at Forest Fest for several years and everyone loves the poems she writes for them. She adores teaching people how to write poetry and that’s what she will be doing at this year’s “Words in the Woods Writers Festival”.

Children’s author and storyteller Nikki Tate, a popular children’s book reviewer for CBC radio, will also discuss character development, with special emphasis on child characters that young readers will love.

All workshops will take place on Saturday. Friday evening, there will be a panel discussion on various aspects of writing and publishing.

All workshop leaders will participate, including Jack Hodgins, one of Canada’s best and most longstanding fiction writers, and long-time creative writing instructor at the University of Victoria. (His workshop is already sold out.)

The panel also includes special guest Des Kennedy, one of the most influential personalities in the Canadian gardening scene. Kennedy has contributed countless articles on environmental issues, gardening and rural living to a wide variety of publications in Canada and the United States, including seven years as gardening columnist for the Globe and Mail.

Kennedy has been a guest on many regional and national television and radio programs, and presented a weekly column on the national CBC television program Midday for six years.

Workshop registration for all workshops is $100 each, which includes entrance all Forest Fest at Writers’ Festival activities including the panel discussion, the workshop, and readings by featured and local writers, the Saturday night concert, the Saturday  morning children’s concert and the Sunday afternoon gospel concert.

For full details and registration information, check out the web site at www.forestfest.ca.

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