Award-winning author Sheri-D Wilson, who also combines music and poetry, was a big hit at the 2017 Word on the Lake Writers’ Festival in Salmon Arm. (Observer file photo)

COVID-19 cancels writers’s festival in Shuswap, sparks new showcase for creativity

Visual artists and writers encouraged to enter submissions

Though COVID-19 spelled the end of plans for the Word on the Lake Writers’ Festival in Salmon Arm this year, it also inspired a new way to celebrate creativity in the region.

Born was the idea of compiling a booklet made up of selected works created by writers and artists during the coronavirus threat of 2020. The pieces don’t have to be about the coronavirus, just written or created during the time, explains Kay Johnston, past president of the Shuswap Association of Writers and chair of the festival.

“Because there’s going to be no festival, we thought we needed to do something for writers that was within our mandate… It’s our thank you.”

Both writers and visual artists are invited to enter their work. All submissions entered will be published on the Isolation Art website, while selected pieces will go in the booklet.

Read more: In photos – Get it in writing

Read more: 2017 – Writer unveils some mysteries about Murdoch

Johnston describes the project as two-pronged, with one being the submission of work by visual artists and the other, the work of writers. Photographs of all visual art forms and mediums are acceptable, as are all forms of writing – poetry, stories, scripts – anything.

The booklets will be sold when complete, with all proceeds going to Second Harvest food bank in Salmon Arm and the food bank in Sorrento.

The deadline to enter is July 10, 2020. Entries can be emailed to:

For more details, go to:

The project is a collaboration between the Shuswap Association of Writers, the Shuswap Writers Group of Salmon Arm, the Writers’ Nook out of Blind Bay, and Third House Interactive Multimedia based in Sorrento.

The Shuswap Community Foundation is providing funds to cover the printing of the booklet.
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