Celebrated author Gail Anderson-Dargatz believes in the power of the word – for everyone. She has visited literacy classes at Okanagan College

Celebrated author Gail Anderson-Dargatz believes in the power of the word – for everyone. She has visited literacy classes at Okanagan College

Festival features fine writers

Registration will soon open for the annual Word on the Lake Writers' Festival, set for May 19 to 21 in Salmon Arm.

Calling all writers and readers.

Registration will soon open for another Word on the Lake Writers’ Festival, a three-day event that runs from Friday evening, May 19 through to Sunday, May 21.

As always, sessions will include both skill-development workshops and open forums with authors based on questions and answers in an intimate setting.

Here are a few of this year’s presenters.

Included in the 2017 lineup for the second time is the Shuswap’s own Gail Anderson-Dargatz, one of many talented authors and seasoned publishing industry officials.

Anderson-Dargatz has been published worldwide in English and in many other languages. A Recipe for Bees and The Curefor Death by Lighting were international bestsellers, and were both finalists for the prestigious Giller Prize in Canada and both Turtle Valley and A Rhinestone Button were national bestsellers. Her first book, The Miss Hereford Stories, was short-listed for the Leacock Award for humour and her most recent novel, The Spawning Grounds, was released in fall 2016 and is again a national bestseller.

Anna Comfort O’Keeffe has worked in the B.C book publishing industry for 15 years and is the managing editor at Douglas & McIntyre, living and working from Pender Harbour. An experienced editor and book designer, O’Keeffe is adept at working with authors, editors and designers to co-ordinate a smooth publishing process from the manuscript acquisition stage through to press.

Lorelei Fiset tweets for more than 30 Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages all from her smartphone! For her, it’s the fun part of a 30-year award-winning career in marketing and public relations. Her company, Pinnacle Communications & Media, plans and creates marketing solutions including events, websites, group facilitation and private consulting.

In December 2016, Jacqueline Guest received the Order of Canada for her contributions as a children’s book author who promotes multiculturalism, youth literacy and Indigenous culture.

An international award-winning author of 19 novels, Guest has stood on an iceberg, flown a kite in a hurricane, worn bedroom slippers in Parliament and dodged hungry lions all while on the job as a writer. Her books are great reading for ages eight through 80, with some titles used in university-level courses. She has more than 20 years of experience working with students of all ages and has taught reading and writing workshops across Canada, the U.S. and as far off as Tanzania.

Shelagh Jamieson is director of publishing and communications for the Factors Group. In addition to overseeing corporate communications, she is managing editor of Mind Publishing, the company’s book-publishing division. She is a member of the Editors’ Association of Canada and has been involved in writing and editing for more than 20 years, primarily within the natural health product industry.

Theresa Kishkan is the author of 13 books of poetry, fiction and personal essays, as well as a memoir, A Book of Trees. Her books have been nominated for many prizes, including the Hubert Evans Award (twice), the Ethel Wilson Award, and several Pushcart Prizes and National Magazine Awards; Phantom Limb received the Canadian Creative Nonfiction Collective’s inaugural Readers’ Choice Award in 2009.

Born and raised in Edmonton, Alta., Myrna Kostash is a full-time writer of nonfiction in several genres, and has written for diverse magazines, such as Chatelaine and Saturday Night, Canadian Geographic and Books in Canada among others. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in several magazines and her essays and articles have appeared in many notable anthologies.

As well, she has written radio drama and documentary, television documentary, playscripts and theatre cabaret.

Halli Lilburn has stories and poetry published through Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy, Leap Books, Carte Blanche and many other literary journals. She designed and published a colouring book. She teaches art journaling, multi-media collage and creative writing classes. She lives as a librarian, feminist and steampunk guru in Lethbridge, Alta. with her husband and three kids.

George Opacic is currently a director of the Federation of BC Writers. While travelling on business, he wrote numerous short stories and many filmscripts, including Shroomtown, Hellenic Digits, Hammurabi, L5, World HQ, Where There’s Smoke and Protocol Omega.

Current projects include an ambitious novel called The Antichrist of Stanley Park, which takes place in Nunavut and Vancouver. In progress is a book being written for a client, called In A Cloud of Sails.

Other presenters will be released in the coming weeks and wait for an article with gifted children’s writer Jacqueline Guest.