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Writer's festival coming to Penticton

The Shatford Centre/Okanagan School of the Arts is preparing to host a stimulating weekend for writers and aspiring authors with the first annual Okanagan Valley Writer's Festival, April 8 to 9. Offerings include workshops and panel discussions on various aspects of writing, selling and marketing fiction and nonfiction in a range of genres—plus poetry, songs, and screenplays.

“We challenged ourselves with offering something of interest to each writer during each time slot,” says organizer Dawn Renaud, who says the committee’s goal is to provide maximum opportunities for writers in a smaller, more engaging format. “Our event is particularly nice for any writer who may be overwhelmed at bigger writers’ conferences, and the Shatford Centre is the perfect venue.”

Renaud says she’s thrilled to be part of the committee bringing writers’ conferences back to Penticton, and expects this to become an annual event. Their 2016 line-up includes a variety of publishers, agents, writers and instructors: Brian Hades, Cheryl Kaye Tardif, Daniela Elza, Denise Jaden, Grant Lawrence, Jodie Renner, Kat Montagu, Laurie Carter, Lorna Schultz-Nicolson, Robert Mackwood, Roberta Rich, and Will Schlackl.

The weekend begins on Friday evening with a meet-and-greet and entertainment that’s open to the public. “We have CBC personality Grant Lawrence sharing the spotlight with a few more wonderful writers, reading from their work,” says Renaud.

The main part of the conference runs from Saturday breakfast through Sunday lunch; all meals are included. Some presenters are also offering extra one-on-one sessions on Friday, or on Sunday afternoon. “What a great Christmas gift for the writer in your life.” says Renaud. For those travelling, accommodation deals are offered at Days Inn Penticton and the Penticton Lakeside Resort.

More details about the conference are now available on the OVWF website, okanaganvalleywritersfestival.com, and registration with early-bird pricing is open at the Shatford Centre/Okanagan School of the Arts.