Yukon Writers’ Conference: Deadline March 15th

Hey Everyone, just wanted to note the upcoming deadline for the Yukon Writers’ Conference happening April 3,4,5 here in Whitehorse.  If you are thinking of NOT going, let me give you some reasons to come.

We don’t often get to hear and work with writing professionals here in the North. Normally, you would have to go south to get this convergence of writing instruction.  The conference brings up six people you would never get to talk to otherwise.  I would never have ten minutes alone with Shawna McCarthy in Toronto or Vancouver.  She would be surrounded by other writers more important to Canada, and her time would be scheduled to meet the needs of hundreds of people.  Here, we can chat.  I can even buy her a Cranberry Wheat Ale.

This is not to discount in any way the professional writers we have here in the north–including Lily Gontard, editor of Yukon: North of Ordinary, who will be a speaker and participant in the conference.  I’m only highlighting the fact that she and other editors will be together pooling their knowledge in this conference–a rare occurence.  You can still, of course, get great writing instruction from any of the professional writers who live here—but you have us every year!  hehe.  And we’re gonna be there learning at the conference too!  We want to take advantage of this conference made to help writers in every stage.

Sure, you say, this conference is for people who are going to make a living writing.  I just want to write for myself. Actually, this conference, with its seminars, is aimed at a broad audience.  You will pick up many writing tips from these editors who have seen writing in every stage imaginable.  You will pick up tips to help you where you are.  While they do know the market and know how to get people ready for publishing, they are here for all writers to help you make your writing into what you want it to be.

If you are at all interested in possibly publishing, this is YOUR conference. While the conference accommodates a wide audience, these editors and publishers have expertise they want to share with writers in the North who seek to move their writing to a public level, who want to share their writing and Northern sensibilities with folks down South.  Highlighting a collective experience of over 70 years in the publishing industry, these seven voices (six from the South, one from the North) have a wide range of insight and a diversity of opinion on what makes a work publishable and how to make a story or article most effective.

We have 40 people–at least– in the Yukon working on novels.  You have completed a first draft.  Revising can be difficult–and editors know how to revise. I love hearing writers talk; they know how to create–but usually have experience with only their texts (discounting those who teach–who have seen a lot of other writers’ stuff too).  But editors and publishers can tell you what to do after you’ve created.  Their experience with thousands of manuscripts lead them to a wider knowledge of how to get different stories moving, how to motivate different writers.

It’s 90 bucks, which covers a weekend full of learning.  Hearing any one of the six editors from down South could cost you much, much more–just in travel expenses.  Contact Marcelle Dubé at mdube@northwestel.net or come hear her and Mitch Miyagawa read Thursday night a Whitehorse Public Library at 7:30 and ask her more about the conference there.

I hope to see you there.  The Deadline is March 15th!  Go now.  Sign up.

2009 Yukon Writers Conference, April 3-5

scribo book cover by Kater CheekNorthern Writes is pleased to announce the 2009 Yukon Writers Conference, taking place at the Westmark Whitehorse, on April 3 through 5, 2009. The 2009 Yukon Writers Conference is an opportunity for Yukon writers to meet with and learn from six North American editors and one publisher representing a variety of genres.

The conference will include workshops, a panel discussion, individual pitch appointments and an open critique session.

The conference fee of $90 also covers an opening reception, lunches on Saturday and Sunday, and coffee breaks.

The following publisher and editors will present at the event:

Claire Eddy, Senior Editor, Tor/Forge Books, New York

Paula Eykelhof, Editor, Mira Books, Toronto

Lily Gontard, Editor, Yukon, North of Ordinary, Whitehorse

Shawna McCarthy, Editor, Realms of Fantasy and Agent, New Jersey

Lynne Missen, Executive Editor, Children’s Books, HarperCollins, Toronto

Kathleen Scheibling, Editor, Harlequin Books, Toronto

Howard White, Publisher, Harbour Publishing, Madeira Park, BC


Registration deadlines as follows: February 28 if submitting a writing sample/proposal March 15 if not submitting Registration forms and information sheets will be available at the Whitehorse Public Library starting on February 9, or by contacting Marcelle Dubé at (867) 633-4565, mdube@northwestel.net. Please feel free to share this information.


This conference is not to be missed if you live anywhere near the Yukon. You can’t see these people up close and personal in other venues in the States or in Canada. But here, in Whitehorse, you have a chance to talk with them personally, submit writing, receive critique, and get to know them.

I’ve said before that it was in the Yukon that I met and really got to know some amazing authors/editors from Outside. These meetings were all through conferences like this one that Barb Dunlop and Marcelle Dubé engineered.

If you believe in that Latin phrase on the book above–“I write”–then you’ll want to prepare for this conference. Have ready a manuscript by the end of February to submit to these editors. Come and join us for a chance to develop your writing and all Yukon writers.


Photo above is from my good friend, Kater Cheek, whose amazing art can be found here at www.catherinecheek.com