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

New Market: Federations Anthology–Get your Star Trek on!

federations_3All right, Science Fiction Writers, you have another cool opportunity for publication. Remember back when you and me were discussing writing for Star Trek? Well, John Joseph Adams, editor of this year’s fun anthology of zombie stories, The Living Dead, (which has a great story from my BFF Catherine Cheek) is looking for stories about the impacts of far-flung galactic empires in a new anthology called Federations. I quote from his guidelines:

What are the social, religious, environmental, or technological implications of living in such a vast society? What happens when expansionist tendencies on a galactic scale come into conflict with the indigenous peoples of other planets, of other races? And what of the issue of communicating across such distances, or the problems caused by relativistic travel? These are just some of the questions and issues that the stories in Federations will take on.

So, if you have an idea you’d like to explore in an intergalactic empire sort of way, in 5000 words or less, submit it to Adams by Jan 1 2009. We may not get to write for Star Trek, but we can write out our Trek-like visions and still discuss the same issues in this anthology–and that may be a better thing than boldly going into Roddenberry’s universe. We get a universe of our own to play with.

Egalité at the World Fantasy Convention, a report

img_7941I have returned from Calgary where I attended the World Fantasy Convention, a yearly gathering of editors, publishers, writers of Fantasy literature. There were three of us from Whitehorse–Marcelle Dubé, Claire Eamer and me–forming a Contingency.

The convention for me was divided into four parts: the seminars, the networking, the readings and the dealer’s room.

The Seminars: The theme was Mystery in Fantasy Literature, with some seminars on how to put mystery elements into your fantasy fiction, or the best Fantasy novels of the last 20 years, etc. You can go and hear editors and publishers and writers speak about their writing strategies and their interests. Important was putting names and faces together in the editing and publishing world and getting an idea of what each editor might enjoy seeing in fantasy fiction, and how they might be to work with as editors and publishers. I also learned a lot about which authors were considered the best in the field, and how to catch up on authors I’d missed out on.

Networking: This is actually a lot of fun. Catching people for dinner, or talking with them in the convention suites after programming/seminars were over. You meet a lot of people you could never meet otherwise and this is for them–and you–to put names and faces together. I was able to hand out a few cards (ones that I’d made on my computer an hour before I left on the Air North plane), and meet a lot of people one on one who are exciting, interesting folks–fellow writers, and the aforementioned editors and publishers. You’d be surprised to learn, I’m sure, that I’m not a good schmoozer. I couldn’t last the many hours it requires. However, as the picture implies, we all got nametags and were encouraged to sit in the autograph room as equals–this is actually a very nice egalitarian maneuver. We’ve been hearing and talking to editors and publishers as they are movers, shakers, and opinion-makers–and then for two hours, we are all on the same level together. Nope, no one came up to have me sign anything. But it was nice–to feel like a writer, someone who COULD give autographs at any moment.

The readings: though I didn’t go to very many, I did enjoy the ones I went to. Mostly they were friends that I knew. Here you can hear about books you haven’t bought yet.

The dealer’s room: where books are sold. Ah, the joy of the dealer’s room. Lots of books. And I got to do an interview with Edge Books Website for a podcast. I even signed some books for them: Tesseracts Nine and Eleven. Edge Books and Hades Publications are fantastic people.

I’d like to do it again. But one of the biggest lessons I learned there was that you could be a well-known name despite publishing very much. If you send stuff out to be published, and are rejected, your name will still be more recognizable than if you had never submitted at all.

So, courage–even without publication–is rewarded with recognition. And recognition in a small cadre of people is worth its weight in gold.

(picture: l-r, Catherine Cheek, Derek Kunsken, me, Peter Atwood—Catherine and Peter were fellow Clarionites–and thanks to Liza Trombi of LOCUS for the pic!  Thanks, Liza!)