AGM on Thursday, May 20, 2021

Notice to all CVWS Members!

Annual General Meeting is tonight…May 20, 2021 at 7 p.m.

Election of new Officers for 2021 / 2022 and Annual Reports from your current Board Members.

This is a very worthwhile organization. Please consider volunteering some of your time towards the continued growth and value of the Comox Valley Writers Society.

Creative Residencies for Comox Valley Writers and Visual Artists

The McLoughlin Gardens is pleased to welcome local writers and visual artists to reside and work at the Gardens for one- and two-week residencies this summer and fall. We offer successful applicants space and privacy to pursue their art and nurture their artistic vision and voice.

Applications will be juried by a committee. Residencies are subsidized and the cost to the artist will be $500 per week. The seaside cottage is comfortable, fully furnished and equipped with WIFI service. Please note: vehicle access is limited, and there are no laundry facilities.

To apply for the residency, please go to and submit an application by May 20, 2021.

Upcoming Event for Members!

Your North Island Writers Conference committee is excited to launch the second mid-conference session titled: “Marketing Your Book in a Time of COVID and Beyond”. It will be held on Thursday, May 13, 2021 at 7 p.m. via Zoom.

For full details about this exciting event, please click here. You will also have to fill out the registration form in order to receive your Zoom invitation.

This Q & A Panel session is for CVWS Members only. And it is free!

Marketing Your Book in a Time of COVID & Beyond – May 13, 2021

Marketing Your Book

Your North Island Writers Conference committee is excited to launch the second mid-conference session event titled: “Marketing Your Book in a Time of COVID and Beyond”. It will be held on Thursday, May 13, 2021 at 7 p.m. via Zoom. Three panel members – Terry James, Marlet Ashley and Teresa Hedley – (all CVWS members) will answer questions from the moderator and the attendees.

The aim of the Q & A panel session is to find solutions that can be applied during this restrictive atmosphere to form a supportive network for authors to continue their work into the future.

This event is for CVWS members only. Time being limited, each member may only ask one question of the panel which is pertinent to marketing a book. Please write out your question in the box provided on the registration form. In case someone has already asked the same question, please write out your secondary question in the space provided.

To register for Marketing Your Book in a Time of COVID and Beyond, please fill out the form under the “Registration” tab by May 9th. Once you have registered, look for your Zoom invitation for this event to arrive in your Inbox on May 10th.

If you have any questions, please contact Joline at (It is listed in the drop-down Contacts box on the Contact page.)

Marketing Panel

Terrance James
Terrance James earned BA and MEd degrees at UVIC and a PhD from the Rehabilitation Studies Department at the University of Calgary. He is a career educator having taught at elementary, secondary, college and university levels.

Writing has been a life-long interest. He has written: travelogues, poetry, professional journal articles, manuals and books. He has been published by a traditional publisher, and has self-published. He has worked as a proof-reader for an international organization and associate editor for an academic journal.

In retirement he and his wife operate Poplar Publishing, a small home-based business that publishes niche market books for first time authors in the Comox Valley. Most of these are books of memoir, family history, or autobiography written by seniors.

Marlet Ashley, B.A., B.Ed., M.A.
Marlet began her career as a T.A. in psychology at the University of Windsor and an instructor of psychology at St. Clair College of Applied Arts and Technology, Windsor, Ontario. After earning an M.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing at the U. of Windsor, she taught creative writing there as a sessional instructor. Moving to Vancouver, B.C., she was a tenured instructor of literature and composition at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey, B.C.

Her first novel is The Right Kind of Crazy (2018). Along with the children’s books series Revelry on the EstuaryThe Interlopers, Trumpeters’ Tribulations, Penelope Piper’s Great Adventure, Henri Sings the Blues, and A Pirate’s Life for Gabby—as well as a children’s Christmas book—Must Be Christmas—and Robin and Ruthie Ride the Bus, her short stories and poetry have been included in a variety of literary and university publications including Generation, Wayzgoose, Taproot, and others. She is the author of the Canadian edition of Literature and the Writing Process, Pearson Prentice Hall, Toronto.

She is a member of the Federation of BC Writers and the Comox Valley Writers Society under whose auspices she facilitates a fiction writing group. Marlet has been a guest lecturer at Elder College at North Island College. She has also conducted workshops for the Comox Valley Writers Society’s conference at North Island College (2018, 2019, 2020). One of three finalists for the 2012 John Kenneth Galbraith Literary Award, she was also the recipient of an honourable mention in the Lorian Hemmingway 2018 Short Story Competition and the 2020 Writers’ Digest Literary Short Fiction Contest. Marlet lives in Comox, BC. Visit her blog at

Teresa Hedley
Teresa Hedley is the author of What’s Not Allowed? A Family Journey with Autism (Wintertickle Press, 2020), a memoir which offers an uplifting approach to mining the best version of each of us, autism or not. Teresa is also a parent, an educator and a curriculum designer. Teaching stints in Canada, Japan, Greece, Spain and Germany have shaped her perspective. As an armed forces family, the Hedleys lived coast to coast in Canada. Teresa and son Erik co-wrote a twenty-article series for Autism Matters magazine, “I Have Autism and I Need Your Help.” Additionally, Teresa worked with families and school boards in Ottawa as an autism consultant and advocate. She and her family returned to the Comox Valley in 2019 and are happy to be back beside the ocean.


This form is now closed for submissions.

Membership link

Apologies! The link to “membership” in the Latest CVWS News notice which went out on March 26th is not working properly.

If you read the full post, the link to “membership” is working properly. If you have problems, go to the Contact page and select “membership” in the drop-down box.

Poems That Whisper / Words That Explode – April 8, 2021

Your North Island Writers Conference committee is pleased to announce they will be hosting a few mid-conference workshop presentations via Zoom throughout 2021. These are free to CVWS members in good standing only and will focus on topics that develop skills and promote authors and their work. (If you are not sure if you have paid your membership, contact

The inaugural presentation, Poems That Whisper/Words That Explode, with Derek Hanebury, is on April 8th at 7 pm via Zoom. The hour-long interactive session will cover:

  • What makes a great poem?
  • When is a poem done?
  • What can be considered when editing?
  • Where to place line and stanza breaks?

Derek Hanebury is a Vancouver Island writer of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. His first book of poetry, Nocturnal Tonglen (Ekstasis), will soon be followed by his second collection, Voluntary Blindness. He just launched a book of short stories called Both Sides Now (RCN Media) with a solo collection coming out in 2021.

His poems and stories have been published in many magazines and broadcast on CBC radio; and his first novel, Ginger Goodwin: Beyond the Forbidden Plateau (Arsenal Pulp) went to a second printing. He has a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from UBC and taught writing at North Island College on Vancouver Island until his retirement in 2017.

Please note: CVWS members who wish to attend this workshop must R.S.V.P. to by April 5th, 2021.

Bringing Stories to Life! – Hosted by McLoughlin Gardens Society

Pick up your pen and join us…

The McLoughlin Gardens is pleased to announce a series of writing workshops with Jeanette Taylor and Margo McLoughlin. Jeanette is the author of several books of non-fiction, including The Quadra Story and Tidal Passages: A History of the Discovery Islands. Margo is a storyteller and writer based in Victoria. Her non-fiction, short stories, and articles have appeared in various anthologies, as well as Parabola Magazine. Jeanette and Margo share a love of local history, having worked together since the mid-1980’s, when they launched a puppet theatre program for the Museum at Campbell River. This summer program remains an enduring hit with families.

Bringing Stories to Life!
Online Writing Workshops with Jeanette Taylor and Margo McLoughlin
for writers of fiction and non-fiction
Spring and Fall, 2021

Each two-part workshop takes place over two days (90 minutes on a Saturday morning and 90 minutes on Sunday morning) and covers a specific topic. You are welcome to pick and choose which workshops you would like to attend. Follow up reading material will be provided. Registration fee is $50 per workshop.Numbers are limited to 20 participants, so please register early!

Workshop no. 1
Discovering Your Story
Saturday, March 27 and Sunday, March 28
10:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Pacific
Please register by March 20, 2021

In this first workshop, for those who are new to writing or returning to their craft, we’ll review the basics, with the aim of giving the participants the confidence to launch a writing project, or return to one they have begun. Some aspects of the writing journey we’ll cover: what a story is and how a story works on the brain; generating story ideas and zeroing in on the story that is calling you; the value of free-writing and mind-mapping; how to sidestep the inner critic and get a first draft written; drafting a premise statement; planning strategies.

To register, please visit:

Workshop no. 2
Crafting a Compelling Character
Saturday, April 24 and Sunday, April 25
10:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Pacific
Please register by April 17, 2021

Whether we’re inventing the character from scratch, or describing a figure from history, the use of sensory imagery and specific details makes our characters come alive. In this workshop, we’ll begin by examining some examples from current writers, asking, “Why does this character snap fully alive for you?” Writing exercises will help us find out what makes our characters tick and what the narrator’s relationship is to them.

To register, please visit:

Workshop no. 3
Scenes and Dialogue
Saturday, September 25 and Sunday, September 26
10:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Pacific
Please register by September 18, 2021

Scenes are the building blocks of fiction and non-fiction alike. A well-crafted scene engages the reader’s interest, situating her in a specific time and place. It also reveals new information about the characters and how they are connected while advancing the story by creating new expectations. We’ll zero in on what makes a scene and the role of dialogue in giving it shape and purpose. Expect to have some fun reading your work out loud or hearing other read it!

To register, please visit:

Workshop no. 4
Point of View and Voice
Saturday, October 30 and Sunday, October 31
10:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Pacific
Please register by October 23, 2021

Who is telling your story, and from what vantage point in time? Is the narrator trustworthy or do they have their own agenda? As we know well from our experience of sharing memories with siblings and family members, a story will change dramatically, depending on the point of view of the narrator. In this workshop, we’ll look at different options for point of view, including third person and first person. We’ll also experiment with switching points of view to find out more about the characters, their relationships, and their place in the story. We’ll discuss different approaches to discovering a unique voice to recount your tale. We’ll look at examples from contemporary Canadian writers to see what the author is doing with language to convey a particular voice in their writing.

To register, please visit:

Workshop no. 5
Falling in Love with Revision
Saturday, November 27 and Sunday, November 28
10:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Pacific
Please register by November 20, 2021

When the first draft of a story or essay is complete, the exhilarating adventure of revision begins. Having other readers review your work can help but learning the skill of self-editing increases self-reliance and makes the revision more efficient and ultimately more satisfying. In this workshop, we’ll wrestle with the demon of structure and discuss various approaches to revision.

To register, please visit: