Blue Pencil Cafe

New West Writers

An Invitation to a Blue Pencil Cafe – April 14, 2018

What New West Writers will be supporting and encouraging local writers by hosting three established authors and editors to offer face to face feedback at a Blue Pencil Café.

Each emerging writer is invited to bring along no more than 600 words of prose in any genre or two poems. The panel members will not pre-view the pieces.

Writers will be offered a 15 minute slot between 1 – 4 pm.


Alan Hill – is the Poet Laureate of the City of New Westminster. He has published two full collections of poetry and been published in over forty literary magazines and periodicals across Europe and North America. In Canada his publication credits include CV2, Event, Canadian Literature, Acta- Victoriana, Dalhousie Review, Antigonish Review, Sub- terrain, Windsor Review, Poetry is Dead and many others.

Jennifer Sommersby – a writer, copy\line editor and committed bibliophile. She writes romcoms/women’s fiction under the name Eliza Gordon; her latest release is Dear Dwayne, with Love from Lake Union Publishing (January 23, 2018). Her debut YA novel (under her own name) Sleight is the first in a duology and publishes on April 3, 2018, from Harper Collins Canada and Sky Pony Press (US). Jenn/Eliza is represented by Dan Lazar at Writers House.

Betsy Warland – is the author of twelve books and has more than thirty years experience as a writing teacher, editor and manuscript consultant. Her book Breathing the Page: Reading the Act of Writing, published by Cormorant Books in 2010, is a best-seller. Her latest book Oscar of Between: A Memoir of Identity and Ideas from Caitlin Press (Dagger Editions) was published in April 2016 to critical acclaim.

Where The Network Hub
River Market
810 Quayside Dr
New Westminster
     BC V3M 6B9
Registration Pre-registration via email is required. This will take place between March 1 – April 10.

Registrants will be asked to provide three time options with their preferred guest. We will do our best to accommodate the request and will work on a first-come, first-served basis.

Do not use the email (link below) for anything other than registration.

In your email please provide the following information:

  1. name
  2. telephone
  3. email (to be used for booking confirmation)
  4. preferred guest writer/editor
  5. preferred time slots 1/2/3 (on the quarters between 1pm – 3.45pm)
  6. state how you learned about the event

Registrations will be acknowledged but not always on the same day — patience is appreciated.

As space will be in high demand, no-shows will no doubt attract bad karma.

If cancelling, let us have at least 24 hrs notice so that the time slot can be reallocated. **

On the day Parking will be in the pay parking area at the Quay.
Report to the desk at the entrance to the Network Hub on the first floor of the River Market.

Allow sufficient time to park, walk to River Market, and arrive at least 5 mins before the appointment time.

Latecomers may not be able to have their full allotted time.

About New West Writers New West Writers stands out as one of the core groups of Metro Vancouver’s finest local talent of emerging and established poets, writers and authors. Saving Seeds – A Collection by New West Writers showcases an eclectic selection of poems and stories that invite the reader’s imagination to cross over landscapes, waterscapes and wordscapes in the discovery of new worlds. We currently publish an annual Literary Magazine, Collage — next edition available from April 14, 2018.

Interested in joining a writing community? Drop into a critique session — members offer support and encouragement. Visit

Facebook ~
Twitter @NewWest_Writers

Partners LitFest New West 2018

Federation of BC Writers

The 1st Annual Valerie B.-Taylor (VBT) Writing Contest for emerging youth writers

[Originally posted by Chloe Cocking on the New West Writers blog.]

Welcome to the 1st Annual Valerie B.-Taylor (VBT) Writing Contest for emerging youth writers! This is a joint offering from the Federation of BC Writers and the New West Writers group. The winning entry will be published in an upcoming issue of FedBC’s magazine Wordworks, and its author awarded a certificate of recognition and $100.00 at the upcoming FedBC Youth Writer’s Conference in Surrey on Saturday March 7 2015.

Contest Rules:

  1. The VBT Writing Contest is open to all writers under age 30 as of March 1 2015. Federation of BC Writers paid staff, board members, and their immediate families are ineligible to enter. Members of the New West Writers group and their immediate family members are also ineligible to enter.
  2. All submissions must contain original material, and may not have been previously published, accepted for publication, or have been a winner in another contest prior to the deadline. Please note our internet policy: If a work has been excerpted anywhere on the internet it is still eligible as an entry, but if it has been published or posted in its entirety on a blog or any other internet site, it is not eligible for our contest, as we retain rights of first publication as a part of our mandate.
  3. This is a multi-genre prose contest: fiction, creative non-fiction, personal essays, micro-fiction, and experts form larger works may all be entered. This year, poetry, plays, and graphic novels are ineligible (Watch in future years, the award may be expanded and diversified to include other types of writing if interest merits it).
  4. Maximum length 1,500 words.
  5. Electronic submissions only, submitted as an email attachment. Use .RTF, .DOC, or .DOCX formats for the electronic document. Other formats may not be read.
  6. Blind submissions — the author’s name must not appear anywhere in electronic attachment, only in the body of the email, along with the title of the work.

Suggested email body could look like this:

Submission for VBT Emerging Youth Writer Award
Title of the submitted piece of writing
Author’s name
Contact phone number
7. Contest closes at midnight pacific time on March 1 2015. Emails received after this time will not be eligible for the 2015 contest.
Please email all queries and all submissions to
Chloe Cocking
Federation of BC Writers Second Vice-President and Youth Liaison

Valerie B.-Taylor, a former president of the New West Writers group, wrote across a variety of genres and was tireless in her encouragement and support of emerging writers.  Before her untimely passing in the fall of 2014, she was well-known in the Lower Mainland and beyond for her writing, her mentorship of new writers, and her kind and generous heart. The literary communities of B.C.—particularly New Westminster, her long-time home — now have one fewer sparkling star in their skies. The VBT Emerging Youth Writer Award was established by Valerie’s friends and colleagues to commemorate her life and the positive impact she had on emerging writers.