Write On, Vancouver 2018

On Saturday May 12, from 10:00 to 5:00, the main branch of the Vancouver Public Library (on Georgia Street) will host a day of day-long celebration of local writers and publishers.

I haven’t attended one before, but I’m happy to be volunteering at Crime Writers of Canada’s table this year from 2 to 4 pm.

The Write On website lists a number of different workshops and panel discussions that sound terrific. Check out the website HERE, and if you have a chance, take part at this free event, and come by and say hi!

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Arthur Ellis Shortlist Nominees Announced

arthur-200Last night, the Vancouver branch of Crime Writers of Canada enjoyed a terrific evening of discussion, nominee unveiling, book buying, and cake to celebrate Crime Writes of Canada’s 35th birthday this year.

Turnout was great at the VPL’s central library, and it was lovely to catch up with writing colleagues and my favorite mystery booksellers, Dead Write Books. Owners Jill and Walter have been one of the few constants in my writing career, and Vancouver is lucky to such knowledgeable independent booksellers. By the way, they also own White Dwarf Books, for all you fantasy and science fiction fans. Check out their website HERE.

I think this was the fourth or fifth AE Shortlist panel I’d been on over the last decade or so. If there was an award for the panelist who’s been at this writing/publishing game the longest, I’m pretty sure I would have taken one! It was great fun to sit beside two panelists who’ve just had their very first titles published. I remember those days, and wish them great success!

Please take a look at Crime Writers of Canada’s website for a complete list of this year’s nominees. The photo, by the way, is a picture of the Arthur Ellis hangman statue that winners will receive. Some categories also have cash prizes, so if you’re a Canadian crime writer with a book coming out in 2018, you might want to think about entering this fall. You don’t need to be a CWC member to enter. Winners will be announced on May 24th at gala in Toronto. For more info check out this link.

#amblogging: The Competition for Time, Attention, and Dollars

I’ve attended Canada’s annual Word on the Street event (now known as WORD Vancouver) for nearly twenty years. I remember many crowded, sunny days volunteering at the Crime Writers of Canada table. For a number of years, it took three or four of us to attend to the many people stopping by our table. Even on rainy days, there was still a great turnout as many events were held indoors.

Over the past five years, I’ve noticed a decrease in the number of attendees for this free event. This year, it was particularly noticeable. Although we enjoyed a gorgeous sunny day, the crowds I remember simply weren’t there. The construction at the front of the library might have put casual street traffic off, but it could have been something else.

big-event-fundraising[1]You see, what I’ve also noticed over the past decade is a marked increase in the number of events being held in Vancouver, and not just on the last Sunday of September, but on many weekends. Metro Vancouver has become a fundraising mecca for great causes and has also drawn an increasing number of high-profile sports events.

On the local newscast, I realized just how many other big events had taken place on Sunday. One of those was an Alzheimer’s Society of BC fundraiser, which was especially significant for me because my hubby (interviewed on TV) was there representing the Society.

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The thing is, all these worthy events have inevitably created a greater competition for much-needed dollars. Individuals only have so many hours in their schedule and dollars to give, while the need for food banks, for example, grows. In the end, some of the longstanding events might not see the crowds they once had. At the end of the day, everyone tries to do what they can, and hopefully lots of people gain a little something from these efforts.