2022 North Island Writers Conference returns

Award-winning author and activist Danny Ramadan will kick off the 2022 North Island Writers Conference on Jan. 7 at 7 pm. The conference includes a wide range of online workshops and writer retreats. Register for sessions and browse the event schedule at cvwriterssociety.ca/conference.

The 2022 North Island Writers Conference has returned with a roster of high-profile writers, journalists and storytellers leading a series of workshops and retreats.

The virtual event – a partnership between the Comox Valley Writers Society NIC’s English department – returns in a virtual format and runs from Jan. 7-23.

The virtual event opens with featured guest speaker and activist Danny Ramadan, author of The Clothesline Swing — winner of the Canadian Authors Association’s Best Fiction Award — and the children’s book Salma the Syrian Chef, named among the ‘Best Books of 2020’ by Kirkus Reviews and Library School Journal.

Ramadan is also the current Writer-in-Residence at the Haig-Brown Heritage House in Campbell River. His talk, set to take place at 7 pm on Jan. 7 via Zoom, is free and open to all registered attendees.

The conference will also feature a series of weekend workshops running from Jan. 8-9, 15 and 22-23. Featured workshop leaders include veteran Times Colonist columnist Jack Knox, celebrated Hornby Island poet Cornelia Hoogland and journalist Jessica McDiarmid, author of Highway of Tears — a searing examination of society’s failure to provide justice for the Indigenous women and girls who have gone missing or been found murdered along BC’s Highway 16.

The North Island Writers Conference will also include two virtual, week-long writing retreats, each running from 11 am to 12 pm daily. Prolific Vancouver Island fiction writer Judy LeBlanc will lead ‘Animating Character: Characterization & Dialogue,’ which runs from Jan. 10-14. Best-selling crime author and former RCMP serious crimes detective Garry Rodgers will lead ‘How to Write Believable Crime & Murder Scenes’ from Jan. 17-21.

While in-person gatherings are not possible due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s conference promises to be among the most memorable, said Nick van Orden, NIC English instructor.

“We are very grateful and excited to have so many accomplished writers, poets and journalists join us in the new year,” said van Orden. “Their experiences and unique perspectives on writing are so appreciated and we are pleased to welcome them to the 2022 North Island Writers Conference. If you are an aspiring writer, this event is not to be missed.”

While there are still seats available, van Orden said those interested in attending should register as soon as possible. There are also a limited number of free seats for NIC students.

To browse the event schedule and register, visit cvwriterssociety.ca/conference.