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Professional writers coming to UFV to share their secrets



Writers, and those interested in starting their journey down the path of a writer, are invited to gather at UFV Abbotsford’s U-House on September 28 to learn about turning their words into careers, with advice from a panel of industry experts.

The event is a collaboration between the English Students Association (ESA), the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC), Louden Singletree, and The Cascade.

“The event was proposed by PWAC Fraser Valley, based on the outstanding success of a similar event that ran at UFV a few years ago,” explained Michelle Superle, assistant professor of English at UFV, and one of the event’s organizers. That previous event, hosted by the communications department and the ESA, was also called Writing for a Living, and took place in March of 2014.

This year’s event will take place from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., and will feature professional writers from a range of fields. In consultation with the ESA, Louden Singletree, and The Cascade, Superle established what the evening should focus on. “There was remarkable consensus and overlap — everybody was eager to learn about how to get started setting up a foundation for earning a living as a writer right away, everybody wanted practical take-away tips to begin applying right now, and everybody was interested in opportunities in varied genres (beyond fiction/poetry and traditional journalism).”

The writers speaking at the event are Cate Pedersen, writer and editor at Modern Agriculture Magazine, and freelance writer at Copycate; Robyn Roste, media and marketing manager at Insight for Living Canada, and freelance writer at Robyn Roste; Katie Stobbart, manager at Red Press Society, and freelance writer at QuiQuill Communications; John Vigna, author and freelancer; and Jess Wind, communications instructor at UFV, and freelance writer at QuiQuill communications.

Attendees will first hear from the panelists in an hour-long discussion about their personal experiences and accomplishments, followed by a second hour where the audience will have a chance to ask questions. Afterwards, everyone will be given time to mingle and chat one-on-one with the panelists and other attendees. The free event will also feature prizes (including donated UFV apparel from the bookstore), snacks (courtesy of Choices Market and the ESA), and wine (supplied by The Cascade).

“I’d love to see students feeling excited and inspired about the possibilities of earning a living as a writer — in ways they hadn’t considered before,” explained Superle, emphasizing that such opportunities do exist. “Many students also mentioned that they are looking for evidence to share with their friends and family that earning an English (or communications, or arts) degree is valuable, and will lead to lucrative employment — so, if attendees walk away convinced of this, then that would also spell success,” she concluded, adding that such friends and family members are welcome to attend as well.

Writing for a Living takes place September 28 at UFV Abbotsford’s U-House, beginning at 7:00 p.m.

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