Fernie Writers’ Conference

Kim McCullough

Now that the pesky ski season is out of the way, we can start to look forward to summer. And summer in Fernie means writing. Oh right. Hiking and biking and fishing, too.

The fifth year of the Fernie Writers’ Conference takes place from July 17-24 this year and it just keeps getting better. No matter what you write, or even IF you write, the conference has something for you. Workshops and panel discussions abound for the writers in our midst, but there are also keynote addresses and public readings for readers and lit lovers.

If you are a writer, or would like to be, you have many fantastic, successful instructors to choose from. Check out www.ferniewriters.com to check out the line-up. Stay tuned at STS for brief profiles on these instructors and their courses.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should let you know I will again be teaching the Youth (14-18) group this year. If you are a teen (Or know a teen) who likes to write, or may like to write, or hates to write but wants to improve, sign up. The class is pretty flexible. Last year there were poets, short story writers, a pre-journalism student and a few who had started novels. Many students chose to read their work at the public reading for the first time – they were surprised, I think, to find that they were just as talented as the adult readers (if not more so, says their proud teacher!)

The end of the weekend came too soon. We spent the class at Lost Boys’ Café on the mountain where students worked in groups on the “Worst Short Story EVER” contest, where they went against everything I had taught them. One began something like this:

Once upon a time there was the most amazingly beautiful princess who stared at herself in the mirror. “I am wanting to be the most amazingly beautiful princess as I stare at myself. In the mirror,” the most awesomest princessly princess shouted loudly. “Where’s my devastatingly handsome prince?”

(Repetition, adverbs, weak language, cliché, sentence fragments, using “verbs other than said” for speech, dialogue tags, lame opening-just to start! If you didn’t see anything wrong with this story, then PLEASE! Sign up!)

The great thing about the conference is that it takes place in one of the most beautiful places on earth. So along with writing, be sure to save time for all that hiking, biking and fishing stuff. You won’t regret it.

Can’t wait to get back there. It’s going to be a blast.

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