Meeting Minutes

SCWES Meeting Minutes Thursday April 28, 2022

Introductions and acknowledgement that we are meeting on the traditional, unceded territory of the Shishalh Squamish (Skwxwú7mesh) Nation.


Cathalynn (Cindy) Labonte-Smith, Chair. Doris Good, Treasurer, Stephen Smith, Webmaster, Elspeth Richmond, Recorder

Jennie Tschoban, Robin Lamarche, Ruth Ritchie, Maggie Guzzi, Megan Cole, Guest speaker.


1. Approval of March Meeting Minutes

Moved and seconded: Robin Lamarche, Stephen Smith

2. Update on grant applications from towns of Gibsons and Sechelt

Gibsons: $1,000 cash and $1,000 in kind for venue and celebration, if available.

Sechelt: $884 for venue that will go back to District of Sechelt

3. Update on Art & Words: one artist has withdrawn, Jane Clark, poet and painter, will take their place, as well as Rosa Reid’s grandson.

4. Update on Beachcombers contest:

Have widened the scope to all of BC.

5. Anthology: Not an Island

Get submissions in. Deadline – May 16th, 2022

6. Guest Speaker:

Megan Cole From Powell River, is a food enthusiast with an impressive resume: journalist, culinary writer, CBC broadcaster, blogger, creative nonfiction writer, memoirist, and director of programming and communications for the BC and Yukon Book Prizes (

Her interviewing skills were honed as a journalist; she spoke about interviewing people following a landslide disaster on Kootenay Lake. ( At first, she was conduit for other people’s stories; later became a conduit for her own story.

She watched cooking shows on TV with her grandfather, including James Barber’s. This led to a career in culinary journalism.

As a young woman she suffered from body image distress and mentioned the positive discussion of the problem in the book What We Talk About When We Talk About Fat. She loves research, interviewing and being in conversation with other writers.

Megan generously read selections from her present work-in-progress, a memoir of a journalist (herself in the third person), working title, "Nice Boys Don’t Kiss Like That", and spoke about her writing practice and answered questions from the floor, such as, Is it easier to write in the third person when writing about personal trauma?

She discussed moving around time using sign posting and flashbacks. Using personal experience as a portal. Universal and reflective themes in context, and following your curiosity

She mentioned several works during her talk including Tree Thieves, Lyndsie Bourgon, Eating Dirt, Charlotte Gill and What We Talk About When We Don’t Talk About Fat, Aubrey Gordon

7. New business – No new business.

8. Next meetings:

- SUNDAY, May 1st, 4-6 pm, Writer's Workshop virtual.

- FRIDAY, MAY 27, 2022, 7 PM – 8:30 PM - Frances Peck’s hybrid book launch of The Broken Places (

- SUNDAY, MAY 29th, 4 - 6 pm - Writer’s Workshop hybrid meeting.




C. Labonte-Smith (Chair) Rosa Reid (VP) Stephen Smith (Web & Presenter)

Anton Young Robin Lamarche Mike Starr Coro Saress

1. Business Meeting - Start 7:00 pm

  • Passed January Minutes - Cindy moved. Stephen Seconded. All so moved.

  • Introductions - two new members (Mike and Coro) and one other attendee (Anton)

  • Sunshine Coast Cultural Alliance - Art Crawl October participation request submitted to Sunshine Coast Arts Council

  • Venue for Art and Words - Mission Point House booked. Day before is booked as well. (Wednesday, August 10th) for hanging and a rehearsal.

Art and Words meeting held.

  • In attendance: Cindy Labonte-Smith, Rosa Reid, Maggie Guzzi, Barb Dann, Robin Lamarche, Marilyn Sadik, Jan DeGrass, Greta Guzen, Kasi Krolikowski, Roger Handling.

  • Barb, Greta, Marilyn, and Maggie are in charge of overseeing the hanging of the overall exhibit.

  • Roger Handling volunteered to help out with signage layout. Suggested simple signage–Art & Words, and Vital Signs as vendor.

  • Volunteers still needed, if anyone not involved already with the show can pitch in for book sales and other events.

  • Cindy will put out a call for performers in between performances, and contact Linda Williams re: borrowing arrow signs. Also, contact Siobhan Smith re: signage bylaws and hanging hardware for house.

  • Jan has display racks for cards and books she can bring for sales. Forms of payments can be etransfer, cash, or cheque.

  • Labels for artwork will be on cardstock and secured with white putty.

  • Framing will be sourced by Marilyn, Barb and Maggie.

  • Public Art Piece may be done on the picnic table. Concern that there might not be enough volunteers to help with everything so lower priority.

  • Writer in Residence - Summer with Cap U, grant application progress, libraries, Rockwood Lodge - letter to Mayor, Sechelt Grant - April announcement. Waiting for response for our grant application from BC Gaming for $12,000. Also, from the Mayor of Sechelt for space at Rockwood Lodge, that formerly held Writers’ Retreats there.

  • Writer’s Workshop - Sunday February 27. Come all, no matter your level with your work-in-progress. If you’re having trouble starting, we can help you with that too.

  • Beachcomber’s Contest - Waiting for Town of Gibsons $2000 grant news. Persephone may have a new home. We have a $3000 grant from Sunshine Coast Credit union already and 13 generous sponsors. Please ENTER.

  • Poster helpers - Posters distributed.

  • Need Programs person on the Board - Tabled until the Fall. All the programs are filled until June.

  • News - Any book launches? Announcements? - None.

  • Name of Anthology? - Suggestion Seawest suggested by Marilyn. Summer deadline - May 15th. We will turn our anthologies into a book at the end of the year.

  • Other business? - None.

  • Next meeting - March 24th - Guest - Barb Rees of Powell River - Travel Writing and she will be at the Writers Workshop too.

2. Program - Steve Smith - Creating Books using KDP for Amazon. Q&A. 7:30 - 8:30 pm - The slides are on the website now if you missed this valuable presentation.

SCWES January Meeting Minutes

7 p.m. January 24, 2022


Cathalynn Cindy Labonte-Smith, Chair Jan DeGrass

Elspeth Richmond, Secretary Jeremy Cairns

Doris Good,Treasurer Elizabeth Rains

Greg Ioannu, Iguana Books Caitlin Hicks

Lee Parpart, Iguana Books Maggie Guzzie

Lorraine Toor, Page Two Books Marilyn Brown Stephen Smith

1. Publisher Presentations

Lorraine Toor, singer-song writer, Page Two Books (

· Hybrid publisher

· Has been publishing for 20 years

· Publishes mostly non-fiction, some children’s, mainly health and wellness

· Self-Publishers, print on demand, includes sales and distribution

Greg Ioannou, Iguana Books ( ( freelance editor, trained at Doubleday

Iguana Books (1992)

· Successful after the first two projects

· Author control process

· Print on Demand

· Publishes on any topics- wide range of publishing models

· Is not in trade bookstores

· Worldwide but focus is worldwide

· Hybrid publishing benefit - Question: (Lee Parpart - editor who loves to write) Hybrid publishing is faster

· Has a guide on building an audience on social media

Jennie Tschoban , Gibsons, Tales & Lies My Baba Taught Me.

On self-publishing:

· Problem getting into trade bookstores – article in Toronto Star helped. Finally got it into Smiths, Upper Canada Mall -big date.

· Self-promotes her work.

2. Questions and Comments for Guests:

Marilyn Brown: Re Quest for Body Image -on the copyright and distribution

trials of publishing, copyright and distribution

Jeremy Cairns: (Shut Up and Write Group, Vancouver): has a blog – building an audience on social media crowd sourcing

Elizabeth Rains: publishing playing the local card, searching on key words, targeting, key word auctions

(A sponsored search auction (SSA), also known as a keyword auction, is an indispensable part of the business model of modern web hosts. It refers to results from a search engine that are not output by the main search algorithm, but rather clearly separate advertisements paid for by third parties.)

Value of serializing? Including offering one free chapter

Stephen Smith publishes technical computer programming, non-fiction., sci-fi

Self publishes using Kindle Direct (Amazon) On demand; however, his three Rasbperry Pi programming books are published by a traditional publisher, APresss.

Kindle Direct - Working with a publisher. Can submit chapter by chapter

All have ISBNs which is a free service. You provide table of contents. Benefits of Amazon – world-wide exposure

Maggie- ISBN experience -husband’s book

3. Shut Up and Write Discussion (Jeremy Cairns, organizer, is moving to Vancouver Island). SUW is an international organization with 850+ members who don’t pay to join. The Local Vancouver group meets every Saturday for two hours, online now, usually at VPL. Write for two hours in silence, then one hour for chat. Produced an Anthology: A Sentence for a Saturday. Discussion re Joining SCWES – Pros and Cons – there are SUW groups in Powell River and Victoria – general feeling not in favour due to newness of our organization.

4. Local SCWES Information

- Kudos for the website

- Has received $3000 from SC Credit Union

- Has applied for a grant from District of Sechelt

- Membership Directory in in the works

- Cindy and Rosa to meet with the Sechelt Arts Council re meeting next Friday about meeting space and possible coordination. Outcome – we have a physical home

- Caitlin spoke about successful self-publishing audio books.

- Board vacancies - Doris was voted in as Treasurer. Temporary vacancy for a Secretary while Elspeth takes three months off for health reasons.

Adjourned 8:45 pm

The following meetings to be held at the Sunshine Coast Arts Council, 5714 Medusa St, Sechelt, BC V0N 3A0 (604) 885-5412

February 24th, 7 pm-8:30 pm, Monthly Meeting

Februrary 27th, 1-3 pm, Writer’s Workshop. Steve Smith will provide a demo of publishing to Amazon.

March 24th, 7 pm-8:30 pm, Monthly Meeting

March 27th, 1-3 pm, Writer’s Workshop

Sunshine Coast Writers and Editors Society Meeting


Tuesday, December 21, 2021 7 pm


Members: Cathalynn Labonté-Smith, Chair, Rosa Reid, VP, Elspeth Richmond, Secretary, Elizabeth Rains, Atma Frans, Stephen Smith, Webmaster

Society Business

Announcement of Grant approval from Sunshine Coast Credit Union for Beachcombers Contest in the amount of $3000, which means we will have enough funds to produce an anthology of the winners.


January 24th Zoom Meeting - Indie Publishing

Adjourned – 8:15 pm

Sunshine Coast Writers and Editors Society Meeting


Monday, November 22, 2021 7 pm


Members: Cathalynn Labonté-Smith, Chair, Elizabeth Rains, Kristie Aleksich, Jeff Hortobagyi,

Julia Dodge, Paddy Blenkinsop, Robin Lamarche, Elspeth Richmond, Secretary

Guests: James Penco, Greystone Books, Rolf Maurer, New Star Books, Adrienne Mason,

Hakai Magazine, Isabelle Southcott, qathet Living Magazine, Jan DeGrass

Society Business

Approval of October's Minutes (unavailable will be approved in December meeting)

Trends in Publishing Panel

Books - James Penco, Greystone Books and Greystone Kids

James discussed the evolvement of Greystone initially from Douglas McIntyre. Their focus is

nature, sustainability, ecology, the environment and social issues. They publish 25-30 adult and

15 children’s books annually.

They are looking for submissions: books with a strong sense of the author’s voice, diversity of

approaches, experiences of nature from different perspectives.

They print overseas, usually six months ahead. Booking for reprints doesn’t influence

publication decision.

Rolf Maurer, New Star Books

Rolf mentioned the heartwarming news about the book trade since Covid, both for publishers

and independent book sellers. New Star is literary focussed, publishes experimental poetry,

literary fiction, and socially-conscious nonfiction since 1972. They are looking for:

· what readers want, not what is trending on social media

· works that engage conversation

· books that describe what the author is feeling

· diversity

New Star - doesn’t dumb down


· Be aware of which publisher for which you are writing

· Cruise the bookstores

· Channel people – editors vis a vis salespeople


Isabelle Southcott, qathet Living Magazine ( (Powell River, in print and online,

publishes twice yearly)

Looks for good stories focussing on local people, activities and events, although local can mean

district and provincial focus.

Adrienne Mason, Hakai Magazine (

Hakai was established by the Hakai Institute in 2015, which is funded by the Tula Foundation.

The online magazine which publishes short and feature-length journalistic stories 3,000-6,000

words on topics related to coastal science, ecology and local communities, breaking news re:

environment. Digital only. Advice: Check out their website before submitting.

Jan DeGrass (

Lessons Learned on "Elemental" Anthology by six Gibsons Writers, 2014

Print version only-theme four elements: earth, fire, air, water

Took longer to get it printed because they wanted to get it right.

Was circulated in local stores and Talewind Books, following a book launch.

It was non-profit, therefore no tax issues.

Advice: Hire an editor, take longer to edit.


For James Penco (Greystone): Is there a reason that Greystone does not publish fiction?

They do publish children’s books and cookbooks. See Orca Books for children’s books.

Rolf Maurer (New Star) successfully publishes poetry.

New Business

SCWES online anthology Winter Edition

Deadline passed - good entries, short stories and poetry – publication date TBD

Arts and Words - still undecided where these will be shown -in one artist’s studio, or in the

auditorium following the Sechelt Writers festival, or a mini art crawl.

We’re looking for sponsors for Beachcomber’s 50th Anniversary contest Anthology, and will

apply to Town of Gibsons for $2000 in January.

Paddy Blenkinsop, member, Sunshine Coast Arts Council, offered to liaise with the Council

regarding writing workshops, venue for one-night Arts and Words evening during Sechelt

Writer’s Festival.

Financial Report

There is $400 in our account

Christmas Party (Virtual)

December 21 at 7:00 p.m.

- December 21st Zoom Meeting - Virtual Christmas Party

- Art & Words - Matches

Adjourn – 8:21 pm




Sunshine Coast Writers and Editors Society

October 22, 2021

7:00 p.m


Cathalynn (Cindy) Labonte-Smith, President,

Rosa Reid, Vice President

Elspeth Richmond, Secretary

Rik Jesperson, Coast Reporter

Elizabeth Rains

Sandra Robinson

Heather Conn

Karen Abramson

Jennie Tschoban

Jeff Hortaobagyi

Jennifer McGarry

Susan Chambers

Whistler & Vancouver Writing Festival Sharing

Cathalynn (Cindy) reported on Whistler Writers Fest Seminar on Publishing Insights

Trends in Publishing

- Speculative fiction + Imaginary worlds - There you go, Elizabeth.

- Nonfiction + Understanding the world better. Ecology, etc. Susan Renouf

- Graphic novels + adult and children, for reluctant readers

- Pandemic - Not looking for pandemic content.

The panel included:

Shira Rose, Anansi Press, Janice. Harper Collins, Nita Pronovost, Simon and Schuster, Fiction

Their number one tip was even if their website says no unagented submissions, send in a proposal.

Elizabeth suggested calling to congratulate new editors at publishing houses to open a conversation


Introduction of Board (Temporary)

- Cathalynn Cindy Labonte-Smith, President

- Rosa Reid, Vice President

- Elspeth Richmond, Secretary

- Stephen Smith, Webmaster

Open Positions

Contact one of the Board members if you wish

to volunteer.

· Treasurer - Keeps accounts, and financial and banking records. Helps create the annual budget with the other board members, and files annual financial statements for the province.

· Membership Secretary- Keeps records, collects and deposits dues. Submit profiles online (if that’s what the membership wants to do.)

· Events Co-ordinator - Books meeting venues. Organizes social events and special interest groups, such as book clubs and workshops.

· Marketing Co-ordinator- Promotes events and projects.

· Newsletter- In charge of online content (updated as required) working with the Webmaster news, events, contests and other relevant events. Editor works with contributors for time-sensitive content, like book launches, readings and other membership news.

Membership Application, Cards, and Bylaws - No questions. Cards/Receipts will be sent out by Cindy to paid members. Refer to the SCWES website

Purpose of the Sunshine Coast Writers and Editors Association

The organization is open to anyone who wants to write or edit. The purpose is to unite writers, including new writers, to present workshops and opportunities for peer reviews, for networking and provide time to sit down and write. There are approximately twelve members including memberships in the mail. See website:

Proposed Project and Discussion

The Beachcombers 50th Anniversary Literary Contest 2022

Theme: T­he Beachcombers TV Series 50th Anniversary calling for submission of fiction, non-fiction, creative non-fiction, one-act plays; possible category for under 18 (young adult entries).


Cindy is in the process of applying for grants from the Town of Gibsons, $2000 (March 2022 deadline), Sunshine Credit Union, $3,500 and the Chamber of Commerce – query sent no specific amount. The purpose of the grants would be for prize money for the winners of the writing contest as well as funds for an anthology of winning entries to the contest and for an award ceremony banquet for winners.

Discussion followed regarding the proposed timeline partly because of supply chain issues. Some discussion regarding the ambitious timeline for the contest – i.e. October 1st, 2022. Also, that the anthology could be online. Cindy suggested the link to the 50th Anniversary of The Beachcombers’s summer (2023) is important.

A working group was proposed to be formed in November to work on details.

Contest Judges

Cindy has secured:

- Jackson Davies (Constable John Constable, teaches at acting at Cap


- Vince Ditrich (of Spirit of the West fame and author of The Liquor Vicar)

- Kico Gonzalez-Risso (Playwright/Translator

- Iona Wishaw (author of the nine books of Lane Winslow Series of mystery books with more on the way)

- Jan Poynter and Charmaine Bayntun for the cover art. Judge still needed for kids’ colouring contest.

Member needs and goals

- Workshop group to form.

-Social meeting for December with Rosa as organizer. Cindy already has party favours made. Rosa has table decorations planned. Rosa and Cindy to find venue and set date and time.

- Meeting place and/or Zoom

- Meeting day of the week – Around the 22nd of the month.

New business - A monthly anthology will be posted online with member submissions. If you wish to be on the selection committee please let one of the board members know, thank you. If you want to enter a submission, hustle and get your membership application, membership fee, and your submission(s) of poetry, short stories, nonfiction, plays, scripts, no book chapters, please. 3000 words max.

Next Meeting Monday, November 22nd via Zoom at 7 pm.

Lessons Learned from Elementals anthology- Jan DeGrass from the Gibsons Writers Group.

Meeting Ended at 8:15 pm PDT