Meeting Minutes

SCWES Meeting, March 24, 2024

SCWES Meeting Minutes Mar 24 2024.pdf

SCWES Meeting, January 28, 2024

SCWES Minutes Jan 28 2024.pdf

SCWES Meeting, November 26, 2023

Present: Cindy Labonté-Smith, Steve Smith, Robin Lamarche, Michael Gurney, Jan DeGrass, Marion Crook, Rosa Reid, Michael Healey, Joyce Gwilliam, Monica Davis, Del Lobo, Maggie Juliette O’Keefe, Danda Humphreys, Jacqueline Rich, Bob Mackay, Ken Blosser, Lenore Rowntree

Meeting called to order at 2:00 pm

Minutes of last meeting of October 29, 2023, AGM: Motion to approve: Joyce Gwilliam, seconded by Ken Blosser. Carried

Membership: No new members since previous meeting.

Financial: Balance in account = $6897.71 of which $5000 is set aside for the Sunshine Coast Stories Map project.

Not An Island: Robin Lamarche, Ed. Is recruiting submissions. Next deadline is 6th of January, 2024 Theme is Signs.

Art & Words 2024: August, 22-25, at Gibsons Public Market. Email from ARC in Saskatchewan saying everything in our $6000 grant application is in order.

Quilt: Lot of funs as a fundraiser. Forty-three patches submitted.

Christmas Party – December 17th , 3-5 pm, Happy Hour at Blackfish. Donations for the silent auction will be accepted until December 16th. Drop off at the treasure chest at Cindy’s place, 787 Madison Place, Gibsons, or email or call/text 604-724-3534 for pick-up arrangements. Thank you to those who have already donated.

NaNoWriMo – Wrap up at Gibsons Library, Thursday, November 30th, 3-5pm. There will be cake and crowning of the champion. All welcome.

Program – Bob McKay, Lenore Rowntree, Del Lobo, Danda Humphreys, Michael Gurney.

Adjourned: 4:24

Happy Holidays.

SCWES – Annual General Meeting Minutes, 29 October, 2023

Present: Cindy Labonté-Smith, Steve Smith, Mike Starr, Robin Lamarche, Liz Long, Michael Gurney, Jan Degrass, Rohanna Goodwin Smith, Marion Crook, Rosa Reid, Michael Healey, Joyce Gwilliam, KB Nelson, Juliet Lin, Peter Töews, Monica Davis, Del Lobo, Unni Claridge, Maggie Guzzi, Juliette O’Keefe.

Members: Total of 80 members

Financial: Doris Good will be stepping down from her duties as Treasurer because of health considerations. Stephen is nominated as Treasurer, and he presented the profit and loss statement as well as a starting budget for this new year. Statements and budget attached. Motion to accept financial statements and budget: Stephen, seconded by Monica Davis. Carried.

Not An Island: Robin is happy with the progress of the publication and would love to see contributions from more members, as only a small percentage of members contribute.
Subscription is $20/year for NAI. Individual copies are $7.50 for members, $15 for non-members. Next deadline is 6th of January, 2024. Theme: Signs.

Art & Words 2024: August, 22-25, at Gibsons Public Market. The owner of High Beam Dreams has offered to host us, but the rate would be more than at the GPM.
Discussion regarding moving the date of the book contest to be separate from Art & Words, due to confusion between books for sale by members, contest books, etc. We decided that better organization of the book tables and possibly separating the days for the various parts of the A & W Festival could solve this problem.

Election: Candidates: Cindy was nominated for President again and consented to let her name stand to serve for one more year. Rosa Reid is nominated for Vice President and Librarian, Mike Starr nominated for Secretary, Stephen for Treasurer, Robin for NAI Editor, Jan DeGrass at large, Marion Crook at large, no other nominations. Accepted by membership.

Motion to adjourn the AGM: Michael Healey, seconded by Rohanna, carried. At 2:45.

SCWES Meeting Sep. 30, 2023

Mission House, Davis Bay, 2:00 pm

The meeting was called to order at 2:05 pm.

- Mike Starr announced that Cindy and Stephen were not able to attend due to illness, so the AGM is postponed until the October 29th meeting.

- Mike acknowledged shíshálh traditional territory and National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

- In the absence of the President, Vice President, and Treasurer, the business meeting was not held.

- Michael Gurney set up lighting and offered author photos for use with new publications.

Mike Starr interviewed Rohanna Goodwin Smith, author of Scent and Soul: The Extraordinary Power of the Sense of Smell.

- The book was self-published through Gibsons-based Prominence Publishing,

- Rohanna found the support she needed through a writing group. This group encouraged her to “put herself” into the story.

- Aromatherapy is a fairly new branch of natural medicine which started in Europe in the 1800s but didn’t catch on in North America until the 1980s to 1990s.

- The book is available on Amazon.

Robert Mackwood, Seventh Avenue Agency, made a presentation, followed by a Q and A.

Finding an agent:

- Robert has mostly retired but retains a few non-fiction clients.

- Do your homework, who represents your genre of book?

- Misspelling and sloppiness of query is a disqualifier.

- Follow the submission guidelines. If a manuscript is not desired, don’t submit one.

- Rejection is a fact of life for writers. Keep at it. A rejection response is better than no response.

- Work on your elevator pitch. Thirty seconds to make the case for your book. Talk to the mirror, practice your pitch.


- Be aware of: what are they actually buying? English print rights? World rights, translation, movie and TV rights? Copyright should always be in author’s name (especially important to verify when self- publishing).

- What is the deadline, and can you make it? Call months before if you can’t make it.

- Payment: in advance? scales of royalties, Canadian publishers use mostly standard contracts.

- You don’t need a lawyer. The Writers Union of Canada can help.

Next meeting: Sunday, October 29th, 2023, 2–5 pm

The meeting ended at 4 pm.


Present: Judy Edmunds, Monica Davis, Marion Cook, Robin Lamarche, Maggie Guzzi, Danda Humphreys, Joyce Gwilliam, Ken Blosser, Doris Good, Jennie Starr, Mike Starr, Jennie Starr, KB Nelson, Juliet Lin, Cindy Labonte-Smith, Stephen Smith, Holly and her mom.

The meeting was called to order at 2:05 pm.

Approval of minutes of May 28: moved by Maggie, seconded by Joyce, carried.

Finances: Doris presented financial summary as at May 31, 2023. Still open to sponsorships and in-kind donations for

Art & Words

Not An Island Summer issue distributed. The quarterly is developing well and getting positive attention from major critics in the literary world. It’s also getting larger and better quality with each issue, but there is still room for more contributors. The next deadline is October 6th, the theme is Transitions, and the guest editor will be Marissa Fischer.

The 2023 Art & Words Anthology is out now and available on Amazon, or from Cindy at cost (100 copies available). Cindy passed out schedules and descriptions for the Art & Words Workshops which are updated and on the website. Cindy distributed her notes from the Writers Union of Canada workshop: “Pitch Perfect,” and encouraged SCWES members to join The Writers Union of Canada if they qualify.

Members then had an opportunity to try out their “pitches”, which would be useful for query letters to literary agents, publishers and blurbs.

Business Meeting adjourned at 3:30.

Workshop on chapbooks followed the business meeting.

Regular monthly meetings will resume on September 30th. Location is to be determined but likely to be Mission House again unless someone comes forward with a better location.

SCWES – Minutes May 28, 2023

Present: Cathalynn Labonté-Smith, Steve Smith, Doris Good, Michael Healey, Jennie Tschoban, Jan DeGrass, Mike Starr, Marion Crook, Joyce Gwilliam, Jacqueline Rich, Liz Long, Del Lobo, Ross Harry, Athena Qureshi, Bonnie Ladouceur Finch, KB Nelson.

Guest: Jana Curll

The meeting was called to order at 2:00 pm.

1. Jan D moved, Doris seconded, to approve minutes of April 30, 2023, carried.

2. Reports:

• Cindy and Michael Gurney (via video) reported on the Heritage BC Conference that they attended. A workshop on walking tours and cultural mapping was

relevant to the “Literary Landmarks” project. Michael urged us to make space for Indigenous oral stories in our ways of collecting stories.

• The treasurer reported a profit of $64.95.

• Not An Island: Deadline for submissions to current issue is now June 1st, the theme is “How to”. Annual anthology will include Art & Words submissions

from this year, as well as Not An Island from the past two years.

• Art & Words: Aug 10-13. Forty authors and artists participating, thirteen workshops, at the Coastal Room and Community Kitchen at Gibsons Public

Market, with some outdoor activities. Art & Words t-shirts were distributed.

• Book Contest: will have around 120 books. Thanks to all who are volunteering as judges. Entry fees will total over about $5000, with funds going to judges, prizes with some left for our events.

4. Next meeting – Sunday, June 25, 2-5:30 pm, Mission House with chapbook workshop.

5. Business Meeting adjourned at 2:21 pm.

Mike Starr – Secretary


Jana Curll presented her work on children’s books and maps.

She referred us to the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators

List of children’s book agents available through this website.

Recommended that children’s authors not pitch to publishers with illustrations already done, as the publisher will find an illustrator, and pay for the illustrations. The illustrations chosen by the author may be a “turn off” to the publisher. 

Jan showed slides of her experience with a portion of a London Literary Walking Tour, where they were not able to access the historic authors’ houses (or even see one of them because of a hedge). The plaques on the houses, where visible, only provided the name of the author and the dates they lived there. Jan recommended that for our literary landmark tour we provide information and a sample of the writing of each author, in printed as well as digital format.

SCWES Meeting Minutes 

Sunday, April 30, 2023


Present: Cathalynn Labonté-Smith, Steve Smith, Robin Lamarche, Doris Good, Joyce Gwilliam, Ken Blosser, Jennie Tschoban, Rosa Reid, Mike Starr, Maggie Guzzi, Juliet Lin, Bruce Adams, Jacqueline Rich, Liz Long, Dell Lobo, Catherine MacNeil, Elizabeth Rains, new member: Nadine.


The meeting was called to order at 2:01 pm.

1. Joyce moved, Jacqueline seconded, to approve minutes of March 26, 2023, carried.

2. Reports:

·  Literary map project: Applied for grant to Heritage BC, 677 local and visiting authors plus some locations that have been settings, publishers, etc.

·  Not An Island: Deadline for submissions to current issue is July 6th, the theme is “How to”. Annual anthology will include Art & Words submissions from this year, as well as Not An Island from the beginning to the present issue.

·  Art & Words: Aug 10-13. Rotary Club granted $2,000. Forty authors and artists participating, thirteen workshops, at the Coastal Room and the Community Kitchen  at Gibsons Public Market, with some outdoor activities. A new Art & Words banner was displayed at this meeting, also a sample from new branded bags.

·  Book Contest: received 40 books so far and may receive more by end of month.

·  Burger and Beer fundraiser has 14 people signed up already, will feature a slide show with art from 2023 Art & Words.

4. Next meeting – Sunday, May 28, 2-5:30 pm, Mission Point House with Jana Curll, Map Illustrator and Childrens’ author/illustrator

5. Business Meeting adjourned at 2:19 pm. Followed by presentation on Chat GPT.

Mike Starr - Secretary


SCWES – Minutes of March 26, 2023


PRESENT: Cathalynn Labonté-Smith, Steve Smith, Rosa Reid, Mike Starr, Maggie Guzzie,Heather Conn, Jan DeGrass, Doris Good, Michael Gurney, Catherine McNeil, Robin Lamarche, MJ Milne, Jane McNeil, Alex McNeil, Maureen McNeil, Lise Kreps, Juliet O’Keefe, Gabriele Tanner, Joyce Gwilliam, Ken Blosser, Elspeth Richmond, Pat Feindel, Rosa Reid, Doris Good, Ann-Marie ?, Brian ?, Ken ? Anna ?, Sarah?, and many guests.

1. The meeting was called to order at 2:02 pm.

2.Stephen moved, Maggie seconded, to approve minutes of 25 February 2023, carried.

3. Reports:

Grants: Sunshine Coast Credit Union – waiting, BC Arts Council – waiting (since rejected and under appeal), Heritage BC – in progress, BC Gaming – waiting.

4. Not An Island: Looking good. Deadline for submissions to current issue is April 6th, the theme is “Balance”. Next issue’s theme is “How to”, deadline July 6th. Annual anthology will include Art & Words submissions from this year, as well as Not An Island from the past year up to the Summer 2023 issue.

5. Art & Words: Aug 10-13. Forty authors and artists participating, thirteen workshops, at the Coastal Room and Community Kitchen at Gibsons Public Market, with some outdoor activities.

6. Book Contest: lots of publishers sending books.

7. Cathalynn introduced new members: Catherine McNeil, MJ Milne.

8. Next meeting – Sunday, Apr 30, 2-5:30 pm, Mission Point House

Business Meeting adjourned at 2: pm.

9. Michael Gurney interviewed Cat Mac about their poetry book: emily & Elspeth.

Catherine did readings and performed original music, then signed books.

10. Michael then interviewed Heather Conn, who read from her book (to be launched April 15).

Note: Cheryl Stephens was not able to attend today. We hope she will be able to bring her presentation on Plain Language to a future meeting.

Mike Starr - Secretary


“I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.” from emily & elspeth

SCWES Minutes, February 25, 2023

Present: Cathalynn Labonté-Smith, Steve Smith, Rosa Reid, Mike Starr, Jennie Tschoban, Heather Conn, Allie Bartlett, Keilli Bartlett, Jacquline Rich, Ross Harry, Athena Qureshi, Mike Healey, Michael Gurney, Karen Webb, Larry Penonzek, Brittany Broderson from Coast Cable, members of the public.

The meeting was called to order at 2:05 pm.

Grants: Town of Gibsons – declined, Sunshine Coast Credit Union – waiting, BC Arts Council – waiting, will also apply to Heritage BC. 

 Business Meeting adjourned at 2:20 pm. Followed by presentations on Sunshine Coast writers over the past 100 years.

 Mike Starr - Secretary

SCWES Minutes, January 29, 2023

Meeting changed location to Gourmet Girl due to being locked out at Mission Point House. Lucy Clark sends her apologies and we will be refunded the rental fee.

Present: Cindy Labonté-Smith, Steve Smith, Rosa Reid, Maggi Guzzi, Jeminah Hu, Juliet Lin, Monica Davis, Peter Töews, Ruth Ritchey, Michael Gurney

Guest: Isabella Mori (virtual)

Maggi moved, Doris Good seconded, a motion to approve minutes of 27 November, 2022 minutes, carried.


Grants for Art & Words – Three grants have been applied for – Total of $13,000.

Membership – Still growing. Art & Words. Boosting membership.

Not An Island – Printed and will be available for distribution on Thursday at the Art & Words match at the Gibsons Public Market.

Programs – Heritage BC posters distributed and RSVP sheet circulated for February 25th event at the Gibsons Museum. Books from the legacy authors were shared.

Not An Island: Not An Island: deadline Spring April 6th. Summer July 6. Fall October 6. 

Programs 2023:

Feb 25th, 2 pm. Sunshine Coast Museum (Gibsons) celebrating Heritage Week: Sechelt Mayor and his wife will attend. Eastlink Cable will be recording the event. RSVP to space is limited.

March 26th, Mission Point House, 2 pm. Write for the reader brain, Cheryl Stephens.

Are you a reader advocate? Write for the reader brain.

Style is crucial for enhancing readability and making information easier to understand. Good style considers the reader's needs and preferences, making writing clear and enjoyable to read.

Readability is a measure of a reader’s ease of comprehension, given the reader's knowledge, background, and motivation.

Comprehension involves several cognitive processes, including priming, focus, word recognition and standard sentence structure. The evolving science of clear communication tips us on how to write for the reader brain to enhance the impact of your message.

Cheryl Stephens is a leader in plain language communications.

Cheryl Stephens found her calling as an educator, trainer, and consultant in communications. For over 30 years, she has been writing, speaking, and teaching about plain language, helping clients to become more successful communicators using plain language principles.

She has mined the varied fields of neuroscience to apply research results to explain human processes for reading, thinking, and decision-making. Since 2019, Cheryl has been speaking internationally about writing for the reader brain.

Cheryl has three books in process with publication expected this year. Her earlier works include Plain Language Legal Writing and 3 other Plain Language In Plain English, a guide to principles and techniques of plain language.

Plain Language Workshop to follow.

 April 30th, 2 pm, Mission Point House - Publishing Panel.

May 28th, 2 pm, Mission Point House– Caitlin Hicks and Gord Halloran (if her book is available)

June 25th, 2 pm, Mission Point House– Heather Conn book launch (if her book is available)

July & August – No meetings in the summer.

 August 10-13 – 2nd Annual Sunshine Coast Art & Words Festival, Gibsons Public Market

August 17-20 – Sechelt Festival of the Written Arts – We may get a table this year and need volunteers to attend the tables.

September 24th, 2 pm, Mission Point House – AGM.

October 29th, Time TBD, Location: TBD -  Murder Mystery Fundraiser, Marilyn Brown.

November 26th, 2 pm, Mission Point House – Christmas Readings, Book and Craft Sale

 December 17th, 2 pm, Location: TBD – Christmas Party

Michael Gurney introduced Isabella Mori who was launching her poetry book, “Not So Pretty Haiku”.

Cindy led a haiku and haibun writing workshop. Participants please submit your work to Not An Island.

Meeting adjourned at 4:00 pm

Doris Good – Treasurer filling in as Secretary

SCWES Meeting Minutes, November 27, 2022

The meeting was called to order at 2:05.


Present: Cathalynn Labonté-Smith, Steve Smith, Rosa Reid, Mike Starr, Robin Lamarch, Joyce Gwilliam, Ken Blosser, Liz Long, Juliet Lin, Unni S. Claridge, Lesley Hancock, Elspeth Richmond, Peter Töews, Betty Downs, Sally Bondy,


Guest: Ruth Rodgers


Robin moved, Mike seconded, a motion to approve minutes of 28 October, 2022 minutes, carried



Book and crafts sale at Sunnycrest Mall went well, some sales, fun, exposure and new attendees. Next year, get tables at craft fairs in Sechelt and Roberts Creek, as well as Gibsons? Hold a book and craft sale at Mission Point House for two days? Maybe do a used book sale in 2023?


Cathalynn introduced new members Joyce Gwilliam and Ken Blosser.


We now have 67 members.


Reminder Dec 11 Christmas lunch, sign up now, 20 people already signed up


Not An Island: deadline Dec 7, Robin would like some images from artists too, as this issue will be full colour.


Programs 2023:

Isabella Mori will come to January 29 meeting to launch her poetry book Not So Pretty Haikus


Feb 26 meeting at Gibsons Museum celebrating Heritage Week: Gibsons mayor has agreed to proclaim. Now waiting for Sechelt and SCRD.


[Schedule of further meetings and other events in 2023 can be found on the website and on Facebook]



The Writers Union of Canada has grants for writers and mentored writers.


Idea Space in Gibsons looking for tutors to teach pre-college essay writing.


Cathalynn introduced Ruth Rodgers, from Halfmoon Bay, who has written 4 books, most recently “Those Who Wander”


Meeting adjourned at 3:20.


Mike Starr - Secretary


The meeting was called to order at 7:04 by President, Cathalynn Labonté-Smith.


Cathalynn Labonté-Smith, Pres.

Bruce Adams, VP

Mike Starr, Sec.

Stephen Smith, Webmaster

Heather Conn, Member

Robin Lamarche, Ed. (NAI)

Elspeth Richmond, Member

Vesna Maljkovic, Presenter

Elizabeth Rains, Presenter

Jennie Tschoban, Events Committee

Marion Crook, Member

Jan DeGrass, Arts Liaison


It was determined that a quorum of members in good standing was present.

Motion to approve the minutes of the meeting of 22 Sep 2022: moved by Steve Smith, seconded by Bruce Adams, passed.

Bruce Adams has stepped into the role of Vice President.

Mike Starr has stepped into the role of Secretary.

Motion to accept the Board as presently constituted: moved by Bruce Adams, seconded by Marion Crook, approved.

Motion to change fiscal year end from July 31st to September 30th: moved by Mike Starr, seconded by Robin Lamarche, approved.

Motion to allow voting by proxy, including virtual proxy: moved by Bruce Adams, seconded by Heather Conn, approved.

Motion to accept financial statements to July 31st, 2022  (presented at the September 2022 meeting, as prepared by Doris Good, CPA, MBA, Treasurer): moved by Steve Smith, seconded by Heather Conn, approved.

Choeb ? will become a member at large once he becomes a full member.

Business meeting - adjourned at 7:15 pm.

Presentation by Elizabeth and Vesna on the SFU Editing program. Thank you, Elizabeth & Vesna


- Writers’ Workshop, Sunday October 30th, 4-6 pm at Mission Point House.

- November Meeting - Sunday, Nov. 27th, 2:00-3:30 pm with a break, then Writers Workshop starts at 4 pm -5:30 pm. Program is Ruth Rodgers who will be interviewed on her historical novels.

- December Meeting - Sunday, December 18th, 2-4 pm, Location: TBD, but will be a pubby place, like Lighthouse/BlackFish/101 Distillery. Organizer: Jenny Tschoban. Bring a small wrapped gift to exchange. Thank you, Jennie.

- Jan DeGrass will continue to liaise with other arts organizations for us after a successful joint event at the Sechelt Arts Council during the Art Crawl. Thank you, Jan.

Meeting adjourned at 8:30 pm.

SCWES MINUTES (Revised), SEPTEMBER 22, 2022 

Meeting commenced: 7:00 pm


Cindy Labonte-Smith, President Rosa Reid, VP Secretary, Vacant

Doris Good, Treasurer Stephen Smith, Webmaster

Robin Lamarche, Editor (NAI) Mike Starr, Member at Large Marion Crook

Leslie Burnie Janey Marshall Ann McErlean

Di Ashworth Jan DeGrass Liz Long

KB Nelson Maggie Guzzi Monica Davies

We didn’t achieve quorum (14), so the voting portion of the AGM will be postponed until the meeting on October 28th. In summary, a one-year video was shown, including our main events highlights from the 1st Annual Art & Words Festival and development of the Beachcombers 50th Anniversary Contest and Pat John Tribute in about three and a half minutes. It can be viewed at

Awards were given for outstanding service.

Mike Starr joined the Council as a board member at large. Thank you so much, Mike. 

Marion Crook gave an amazing reading then led a memoir writing exercise.

Rosa and Elizabeth are on the Editorial Council. Anyone else who is interested in joining this council, meetings will be held at Wheatberries on Fridays at noon.

Meeting adjourned at 8:20 pm.

Elspeth Richmond has resigned from position as Secretary on the Board. We thank her for her tenure. The position of Secretary is now vacant. The role involves taking minutes at monthly meetings, and at the occasional Board meeting, and assisting during the Art & Words festival with miscellaneous tasks. 

If you’re interested in volunteering on a committee or on the Board, we have lots of positions that can help you develop in your professional career, or that can benefit from your prior experience. 

Anyone who is interested in the Secretary position, or discussing any other role,  please contact one of the Board members, Cindy Labonte-Smith, Rosa Reid, Stephen Smith, Robin Lamarche or Mike Starr. 

SCWES Meeting Minutes Thursday, June 23, 2022

Present: Cathalynn (Cindy) Labonté-Smith, Chair. Rosa Reid, VP, Doris Good, Treasurer, Stephen Smith, Webmaster, Elspeth Richmond, Recorder

Marrisa Fischer, Jennie Tschoban, Robin Lamarche, Maggie Guzzi, Mike Starr, Stephanie Taylor, Sunshine Coast Vibe, Bronwyn Beairsto, Coast Reporter, Jan DeGrass, Sunshine Coast Life.

6. Adjournment.

Fall Meetings.

Thursday, September 22nd 7-8:30 -AGM , election of council.

Needed; three council members for Publication, membership and Program and Events. Marion McKinnon Crook will read from her award-winning book, Always Pack a Candle. Q&A. Book signing.

 Sunday, September 25th – Writers’ Workshop

Friday October 28th-7-8:30 Vesna, SFU Editing Program. Doris Good book launch, Profit Line

Sunday, October 30th 4-6 p.m. - Writers Workshop

Thursday, November 24th 7-8:30 - Ruth Rodgers, Charmaine MacDonald on Writing Historical Fiction and Book Cover Design.

Sunday, November 27th 4-6 pm - Writers Workshop

Thursday, December 22 - Cathalynn Cindy Labonté-Smith, discusses the Art of the Interview and her book Rescue Me: Search and Rescue Memoirs. Q&A. Book signing. Seasonal Party

SCWES Meeting Minutes Friday, May 27th, 2022

Present: Cathalynn (Cindy) Labonte-Smith, Chair, Rosa Reid, Vice Chair, Doris Good, Treasurer, Stephen Smith, Webmaster, Elspeth Richmond, Recorder

Jenny Tschoban, Mike Starr, Jan Degrass, Robin Lamarche, Anita Jenkins, Marc Theriault, Frances Peck, Speaker

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

2. Approval of April Minutes

Moved and seconded Robin Lamarche, Doris Good

3. Guest Speaker:  Frances Peck, author of novel The Broken Places about an earthquake, BC’s lower mainland and west side of Vancouver Island.

Notes: From editor to author – a journey in several parts, not her first novel compared to psychic states of authors to the Barkley Marathon. First written in 2014-15. Her background: editor, writing reports, Peck’s English Pointers, documentaries


- Promoting difficult because most writers are introverts. Do publishers promote?

- Dealing with unsympathetic characters

-Changes in her writing

-Rights to film and videos

- Communicating

Video was debuted for the Art & Words Festival: Slowly Falling Down by Barb Dann, Maggie Guzzi and Gordon Halloran

Next Meeting reminder: Thursday, June 23, 2022. Panel on Writing and Editing for Magazines and Newspapers– Bronwyn Beairsto, Jan Degrass, Stephanie Taylor

Upcoming Meetings:

Thursday, September 22nd 7-8:30 -AGM , election of council and planning. Needed; three council members for Publications, Membership, and Programs and Events.

 Sunday, September 25th – Writers’ Workshop

Friday October 28th-7-8:30 Vesna, SFU Editing Program. Doris Good book launch, Profit Line.

Sunday, October 30th 4-6 p.m, Writer’s Workshop

Thursday, November 24th 7-8:30 - Ruth Rodgers, Charmaine MacDonald on Writing Historical Fiction and Book Cover Design.

Thursday, December 22 - Cathalynn Cindy Labonte-Smith, discusses the Art of the Interview and her book Rescue Me: Search and Rescue Memoirs. Seasonal Party


Adjournment: 8:35

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.


SCWES March 24th, 2022

1. Met at a coffee shop due to change of door combination at Arts Council centre. 

Business Meeting - 

2. Program - 7:15 - 8:30 pm 

Well Targeted Travel Writing with Elizabeth Rains and Barb Rees

Elizabeth Rains, an  accomplished magazine writer, editor and publisher. Teaches at S.F.U. - Travel Writing then  & now. Her main point in travel writing is to include two things whatever your personal focus is and what the public/current issues are and combine them. 

Barb Rees travel writer and artist,  genre Going RV. Her adventures of many years, with her husband RV traveling.

She self publishes and often sells them at farmers markets and other towns and community events. She also includes maps.

 Next meeting April 28 will be moved from the Arts Centre (note: this information added after meeting)

Meeting adjourned.



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

Art and Words meeting held. 

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