What color is your pencil? Where do seductive books begin – Nelson Star

It’s important to remember that the novel that kept you reading until 3 a.m., that memoir you rooted for on Canada Reads, that poem on your fridge that inspires you every time you grab butter from peanut – it all started somewhere.

So how did they go from that brow-frowning blank page through all those embarrassing drafts to the award-winning bestseller you now carry in your reader’s heart?

The answer could be as close as the Elephant Mountain Literary Festival (EMLF), taking place June 23-26 in Nelson.

The Kootenay Literary Society (KLS), of which EMLF is a project, works to promote writing, publishing, and publishing in the Kootenays. To that end, the Festival, which prides itself on being as much for drafts as it is for book lovers, provides learning opportunities for writers, to better soften brows and stimulate the flow of words. Consider buying a $1 KLS subscription when you buy your EMLF tickets to show you care about the flow of words in the Koots, like we do.

The Holley Rubinsky Memorial Blue Pencil sessions, named after the late Kaslo author who framed so many, are an opportunity to stimulate word flow. Before leaving us, Holley considered the sessions as part of an EMLF and offered funds to start it. And we did, with our first Writer-in-Residence Caroline Adderson in 2016. Fred Stenson, Susan Musgrave, Marilyn Bowering and Jenna Butler followed in subsequent years.

For writers whose work is in progress, a review from a qualified writer can be invaluable. EMLF’s writers-in-residence offer one-on-one reviews to registrants who have pre-submitted writing – that’s the Blue Pencil Sessions, which run June 23-24.

Our 2022 Writer-in-Residence and four-time fiction writer, Shaena Lambert, offers a critique of fiction, creative non-fiction, and memoir. Shaena has taught at Simon Fraser University’s Writers’ Studio, Humber School for Writers, Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts, Hollyhock Lifelong Learning Center and Vancouver Manuscript Intensive.

According to Janie Chang, author of Dragon Springs Road, “Shaena has that rare combination of empathy, intuition, and savvy that allows her to zero in on a manuscript’s strengths and weaknesses. I can’t say enough wonderful things about his influence, which stays with me even now.

Additionally, this year, poetry reviews and memoirs are available with Carver Award-winning poet and author Rayya Liebich, who brings 20 years of teaching experience and a passion for writing as a tool for transformation. of the role, and a very fine touch to the art of criticism. It’s twice the chance for lucky writers.

The deadline for Blue Pencil submissions is Friday, June 10.

Shaena will also give the annual Craft Talk at the Nelson Public Library. “Bringing Characters to Life” includes a hands-on writing opportunity for audience members. So bring some paper and a pen and leave your wrinkled brow at home: expect fun, with a hint of confidence. This free conference takes place on Thursday, June 23 at 7:30 p.m.

You can hear Shaena’s own words at the All-Star Playback Saturday, June 25 at 7:30 p.m. at the Prestige Lakeside Resort. She will read Petra her 2021 novel based on the passionate, charismatic and flawed founder of the German Green Party in the 1980s – which won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize.

Shaena is joined by authors Angie Abdou, Dr. Suzanne Simard and Tom Wayman for an unforgettable evening in which we will be far too spellbound to imagine there was ever a raised eyebrow in the writing of their books.

The Elephant Mountain Literary Festival features author readings, workshops, panel discussions and more. Visit emlfestival.com for all the information.

About Herbert L. Leonard

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