The B.C. Federation of B.C. Writers hosts the BC Writers’ Summit May 15-21. Black Press file photo

The B.C. Federation of B.C. Writers hosts the BC Writers’ Summit May 15-21. Black Press file photo

Courtenay-based writers’ federation receives funding boost

The Courtenay-based Federation of B.C. Writers is among the organizations in line to receive an arts infrastructure grant in the latest round of funding from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport.

The federation will receive $15,822, which will enhance capacities for offering more Zoom programming. The money will also help develop a lending library of microphones that will help people record audio books or literary podcasts at home.

“We’re really pushing into that digital era,” FBCW executive director Bryan Mortensen said. “We know that we’re not going to give up Zoom after this (pandemic) is over. The accessibility factor alone has made it worthwhile.”

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the federation, which has reached a milestone of 1,000 members.

The FBCW promotes excellence in literary arts and supports emerging writers, among other objectives. It hosts webinars and other events such as poetry readings.

It is also working to expand programs and services, especially in rural communities of B.C. Mortensen notes a “weird perk of Zoom” has helped the federation reach a greater number people around the world.

From May 15-21, the federation hosts the BC Writers’ Summit online. The keynote speaker is Jessica Brody, author of Save the Cat! Writes a Novel, who will conduct a members-only fireside chat on the final day.

“We’ve tried to focus on people working in many genres,” Mortensen said. “If you are working on anything from novel writing to non-fiction to poetry, we want to make sure there’s something there.”

The summit will include a gala/red carpet event that celebrates contest winners from last year.

“We’re going to encourage people to get dressed up, because when was the last time you got to do that?” Mortensen said.

The gala will also celebrate B.C. author Betsy Warland, a mentor to many writers who has agreed to be the federation’s ambassador for the coming year.

The cost to attend the summit is $80 for federation members, and $100 for non-members. If cost is a barrier, send an email to

Participants can expect a range of workshops and events that cross genres, mediums and audience skill levels.

The summit is also offering Blue Pencil Query Letter Reviews, which can be added to the Summit Pass for $35. This includes a 15-minute feedback consult with an editor from Darling Axe.

Register at

The federation is proud to support the Comox Valley Writers Society, which also supports new, emerging and established writers.