April 2016 BCATW Buzz

If you haven’t done so already, please Register now for BCATW 2016 Travel Writing Symposium on Sunday, April 10 at the beautiful Anvil Centre in New Westminster.

Lucas aykroydBCATW 2016 panalistsThe BCATW is thrilled to present some of the hottest names in travel media:
writer Lucas AykroydJennifer Elliott of Vancouver magazineBrad Liski of My Passion Media, and Anicka Quin of Western Living magazine – plus industry partners – Paula Amos of Aboriginal TourismHeather McEachen of Vancouver Island Tourism, and Laura Kittmer of BC Wine Institute – all coming to inform and inspire us in our chosen profession.

This year’s symposium is themed, British Columbia – Too Beautiful for Words, but it’s about much, much more.

The program will culminate in editor pitch sessions! Each attendee will be able to register for five minutes of face time with Elliott, Liski, and Quin, which is a great chance to practice your elevator pitch and make connections.

El Santo LaunchParty-119

Mixing it up at El Santo

At the end of the day we’ll all need a drink to digest what we’ve learned, so we’ll head over to El Santo Mexican restaurant for drinks and complimentary appies.

BCATW 2016 is going to be a lot of fun as well as truly educational. As a BCATW member in good standing, you can use the promo code “ziggystardust” to receive the discount rate of $80. That includes breakfast, lunch, snacks and appies, so please Register now for BCATW 2016!

Please help us promote the symposium (and compete in our Twitter contest) by tweeting about it. Here’s is a sample tweet with just enough characters to be retweeted:

“Register today for #BCATW2016 #Travel#Writing Symposium Apr 10 @New_Westminster ow.ly/ZjXGl

6 Steps to Navigating the BCATW Pitch Sessionpitch session

By John Thompson, BCATW2016 Committee Chair

Be prepared. That’s the Boy Scout motto. Be a Boy Scout. 

Here’s a simple guide to help you navigate the one-on-one meetings with the editor of your choice on April 10.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the editors. Jenni Elliott looks after the GO pages in Vancouver magazine, Anicka Quinn represents the WL Travel pages in Western Living and Brad Liski oversees the print magazines BC Magazine, Canadian Traveller, Pacific Yachting and Explore Magazine, their online variants and specialty e-zines, Environment911.org ( travel with a green theme) and Infobarrel.comMr. Liski is also partners with the adventure travel magazines Outdoor Canada and BC Outdoors.
  2. Read the publication. Seems like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised at the number of writers who don’t have a firm grasp of the magazine their pitching to. Check them out at Indigo, which carries every magazine conceivable at its Granville and W. Broadway store. Copies are also available online from Issuu.com. Log in, it’s an aggregator, it’s free and enter the name of the publication in the Search box.
  3. Read the publication’s writers guidelines online. They will tell you if your idea is a good fit with the publication’s criteria. Some magazines and e-zines want service pieces, some want lists, and some want first person experiential stories. You may have to tweak your original idea. As a general rule of thumb, editors want you to show rather than tell so it’s a good idea to focus on how you’re going to tell the story rather than reciting facts and figures.
  4. Write down your ideas on paper or in your device. This isn’t for the editor’s benefit, it’s for your’s. Notes will clarify your pitch and give you a sense of whether it fits into the five minute time slot. Edit and condense if necessary. Practice, edit, practice, edit.
  5. Have your editor chosen when you sign up for the editor pitch session at the registration desk on the morning of the Symposium. You’ll be given an appointment between 3:00 and 4:00 PM.
  6. Please report to the pitching session 5 minutes early. A volunteer will control traffic, so to speak, so as one delegate vacates their chair, the other slips in. Feel free to give the editor your business card, but no written proposals or presentation folders at this point please. You may follow up with materials at a later date if you want.

Good luck and happy hunting!

Symposium Committee Shoutout

Thanks to all the hard work by our awesome symposium committee, we have another an exciting event this year!

John Thomson, Mari Kane, Joan Boxall, Baila Lazarus, Ricky Shetty, Yilin WangMaros Handzak, Fabiano MacielChris Millikin, Karoline Cullen, and President Ruth Kozak.

Thank you all for making it happen!

Media Member News

Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro

Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Irene Butler

Irene Butler and her husband Rick have added their recent Brazil adventures to their website, namely, Sao Paulo’s Bustling BeatUnforgettable Iguacu Falls, and Surf, Samba and Shantytowns of Rio de Janeiro.

Ruth Kozak’s story about her visit to Cartagena Spain was published in EuropeUpClose. Ruth has been busy moving so once she’s settled again she’ll be planning more TRAVEL WRITING BASICS  workshops. Ruth is currently working on another e-book guide for Hunter Publishing, US, this one on the Greek Islands. She’s looking forward to doing some island hopping this September.

Cherie Thiessen is once again regretful that she can’t make the upcoming annual gig which, she writes, sounds better and bigger than ever. She’s just too busy traveling and then writing about it. Trips to Galiano Island to write about its nettlefest in April, and to the Cowichan Valley to participate in Deerholme Farm’s morel mushroom special dinner, and then to England to write about boating in the Norfolk Broads, all are just keeping her too busy (happily though). 

Cherie has stories in the current issue of Pacific Yachting (Okeover Inlet in Desolation Sound), the current issue of Aqua Magazine (Woods on Pender and sculptor Tom Duquette on Saturna), the spring issue of B.C. Magazine (Chocolate Lilies on Pender), the summer issue of Explore (cycling in Quebec), and the April issue of Senior Living (Hollyhock on Cortes).

Deb Walker is working as Content Strategist for Dustin O’Flynn’s overland journey from Vancouver, BC to Ushuaia, Argentina. The journey will take place in a couple of phases, with plans to spend an extended period of time exploring and showcasing countries and destinations along the way. The first phase will cover travels through the USA, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.  Although Panama and Colombia are connected by land, there is no road that connects the two countries so, after arranging for the container shipment of the vehicle, Dustin will join a sailboat charter to Colombia, visiting the spectacular San Blas Archipelago along the way.

After spending some time in Colombia, including participating in a kitesurfing competition, the journey will continue through an exploration of South America, including Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil. Join Dustin and Deb as they document the trials, tribulations and triumphs of an overlanding journey spanning the western hemisphere and on one heck of an AVNTURA!

BC zinfandel lineup 700

BC Zinfandels. Photo: Mari Kane

Mari Kane’s story about BC Zinfandel will appear in the Spring issue of Edible Vancouver and Wine Country. Look for a copy of the free magazine at fine food and wine stores. It was hard work tasting all those zins, but somebody has to track BC’s progress with that all-American grape. Nobody else is.

Just back from a trip to Israel, Mari promises to write something for Travel Through History, since history is what that country is all about.

Rick Neal has had an article published in Europe Up Close on the amazing, magical Sahara Desert. Check it out!

Member Spotlight

J. Kathleen Thompson Bold Beginnings of a Midlife Traveller and Writer

J. Kathleen Thompson is a freelance writer and travel enthusiast. Through her journeys, she strives to illuminate the beauty in this world – in both the extraordinary and the everyday – for her readers.

Her ‘quest for beauty’ has taken her by bike, boots, bus and boat to every continent.  She has frequently been stranded in countries that border the Mediterranean, and now spends much of the year in her new home on an island in the southern Aegean.

A music teacher in her past life, Joan delights in the unique qualities of each culture she encounters. A lifelong hiker and cyclist, she also enjoys the immersion in new cultures and landscapes that slow travel allows.

Joan has attended the annual premier conference for travel writers in the United States – Book Passage – and is a proud member of the B.C. Association of Travel Writers. With her photographer partner, she has curated a multi-media exhibit entitled: “The Travelling Eye in Your Pilgrimage.” She is a guest columnist in the Grand Forks Gazette, and has been published in Route #3 Magazine and The Vancouver Sun, and most recently, in the online magazine: travelthruhistory.com.

A portfolio of her work and the blog she shares with readers can be viewed on her blog-site, Just Go Jo.

Industry Member News

Bestway Tours & Safaris invites you to a series of multi media presentations at the Vancouver Public Library

bestways impressionsPresentations are in the John Kaye or Alma VanDusen Room, located on the lower level of the Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC.

Admission fee for each presentation is $15 or subscribe to the entire series and save. Get 5 shows for $60.

Limited seating. For reservations, please contact: education@nullbestway.comPresentations are done in collaboration with the Ultimate Traveller.

BCATW welcomes new industry members sponsoring our symposium

Please check them out and thank them for their support of BCATW!

britannia mines

Britannia Mine Museum

A National Historic Site

Tel: 1-800-896-4044

Email: company.store@nullbcmm.ca

Web: www.britanniaminemuseum.ca


ceder creek Cedar Creek Winery

Our Wine is our Word

Tel: 778-738-1020
Fax: 250-764-2603
E-Mail  info@nullcedarcreek.bc.ca
Web: www.cedarcreek.bc.ca


Forbidden Vancouver

Forbidden Vancouver

Adventure into Vancouver’s darkest history

Tel: 604-839-3126

Email: info@nullforbiddenvancouver.ca

Web: forbiddenvancouver.ca



Golden-Logo 300Golden Tourism

Golden Rules

Tel: 250.344.7125

Email: info@nulltourismgolden.com

Web: tourismgolden.com

Margo-Polo-Logo-300Margo Polo

Merchant Traveler

Email: contact@nullmargopolo.club

Web: margopolo.club



Van food toursTaste Vancouver Food Tours

Taste BC’s Best Restaurants and More

Tel: 778-228-7932

Email: maria@nulltastevancouverfoodtours.com

Web: www.tastevancouverfoodtour.com



Wickaninnish Inn

Set between rainforest giants and the wild blue waters of the Pacific

Tel: 1.250.725.3100

Email: pr@nullwickinn.com

Web: www.wickinn.com


And thanks to all our returning industry members!

imgresBestway Tours & Safaris

Journeys sans frontières since 1978

Tel: 604.264.7378, 1.800.663.0844

Fax: 604.264.7774

Email: bestway@nullbestway.com

Web: www.bestway.com

Web: www.worldheritagetours.com



Destino Enterprises

Your Latin and Canadian Destination Travel Representatives

Tel: 604-926-8581

Fax: 604-926-8582

Email: info@nulldestinosenterprises.com

Web: www.destinosenterprises.com


lotus land toursLotus Land Tours Ltd.

Wilderness Adventures for Softies

Tel: 1-800-528-3331 in the US & Canada

      (604) 684-4922 anywhere else

Email: info@nulllotuslandtours.com

Web: lotuslandtours.com


salt spring chamber

Salt Spring Tourism & Chamber of Commerce

Tel: 250-537-4223

Web: saltspringchamber.com

Email: chamber@nullsaltspringchamber.com

BCATW Meetups

No regular Meetup this month. The symposium is our April Meetup!

See you there!

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