April Buzz 2013

BCATW Spring Symposium

Since January, Board Members have been soliciting BC businesses for Symposium 2013 door prizes. We greatly appreciate support from suppliers such as: BC Ferries, Bard on the Beach, Van Dusen Gardens, Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa, April Point Resort and others.

Bring along your business cards & participate! Random draws throughout the MAY 11 SYMPOSIUM will award prizes to lucky winners! Destination package prize draws are restricted to BCATW members.

It’s not too late to register!

11:30 – 4 pm, May 11th, 2013
Vancouver’s Listel Hotel, 1300 Robson Street.
$20.00 Members, $40.00 Non Members
Register via PayPal at https://bcatw.org/payments
Or mail a cheque to:
Baila Lazarus, BC Association of Travel Writers
PH3 1433 East 1st Ave
Vancouver, BC V5N 1A4


How Being a BCATW Member Helps

Cherie Thiessen says:

I joined BCATW when one of my travel writing  students at U Vic asked me why I wasn’t a member. Writing is a lonely job and any steps a writer can take to expand her world and support network should be taken. Who doesn’t feel charged up and more ready to take on the world after a BCATW symposium? In addition, joining a professional association adds credibility, helps writers stay on top of their game, and provides friendships and connections.


Barb Rees says:

When I joined BCATW many years ago, I was still finding my way in the world of freelance writing. My lifestyle of exploring Canada in an RV suited travel writing. Thus I started in 2003 with our first working holiday around Canada by writing a series for RV Times. They didn’t pay but it got my name out there, provided me with clips, and sold books. But then I joined BCATW and the first symposium I attended I heard how upset the “real” travel writers were with publishers not paying and with writers fostering them by writing for free. My new goal was to get to a place where I didn’t write for free. Thanks to belonging to this very encouraging and diverse group my work now comes with a price.

The other benefit came thanks to the Facebook page. In 2012 a post mentioned a travel writer’s conference in Port Townsend, WA right after our symposium. I registered and then contacted the organizer who allowed me to come along on a fam culinary tour afterwards. From that I was in contact with Harbors magazine, and wrote an article on our west coast Shellfish industry. When I was invited back in the fall of 2012 on another fam tour, I got another article for Harbors out of it. It all started with an announcement on our Facebook page. That page has also being the vehicle for me getting to know more of you seeing as how I only make it down to the city once a year. Thank you everyone for all your words of wisdom. There are so many benefits in being a member of BCATW, not the least being the connections and education. www.write2dream.com


Irene Butler says:

Since becoming a member in 2003 the benefits of belonging to BCATW have been many and varied, with both the organization and my travel writing modus operandi in constant change. Just a few years previous to joining I’d retired from 35 years of strictly-business careers, which meant freedom to explore the globe at will and a desire to try my hand at travel writing. Where to start? I signed up for a creative writing course with Ruth Kozak and as well as expanding my horizons on imaginative ways to describe such things as a sunset, Ruth promoted belonging to BCATW. It was my foot-in-the-door to camaraderie with other travel writers/authors/photographers. It became an appreciated resource to learn about queries/press trips/slants to suit specific publications/problems encountered…and many other such intricacies of travel writing. From the first Symposium attended in 2004 I felt at home and got to know members personally with the group’s size not being overwhelming. When Jane Cassie and Margaret Deefholts began Travel Writers Tales a few years later, they made room for me, a fledgling writer, which opened up even more doors in the publishing world. I have over the years, and I continue to glean valuable information from each and every member (old-timers and new); the varied skills, areas of expertise and talent held in our group is nothing short of amazing. My membership in BCATW has been advantageous in promoting myself to editors, tourist boards, FAM’s, and my press card is always handy when travelling for privileges at museum, sites, and more.



I signed on to BCATW right from the beginning when Vic Foster first decided that we travel writers on the West Coast needed our own association. I’ve served on the Board a couple of times (currently as Secretary) and always enjoy helping out with our symposiums and events.

Although I don’t very often apply for assignments, I was the lucky winner once of a trip to Malaysia at one of the symposiums. This afforded me an opportunity I certainly wouldn’t have had otherwise and it proved to be a great adventure. Of course several stories came out of it which were published. The following year I got lucky again and won airfare to New York, another huge adventure (making it my third time in that great city.) There was no end of possibilities for stories and a couple got published.

Having the BCATW name attached to my resume as a travel writer is also a bonus. Besides the benefit of a Press Card, there is a whole organization of wonderful local travel writers who get together now and them and share their experiences. As a writing instructor, who teaches Travel Writing (now called Blog Around the World because blogging has become such a big thing) I have had the pleasure of mentoring several talented writers who began their travel writing careers in my classes. Currently I am editor/publisher of an on-line travel ‘zine which I also started up for this purpose, so new writers would get chance to be published and paid a modest honorarium. www.travelthruhistory.com I get submissions from all around the world and not only from novice writers but also some well established travel journalists, some of them from the BCATW.

It’s always great to get feed-back and encouragement from other members of the BCATW and to be a member of this writing community.


News from Members

One of Baila Lazarus‘ travel photos has been selected to be part of the exhibit Faces of Israel at the Zack Gallery at the Jewish Community Centre. Opening night is Thursday, April 11. The show runs until May 5. The gallery is located at 950 West 41st Ave., just east of Oak Street. Gallery hours are Mon-Th 9am-10:30pm; Fri 9-6; Sun 9-9. Closed Sat.

Ruth Kozak has been busy writing new travel articles. She had two published in March by EuropeUpClose – one about Finding History in England’s Cathedrals and another about the “Divine and Decadent” islands of Tinos, Mykonos and Delos, Greece.  She’s had another story about Barkerville accepted by Off Beat Travel and her article about Pauline Johnson, which was scheduled for the March “Literary Traveler” will now be published in April. Ruth also spent a delightful afternoon at Douglas College recently teaching a Travel Writing class for BCATW member Roberta  Staley’s Magazine Journalism class. www.ruthkozak.com

The Britnell’s have been published in the USA, Canada and South Africa in recent months.

Northwest Dive News Magazine (USA) ran a diving story that Kathryn and Jett wrote called, “Legends of the Pass – British Columbia’s Browning Passage”, in their January 2013 issue.

Depth Magazine, a Canadian online scuba magazine, published Jett’s story, “Going Down on the President” in their spring 2013 issue. Jett states any resemblance to real people or events implied by the this story’s title is purely coincidental as this story is all about diving on one of the larger World War II shipwrecks in the world, Vanuatu’s SS President Coolidge.

photocomment photography magazine in South Africa published Jett’s image of a Clownfish on the cover of their March 2013 issue. Jett & Kathryn contributed some underwater photos & tips on how to create stunning underwater images

In March in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico,  Kami Kanetsuka gave a presentation called, Living in the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal in the Sixties.  Held in a packed restaurant, Cafe Contento, she has been asked to do another presentation in a former Bordello,(turned smart hotel) Casa de la Noche in April.

Julie H. Ferguson had the pleasure of a hosted stay in Times Square Suites on Robson for two nights while re-discovering Denman Street and Stanley Park for a couple of family-oriented articles about Vancouver for two UK markets.The rain held off but it was cold. She spent a long half-day visit to the Vancouver Aquarium and was enchanted as always. Julie ate good lunches and dinners in small cafes and funky small family restos, all in the aid of research. Her presentation, Travel Writing is Not All You DO!, was a huge success because writers attended who had never tried it. Otherwise Julie’s March was filled with other writing work that sadly had nothing to do with travel! This photo was taken at the aquarium “Clown Fish in the Tropic Zone”

Mark Leiren-Young’s new comic memoir – Free Magic Secrets Revealed is being released by Harbour Publishing April 17th. His new stage play Never Shoot a Stampede Queen (adapted from his Leacock medal-winning book)  debuts April 20th with the Western Canada Theatre Company in Kamloops and stars Ryan Beil. A second production starring Zachary Stevenson (the Arts Club’s Buddy Holly) premieres in Duncan May 2nd at the Showroom Garage and then runs at Vancouver’s Granville Island Stage May 9-25th. The show — about his early adventures as a journalist — may be the first stage play in Canada to experiment with Tweet seats.  For more info visit http://www.leiren-young.com or #stampedequeen

Cherie Thiessen’s road trip article on northern Vancouver is in the current issue of Westworld, and destination pieces on Pender Island and Sidney Island are in the last two issues of Canadian Yachting.  As well, the April issue of Aqua Magazine has her story on Louis Vallee and his motorized bikes, from Mayne Island.

Joei Carlton Hossack is back home in Surrey now.  She had the luxury, for the first time, of having almost two weeks for her drive back from Yuma and decided to have some fun on the trip.  She spent a day in Quartzsite, Arizona to stock up on some much needed beading supplies.  She spent a couple of days in Grant’s Pass, Oregon and took a tour of Fire Mountain Gems, her favorite on-line bead shop and, when that wasn’t enough she spent several hours wandering through Shipwreck Beads, an 80,000 square foot Bead Shop in Lacey, Washington.  She knew there was a story in there someplace. On the 27th of March Joei participated in the second annual Delta Library event called “Telling Our Story.”  Each of the six speakers had 10 minutes to tell a real-life slice of life story. During her stay in Yuma, Joei was interviewed by Carol Ann Quibell for RVWest Magazine.  On March 28 the March/April on-line edition of the magazine with Joei’s story was released. www.joeicarlton.com

Karoline Cullen’s article “Travelling to the Edge of the World” on staying at Cap D’Or lighthouse in Nova Scotia was published in several BC newspapers. Her photo of the Langley Ukulele Ensemble playing on the ferry Queen of Nanaimo ran in the Island Tides. She was recently featured in a Face to Face interview about photography in the South Delta Leader. www.cullenphotos.ca

Randi Winter thinks this is a great tip and resource: Why Your Blogsite Needs the WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugin  http://wpblogsites.com/?s=editorial+calendar+plug+in&x=0&y=0

BCATW Press Cards

I have finally figured out all the steps needed to produce our new Press Cards and will be mailing the first ones in the next week or so. There are still some members that need to send me head shots so if you haven’t sent one or told me to use the photo on the blogsite, please get in touch. Thanks, Karoline

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” Jane Howard, novelist

Karoline and Darlene

Your BUZZ Co-Editors


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