June 2018 BCATW Buzz

President’s Message

We regret that due to low registration, we were forced to cancel the 2018 symposium.

This year was particularly difficult to manage the tasks put before us. We struggled from Day 1 with very little response to every call for volunteers. Every year the BCATW board logs countless hours to help out, even though ideally, we are supposed to have an independent symposium committee. But we are down three members on the board, so that put an enormous burden on everyone.

These circumstances have given rise to a call to regroup and re-examine the relevance of the symposium to our members and to the public. We are not the only group suffering from low registration. Other conferences have been cancelled for the same reason, as people’s time is stretched to the limit. As such, we need to see how we can be more relevant to the landscape of travel writing today.

Right now, we are postponing the symposium, most likely to late fall or spring, but we will not be jumping into the exact same setup only to run into the same problem. Over the next several months, we will be polling the members to see what they would benefit from; and looking to new collaborations or other strategies to make the symposium a success.

If you are interested in being a part of this discovery, please contact me at baila@nullshaw.ca.

– Baila Lazarus, BCATW President

New Member Spotlight: Mary Charleson

Mary CharlesonMary Charleson is a freelance travel writer and blogger based in North Vancouver, Canada.

A marketing speaker, author and consultant by trade, but an adventure traveler and writer by passion, she pursues her love of story and travel tips in publications such as the Globe and Mail, Huffington Post, the Vancouver Sun and the Province, in addition to her travel blog CarryOnQueen.com

She has published numerous lifestyle pieces in national publications including Zoomer Magazine, Cottage Life, Outside Magazine and Pacific Yachting.

Read something more about Mary


Media Member News

Tasmanian Devil Photo Reduced

John Thomson travels to Tasmania in search of the Devil in the June issue of Senior Living magazine. Also on tap, a feature story on ocean kayaker Wendy Killoran, the first woman to circumnavigate Newfoundland. Yes, she paddled all around it. And a cover story on empire builder Peter Legge and Canada-Wide Media, publishers of BC Living and BC Business, among others.

Jessica packing rose wine clubs

Mari Kane’s story, The Joy of Joining Wine Clubs, will appear in the Summer issue of Edible Vancouver and Wine Country, on newsstands soon. She says picking up wine shipments is the best way to travel through wine country.

Ruth Kozak has been busy with book readings and workshops. She presented one on “Creating Believable Characters and Settings” for the RCLAS on Saturday May 26 and will be doing another on the same subject for the Kamloops Writers on June 14 and a reading and workshop on the “Basics of Travel Writing” for a writer’s group at Vernon Public Library on June 16. Also, she will present at the BCTW Meetup on June 27th (see below).

Edward Quan luxury travel in Tokyo

Edward Quan, luxury fashion and travel writer, experiences tea tasting in Tokyo.

Japan is now the top luxury travel destination for 2018 stated Edward Quan, luxury fashion and travel writer at his workshop held in May at the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) conference on Whidbey Island, Washington. As a guest lecturer on luxury travel, Edward Quan shared how this growing, yet discriminating traveler offers multi story angles from adventure, culture, fashion, health & wellness, literary to food and wine. IFWTWA annual conference attracts travel writers from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the USA for two days of professional development and FAM visits.

Leg rowing fisherman - Myanmar

Irene Butler’s story, “Magical Mystical Myanmar,” is published in the June issue of Inspired Senior Living Magazine. Irene and her husband Rick are off in to enjoy southern Italy and some parts of Spain this summer.

Randi Winter is offering four complimentary spaces to those writers who are interested in writing an article about Forest Therapy / Forest Bathing in British Columbia and Costa Rica. Details: Sunday, June 3, 2018, 1:30 – 4:30pm. Meet at 1:20 by the parking lot. Eldon Park, 410 Ruby Ave, North Vancouver. To Reserve Your Space: email haida@nullnaturewithhaida.ca OR phone 604-989-3600

Karoline Cullen’s travel article and photos on Iceland were published by Travel Writer’s Tales.

Industry Member News

Saudi Bestway

On March 29, 2018, a passionate group of Bestway explorers set foot in one of the most well-known, yet least visited countries in the world – the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Though Muslims have been allowed to visit Saudi Arabia to complete the Hajj pilgrimage, the kingdom has been all but closed to non-religious travellers for many years. Bestway’s ground-breaking 8-day tour provided a unique opportunity to experience the country’s rich cultural history and meet the long isolated Saudi people.   

In 2019, Bestway is introducing  two new small group departures to the Kingdom beyond the veil. This time, the itinerary has been extended to include a stay on the outskirts of Medina, the famous pilgrimage city, the beautiful rock carvings at Jubbah and a high-speed bullet train through the desert. 

See the full itinerary here. Space is limited and discounts for travel writers are available – please contact bestway@nullbestway.com


June BCTW Meetups

Putting People in Your Stories and Creating Vivid Settings

ruth on bikes

Even if you’re a solo traveler there are still people involved in your day-to-day adventures. These people you meet along the way and the bits of conversation and stories they tell you add a special dimension to your travel tales. People are important, not just your travel companions, but most of all, the people who you meet in the exotic places you visit. It’s also important in travel writing to convey a sense of place. You do this by describing the scenes using all FIVE SENSES: Sight, sound, texture, taste, and smell.

Ruth Kozak will show you how to incorporate people and settings into your travel writing.

Ruth Kozak has been a travel journalist since 1983 and has also published a travel book on Kindle, ATHENS AND BEYOND. Most of Ruth’s travels are in Greece but she’s also visited places in North and South America, UK, Spain, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco and Malaysia. She is the editor/publisher of an on-line travel magazine www.travelthruhistory.com and has published two historical novels. She is also a past President of the BCATW.

$10.00 per person for non-members

RSVP now!

This will be our last Meetup until September.


“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.”
– Lin Yutang

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