May 2012 Buzz

Thanks, Online Changes, and Contests

President’s Message

A great big thanks to all those who helped make our annual symposium come about. We had three great speakers who gave incredibly practical tips. Everyone came away feeling it was a really valuable event. And, as always, the Listel impressed us with its excellent service and mouth-watering food. Next on the agenda: some local Fam tours for members and planning our gala for the fall. Stay tuned!


Mari Kane, who gave a session on WordPress, included how to upload a new post, change themes and use plug-ins and widgets. She also introduced attendees to the WordPress dashboard and demonstrated how easy it was to navigate and make changes to the look of your blog/website.

Ruth Kozak suggests people connect with Mari for her small workshops she gives once a week at a coffee shop.Mari Kane, right, with workshop participants (l-r) Jason Cressey, Ruth Kozak, Jett Britnell and Richard NealJulie Ferguson, right, with participants (l-r) Irene Butler, Karoline Cullen and Cherie Thiessen

Julie Ferguson explained the best use of a business page on Facebook, how to use Google Reader to collect blogposts you want to read and how to increase your profile online by getting mentioned in someone else’s blog. Following someone’s blog and commenting on it is your best chance of getting known. Offer yourself as a guest expert, too. It’s a good way to find markets online, too. Check keywords in publications’ blogs, The Buzz May 2012Facebook pages and tweets. See what editors like and what they don’t like so when you throw out a pitch, you’ll be more likely to be received positively. Her handout: 

Byzhub founder Owen Clark gave tips on how to keep people coming to your site (inbound marketing) rather than steering them away to other social media like LinkedIn or YouTube. He underlined the importance of having a strong website as a powerful centre of your online presence, before you start working on your blogs or Twitter; as well as the importance of having a very obvious “share” button so people can repost your blogs or retweet your messages. The best piece of advice was Owen’s tag line, keep it simple, simple’s hard enough. Owen Clark, right, with participants (l-r) Karen Taipalus, Darlene Foster and Lenora HaymanOur fabulous gift basket                                       Signing in and hanging outThree busy tables of avid listenersAll photos by Baila Lazarus.

News from Members

Carol Ann Quibell’s latest article with FMCA portraying beautiful southern BC’s wineries was published in April 2012. 

Dive News Network published Jett & Kathryn Britnell’s story, “Feliz Navidad From Isla Cozumel” in their April 2012 edition of Southeast Dive News. This is the same story that appeared in the February 2012 issues of Northeast Dive News and Midwest Dive News. Jett was also invited back to be one of the judges for the Northwest Dive and Travel Expo’s 2012 Annual Photo and Video Competition. The Britnell’s are presented their seminar, “Shoot Like A Pro – Tips & Tricks to Improve Your Underwater Photography” at this scuba diving trade show.Kami Kanetsuka recently returned from an extended trip to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Three articles namely on Mexico City, the San Miguel Literary Conference, and the Botanical Gardens were published in the Bowen Island Undercurrent.

Ruth Kozak is teaching a small class of  travel writers in a classed called “Blog Around the World” which combines traditional travel writing and blog writing (the current popular genre).  She just had another travel article published in about Castel Coch, a fairtale Victorian castle in Wales.  There are new stories on for April. Take a look and feel free to contribute.  You might also like to see Ruth’s travel blog with stories about Strathcona, Vancouver’s oldest residential area and the Jimi Hendrix shrine museum at Union and Main Street.

Darlene Foster had a wonderful time at the BCATW symposium.  It was well organized with excellent guest speakers. The round table format was effective. She left with many great new ideas to improve her social media techniques.

Darlene will be at the Tsawwassen Town Centre Mall Mother’s Day Craft Fair, on Saturday, May 12 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM displaying and signing her travel adventure books for children. Please stop by and say Hello.

You can find Darlene on the following sites:


Twitter: @supermegawoman

Facebook: Darlene Foster Writer

She would be happy to connect with all her travel writer friends.

Joei Carlton Hossack has accepted an invitation to lecture at the Tswassawwen Library in September and starts this month off with a bang – she’s being interviewed on May 1 for Impowerage Magazine.  Joei will be selling her books and bookmarks at the Cloverdale Rodeo May 18, 19, 20, 21.  On May 30th she will be doing a reading at the George Mackie Library and on May 31 at the Whalley Library.

Joei entered two of her bookmarks in two contests under the “photography” category.

Irene Butler was contacted “out-of-the-blue” by Zoomer Magazine that her book Trekking the Globe with Mostly Gentle Footsteps will be featured in the May issue. Other than sending them a book over a year ago, she was never interviewed, so has no idea what this mention in Zoomer will entail – but invites all to check out this mystery when this issue is on bookstore shelves.

James Ross has had his first book “Cottage Daze” published by Dundurn Press.  “Cottage Daze” is a collection of stories which focus on the pleasures of the cottage experience, and an affectionate look at what is a Canadian obsession.  It is filled with humour, wacky tales, adventures and misadventures.  What about travel stories, you may be asking?  Well, every desperate travel writer finds a way to get their stories in print.  There are stories in the book on paragliding in the Swiss Alps, hiking in the Shetlands, boating through the Trent-Severn Canal, canoeing the angry River Noire in Quebec, driving through the spectacular Fall Colours of Muskoka, taking a tour aboard the historic RMS Segwun on Lake Muskoka, and horseback riding in the Canadian Rockies.   The book is available now in bookstores and on Chapters or Amazon online.  Visit  Defining Canada just had a Q&A interview with James as part of their Ask an Author series – you can read it online at

In other travel news, James just survived a trip to Bermuda in early April – returning, after a 20 year hiatus, to the island with which he has had a long standing love affair, while braving high winds, whales, sea sickness, jelly fish, roundabouts and a back-seat driving wife who clung tightly to him while he raced around on his scooter.  That adventure will be in Travel Writers Tales this September, and will quite possibly also be slipped into “A Return to Cottage Daze,” already in the works with Dundurn Press.Writing Contest

Author Rhea Tregebov will judge the West End Writers Workshop 2012 Writing Contest, the organizers have announced.

Every year, the Vancouver, BC-based West End Writers Workshop sponsors a writing contest to showcase the talent of writers around the world. In June, all contest finalists will read their pieces and the winners will be announced at a ceremony in the stately Barclay Manor in Vancouver’s West End. This event is free and open to the public.

Only 15 days remain to submit entries to this exciting and valuable contest.

The contest will offer three prizes in each of two separate categories – Prose and Poetry.

$100 First Prize, $50 Second Prize and $25 Third Prize.

Entry Submission Start – April 2

Online Submission Deadline – May 15

Mailed Submissions – postmarked no later than May 15

Short-listed Finalists Announcement – early June

Awards Announcement and Ceremony at Barclay Manor – TBA

Entries may be submitted online at with fees paid to Paypal.

All questions may be directed to WEWW through or at


Karoline and Darlene

BUZZ Co-Editors

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