For readers and writers, something exciting is budding at UFV. In November 2016, student writers asserted that learning practical information about where to take their creations would mend the one missing link in becoming full-fledged writers and UFV’s English department has responded energetically, in cooperation with the Kuldip Gill Writing Fellowship.
On Monday, the techniques of getting published were divulged by the creator of Anvil Press and SubTerrain magazine, Brian Kaufman and marketing coordinator / publisher Karen Green, who together have released over 170 book titles. A crowd of avid writers were inspired by their advice, as well as the words of Michal Kozlowski who told of his path to taking over the Canadian literary magazine Geist. Kozlowski started off volunteering for the zine, but eventually got his own writing published in it’s pages. He said his priority was to get to know the intended tone of Geist, which is exactly what led to his work getting accepted, and two years ago he was chosen to take over the magazine.
Karen Green shared that connecting with people to build a network is one of the most important aspects of getting one’s writing in print. When she first decided that she wanted to get into publishing, she started having coffee with every single person she knew who was involved in the field. That is part of what is so exciting about this surge of movement in the campus literary community. When countless people with similar goals and those who have achieved them start getting together in the same space, it suddenly becomes achievable. Every successful writer has faced self-doubts, rejections, and many trials. The doubts pale in comparison to the encouragement that comes from community and stories from accomplished professionals who were also once timid beginners.
The event wasn’t the first of its kind hosted by the Kuldip Gill Writing Fellowship, and for literary arts week in February past students were invited back to talk about the process of becoming published authors. Katie Stobbart showed that it really is possible for a young writer to get noticed and explained what’s involved in running the online magazine Raspberry. This years’ writer in residence, Jordan Abel, mesmerized listeners with the multilayered sounds of the performance piece that compliments his book njun. Abel’s indigenous heritage is a substantial element of this book, which can be found in the campus bookstore. The founder of Ekstasis Editions, Richard Olafson, spoke about the future and trends of publishing, mentioning that poetry is on the rise and not going anywhere. Students from various writing classes, as well as former students, were able to mingle and encourage one another at this event.
The same week, UFV was visited by an exuberant couple, poet / writer Gary Geddes and his wife Ann Erickson. Geddes read from his book Medicine Unbundled, covering the troubling topic of the poor treatment of indigenous people in Canadian healthcare. Erickson read a melodic excerpt from her new novel, The Performance, about a classical pianist who becomes intrigued by a regular member of her audience who seems to be homeless. It was a real treat to encounter the energy of this bookish husband and wife.
Keep your eyes open to keep up with the developing community of UFV literary enthusiasts. There is a bright future here for poets, writers, and storytellers.