Guidelines for Writers and Publishers

We receive numerous queries every year from writers who are interested in participating at the annual festival. The following guidelines answer the most frequently asked questions. Please familiarize yourself with the festival, the format and its history by referring to the rest of this website.

  • The Festival features Canadian writers only.
  • There is no application process, although we do welcome expressions of interest from writers and publishers. Writers are invited to participate by the Artistic and Executive Director.
  • Festival events, with a few exceptions, feature just one writer at a time. Each writer is given one hour to read, discuss their work and answer questions from the audience.
  • Writers must have the confidence and energy to hold the attention of the audience for an hour.
  • All festival events take place in the 400-seat Festival Pavilion.
  • While we seek opportunities to present emerging writers, we must also consider a writer’s ability to attract an audience given the size of our venue and our reliance on ticket sale revenue.
  • The Festival is programmed with reference to a variety of criteria including gender, genre, age, cultural diversity and regional representation. We will consider authors with books that have been published recently (generally within a year).
  • The process of programming begins in September of each year and is completed by the end of February. The promotional brochure is distributed by the beginning of May and tickets typically go on sale at the end of May or early June.
  • The Festival does not program writers of self-published books. This is a common and accepted practice among literary festivals. Our funders do not support the presentation of books by self-published authors.  There is a wide variance in the quality of self-published books and we do not have the capacity to assess individual manuscripts. We rely on the professional expertise of literary agents, editors and publishing houses.
  • We cannot take responsibility for the return of unsolicited books and manuscripts.

Marisa Alps
Artistic and Executive Director
Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts
E: marisa(at)
T: 604-885-9631 or 1-800-565-9631