Special Events

Throughout the year, the Festival hosts several special events. Subscribe to our email notification service, and we’ll let you know when updates are posted to this site.

Personalizing the Impersonal — Nonfiction Writing Workshop with Mark L. Winston


Join the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts for a special event with Mark L. Winston, acclaimed writing instructor and award-winning author. Mark will share his insights and expertise in a day-long nonfiction writing workshop, “Personalizing the Impersonal.”

About the workshop

At its core, nonfiction writing is about telling a true story that entertains and informs. It is about personal experience, real people and events told in a compelling and creative way. 

This workshop will explore how to bring deeper reflections into your writing, engaging your audiences through story and personal anecdote linked to broad issues of public interest. We’ll work on brevity, clarity and focus. You’ll gain confidence in using your unique voice and style with greater proficiency through clear thinking, succinctness, simplicity and bringing key messages front and centre.  You’ll work on whatever writing is on your plate at the moment, with possible outlets including newspapers, magazines, books, blogs, press releases, websites, pitches or whatever is currently occupying your writing space.

The workshop will be interactive and participatory, using writing exercises, intensive group feedback, editing and revisions. Be prepared to write; bring whatever you like to write in or on.


  • Date: April 29, 2023
  • Time: 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
  • Location: Rockwood Lodge Art Space, Sechelt, BC (5511 Shorncliffe Avenue)
  • Cost: $85.00 per registration (includes GST)
  • Registration: Please phone 604-885-9631 or email marisa(at)writersfestival.ca
  • Other details: Bring your preferred writing materials and lunch. Snacks will be provided.

NEW! Register online, via Showpass! (Please note: Showpass charges an additional $3.82 in processing fees). If you register directly through the festival by email or phone the fee remains $85.00.

About Mark L. Winston

Mark L. Winston (www.winstonhive.com) is the recipient of the 2015 Governor General’s Literary Award for Nonfiction for his book Bee Time: Lessons From the Hive. One of the world’s leading experts on bees and pollination, Dr. Winston is also an internationally recognized researcher, teacher and writer. He directed Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue for 12 years, where he founded the Centre’s Semester in Dialogue, a program that creates leadership development opportunities that equip and empower students to contribute to social change in communities. He’s appeared three times at the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts since 1996, with his books Nature Wars, Bee Time, and Listening to the Bees, the last book co-written with poet Renée Sarojini Saklikar.

He currently is Professor Emeritus and Senior Fellow in Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue.

Walking With: Honouring Indigenous Voices


July 1, 2021— the shíshálh Nation invited the greater Sechelt community to wear orange and to walk with them in solidarity to support “…all Residential School survivors and to honour the children whose unmarked graves were found at the former Kamloops Residential School and those at Cowessess.” At the beginning of the march, hiwus (Chief) Warren Paul addressed the crowd that had gathered and said the Nation was asking two things of the Sunshine Coast: to listen and to walk with them. 

These words resonated with Jane Davidson, the Artistic and Executive Director of the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts. The result is Walking With: Honouring Indigenous Voices, a free special event taking place on September 10 at 7 p.m. in the Festival Pavilion at Rockwood Centre.  

Featuring authors Joseph Dandurand (The East Side of It All), Danielle Geller (Dog Flowers), and Darrel J. McLeod (Peyakow), Walking With will include readings by all three authors and will be hosted and moderated by award-winning journalist Angela Sterritt.

Co-presented with the BC and Yukon Book Prizes—Dandurand, Geller and McLeod have all recently been recognized as finalists of the prizes—the event aims to create discussion about the importance and power of Indigenous stories.

“This event” says Davidson, “along with our commitment to include Indigenous voices at the Festival and in our schools programming, is our response to the [shíshálh Nation’s] call.

Walking With also coincides with the festival’s 40th anniversary, and it was planned to help mark this milestone achievement. “We wanted to make this a free event, so it is accessible to all,” Davidson explains.

The Festival Pavilion is located at 5511 Shorncliffe Avenue, ch’atlich. Books will be for sale onsite, courtesy of Talewind Books. Audience members will be asked to wear masks in the Pavilion during the event.

Pre-registration is not necessary, but for more information, email info(at)writersfestival.ca or phone 604-885-9631.