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Writers' Workshop in Silverton: Deadline to Register April 15

Tom Wayman
By Tom Wayman
March 30th, 2016

Time is running out for local writers wishing feedback on their writing from well-known authors Sharon Butala and J. Edward Chamberlin, who will be participating in the 3rd Convergence Writers’ Weekend in Silverton, B.C., May 13-14. Participants wishing to participate in writing workshops with Butala and Chamberlin during the event must register to submit a 1,000-word writing sample by April 15.

            The Convergence  Writers’  Weekend, at Silverton Memorial Hall, 203 Lake (Highway 6), will also feature talks and a panel discussion involving the two featured authors. Cost for the weekend, which includes writing workshops on May 14, is $35. More information, including how to register, is available at

            This year’s event, which has as its theme “The Spirit in the Landscape,” recently received financial support from two sources not usually operating in concert: the Regional District of Central Kootenay and the United Church of Canada. The RDCK, through Area H director Walter Popoff, donated $1,000 in late February.  In early March the ProVision Fund of the B.C. Conference of the United Church, via an application from the Turner-Zion Pastoral Charge of Silverton/New Denver, contributed $1,800.

            Speakers during the weekend will consider the spiritual dimension to living close to nature, an aspect of life in the West Kootenay experienced by many residents.  “The concerns of the Convergence weekend parallel the concerns of the United Church,” said Rev. Dr. Therese DesCamp of New Denver’s Heart’s Rest organization, a co-sponsor of the event.  “How do we care for our land and water and people? Where do we find our capacity to work and love in the face of indifference and despair? One answer is to recover our relationship within the web of life in which we live and have our being.”

            Featured Calgary author Butala is best known for her 1994 memoir The Perfection of the Morning about her interaction as a ranch wife with the southern Saskatchewan prairie landscape. Chamberlin, from Halfmoon Bay, B.C., has been on faculty at the University of Toronto since 1970. His books include If This Is Your Land, Where Are Your Stories?: Finding Common Ground (2003), which explores how stories and songs locate people, including aboriginal groups worldwide, within a landscape.

            Butala and Chamberlin will speak Friday night, May 13, followed by a Q & A. Their talk is open to the public for a $5 admission, as well as to conference registrants. A Saturday evening panel discussion will feature the two guest authors plus DesCamp, a United Church Minister and co-founder of Heart’s Rest and the Slocan Lake Stewardship Society, and Sean Arthur Joyce, a New Denver journalist, poet and social historian, whose most recent books include Laying the Children’s Ghosts to Rest: Canada’s Home Children in the West (2014).

            Previous Convergence Writers’ Weekends were held in New Denver in 2012 and 2013.

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