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Program for first-time writers a success

August 24, 2012
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By Marianne Meadahl

Participants of a new writing program offered by Simon Fraser University Continuing Studies at the Surrey City Centre Library this past semester are celebrating their graduation with plans to keep at their craft.

The Southbank Writer’s Program led a group of beginning writers, many of whom have never shown their work to anyone, through the refining process and towards producing professional quality work, says Katherine McManus, program director for Continuing Studies’ Writing and Communications program.

Vancouver author Betsy Warland, former director of SFU Continuing Studies’ Writers’ Studio helped develop the Southbank program. With the success of its inaugural run, Wayde Compton, new director of the Writer’s Studio, will lead the program next summer.

Compton is an SFU alumnus as well as an award-winning Vancouver author and publisher and former Writer’s Studio mentor, who more recently became involved with LunchPoems, an SFU Public Square community event.

Those attending the first Southbank program benefited from mentors like Claire de Boer, from Surrey, who formerly participated in the Writer’s Studio and is in the process of having a book published.

Some of those drawn to the program found inspiration in Gurjinder Basran, another Writer’s Studio graduate, who wrote the award-winning Everything Was Good-bye.

Two of the participants won tickets to the Surrey International Writers' Conference in October.

Group photo: Back row, left to right: Jennifer Jameus, Leena Niemela, Claire De Boer (mentor), Cherry Nettleton, Janet Fretter, Rachpal Sidhu-Grewal, and Cary O'Malley. Front row, left to right: Nikki Hillman, Leanna Greenway, Linnea Breitkreutz, Valerie Priebe, Ryleigh Geier, May Doerksen, Tanveer Sohal, and Charlene Kwiatkowski. Image by Ursula Maxwell-Lewis.

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