Practice, Purpose, Passion

The Pragmatics of Your Writing Career

During this intensive one-day Professional Development workshop, you’ll take part in four sessions designed to inform, prepare and re-energize your career as a writer.

Sunday July 9, 2017
Cecil Green Park House, Vancouver Campus, University of British Columbia

Price: $179 + GST for alumni and members of the community / $79 + GST for currently enrolled UBC Creative Writing Students
Fee includes coffee, refreshments and lunch
Building is handicapped accessible

Schedule & Presenters

9:00-9:30 Registration with coffee and refreshments

9:30-10:45 Agent Alert

“How do I get an agent?” is probably the most common question from an early career writer. Hear from Carolyn Swayze, Swayze Agency owner, on the state of various genres in the publishing world, how to secure representation, preparing your manuscript for submission, and everything inbetween.

11:00-12:15The Writer/Editor Relationship

Ask any writer what the value of a great editor is and you’ll learn it’s a mix of luck, mutual respect and a resolute pursuit to get it right. This session, with Nita Pronovost, VP, Editorial Director, Simon & Schuster Canada, and Amy Stuart, bestselling author of Still Mine, will offer writers pro tips on how to work with editors, regardless of genre.

12:30 – 1:30 – Catered Lunch

1:30 – 3:15 – Media Training

Wondering how you might deal with various media requests upon the publication of your book or the launch of your Youtube series? This interactive session with Zoe Grams, Principal of ZG Communications, offers the opportunity to ask questions of a publicist and public relations expert, perform mock interviews, and generally understand how to deal with all media requests with professional confidence and panache.

3:30 – 4:30 pm – From Drawer to Desktop

Unsure of what to do with those long-forgotten projects in the drawer? Recreate, re-energize, re-purpose them in this hands-on session with podcaster Jen Moss, YA Author (and UBC faculty member) Emily Pohl-Weary, and journalist and memoirist Carol Shaben, author of the bestseller Into the Abyss and co-writer of The Marriott Cell with Mohammed Fahmy.

Register Now!

Visit our E-Payment website to register and pay the fee.

Presenter Bios

Zoe Grams

Zoe Grams is principal of ZG Communications: a boutique-marketing agency working with authors, publishing houses and not for profits. Raised in Scotland, Zoe began her career at a trend-marketing agency at London, UK, and worked at two major PR agencies in Vancouver before joining the marketing department of D&M Publishers. At ZG, she now conceives strategies, executes public relation campaigns, and manages integrated marketing plans for publishing houses and award-winning authors in both Canada and the United States. Her written work appears in publications throughout North America.


Carolyn Swayze

Carolyn Swayze is the president of Carolyn Swayze Literary Agency, where she represents authors of literary fiction and nonfiction for adults and children. She has been guiding the careers of some of Canada’s top literary talent since 1994. The Swayze Agency welcomes submissions from emerging and established authors of fiction for adults, new adults and children, as well as narrative non-fiction, memoir and biography. We’re looking for strong literary fiction, a small selection of commercial fiction (women’s, crime), young adult and middle grade fiction. Narrative non-fiction in the areas of history, science and natural history, politics, pop culture, lifestyle and food are of particular interest. Current clients include Jen Sookfong Lee, Francis Backhouse, Debra Komar, R.M. Greenaway, Andrea Warner, Terri Favro, and, Roxanne Snopek.


Carol Shaben

Carol Shaben is a national bestselling author of two non-fiction books. Into the Abyss, sold to Random House Canada within two hours, has been published internationally, won the Edna Staebler National Award for Creative Non-Fiction, and has been optioned for film. Carol’s most recent book, The Marriott Cell, co-written with award-winning Egyptian-Canadian journalist, Mohamed Fahmy, was selected as one of the Globe & Mail’s 100 Best Books of the 2016 and is a BC Book Prizes’ finalist. Carol is the recipient of two National Magazine Awards, including a gold medal for Investigative Journalism.


Jen Moss

Jen has spent nearly 20 years as a storyteller. Starting in theatre, she moved into print journalism, radio, and eventually became a new media writer and digital interactive producer. Her writing revolves primarily around arts, local issues, and character-driven stories. She has created dozens of audio documentaries for CBC, on topics ranging from Downtown East-Side gentrification to the merits of PNE Lawn Parking. She was story editor and/or interactive story producer on numerous award-winning interactive projects, including Bear 71 (NFB), Seven Digital Deadly Sins (The Guardian), Hyperlocal (CBC), Life on Hold (Al Jazeera), and The Last Hunt (NFB).


Emily Pohl-Weary

Award-winning author Emily Pohl-Weary teaches writing for young adults in the Creative Writing Program at UBC. She has published seven books, a series of girl pirate comics, and her own literary magazine. Her most recent book is a collection of poetry, Ghost Sick. Her novel for teens, Not Your Ordinary Wolf Girl was published by Penguin Razorbill (Canada) and Skyscape (U.S.A.) in fall 2013. Her five previous books include Strange Times at Western High, Girls Who Bite Back, A Girl Like Sugar, Iron-on Constellations, and Better to Have Loved: The Life of Judith Merril.


Nita Pronovost

Nita Pronovost joined Simon & Schuster Canada as Editorial Director in February 2015 before becoming Vice President in April 2016. Prior to that, she worked for six years as a Senior Editor at Penguin Random House Canada, acquiring and editing fiction, non-fiction and celebrity-driven titles, including eight #1 national bestsellers in three years. Recent bestselling successes include UBC Alumni Amy Stuart’s Still Mine, Jody Mitic’s Unflinching and Iain Reid’s I’m Thinking of Ending Things


Amy Stuart

Amy Stuart’s 2016 debut novel, Still Mine—a taut psychological thriller that investigates a young woman’s disappearance—was an instant national bestseller in Canada and has recently been published in the US. Winner of the 2011 Writers’ Union of Canada Short Fiction Competition, Stuart’s writing has previously appeared in newspapers and magazines across Canada. In 2012, she received an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC. Stuart lives in Toronto and is working on the sequel to Still Mine.

Register Now!

Visit our E-Payment website to register and pay the fee.