News and Events

To receive notification of upcoming events, news, courses/workshops, the latest Oscar excerptsBloodroot extras and VMI news and application information, please subscribe to my mailing list.

Upcoming Events

Reading Image

With the continuing success of Oscar of Between, Betsy has many upcoming events and readings. Save these upcoming dates in your calendar:


Betsy will moderate a panel at the Vancouver Writers Festival on Saturday, Oct 20, at 10:30 a.m. The panel titled “The Things we Inherit” will feature Chelene Knight, Peter Gajdics, Elizabeth Hay, and Lindsay Wong.


Oscar of Between has been adapted for musical performance by the acclaimed mezzo soprano, Lloyd Burritt. The Art of Camouflage, a read-through performance of Oscar, will take place on Sept 19 at 7 p.m.


Wells, BC | Making Your Writing Fly: A Self-editing Workshop with Betsy Warland in Wells, BC, offers creative and practical steps to polishing and preparing your manuscript for publication. Presented by Island Mountain Arts.


Montreal, QC | Betsy will be reading at ZUTIQUE alongside Misha Pam Dick and Oana Avasilichioaei.

Surrey, BC| Betsy is a featured reader at Summer Muse on May 25 at City Central Library, Surrey, BC.


West Coast Writers Workshop: A day-long urban retreat with Betsy Warland on March 24, 2018 in Vancouver, BC.

Growing Room: Betsy Warland will be at Growing Room: A Feminist Literary Festival!


Canadian Authors presents a reading and talk by Betsy Warland on Weds, Feb 14, 2018.


Applications for the Vancouver Manuscript Intensive are extended from Nov 27 to Dec 1.


Nov 4 – Betsy speaks on a panel about the personal essay and offers a creative non-fiction craft class at the Wild Writers Festival presented by The New Quarterly in Waterloo, Ontario.


Oct 5 & Oct 19 – Yvonne Blomer launches Refugium, an anthology of poetry about climate change and the environment, featuring Betsy Warland, John Barton, and more. The launch in Victoria will take place on Oct. 5 at the Maritime Museum of BC, and the launch in Vancouver will take place on Oct. 19 at the Strathcona branch of the VPL.

Oct 18 – Vancouver Manuscript Intensive mentor, Elee Kraljii Gardiner, begins a six-week memoir writing workshop.


Betsy Warland Emcees the Launch of Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age by Darrel J. McLeod

Darrel J. McLeod will launch his memoir, Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age (Douglas & McIntyre) on Sept 15, 2018 at the Native Education College (NEC). Vancouver Manuscript Intensive founder, bestselling author, and cross-genre writer, Betsy Warland, will emcee the afternoon alongside Shaena Lambert, author of Oh, My Darling. 

Darrel J. McLeod, author of Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age

Eden Robinson, author of Monkey Beach, has praised Mamaskatch as “honestly stunning.”

RSVP to wapus1[at]msn[dot] com to attend the launch.

Becky Livingston Publishes Memoir: The Suitcase and the Jar

Becky Livingston, 2015 VMI alumna, will publish her memoir, The Suitcase and the Jar: Travels with a Daughter’s Ashes, on Sept 14, 2018.

For twenty-six months, Livingston travelled to Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Australia, India, England, Ireland and North America, coast to coast, with her daughter’s ashes. Her publisher, Caitlin Press, has called The Suitcase and the Jar a “profoundly moving story of a mother’s courage and resilience.”

Learn more about Livingston’s experience in a brief interview below and pre-order from Chapters/Indigo.

Video courtesy of Adrian Juric

Oscar of Between adapted for musical performance

Oscar of Between by Betsy Warland will be performed with musical accompaniment on September 19, 2018!

You are cordially invited to a read-through performance of The Art of Camouflage for mezzo soprano/baritone, piano & percussion by Lloyd Burritt.

Betsy’s publisher, Caitlin Press, shares the beginnings of Oscar and the epiphany of camouflage:
In 2007, at the age of sixty, Betsy Warland finds herself single and without a sense of family. On an impulse, she decides to travel to London to celebrate her birthday, where she experiences an odd compulsion to see an exhibit on the invention of military camouflage. Within the first five minutes of her visit, her lifelong feeling of being aberrant reveals its source: she had never learned the art of camouflage.
This marked the beginning of Oscar of Between: A Memoir of Identity and Ideas. Taking the name Oscar, she embarks on an intimate, nine-year quest by telling her story as “a person of between.” As Oscar, she is able to make sense of her self and the culture that shaped her. She traces this experience of in-betweenness from her childhood in the rural Midwest, through to her first queer kiss in 1978, divorce, coming out, writing life.
Read excerpts from Oscar, learn more about Betsy’s memoir of identity and ideas at Caitlin Press, and revel in Lloyd Burritt’s composition of Walt Whitman’s poetry at the Queer Arts Festival in 2014.
                               Event info:
7 pm Wednesday
                                        September 19th
                                     CMC Adaskin Salon
                                        837 Davie Street

As of Aug 27, seats are sold out.


Vancouver Manuscript Intensive Accepting Applications

The Vancouver Manuscript Intensive is accepting applications for 2019. VMI is an in-depth one-to-one mentorship program that pairs you with a professional author to develop your manuscript to its fullest potential.

VMI mentorship begins with an in-person meeting to develop a rapport, discuss your manuscript, and confirm your goals. In preparation for this meeting, your mentor will read and assess your entire manuscript, or body of work from which the basis of a manuscript is determined, before developing a suggested strategy for your ongoing work together. Our newest mentors are Jonina Kirton and Shazia Hafiz Ramji (VMI Solo).

Throughout the next six months, your mentor will provide editorial advice and feedback in three two-hour coaching sessions. Between each session you’ll share progress, queries and ideas via regular email communication. You will be given suggestions for revisions, reshaping, and additional writing required to enhance your work. As a VMI writer you will be also invited to attend two group meetings to learn more about craft, structure, and the publishing industry.

Our program culminates each year with a public reading given by each year’s graduates. This celebratory event consistently attracts an audience of more than 60 people. This spring, eight writers read at the annual VMI celebration held at the Havana Theatre, emceed by Betsy Warland. You can watch their readings here or below.

If the six-month VMI Program does not suit you, we also offer VMI Solo, where you work independently with a VMI mentor. Acceptance into VMI Solo is determined by a sample of your work, your goals, and if a suitable VMI mentor is available. The cost and duration of VMI Solo is determined directly between you and the VMI mentor. A VMI application and referral fee of $100 applies.

Applications for VMI close on November 19, 2018. Have a look at our roster of experienced and award-winning mentors, success stories from authors such as Jonina Kirton and Leanne Dunic, and contact Betsy if you have any questions!

Application deadline: November 19, 2018

Notification: November 28th, 2018
Tuition: $2,800 + GST
Tuition due by: December 14, 2018

Upcoming Deadline: The Malahat Review’s “Queer Perspectives” Issue

The Malahat Review invites writers identifying as LGBTQ2S? to submit their work for consideration for an issue celebrating contemporary queer writing in Canada!

Guest editors Ali BlytheTrevor Corkum, and Betsy Warland are interested in considering submissions of exciting contemporary LGBTQ2S? writing by poets, short-story, and creative-nonfiction authors whose work makes vivid and particular their experience of being alive in the world.

In an interview about the editing and evaluation process for the issue, Betsy emphasizes embodiment and reflexivity: “Just as the exploration of our queer bodies provokes us to ‘make it new,’ so does compelling queer writing. Everything matters! The narrative might be engaging but if the writer has given very little thought to what style, form, narrative position, and arc embodies that specific narrative, the piece will not lift off the page: you will forget what you read very quickly.”

Editors will work collaboratively to select work for the “Queer Perspectives” issue of The Malahat Review to emphasize inclusivity, trust, and diversity.

Submissions close on July 15, 2018.

Visit The Malahat Review to read more.

If you’re enjoying the excerpts in Oscar's Salon, buy Oscar of Between and I’ll sign the copy with a personal message.