News and Events

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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:


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.


Aug 25-Aug 29–Workshop: “Parts of a Whole: Nonfiction, Short Fiction and Narrative Poetry with Betsy Warland.” Island Mountain Art Summer Writing, Wells, BC.

More details and events to be confirmed so please check back frequently! If you would like to have Betsy feature at one of your upcoming events, please contact us.


July 20: Pride Reading Series: Betsy Warland reads alongside Jane Shi and Beni Xiao at 6:30 p.m. at the Jim Deva Plaza

Vancouver Manuscript Intensive Accepting Applications

The Vancouver Manuscript Intensive is accepting applications for 2018. 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.

VMI success story: Betsy with mentee Jonina Lynn Kirton at Mayor’s Arts Awards

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.

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 27, 2017. 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!

Elee Kraljii Gardiner Joins Vancouver Manuscript Intensive

The Vancouver Manuscript Intensive is proud to welcome Elee Kraljii Gardiner to the roster of exceptional VMI mentors including Rachel Rose, Evelyn Lau, Jane Silcott, and more.

Gardiner will be editing poetry and creative nonfiction for the Vancouver Manuscript Intensive. She will also offer a six-week Memoir Writing Workshop beginning Oct. 18, 2017.

Elee Kraljii Gardiner is the author of the book of poems serpentine loop (Anvil Press, 2016), which yokes autobiographical notes with verse and was nominated for the Raymond Souster Award. She is the co-editor with John Asfour of the book of testimony V6A: Writing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2012), which was shortlisted for the City of Vancouver Book Award.

Gardiner founded Thursdays Writing Collective and is the editor and publisher of its eight anthologies. Her second book of poems, Tunica Intima (forthcoming 2018), is a long-poem memoir that was shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. In late summer 2017 she released the chapbook Trauma Head, a repurposing of the medical file, which considers fact vs. experience. She is the recipient of the 2015 Pandora’s Collective BC Writer Mentor Award.

Memoir Writing Workshop with Elee Kraljii Gardiner

7pm-9:30pm, Wednesday nights, six weeks

Location: Woodward’s Building, 210-111 West Hastings Street (at the Geist / Vancouver Poetry House office).

Cost: $200

This six-week workshop beginning October 18, 2017 is led by Elee Kraljii Gardiner and will meet on Wednesday evenings in Vancouver. Meetings will last 2.5 hours and are suitable for memoirists with writing experience who are looking for help troubleshooting hitches or those nearing completion who feel they can benefit from guidance. Consideration of craft, focus and editing will be foregrounded and there will be opportunity for you to have a portion of your work read and workshopped and to enjoy the companionship of other writers who are working on a memoir manuscript.

If you would like more details or have questions, please contact Elee at:

Please note session dates:

Oct 18

Oct 25

Nov 1* note the two-week writing break

Nov 22*

Nov 29

Dec 6 

Betsy Warland Named as Judge for Open Season Awards

Betsy Warland will judge The Malahat Review‘s 2017 Open Season Awards in the creative nonfiction category.

The Open Season Awards offer a grand total of $4500 in prize money in three categories: poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Evelyn Lau and Carleigh Baker have been named as the poetry and fiction judges, respectively.

The prize is accepting submissions until November 1, 2017.

Give those writing muscles a workout with Betsy Warland’s writing prompts, or if you’re ready, check out the submission guidelines at The Malahat Review.




Betsy Warland at the Pride Reading Series

Thanks to all who came out to the Pride Reading Series last Thursday, July 20. Held at the Jim Deva Plaza on Bute Street, it was an evening of strong words from fellow writers Jane Shi and Beni Xiao, and kind attention from all the attendees.

Betsy Warland reads from Oscar of Between at the Pride Reading Series on July 20.

The reading was hosted by Anoushka Ratnarajah of the Queer Film Festival and was presented by Dagger Editions, an imprint of Caitlin Press.

Oscar of Between is Betsy Warland’s memoir of identity and ideas. Learn more from Caitlin Press:

“In the process of writing Oscar’s story, Warland considers our culture’s rigid, even violent demarcations as she becomes at ease with never knowing what gender she will be addressed as: “In Oscar’s daily life, when encountering someone, it goes like this: some address her as a male; some address her as a female; some begin with one and then switch (sometimes apologetically) to the other; some identify Oscar as lesbian and their faces harden, or open into a momentary glance of arousal; some know they don’t know and openly scrutinize; some decide female but stare perplexedly at her now-sans-breast chest; some are bemused by or drawn to or relate to her androgyny; and for some none of this matters.”


Pride Reading Series Featuring Betsy Warland, Beni Xiao, Jane Shi

Catch Betsy on Thursday, July 20, at the Pride Reading Series at Jim Deva Plaza.

Betsy will read alongside emerging writer Jane Shi and Beni Xiao, whose chapbook is forthcoming with new Vancouver chapbook press, Rahila’s Ghost Press.

The reading will be hosted by Anoushka Ratnarajah of the Queer Film Festival and is presented by Dagger Editions, an imprint of Caitlin Press.

For details, visit the Facebook event page or refer to the summary below:

July 20 at 6:30 p.m.
Betsy Warland – Jane Shi – Beni Xiao
Pride Reading Series
Jim Deva Plaza
1200 Bute Street,
Vancouver, BC

Sign Up for Betsy’s Workshop in Beautiful Wells, BC

Workshop with Betsy Warland at the Island Mountain Arts centre  in Wells, BC

You’ve written a good part of your narrative and you’ve polished your prose or your verses. But it still doesn’t seem quite right. How do you organize all the pieces you’ve worked so hard on? Which structure will give the most life to your writing?

For answers to these questions, register for Betsy’s Part of the Whole: Nonfiction, Short Fiction and Poetry Narratives.” This four-day workshop will take place at Island Mountain Arts in the Wells/Barkerville/Bowron Lakes area in the central interior of British Columbia from August 26th to August 29th, 2017. There’s a welcome reception on the evening of the 25th, and the price includes a BBQ dinner on the 26th, artist talks, and a reading with Betsy and students.

The early-bird deadline is June 15th, and limited scholarships are available, so don’t hesitate to register ASAP!

Here’s the description of the workshop from the IMA website:

“Best-selling author and sought-after instructor, consultant and editor, Betsy Warland works across many genres and teaches that “everything is writing.” This workshop is for writers of short nonfiction and/or fiction pieces, and/or poetry writers who have enough parts of the whole that it is time to step back and consider how all these parts can most effectively create a whole. When working with nonfiction fragments or short pieces, individual poems, mixed genre pieces, flash fiction, text and images, the most effective structure can be hard to identify which, in turn, undermines coherence and impact. Investigating this midway, however, can make a big difference in how successfully you write the rest of this body of work and increases the possibility of getting it published.”

For more information, please go to the IMA website.


Instructor: Betsy Warland
Saturday, August 26 – Tuesday, August 29, 9am – 3:30pm
Early Bird Fee: $429 + GST (Extended to June 15)
Regular Fee: $476 + GST
Deposit: $119 + GST (non refundable)


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