Recommendations

The vast majority of writers who have worked with Betsy have gone on to publish their manuscripts. Books by these writers have been included in the BC Book Awards, the Griffin Prize, the Pat Lowther Award, the Writers’ Trust Award, the Great BC Novel Contest, CBC Literary Competitions, the City of Victoria Butler Award, the Trillium Book Award, the Maritimes Poets’ Corner Award, the Surrey Writers’ Guild International Competition, and the Governor General’s Award.

I’ve worked intensively one-on-one with Betsy Warland as editor on two projects—my published poetry collection, Refugee Song, and a novel manuscript, Skin. In both instances, Betsy’s extensive experience as an editor, her accomplished writer’s eye and ear, her deep insight and knowledge as a teacher, and her generosity as a mentor, helped me immeasurably to make these works publication-ready. 

Lawrence Feuchtwanger, author of Refugee Song

Betsy gently guided and nurtured the writer within me until I found my own voice and style. As I continued along the path to becoming an award-winning author, Betsy continued to be a caring, astute and visionary mentor. Betsy knows the craft of writing as only the best authors do.

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

Not only was Betsy helpful in helping me feel out the general shape of the book, but she provided expert and pointed suggestions about lines, breaks, and the very small details which can make or break a poem.

Onjana Yawnghwe, author of The Small Way

Betsy has played a huge role in guiding my published work. She has a finely tuned ear for what lies at the heart of a writer’s manuscript and knows just how to push you. For my poetry manuscript, “The Puzzle At The End Of Love,” she nudged me to “leap into the fire” and go deeper into the material. More recently, she has been a huge source of support in helping me to develop my memoir-based novel, “You With No Country.” Most important of all, Betsy lives a life of commitment to writers and writing. A gift to the community.

Ann Graham Walker

betsy warland was the editor of my book, under the influence, and most recently, emily and elspeth. she has the uncanny gift of seeing the entirety of a manuscript and how to organize its parts. in gentle-betsy-fashion, paying tremendous attention to detail, she guides her mentees with her magic wand. you will be astounded.

Catherine Mcneil

It is through the process of working with Betsy as a mentor that I gained the courage to write without fear. Betsy cared deeply about my writing, inspired a shared vision for the future of my writing career, and championed me every step of the way.

Sasha Torchinsky

My experience of working with Betsy was life-changing. She’s an extraordinary mentor and editor who with gentle yet clear direction helped me identify the real story hidden inside my early drafts, and to ‘trust the narrative’. 

Becky Livingstone, the author of The Suitcase and the Jar: A Mother’s Journey

The best things about working with Betsy were her understanding of how to structure the manuscript and her detailed attention to every word in it. Her way of grounding the writing practice in the body is so useful; her sensitivity to the writer and to the work are unsurpassed. 

Adrienne Drobnies, author of Salt and Ashes

It was a privilege to be mentored by Betsy. She combines deep listening, a mastery of craft, and expert eyes with connection, generosity, and encouragement. In the short time she mentored me, I gained the skills and tools to develop and edit my work. Since then, my poetry and prose have been published in literary magazines and anthologies as well as short-listed for contests.

Atma Frans

I was privileged to have Betsy Warland as my poetry mentor during my time at The Writer’s Studio. Betsy’s expertise, thoughtful and gentle guidance, as well as their intuitive sense was instrumental in shaping and further developing my writerly self. Follow the scent and use the page are two pieces of advice (along the myriad others!) that I stick to whenever I write. I am forever grateful that I had the opportunity to be mentored by Betsy.

Junie Désil

Betsy believed in me. It can be quite unsettling when someone believes in you. I floundered. I felt lost. Betsy never wavered. Any words that came forward, she gave her full attention, examining them as if the very curve of the letters mattered. Because she believed in me. Yes, she is probably the most skilled editor you will ever encounter. It’s a magical experience. But it is her belief in you that will change your life.

Michelle Poirier Brown

I’m endlessly grateful to Betsy for divining what was missing from my work, for steering my narrative in directions that I hadn’t realized I needed to explore, and for reshaping my work into something alive. Her generosity and insight as such a visionary mentor have deeply nourished me, my writing practice, and my publication journey.

Catherine Lewis

Betsy is calm, logical, and meticulous. She respects the author’s voice. She is encouraging where she can be, and firm when she needs to be. She talked me off the ledge a couple of times and sent me back to work heartened.

Claire Finlayson

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