VOICES FROM THE VALLEYS – Stories & Poems about Life in BC’s Interior


Are you a writer or aspiring author who is living (or has spent time) in British Columbia, Canada?

Would you like to see your BC-based story or poem published in a high-quality anthology?

Calling all writers and poets from the interior of BC (or who have spent time there), including the upper Fraser Valley, the Chilcotin-Cariboo, the Prince George and Quesnel areas, the Fort St. John and Dawson Creek areas, the Thompson-Nicola Valley, the North Okanagan and Columbia-Shuswap, and the Kootenays, to submit a short fictional story, a short creative nonfiction piece (a fascinating true story, well told, with characters and a problem), or some poetry for an anthology in which BC’s recent history, varied lifestyles, rugged landscapes, or stunning natural features play somewhat of a role. Submissions are now closed to stories or poems about life in the South or Central Okanagan.

  “Thank you, Jodie. You are creating some amazing opportunities for writers in our area. Kudos to you.”  ~ Sylvia Olson, Coordinator of Kamloops Writers Festival

For this first anthology in a series, we’re looking for entries that highlight interesting experiences (real or fictional) that take or took place somewhere in the interior of BC. Your story or poem could include experiences with BC’s wildlife, logging, mining, fishing, tree planting, fruit growing, vineyards, skiing, hiking, backpacking, climbing, camping, boating, tourism, forest fires, or avalanches, featuring RCMP, fire fighters, fishers, farmers, First Nations Peoples, mountain climbers, fruit pickers, artists, musicians, hippies, students, or any other “BC types,” and any activity or setting typical of BC. Maybe a harrowing encounter with a grizzly – or a moose or a cougar? Or maybe even a sighting of a Sasquatch or Ogopogo? We also need more representation from First Nations writers anywhere in the Interior. Please help us spread the word and get more native perspective in this anthology!

A quick tip: Is your idea an interesting story with characters and a problem, dilemma, or challenge, not just description, information, or musings? That’s what we’d prefer for this anthology.

To go to a PDF with excerpts from Voices from the Valleys, click Voices from the Valleys EXCERPTS.

What makes this anthology unique?

Besides the BC setting and flavour, this anthology, unlike many others, will provide contributing authors with free critiquing and interactive editing of the stories submitted–but only if needed. If your story is already of a high quality, it will just get a light proofread and a green light. If it’s “almost there” and looks like a good candidate for inclusion in the anthology but has a few rough edges, you’ll have an opportunity to work closely with a professional editor to take your story up a level or two and hone your writing skills in the process, at no cost, resulting in a polished, error-free story for the anthology. And as the author, you of course will have the final say on editorial suggestions.

Proceeds from sales of the anthology will to go to a reputable charity, likely Doctors Without Borders.

What kinds of submissions will be considered?

For this anthology, we’re looking for stories that pulsate with life, where your main character is challenged in some way; stories that hook readers in with a compelling tale, make them feel like they’re right there with the characters, and engage them emotionally. Our aim is to publish high-quality, curated, and edited stories with a “wow” factor, and also some poetry.

Advantages to contributing writers:

You’ll see your name in print and your poem or polished story published in a high-quality anthology.

Each writer whose work is chosen to be included in the anthology will receive a free print copy (trade paperback size) of the anthology, which will also be available in electronic form for e-readers.

After production expenses, all royalties will be donated to a reputable, worthy charity, likely Doctors Without Borders.

Submission requirements:

Who can submit: This anthology is open to anyone aged 14 and up, living in British Columbia, Canada, and also to people who now live elsewhere but have lived or vacationed in the interior of BC.  (A future anthology will concentrate more on the coast, Vancouver Island, Haida Gwaii, and the Gulf Islands, and perhaps another one for Northern BC.)

Theme: The story or poem needs to depict an interesting incident taking place somewhere in the interior of British Columbia, with the unique characteristics of the region somehow showing through.

Length and formatting: Short stories and creative nonfiction, 200 to 2,000 words long, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12-point, one-inch margins all around. Poems should be up to two pages long, single-spaced. All entries need to be in Microsoft Word and submitted electronically as an attachment to an email to: info@CobaltBooks.net or info@JodieRenner.com.

Genres: For this anthology, short story entries should be relatively contemporary (1940s to now), take place in the interior of BC, and be realistic, so no historical fiction, paranormal, fantasy, speculative fiction, or horror.

Deadline: October 31, 2015. Publication: early December 2015.

Send your submissions to: info@JodieRenner.com or info@CobaltBooks.net.

About the editor and publisher, Jodie Renner:

Jodie Renner, a former teacher and school librarian with a master’s degree, is a sought-after freelance editor and the multi-award-winning author of three writing guides and two e-resources for writers and editors. She’s also a respected blogger and speaker at writers’ conferences and to writing groups across North America. Jodie has also served as judge for novels and short stories for many contests, including Writer’s Digest and the Word on the Lake Writers’ Festival contest and anthology, and as editor for the Penticton Writers and Publishers 2015 Anthology.

Jodie will be presenting workshops for writers at the Shatford Centre in Penticton over the fall and winter, and is also involved in organizing the Okanagan Valley Writers’ Festival, to be held in Penticton on April 8-10, 2016. She is also presenting two workshops at When Words Collide in Calgary in August.

Jodie has published three writing guides to date in her series, An Editor’s Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction: Captivate Your Readers, Fire up Your Fiction, and Writing a Killer Thriller (all available in both e-book and trade paperback). These books are all available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, your local bookstore or library, and Red Tuque Books in Penticton, BC.

Jodie has also published two time-saving, clickable e-resources for writers and editors: Quick Clicks: Word Usage – Precise Word Choices at Your Fingertips and Quick Clicks: Spelling List – Commonly Misspelled Words at Your Fingertips.

Jodie grew up in a remote mining town in BC’s coastal mountains, and also lived in Vancouver for many years (where she attended UBC and SFU and taught in schools) and on Vancouver Island for a few years. Growing up, she vacationed throughout BC, and her extended family is spread around southern BC. Jodie reluctantly moved to Ontario at the age of 32, where she raised a family, taught English, French, and Social Studies for many years, was a school librarian for a few years, and attained a master’s degree in French Literature at the University of Western Ontario. Jodie returned to BC every summer to visit. She moved back to BC for good in April 2014, and is thrilled to finally be back, living in her “homeland.” She lives in Penticton, in the South Okanagan, and enjoys taking road trips in every direction from there, stopping often to snap photos.

Jodie is a member of the Federation of BC Writers and the Penticton Writers and Publishers.

Here’s the notice about this anthology in the Okanagan School of Arts, Shatford Centre website: http://www.shatfordcentre.com/show3473a/Call_for_Submissions_Voices_from_the_Valleys

Websites: www.JodieRenner.com,  www.JodieRennerEditing.com,  www.CobaltBooks.net

Email: info@JodieRenner.com.

Books by Jodie Renner:

~ Captivate Your Readers – An Editor’s Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction  Amazon.com  Amazon.ca  Amazon.co.uk  Amazon.com: 49 reviews, overall average of 4.8 out of 5 stars

~ Fire up Your Fiction – An Editor’s Guide to Writing Compelling Stories   Amazon.com   Amazon.ca   Amazon.co.uk Amazon.com: 108 reviews, overall average of 4.8 out of 5 stars

~ Writing a Killer Thriller – An Editor’s Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction  Amazon.com    Amazon.ca    Amazon.co.uk  Amazon.com: 88 reviews, average 4.6/5 stars

~ Quick Clicks: Word Usage – Precise Word Choices at Your Fingertips Amazon.com , Amazon.ca , Amazon.co.uk  Amazon.com: 15 reviews, 4.7/5 stars

~ Quick Clicks: Spelling List – Commonly Misspelled Words at Your Fingertips  Amazon.comAmazon.caAmazon.co.uk  Amazon.com: 21 reviews, 4.9/5 stars

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