A Guide for Local Poets

Local Reading Series

Dead Poets Reading Series: Four or five readers present the work of a deceased poet from 3-5 PM on the second Sunday of every odd-numbered month (i.e. January, March, May, etc.), at the Vancouver Library’s Central Branch (Alice McKay Room), in Downtown Vancouver. (Presently on hold during the pandemic.)

In/Verse Online Poetry Series: Held on the second Saturday of each month, 2-3 pm online through the Federation of BC Writers, featuring 3-4 BC poets. Pre-registration required to attend.

On Edge Reading Series: Seeks to enrich literary and writing communities both inside and outside of Emily Carr University. Through Emily Carr Writing Centre. Open to faculty, students and crated by Mercedes Eng and Vance Wright. onedge@ecuad.ca

Poets Corner Reading Series: A monthly reading series (now online) with an open mic, plus a YouTube channel to listen to past featured readers, plus recordings by published poets reading one minute poems. Register in advance to attend readings.

Poetic Justice/Poetry New West: A monthly reading series with an open mic.

Real Vancouver Writers Series: There are four literary events per year featuring emerging and established writers from Vancouver and across Canada.

SFU Lunch Poems: Third Wednesday of every month from 12-1 pm (except the summer) featuring 2 published authors.

Surrey Muse: The group meets on the fourth Friday of each month except December in Room 405 at the City Center Branch of Surrey Libraries. Each gathering features an author, a poet and an artist/performer at varying levels of artistic development, followed by an open mic session. Recordings of the online readings available.

Vancouver Poetry House: see their terrific website to learn about the Van Slam, Mashed Poetics, the Verses Festival of Words, with resources for teachers and much more.

Wax Poetic: Every Wednesday, hosts RC Weslowski, Lucia Misch, Kevin Spenst, Zofia Rose and others interview a spoken word artist, poet laureate, poet with a new book, or a poetry slammer on Vancouver Co-op Radio, CFRO 100.5 FM at 2-2:30 pm.

The Writers Studio Reading Series: Held monthly for current members and alumni of The Writer’s Studio, The Southbank Writer’s Program, local emerging writers and authors, and authors on book tours. Mixed genre, sometimes thematic, with occasionally a featured guest author.

Literary Festivals

Jewish Book Festival: Holds an annual festival with readings in various genres to showcase Jewish writers or non-Jewish writers with Jewish interest subject matter.

LiterAsian: Holds an annual festival with readings in various genres in May during Asian Heritage Month.

Vancouver Writers Fest: holds an annual festival every autumn of international and Canadian authors plus other wonderful events throughout the year. (2020 was online, 2021 was a hybrid festival of online and live events)

Verses Festival of Words is a fabulous annual festival featuring a diverse range of performances, workshops, Hullabaloo for youth, and the Canadian Individual P Canadian Individual Slam Championship (CIPS). See the line-up for April 22-30, 2022!

Word Vancouver: An annual free public festival in the autumn, featuring readings, panels and workshops, with other events through the year.

Workshops, Mentorships & Courses

BC Writers Federation: A variety of online workshops and panels throughout the year.

Historic Joy Kogawa House: Varied workshops and readings of prose and poetry, and hosts writers-in-residence. In May and June 2022, they’ll be hosting workshops with writers-in-residence poet Peter Norman and fiction writer and editor Melanie Little on May 17, May 31 and June 7. Workshops are free for members and only $15 for the public. See their website for more info.

Langara Continuing Studies: Offers non-credit courses in a variety of genres (drama, short story and more).

Learn Writing Essentials: A creative writing studio offering self-paced courses on writing, publishing, poetry, grant-writing, self-care and boundary-setting, plus private mentoring and coaching, and more.

Massy Arts Society, Various writing workshops, talks, readings, and more.

Pandora’s Collective: Offers Book Talks, Word Whip sessions (writing sessions responding to writing prompts), readings and more in Vancouver, North Vancouver and White Rock.

SFU Continuing Studies: A wide variety of non-credit courses in creative writing, including poetry and nonfiction. Free manuscript consultations via phone or video for up to 7 pages of work can be booked with The Writer’s Studio during certain times of the year. Mini-manuscript consultations for up to 15 pages of poetry with Evelyn Lau can be done by phone until pandemic restrictions ease (consultations available with other authors also). There’s an affordable Liberal Arts and 55+ Program which includes writing courses. I will be co-teaching Poetry Series for the Weekend Student with Evelyn Lau (fall session 2022).

Spark Your Story: Nicole Breit provides a supportive online creative writing program focused on nonfiction and hybrid forms, covering form, the elements of craft, revision, getting past writer’s block, publication and more.

Surrey International Writers’ Conference: An intensive 3 day event held annually in October with master classes, lectures, blue-pencil editing sessions and much more.

The Writers Studio (SFU) program: A one-year, part-time program in nonfiction, fiction, speculative fiction/young adult fiction, and poetry and lyric prose. Group workshops, cross-genre explorations, consultations with a mentor, and more.

UBC Creative Writing: Undergraduate Program, Master of Fine Arts Program and Continuing Studies.

Vancouver Community College (VCC): Offers some affordable beginner creative writing classes.

Vancouver Manuscript Intensive: Offers an intensive 6-month, in-depth, one-to-one mentorship program that pairs writers with a professional author to develop a manuscript, as well as one-on-one mentorships, plus online workshops.

Publication Information

Guide to Canadian literary magazines and journals (Source: CBC Books, 2017)

Submitting to literary magazines and journals (Source: The Writers Union of Canada)

Guide to Canadian Chapbook Publishers (Source: League of Canadian Poets, prepared by rob mclennan for National Poetry Month 2018) and Micro-presses in Canada (Source: prepared by Kitty Lewis, Brick Books, 2015)

Canadian Magazine Writing Contests (Source: National Magazine Awards, 2019) and Poetry Contests, Prizes &Awards across Canada (Source: League of Canadian Poets)

Publishers in Canada Book Publishers (Source: Literary Press Group Canada)

Getting Published (Source: The Writers Union of Canada)

How to put together a poetry manuscript (Source: Bob Holman & Margery Snyder for ThoughtCo)

Artists Legal Outreach (a free legal clinic for questions about copyright and more for low income artists and writers)

Other resources for Poets (Source: League of Canadian Poets)