By Julie Fowler,
executive and artistic director of Island Mountain Arts and the ArtsWells Festival –

Island Mountain Arts (IMA) is pleased to welcome award-winning writer Betsy Warland to Wells this summer to teach and is offering a full scholarship for a central/northern writer to attend. “Making Your Writing Fly,” which runs July 7–10, is geared towards writers who want to hone their craft and sharpen their editing skills.

Award-winning writer Betsy Warland. Photo courtesy of Island Mountain Arts

“Whether you have a few strong pieces, or a portion of or a full manuscript, you will gain the skills and even pleasure of self-editing in this unique workshop,” says Warland. “Working from micro to macro, you will improve your writing first on the sentence level up to the whole piece.”

Betsy Warland has 12 books of poetry, creative nonfiction, and lyric prose. She is among the leading lyric prose writers in Canada, and her collection of essays on writing, Breathing the Page—Reading the Act of Writing (2010) became a bestseller.

In 2016, her book, Oscar of Between—A Memoir of Identity and Ideas, was published by Caitlin Press. Reviews of Oscar of Between in the US, Germany, and Canada have called it “an achievement,” “a roman a clef,” “truly luminous,” and a “tour de force.” That same year Warland received the Mayor’s Literary Arts Award in Vancouver.

A professional creative writing teacher and manuscript consultant/editor for over 30 years, Warland co-founded the cross-Canada Creative Writers Nonfiction Collective and founded and continues to mentor in the six-month Vancouver Manuscript Intensive program. She is also a frequent workshop instructor across Canada and at The Poetry School in London, England.

Aerial view of Wells, BC. Photo: Nelson Mouellic

Island Mountain Arts is honoured to host this celebrated writer and teacher as part of it’s 41st Summer School of the Arts where writing and art workshops have been running since 1977. From Robin Skelton to Susan Musgrave and Patrick Lane, IMA has always endeavored to offer high quality writing instruction for the central and northern interior, a region that has many fine local writers within its bounds.

For beginning writers, Island Mountain Arts is also offering “Writing About Place” with writer and journalist, Heather Ramsay, June 23–24. And for those of you who would just like to come out and enjoy the work of these two exemplary writers, Ramsay will be doing a public reading on June 23 and Warland on July 9, both starting at 7 p.m. at the IMA Gallery.

To apply for the scholarship, simply send a one-page letter to by the deadline of June 12 stating why you would like to attend the workshop with Warland. Interested writers can find more information on the workshops and the scholarship at or by contacting Island Mountain Arts at 1-800-442-2787 or Support for this program is made possible by the Canada Council for the Arts Public Outreach Program.


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