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The Vicious Circle announces fall retreat

Four-year-old Whistler writers group expands reach with web presence



The Whistler Writers Group, also known by the tongue in cheek moniker The Vicious Circle, has announced it will host this yearÕs annual fall retreat in Whistler Sept. 8-13.

Confirmed workshop leaders at this time include Canadian literati Susan Musgrave, Caroline Adderson and Brian Kaufman. B.C. Book Prize winners Charles Montgomery and Howard White will "bookend" the event with opening and closing readings.

The four-year-old group, founded by Whistler writer Stella Harvey, has run an annual weekend workshop in Whistler for the past three years. The scope of this yearÕs event has expanded significantly due to recent funding acquisitions: $7,458 from provincial Olympic legacy initiative ArtsNow, and the same amount from the RMOWÕs Community Enrichment Program through a joint application with the Whistler Public Library.

As in the past, this yearÕs retreat will focus on regional writers, in line with the groupÕs vision of creating the "social and cultural infrastructure that allows talented writers to develop in place."

"Our message is that you don't need to go to New York, Paris, Montreal, Berlin to be a writer," Harvey explained in a written statement. "You can grow your craft and your skills in Pemberton, Prince George, Nelson, Ganges... This is part of what the Vicious Circle is about Ð growing a literary culture in Sea to Sky, and providing professional opportunities for writers here."

The five-day 2005 retreat is open to emerging fiction writers, established fiction writers and non-fiction writers, with 21 spaces available. Large parts of the program will be open on a drop-in basis.

The program will also feature a morning lecture series with sessions on ethical issues, creativity, publishing tips and pitching to publishers. The pitching session will include an opportunity to pitch to a panel of magazine and book publishers and editors. Confirmed attendees include New Star Books, Harbour Publishing, Arsenal Press, Ekstasis Editions, Geist, The Georgia Straight and Subterrain.

The 2005 retreat is the evolution of the annual Whistler WriterÕs Festival, last held in November 2004. Harvey said the group is currently considering adding another reading series this coming November, similar to the Literary Leanings evenings held annually in February in conjunction with the Whistler Arts CouncilÕs Celebration 2010 Whistler Arts Festival.

The fall retreat announcement comes wrapped in a new web presence. The group can now be accessed online at www.whistlerwriters.com or at www.theviciouscircle.ca .

Details regarding the retreat program are currently available online. The site will develop as a professional resource for aspiring writers in the community and will feature profiles of group members.