Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Another year…another AGM…

September 16, 2012

This Saturday marked another year for my Writers Foundation and as I attended the AGM, I thought of our past year. Our foundation is very involved in its members and the local community and at times we are spread quite thin. However, the camaraderie at each event makes for a wonderful time for all those involved and brings us closer to each other. I usually volunteer for most of the events – not because I’m trying to be a ‘goodie too shoes’ but because they are so much fun.  It isn’t until the annual review at the AGM is read through do I realize actually how many events. There are the annual events like our Conference, Culture Days, Words in the Park and Arts Expo as well as author readings, meetings for our board and other organizations we are members of. Newer events like our Night Writers, which is mini workshops, have been successful as we endeavor to give our membership every opportunity to participate and share. Obviously not everyone can commit to so many events and that is absolutely fine – if they can attend for a few hours at one or two events that helps tremendously.

As we go into our next year with new board members, we are excited at our growth as a writer’s resource and community. We welcome local and virtual members and hope to expand our presence whether it is in our community or globally through the web site.

Do you participate in a group that makes life joyful?

Writers Conference…

March 19, 2012


2012 Writers Conference – Saturday May 5th -The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County is proud to announce:

Our 2012 Writers Conference:   For the Love of Writing

When: Saturday, May 5th
Where: Meeting Rooms 3 & 4 – Centre in the Park, Sherwood Park AB
What: A full day of writing-related events for the writing obsessed, word passionate, and lover of the written word

    • 5 one hour workshops – confirmed presenters include:       Anna Marie Sewel (Edmonton Poet Laureate), Gord Steinke (Edmonton Global TV anchor), Lynn Gagne-Webb (local business owner and web/Internet expert), Judy Schultz (author extraordinaire and community volunteer), and Suzanne Burkett (author, WFSC member).
    • 4 – 20 minute one-on-one sessions ***one-on-one sessions with Judy Schultz are booked.
    • 3 – 20 minute special group sessions ***book a small group session with Gord, Anna Marie and Lynn which will allow you small group interaction and lots of Q&A
    • Trade display tables featuring authors, businesses, and organizations *meet authors, publishers, printers
    • Silent Auction (all funds are reinvested in future writing-related events by the WFSC)
    • Swag bags with lots of free goodies
    • Prize draws and give-aways
    • Coffee break and lunch refreshments
  • Sponsor opportunities for all those interested in getting their name out there to writers

Registrations are now open! The WFSC gives away an awesome Early Bird prize to one lucky registrant who submits by March 31st.

For more information, use the contact us form on this web site. To take advantage of member prices, please ensure your membership is up to date. Renew online or at a meeting. Buy a new membership and get member prices, too!

Kathie Sutherland – Interview

February 10, 2012


Welcome Kathie Sutherland – poetess.

1.Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

This is a difficult question.

I have written a number of short stories about legendary relatives from previous generations in my family. One of them was the mother of my great aunt, whose real mother gave her up to be raised by my grandmother. No one knows for sure who she was. I was fascinated by this tidbit of family history and so gave her a voice and a story, although she arose from my imagination.

Because I write quite a lot about my life experience, I have given voice to different parts of my personality in poetry. One of my favourite “girls” is “Felicity Fix-it” who carries a tool belt for fixing family brokenness. Another is “Darla the Drama Queen” a rather melodramatic actress who is learning to give up her roles. I hope someday this will be a book of portraits.

2.Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?

My first love is poetry, but I began writing life stories in 1995 when I took a course looking for inspiration for poems. My writing took a different path then and I moved on to write short fiction and essays, both taken from family and personal experiences. I have recently returned to a collection of autobiographical short stories which I hope to publish someday.

3.Have you got a favorite place to write?

My office is my favourite writing space when I can wrestle it away from my 12 year old grandson who is currently living with us! For the past few years I have written by hand in notebooks (this is very portable!) and at one point took courses and presented journaling workshops to share my passion for personal writing on the page. Many of my published works, especially poems, have arisen from the journal page.

4.What inspires your stories?

I have a strong desire for self expression. I love to experiment with perspective and different points of view. Inspiration comes from my grandchildren, my family life, friends, experiences like camping and scuba diving, and travel.

5.Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?

At one time, I belonged to two writing groups in Edmonton, and because I wanted to write with others locally, I started one in Fort Saskatchewan, but it was not sustainable. At the moment, I’d like to come to the evening writing group at the SCL but haven’t made it yet. I have it marked on my calendar for February. (WFSC)

6.What age did you start writing stories/poems?

I wrote my first short story in grade 10. I began writing poetry when I was a young adult (22), but did not return to it until 1995. For a time, I wrote stories, essays and magazine articles. Writing has been has been a continuous creative outlet for about 15 years.

7.Do you have a book published? If so what is it called & where can readers purchase it?

My poetry book “balancing Act” was recently published by Dream Write Publishing. I have published a number of poetry chapbooks which can be purchased from me. My work has been published in the Edmonton Stroll of Poets anthologies. Personal essays and articles have appeared in a variety of magazines. For example, the first one “The Grandma Bag” was published in Canadian Grandparent, and “Vagabond Soul” in Synchronicity Magazine. A short story “Suspended in Solitude” was published in Outside of Ordinary an anthology of women’s stories of spiritual transformation while traveling published by Second Story Press. Copies can still be purchased on line at Amazon or from me. A short story “Journey to Darkness” recently appeared Through the Window of a Train, an anthology of stories about train travel in Canada. This anthology is also available from me. Although I am proud of these accomplishments, I would enjoy having a “real” book published and am looking forward to finding a publisher for my short story collection.

8. If you could meet one favorite author who would it be and why?
Elizabeth Berg wrote Durable Goods, a coming-of-age novel about a young girl growing up in a military family in the U.S. I discovered after reading the book that we shared a military background. I was thrilled to find an author who wrote what I knew! I have read every one of her books and enjoy her ability to create both male and female characters that leap off the page and into my heart.

9.Where can readers find you and your blog?

My blog at is a fairly recent endeavor in which I hope to encourage authentic and honest writing. I can also be reached at

10.Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?

My cheerleader friend, Glenda Sheard. Many people have inspired me, including writing instructors, fellow writers, books, friends, my church family, family members (especially my mom) and spiritual mentors, and many others.

Thanks to Kathie for the insight into her ‘writing life’.


December 17, 2011

Surrounded by members of my writing group at our annual Christmas party, brought me incredible joy. The fellowship I have found within this group is nothing less than a miracle. We are an eclectic group of differing ages, genders, genre’s, skill and styles but that is the reason the group is so wonderful. Whether sharing at a meeting of many or conversing with another member one on one – the feeling is the same – camaraderie of a shared passion.
I admit there are several members who have become special to me on my writing journey. Some have mentored me, others have needed me to mentor them but all have become close friends – that is the phenomenon of The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County. Certainly without this group I would have a very different ‘new’ life here in Canada. A reason, a season, a lifetime as the saying goes – well now I know the WFSC and its members are for a lifetime.
To all those of you obsessed with or tinkering with the art of writing – I wish you happiness and many words for the season and the coming years.

Come & Celebrate

May 16, 2011

Celebrate Culture

The WFSC is proud to be a member of the Arts & Culture Council of Strathcona County (ACCSC) and we support their tireless efforts to promote arts and culture in our community. This upcoming celebration will promote their creative cause in great style! The WFSC will be represented by three members of our executive. If you are an individual community artist or own a business that celebrates and embraces the arts in our community, please consider the investment of time and get your tickets today! Come celebrate with us and explore the connections within our wonderful cultural community.
To book your tickets call Erin at the ACCSC at 780-718-0486 before Friday, May 20th.

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