Spreading the Word outreach programs extend the Writers Festival experience into classrooms that for geographic or economic reasons are unable to attend the Festival. The Writer in Residence Program connects authors with schools and communities throughout British Columbia.
The Writer in Residence program offers a one week residency for authors to work closely with students and to connect with the local community through readings at schools and community centres. Authors facilitate intensive workshops in secondary schools, while local elementary schools and community centers are treated to readings, lectures and discussions. This program directly targets communities where there is a need for educational resources, and whenever possible, we aim to involve Indigenous students.
Erin Bow’s recent residency in Rossland, BC truly demonstrates the effect a writer can have on a community.
At Rossland Summit School, Bow inspired students to write ‘for the love of it.’ With her combination of energy, warmth and ability to see from the teenage perspective, Bow quickly connected with students and, in addition to leading engrossing workshops about various aspects of writing, met one-on-one with students in order to provide personalized feedback on their writing.
Nicola Kuhn, a Teacher-Librarian at the school, wrote,
“Participating in the Writers in Residence Program with Erin Bow was a highlight of my 20 year teaching career […] I am still hearing from parents about how much their son or daughter loved the week they spent with Erin and what an impact she had on everyone. I feel very fortunate to have met Erin and witness the impact she had on my students.”
In addition to her work at the high school, Bow was quickly welcomed into the local writing community. As part of her residency, she was welcomed into the home of a local writer and spent an evening with writers and readers discussing all things literary, ending with a reading of one of her poems.
Bow’s residency in Rossland has demonstrated the magic that happens when readers and writers come together and the impact a writer can have on a community.
Click here to read about our past writers in residence.
The Writer in Residence Program is supported by the Michael R. Shaw Fund and the RJ Nelson Family Foundation.
About the Michael R. Shaw Fund - Michael R. Shaw was a young man who loved the outdoors, but whose life was cut short in 2003 when he and some of his classmates were swept away by an avalanche in British Columbia. The Michael R. Shaw Fund was established through the generorsity of the Woodward family, and the Festival is honoured to lend Michael's name to this program.