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Meet the judges

Vancouver Island secret scribes have come out of the woodwork again to answer the call of So You Think You Can Write a public writing contest for amateur wordsmiths. Short stories ruled the day, but the Times Colonist also received memoirs, poetry and even a submission in the form of a letter.

Soon, four finalists will compete in weekly writing assignments for a chance to win a trip for two to the Galiano Literary Festival. They be asked to stretch their skills and step out of their comfort zones and their work will be publicly critiqued by a panel of three writing professionals, whom you meet today.

Those judges will award points to each of the finalists weekly submissions, but the tally will be kept secret until the end of the contest.

It isn a read only contest though. The public has its say by picking the Readers Choice Winner, who takes home a netbook computer, by voting online each week. Interested in challenging yourself? Readers are encouraged to follow along with the contest at home why not complete the assignments and share them with friends? Consider it a public workshop.


Today we introduce you to our judges Janet Rogers, Matthew Hooton and Dave Obee.

They recently sat down with reporter Amy Smart. As Victoria's current poet laureate, she champions arts in the city by participating in civic functions and public poetry events, as well as initiating her own projects.

Rogers also hosts Native Waves Radio on CFUV 101.9FM, Tribal Clefs on CBC Radio and has published three poetry collections: Unearthed (2011), Red Erotic (2010) and Splitting Heart (2007). I really think there was fake vca necklace something in the trees, the forest, the ocean and the land here that spoke to me and I was very much inspired to write rather than paint. I can't explain what it is it was something wonderfully, magically mysterious copy necklace van cleef arpels that made me switch.

And when I did switch, I noticed the writing went further in a shorter amount of time than the visual work ever did, so I just paid attention to that. And I just love stringing those words together. I love making things that are pretty to the ear. There's a lot of rhythm in my work rhyme and rhythm and beat and sound.

What was your first experience with public writing?

I came up through the James Bay Inn reading series. That was a wonderful training ground. It was there that I did my first spoken word pieces that was exciting for me.

In a place that's supportive like that, there's really very little at stake, so that was encouraging.

Why do you write?

When I first put a piece down, it's always in long form and I use pen and paper. And then I'm just so inspired. Being here on this land van cleef and arpels necklaces replica and travelling to other different lands, it's just so inspiring. I wouldn't be living up to my responsibility as an artist if I didn't listen to those voices and exercise that inspiration that builds inside me. That's why I write.

Where do you write? When I'm on the road, I write on the road. What I've discovered recently is that when I'm travelling, especially when I'm driving or flying, I'm able to use my voice recorder on my cellphone to capture those phrases that are coming through. Then, when I reach the destination, I revisit those audio recordings and jot them down. And, boom, I have a piece of writing.

I'm looking for unconventional writing. I'm looking for someone who's willing to take bold chances in their writing. I'm looking for a fresh voice. I'm looking for something that's exciting. It doesn't have to be outrageous. Exciting writing can be something that really impacts us on an emotional level, on a spiritual level, and/or is food for thought. His debut novel, Deloume Road, won the inaugural Greene Heaton Prize for best novel to emerge from the master of arts in creative writing program at England's Bath Spa University, in a unanimous decision.

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