• Educational opportunities in 2019


This is the fourth year of the Blue Pencil sessions, named for writer, teacher, and mentor Holley Rubinsky. This year critiques happen with our 2019 Writer-in-Residence Marilyn Bowering. Scroll down for more on this accomplished writer. SOLD OUT.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Registration opens May 17 and will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Cost for review and critique of up to 2500 words of pre-submitted work in fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry plus a 40-minute one-on-one consultation $75.
  • Value of critique and consultation with an established, talented literary professional: priceless
  • Don’t forget Marilyn’s talk on the writing craft on Thursday, July 11 at 7:30pm at the Nelson Public Library.

Once registered you’ll be invited to submit a one-page description of your project and any explanations or questions you may have along with your writing. Deadline to submit for critique will be Friday, June 14.

Questions? Please contact us.

Writer, teacher, and mentor Holley Rubinsky passed away in August 2015 in Kaslo, B.C. She was the author of three story collections and one novel, and was the first recipient of The Journey Prize. She hosted writing retreats at her Kaslo home, offering support, mentorship and critique, drawing gratitude and occasionally blood: Holley was legendary in her directness, passionate as she was in her desire to draw out the very best in a writer. It was important to Holley that her legacy of literary mentorship and critique continue. Thanks to a generous bequest, Nelson’s Elephant Mountain Literary Festival offers the annual Holley Rubinsky Memorial Blue Pencil Sessions, this year with accomplished author Marilyn Bowering.


All are welcome to join Marilyn’s talk on the writing craft:

Thursday, July 11 at 7:30pm
Nelson Public Library
602 Stanley Street Nelson

Admission by donation ($5 suggested)

Marilyn Bowering is an award-winning writer whose first novel, To All Appearances A Lady, was a New York Times Notable Book of 1990. Her second novel, Visible Worlds (1997) was short-listed for the prestigious Orange Prize, nominated for the Dublin IMPAC Prize, and awarded the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize.  Visible Worlds was praised by The Independent as “a tour de force … a wonderful piece of storytelling” and by The New York Times Book Review as “a vast, sprawling feast of a book.” Marilyn Bowering’s third novel, Cat’s Pilgrimage is a psychological map in the form of an album of human and animal stories, a “rich act of the imagination that alternately dazzles, puzzles and thrills.” (Ottawa Citizen). Her most recent novel What it Takes to Be Human is also a map—of survival in a world where human qualities are increasingly under threat.  The Globe and Mail called it “a great novel… [Bowering] does not seek moments to be brilliant: those moments just arrive.” Bowering’s poetry includes Human Bodies: Collected Poems 1987-1999, Green, an interplay of form and conversations, and a book of story and memoir poems, Soul Mouth.   Her poetry has received many awards including the Gwen MacEwen Poetry prize, Pat Lowther Prize, the Dorothy Livesay Prize, several National Magazine Awards, nominations for the Governor General’s award, the Prix Italia and Sony Award.  Bowering’s work has been translated into a number of languages including Spanish, Finnish, German and Greek and Punjabi. Marilyn Bowering was born in Winnipeg and grew up in Victoria, BC. She has lived in the United States, Greece, Scotland, and Spain: she now makes her home on Vancouver Island.

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons