Brief Encounters

Why Not Book a Literary Tune-Up?

Saturday, March 21, 2015, 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.

Human and Social Development Building, University of Victoria

Coastal Spectator

Sponsored by
The Coastal Spectator

It’s better than speed-dating with 24 tune-up times available. Between the morning and afternoon panel discussions at WordsThaw 2015, you may sign up for a 15-minute one-on-one critique with one of six Victoria writers. Each of these fine practitioners of the literary arts can help you fine-tune a poem, a fiction or nonfiction excerpt, or a children’s literature or young-adult-fiction excerpt.

Brief Encounters is included in the cost of your WordsThaw 2015 pass—there is no additional charge—but you must sign up for it by March 16.

Buy a full WordsThaw festival pass here, and send us an email with your choice of author / genre.

There are only 24 Brief Encounters sessions available, so register for WordsThaw 2015 early to guarantee that one of them is yours. Contemplate having a Brief Encounters session with one of the following local writers (see photos/bios at the bottom of the page):

Ross Crockford (Journalism)
Lorne Daniel (CNF/Poetry) (no spaces left)
Julie Paul (Fiction) (no spaces left)
Missie Peters (Spoken Word)
Pamela Porter (Poetry/Children’s/YA) (no spaces left)
Matt Rader (Fiction/Poetry) (no spaces left)

How to sign up for Brief Encounters and how it works

  • Each Brief Encounters writer is available for up to four 15-minute sessions.
  • Each Brief Encounters writer is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Once you have purchased your WordsThaw 2015 pass, send an email to The Malahat Review ( to reserve a session, with “Brief Encounters” in the subject line.
  • In the body of the email, indicate which writer you’d like to work with; if he or she consults in more than one genre, indicate which one you like your session to focus on.
  • If the Brief Encounters writer you request is fully booked by the time you sign up, we will contact you about working with one of the other writers consulting in your chosen genre.
  • We will confirm your assignment (author and time) by email.
  • After you have received confirmation, you must email the work you wish to discuss with your Brief Encounter author by Monday, March 16 at 12 noon.
  • Poetry: you may submit one poem that is one page long.
  • Prose: for all non-poetry genres, you may send an excerpt of 750 words long.
  • Spoken Word: submit a one-page text and, if available, an audio or video file of the text being performed (you will also perform your work during the consultation).

Please note: Each WordsThaw 2015 registrant is allowed only one Brief Encounter.

Ross Crockford

Ross Crockford is a journalist and photographer based on Vancouver Island. A former Vancouver Crockfordtrial lawyer and staff writer for The Prague Post, from 1998 to 2001 he was the editor of Victoria’s Monday Magazine. He has received a National Magazine Award for sportswriting, a Western Magazine Award for business writing, and a Jack Webster Award of Distinction for investigative reporting. His freelance work has appeared in numerous publications, including Western Living, Spacing, explore, Adbusters, and The Globe and Mail. He is working on a book about psychiatry in communist Europe during the 1960s.

Lorne Daniel

Poet and nonfiction writer Lorne Daniel was published widely across Canada way back in the 20th Danielcentury. He also co-edited the poetry journal Canada Goose and the anthology series Ride Off Any Horizon. After a 15-year break from the literary world, Lorne has returned to writing with new poetry and nonfiction manuscripts underway. His most recent publications are in EarthLines (U.K.) and Terrain (U.S.). He has been chosen to participate in this summer’s Breadloaf Orion Environmental Writers’ Conference in Vermont. Lorne lives in Victoria.

Julie Paul

Julie Paul has published two collections of short stories, The Jealousy Bone (Emdash, 2008), and PaulThe Pull of the Moon (Brindle & Glass, 2014). Stories, poems and essays have appeared in many literary journals, including The Dalhousie Review, The Fiddlehead, Event, PRISM International, Grain, and The Rusty Toque. Julie has taught creative writing through Camosun College’s Continuing Ed department for many years, was part of The Malahat Review‘s fiction editorial board for two years, and spent two years as one of the artistic directors of the Victoria Writers Festival. She is currently at work on a novel rewrite and a poetry manuscript. She lives in Victoria, B.C. and at

Missie Peters

Missie Peters is a Victoria-based spoken word artist and improviser. She is a two-time Victoria missie-peters-photoSlam Champion, a former Slam Master and the current artistic director of the Victoria Spoken Word Festival. She has written and performed two full-length solo shows and toured across Canada. Her work focuses on the absurdities and alienation of modern life.

Pamela Porter

Pamela Porter’s work has won more than a dozen provincial, national, and international awards, Porterincluding the 2005 Governor General’s Award for her novel in verse, The Crazy Man, and The Malahat Review‘s 50th Anniversary Poetry Prize in 2013. Other awards include the Gwendolyn MacEwan Prize, the Prism International Grand Prize in Poetry, the Vallum Poem of the Year Award and the Pat Lowther, Raymond Souster and CBC shortlists. Pamela lives near Sidney with her family and a menagerie of rescued horses, dogs and cats.

Matt Rader

Matt Rader is the author of three books of poetry and the collection of stories, What I Want to rader-colourTell Goes Like This. His poems and stories have been featured in Geist, The Walrus, The New Quarterly, and The Malahat Review among many other publications in North America, Europe and Australia. The 2014 recipient of the Joseph S. Stauffer Prize for Literature from the Canada Council for the Arts, Rader’s story, “All This Was a Long Time Ago,” was awarded the Jack Hodgins Founders Award by Michael Crummey. His work has also been nominated for the Gerald Lampert Award, the Journey Prize and the Pushcart Prize. He is core-faculty in the Creative Studies Department at the University of British Columbia Okanagan.

Matt is also one of eight readers for Words on Ice: An Evening of Readings on Friday, March 20, 7:30 p.m.

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