Archive for the ‘Vancouver Authors’ Category

6th Annual Geist Literal Literary Postcard Story Contest

Ever wanted to enter a literary contest? Ever talked yourself out of it because you couldn’t imagine yourself writing pages and pages of stuff that made sense?

Well screw that! Why not write a story that fits on a postcard?

Geist magazine is holding it’s 6th annual Literal Literary Postcard Story Contest, which, as they point out, is “the writ­ing con­test whose name is almost as long as the entries!”

Dead­line is Friday, January 15, 2010! But don’t panic… it’s short, remember? Click here for the full contest details – the basics are as follows;

First Prize: $250
Second Prize: $150
Third Prize: $100
(more than one prize per cat­e­gory may be awarded)
Honourable Mentions: Swell Geist gifts

Send us a post­card along with a story that relates to the image. The rela­tion­ship can be as tan­gen­tial as you like, so long as there is some clear con­nec­tion to the image or place.

Maximum length: 500 words, fic­tion or non-fiction.

Local artists and comic enthusiasts to hit the VAG

Taking advantage of the KRAZY! show at the Vancouver Art Gallery, a massive selection of local artists, big and small, along with tables and tables of dealers are going to be gathering this Sunday , August 24th. And you’re invited! Between 11Am and 5PM you can come meet the artists and peruse the swag for the way too reasonable price of free!

The list is way too long, but you can find out who all will be there at the official website! Regular rates still apply if you want to check out the KRAZY exhibit.

So here I am. Big deal.

So they asked me to blog here, and I said no.  They asked again, and finally after some promises that they wouldn’t use my real name or face I agreed.  I took this name because I quite like the book that it’s from, and if you need to be told then maybe you should look at The Urban Dictionary.


I don’t leave my house much.  I used to live downtown, where the action is.  But have you seen rent these days?  Now I live out in the suburbs and what am I going to do out there?  I mean I could walk to the 7-11, but a man can only drink so many slushes in one day.  It’s twenty-minutes to the Starbucks.

So maybe that disqualifies me from being relevant here.  Maybe the fact that I’m using Folgers Coffee to give me pep each morning means that I’m not Vancouver enough.


Here I am.  If you don’t like me I’ll go away.

It’s fairly simple.  I’ve been thrown to the lions in a Roman Coliseum.  Thumbs up or thumbs down lads?

Local Author – Kim Werker’s book launch


I was able to attend the book launch for Crochet Me at Urban Yarns last night in Point Grey. This is the first time I’ve heard her speak and she’s a very enthusiastic speaker. She loves what she does and she just can’t hide her excitement about her website and now her new book. Kim spoke for about an hour and talked at length about the designers who contributed to the book. She compiled the patterns from crochet designers around North America and from Europe.

Kim has created a satisfying career for herself with a lot of hard work. That’s pretty inspiring in itself. But now, I think I’ll bust out some crochet hooks and crochet a cute little circle rug.

Here are a few photos from the event here.
And bonus for me – I won a door prize! Thanks Urban Yarns! I’ll be back again to buy some beautiful yarn.

jPod to become CBC comedy


Originally uploaded by mushon.

I have Douglas Coupland’s latest book jPod sitting on my desk at home waiting to be read. I’m a huge fan of his work but have just been putting it off for months with my free time filling up with resumes and work related reading. However now I’ve got a deadline, I need to be done reading the book by January when the author’s television series of the same name will hit the airwaves thanks to the CBC.

Via a bit of CBC self-promotion [cbc]:

The 13-part series will be a look into Vancouver’s video game industry and is scheduled to air on CBC Television in January 2008.

The show’s pilot was produced November 2006 by Larry Sugar and directed by Mike Clattenburg of Trailer Park Boys.

The quirky novel JPod follows the lives of a group of video-game developers as games are created, twisted into a new shape by the marketing department and eventually cancelled without seeing the light of day.

Sounds wonderful, and because it’s the CBC we’ll actually see all 13 episodes instead of three run out of order before the series is cancelled as happens on American network television. Also it has Alan Thicke who I thought maybe was dead or something because he’s been missing in action since the 80s’ ended.

CUP is coming to Vancouver

Some of the best memories I have are from when I was a student journalist. That’s right before I started blogging for free I worked in the coal mine that is the university press at the Phoenix [tp] at Okanagan University College in Kelowna. I miss pretty much everything about it, including staying up late and struggling with a Powermac G3 and a pirated copy of Quark to get the paper to the printer on time. Whether it was editing an article [ep] or writing one [teotw] it was almost all a joy.

One of the best parts was the paper’s involvement with the Canadian University Press (CUP) [wp], the world’s oldest national student organization. Its yearly national conference was always a great time combining a goodly amount of learning with mind numbing quantities of booze.

This year the annual CUP conference is being hosted in Vancouver from January 18 – 27 [cup]. People from the public are allowed to go, for a price. Having seen some of the big name speakers, such as Nardwuar the Human Serviette and Dan Savage before and they’re both fun if not high on actual education value.

The workshop “Getting paid to blog” sounds very interesting, especially since Vancouver’s Darren Barefoot [db] is one of the speakers. That and the other workshops will definitely be value for the money, if you’re thinking of going.

Though I’ve spoken at past CUP conferences I promise I wasn’t invited to this one, so feel safe in knowing you won’t have to listen to me. Feeling so safe you should go.

Vancouver featured in a new mecca for literature

There’s nobody left

Originally uploaded by dooda.

There’s a really interesting look at Vancouver up on [sc] (free but ad watching required) and it’s actually a very interesting read. It’s main focus is on the city’s literary nature, and it focuses a lot on Douglas Coupland and William Gibson, but it’s got a bit about the vibe of the city which I do think it hits nicely. If nothing else it’s probably one of the best non-Vancouver produced ads for visiting or moving to Vancouver that I’ve seen in a long time. In fact in a way reading it made me want to scrap my holiday plans and just stay home.

Consider the second paragraph:

Visiting Vancouver is like simultaneously taking a step forward and back. In its near-future, Vancouver boasts an uncharted, wet-lab urbanity that has inspired author and Vancouver resident Douglas Coupland to call it “the city of glass.” Its past, the deep native roots in the region, is also present, right from the international arrivals terminal. Air travelers are greeted by a dramatic installation, festooned with the First Nations iconography of totems, masks and canoes, echoing the aboriginal people’s distinct sense of place. Now the native Vancouverite’s reverence is for land value, the product of a generation-long development boom instigated by the transition of Hong Kong to China and the waxing of Asia’s economies. Vancouver is today among the select handful of world centers — think Geneva or Sydney — recognized solely by its livability: a happy accident of freeway-forbidding geography, Canadian social engineering and the best lessons of urban development.


Douglas Coupland pimps the BlackBerry Pearl

WTF douglas coupland!?

Originally uploaded by oceanpark.

I like the BlackBerry Pearl [jks] quite a lot. The fact that I work for a Rogers dealer is the only reason I haven’t written about it in my weekly article [em], since that would be a conflict of interests even though others do it. However if I’m not out there pimping it in the press it’s interesting to discover that Vancouver author and voice of a generation Douglas Coupland [dc] is.

The author of Generation X and Microserfs as well as last year’s jPod is featured on the website for the BlackBerry Pearl in one of those “how this device can change your life” style features [bbp]. The feature basically just describes how he uses the phone, and magically happens to use each and everyone one of its features. From watching trailers of his upcoming movies to sending pictures of his sculptures via MMS the phone seems to match his lifestyle perfectly. So perfect it should be used in a marketing campaign.

Ta da, it is.

I was going to comment, more than I have already here, but the blog This Blog Sits at the did it better [tbs]:

But it is necessary to see that Blackberry hires Coupland precisely to lend his cultural significance to the brand, that it might become more glorious, better defined, and more profitable. Coupland brings several things. He is a Renaissance man of a kind, comfortable in several media. He has a certain international reach. He is restless and experimental in his creative undertakings. But, most of all, and the very point of the hire, surely, is that Coupland lends to Blackberry some of his standing as a man who reads culture with perspicuity and power, and the fact that he read the early 1990s so well he helped to give it shape and form.

When Coupland spends his cultural capital on behalf of Blackberry, he extinguishes some of it. This is true for every celebrity endorser. For Coupland, this may well be a fair trade. He will use his endorsement fee to sustain his creative career, and who knows what new accomplishments await him? A single “hit” would restore the capital this campaign will cost him.

But back to the anti-materialism, anti-marketing of the early 1990s. When Coupland endorses a consumer good, he contradicts his cultural significance. In the process, he extinguishes the part of the credibility that made him a suitable celebrity endorser. This damage to Coupland’s celebrity inflicts harm on the Blackberry brand. The “meaning mechanics” of this marketing campaign are ill advised.

Secrets of the City

Photo courtesy: Jason Vanderhill

Matt and I were just talking about the Secrets of the City tours. Matt had no idea they existed and I explained that, as I work Wednesday nights and Saturdays, I always miss them. The tours have been to the Post Office tunnel that runs from Georgia and Hamilton to Cordova Street; the basement of the Vancouver Art Gallery; the Hotel Vancouver’s roof with the abandoned CBC radio studios; the back spaces and roof of the Hudson’s Bay Company; the Shaughnessy hospital steam plant and tunnels; the main ambulance station for the BC Ambulance Service; the Yip Sang building on Pender; and more. To educate Matt (and others) on these tours, I dug up some tidbits.

Turns out I’ve already written about the tours. Which turned out to be a good thing because John Atkin, the historian who leads the tours and he of Vancouver Neon curating fame (and author of Heritage Walks Around Vancouver and Skytrain Explorer, co-founderof Heritage Vancouver, etc., etc.), removed the link to his Secrets page. The Vancouver Museum also removed links to his page.

It also turns out that Vandigicam took in his latest tour, which might also be his last tour for a while. This last trip, on September 9, was to the Richmond Steel Recycling Plant. Until the next one, there are always photos of the tours.

The Word on the Street

The Word on the Street logo

If it’s the last Sunday in September, it’s The Word on the Street Book and Magazine Fair. On this day, several cities across Canada (Vancouver, Calgary, Kitchener, Toronto, and Halifax so far) hold a free festival celebrating the printed word and those who enjoy it–readers, writers, publishers, booksellers, libraries, literacy organizations. (The last Sunday in September 2006 is today, 24 September–the fair is on.)

Vancouver’s show is held at Library Square (map), the central branch of the Vancouver Public Library, downtown. As befits a festival of words, the webpage for The Word on the Street–Vancouver does a fine job of describing the participants, exhibitors, and schedule of events, so I won’t reinvent the wheel reiterating them here.

One suggestion from me, though:

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