Thursday, 25 September 2014

PWAC Sask at Word on the Street Saskatoon

By Ashleigh Mattern

Marie Powell and Malene Jorgensen enjoying the sun!
On Saturday, Sept. 21, members from the Professional Writers Association of Canada Saskatchewan Chapter spent the day manning a booth at Word on the Street Saskatoon! The day was sunny, the speakers were fantastic, and we talked to a lot of people who were interested in the member books we had on display.

Our table was stocked with member books for sale.
Marie Powell had her Word Families children's book series for sale, Malene Jorgensen brought copies from her "how to" collection of books, Anne Laurko had a copy of Dollybird on display, and Ashleigh Mattern had copies of Herstory: The Canadian Women's Calendar available. PWAC member Jesse Green helped watch the booth.

Member Anne Lazurko spoke at the event about her book Dollybird.
We each made some sales, brainstormed ideas and events for the chapter, and made plans to attend the event again next year. As we did last year, we split the booth with our friends in words, the Editors Association of Canada Saskatchewan Chapter, and we hope to do so again in 2015.

It was a perfect fall day, with lots of foot traffic.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Writing can be a lonely profession: Gain a sense of community with PWAC

By Malene Jorgensen

Writers, who work hard on a daily basis to craft content for clients, may often work from home, local cafes or libraries, where they can get easy access to resources and references. And while this lifestyle may sound tempting, the reality is that writing for a living can be a very lonely profession.

The Professional Writers Association of Canada, also known as PWAC, provides the piece of the puzzle that is missing. The President of the Saskatchewan chapter, Ashleigh Mattern, particularly enjoys the supportive network that comes from PWAC. She sees the association as a great tool to brainstorm with other like-minded professionals.

 “As a full-time freelance writer, having a support networking is incredibly important. Working from home, you often don't have people around you who you can bounce ideas off of, or go to for help or advice,” Mattern explains. “Joining groups like the Professional Writers Association of Canada give me a sense of having coworkers who I can reach out to, for whatever reason.”

Other than the networking opportunities, new members can also explore marketing and promotional opportunities offered by PWAC. As a professional member, you get a press card on behalf of PWAC that can help you get access to industry events, museums, and research for related projects. 

Professional members will also have the ability to access career and development opportunities at low or no cost at all, which is beneficial to new writers who are looking to turn their passion of writing into a full-time career.

The Professional Writers Association of Canada has chapters all over the country, including Saskatchewan. Our chapter President, Ashleigh Mattern, and our Vice President, Malene Jorgensen, are both located in Saskatoon. But there are members in Regina, White City, Weyburn, Moose Jaw, Swift Current, Martensville, and Kelvington. Even though members are spread out, the chapter maintains dedicated to serving the needs of all members.

“As the Vice President of the Saskatchewan chapter, I’m constantly on the look-out for new ideas and online courses that our members can benefit from since we are spread out,” says Jorgensen, who just joined the executive this year. “We want our members to know that we are here to help and support them in their writing careers, no matter what their individual needs are.”

Saskatchewan member, Bonnie Zink, has shared her thoughts on PWAC on her website, She thanks PWAC for helping her turn her dreams of being a professional writer for a living into a reality.

“Five years ago I held dear the hope of becoming a working professional writer,” Zink writes in a blog post, where she highlights some of the features she has enjoyed. “As I look back on these past five years, I believe that my success as a working writer is directly due to my professional PWAC membership.”

PWAC Saskatchewan will be present at this year’s Word on the Street festival in Saskatoon. The Word on the Street festival, or WOTS, takes place on Sept. 21 near Saskatoon’s City Hall. Our chapter President and Vice President will be on location in the PWAC booth to answer any questions you may have about becoming a member. Since the WOTS festival is all about booksellers, publishers, authors and retailers, some of our members will also be selling their books at our stand. 

So, if you have a lingering dream about becoming a professional writer, come down to our booth at the WOTS festival and talk to us. We look forward to seeing you there and hear about your big writing dreams.