Teaching

“Sylvia, I cannot say enough about your presentation at the Powell River Writer’s Conference yesterday. I went there not really knowing what to expect and came away with a thirst for all your other seminars, and a deep appreciation for your generous spirit. No matter how far along the writing arc, we each felt valued and came away empowered to do more, learn more, apply more. I just want more, and it is great.” – Barb Reis, Coordinator, Powell River Writers’ Conference

Choose from a wide variety of dynamic, interactive, and practical learning experiences on topics and skills from every facet of the writing world at any level, currently available or designed for your special learning needs. Individualized for one-on-one and groups, an hour to a semester.

Teaching Bio
  • North Shore Writers’ Festival, Kamloops Writers Conference, Shuswap Writers Conference, Women of Excellence Conference, Women Writers of the Desert writing group and conference, Write On Bowen Conference, Northern Writing Retreat conference
  • Surrey Creative Writing Diploma Program
  • English Language Arts Network (Montreal)
  • Quebec Writers Federation (Montreal)
  • Willamette Writers Conference, Portland, Oregon
  • White Rock Parks & Rec
  • White Rock and South Surrey Writers’ Guild
  • Langley Writers Guild
  • Ram’s Head Writing Group
  • National Assoc. of Women Writers, Arizona
  • JL International (ESL & writing instruction)
  • Lower Mainland secondary schools
  • Professionals In Transition program, Community Innovations
  • Come Share Society – Senoirs Bio Project

Educator

  • Writing and communications-related courses and workshops in writing programs and conferences throughout Canada and USA
  • Keynote addresses in writing conferences
  • Presented and consulted in over 40 writing conferences in Canada & USA
  • Created 8 workshops and 2 semester-length courses with support materials for writing-related pro development

Workshops & Courses

Business & Promo:

Writing Websites That WOW!

In an internet world crammed with boring or baffling websites clamouring for our                 attention: We have 10 seconds to grab people’s attention with our web site content.         1 minute for people to understand our service or product.

Learn practical tips and tools for creating engaging website content that hooks and               holds interest right to the last page. Hands-on exercises will get you well on your way         to a terrific website!

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Writing Promo Bios That WOW!

Whether you are a speaker, writer, consultant or business person, a brilliant bio is                 your key to connecting with people and opportunities. One of the most important                   tools in your promo kitbag and a building block in websites, it spotlights your                         unique self and expertise. Explore basics and begin crafting your engaging bio in 50,             100 and 250 words, designed to bring out your best.

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The Real Genius Is In the Rewrite

Editing is like pruning ~ too much and your wonderful inspiration withers on the                   branch; too little and it’s a tangle of thoughts; just right, and it bears a basket of                     publications. Come with a draft piece and learn what to snip away, what to nurture,               and how to harvest.

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Literary:

Navigating the Publishing World

Self-publish or Traditional-publish? Agent or publicist? Editor or writing group? Making your way into and through the publishing world can feel like wandering through the jungle. Learn what to pack, how to avoid the pitfalls and quick sands, and what trail to follow, to get you happily and successfully to your goal.


The Art & Engineering of Making A Living In the Writing World

Come Out of the Cave and Into the Village! Getting published and making a living isn’t just about writing anymore ~ it’s about building a solid foundation, a platform, of credibility and expertise. For experienced and emerging writers alike, we need to build our presence from the ground up, with good planning, good tools, good materials and creative flair.


The Real Genius Is In the Rewrite

Editing is like pruning ~ too much and your wonderful inspiration withers on the branch; too little and it’s a tangle of thoughts; just right, and it bears a basket of publications. Come with a draft piece and learn what to snip away, what to nurture, and how to harvest.


Building Better Query Letters: A Blueprint for Success

A great query letter is your key to unlocking the publishing world. Learn how to grab and keep an editor, publisher, or agent’s attention by giving your query S. A. L. E. S. appeal! Come with a query draft or specific project in mind to help turn theory into reality.


Building Better Articles: A Blueprint for Success

Short, punchy, timely articles will get you on the expressway to Publishville and build your writing portfolio like nothing else. Learn journalist techniques that grab and keep reader attention and get your work into newspapers and magazines.


Building a Better Story: A Blueprint for Success

Hooks, Bridges and Wraparounds aren’t construction terms, they’re techniques writers use to grab and keep reader attention. Learn practical tips and tools for building creative non-fiction from the ground up.


LifeStory Writing: Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary

From cave walls to computers, humans have been sharing the stories of their lives. Everyone has a LifeStory worth telling and it’s never too late or too early to tell it. Whether it’s a whole-life autobiography, or slice-of-life memoir, for family and friends or the publishing world, our lives take on greater meaning as we contribute to a legacy of history, heritage, and understanding.


From The Horse’s Mouth: Tips for Terrific Interviews

Nothing generates more depth, texture, and insight into your topic than a successful interview. Build a toolkit of interviewing tips and techniques to help breathe life into your writing, whatever your genre.


Shameless Self Promotion: Public Reading for Writers

Spoken Word events are the hottest trend in the writing world and nothing draws a following like a captivating author reading. You’ve written it, maybe even published it, and now it’s time for you and your work to shine. Turn stage-fright into stage-bright!

Courses

Write On! – Level I

From inspiration to publication this hands-on creative writing program will guide you through the writing process. Develop your writing skills through fun, interactive exercises plus receive supportive critique to help you become a better writer. A perfect course for people who are writing or always wanted to.

Write On! – Level II

Take your creative writing to the next level. Build on the foundation of writing, editing, critiquing and storytelling experienced in Level I. Continue to explore the wonderful world of writing in a fun and hands-on environment designed to bring out your best.

The Creative Writing Restaurant Level 1 ~ Literary Lunch

Enjoy a taste of writing delights from Inspirational appetizers to Structural salads, Plot pate to Character canapés, and the ever-popular Writing Skills Sandwich. Learn how to season and spice up bland writing to create delicious and nutritious word-meals to satisfy every taste.

Level 2 ~ Divine Dinner

After whetting your appetite with the Literary Lunch, expand your palate with a heartier version of our succulent writing skills. From Editing entrees to Marketing-fresh desserts, dine on the meat and potatoes of cooking up delicious writing.