Me and Liane Faulder, friend and writing mentor
I count myself blessed that I have a few very fine writing mentors. My friend dee Hobsbawn-Smith has always encouraged me to write and been there with kindness. My editor at City Palate Magazine, Kathy Richardier, has invested a great deal of time in making me a better writer and I owe a lot to her insistence on brevity, her eagle eye for clarity and her sense of readability, tone and overall worthiness of a piece. In Jennifer Cockrall-King, the founder of The Okanagan Food and Wine Writers Workshop (OKFWWW), I have found collegiality, escape from a writer’s solitary life and a generosity of spirit that reveals a deep belief in abundance and the power of collaboration.
It was at the OKFWWW that I met Liane Faulder. This post will talk more about what I have learned from Faulder in particular and share an article she recently wrote on raw milk in Canada.
The Lavender & Herb Farm, Kelowna, BC
Every artist needs a muse. For the many artistically gifted chefs that have settled in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia it is the quality of the area’s produce that is the muse that has drawn them to this spectacular setting. That quality produce comes from food and wine growers who work with the land to bring forward the very best of its terroir; its taste of place.
Tasting the place that is the Okanagan is one of the great things about attending the Okanagan Food and Wine Writer’s Workshop (OKFWWWorkshop). Along with workshops on food and wine writing there is the actual inspiration to write that comes from visiting the farms, vineyards, chefs, caterers, restaurants, hotels and food artisans of the Okanagan. I have written about what I learned about writing from the 2012 workshop and how to register for that workshop here.
This blog is a gallery of photos that I took at the 2012 OKFWWWworkshop. The pictures speak to the taste of this place; the terroir of the Okanagan Valley. Sometimes a writer just can’t compete with the perennial “1000 words” a picture gives us so effortlessly. Exploring the food and wine of the Okanagan Valley is one of ways I savour food and savour life. Today, I’ll let these photos do my story-telling.
The Okanagan Food and Wine Writer’s Workshop, 2012 poster
This year’s Okanagan Food and Wine Writer’s Workshop is April 28 to May 1, 2013 in Kelowna, British Columbia. You can register here. The workshop is open to all food and wine writers – newbie to thoroughly nuanced. I attended last year for the first time and got a lot out of it. I’m going back this year.
People often talk about gifts that keep on giving. Sending myself to the OKFWWWorkshop was that kind of gift to myself. I went with an open mind. I did not know what to expect. I have been freelancing for about six years and have worked with some great editors and producers that have made my writing stronger. I have two regular columns; one on must-have kitchen and pantry ingredients for City Palate magazine in Calgary and an ongoing CBC Radio One food column for Alberta at Noon. I have had many food and travel articles published across Canada and have written for an online magazine in Paris. Still, I had been feeling blind as a writer. I had been feeling my way. I wanted to shed some light on the processes involved in professional food and wine writing. The workshop added a lot of wattage to the dim lightbulb over my head.