Kamloops first-ever Write-a-Thon worth writing home about

By Adam Donnelly
March 11, 2019 - 12:32pm Updated: March 11, 2019 - 3:17pm

KAMLOOPS — As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, which means the video in this story is worth around 3.6 million. Coincidentally, that's around the same number of words written at Saturday’s Write-a-Thon, hosted by the Kamloops Society for the Written Arts (KSWA). It was the first event of its kind held in Kamloops, but due to the response, it likely won’t be the last.

Whether they did it the old fashioned way with a pen and some paper, or the new-fangled way with a computer and keyboard, writers of all types gathered at the Kamloops United Church Saturday for the inaugural Write-a-Thon hosted by the Kamloops Society for the Written Arts.

“Our organization wanted to do a fundraiser and we wanted to do something that was on a mission,” KWSA Events Coordinator JP Baker explained. “We’re all about writing and we wanted to have fun doing it so we cooked up[ this idea to have a Write-a-Thon.”

From books to school assignments, letters, and even music, the different types of writing at the event were as numerous and varied as those who attended.

Riley Windeler is working on a children’s book based on his experiences growing up as a dwarf.

“The book’s actually about a race from my childhood, I grew up very into sports and athletics,” Windeler explained. “Everyone took off, and with my shorter legs, I was halfway down the field by the time they were across the finish line. So it’s going from that to my first World Dwarf athletic event in 2001 in Toronto and winning my first race. It’s showing that there are possibilities out there.”

Moira Laidlaw is a TRU creative writing student and was working on some assignments.

“I’m just working on a couple of short stories I have to submit for the end of the semester,” Laidlaw told CFJC Today. “It’s about a girl who’s a witch and her mother was a witch, and died in a car accident… it’s sort of this emotional piece about saying goodbye and growing up.”

Both Moira and Riley agreed the Write-a-Thon was a great environment to be productive, as well as meet other writers to help share ideas.

“I think the Write-A-Thon’s great, there are so many writers in one place, you can share thoughts and ideas,” Windeler said.

“I was just telling [my friend] Ben we should do this every weekend,” Laidlaw said. “I’m getting so much work down for school and fun, as well.”

Considering it was the first-ever Write-a-Thon, organizers were pleased with the turnout

“We’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many people are coming out and saying they have a writing project they want to work on, and this is a great place to do it,” Baker said.

With how well the first Write-a-Thon was received, the KSWA are already making plans to host another one next year.

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