Writers’ Jamboree Uncovers and Inspires Talent
Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhood has a rich creative history and the Library’s Carnegie Branch is central to the literary scene, offering regular poetry nights, author readings and book clubs.
Emerging and aspiring writers who live in the area can also benefit from a day-long Downtown Eastside Writers’ Jamboree held at the Carnegie Centre (where the branch is located) and supported by the Vancouver Public Library Foundation and Simon Fraser University.
Writers have access to quality training and can make meaningful connections to editors and other writers as they challenge themselves to improve their craft and define themselves as writers.
“The Downtown Eastside Writers’ Jamboree gives emerging writers the tools and the confidence to take their work to the next stage,” said Carnegie Branch Head Librarian Beth Davies.
The Jamboree, now three years old and this year held on April 29, is also a great community-building opportunity where editors and published authors are introduced to new literary talent. This year, 24 writers and editors participated in the Jamboree, including prize-winning authors Cathleen With, Evelyn Lau, Gurjinder Basran and Timothy Taylor.
Participants were overwhelmingly positive about the experience, citing the many and diverse learning opportunities available, the helpful and encouraging feedback they received and the chance to connect with other emerging writers.
“I would like to see a lot more of these writing jamborees, so much fun, hectic, exhilarating. I was popping in and out all day long,” said one participant.
Funding from the VPL Foundation for the Downtown Eastside Writers’ Jamboree is essential as the program is not covered by core Library funding.
Foundation Directors Allan MacDougall and Susan Knott attended this year’s Jamboree and saw firsthand the positive power of the project.
“Seeing the workshops in action confirms how vital these kinds of projects are to the community. It was wonderful to experience the Downtown Eastside Writers’ Jamboree,” said Allan.
Brenda van Engelen, VPL Foundation Executive Director, stressed the important role donors play in helping to deliver Library projects in the community.
“We would like to thank our donors whose generosity makes it possible for the Library to reach out into the community with innovative projects like the Downtown Eastside Writers’ Jamboree,” she said.
Will you donate to help the Vancouver Public Library Foundation fund projects like the Downtown Eastside Writers’ Jamboree to help the Library extend its reach and promote literacy and lifelong learning in Vancouver? You can also visit our website for more information.