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Royal City Literary Arts Society keeps word events alive through COVID-19

Tellers of Short Tales, writing workshops and Poetic Justice are all continuing in virtual format, and the Write On! contest is accepting entries until April 1
Creative Writing typewriter concept
The Royal City Literary Arts Society has turned to Zoom to keep offering reading events and writing workshops for New Westminster in the face of COVID-19.

NOTE: This story was updated March 31 to reflect the new Write On! contest deadline.

The Royal City Literary Arts Society isn’t letting the COVID-19 pandemic get in the way of events for the city’s word-lovers.

The society is hosting its Tellers of Short Tales series in online format, with the next session tonight (Thursday, March 25) from 6 to 8 p.m.

Carol Johnson will host the event, which will feature author PJ Patten – a graphic novelist, visual artist, tattoo artist and writer who was born in Japan and is now based in New Westminster. He’ll be reading from TOWER 25, a graphic memoir about homelessness, addiction, trauma and recovery.

There will also be an open mic session for short stories, with limited space (sign-up for open mic starts at 5:30 p.m.).

Those interested in attending need to indicate their interest on Facebook or email to get a Zoom link.

On Saturday, March 27, the society is hosting a free online workshop, Setting the Stage: How to Write Fiction Novels or Memoirs. Ruth Kozak, a historical fiction writer and travel journalist, will cover topics such as theme, developing plot, knowing your character, and settings and writing description.

The workshop runs from 1 to 3 p.m.

Participants need to register by email,, to receive a Zoom link.

The Poetic Justice reading series has also moved online, with the next edition coming up Sunday, April 11 from 3 to 5 p.m. It features Jen Currin and Aidan Chafe, plus an open mic session. Open mic sign-up starts at 2:30 p.m.

And one final reminder to local writers: the society’s Write On! contest is still open for entries. The deadline has been extended from April 1 to May 1, at midnight. You can enter your best work in fiction, non-fiction and poetry categories to win cash prizes.

Follow Julie MacLellan on Twitter @juliemaclellan.
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