BCATW 2016 Travel Writing Symposium: British Columbia: Too Beautiful for Words

Time to sharpen those pencils and pop a new memory card into the camera as the BC Association of Travel Writers (BCATW) is holding its annual travel writing symposium soon.

The event will be held at the iconic Anvil Centre in New Westminster on Sunday, April 10, from 10-5pm, with an afterparty planned nearby.

This year’s event is themed, “British Columbia: Too Beautiful for Words,” and will cover a lot of ground in our home province.

Industrial Panel

The industrial panel is stacked with tourism representatives from some of BC’s most popular travel destinations.

Aboriginal Tourism – Paula Amos is the Director, Partnerships & Corporate Initiatives for Aboriginal Tourism Association of BC. Paula oversees the Marketing and Media activities for AtBC.

Vancouver Island – Heather McEachen is the Trade and Media Specialist with Tourism Vancouver Island. For the past eight years she has hosted more than 250 journalists to discover the untold stories of Vancouver Island.

BC Wine – Laura Kittmer is the Media Relations Manager at British Columbia Wine Institute which represents the interests of British Columbia wine producers (BC VQA) in the marketing, communication and advocacy of their products.


Our keynote speaker is Lucas Aykroyd is an award-winning writer, national newspaper columnist, and public speaker specializing in travel and sports.

In his speech, “Crafting Successful Stories – On Your Own Terms,” Aykroyd will reveal the top ten keys to impressing editors at publications like the Washington Post, the Globe and Mail and the Vancouver Sun.

Editorial Panel

Once again, the BCATW symposium will feature a panel of editors to discuss the best ways to sell stories. The panel features editors of both print and digital magazines.

Jennifer Elliott, Vancouver magazine. As producer, she manages the editorial content for Vancouver and the adjoining website (VanMag.com) as well as all social media platforms.

Brad Liski, My Passion Media. As President and Group Publisher, Liski oversees publication of Explore, Outdoor Canada, BC Outdoors, Canadian Traveller, Pacific Yachting, British Columbia Magazine, their online variants, and the all-encompassing e-zine InfoBarrel.com.

Anicka Quin, Western Living magazine. Quin has served as editor-in-chief since 2010, having previously been its executive editor, and she oversees all the magazine’s departments, including travel.

Pitching Sessions

New this year are Editor Pitching Sessions! Think speed dating for writers. After the editorial panel, Elliott, Liski and Quin will offer 5-minute one-on-one pitching sessions with the travel writers.

The writers will sign up for one editor during registration and should come prepared with an elevator pitch targeted toward the editor’s publication. Pitch Sessions are a great learning and networking opportunity for the editors and writers alike.

Drawings and Contests

In between regular programming, there will be drawings for travel-related prizes.

There will also be a photo contest held in advance on the event’s Facebook page, and the winner will be announced at the end of the symposium. The theme is “British Columbia,” of course! The winner will also have their image complimentarily enlarged and framed, and displayed in the window of Peppa Martin’s Truth and Beauty Gallery, 698 W.16th Avenue, from May 12-28.

A Twitter contest will be held before and during the event. The attendee who tweets the most “#bcatw2016” hashtagged tweets from March 2 to April 8 will win one prize. And the attendee who tweets the most during the symposium will win another prize. Follow all BCATW 2016 attendees at BC Travel Writers Lists.

To celebrate its new travel blogger membership, there will also be a blogging contest. The winning attendee who blogs about the conference, the Anvil Centre, and/or New Westminster by May 31st will receive a travel-related prize.

Register for the Travel Writing Symposium Soon!

“We invite everyone – members and friends – to attend this wonderful day of sharing information about our beautiful province, and learning how to be a better travel writer/blogger,” says BCATW President, Ruth Kozak.

If you love to travel and like to write, BCATW 2016 is the conference to attend for sharpening your skills and doing some networking.

The early-bird ticket rate of $75 ends on March 1. After that, the admission is $90.

For more details, visit the BCATW 2016 Home Page or go ahead and register now at Picatic.

See you in New West!

travel writer

About Mari Kane

Mari Kane is the web master and Communications Director for BCATW. She is also a Blogger and WordPress Consultant in Vancouver, BC. When she's not designing WordPress blogsites and helping people with their own, she blogs on her other sites, Blogsite Studio and Tasting Room Confidential.com.

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