Regular meetings alternate between Victoria and Nanaimo and are held on the second Saturday of the month (unless otherwise noted) in January, March, April, May, June, September, October and November.  (February is our annual awards luncheon, July is when we have our summer picnic, and in August, a beach party.)  Please bring a brown-bag lunch; coffee and tea will be available.  Directions can be found here.  Meetings include:

  • Q&A 10:30 am to 11:00 am (Bring your writing, publishing, and promo questions)
  • Business meeting from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm
  • Lunch from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm (brown bag)
  • Workshop from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Visitors are welcome to come to two regular meetings before joining.

June 8, 2019

Speaker:  Roberta Cottam and Kathryn Cottam, assisted by Whitley Cox
Topic:   Let’s Talk Book Covers
Location: Vancouver Island Regional Library–Nanaimo North Branch, 6250 Hammond Bay Road, Nanaimo

Figuring out what makes a cover convert can be tricky. And communicating that vision to a designer can be even trickier. So come, get empowered and think about covers in a way you haven’t before.

If you’d like your book cover peer-reviewed in a safe and supportive environment, please bring two print-outs (one colour, one black and white) in a large format (recommend 1 cover per 8.5×11″ page).

July 20, 2019

VIRA Summer Picnic
11:00 am to 3:00 pm

Sit back and relax for a few hours with your fellow writers at our annual summer picnic. You are invited to bring 1 – 2 double-spaced pages of your writing to be shared anonymously in a friendly setting, no matter the genre. For those sharing their work, you’re welcome to solicit feedback or simply enjoy having your work read. Hope to see you there!

For food rotation and directions, please see the July/August issue of Tide Lines. For more information, please send us an e-mail.

August 2019

No Meeting

September 14, 2019

Speaker: Eileen Cook
Location: University of Victoria, Cadboro Commons Building, Victoria, BC
Time: 9:00 am to 4:30 pm

Early bird registration fee is $30 for VIRA Members only (registration for non-members will open on July 1, at which time the fee will be $40 for all registrants).

The registration fee does not include lunch, which is available at the UVic Commons Kitchen. Registration can be paid by: electronic transfer to; cheque or cash at May 4 or June 8 meeting; cheque made out to VIRA and mailed to VIRA, PO Box 35100 HILLSIDE, Victoria, BC V8T 5G2. Please note that the payment is for conference registration.


Using Dialogue to Increase Conflict
This workshop will look at how dialogue not only demonstrates character, but how what a character says (or doesn’t) can be used to increase the conflict in your book. We’ll explore the importance of conflict in a book and provide practical suggestions for how to dial up the conflict between your characters.

Building Better Characters
Using some common psychological tips we’ll explore how to create more three dimensional characters. We’ll look at what questions counsellors ask their clients and how we can use that to get to know our own characters, including their backstory that shapes the decisions they make in our book. We will discuss and explore how things such as Emotional Intelligence and Self Help books can assist us in creating characters that readers find compelling.

Building Resilience
There are lies we tell ourselves that get in the way of our creativity. “My story isn’t interesting enough.” “I don’t have time to write this book.” or the age-old favorite, “I’m not good enough.” Let’s break those lies down and talk about practical tips you can use to replace these thoughts with more positive and PRODUCTIVE narratives. The goal in the workshop is to create a plan to move you from your current level to the next on your journey.

Eileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in eight languages. Her books have been optioned for film and TV. She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer. She’s an instructor/mentor with The Creative Academy and Simon Fraser University Writer’s Studio Program where she loves helping other writers find their unique story to tell. Eileen lives in Vancouver with two very naughty dogs. Visit her at

October 5, 2019

SpeakerShelley Adina
Topic:  TBA
Location: Foxborough Hills Clubhouse, 4360 Emily Carr Drive, Victoria

November 16, 2019

Speaker:  TBD
Topic: TBD
Location:  Vancouver Island Regional Library–Nanaimo North Branch, 6250 Hammond Bay Road, Nanaimo

December 2019

No meeting

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