The Convergence Series brings together widely varied streams of intellectual and spiritual knowledge within the context of open-heartedness. As converging creeks create a mighty river, this integration of different ways of knowing yields something that is stronger, deeper, and more complex than any single watercourse. Convergence wisdom is creative, rooted in relationship, and designed to change individuals, inspire communities, and help heal the world.
Here’s the chronology for Convergence Writers’ Weekend since 2012:
CONVERGENCE 2018 SCHEDULE
Friday, June 15, 7 p.m., Silverton Memorial Hall, 203 Lake Street, Silverton, B.C.
Opening presentations by Donna Macdonald and James Hoggan, followed by moderated discussion.
Open to public by donation.
Saturday, June 16, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Silverton Memorial Hall, 203 Lake Street, Silverton B.C.
(For Registrants only)
Workshops: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Lunch on your own: 12 – 1:30 p.m.
Workshops: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Dinner on your own: 5 – 7 p.m.
Performance (Dead Crow, Noel Fudge, Koko) plus (optional) readings by workshop participants & discussion: 7 p.m., Silverton Memorial Hall
REGISTRATION CLOSES JUNE 1, 2018.
James Hoggan, former chair of the David Suzuki Foundation and Al Gore’s Climate Project Canada, writes and speaks widely on public relations, communications and incivility in the public sphere. His most recent book is I’m Right and You’re an Idiot: The Toxic State of Public Discourse and How to Clean It Up (New Society Publishers, 2016).
Hoggan, president of a public relations firm, has spent more than a decade studying today’s warlike approach to public discourse, looking at how unyielding one-sidedness defeats our efforts to resolve global problems, and how self-awareness, empathy and pluralistic advocacy could help us cut through this toxic barrier to change.
He founded the online news site DeSmogBlog that reports on public relations trickery. Time magazine included the site in its 2011 list of the Internet’s best blogs. As well, Hoggan has served on numerous national and international boards and advisory committees including Shell Global’s External Review Committee in The Hague, the Dalai Lama Centre for Peace and Education, and The Four Great Rivers Society. He is the author of two other books, Do the Right Thing: PR Tips for a Skeptical Public and Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming.
Donna visited the Kootenays in 1972 and was hooked by the indefinable magic of this place. Within a few months, she’d made Nelson her home. Since then, she has worked as a labourer, publishing assistant, forest technician (in BC and Mozambique), crisis line volunteer coordinator, technical and freelance magazine writer, and newspaper editor and columnist. Her longest job ever was as a city councillor in Nelson—19 years of meetings! Throughout these varied jobs, writing was the thread that pulled and held her life together. When Donna retired from politics in 2014, she completed her memoir of that experience called Surviving City Hall (Nightwood Editions, 2016). She continues to make presentations and write columns about local government and its importance, always making the plea for more kindness and civility in politics. Donna is currently working on another non-fiction project.
Convergence registrants sign up for one of the two offered workshops, which will occur simultaneously. Workshop sessions will be held at the Silverton Memorial Hall on Saturday, June 16 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
From Mundane to Gripping: Mastering Prose – A Workshop with Sean Arthur Joyce
How do you craft a story that’s riveting, whether fact or fiction? What makes the difference between history as a boring recital of facts and a gripping narrative readers won’t be able to put down? Whether you’re writing a novel, a book of short stories, a memoir, or work of history, certain writing principles are universal. Learn how to apply the techniques of the novelist to the writing of history, how to use creative nonfiction to lift your story from the mundane to the compelling.
Instructor Sean Arthur Joyce will work with examples from both world and Canadian history, including Paul St. Pierre, Barbara Tuchman, Kenneth Bagnell and others. (Please note this is not a workshop on historical research.) Because stories have power, so does putting the “story” in history.
Please note: This workshop requires a writing sample. You may send a writing sample of either fiction or nonfiction, maximum 1,000 words. Rather than rely on writing prompts, this workshop will emphasize editing work in progress. Please let us know if you wish to have a personalized critique of your writing sample. WRITING SAMPLES ARE DUE BY MAY 19, 2018.
Workshop leader bio: Sean Arthur Joyce
Journalist, historian, novelist, poet, performer Sean Arthur Joyce has published three books of Western Canadian history, two of them about Nelson (A Perfect Childhood, 1997; Hanging Fire & Heavy Horses, 2000). His most recent history title, Laying the Children’s Ghosts to Rest: Canada’s Home Children in the West (Hagios Press, 2014) was reviewed favorably by Canada’s History, the Vancouver Sun and Event literary magazine, among others. His first novel, Mountain Blues, will be published in spring 2018 from NeWest Press.
Joyce’s poems and essays on poetics have appeared in Canadian, American and British literary journals and anthologies. New Orphic Publishers of Nelson has published three collections of his poetry: The Charlatans of Paradise (2005), Star Seeds (2009), and The Price of Transcendence (2015). Joyce has produced poetry videos, his first being The Muse: Chameleon Fire in 2001 with funding from BravoTV. In 2016 Joyce produced his second poetry video, Dead Crow: Prologue, with music composed by Noel Fudge and video production by ICandyFilms. Both videos can be viewed on YouTube.
Seeking and Keeping Civility – A Workshop with Donna Macdonald
Through writing and other exercises, join Donna in an exploration of what being civil means and what it requires of us. What (if any) is the role of writers in responding to the current pervasive state of toxic communications? Words wield power, however they are used, so writers in all genres are welcome.
After completing a memoir of her 19 years in local politics, Donna has a few thoughts on finding truthfulness and kindness in life and writing.
Workshop leader bio: Donna Macdonald:
See under FEATURED SPEAKERS above.
- ProVision, BC Conference, United Church of Canada
- Area H, RDCK
- Oso Negro Coffee
FINAL DEADLINE for REGISTRATION: June 1, 2018
SUBMISSIONS DEADLINE for persons wishing feedback on their writing in the Sean Arthur Joyce WORKSHOP: May 19, 2018
COMMENTS FROM PAST PARTICIPANTS:
“Here’s the heart of what I want from any workshop, and what I got in this one. I want a chance to meet good words written or spoken by others, and to take away something—large or small—that will help me live my own life more fully.”
—Anne Voegtlen, Convergence 2016 participant
“The Convergence 2016 Writers’ Workshop in Silverton has been a high point in a year of many memorable occasions for me. The theme, The Spirit in the Landscape, was a draw for me to the workshop. It is a theme that has pleasantly haunted me for a long while… I will return for more of the way of the Convergence next year.”
—Richard Peppinck, Convergence 2016 participant
“I didn’t know what to expect, but this has exceeded any expectations I might have had. Excellent all the way round.”
—Verna Relkoff, Convergence 2012 instructor
Or read what Carolyn Pogue, a Convergence registrant last year and instructor another year, had to say on her blog: ucobserver.org/pogue_blog/2016/06/mothers_calling